Below are some frequently asked questions. Feel free to get in touch if you need any further assistance.
What is Production Music?
Check out this blog entry
Do I get an advance to pay for recording space if I am composing a song from scratch?
There are no advances for tracks submitted to the DMS catalogue.
In what ways am I still allowed to use my track once I have signed it to DMS?
Every track that is signed to DMS is exclusive to DMS. This means that the track can not be licensed out to or used by anyone else. It is not ok to present the track on Youtube, Soundcloud and such as we’d prefer to share links to the music made available via our sub publisher(s) to maximise the chances of usage and ease of royalty collection.
Do we have an estimated turn-around time for placements?
With library music the approach is very long term and different to preparing music for commercial release. It can take as long as 3-5 years to start seeing regular payments. You have to consider the time it takes for the songs to be used by clients, to the composers performing rights organisation detecting the usage, collection and distribution.
The more songs we service to our sub-publishers the greater the opportunity to generate revenue long term. We encourage composers to develop a long term revenue generating mindset. Rather than waiting for the ‘big sync’, consider making small amounts, aimed at various platforms and spread across many titles. We advise attempting to add a high quantity of quality production music to our catalogue in order to increase the chances of benefiting from the back end royalties in 3-5 years.
My tracks are signed to a record label but not a publishing label, does this mean I can still use them with DMS?
We tend to work with songs that aren’t affiliated with any commercial releases, this includes both record labels and also self releases. This is so our sub-publishers can use the master rights, service their network and fully exploit the music without any ownership issues. All backend royalties then go through the appropriate channels.
Does the track need to have a minimum/maximum time limit?
Preferably between 3-4 minutes with edits of 90s, 30s and 5s.
If I am composing a track with vocals will an instrumental version be needed?
All tracks with vocals must be accompanied with an instrumental version. This allows more opportunities for the songs to be licenced by our clients.
What is the term length for the compositions you sign?
The songs stay with DMS exclusively for life of copyright plus extensions. The composer remains non-exclusive and is free to compose/release music elsewhere. For more information See Page 8 of UK Copyright Service: http://bit.ly/1y4ayC0
Do DMS own the rights to my songs in the UK only or globally?
DMS will own the rights to your song globally, in order to assist our sub-publishers around the world, including ROBA (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), Big Bang & Fuzz (Australia, South-East Asia), Chicago Music (USA) and All Music Publishing (Benelux).
If DMS signs my song as a writer, am I still allowed to use the song as an artist?
Whilst you can perform the songs live, as an artist you will not be able to sell or exploit the publishing or master rights in any way. Eg no digital sales, cd manufacturing, sync licensing and such. This is so our sub-publishers can service their network and fully exploit the music without any ownership issues, with all backend royalties going through the appropriate channels.
Am I allowed to use samples in the tracks I compose for DMS?
DMS tend to avoid using songs with samples as this can create copyright infringement issues. For more information See Page 2 of UK Copyright Service: http://bit.ly/1y4ayC0
At which point do we sign an agreement with the composer/songwriter?
The composer will be sent a detailed contract stating clearly all terms and conditions of the deal once their submitted compositions have been screened and approved by DMS.
How exactly will my track be used?
Every track will be made available for clients to listen to through our website and our sub-publisher’s channels. This can be for radio sound beds, trailers, TV, websites, advertising and such. If a track is used for any purpose, revenue will be generated. This revenue is determined by the MCPS Rate Card.
Must the tracks submitted be genre specific?
Compositions may be of any genre unless they are due to form part of a genre specific album. It is advisable to take into consideration current industry trends and we will sometimes offer a brief.
What is PRS?
PRS for Music Limited (formerly The MCPS-PRS Alliance Limited) is a UK copyright collection society and performance rights organisation undertaking collective rights management for musical works – prsformusic.com.
More about PRS.
What is DMS offering me in exchange for my music?
DMS is essentially offering a production music deal:
- DMS signs both master rights and publishing of the song(s) exclusively but the artist remains non-exclusive. This means they can write with anyone and release music elsewhere. ONLY the songs we agree to sign stay with DMS.
- 50% of the writer share goes to the artist. 50% goes to DMS as the publisher.
- The mechanical share of the publishing also stays with DMS and is used to fund our community activities eg http://bit.ly/dmsskin1
- Working in this way helps composers build their cv, creates revenue generating opportunities and assist’s DMS with the social responsibility side to our business.
Are DMS looking solely at making partnerships with composers for function songs or is it more of an artist development kind of deal?
DMS aims to create opportunities for composers specifically with production music, however, there is room to develop as an artist via the feedback and suggestions we give as well as the practice of your craft by meeting our briefs.
If DMS is a non-profit organisation what happens to the money that they make?
The profits we make are used to help fund community based projects and work-shops. You can see an example of this at Skinners Academy where we shared experience and offered advice to the students for moving forward in music after education in this video http://bit.ly/dmsskin1.
What makes DMS a social enterprise instead of just a non-profit publishing label?
Forever Diverse Music Solutions CIC is a registered Community Interest Company No. 8137116
Whilst our main line of business is through hosting a production music library, we also offer advice in the form of mentoring, masterclasses and workshops as well as help towards social media, management and PR services.
Please note we don’t limit ourselves to these specific activities, let us know what you need assistance with and we’ll see what we can do.
Is it obligatory that composers have already produced their own music in order to contribute to DMS?
It is not obligatory that all composers write their own music but it makes life easier. It will usually mean they’re the only ones we need to contact relating to rights ownership and signing the music.
What happens in the case that a composer had someone perform on their track or help them produce a track?
If other producers/singers/composers/musicians are involved we need confirmation of their authorisation. Both the rights in the sound recording (master rights) and publishing must be signed.
Whats happens once a composer decides they are happy to contribute to DMS?
Once they are happy with our agreement, we simply send a brief specifying the type and number of songs we want with a delivery deadline. We then review the songs and once approved register them with Prs and service to our sub – publishers.
How much music does DMS expect to receive from a composer?
We like a minimum of 5 so we can create an album unless we’re combining them with titles from other composers.
What is the difference between mechanical and writer shares? – from PRS website
‘Your performing right entitles you to earn money whenever a song or composition that you have written is played or performed in public. This could be either on television or radio, listened to or downloaded off the internet, performed live, or played in a public space such as a shop or bar.
Mechanical rights entitle you to earn money whenever a song or composition that you have written is reproduced. This includes when your works are recorded onto a physical product (such as a CD or audio-visual product), or listened to or downloaded off the internet.
In the UK PRS for Music collects both your performance right and mechanical rights. At present an MCPS (Mechanical Copyright Protection Society) membership is needed from in order for them to collect your mechanical royalties.’
More about PRS.
Do you offer a buy out fee for the master recording?
We don’t offer fees upfront. We’re not ‘buying out’ the rights. The tracks are exclusive to us but the composer benefits from 50% backend royalties via PRS for life. This is their remuneration.
Are there any age restrictions for the composer?
It is advisable for the composer to be over 18.
I have flirted with the idea of going with a library, but my passion and specialty is actually composing to picture. With that in mind, can your company act as an agency? Because that’s what I would really like to find.
Our priority is adding quality music to our library but we can bear him / her in mind if we are sent briefs that are relevant to his/her style / genre of production. This would be as and when these opportunities arise and not strictly an official agency agreement. We also prefer to send these briefs to composers that have contributed music to our catalogue as then we also have an idea of how they work.
How many tracks/rights you usually sell to producers? How much does a producer pay for one track? How many producers have you been working for?
- There are no advances for tracks submitted to the DMS catalogue.
- We have around 500 titles in our catalogue.
- We’re currently working with over 20 composers.