First of all, if you send us something and we think we can place it, we may offer you a publishing or a co-publishing agreement. However, in order for that to happen, you must be signed with a PRO affiliate and we are continuously amazed at how many of you haven’t yet affiliated yourselves with one. In the US, you have a choice between three: BMI, ASCAP, or SESAC. In Canada, there is only one: SOCAN. In Sweden, there is STIM. Each country has their own. You have to affiliate to the PRO in the country of which you are a citizen. Where you have a choice between PROs within your country, it doesn’t matter to us which one you go with but you have to spend some time learning about each one before you decide which one to sign with because each conducts business differently from the other. The process may take some time – in some cases a month or more – so DO THIS NOW if you haven’t yet done so.
Why should you do this? Because if you don’t, you’ll not receive any of the performance royalties. Period. For example, say we play your song titled “XYZ” in a major block buster film. It plays (or “performs”) in theaters around the world. Because you’ve provided us with your PRO affiliate, they receive the CUE sheets which list the details pertaining to this performance (i.e.where it’s placed in the film, if it’s background or key to the scene, how much of it is played, etc.) Based on those details, your PRO affiliate takes care of the collection of your performance royalties for this placement. Without the PRO, you won’t receive a dime.
WHAT TO SEND:
Forget what you’ve heard or read on message boards, or on some website! You are competing with successful songwriters who spend $400 to $700 per demo! Your demo needs to sound that good! You could take a piano/guitar vocal, or midi production to a label, but … We all want the same thing – to get a cut. To do so with unknown writers (like you, perhaps) we need to compete head-on.
That being said, we definitely prefer to receive fully produced material. Be advised that we will only present fully produced demos to our contacts.
Submit your audio file via email as an MP3. Definitely DO NOT email us a WAV file. Your MP3 should be at a minimum 128 kbps. Your audio file should be properly named. If your song is called “Funk 101”, your MP3 should be named funk101.mp3 and not audio01.mp3 or anything else other than the name of your song. Your email should also include your name and full contact information, all the names of your co-writers on the audio file you are sending, and the lyrics.
Do them and do them BEFORE you spend any money having your song demoed.
Unless we feel that your song is really really close, we do NOT offer any critiquing services.
A FEW BASIC RULES:
You must own the songs you send us. If you have co-writer(s), please get their permission before you send anything to us.
Do NOT send us any songs currently under contract with another publisher.
Copyright your song(s) before sending them. A “poor man’s copyright” is just fine. A full copyright is generally not secured until just before a cut.
Our opportunities are all A-list opps, including artists, movies, and television placement both in North America and abroad. You must be prepared to give us 100% of the publishing rights to 100% of the song, not just your share of the publishing. You keep 100% of the writers royalties (or share with co-writers).
All we are interested in are serious writers who are willing to work and take direction to get major cuts. Please do not send us songs if you are not serious and willing to play by the rules.
The best way to contact us is through email (email@example.com). However, even though we try our darnest to answer all of our emails, we just can’t guarantee we’ll do so 100% of the time. Sometimes we get behind; send us an email message and we promise to do our best.
WHEN WILL WE CALL:
If we really like what we hear, we will certainly contact you. If we feel you are getting close, we may even offer a critique to get you a little further. However, if you are not close, you will probably not hear back from us. Sorry, but learning the skills of songwriting are up to you. It doesn’t mean your song(s) are bad. In fact, they may be quite good, but “good” just won’t cut it.
If you don’t hear back from us, please do not take it personally. We do NOT charge songwriters for listening to songs; we make money on cuts. We therefore can only take the best songs. However, if you are really serious, join either the NSAI or the NCSA, and participate, get some critiques, find one or more co-writers, and write 100 to 150 songs next year.
WHAT DO WE CHARGE?
Nothing! We only get paid after we get your song cut. Nothing changes the fact that you retain 100% of the writer’s share of royalties, and Phantom 4 Music, in most cases, get all the publishing royalties. This is the industry standard and we do NOT deviate from those standards.
If you wish to compete and win in this market, with no prior experience or cuts, no track record, you must be prepared. If you really want to succeed, you must learn the craft, the business, and learn to play the game.
If you are a great songwriter, you can really succeed in this market. We, like a Realtor, are not here to build or remodel your house, or paint, or clean it up, or teach you how to do these things. We are just here to get it cut, so you can earn royalties.
Phantom 4 Music Publishing (SOCAN), is open to reviewing new artists and bands. We are always looking for GREAT talent. If you think you have what it takes, we want to hear it. We have an open door policy with most major labels in town including Warner, Arista, Sony, Epic, Polygram, Curb and others. Read on to find out how. Using our personal contacts, if you have what it takes, we can guide you in the right direction and help you accomplish your goals. You can submit your package directly to us.
“Throw a lot of mud at the wall and some of it is bound to stick.” We work 24/7. Okay, not quite, but sometimes it feels that way. Days, nights, evenings, holidays, you name it. No opportunistic stone is left unturned. Where there is an opportunity, we are there to explore it and act if and as necessary. If your material fits, we’ll “throw it against the wall”.
However, we are VERY VERY picky. Why? Because our reputation is on the line. If we send out less than top quality material and/or material that doesn’t fit the request, doors are going to close. Period. That’s the way it is in this business.
STROKING YOUR EGO:
If you are an artist, you need to be aware that the road is hard, rough, and more often than not, a dead end, even if you are THE perfect candidate.
We do NOT believe the goal of an artist should be to get a record deal. It should only be considered as another step to the real goal – acceptance by the fans. Record deals are not for celebration. In fact, they are more often the beginning of the end. Artists who just enjoy music and fans, have the right idea. Artists searching for a record deal usually fail – even if they get the deal. There will be a lot of hard work ahead, and most of it is yours. Be prepared for a two to four-year trek to a label and then another two to four years to the fans and real success.
If this is not what you want or expected to hear, and you need a deal next week, then you’ve come to the wrong place.
WHAT TO SEND:
We require a complete package from you including photos, bio, PR material, performance history (should be 3 to 5 years min), who you have opened for (i.e. which major acts), 3 to 4 good demo songs, video (extremely helpful), airplay history, etc.
Normally we do NOT critique simply because of cost and time constraints. We do look at all packages carefully. We do sometimes offer a critique if we feel you are real close or we would like to hear more from the you.
HELP WITH BUSINESS:
Please forgive us if you are already familiar with songwriting and the business-side of this business. We really do not intend to be demeaning to anyone, but many who contact us do not know, and have usually asked the same questions over and over. Below we attempt to answer the most common questions. If you have additional questions, feel free to email us. We answer as many as we can.
WHAT DOES “PUBLISHED” MEAN?
Published is when a music publisher (like us) agrees to help you get your song cut by an artist. It’s kind of like listing your house with a Realtor. You write a great song, we present it to labels and artists who are looking for new material for an album. The details are written in a standard publishing contract. We always take full publishing on new writers. If you are experienced, meaning you have five or more major label/artist cuts, we are negotiable.
WHEN SHOULD I SECURE COPYRIGHT?
You’ll hear all kinds of advice on this question. When it gets right down to it, you need to do what you feel comfortable doing. Remember that formally copyrighting your material is only meant to help you prove the date of authorship. A “poor man’s copyright” can work to do this. Then, a formal copyright is generally secured just before a cut.
You can get a form from the Copyright Office US Government. also some post offices carry them. You can include 1 to 10 songs per form at $20 per form (1 or 20 songs). The form has instructions. Pretty simple really.
Copyright Office (US Gov’t)
Library of Congress
Washington D.C. 20559-6000
If you really want to get a cut, you can’t be paranoid! You too have to throw as much mud on wall as you can to get the exposure on your songs.