FAQ...Answers to frequently asked questions

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Sub-Licensing

What is sub-licensing?

Sub-licensing is one of the more important services we offer and helps round out your Complete Distribution Portfolio. Although a significant portion of our international distribution efforts is based from our U.S. headquarters, we also work with our foreign and domestic sub-licensing partners to promote, distribute and sell your music through strategic, ancillary channels in their respective territories. Sub-Licensing also includes domestic licensees such as various In-Store Media service providers and various digital broadcasters that deliver retail music and multimedia.

Why should I sub-license my music?

Sub-licensing should be an integral part of every distribution portfolio. Most, if not all, music distributors do not provide global sub-licensing services and solutions. Distributors typically do not offer these services because they rely on 100% automation. Automated services have some benefits, yet they also have limitations. Global sub-licensing requires both automated and hands-on systems. Sub-licensing can be time consuming and require extra resources, yet once your music is licensed with one of our partners, your assets can then be professionally marketed in that channel and territory. Other distributors do not and cannot offer these types of services.

What do you charge for these licensing services?

There are no additional charges, fees, charge-backs, etc. This is a win-win situation for both of us. We’ve been working with international licensing affiliates for 30 years now. From day one, we were setting up vinyl and cassette manufacturing and unique production deals in international territories. Years later, we set up CD manufacturing and various synchronization deals. Currently we manage digital asset ingestion with our foreign partners, yet some partners still like to manufacture CDs as well.

What is In-Store Media music?

You can experience how In-Store Media works by simply walking into almost every store or business environment that plays music. Music, videos and other various multimedia are broadcasted within commercial environments to provide a satisfying, inspiring and artistic ambience. For certain retailers, studies show that playing the right music can increase sales up to 50%—and also creates supplementary revenue annuities for artists!

How can I guarantee my music is protected once it is licensed?

Sugo Music Group works with some of the most respected licensees in the industry. Although many of our partners have been around for decades, we still interview, qualify and sign on new potential partners when applicable.

Why can’t I just submit my music to sub-licensees and retail broadcasters myself?

Building enterprise relations with global licensees and In-Store Media groups, formatting audio and metadata, and delivering assets and quality control checks are a full-time job. Through the years, our sub-licensee database has grown considerably. Each licensee is screened and approved for quality and performance.

Will foreign sub-licensing make money for me?

Yes. For most music labels, content owners, recordings artists and songwriters, initial success almost always comes from activity within their respective territory or country. Downloads, digital radio, television, Internet performances, album sales (both physical sales and downloads), synch licenses for songs in films, television, video games and advertising commercials are the typical applications. All of these methods and channels can generate royalties—sometimes large, as in the case of a hit song, good-selling compilation album or television theme, and other times minimal, as in the case of a webcast performance or small one-time usages. Yet, your music can also be licensed, sold and distributed outside your home territory and can generate significant revenue. Sub-licensing is one of the more important services we offer and helps round out your Complete Distribution Portfolio.

Is international licensing similar to domestic music licensing?

Yes and no. It’s a good question to ask regarding what happens to your music when it is licensed by a licensee in a foreign territory—say, in Taiwan, Ireland, South Africa, USA or any other country, for that matter? How will royalties be collected, and by whom? What do you have to do to get paid? Is there a language barrier? How can I find trusted partners? Those are the questions you need answers to when dealing with any activity in the foreign marketplace. The good news is that Sugo Music Group specializes in global sub-licensing and we have assembled a partner database over the past 30 years that will assist in providing those types of answers and solutions to your foreign distributions.

Can’t I just sub-license my music myself?

Yes, you can, yet each territory has its own procedures, policies and laws governing the licensing, performance and sale of music in its territory. In addition, every country has its own collection societies for the negotiation, collection and distribution of performance and mechanical monies—for both copyright owners and writer and publishing registrants. These foreign collection societies and organizations have payment rules very different from those in your territory or in the U.S.—in addition to sometimes taking significant deductions from royalties of master owners, writers and publishers prior to statements and payments. Some of these societies are very transparent, whereas others are not. Our sub-licensing team at Sugo Music Group provides a one-stop opportunity for all our label partners and artists in securing foreign licensing opportunities, and we’ll handle all the registration, monitoring and accounting issues with third party societies.

Can I make money from sub-licensing?

Yes. Sugo Music Group collects on sub-licensing in two ways: a) Master Use Licensing and b) Performance Royalties. We negotiate Master Use licenses for the usage of the master sound recording and we also register and collect royalties for the public broadcast performances of both your master and your original songs! Though most songwriters receive modest or little royalties for their songs performed outside the U.S., successful writers (and recording artists) can make millions of dollars over the life of a song for foreign country performances and sales. To give an example of the type of monies being collected, in 2009 over $600 million was forwarded to ASCAP, BMI and SESAC for foreign performances of U.S. works. Most of the money is writer money as many publishers collect their money directly from each foreign collection society. As to individual activity, a major worldwide hit song can generate well over $1,000,000 in foreign radio and television performance monies, with a blockbuster feature film generating in excess of $500,000 composer royalties for foreign theatrical (movie theatre) performances alone during the initial year of activity. Putting these high-end figures aside, it is important to know that tens of thousands of U.S. copyright owners, writers and publishers receive between $1 and $100,000 in foreign royalties each year for performances of their works on radio and television stations, live performances and website transmissions, among many other types of uses.

Why should I make my music available for In-Store Media broadcasts?

In-store and other business broadcasts enable musicians, music labels, multimedia archives and content owners to garner increased revenues while promoting your brand, bands and artists and garnering incremental sales! Think of it as an actor or actress doing a voice-over or having their photo in an advertisement. It’s just another way to increase your audience base, engage new fans, promote your artwork, earn new royalties, and round out your Complete Distribution Portfolio.

Who are Sugo Music Group’s retail business broadcasting partners?

Sugo Music Group works with the leading In-Store Media providers such as Mood Media, Play Network, Stingray, Music Choice and Galaxie, among others.

When will I get paid?

We send statements and royalty payments on a quarterly basis.

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