Ron Sobel - Co-Founder/Partner, is a nationally recognized entertainment attorney (admitted in Michigan), with expertise in New Media, digital monetization, and copyright asset protection. Ronâ€™s experience and international relationships across all sectors of the industry provides Winogradsky/Sobel with a unique opportunity to develop strategic business alliances and deliver comprehensive music services. Ron also served as President of North Star Media, a music publishing company founded in 2001, providing music placement and artist development services.
Winogradsky/Sobel (â€śWin/Soâ€ť) is a unique music services company that offers the combined expertise of nationally-recognized attorneys Steve Winogradsky and Ron Sobel, together with the proven track record of a highly-experienced artist development, music publishing/administration, and clearance & licensing team. With years of traditional and New Media legal and business affairs experience, the Win/So team has represented artists, composers, and production companies for television, film, DVDâ€™s, Internet, video games, and commercial advertising campaigns. Win/So has also provided consulting and strategic design of emerging business models and social media opportunities.
Ron Sobel, President of North Star Media, talks about North Star Media. North Star Media offers music publishing, music administration, and project development to musicians, artists, and media companies. Sobel also explains his experience prior to North Star Media. Sobel was the Vice President of Creative Affairs and an attorney at ASCAP. His musical background is covered as well. During his childhood, he studied the piano and guitar. However, he was not a gifted musician and took to law to represent his musician friends instead.
Ron Sobel, President of North Star Media, recommends several publishing resource books. He suggests Music, Money, and Success by Todd and Jeffrey Brabec. All You Need to Know About the Music Business by Donald Passman is mentioned as well. Sobel also lists off The Professional Musician's Legal Companion, Get It In Writing, and The Musician's Business and Legal Guide. Sobel explains that while some are more technical than others, they are all wonderful resources. There are others available too.
Ron Sobel, President of North Star Media, talks about the terms of a publishing contract. A few of the key elements are how many songs the songwriter is giving the publisher, the duration of the ownership, and the percentage of ownership. Sobel explains that publishers seek to have 100 percent of publishing for the life of the copyright.
Ron Sobel, President of North Star Media, talks about the digital age. Sobel brings up Napster and its effects upon the music industry. Sobel also discusses the difference between a download and stream. A download is a mechanical and a stream is a public performance. Also in this segment, Sobel covers the radio. Radio was originally perceived as a medium that ripped off songwriters and publishers. However, today it is the largest source of income that writers and publishers receive. He shares his opinion that digital distribution will take the same path as radio.
Ron Sobel, President of North Star Media, talks about finding new songwriters. In order to initiate a partnership with a new writer, the writer must have unique talent. Sobel also points out that it must be a right fit for both the publisher and songwriter. Also in this segment, he explains that North Star Media does sign writers to contracts, such as Paco. Publishers take an aggressive role in career development.
Ron Sobel, President of North Star Media, talks about the Harry Fox Agency. The Harry Fox Agency collects and distributes mechanical license income for writers and publishers that have music spread among several labels and record companies. Sobel points out that publishers own the agency. However, they do extract a reasonable fee. The fee is generally around four or five percent.
Ron Sobel is president of North Star Media, a California publishing company. He discusses various topics pertaining to publishing and the music industry. In this segment, he talks about the major streams of income for songwriters. Ron starts by talking about the amount of money you can recieve from radio play and public performances from PRO's. He goes on to discuss mechanical royalties and statutory rates for songs. Another source of income for a song is being paid for synchronization in TV and motion pictures. The last topic he talks about is generating money from new forms of media and digital downloads.
Ron Sobel, President of North Star Media, talks about international publishing. Foreign markets are substantial for publishing companies - especially as traditional record sales decline. For instance, songs are rerecorded in foreign languages. Sobel discusses publishing administration as well. Publishing administration is the collection of foreign currencies. He also covers foreign territories. Each territory has its own collection agency and local sub publishers. Sobel also discusses the strategies of publishing companies in regards to foreign territories. Some companies hire specific local sub publishers in each territory. Others offer a world deal and have individuals grounded in each territory. Also in this segment, he explains that it's a matter of dollar and cents and how creative the sub publisher can be. Foreign sub publishers take generally between ten and fifteen percent. They are extremely helpful in finding revenue that originally slipped through the cracks.
Ron Sobel, President of North Star Media, talks about internships. Since North Star Media is in Los Angeles, North Star Media is intimately connected with the LA music schools like USC. Sobel lists some of the duties of North Star interns, such as burning CDs, developing new writers, and seeking out new talent online. Also in this segment, Sobel covers the desired characteristics of internships. He explains that the characteristics depend on the internďż˝s target division. North Star Media's connection with music supervisors is covered as well.
Ron Sobel, President of North Star Media, talks about changes in the music industry. Music has changed in all formats. The delivery is different and there are new revenue streams. Sobel points out why individuals enlist the help of Harry Fox Agency. Also in this segment, Sobel explains that the format and method of payment is unclear. For instance, no one knows if the music sold on iTunes should be looked at as a record sale or third party license. If it is looked at as a record sale, artists receive their artist royalty rate. If it is looked at as a third party license, artists receive 50/50. The debate remains unresolved.
Ron Sobel, President of North Star Media, talks about music education today. He explains that music education has gone through a revolution over the past ten years. In the past, music schools were limited to a performance aspect. Over the years, music schools have begun to realize that there was a music business. Sobel points out that now even law schools offer music law programs. Also in this segment, Sobel discusses the effects of a music business program. Enrollment increases and parents are able to better embrace their child's decision to enter the music industry.
Ron Sobel, President of North Star Media, talks about the challenge new songwriters face. Songwriters must figure out how to enter the marketplace. Sobel suggests attending conferences, utilizing available resources, and finding a publisher. Also in this segment, he discusses the importance of finding a balance between the salesman and the writer. The writer must be extremely talented and have the ability to find someone to help them promote their music.
Ron Sobel, President of North Star Media, offers advice to aspiring musicians. Young performers must educate themselves. The music industry is not smooth sailing. Sobel also points out that the most talented musicians are generally not talented business professionals. Therefore, they must utilize appropriate resources, such as reference books and the festival, South By Southwest. Also in this segment, Sobel stresses the significance of the Internet. Authors that couldn't get distribution before can now share their resources online. The ASCAP and BMI websites are other valuable resources that offer a plethora of information. The importance of an entertainment attorney is covered as well.
Ron Sobel, President of North Star Media, offers advice to aspiring music publishers. Sobel shares that it is a great time to be a publisher. The publishing world is a vibrant place to be. He explains that publishing is more secure and now has multiple revenue streams. Also, since record sales are diminishing, there is more digital distribution. Sobel points out that publishers participate whether it's downloading or streaming.
Ron Sobel, President of North Star Media, talks about publishing companies. Publishing companies are the manager of the song. Sobel shares his viewpoint that a song is a three dimensional entity. A song is composed of the writer half and the publisher half. The writer is the creator and the publisher is the business end. Also in this segment, Sobel points out that writers have the option to manage their own songs.
Ron Sobel, President of North Star Media, talks about giving up publishing rights. He brings up the early notion that artists shouldn't give up their publishing. However, Sobel points out that if the artist cannot do what a publisher does, the smart decision would be to work with a publisher. Publishers are helpful. While they may take some money, they also jumpstart the song.
Ron Sobel, President of North Star Media, talks about the publisher's share. The publisher's share is always 100 percent negotiable. Sobel explains that the writer might offer a 100 percent publisher share, thus making the writer and publisher partner. The writer might also ask for a co-publishing deal, 50 percent publisher share. Sobel also discusses the administration deal. The administration deal is when the writer only needs the publisher to collect foreign royalties.
Ron Sobel, president of North Star Media, talks about work for hire. Sobel explains that there is a legitimate and an illegitimate work for hire. The legitimate work for hire involves a composer seeking to be hired for a project. The composer is paid and delivers the work. The writer retains the writer royalties and the employer becomes the publisher. The illegitimate work for hire involves the same situation as the legitimate work for hire. However, Sobel points out that sometimes the employer asks the writer to remove their name. By doing so, the writer gives up the writer royalties. He shares that this is a common occurrence. Additionally, it makes it difficult for writers to make a living.