Andrea Standley, President Of Songsinc
New Song Company Built On 'Circle Of Return' Concept
Recycling music tracks for songwriters to turn into new hits???
Sound crazy?? There’s a new conceptual music company believing and banking on this simple, yet amazing idea. Below is my interview with Andrea Standley, founder of a new company called Songsinc LLC http://www.songsinc.com/, which is launching its “Songsinc Track Shop” and a new way of doing business in the songwriting industry.
[Doak Turner] First of all, who and what is Songsinc?
Andrea Standley Songsinc is a limited liability music corporation owned by music industry individuals with experience at all levels, including running a label, songwriting, pitching, performing, promoting and marketing. We have a great team, with over 28 years intense experience at the creative and administrative levels. We consider ourselves a small independent label, launching our first phase of operation on the web through what we call the Songsinc Track Shop.
[Doak Turner] Ok, so what is the SongsincTrack Shop??
Andrea Standley It’s a concept who’s time has come, especially in this age of the Internet and file sharing. Sharing has been a dirty word in the music industry for awhile, since the downloading of music for the purpose of copying (sharing) to give to someone else is, in truth, directly stealing a writer and artist’s intellectual property. But intelligently sharing music by permission can also generate greater sales and secure a bigger fan base, as the major labels have come to learn.
We’ve taken this understanding one step further with the creation of the Songsinc Track Shop, which we believe is one of the more intelligent and creative methods of “sharing” this industry has seen in the past 30 years. And the good news is it benefits not only the track owners, but the songwriters as well, with the potential of creating a very profitable circle of return for everyone.
In a nutshell, we offer tracks – usually taken from a band or artist’s existing songs (all vocals are simply removed) and “license” those tracks out to anyone who wants to use them to write a new lyric and melody within that track – or, to create a new song. In essence, 1 track could be used in the creation of dozens and perhaps even hundreds of different songs.
[Doak Turner] How does this benefit the track owner and the songwriter?
Andrea Standley The track owner (who must own all rights to the track and/or song the track comes from) earns no less than $2 per download (up to $5 per download), retains all rights to their track, and owns 25% of the publishing of any song written using that track.
Not all songs created using these tracks will be good…in fact, most won’t, but offering tracks to the world means good to great songs will come through. Diamonds in the rough will make themselves known, and Songsinc’s goal - and expertise - is to find these gems and profit from them (i.e., get cuts, do artist deals, pitch to music supervisors, etc.).
This is what creates that circle of return for everyone, since success with any song means success and profit to the track owner (25% owner of publishing), the writer (100% owner of writer royalties) and songsinc (75% owner of publishing).
Also, songwriters can utilize the Track Shop to grow their catalog without incurring the expense of producing a track, since Songsinc will send the studio of their choice a WAV File or MP3 of the stereo track – which our Track Shop member can download for less than $26! All they need to do is add vocals and pay for an hour or so of studio time, which saves them $300 - $800 in track production.
[Doak Turner] Why do you say Songsinc is an ‘altruistic music company’?
Andrea Standley Creating songs is an amazing gift, experienced by relatively few in this world. We sincerely believe the Track Shop gives anyone - young, old, pro or beginner - an unparalleled opportunity to participate in creating a song.
As bands come aboard and offer their tracks, can you imagine the opportunity young fans of theirs would have if they could download a track by that band…and add their own melody and lyrics to it??? Such sharing wouldn’t interfere with the band’s CD or original songs in their catalog, but this sharing could generate incredible results and opportunities, not only for the fans but the band itself.
Think contests, promotions, marketing…another circle of return – on so many levels – which we are also prepared for. But we’ll keep those plans for another interview…
[Doak Turner] Andrea, tell me a little about yourself – your songwriting and music background. Who else is involved in your company and what kind of music backgrounds do they have in the business?
Andrea Standley I went to work for a major record company in 1977 as a way to become ‘discovered’ as a songwriter, and remained there for 27 years. I only recently retired, although I still consult for the company, specifically as an analyst.
My experience runs pretty deep – from international marketing and promotion, to U.S. video, production, marketing, promotion, advertising, A&R and merchandising. Although I put my songwriting career on hold, I did manage to create the first ever musical greeting cards (MusiCard), write the infamous money Pyramid Scheme theme song (“Pyramid Punk”), as well as a fairly successful Hands Across America theme song entitled “We The People.” I even designed packaging for a few Van Halen and Madonna single releases.
I also consult for a major film sweepstakes promotions company in the UK, which develops cross-promotion and sweepstakes prizes for major film releases overseas, and this often connects me to film music supervisors.
Over the past seven years, I have concentrated mostly on songwriting. In addition to building a fully-produced catalog of over 120 original songs, I am currently songwriting for an amazing new company in Nashville, which has created a sub-genre of dance country music that is breaking in Europe. It’s been a whirlwind career, still going strong, for which I give thanks every day.
As for the others involved in this new venture, I own and developed Songsinc, but I have a team of professionals who I have contracted with to help market, pitch, develop, advertise – do whatever it takes to make the site as successful as I know it will become. My partners wish to remain anonymous for now, except for Chris Keaton, who is a wonderful plugger and highly regarded individual within the music community.
However, I can tell you honestly our team also includes a record producer, an amazing IT/Web company, a publisher, a songwriter, a retired major label executive, an individual with artist merchandising background, and my attorneys. My resources are another story, but I think you can imagine the contacts and friendships I’ve been fortunate to have made over the past 27 years in the industry.
[Doak Turner] How did you come up with the idea for the site?
Andrea Standley It’s been staring me in the face for a long time, and I think other songwriters are actually doing the same thing I’ve been doing, so when I tell you we’ll all probably just say “DAH” together !!
As I was building my song catalog, some songs were getting holds while others weren’t – you all know how that goes – but I was always getting great feedback on the TRACK. I immediately discovered during my first pitching trips to Nashville, cutting songs in LA was a death sentence.
Julie Daniels (Island Bound Music) and Jana Talbot of the Talbot Group were very good to me whenever I came to town – always taking their time and giving me great advice. They hooked me up with a studio in Nashville, so more often than not, although I got a pass on the song, I always heard how great the track sounded. So, I often stripped the vocals and re-wrote a new melody and lyric using the same track – re-pitched the new song (using the same track), and got great results, including holds.
Then it dawned on me…”DAH”…and I spent the last year researching, building and developing the Songsinc Track Shop, legally protecting some aspects of the idea, and putting my team and business plans in place.
[Doak Turner] Where do you see Songsinc in a year, 3 years and 5 years?
Andrea Standley I honestly see it as a thriving community of musicians, artists, bands, songwriters, lyricists and poets – sharing and initiating what I call the circle of return. I see being the first company to have two or three hits off the same track. I see shared merchandising profits, promotions and awards. I see famous bands/artists sharing their tracks…like planting a seed…and watching it grow into a whole new song. I see Songsinc Track Shop songs and instrumentals placed in films, TV, radio. I see artists developed, and a successful Publishing company.
But maybe, most importantly, I see fans, kids and adults alike who would have never gotten an opportunity to write/create a song, not only doing it, but having success with it – even if their definition of “success” is saying they wrote a song and it sounds great.
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