Meeting With Tim Sharp, Hope For the Big Marketplace
Date: February 9, 2012
Definition of Terms:
Composition Showcase= Pretty much what we have now.
Big Marketplace= What the Composers’ Marketplace Planning Group has envisioned altered by this and future discussions.
I had a very encouraging brainstorming session with Tim Sharp at the North Central ACDA convention in Madison, WI today. He was very supportive of the things we are doing in our community and especially the Composition Showcase. I had expected a ten minute casual encounter and got a 45 minute thoughtful exchange. One thing that became very clear to me is that Dr. Sharp is a man of vision. I have spoken to some of you in personal emails about the big picture of creating the marketplace on ChoralNet. There are many forces at play. Our job is to find the right paradigm, the right interface and to involve the stakeholders in making this happen. It is a real possibility and could happen fairly quickly (cross your feather pens).
I need your help and guidance in discovering the right combination of the three. Any member is welcome to bring up their own feelings about this in the forum by starting their own thread. Reasoned dissent is as valuable as reasoned enthusiasm. Please copy and paste the portion of what I have written that you are discussing in your post or if it is a new idea, just write it in plain English. This thread will serve as a starting point.
I would like to lay out my vision for how the Big Marketplace and the Composition Showcase would function. This is only a starting point.
The Composition Showcase is a key element to the big marketplace. I started calling it the Little Marketplace in a John the Baptist “There cometh one greater than I…” sort of way. I see it as a controlled and vetted advertising space to lead conductors to the best and most marketable works by our members, whether published or self-published and a foot in the door in building reciprocal relationships.
The Big Marketplace, would be a place for members to place their own compositions, arrangements and editions for a small annual fee, I’m thinking $2 per work. The purchase price of a single typical octavo. A percentage of sales would also be charged. Composers and or publishers would need to upload two PDF’s. A perusal copy with watermarks discouraging illegal copying and the actual PDF which would be unavailable to the user until purchased.
I think it would be advantageous to have this be composer driven rather than publisher driven for a couple of reasons. Most publishers struggle to stay in business. Declining market share caused by the ease of self-publishing and piracy have a significant impact on their bottom line. I think that composers can be selling agents for their own works published by traditional publishers. If you think your $2 investment will garner you more revenue in the sale of your works by your publisher, then by all means sell your work in the big marketplace. Just have your profits sent to your publisher for them to redistribute your portion back to you. Someone published by multiple publishers or both published and self-published could set up different protocols for the sale of each piece. Setting this up would require a dialogue with your publisher.
Publishers and perhaps other copyright holders would be welcome to make the investment should they decide to do so.
This is where I may make some of you uncomfortable: Eventually pieces put into the Composition Showcase would only go there for free if that same composer has licensed at least 6 works in that year ($12 or more) in the big marketplace and continues to include the big marketplace as the point of purchase. All others would pay a $20/composer fee to place up to their maximum/composer works in the showcase using their own point of purchase.
All works in the big marketplace would be purchased through ChoralNet or its designee, while works displayed in the Composition Showcase would be purchased just as they are now.
So if Hungry Horse Publishing wants to promote two of my works on ChoralNet they could put both of them directly to the showcase for $20/year with their own link to purchase them outside of ChoralNet. If they joined our community, they could put the 2 pieces in the big marketplace for an additional $4 a year or they could promote 6 of my works for $12, then put up to 6 of them into the showcase for free if they use the big marketplace as the purchasing site. (I think this would be uncommon). Although I may disagree with Citizens United on principle, businesses that own intellectual property would be welcome to the same benefits of individual members (see Community Home). There may need to be a maximum placed on digital storage in the library and on ChoralNet.
What is the difference? Purchasing music from the showcase would continue to be independent of ChoralNet. A “Link to purchase page” would exist as it does now avoiding the percentage that ChoralNet or its designee would get for running the big marketplace.
Another radical idea (in need of work): All of the above procedures for the Big Marketplace would be for PDF downloads only. For hard copies, ChoralNet would make an arrangement with a printer or publisher(s) to use their skills to distribute hard copies in octavo form. They would set the hard copy purchase and delivery price, incur all of the expenses and make all of the profit for the amount charged above and beyond the PDF download price. This is a very nested process for published works which we will need to work out. If your publisher or you puts your published work in the Big Marketplace, all of the non-ChoralNet profits would go to them for them to redistribute. Some of you have worked for publishers. How could we make this work?
Some of these ideas now in this post are not my own but have been synthesized from my meeting with Dr. Sharp. Sorry Tim if I am not creditting you. Feel free to comment or clarify.
Advantages over pre-CCMC status quo and in general.
Have at it. I'm off to try not to miss more of the convention. I would like to see some comments when I get back online!
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