I challenge anyone to send a song to paramount music group. Each one will recieve a contract. Paramount is located on losers row area of music row. (as knowledgable industry pro’s will agree.) Each song contract contains a song handling fee with no limit. If for example they brought your tune to the top your song handling fee could and would take a huge bite out of your mechanical royalties and your publishing (if any is retained on your behalf.
Paramount Music Group
Just recently found Paramount, but did not realize they were not true agents, but, for lack of a better word, goniffs!
Do you know of any true agents that promote songs for the songwriter for a reasonable agent’s fee (which used to be 10%)?
Jim, best resource I know is the Songwriter’s Market if you want to access the music market. Some folks use tip sheets like Songlink International and Taxi. You have to research the market and try to figure out who to approach, and give them just what they’re looking for (hit songs). I suppose there are songwriters’ “agents” though I haven’t heard of any, but there are music publishers who pitch your work and anywhere from 50% to 100% of the publishing for that service.
I’m looking at my first Paramount Songwriter Contract, point 2. C. spelling out a management fee of five percent of any royalties, payable after royalties are actually received by the writer. Am I missing something important, that adds to the cost? I just received a great demo, a congratulatory letter and a comprehensive list of music business professionals Paramount suggested I contact. Should I be confused?
Forget the comprehensive list of music business professionls they sent you. They are all major publishing companies in Nashville, taken out of the Nashville phone book, and if you try to contact them, if they respond at all, they will tell you they do not accept unsolicited material from unknown songwriters/ The five percent management fee is their way of telling you that IF the song gets recorded as a result of their efforts, you owe them five percent of your royalties. You won’t have to worry about that though, because they are not going to shop your demo, they just say that to make you think they are actively pitching your demo. If you get a contract or a cut from your efforts of pitching it, the five percent would not apply. I am glad you like your demo, the congratulatory letter is a form letter they send to everyone. Also, if you plan on contacting anyone from that list check it out closely. There are numerous duplications on there, ie., different companies with the same address. A lot of publishers will have two or three companies under their umbrella, so if you see two listings with differenet names but the same address, it is the same outfit. For a demo house to want five percent of your royalties for producing a demo is a bunch of crap, and I hope you realize that.
And, the next congratulatory letter you will get is the one telling you that your song has been picked to go on a compilation CD called Catch A Rising Star or something similar. Of course, now you don’t expect them to defray all the costs of this compilation CD since they are doing you a big favor of getting your song “out there”. Please enclose a check for X number of dollars so they can give you another CD along with about 15 other suckers. They may pitch it but whoever gets it does their own pitching also, right in the trash can. If you guys want to use Paramount, then go for it and learn the hard way. There are others here who have been there and done that and others that know of them first hand so if you don’t want to take advantage of that experience, then jump right in. But a word of friendly advice. Never, never waste your time submitting demos to anybody that does not give you permission to submit it to them. Just trying to save you a lot of time and money. Publishers have specific needs and know what they are looking for at any given time. Even those that give you permission, odds are it won’t get much attention if any at all. As a new songwriter, you are at the bottom of the barrel. Now you may think I am pessimistic because I have never had any success. I currently have seven songs under signed contract with four different publishers but the hard facts of life in this business is, even if you do get a publisher to give you a contract, the vast majority of songs that are signed with publishers will never earn a dime. Those are of the words of Jason Blume, a pretty successful songwriter. But hey, look at it this way. We are helping our economy by keeping a lot of people in business that make money off of songwriters.
I thank you and sincerely respect your words of undisputed wisdom. To a tee, you’ve described the scene thus far, to a point. Outcome of my first demo, I’ve been invited to meet David Robinson (Paramount Group) at 1pm, August 25th at his 16th Avenue office, a long, long way from Melbourne, Australia, so I guess forewarned is forarmed, and couresy of your comments, forewarned I certainly am! Additionall, it would be very helpful to me if you could give more specifics to your grievances, even a listen to your own demos if you can: I’m now more determined than ever to keep my appointment, armed with the remarkable day-1 observations on this site, and resolved in maintaining integrity in my songwriting aspirations. To repeat, should I be confused?
I’m new to this caper, but do have something exhibited on http://woodscompositions.net/ if you’re interested.
Heading for Nashville, regardless, on August 24th, no-one familiar there, so maybe we could meet!
I CANNOT speak from experience here. however, a trip to nashville might be beneficial if you have some other things planned or can get some other appointments with other publishers or performing rights organizations. I have a copy of a great book..title is something like… Songwriter’s guide to Nashville. it’s full of some interesting information and things you can do while there that may help your career.
When I first started doing this, I had Paramount produce five demos. Of those five, only one I thought was pretty good until I started pitching it. I started getting feedback about the technical flaws with the demo, ie., they took the third verse, repeated the same verse at the end of the song, and no it was not the chorus. Things like that. The other four I was completely dissatisfied with and with I informed them I didn’t like it, they replied they only guarantee a demo to be produced. They were pure junk and I never did anything with them at all. The first one, I took to a local studio and never even let them listen to the Paramount demo. They took it, gave me a first class demo, and the first publisher I pitched it to, signed it on the spot. Since I didn’t use their demo or their melody, Paramount is completely out of the picture. That song was called The Silence Says It All and you can listen to it, along with my other songs at:
None of these were Paramount produced by the way.
I am not down on this business at all. It is in my blood and I guess you would say I am addicted to it. As a matter of fact, I just put another signed contract in the mail today and am currently working on my next demo. But, no more Paramount for me. There are several well respected and first class demo operations in Nashville. I used The Song Cellar, [url=http://www.songcellar.com]http://www.songcellar.com[/url] on my song called The Road That Leads Back Home. Another well known Nashville studio is called Gator Hole, have heard a lot of good things about them. There are others, just too numerous to mention.
I always appreciate gutsy, constructive comment, so thanks fellas. You’ve influenced my course ahead, for sure. Have to say though Roy, not a word of my song was changed in the Paramount demo, complete, original structure maintained and it’s certainly a better quality production than anything I’ve had done here, in Melbourne, exhibited on my website.
Again, sincere thanks for all of the response comments.
Johnny, check these out for starters and in no particular order:
Song Cellar - [url=http://www.songcellar.com]http://www.songcellar.com[/url]
A Writers Paradise - [url=http://www.awritersparadise.com]http://www.awritersparadise.com[/url]
AlliSongs - [url=http://www.allisongs.com/]http://www.allisongs.com/[/url]
Beaird Music Group - [url=http://www.beairdmusicgroup.com]http://www.beairdmusicgroup.com[/url]
The Gator Hole - [url=http://www.thegatorhole.com]http://www.thegatorhole.com[/url]
And, one other thing. It does not necessarily HAVE to be done in Nashville. There are literally hundreds of local recording studios all across this country that are perfectly capable of turning out good quality studio demos usually at a price cheaper than what you can get it done in Nashville. Depending on where you live but even if you don’t have one near you, most of them will do demos by mail also. All of my songs on Soundclick I had done at a local studio called Smart Productions, [url=http://www.smartindiemusic.com]http://www.smartindiemusic.com[/url] here in Texarkana, Texas with the exception of two. The Road That Leads Back Home I had done at the Song Cellar in Nashville and For The Money was recorded by Jeff Knight in his home studio. You can hear my songs at:
Sometimes there’s good with the bad. I won their 2003 Christmas music contest.For this I recieved $550, and a very professional demo of my song. At that point in my career, I wasn’t writing my own music. This song has just been forwarded by TAXI to a publisher. My cost was a $20 entry fee and 5% of any royalties. I thought they were very fair. As far as their contact list you are all correct. It ain’t much. With any deal of this kind, it’s always good to walk in with your eyes open. Sometimes though, the rabbit can snatch the carrot without the box falling.
Good luck with your writing.