ScoreStreet, a new website offering automated dissemination, promotion, and payment for self-published classical, jazz, and theatrical composers, launched today. While full file-protected scores and audio clips are available on the site for visitors to look at and listen to freely, performance materials are available for purchase (downloadable PDF or print-on-demand scores and parts, rental of parts for large ensemble works). In addition, permission to use any material on the site for synchronization (e.g. film, TV, advertising), mechanical (e.g. commercial CD recordings), derivative works (e.g. arrangements, samples), or grand rights purposes (e.g. operas, musicals, or ballets) can also be negotiated directly online through automated licenses. Composers who offer their music through ScoreStreet pay a monthly subscription fee but retain full ownership of all of their materials and have the ability to opt out at any time.
Like traditional publishers, ScoreStreet will actively promote its service to customers such as orchestras, opera and dance companies, festivals, conservatories, educators, performers, and music supervisors. Through its ScoreSearch™ interface, ScoreStreet helps users find the works they want and then, by filling out a questionnaire, customers obtain all the rights they need.
Unlike traditional publishing arrangements—in which composers assign part or all of their copyright to a publisher in exchange for the printing and promotion of their music and income from the composer’s music is then divided between the composer and the publisher—ScoreStreet will pay 100% of all net royalty income directly to composers on a quarterly basis and composers do not relinquish any copyrights. The sole expense for composers who choose to be included on the site is a monthly charge of $29.95.
Composers based anywhere in the world are eligible. A few brief online forms are provided for composers to fill out from which personalized landing pages, biographies, works lists, discographies, performance calendars, and news and reviews pages are generated. For each work included on the site, composers can enter descriptions and upload performance materials as well as audio clips, if available. ScoreStreet sets the prices for materials featured on the site and also automates the registration of works with performing rights organizations. For additional fees, composers may also obtain editorial and promotional services, as well as assistance with negotiating commissioning and collaboration agreements on an as-needed basis.
According to ScoreStreet’s CEO Marc D. Ostrow (himself a composer as well as an intellectual property rights attorney who was formerly a senior attorney with BMI and the general manager of the New York office of the publisher Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.), the goal behind creating such a platform for new music is to eliminate the gate-keepers and put composers and consumers directly in control. “ScoreStreet levels the playing field by providing more composers worldwide with professional music publishing services and by giving customers instant access to a varied and growing catalog of cutting-edge new music.”
If and when composers decide they no longer want to be affiliated with the site, they are able to take all of their works with them. If composers cease paying the subscription fee, all of their materials are automatically taken down from the site after a grace period. Currently composers can sign up for a free 30-day trial subscription. Members of ASCAP and the American Composers Forum will receive a 10% discount off their monthly fee and these discounts are combined for members of both organizations.
ScoreStreet was developed and is owned and run by Ostrow; Stephen Culbertson, president of Subito Music Publishing and chairman of ASCAP’s Special Classification Committee; and Stephen Rauch, a former senior executive at the Hal Leonard Corporation. Their developer partner is Greg Williams, CEO of Engage Connective Technologies. (Ed Note: NMBx’s FJO was a beta-tester for the site.)
(—from the press release)