The beginnings of Topline Music.
Many years ago, I decided to investigate the possibility of starting a Music Library. I’d received some decent royalties from various established library companies in the past and wondered if I could do it myself. So, I built an interface to license my music online. It was called TellyToons, sadly the streaming and internet access were nowhere near up to it at that time so I shelved the idea and went back to work.
Ten years later I started again; this time asking other composers and song writers to be part of it with me. I quickly discovered that it would take a considerable amount of funding, not only to build but to start a new publishing company which was the only option available at the time. Knowing what I did about Publishers, I certainly didn’t want to be one.
Ripple dissolve, ten years later, down-streaming and upstreaming had become faster. I started to work on a new model. A music library that didn’t involve publishing. I wanted to create a platform that would not only allow me to showcase my catalogue of new works and archives, but also to develop a space that would encourage new writers and composers. A place where they could showcase and license their own music.
I was approached by a new production music library to submit some ideas. Despite feeling patronised by their approach that suggested I was lucky to have been asked and have some tracks accepted, I was still obliged to sign the usual publishing agreement which gave them, the publishers, 50% (known as the publisher’s share) while I retained the remaining 50% (the writer’s share). A very outdated and silly agreement! Why should I give away 50%?
Despite having had success in the past, I was aware that quite a large chunk of my production library music still remained, with established libraries, buried, unknown, undiscovered, never played and waiting for that random search, which, if successful, would result in the publishing company taking a whopping 50% for something they probably didn’t know they had.
I had hours of music sitting on my studio shelves groaning under the weight of dust and redundancy. A good starting point. So, I thought I would rather take the risk with my own stuff, knowing I owned 100% of the copyright, and if successful, I could take in and enjoy a few more shillings for more toys.