Meet the music publishers: Teri Nelson Carpenter from Reel Muzik Werks in El Segundo, California.

How did you get into music publishing?

My first job in the industry after earning my Music Degree was at Broadcast Music Inc (BMI) - one of the major U.S. performing rights societies in Film/TV relations. That is when music publishing became alive to me.

What concerns do you have in your market?

My main concerns are the decline of revenue for creators and publishers across all digital platforms and the protection of copyrights. If we are not able to protect our copyrights and receive fair and equitable payment for the use of those copyrights, we will not have a thriving music industry. Everyone will suffer then.

What’s a typical day like for you?

I start the day very early answering emails and having conference calls so that I can capture the European work day. We are a global business with clients worldwide and memberships in all the key performing/mechanical rights societies around the world. I then travel to the office to begin my day stateside. We have a briefing every morning with our key team members on project status for production, administration and any special projects. I attend outside meetings depending on the business needs of the day. I have a great team of professionals who are at the top of their class in what they specialise in. Outside my company activities, I participate in leadership roles with industry organisations such as the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP), California Copyright Conference (CCC), National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) & Copyright Alliance in Washington DC – all of which definitely keeps me busy. I am also training again for another half Ironman race next season which helps to keep my mind and body in sync.

How is your relationship with your local collecting society?

We have three US Performing rights societies (ASCAP, BMI & SESAC) and a separate private mechanical rights agency (Harry Fox Agency). I have a strong working relationship with all of them. I am a publisher member of each and started my career at BMI so I am very active and supportive of our society representatives. Any potential legislation/or policy reviews of concern coming up in your market? Key concerns are the Songwriter’s Equity Act and the U.S Department of Justice (DOJ) review of ASCAP & BMI Consent Decrees. AIMP submitted position statements to the DOJ on behalf of our independent music publisher members. Also with the contemplated changes regarding the Copyright Office coming from the new US administration has everyone on edge. The AIMP has also honoured Congressman Doug Collins of Georgia for his work as our champion in Congress for the introduction of the Songwriter’s Equity Act. These items, among others, are critical for creators/music publishers to be paid fairly in a willing buyer willing seller market climate and for our societies to represent us fully for all music rights without being subjected to antiquated rules which have caused real harm to creators and music publishers.

How do you see your market evolving over the next ten years?

With everything being driven towards the digital marketplace, it seems that our market evolution is apparent. Streaming on demand, subscription models versus the personal ownership via the purchase of music and greater interactivity of user & music is all being perfected now in the creation of digital platform services. Perhaps we need to remember that just because digital platforms are created, this doesn’t mean they should exist at the peril of music copyrights.

What is your role in AIMP? I am the Vice President – I am responsible for assisting the President in running the organisation. I also represent the AIMP at industry events, meetings and CISAC working groups such as CIS-Net Rights Holders Access to name a few. My key areas of work on behalf of the AIMP have been advocacy including legislative issues and international music publishing issues/concerns.

What is the added strength of AIMP in US Market?

There are a large number of independent music publishers in the US and as a market share we can be far more effective if we band together and work towards common goals. The AIMP brings to the forefront issues and concerns of the independent Music Publisher. We interact quite effectively within the entire industry on behalf of our members. Educate, Advocate and Communicate are three key attributes in describing the importance and strength of the AIMP in the US Market.