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BTB Ep 153: Chris Castle's "Ethical Pool" model can get indie artists more streaming royalties

This week, we continue our discussion from Episode 151 about Chris Castle's "Ethical Pool" streaming royalty model by interviewing Mr. Castle himself! Chris is an Austin-based entertainment lawyer who proposes an innovative model to get indie artists paid fairly by streaming services--and he thinks that the streaming services might actually be willing to do it! Give this week's episode a listen and check out Chris' article "Arithmetic on the Internet: The Ethical Pool Solution to Streaming...


BTB Ep 152: We talk to Jessica Sobhraj of Cosynd about managing copyrights with your collaborators

This week, Ryan sits down with music entrepreneur and licensing expert Jessica Sobhraj. Jessica gives us some great advice about managing copyrights effectively when you work with collaborators. She also talks about her company Cosynd. Cosynd's platform allows you to efficiently structure copyright agreements with co-writers and also helps you with copyright registration (check it out at We also talk to Jessica about her work with the awesome nonprofit Women in Music,...


BTB Ep 151: Getting artists paid on the radio; more streaming royalties with the "Ethical Pool"

This week, with the Music Modernization Act's passage imminent, Ryan talks about what the next crusade should be for indie artists. He brings up two strong candidates: getting owners of sound recordings paid on terrestrial radio, and creating "Ethical Pool" royalties on streaming services so that indie artists can get paid more on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. The articles that Ryan referenced on the show can be found here:...


BTB Ep 150: Angela Soffe gives advice on fighting self-sabotage in your music career

This week, Ryan sits down with indie singer-songwriter Angela Soffe. Angela gives us some advice on how artists can keep from succumbing to self-sabotage in their careers. She also talks about her latest project "Be Moved" and her interest in the healing power of music. Find out more about "Be Moved" by visiting And be sure to check out the rest of Angela's music at Rate/review/subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Google...


BTB Ep 149: Music Modernization Act; Direct Distribution to Spotify; Ashley Kervabon Interview

This week, Ryan breaks down two huge music stories from the past week: the Music Modernization Act passing the Senate, and Spotify announcing that it will start to allow artists to license music directly to its platform without using an aggregator. Ryan also sits down with Women Crush Music executive directress Ashley Kervabon to talk about her organization's latest crowdfunding campaign to support its initiatives for women in music. Find out more about WCM by visiting...


BTB Ep 148: Using AI to help you write songs; interview with Taishi Fukuyama of Amadeus Code

This week, Ryan talks about the rise of artificial intelligence in music and what its implications are for the industry as a whole. Music technologist Taishi Fukuyama stops by to talk about his Amadeus Code platform and how it can help songwriters create new projects. Find out more about Amadeus code by visiting Rate/review/subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Google Play. Follow Ryan @ryankair and the Podcast @thebtbpodcast. Like Break the...


BTB Ep 147: Finding topics to blog about in your music career; Soulpax joins the BTB Coffeehouse

This week, Ryan talks about how indie artists can get into blogging, and specifically what artists can do when they cannot think of any topics to write about. Along the way, Ryan discusses the latest Bobby Owsinski article in Hypebot on the subject. It is titled "Running Out Of Things To Say? Idea For Musicians To Write About Online" and you can find it here: In the second segment, we open the Break the Business Coffeehouse! South Florida blues/r&b duo Soulpax stops...


BTB Ep 146: Is Taylor Swift leaving her label?; we talk to Gabe Kubanda of the Epic Proportions Tour

This week, we talk about a recent article in Variety about how Taylor Swift's deal with her label Big Machine is set to expire in November. What will she do next? Re-up with Big Machine? Go to a new label? Or...will she go independent? This is her first opportunity to go her own way since she first signed her deal with Big Machine 13 years ago. Ryan makes the case for why she needs to declare her independence and take her place as a true mogul in the industry. In the second segment, Ryan...


BTB Ep 145: Compulsory mechanical licenses; interview with Soundfly CEO Ian Temple

This week, Ryan answers a listener question about compulsory mechanical licenses and sits down with Soundfly Founder/CEO Ian Temple. Ryan and Ian talk about Soundfly, music entrepreneurship education, how musicians can get more educated about the industry, and much more. Great tips from a terrific music biz mind this week. Rate/review/subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Google Play. Follow Ryan @ryankair and the Podcast @thebtbpodcast. Like Break the Business on...


BTB Ep 144: Remembering Aretha Franklin; Genius CSO Ben Gross on monetizing your lyrics

This week, we discuss the loss of Aretha Franklin and Ryan tells the amazing story of how the Queen of Soul saved the 1998 Grammys by filling in for a sick Luciano Pavarotti to sing an Italian aria without any notice or rehearsal. She was truly one of the greats. Ryan also sits down with Genius Chief Strategy Officer Ben Gross. We talk about the Genius platform, how artists can use lyrics to build fan engagement, and the monetization opportunities artists have with their lyrics....


BTB Ep 143: Artists getting just 12% of music biz revenues!; Ariel Hyatt talks about Cyber PR Labs

This week, Ryan breaks down the bombshell music industry report from Citi, "Putting the Band Back Together: Remastering the World of Music." He talks about the report's conclusion that artists are only capturing 12% of the revenues generated by the music industry and discusses who are the "intermediaries" standing between artists and their fans that are keeping money out of artists' pockets. You can read the report at In the second segment, Ryan sits down with...


BTB Ep 142: Is Twitch stealing from musicians?; interview with Cherie Hu of Billboard and Forbes

This week, Ryan talks about entertainment lawyer Erin M. Jacobson's recent article in Forbes titled "How Amazon's Cheats Music Creators" (Link here: Twitch is a platform that has benefitted many indie artists by helping them build their fan base through live streaming. But could it also be hurting artists as well? Ryan discusses the article and also gets thoughts on the subject from music industry journalist Cherie Hu of Forbes and Billboard. Cherie also...


BTB Ep 141: Publishing admin tips; we talk self-care with Laini Marenick of Laini and the Wildfire

This week, Ryan answers a listener question about publishing administration: Should you use CD Baby's Pro Publishing service if you are already using them for your album distribution? What are the pros and the cons? Ryan also sits down with musician and former therapist Laini Marenick of Laini and the Wildfire. Laini talks about her band's album "Wandering" and about transitioning from her old job to becoming a full-time musician. She also discusses her recent article that she wrote for CD...


BTB Ep 140: We interview and get great tips from legendary music supervisor Maureen Crowe

This week, Ryan interviews legendary music supervisor Maureen Crowe (Wayne's World, The Bodyguard, Chicago). Maureen gives some great tips for our listeners on how to increase your sync placement opportunities and how to build the right relationships with the industry professionals who can get your music in movies, TV, commercials, and more. This is a not-to-be-missed interview for any independent artist who wants to get more placements for their music. Maureen also gives some amazing...


BTB Ep 139: Investing in the followers you have; interview with Chris Brereton of Thematic

This week, Ryan answers a listener question about growing your social media following, which then led to another question: What should you focus on more as an artist, increasing your following or investing in the following you already have? Ryan discusses this topic by referencing a recent article in TuneCore Blog by Suzanne Paulinski (aka "The Rock Star Advocate") entitled "The One Place Your Focus Should Always Be". You can check out the article here:...


BTB Ep 138: Is Spotify declaring war on record labels?; Laurens Kusters talks about Indie Ninja

Hi Podcast Listeners! The Podcast now has its own Twitter account! Visit us @thebtbpodcast. This week, Ryan talks about a recent article by Greg Puciato of Dillinger Escape Plan. The article talks about the value in maintaining your independence as a musician. The content of the article is interesting, but what is more interesting is the fact that article came out on one of Spotify's blog pages. Is Spotify trying to send a message to artists? Are they trying to draw musicians away from...


BTB Ep 137: Ed Sheeran copyright suit; we get licensing tips from Jonathan Stone of Rocket Songs

Hi Podcast Listeners! The Podcast now has its own Twitter account! Visit us @thebtbpodcast. This week, Ryan talks about last week's copyright lawsuit involving Ed Sheeran, his song "Thinking Out Loud" and the investment firm that owns the royalty rights to the Marvin Gaye song "Let's Get it On". Ryan discusses what lawsuits like these could mean for songwriters going forward. Ryan also sits down with acclaimed publishing executive Jonathan Stone. Jonathan gives us some great tips on how to...


BTB Ep 136: Copyright court for indie artists?; Bobby Owsinski talks Spotify's direct licensing

Hi Podcast Listeners! The Podcast now has its own Twitter account! Visit us @thebtbpodcast. This week, Ryan talks about the CASE Act, a bill currently going through Congress that would create a special court for small claims copyright disputes. Could this law create a means for indie artists to get justice when their works are stolen, or is it promising more than it can deliver? Ryan also sits down with Bobby Owsinski to talk about Bobby's recent article in Forbes about Spotify doing...


BTB Ep 135: Sony sells Spotify shares; Ilana Broad on GDPR compliance & selecting the right PR agent

Hi Podcast Listeners! The Podcast now has its own Twitter account! Visit us @thebtbpodcast. This week, Ryan discusses Sony's sale of part of its stake in Spotify and its decision to share some of the proceeds with its artists. Is Sony being magnanimous, or is there an ulterior motive driving their actions? Ryan discusses the issue and reflects on what this story signifies for the balance of power between labels and artists in the New Music Industry. Ryan also sits down with entertainment...


BTB Ep 134: Exclusive recording agreements and #metoo; interview with Clara Charron of Pop of Colour

Hi Podcast listeners. Ryan is back from his hiatus with new episodes! This week, Ryan discusses the recent article in Vulture about Lily Allen's abuse allegations and how they relate to the dangers of record industry contracts. Ryan also sits down with industry expert Clara Charron to discuss her "Pop of Colour" music blog. Clara gives some great advice on how musicians can start their own video series. Check out Clara's work at and be sure to check out her weekly...