Two heart-aching losses, a handful of record-breaking albums, and the music industry’s streaming-fuelled rebound – 2016 had everything. It was also the year we were lucky enough to start working with AGINPRO.
AGINPRO represents the rights of authors, composers, and publishers, and manages the distribution of royalties for the use of their music in Guatemala. They’ve since been using our tech to monitor public spaces and help get music royalties to the right artists in the right amounts.
We caught up virtually face-to-face and they revealed their secret system to increase the value of our venue monitoring boxes and explained how they’re putting creators first following Guatemala’s music industry boom. We wanted to share it with you.
Let’s get to it. How are you using BMAT platforms and data in your day-to-day operations?
We use Vericast to monitor music on radio broadcasts, TV channels, shows, cable, and that sort of thing. Then we use Patti and BMAT boxes to monitor public spaces that use or play music – bars, restaurants, hotels, and music venues. We also use SoundSys to facilitate the distributions that follow these identifications.
The Vericast dashboard gives us data on which music is playing where, and what the affiliates are. Then we segment the payment, make sure it gets to the right people, and process the distributions with SoundSys.
“We’ve shifted from doing everything manually to automatically. We could identify maybe 800 plays before, and now we can identify millions.”
BMAT Charts data provides us with insights into the most-played songs in each region, which we use to certify albums as platinum, gold, or diamond.
What’s the biggest change in your business since working with us?
We used to do everything manually and we’ve shifted to doing everything automatically and online. We used to rely on taking surveys (remember surveys?), which, as you can imagine, isn’t the easiest or most efficient way to gather information. It was the only way we could do it at the time.
We have more visibility and get more identifications. We could identify maybe 800 plays before, and now we can identify millions.
“That’s the start of better things for the music industry – unified data between everyone.”
A lot of other CMOs are using BMAT data and have reciprocal agreements with each other. That’s the start of better things for the music industry – unified data between everyone.
How are you connected to other music industry players?
We never used to be connected to Digital Service Providers (like YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music) but now BMAT’s chart data gives us visibility and detailed information on the music they’re using.
“Having all the data at hand means we can take a part of the costs and the work off their hands, while making sure the licensing process will flow properly.”
For users (venues, public spaces, radios, TVs), we help with their monitoring obligations, and they’re happy with this. Otherwise, they would have to find a way to pay for the licence and the report, which isn’t always easy. Having all the data at hand means we can take a part of the costs and the work off their hands while making sure the licensing process will flow properly.
“The rise of the internet and other tech created a more level playing field for creators.”
Where do you think the industry is heading?
The rise of the internet and other tech created a more level playing field. Before, it was challenging to promote music outside of Guatemala due to high taxes and importation costs, but now all kinds of creators can promote themselves, interact, and have meetings with other regions and internationally.
“Having more visibility on their repertoire allows creators to shift their focus towards the success they want—all because they have the data for it.”
Has our work together impacted the creators in your local music market?
We send creators detailed monthly payment reports. Having information about their repertoire and where it’s being played is valuable for them. They enjoy seeing the trends, too. For example, which genre of music is featured on different types of broadcasts, channels, or regions, and then which music is gaining popularity in venues, hotels, or clubs.
“Having the data that proves who it belongs to, and helps us back up claims in these situations, is very handy.”
The point is that having more visibility on their repertoire allows them to shift their focus towards the success they want—all because they have the data for it.
How would you describe the music licensing scene in Guatemala?
The music scene here has had a boom in the last 10 years. Now we have all genres of music, more producers, a lot more content, and international bookers. Music is now so readily accessible that many people assume it’s free. There still aren’t enough managers as far as music licensing goes, meaning we’re facing a situation where there’s a lack of awareness among music users and not enough information control for creators. Having the data that proves who it belongs to, and helps us back up claims in these situations, is very handy.
You told us before that every 2 months you move the BMAT boxes to different venues. Could you explain why?
We do, yes. We switch up the location of the boxes every 2 months to maximise the value of using them as much as we can. First, we start with users who have 100 licences or more, so we’re able to cover the usage of many venues with just one box. We then categorise the venues by type: bars, restaurants, hotels, etc., before deciding where to put the boxes and how many. This helps us get a comprehensive report of the type of music played in every kind of venue. We keep rotating them within the same venues too, in order to make sure we get a global view.
“We like that the boxes are objective, require no human intervention, and it’s automated and continuously identifying music.”
We like that the boxes are objective, require no human intervention, and it’s automated and continuously identifying music.
We heard great things about Premios Estela Guatemala that you organise.
You know about Premios Estela! For now, it’s for Central American artists, but we hope someday it will be for Latin American artists too. We’ve been doing it since 2016. Our aim is to use these awards to grow music in the region. We believe it’s crucial to recognize new artists and appreciate their contributions. We have noticed a lot of new artists who weren’t affiliated become affiliated after these awards.
“We believe it’s crucial to recognise new artists and appreciate their contributions.”
We’ve seen these awards really level up new artists’ careers. Promos, website, bookings, media tours. That’s a very satisfying part. We hope to extend it to more regions. You’re welcome to come to the next one.
We’ll be there. Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience working with BMAT?
I recommend BMAT everywhere I go. BMAT are always willing to adapt, modify, and solve any doubts we may have. We’re treated well. We’d like to expand to cover the whole country one day, and even though it’s worth it, it is an investment. We’re in a different market to many other places, which is definitely something to consider here.
We’re interested to see how BMAT will adapt to the changes in technology these days. That’s really something to look forward to.
It’s been a pleasure talking with you.
BMAT can help you monitor and easily report the exact music usage in your venue to make sure the royalties reach the artists who help make your space the place to be. Sign up here.
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