American Idol Songwriting Contest Raises Great Questions

The discussion among American Idol Songwriter entrants is still going strong. We have opened up a new thread just about every day to accommodate the comments without bogging down the server or creating huge page downloads. If you're new to our site, welcome!

Later this week, I hope to pull together a list of links to the songs that contestants have shared. There is some excellent songwriting going on. It's nice to see that American Idol was able to light a fire under some folks -- songwriting can sometimes take forever if you don't have a good piece of external motivation.

The discussion's also raising some great questions among newbie songwriters in our previous thread, specifically:

  • When should I join a Performing Rights Organization, like ASCAP or BMI? (Answer: Right after you finish the first song that you're comfortable sharing with someone else.)

  • What does an "at source" royalty mean? (Answer: It means that your royalty is calculated under the terms of the country in which it is played, which can often lead to larger royalties in countries outside the United States. It really means you got a pretty good deal or a pretty good entertainment attorney.)

  • When will American Idol contact the winning songwriters? (Answer: We have no clue. But it seems to be fun waiting to find out.)

Remember that your comments are subject to occasional moderation by our external spam filter, which means that if you see the phrase "awaiting moderation," it just means I've got to take a look at it before it goes live on the site. Tonight, I'm teaching a class and actually eating dinner, so expect some sporadic comment moderation. For the most part, if your previous comments have been approved, you should be able to post without problems. We've also got that snazzy new e-mail notifier to let you know when there's something new to read.

Thanks for making this week so much fun, and keep the comments coming!

Track these topics: American+Idol, contest, songwriter, songwriting