Alternatives to That Green Thing
Most of available solutions have only some of the features you require, while having many features you will never use. And, in many cases, those "features" don't always work.
We do not discuss other vendors or their offers on this page, or anywhere else. Instead, we offer criteria for quick elimination of bad options. But, before we get into them, let's discuss free alternatives.
Both of these are made by us, and to the best of our knowledge, they are the only free alternatives out there.
free online tools for creation and inspection of CWR files
https://cwr.toolsCWR Tools can be used for creation of valid CWR files, which can be used for registration of musical works with most CMOs world-wide. They require no installation, but offer far less then DMP.
free open-source music catalogue management software
https://dmp.matijakolaric.comDMP is open-source version of That Green Thing for original music publishers with a single publishing entity. Deployment to a free cloud account is simple, but there is no individual support.
None of these solutions work for publishers with multiple publishing entities (relevant mostly for the US), those who are affiliated with multiple CMOs in different countries, those who offer administration or sub-publishing, etc. But, even if you need more, testing them will help you in choosing a larger solution. (We are sure that That Green Thing will make the short list.)
Test the Software
Many "solutions" will not allow you to test the software before committing. Presumably because configuration and setup are costly and time-consuming. Some go as far as "requiring" specialised consultants. Some go even further, selling you "too complicated" as "too many features to test in a week". BS. Walk away.
The first criteria to dismiss a solution is lack of support for electronic registration of musical works using Common Works Registration protocol. Even if your focus is on royalty management, this criteria is still valid because, without proper registrations, royalty distribution will be mostly manual, and therefore slow and costly. See Royalty Management for an explanation.
You should know that many, if not most, implementations of CWR do not really work. The main reason is that they allow you to enter bad or incomplete data. This is easy to test:
- enter comma in writer name: JOHN, JR
- enter non-ASCII character in title, you know, any of these: Č, Ä, Ñ
- enter random 11 digits in IPI name number, e.g.: 00123456789
- enter writer as Arranger in an original work
Any of these, and many others entries, should not be allowed. If a software allows such entries, you will have a lot of problems with registrations. Certainly, if you stick with any software, you will learn the rules and not enter data that is bad. The question is whether you will learn them the easy or the hard way. See Total Data Validation for details.
Another absolute requirement should be import of data from CWR acknowledgements, most notably remote work IDs and ISWCs.
A good music catalogue management solution should allow you to use generic accounting software, or services of any accounting company. It is that simple.
That does not mean that solutions that offer "integrated" accounting are bad. Not necessarily. But, there is an unnecessary lock-in that you should be aware of, and probably avoid. However, if they claim that this is the only way, it's BS. Walk away.