Over the past decade, we’ve been blown away by the energy and enthusiasm of musicians who take time out of their busy schedules to talk about issues that not only affect them, but the entire music community.
Today, we witnessed another amazing example. Check out this Op-Ed from Hank Shocklee, Erin McKeown, Jonny 5 of Flobots and Martín Perna of Antibalas and Ocote Soul Sounds in The Hill — a DC publication read by all manner of policy wonks. It’s about how musicians of all genres and backgrounds depend on the internet for pretty much every aspect of their careers.
The old version of the music industry was built on a system of bottlenecks and gatekeepers. To do much of anything you needed the backing of big companies who required that you sign over your copyrights (and often your autonomy). If you played music that was for one reason or another outside the label and commercial radio comfort zone, it was difficult and expensive to get your stuff out there. By contrast, the open Internet lets the biggest companies and the smallest bedroom recording artist compete on an equal technological playing field.
That’s pretty amazing.
We think so, too.
And there are even more musicians who agree. Thousands of artists and independent labels are members of Rock the Net, and have talked about the issue at local shows, the halls of power and everywhere in between. Why? Because they understand that the open internet lets them compete on a level technological playing field with the biggest companies.
It really does have an impact when musicians weigh in on this stuff. The whole reason Future of Music Coalition came together ten years ago is because we wanted to help the creator perspective be heard. Independent voices are too often left out of important debates. But “shut up and sing” just doesn’t work anymore. That’s why it makes us happy when we see examples of artists making their views known.
So kudos to these smart and talented musicians, and to everyone else pushing for a better future for music.