Artist Compensation

Does Organizational Membership Matter?

To the casual observer, musicians probably seem like a disorganized bunch. Unlike doctors or lawyers, there are no qualifying exams or prerequisites that certify a musician’s level of “professionalism.” On a group level, there is no central organization that represents their collective interests.

But that’s not the case. In addition to record labels, booking agents, managers and other teammates, musicians and songwriters can align with a vast array of music-related organizations that serve a number of purposes, everything from performance rights organizations like ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and SoundExchange, to unions like AFM and SAG-AFTRA, to genre- or role-based organizations like Folk Alliance, Chamber Music America, or the Songwriters Guild.

As musicians and advocates, we at FMC know that these organizations serve an important purpose, and we have a sense that membership makes a difference. But in what ways? Do musicians that belong to certain organizations participate in more revenue streams? Do they make more money because of these allegiances? Or is the inverse true; do particular types of work make it possible and/or necessary for musicians to join certain organizations?

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Music and Copyright on the Curve: 60 day report

A question for you, dear reader:

A US-based band is recording an album of material they wrote, but wants one of the tracks to be a cover of The Rolling Stones’ song “Brown Sugar”, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The band sells all 500 vinyl copies of the album plus 500 downloads on iTunes to US customers. According to the current statutory rates, how much does this 4 minute, 30 second-long cover of “Brown Sugar” generate in mechanical royalties, based on these sales?

Do you know the answer? read more

Submitted by Kristin on August 18, 2013 - 10:18pm

Is Spotify Fair To Musicians?

Are we willing to pay for creativity anymore?  Musical hero Thom Yorke of Radiohead fame isn’t so sure.  Yorke is boycotting the super music streaming service Spotify with his latest album “Amok.”  Says Spotify doesn’t pay new young musicians enough to survive on.  Fractions of a penny per digital listen.  Pauper wages.

Guests

Greg Sandoval, senior reporter for The Verge. read more

Radiohead's Thom Yorke Drops Spotify

July 15, 2013

Add Radiohead’s Thom Yorke to the list of high profile musicians protesting the amount of pay artists get from Spotify. Yorke pulled two albums from Spotify, Tweeting that he was quote “standing up for our fellow musicians.”

The growing popularity of music subscription services has sparked a debate about compensation and the worth of exposure. Casey Rae, deputy director at the Future of Music Coalition , an advocacy group for artists in the digital age, joins Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson to discuss.

Radiohead's Thom Yorke Pulls Songs From Spotify as Artists Fight For 'Leverage'

July 15, 2013

Streaming music services such as Pandora and Spotify promise a seemingly limitless song selection for listeners and actual royalties for artists. But amid growing complaints from artists that the Internet music services are hardly ideal for their bottom line, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has become the best-known artist to pull his music from Spotify. read more

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