If you follow our work, then you probably know that we think there’s a lot to be done to make today’s music marketplace more efficient. The growth of the internet as a global musical delivery device has strained our copyright architecture, likely necessitating new ways of doing business. Which is why you often hear talk about the difficulties of music licensing in today’s networked environment. read more
[This post authored by FMC Policy Fellow Daniel Lieberman]
We’ve seen this movie before: large media company enters growing, now profitable music scene. Large media company buys up all the smaller regional operations it can get its hands on. Now that smaller companies are together in one happy music pool, large media company presents pool to advertisers and marketers. Large media company soon cashes out of the conglomerate it created at handsome profit, walking off into the sunset.
Dear electronic dance music community: this is the situation at your breakbeat, bass-filled, trancy, dubstep-doorstep. Your community, your music, your culture — one that has been dismissed by corporate America for over twenty years and relegated to underground basements, clubs, and warehouses — has suddenly become, popular. Really, really popular.
Of course, this is not news to you. You already know that superstar DJs Skrillex, Tiesto, Deadmau5, David Guetta, Afrojack and the like now command million dollar fees and fuel an increasingly lucrative dance festival scene that spans from Brooklyn to Berlin. You’ve even heard the influence of the awkwardly-termed genre “EDM” creeping into top-40 playlists. What is news is who is suddenly paying attention: Wall Street.
This is a pivotal moment for musicians, and FMC is right at the center of the whole range of policy issues that impact them. Here in DC things don’t actually slow down in the summer time. We welcomed the first day of summer with 101 degree heat —thankfully, our awesome batch of summer interns ran out and got us iced coffees to sustain us while we all watched the Senate’s antitrust hearing and pored over the news from the supreme court. We’re committed to making sure policymakers and musicians alike are informed by real data about the issues they’re facing. There’s no one else in the field conducting in-depth research like ours that illustrates how musicians are making a living — or failing to — in 2012.
So as you take some time this summer to relax in the grass with your sunglasses, lemonade and iPod full of your favorite summer songs, don’t forget that our work on behalf of musicians doesn’t stop. Your donation will keep us fighting for a future where musicians are fairly compensated —long after the beaches are closed and the lifeguards have gone home.
Stay tuned for more ways you can show your love for musicians this summer.
[This post by FMC Policy Fellow Daniel Lieberman and COO Chhaya Kapadia]
A major Supreme Court case was concluded today — and no, we’re not talking about the health care bill challenge. The Nine (actually eight in this case, with Justice Sotomayor recused) dropped its decision in FCC v. Fox, and, while it wasn’t quite the doozy it could’ve been, it does have real implications for artistic expression in American broadcast media.
Today’s ruling overturned FCC sanctions against broadcasters in several high profile cases, which notably involved F-bombs from Cher and Nicole Richie at the Billboard Music Awards and seven seconds of nudity in a 2003 episode of “NYPD Blue.” read more
About once a month, we get an email from a researcher, journalist, policymaker, or student asking us a simple question: how many musicians are there in the United States? Given FMC’s work with musicians, it makes sense that they ask us, but our answer is the same for everyone:
there is no reliable way to measure the real size of the US musician population.
In a post last week on the Artist Revenue Streams site, we outlined the particular challanges associated with estimating the size of the musician population in the United States. read more
If you follow debates about music, technology and how artists earn a living, you probably caught this post from David Lowery (Camper Van Beethoven; Cracker). Lowery’s lengthy missive was in response to a blog post by a 21 year-old NPR intern, Emily White, who talked about how she never really paid for music, but nonetheless has 11,000 songs in her iTunes library. read more
(This post authored by FMC communications intern Caroline Fox.)
Mucca Pazza is unique. Their name—meaning “crazy cow”— is unique. Their 30-something member “circus punk” marching band is unique. And their business structure, which works like a corporation and structures shares of the company around socks (you read that right, socks, not stocks) is certainly unique. read more
Whether on vinyl, cassette, CD or via digital download, income from the sale, license or performance of sound recordings has been a core part of many musicians’ income streams for decades. But there’s no doubt that income from sound recordings — perhaps more than any other — has experienced significant challenges and undergone serious changes in the past 10 to 15 years. read more
[This post was authored by FMC Policy Intern Joseph Silver & Policy Fellow Daniel Lieberman]
Yesterday on Capitol Hill, the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology rounded up some music industry bigwigs including Cary Sherman (CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America); Jeff Smulyan (CEO of Ennis Communications); Steven Newberry (CEO of Commonwealth Broadcasting Corp.); Tim Westergren (Pandora founder); Christopher Gutttman-McCabe (Vice President of CTIA Wireless); Gary Shapiro (President and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association); and a single artist: Ben Allison, a New York-based jazz bassist. The panel, the title of which the recently deceased Ray Bradbury might even admire — “The Future of Audio” — featured a broad discussion that touched upon music, mobile technology, radio signals, and last, but hopefully not least, artist compensation.