The idea of so-called compulsory licensing has been getting attention lately, because songwriters feel they’re being underpaid for their work. But having compulsory licensing makes the music business more efficient and serves a social good, according to Casey Rae of the Future of Music Coalition. “After all, what would the world be like if Patsy Cline had never recorded ‘Crazy’ by Willie Nelson,” he writes in a blog post.
In this episode of the Music Business Podcast, we talk with Casey Rae, who is the CEO of the Future of Music Coalition, a non-profit research, education, and advocacy organization for musicians. We talk to Rae about the need for transparency amongst streaming companies and why it’s important to artists.
There are a number of reasons for the inaccessibility of this information, one of which is the frequent sale of individual works and entire catalogs and the infrequent recordation of these sales. Further, in recent years there has been a proliferation, particularly in pop music, of songs with many writers, each of whom generally owns a share of the work, making it difficult for potential licensees without great knowledge of music licensing to determine whose permission they need for a certain use. The Future of Music Coalition illustrated this point using a hit song by Flo Rida that had 13 writers who were represented by a total of 17 publishers.
With the many headlines that have been seen over the past couple years regarding streaming services and artist revenue-related topics, even the casual music fan and average U.S. citizen may have begun to wonder what is going on behind-the-scenes of the music business as it relates to these topics. […]
Kristin Thomson, the Co-Director of the US-based non-profit Future of Music Coalition’s Artist Revenue Streams research project, has shared her perspective as representative of FMC which has covered the measure in depth: read more
“Is there any limit to Taylor Swift’s power?” Tim Lordan asks.
It’s just before 1 p.m. this past Friday, and Lordan — the executive director of the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee — is moderating a Capitol Hill panel discussion on the public policy of music streaming. With just hours to go before the weekend, he’s assembled a group of experts to answer a playful and provocative question: between Swift and Congress, who has a greater effect on the streaming industry?
And don’t overlook the return for the artists making the music. Musicians can collect more money from downloads than from streaming services, at least at first.
“Even a 99-cent download is a relatively high margin transaction compared to micropennies, where payments aggregate over time,” Future of Music Coalition chief executive officer Casey Rae wrote in an email. […]
Apple is getting into the popular music-streaming business today — but Spotify, Google Play, Pandora and even public radio stations are already there. Although several musicians have been skeptical of the digital-music market, like Taylor Swift they’re allowing Apple to stream its songs — with the potential for reaching 100 million people with iPhones. Can the company that invented iTunes persuade a generation of music listeners to actually pay? Casey Rae is CEO of the Future of Music Coalition, a nonprofit advocating for artists.
For labels, distributors, and artists alike, a better connection to fans—plus knowing how fans listen to music and what they want from artists—may mean a better service overall, which could translate to more revenue. But, even with the direct connection to artists, Apple Music will still face stiff competition in its fight to become the dominant platform. In that fight, there’s a danger that it may wind up less concerned with the success of smaller, independent artists than beating its freemium competitors, such as Spotify.
“Artists want to believe that whatever the new platform is will have meaningful impact,” says Casey Rae, the CEO of the Future of Music Coalition, “but I don’t know how much Apple cares about that.”
[…]“(Streaming) is not about demand or the Internet being good or bad, it’s more about the value we put into it and how to foster what we get out of it to make sure some of it gets back to the creators,” Future of Music Coalition CEO Casey Rae said.
Rae says streaming also raises important questions about access to art as more and more music, movies, TV and other art is distributed online: Who gets to put a price tag on culture?
“If you’re paying more than $100 for an Internet connection and more for mobile plan, how much money does someone have for a streaming subscription?” Rae said. “There are bigger questions about the economics of cultural production that haven’t been resolved, and streaming is one of them.”