FMC Newsletters

FMC Newsletter #129 | April 27 2015

Greetings FMC friends!  We’re excited to kick off this month’s newsletter with another major victory for free expression and fair competition. And we’ve got updates on the latest legislation to land in Congress, and freshly updated resource, and all the latest happenings in music policy.  Read on!

Table of Contents


On Friday, Comcast abandoned its plans to merge with Time Warner Cable. This came on the heels of reports that both the Dept of Justice and the FCC were increasingly unlikely to approve the deal.

Future of Music Coalition has been expressing our concerns about this merger since it was announced, and sharing these concerns with regulators and elected officials. We argued that giving one company so much power would have serious implications both musicians’ ability to access audiences and pursue new business models. And many of you spoke out about your own concerns through comments to the FCC.

Well, that work has paid off! This was a real David & Goliath fight, pitting activists and creators against Comcast’s army of lobbyists, and ultimately defeating a merger once widely considered “inevitable.”

Now there’s one more battle: activists in Comcast’s hometown of Philadelphia have been on the front lines of this merger, and this week, a series of public meetings will offer a chance to hold Comcast accountable.  Please share the invite with anyone you know in Philadelphia!  

Navigating the New Music Landscape

How are recording artists paid when their fans buy downloads on iTunes? How are songwriters paid when their music is played on Pandora? Since our founding, Future of Music Coalition has provided musicians, managers and labels with the details about how performers, songwriters and labels are each compensated when their music is either streamed or downloaded on an array of music services.

Now we’ve updated our handy infographics, charts, and spreadsheets with the latest information, as the latest step in our efforts to demystify how compensation works, and how you can participate in this emerging marketplace.

Check out these educational tools here!

This month saw the introduction of an ambitious new piece of legislation called the Fair Play Fair Pay Act. Among its many provisions, the proposed act would finally close the loophole that allows musicians to go uncompensated when their work is played on AM/FM radio, something we’ve fought to fix for over a decade. While there are some areas where we’d like to see the bill go further, musicians should feel good that there’s forward motion on these important matters. Here’s our full take.

Other new legislation recently introduced focuses on addressing the scourge of ticket-buying robots, streamlining payment for producers and engineers, and, unfortunately, a couple of stale attempts to roll back the recent Net Neutrality victory.

Remember, you can stay on top of the whole range of legislative issues that impact musicians by bookmarking our frequently updated Legislation Tracker.

Metadata for Artists at Music Biz 2015 Conference, Nashville, May 13, 2015
In an attempt to heighten the awareness of metadata issues across all industry segments, the Music Business Association (Music Biz)  will hold its inaugural Metadata For Artists on Wednesday, May 13 during their annual event — Music Biz 2015 — set to take place May 12-14 in Nashville. The session, which includes FMC’s Kristin Thomson, will provide artists and managers with a better understanding of how music and data work together to power discovery, attribution and monetization.  Special offers for FMC friends!

Who Knew Nashville, Wednesday, May 13
In addition, on Wednesday, May 13, FMC friends Kristin Thomson and Bryan Calhoun will both be guest speakers at WHO KNEW, an event bringing together thought leaders and powerbrokers in the entertainment industry. The event focuses on “under the radar”, under-exposed stories at the intersection of music and technology.  Details here.

If you will be at Music Biz, or live in Nashville, come on out to 3rd and Lindsley from 5:30 – 9:30 PM. Tickets are $15 and includes two drinks. Buy them in advance because the last two events sold out!

This month, FMC’s Kevin Erickson has been invited to write some guest columns for the excellent online publication New Music Box.  The first three:

“Who Counts As An Expert” When oversimplifications, celebrity controversies, and faulty conventional wisdom can dominate music business, it’s worth remembering that the best experts are often musicians themselves.

“In It To Win It: Lessons From The Long Game”  Musicians and composers may have more power than we often imagine, even if the pace of change is slow.

“Student Debt Is a Music Policy Issue”  It’s a terrible choice to have to make: do I keep working on music, or do I find more lucrative employment to pay my educational debt?

Pitchfork’s Marc Hogan dives deep to ask “How Much is Music Really Worth”, and makes multiple references to FMC’s research and advocacy work.

In this interview with Rivet Radio, FMC’s Kevin Erickson explains the Fair Play Fair Pay Act, and takes on the big broadcasters’ weak arguments.

And WFMU’s Radio Free Culture podcast interviews Kristin Thomson, for a look at latest trends in the digital music landscape, and what might be around the corner.

You can always contact us at suggestions [at] futureofmusic [dot] org if you have any questions or feedback.