On December 16, a relatively obscure U.S. administrative body issued rules with broad implications for online music. Every five years, the Copyright Royalty Board, or CRB, determines the rates that non-interactive services like Pandora and iHeartRadio will pay to stream sound recordings online. The details are dizzyingy complex, but this time around the bigger Internet radio companies generally cheered the ruling, while SoundExchange, the organization set up to distribute these royalties to artists and copyright holders, expressed disappointment. One set of stakeholders, though, raised existential alarm about the new terms: small, independent webcasters. […] read more
The annual meeting of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters kicked off with a wide ranging discussion of the impact of technology on the arts. Led by Jean Cook from the Future of Music Coalition, a panel of artists and representatives of arts service organizations touched on many different ways that technology is changing the lives of artists, presenters, and audiences. Not surprisingly, much of the discussion focused on the new level of uncertainty that digital technologies bring to artists’ always unpredictable livelihoods, while other parts of the conversation covered new ways that artists can use technology to expand their creative options.
Separately, a Washington, D.C.-based advocate called Russell’s claim “essentially correct.” Kevin Erickson of the Future of Music Coalition, a nonprofit that says it supports a “musical ecosystem where artists flourish and are compensated fairly and transparently for their work,” added by email: “For a variety of reasons, it can be difficult to get complete information on which countries pay for the performance right. Iran and North Korea do not currently pay. China is a bit more ambiguous right now; there may have been a deal struck. We’ve also gotten some conflicting information on Afghanistan and Rwanda.” read more
I waited off to the side, reporting on the Future of Music Coalition’s annual policy summit in Washington, DC. “Would you be willing to come speak to my class sometime?” one of her alma mater professors asked, to which she agreed. Another colleague leaned in for a hug. Things quieted down a bit, and both women graciously agreed to an audio interview. Without further ado, here’s our conversation about the music industry, creativity, women in business, and thoughts on the question: Can the world can be saved?
For balance, here’s the Future of Music Coalition, which is quoted in the piece, taking issue with some of the details. “If you want to know how musicians are faring,” the collective writes, “you have to ask musicians. You’ll get different answers from different musicians, and they’ll all be correct in terms of their own experiences. But your overall understanding will better reflect the complexity of the landscape.”
Future of Music Coalition has conducted an earnings survey among US composers and musicians and followed it up with detailed financial case studies.
They arrived at the conclusion that there are 42 ways that musicians are augmenting their income, including ringtone revenue (big for Boccherini), ‘neighboring rights royalties’ (is that the people next door paying you to let them sleep?) and ‘composing original works for broadcast’ (not much money there).
That’s 42 ways to feed the family.
Then they found three more. Read the full 45 here.
In this episode of Music Biz Podcast, we talk with Scott LeGere and Jay Coyle, who are music business educators and entrepreneurs. Scott is the head of the music business department at McNally Smith College of Music. He has a long history of founding companies, teaching classes, playing music, and recording bands. Jay is the founder of Music Geek Services, a music marketing and digital strategy agency for artists. He also teaches music business classes at Berklee Online. The three of us attended the Future of Music Policy Summit in Washington, DC a few weeks ago. I sat down with Scott and Jay for dinner, we had a couple of drinks, and we recorded a podcast.
Once the Beatles do accept streaming — well, if they do — it could mark a point of no return for a record industry still not totally convinced of streaming as its future. “It could signal to consumers that the format shift is complete,” says Casey Rae, CEO of the Future of Music Coalition, an artists’ advocacy group.
According to Billboard magazine, “25” is expected to sell more than 1 million units in North America in its first week, and will very likely be the biggest album release of 2015.
Casey Rae, chief executive of Future of Music Coalition, told the New York Times that Adele’s decision to withhold the new album on streaming for a certain period of time was sending a “strong signal to other artists.” However, in reality not all artists are able to make those same choices, he added.
[Amber Healy, our DC correspondent for sister website Geeks&Beats, recently attended the Future of Music Conference and came away with some interesting insights. In this story called “Don’t Kill the Kitten that Cures Cancer,” she debates the finer points of music streaming. – AC]
With a few probably exceptions, musicians aren’t making obscene amounts of money from streaming services or people who pay for subscriptions to them.
But is there a better way? Might it be possible to let individual listeners decide how much of their monthly fees are going to bands they like, instead of a communal pot o’ cash? read more