These are exciting times at FMC. After 15 years at the intersection of music, technology, policy and law, we’ve taken some bold steps to better serve you well into the future.
As musicians, songwriters, managers, indie publishers and labels ourselves, we know that it’s a challenge to stay on top of the many issues that are reshaping music. But with so much happening in the policy arena and the marketplace, this is a crucial time for artists and their teams to get involved. In FMC’s next next phase, we’ll be coming up with new and innovative ways to help you crack the code of an evolving industry. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss an opportunity. read more
On the campus of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), there is a little cabin called The Ché Café, but it is actually much more than a simple vegan café. Since its founding in 1980, it’s grown to become a landmark of San Diego’s music scene, helping launch the careers of countless bands and hosting an array of internationally known touring acts like Green Day, Pennywise, At the Drive-In, Album Leaf and Jimmy Eat World. But persistent battles with the college administration have put the venue in peril.
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Athens, Georgia had been listed by Rolling Stone alongside Graceland, the Ryman Auditorium, and Sun Studios as one of the South’s musical treasures. The band now internationally known as R.E.M. played their very first concert inside the building on April 5, 1980. Even so, the main part of the church was demolished ten years later to make room for condominiums, despite its significance to the American music culture. The only remaining part of the building is the steeple, but it still stands as a reminder of St. Mary’s musical significance. read more
By Kevin Erickson, Communications Associate, and Maria-Teresa Roca de Togores, Policy Intern
This week’s midterm elections have come and gone, and while turnout was low (as is often the case in midterms), the resulting shift in the balance of power may impact what music-related issues are on the congressional agenda for the next two years. read more
By guest blogger Taylor Lambert and Kevin Erickson
In the age of on-demand streaming, it’s common to hear people talk about music as “limitless”— something that flows forth endlessly like water. Indeed, musicians around the world release a huge volume of new music every day. But in practice, most consumers’ exposure to the world of new music is extremely limited. It’s one of the thorniest problems—if there’s so much music out there, why do consumers end up being exposed to so little of it? Why should the music marketplace be a winner-take-all system?
Of course, whether or not you view this as a problem to be solved could depend on whether you’re fortunate enough to be one of the “winners.” Still, media critics have long pointed to the role of gatekeepers who exercise considerable control what music reaches audiences. From radio programmers to retail managers to talent buyers to music reviewers and beyond, the most powerful labels do their best to keep their offerings front and center—often at the expense of independents. Radio is the still the number one source of “music discovery,” but commercial AM/FM radio broadcasters in this era of ownership consolidation tend to be highly risk-averse in their programming choices. Playlists are narrow and repetitive, as our research has documented. It has been the strong hope of the independent sector that online music services would be more democratic, allowing more artists to find audiences than was possible in the old-school media world.
Today, the<Federal Communications Commissionvoted to bring forward a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking onnet neutrality—a process meant to preserve an open and accessible Internet.FCCCommissioners voted 3-2 in favor of opening a 120-day comment period in which the public is invited to weigh in on the proposed rules.
The proposal, which had been previously amended in the face of unprecedented response from creators and the public, asks questions about the best way to prevent Internet Service Providers from picking winners and losers online.
Interim Executive Director Casey Rae Speaks to MN Musicians and Composers
Monday, March 10, 2014
Good morning. Thank you for all for being here, and thank you for having me at the Minnesota Music Summit. It’s truly an honor to be joining you at this amazing event. Today, I want to explore the future of music, which is still being written, and which you all can play a part in writing. Some of the issues I’ll be bringing up will no doubt be familiar to you. Others may not be as familiar. But it’s not just about me giving some prepared remarks, it’s about dialog. It’s about the very real connections between people who are passionate about music, who create it and nurture it. And those are the connections that I love to make. In 2014, there’s no single approach to being a musician or composer, so it’s become critical that we listen and learn from one another.
For the past twelve years, Future of Music Coalition has worked to inform and engage musicians and the music community on issues that impact artists and creative culture as a whole. Some of our work is very straightforward, such as reinforcing the notion that musicians have a range of views on a host of issues and must be included in discussions about their livelihoods. Some of it is nuanced, such as examining how artists are paid in the emerging digital economy and complex questions around copyright and technology. read more
Last week, Russian punk rock art collective Pussy Riot was sentenced to two years of correctional labor colony for their guerrilla art performance five months ago in the Temple of Christ the Savior in Moscow. This judgement — for a 45-second unplugged performance mostly consisting of chanting and dancing in front of the church’s altar — seems to be absurdly cruel. Moreover, considering there is no criminal law that these feminist artists have broken. read more