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FutureBlog

Frequent postings from the FMC staff about the issues at the intersection of music, law, technology and policy.

Warner & Sony Pledge to Share Potential Rewards of Spotify Sale With Artists

by Nicole Daley, policy intern

Think of your favorite song. Now think of how often you keep change in your pockets. Besides buying a record at retail, on-demand listening used to mean plunking cash money into a special machine called a jukebox. This bulky device, still found at dive bars and themed restaurants, would play your selection based on a combination of letters and numbers. These days, you can dial up music on-demand and on the go from the likes of Spotify, Rhapsody, Google Play, Apple Music and Tidal. These services offer huge catalogs of music, some of them for free, depending on whether a service has an ad-supported tier. This all sounds amazing, but it’s completely reshaped the way artists get paid.

Fully licensed, on-demand streaming (also known as “interactive”) has been around since 2006, when Rhapsody came online. As is often the case with experimental formats, at that point, no one was completely sure how adoption and economics would play out. Some predicted a new golden age for recorded music revenue; this may end up being the case for copyright owners with sizable catalogs (like major labels and some independents), but things look a lot different at the individual creator level. It’s not that the services are not paying out—according to Spotify, they deliver approximately 70 percent of their total earnings to copyright owners, which mirrors the percentages of most download stores—it’s more about deal structures, how pricing works, how it impacts other revenue streams, and how royalties are distributed.

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Submitted by kevin on February 11, 2016 - 10:47am

Philadelphia Scraps Live Music Bill After Outcry from Music Community

by Nicole Daley, policy intern

 

Philadelphia is known for its vibrant music scene, which runs the gamut from doo wop to hip-hop to funk to electronic and beyond. But if a bill proposed by city councilman Mark Squilla giving local police veto power over music performances had become law, Philly’s incredible reputation as a vital music metropolis may have been over.

 

Squilla’s billl (there’s a band name for ya) would have amended the Special Amendment Occupancy License (SAOL) process of the city code. Thankfully, in response to intense opposition from constituents and the local music community, the councilman has decided to withdraw the bill. You can go ahead and take a moment to cheer.

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Good News From Congress on Net Neutrality, Arts Funding

As the calendar year draws to a close, we have some welcome news coming from atop the Hill. It looks as if we’ll avoid another squabble-induced government shutdown, because negotiators in the house have managed to bring forward an omnibus appropriations bill.  What’s more, the bill contains some significant new year good news for musicians and music fans. Happy holidays to us all!  read more

Help Us Fight for Musicians in 2016!

You’ve stood behind Future of Music Coalition through 15 years of fighting for musicians in the halls of power and beyond. We can’t thank you enough.

Did you know that FMC is building new systems to improve the lives of music creators? We’re not raising money for an office Jacuzzi (though that would be awesome): we’re connecting musicians to decision-makers, hosting events and workshops and providing amazing—and free!—resources for artists and their teams. In 2016, we will drive a global artist movement based on the core values of fairness and opportunity. We will help musicians lead the charge. And we will rally music fans and supporters to our cause. Together, we will fix a broken industry.

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Submitted by Casey on December 14, 2015 - 2:39pm

When Are People Going To Stop Proclaiming The Death of the CD?

What do punk rock, journalism and the compact disc have in common? It’s become weirdly popular to loudly, and falsely, proclaim that they’ve met their end.

CDs are dead!” howl the media pundits. “Vinyl is more important! Streaming is the new torrenting! Burn your outmoded discs in a trash fire!” It’s a cliche rapidly approaching peak hysteria, and even big news sites like CNN, Huffington Post and the Smithsonian are in on the action. But is it really that simple? read more

Submitted by kelsey on December 10, 2015 - 2:52pm

Net Neutrality Is Back In The Courts

Feeling a bit of déjà vu? You may have thought net neutrality was settled following our historic February 2015 victory, when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued light-touch rules to protect creators, small businesses and Internet users. But Big Telecom still has a dog in this fight, and it’s a big dog with lots and lots of money.

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