Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) reaffirmed his support for the Local Community Radio Act to an enthusiastic crowd at the Future of Music Coalition Policy Summit on Tuesday, calling it our Christmas present this year. Rep. Doyle has been leading the push for Low Power FM in Congress, along with lead co-sponsor Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE). Independent musicians have been longtime supporters of Low Power FM as a venue to share their music.
Flash forward 20 years, and it’s harder than ever for artists to make a living selling CDs. According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, a speaker at the Future of Music Coalition gave a breakdown of album numbers that will be particularly shocking to young independent bands who hoped they’d be able to make a living selling discs. More than 115,000 new albums were released in the U.S. last year. Of those, 110 sold more than 250,000 copies in the U.S. last year—that’s not such a surprise, as big stars have always been rare. But only 1,500 titles cracked the 10,000 mark, and fewer than 6,000 sold a paltry 1,000 copies.
Yesterday, 13 music journalists convened at Georgetown University for the Future of Music Coalition?s Policy Summit panel, ?Critical Condition: The Future of Music Journalism.?
Our ranks included reps from online-only (Scott Plagenhoef of Pitchfork, Maura Johnston of Idolator), old media vets (Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune, Tom Moon of the Philadelphia Inquirer), and some in-betweeners.
While there were a few too many panelists for a coherent discussion, the ideological breakdowns were awkwardly clear: New media vs. old media, generalists vs. niche(ists?), and many, many iterations of ?Kids these days don?t know how to write about music,? followed by, ?We?re all fucked.?
If you?re in the Washington, D.C., area and you have the afternoon free today, feel free to come by the Georgetown Hotel and Convention Center at 2 p.m. for a discussion of the state of music writing that features Scott Plagenhoef of Pitchfork, Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune, David Malitz of the Washington Post, and me, among others. The discussion is part of the Future Of Music Coalition Policy Summit, which wraps up today and which, according to reports from friends who have been here this week, has been chock-full of good discussion since it kicked off on Sunday.
The music industry is trying to survive and possibly reinvent itself. Artists want to get paid. And consumers want music quickly with no strings attached. Are all three goals achievable, and if not, who will lose out? Can unfettered access to the Internet co-exist with artist’s desires to get paid for their music? Can the music industry hack its way through a maze of legal obligations and create a new business model that entices fans before all those fans disappear into the digital underground, where music runs wild and free?
These questions dominated the Future of Music Policy Summit in the nationâ€™s capital, an annual gathering of some of the industryâ€™s leading thinkers and innovators, alongside representatives of the music, technology, business and government communities.
Later in his Future of Music Coalition Policy Summit speech, which you can download in its entirety over at FCC.gov, Genachowski talked about Merge Records? ability, thanks to the Internet, to make top acts out of artists like Arcade Fire and Spoon with very little help of terrestrial radio play. ?I want to salute the many artists who have already signed up to publicly lend their voice in support of Net Neutrality ? including artists from R.E.M., Pearl Jam, OK Go, Wilco, and many, many more,? he said in closing. read more
Saying it protects the free market, U.S. Sen. Al Franken sounded optimistic in a speech today about the chances for preserving net neutrality by law. ?For the first time, it looks like we might actually do this,? Franken told the Future of Music Coalition in Washington, D.C.
The FTC?s theory about how reviewing works sounds like imagined order at best, misguided favoritism at worst, and I hope to bring it up at the Future of Music Coalition?s Policy Summit tomorrow, where I?ll be a panelist on ?Critical Condition: The Future of Music Journalism,? along with Maura Johnston of Idolator, Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune and NPR, WaPo?s David Malitz, Tom Moon at NPR, Scott Plagenhoef of Pitchfork, Casey Rae-Hunter of the Future of Music Coalition (and frequent WCP contributor), and a few other superstars.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski addressed the Policy Summit of The Future of Music Coalition yesterday. The organization has long been at odds with broadcasters over a number of issues. But not to worry ? Genachoswki was entirely focused on the FCC?s efforts to preserve a free and open internet ? a chief policy goal of FMC ? via network neutrality. That made up the beginning, the middle and the end of his address to the organization. The Policy Summit was scheduled from 10/4/09 through 10/6/09.
Sen. Al Franken traveled to the austere halls of Georgetown University on Monday to fervently endorse federal regulation of Internet service providers in a speech that highlighted both his humor and interest in tech policy.
Speaking to a room of musicians and technology wonks at the Future of Music Coalition Policy Summit, Franken offered a keynote address on “Net neutrality” — the idea that people should have equal access to the Internet, rather than allowing some organizations preferential treatment.