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

SXSW Music 2016: Here's Where We'll Be

SXSW is here again, and as usual, Future of Music Coalition staff and board are well represented at America’s biggest music conference. Amidst the BBQ, margaritas, and awesome music, we encourage you to make time to check out these can’t-miss panels and sessions featuring your favorite FMC superheroes.


Tuesday, March 15

Music, Apps, Devices: Next Gen? 3:30-4:30 PM read more

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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