Sometimes, the internet just seems like a bunch of yelling. Then you discover a new artist or make a connection with a fan and it all makes sense. And it’s not just online—if you’re lucky enough to have a great local radio station, then you know how powerful even old-school technology can be when it comes to falling in love with music all over again.
So why is everyone so doom-and-gloom? Well, if you don’t have a sense of the challenges in today’s creative marketplace, you haven’t talked to a musician. But instead of retreating to our respective corners and waiting for the sky to fall, we think that it’s time to come together.
In our thirteen years as an organization, FMC has focused on facilitating dialog among those with a stake in the music ecosystem at a time of intense transformation, challenge and opportunity. We do this with events like the Future of Music Summit (Oct. 28-29, Georgetown University, Washington DC—register now!), and with groundbreaking research like our ongoing Artist Revenue Streams project.
We know the issues facing creators are increasingly complex, which is why we spend so much time demystifying developments for the benefit of artists. We also recognize that potential solutions require input from any number of participants who all hold a piece of the puzzle. Although our core concerns are with musicians and composers, we recognize the contributions of anyone helping to establish legitimate, 21st-century business models that make sense for creators and fans.
We’re not dewy-eyed digital utopians. We’re also not pining for a past where the vast majority of artists had next-to-no shot at reaching audiences. We do our best to be pragmatic about any issue that impacts musicians—from access to health insurance to digital infrastructure to equitable compensation. Our goal is to ensure that artists have a seat at the table in the debates that impact their livelihood.
With Congress beginning an examination of current copyright law and several federal agencies weighing in on everything from copyright enforcement to licensing, the experience of artists must be closely considered. We know that musicians aren’t a monolithic group—many of us at FMC are musicians, label owners and producers, and we hold differing views on an any number of subjects. We also work very closely with musicians, songwriters managers and others who are navigating this terrain every day. Our own examination of issues at the intersection of music, policy, technology and law is shaped by ongoing and incredibly meaningful interactions with these consitituencies.
There are plenty of issues to talk about, including the role of technology in helping artists reach audiences and the importance of transparent and equitable compensation for musicians.
We want you to be a part of the conversation. The Future of Music Summit is the place where that happens. We’re adding exciting speakers and presenters to our upcoming Summit every day, and we’re excited about our amazing schedule and programming so far.
Let’s work on the future of music together. See you in October.