All of us at FMC were saddened to hear of the passing of Congressman Howard Coble of North Carolina on Tuesday. FMC staff had the opportunity and honor of testifying in a number of hearings chaired by Rep. Coble over the years, and we always appreciated his nuanced grasp of complicated issues and his sincere concern for musicians’ interests. read more
This year’s Future of Music Policy Summit was the 15th ever and best yet. Musicians, songwriters, artist advocates, music managers, industry leaders and academics from around the world came together for two days of discourse on—you guessed it—the future of music. Though the discussions got pretty feisty at times, the overall vibe was one of collaboration and optimism.read more
As past Summit attendees know, our annual policy conference isn’t just about fact inundation. This being the music industry, we like to celebrate too — and this year we have a pretty great reason to do so. The Future of Music Coalition is turning 15 years old, so we’re having a Quinceañera shindig on Monday night, October 26, at Gypsy Sally’s (3401 Water Street NW).
“Happy Birthday” is the song everyone and your cat knows. The Guinness Book of World Records lists it as the most frequently sung English song, but it is recognized around the world and sung enthusiastically in many different languages at birthday parties for children and adults alike. With hundreds of millions of public performances and easily billions of private ones, it without a question the most popular song in the musical canon of the twentieth century. Not to mention examples like Marilyn Monroe’s serenade version to the U.S. President John F. Kennedy in 1962 – an iconic performance of an iconic song. read more
It’s easy to feel like radio is a format on life support. On the FM dial, Clear Channel (ahem, excuse me, iHeartRadio) controls huge swaths of our broadcast landscape. Indie stations do exist—and are a Godsend on road trips—but they’re few and far between. Of course, there are tons of digital options, including tailored channels and online streamers where algorithms do the heavy lifting. But will the audience continue to grow or eventually fade out? read more
A common joke about management is that as soon as you call yourself a manager, you are one. That’s all well and good, but as the folks on this panel will demonstrate, simply having a business card isn’t enough; it takes way more grit and nuance than that to be great at this job. In what feels like an increasingly fragmented music industry, managers are taking on more roles than ever before. Management means being a lightning rod for queries from everyone your clients work with — labels, publishers, tour henchmen, press, bookers, rabid fans.
In a world where education systems are cutting expenditures in half… where arts programs are underfunded and often the first on the chopping block… where band kids are still teased mercilessly… a crack team of six renegade panelists must band together (get it?) to SAVEMUSICFROMUTTERDECIMATION!read more
The Internet is too important to creators to allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T to pick winners and losers online. Artists of all backgrounds rely on the Internet to reach audiences, build businesses and exercise their rights to free speech. Without basic rules of the road preventing ISPs from favoring content from big money cronies over everyday creators and Internet users, artists and fans will lose.read more
If you’ve seen friends changing their social icons to a red volume knob turned all the way down, and you’re an avid user of any music streaming service, then read on — because you need to know who Sharky Laguana is. (Yes, that’s his real name.) Laguana has been part of one punk community or another since the late 1980’s, eventually making a name for himself in the 90’s with San Francisco band Creeper Lagoon. After they broke up, he’s stayed deeply involved with the music community, operating a musician-centered van rental service, Bandago, which has been used by the likes of Dinosaur Jr., and Ke$ha.
More recently, he’s become a prominent critic of aspects of the leading on-demand streaming services and the way they calculate and distribute royalties. One recently-penned piece, “Streaming Music is Ripping You Off”, has been gaining some serious traction on the net. In it, Laguana explains the current ‘Big Pool’ method of royalty distribution used by services like Spotify and Apple Music and why he thinks a “subscriber share” method of accounting would be preferable. He also offers up a suggestion: a silent protest (streaming music 24/7 with the volume turned down) during the month of September, one that he hopes might convince these services to consider alternatives.
Hello world! I’m Kelsey, FMC’s Policy Intern for fall 2015. I’m so excited to be coming on board with the 15th annual Future of Music Policy Summit less than 2 months away on October 26 and 27 here in DC. As always, we have two packed days of keynotes and panels that will help you navigate the Wild West of today’s intersecting music and tech industries with an eye towards the policy issues that influence it all. Now we all play favorites, so here are some of the talks I’m looking forward to the most. (Check out the full lineup; more speakers are added daily!)read more