Conventions & Awards

Overheard At The Future Of Music Policy Summit

image from "As far as I'm concerned, free speech limited or free speech delayed is the same as free speech denied" – Sen. Al Franken on net neutrality

"1999 mp3 overtook sex as #1 search term, yet many major labels took until 2008 to sell mp3s" Tim Quirk, VP Rhapsody

"It's a big difference when it comes from the band and not one of my interns." – Emily White, Whitesmith Entertainment on Family of the Year's social networking.

"Old model: get signed or get lost. New model: fan relationships create a value pipeline…(The new artist) revenue pie chart: gigs 35 %, merch 17 %, digital sales 11 %, cds 6 %, royalties 9 %." – Jed Carlson, ReverbNation

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1 Comment

  1. I don’t know why anyone even bothers to talks about what the labels should have when MP3s came on the scene. I’m not so sure they could have changed history, and even if they had responded differently, so what?
    I don’t see anyone responding fast enough now, either. Just a few years ago people were claiming that fans wanted to own songs. Now streaming is proving to be fine for lots of people.
    And not too long ago we were discussing pricing, and now lots of musicians are giving their music away for free.
    There will be more changes to come and I don’t think anyone is keeping up adequately. This isn’t a major label issue. It’s a technology issue that is challenging everyone.
    All the solutions that are currently being offered to DIY artists are going to be overwhelmed as well. Whatever is adopted by one band will be adopted by all of them and then those tactics, too, will become devalued. For most bands, it will come down to playing for friends, family, and neighbors because everyone will be competing for audiences.
    I know I sound pessimistic, but I’m just trying to push everyone’s horizon out to where we will be in a few years. We have already gone from leaving the label, to producing and recording your own music, to giving it away for free. Now some artists are doing a pay-what-you want for shows and t-shirts. It’s back to a tip jar scenario, which is what it has been for many artists all along.
    We might be able to set up a royalty system that pays artists and songwriters based on streaming, but there’s a lot to do before that system is going to work. I’m all for it, but it’s not going to happen immediately.

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