While most of the music industry basked in the Monday afterglow of a raucous Grammy Awards, a panel discussion with BMI, SoundExchange, TuneCore and others turned fiery Monday afternoon at the SF MusicTech Summit, over the heated issue of just how artists get paid.
TuneCore president Jeff Price took a blowtorch to the existing music licensing industry for shady accounting, layers upon layers of administration fees, and sometimes up to two and half year-waits for artists to get paid.
Music Reports’ Ron Gertz said the international licensing swamp is making artists circumvent it to do direct international deals with companies like Starbucks.
Meanwhile SoundExchange disclosed rapid growth in royalty revenue from streaming, with much more to come, panelists said.
It was easily the hottest panel at the day-long San Francisco music technology conference, which unites hundreds of execs from both spheres for technical discussion and hopefully, deals.
David Lowery, member of the band Cracker, offered a prelude to the licensing panel in the form of a rant called “Meet the new boss, worse than the old boss.” Lowery said “even under the bad, old record label system, the labels shared more revenue with the artist. It sucks.”
He said file-sharing, streaming on places like Spotify, and things like the iTunes store have made things worse for artists, who are losing money on recording, and cannot recoup such losses with live performances. Lowery advocated for more artist unions, and lawsuits against file-sharing services.
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