50K MUSIC MAG

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Make Sure You're Sitting At The Table, Not Being On The Menu!

As Bernie Ecclestone once said: if you're not sitting at the table, the chances are you are on the menu. Published May 16 2014. Updated May 17 2014.

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If you think of Re:publica as a get-together of internet nerds and geeks then last weeks 2014 conference at Station in Berlin surely has proved you wrong. We also saw some really enlightening panels of music business experts. At the first one Sam Taylor (CMU) and Helen Smith (Impala) discussed with Helienne Lindvall about the role of artists in modern music business especially when it comes to music streaming. 

 

Sam Taylor gave a broad overview of music streaming: the money circulating in the system and the framework in which the money operates. Not much of the money streaming services generate has reached the artists yet he states and regrets the reduction in value of music we see nowadays. Sam concludes with the finding that the people who provide the liveblood of music industry (the artists) are more and more marginalized.


At the second panel Johnny Haeusler (Spreeblick) and Crispin Hunt (Featured Artists Coalition) have discussed the question if there are still ways for musicians to actually earn a living from their recording output these days.

 

The conclusion for me after following the discussions is that artists should 

  • unite to safeguard their interests,
  • sign only to labels that value their work (also financially) and
  • cultivate the relationship with their fans.