Talking with other artists like myself, I’ve begun to think that we need a lobby, a coalition, an advocacy organization…..something. A group that represents the interests of new-model artists.
What are new-model artists? It’s a clunky term for 21st century recording artists who are for the most part self-published, self-represented and own 100% of their music. We rely on the internet and on technology and digital music companies to distribute our music, to find and communicate with our audiences, to sell stuff and, increasingly, to book tours.
There are associations for record labels, for media companies, for streaming and internet radio companies. There are societies that administer different categories of royalties (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, Soundexchange, AFM-AFTRA royalty fund). There is the musician’s union and the Future of Music Coalition. There is NARAS, who runs the Grammys. But, as far as I know, there is no group representing the interests of new model artists specifically.
We can’t just hope that the interests of music and technology companies will always magically align with ours. We have to participate in the process. Otherwise, we just have to accept that anachronistic legislation, policies and deals will continue to be written without our input. We need public policy that reflects us. We need fair royalty schemes. We need companies to build our interests into their business models.
Just like artists can’t pin their hopes on being “discovered”, no one can help us but ourselves. I’m an optimist and I’ve always believed that we can make the world we want to live in….but there’s the rub, we have to make it.
Is this a manifesto?
I really, really want to hear your ideas and your feedback, so….questions for you.
#1 What do you think? Is a group needed? Does one already exist? Is this crazy?
#2 What issues do you think need our attention and input?
#3 Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to be involved, or want to join such a group
#4 What should we be called?
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