The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2019, or C.A.S.E. Act, is currently making its way through Congress, and it stands to have a significant impact on musicians and labels across the country. As it stands now, if you’re a musician who’s had their music used without a license, your only recourse is to go to a federal copyright court to defend your claim of ownership, which often costs hundreds of thousands of dollars in court and attorney(s) fees, and you must travel to D.C. for the hearing. The C.A.S.E. Act seeks to change that reality by creating a small claims court, that would be much more accessible to artists and labels, both financially and physically, since proceedings can happen remotely.
Like every other role in the music industry, the face of management is changing to meet the current needs of artists. With fewer and fewer labels investing in artist development, the work of building a team up around an artist has started to land more and more on the shoulders of managers. In our exploration of this topic, we speak with Brian Dubb of Centralized.me, who has developed a web based “virtual management” application that helps developing artists manage themselves, as well as Adina Friedman who works for the management company, “Friends At Work.”
For the last eleven years, Merlin has been championing the independent music community in a variety of ways. During that time the organization has put over two billion dollars into the pockets of indie labels and distributors, through its negotiated deals with DSP’s like Spotify, et. al., and the organization is only continuing to grow its reach internationally. On this episode, we talk to Charles Caldas, the man at the helm of Merlin for the past eleven years, along with Jorge Brea of Symphonic Distribution and Katie Alberts of Reach Records, who both use Merlin’s services for their businesses to great advantage.
In previous episodes, we’ve discussed the diminished role that music criticism plays in today’s market, and now we’re turning our focus towards music journalism at large. With more and more magazines and newspapers going out of business, writers find themselves with even fewer publishing options, and they’re being forced to look for work outside of the music industry.
Denmark’s Crunchy Frog has been releasing albums for a quarter century this year, and they are celebrating their anniversary with a new compilation of music from the label’s roster, that’s being released in tandem with a variety of specialty beverages to commemorate the occasion. Listen in as label head, Jesper “Yebo” Reginal, talks about the origins of the label, and its successes with international crossover hits from bands like Junior Senior and The Raveonettes, while Johannes Gammelby tells us why his many bands are all signed with the label.
At this point, we all know that streaming royalties have become a larger and larger share of revenue within the music industry, but how those royalties are calculated by DSP’s is still somewhat of a mystery to artists, labels, and consumers. For example, why doesn’t your $9.99/mo. only go to the artists you’ve streamed that month? And, why do the per-stream rates fluctuate so much, based on time of day, the specific plan you’re on, etc.? On this episode, we talk to Vickie Nauman and Louis Posen about the “pool method” of royalty calculation (currently in use by most DSP’s), and alternatives to this method that are being proposed by some, and piloted by others.