If women and girls are one of the fastest growing markets in the music industry, shouldn’t they be better represented in media? That’s what some, like our guests this week, are striving to do. A greater number of magazines and blogs oriented toward women and girls means that many of these aspiring musicians can finally recognize themselves in the publications they consume. But giving focus to women musicians isn’t just a good cause — it’s a good business investment. This week we host a roundtable to talk media and its portrayal of women musicians. Joining us are online editor of Bitch Media Sarah Mirk, founder of She Shreds Magazine Fabi Reyna, and Mindy Abovitz, founder of Tom Tom Magazine.
Could two multi-million dollar lawsuits be the downfall of one of music’s most popular streaming services? Earlier this year, two class-actions were brought against streaming giant Spotify by musicians David Lowery and Melissa Ferrick. The plaintiffs allege that Spotify knowingly distributes copyrighted material without obtaining the proper licenses. So what do these suits mean for musicians and the industry as a whole? We discuss with lead plaintiff Melissa Ferrick, lawyers Howell O’Rear and Chris Castle, and musician and music lawyer Christiane Kinney.
How do you get your music on the “it” blog or radio station? When should you hire a publicist? What does a publicist even do? These questions are common among young musicians looking for their break. In our second installment of Music 101, we talk to tastemakers Sharlese Metcalf (KEXP) and Brandon Stosuy (Pitchfork) about how they discover new artists, then publicist Nathan Walker (Riot Act Media) gives some advice on promoting your band.
In an industry where it’s difficult to make a living, musicians have had to become more and more creative to survive, especially with shrinking royalties in their pockets. One way some artists have managed to succeed is to tap into — or create — a niche market. Whether it’s inventing a new genre or signing to an obscure label, their stories prove that there’s not just one path to success in the music business. Our guests on this episode share their unique approaches to what they do. We hear from Simon Tam, founder of Asian American dance rock band The Slants, who saw a lucrative opportunity in playing anime conventions. Charmaine Clamor, creator of Jazzipino, a genre combining Filipino folk songs with American jazz and blues, also joins us. Finally we talk with Eric Isaacson, founder of Portland’s enigmatic Mississippi Records.
Health insurance, a 401K… employment benefits in general? Not so easy to find working in the music industry. Luckily, in 1989 the Recording Academy created the MusiCares Foundation, providing a safety net of critical services and resources for industry people in need. On this episode, Recording Academy president Neil Portnow gives us some background on the foundation and, while the service is confidential, some of the many musicians, managers and crew who have been helped by MusiCares have volunteered to tell us their stories.
You’ve written and recorded a song, now you want people to listen to it. What’s next? We start off the year with our first Music 101 episode, where we talk about the songwriting, publishing and master rights related to self-releasing music. ASCAP’s Marc Emert-Hutner helps us decipher some of the acronyms every musician should know in order to understand their rights. Then, Kevin Breuner of CD Baby returns to the show to talk about how to distribute music yourself. SoundExchange’s Michael Darpino wraps up by telling us how musicians can collect royalties.