I am working to begin a movement to change the business model of the music industry … from the ground up. To start:
Eliminate VENUE licensing and convert to ARTIST licensing
We love the PRO’s (BMI, ASCAP and SESAC), they have helped so many artists for decades. But as the world of music entered the digital age, ALL the business models have adjusted EXCEPT venue licensing.
The PROS are doing exactly as they are supposed to do according to the law. They are good organizations with a wonderful history helping many. My argument is the old school business model of venue licensing needs to change to benefit the world of the performing arts.
Why does this matter?
There are no more CD music chains left in America, computers and cars no longer have CD slots. It has become almost impossible for most songwriters and performers to make a living, and digital streams pay virtually (no pun intended) nothing.
The FACT: unless an artist is in front of an audience they can not sell their CDs and Tshirts. Hanging on to the current model of venue licensing is the same as the phone industry clinging to the rotary phone. It doesn’t work, and the PROs have no idea what songs are being performed and the songwriters are not getting paid. Change must happen.
Concert & Music Overview
Here is how artists can make a living again:
An artist license is simple:
We are fighting the Wrong Fight
Currently, all the legal attention is focused on securing financial rights to an outdated business model. Demanding more money for artists right now is like demanding more money from rotary phone copyrights. It’s useless and means nothing. When a town is eviscerated by a tsunami that is not the time to demand rental property payment increases. The music world has been digitally destroyed by big-tech and the pandemic.
The digital platforms (YouTube, Facebook, Spotify etc) should pay into a PRO’s Artist License system that artists apply for that pay for their licensing for FREE. Guaranteeing songwriters are paid, opening up thousands of paying stages and venues, putting musicians in front of the audiences that will buy their CDs and T-Shirts.
Sometime just thinking outside the box isn’t good enough. You have to CRUSH the box and create a new one.
THE PIG – ARTICLE ONE (click here): we must reduce the size of the overhead of the smaller music levels. This includes making it possible for smaller venues to open up paying stages for musicians and songwriters to meet their audience.
THE LICENSE – ARTICLE TWO (click here): changing from VENUE licensing to ARTIST licensing solves the problem. With an artist license, anyone can play anywhere they want, it’s like a drivers license … schools, farmers markets, coffee houses, festivals and theaters … and the songwriters are GUARANTEED to be paid for songs performed.