On Friday October 2nd, Rethink Music invited music industry professionals and enthusiasts to come together in Boston’s Innovation District to discuss the issues and recommendations raised in our Fair Music report on transparency and payment flows earlier this year. With multiple talks and discussions in the morning on topics ranging from blockchain technology to rights transparency, the day was specifically designed to help the conceptualization of our next steps for a solution.
Throughout the day, there was broad-based consensus in the room that transparency in payment flows is necessary for artists and that the efficiency of these payments still needs a lot of work. Music data continues to be disorganized while digital revenue streams are increasing, but without consensus about data standards and the ability to properly track royalty flows, it is hard to get artists and writers paid. It’s also hard to convince consumers both that music has value worth paying for and that nascent digital services are viable business models due to mainstream media criticism about payouts.
During our Skype session with artist Imogen Heap, she discussed her conceptualization of a service that can track a song’s listens from birth. Through all its various evolutions, artists would be able see the consumption behavior of their fans and keep track of revenue simultaneously. Heap wants artists to be at the center (not at the end of the chain), to be invited into business conversations, and to be seen as an investment. You can see more of her new project at ujomusic.com
We’ll be continuing our push forward with the recommendations laid out in our Fair Music report, and more events open for public input. Stay turned for more detailed information on our next steps!