Options Radio Free Culture: Playlist from February 25, 2013 Options

Hosted by various WFMU personalities, Radio Free Culture is a weekly program that explores digital culture, net neutrality, piracy, the broadcast spectrum, digital rights, and archives and libraries in the internet age. We'll be interviewing some of the nation's key figures at the intersection of music, multimedia, and digital technology. This program is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Options February 25, 2013: Radio Free Culture #10: Understanding Artist Revenue Streams
How are today's musicians earning money? Thanks to the Future of Music Coalition's pioneering Artist Revenue Streams project, we finally have some real answers to this complex question. Through interviews, case studies, and a methodological survey of over 5000 musicians, the study identified 25 different types of musicians and 42 unique revenue streams. As the data analysis unfolds, ARS is already busting myths, informing artist advocacy, and likely to shape policy for years to come. Host Jason Sigal will be joined by the project's co-director Jean Cook, as well as fellow musicians Rebecca Gates and Greg Fox. Framing paper by Kristin Thomson.

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Artist Track Album Comments Approx. start time
YACHT  Shangri La (Instrumental)   Options     0:00:00 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
  talking with Jean Cook, Rebecca Gates and Greg Fox     money.futureofmusic.org  0:05:41 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
Anti-Social Music  Music for ASM - dälek   Options Sleeps Around: Collaborations with dälek & His Name Is Alive     
  Jean Cook, Rebecca Gates and Greg Fox        

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Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:17pm Matt from Springfield:

All right, good evening Jason!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:18pm Jason Sigal:

welcome to the show, feel free to chime in with questions here or call in at quarter til!
Avatar 6:19pm Andrea:

Jason will be taking calls around 6:45pm ET at 201-209-9368 if you have questions for the panel!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:24pm Matt from Springfield:

Volkswagen ads from the late 90s (who did those? why aren't they STILL doing those!) introduced me to various great artists not covered on mainstream radio then. Nick Drake, Trio, ELO...
Avatar 6:28pm Droll:

So far this conversation seems to about how musicians need to change their expectations to match the world as it is today. This is a faulty framing of the problem because "remix culture" defines stealing music as a virtue, and downloading stolen music is treated as socially acceptable. Fans have grown accustomed to not paying for the music they love, and sites like YouTube legitimize the theft by knowingly allowing unauthorized copies -- that is the root problem.

Suggesting that musicians need to adapt to having their work stolen is a disservice. Stop blaming the victims and talk about why fans force musicians to justify getting paid for their work.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:30pm Matt from Springfield:

One time payments for use in a specific situation (like selling to a video game) are a good way for musicians to sell their works, but always be careful to make sure you're getting a good deal -- you could be left without any royalties if the game becomes huge! Though I like that guy was able to keep the rights himself--beyond that game, he still has creative control.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:41pm Sugarfly Waterloo:

@Droll.. the way to frame the argument is to say that when you use Youtube or Megaupload you're transferring the payment to a third party that has nothing to do with the production of music.
Avatar 6:42pm sFrances from VA:

Psychic TV were also used in a VW ad back in the 90s, I spit out my drink when I first saw/heard it air!

Droll: You're so right about the fans' responsibility for paying for the art that they consume vs the entitled idea that it's "free" or not "work" that should be paid for. I think it's too late to try & re-educate that fan base (sadly). I think the best one can hope for is for bands to get a song used in a commercial/movie and then try to earn a living by touring heavily and selling merch. But that's so tough compared to being able to (in the old days) being able to rely on DIY/small label record sales (the whole corporate structure is another beast entirely).
Avatar 6:43pm sFrances from VA:

This was an article that I shoved into my friend's hand after he offered to send me some Grizzly Bear tracks that he'd downloaded: nymag.com...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm Matt from Springfield:

@Sugarfly: Very good point--as YT is a large, profitable section of Google, royalties should be paid for copyrighted material. The exposure granted could be great, if the artists could benefit from the view count.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm Matt from Springfield:

"We won't win the Grahmees! :(" ??? :)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm Sugarfly Waterloo:

Would also help if they made it easier for me to upload content and credit the artist.
Avatar 6:47pm Andrea:

Any questions for the show?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:50pm Matt from Springfield:

@Sugarfly: Might take a court settlement for them to implement that (the Free Music Archive itself was created in response to that, and entrusted to WFMU because, well, we're trusted to run it!) But if there was a button where uploaders could tag the elements of their videos, or where artists/publishers themselves could flag uses of their music that aren't marked. It would be a great step for bringing royalty system into the digital age.
Avatar 6:50pm sFrances from VA:

If the artist has a Bandcamp page or website, you can always post a link to those if you upload a video crediting the artist. I've been able to buy a few tracks that way & really appreciate it.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm Matt from Springfield:

Thanks Frances, that's good ethics!
  6:51pm silvio rosado ( lisbon/Portugal):

The experimental music is getting big, and out side of the normal music business? Maybe we are reaching a complete different kind of reality. Real music as it existence live.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm Carmichael:

I refuse to copy my DVDs for friends, and just got into a long philosophical/legal argument about the process. Some people actually believe that they have the legal rights to give their purchased music to anyone they want.
Avatar 6:55pm Andrea:

Today the 6-strikes copyright enforcement system went into effect -- should artists expect a huge surge in revenue?
Avatar 6:55pm Droll:

YouTube is worse than a record label because YouTube cannot be audited, the rates are determined by the advertiser (not YT or the artist), and YT already knows about all the other copies of your song and still does not pay you for those (they keep the ad revenue on stolen copies).

If you hire a plumber, you don't tell him you won't pay him but you think he should sell T-Shirts. That's specious and everyone knows it, but people act like musicians should get paid for something other than the work they do.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm Sugarfly Waterloo:

One of the really smart things about Band Camp is that it is very easy to embed in a blog. As fan I want to promote and share what I find interesting.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm Matt from Springfield:

@Carm: Chris T described that once from an unnamed younger person--that you can give it away as much as you want because it's "free speech"(!?) That's probably part of an entitled sort of attitude in general, "I didn't make this, but it's still mine! You can't tell me what to do!"
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm Matt from Springfield:

@Droll: A court settlement is probably the only plausible way to get YT and other large services to distribute royalties at fair rates.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm Sugarfly Waterloo:

It's like in the fserve days when people figured you could host a bunch of software illegally and do it legitimately because you called it "back up"
  7:00pm jeff in puna hawaii:

droll, with all due respect, i believe your let's call it "Ulrich-ian" stance is ignoring the tide of change
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm Matt from Springfield:

@Sugarfly: Of course! They only need to sell one $20 software copy for all time, we'll just "back the rest up" for everyone else...
Avatar 7:00pm Pete from Boston (and NJ):

Do you guys have info available on how you figured out what data was meaningful, and how you arrived at your questions and analyses?

I'm very interested in these questions, as are lots of us media consumers, but I'm just as interested in how you take a broad arena like this and turn it into quantifiable, useful information.
Avatar 7:01pm Droll:

Matt, Are you suggesting every musician sues Google? Prince has a staff monitoring YT, is every musician supposed to do that? The new model is musicians sue distributors, then the distributors sue fans?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:03pm Matt from Springfield:

@Droll: The distributors do have the lawyers--I don't about the mechanics of entering a class action suit, but you'd almost need to fight fire with fire--some other huge corporation to fight against the huge corporation behind YT. The point is how to get benefits for the actual creators; despite the middle man approach, it's the most certain way of finding that solution.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:03pm Sugarfly Waterloo:

Pete FutureOfMusic.org
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:04pm Matt from Springfield:

@Pete: Check the "framing paper" link to the left, the full paper might be posted there.

Thank you Jason, Andrea and guests! Good discussion here!
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