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Beggars And FAC Finalise Streaming Economics Think Tank
The panel for MusicTank's upcoming think tank ‘The Artist Economics Of Streaming' has been finalised, as Simon Wheeler, director of digital at Beggars Group, and Paul Pacifico, FAC board member and manager of the AllStars Collective, join the speaker list.
Wheeler has been vocal about Beggars' forward thinking, nuanced attitude to streaming services, whilst Beggars Group, which includes 4AD, Rough Trade, Matador and XL Recordings, has generally been a powerful advocate for the fair treatment of artists by labels.
Pacifico is a harmonica player who has worked with world famous performers like Ronnie Wood, Stevie Wonder and Jools Holland. With a background at a "well paid job in the City of London", he set up and manages the AllStars Collective - a group of the world's most renowned session musicians, who have performed and recorded with the likes of Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Prince, as well as alongside Sir Tom Jones, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace.
The pair will speak alongside singer-songwriter and activist Billy Bragg, Spotify's director of artist services Mark Williamson, andRoger La Haye, co-founder of The Royalty Consultancy.
In addition, Chris Cooke, Business Editor of Complete Music Update (CMU), will be offering a summary introduction to panel.
The think tank comes at an interesting time for the intertwining of the recorded music and digital technology sectors, with Samsung and Apple launching services, YouTube and Amazon lining up offerings, competitors Beats and Spotify both strategically acquiring technologies and Spotify flotation rumours gathering momentum. Music is the fuel for all this, yet uncertainty reigns as to whether artists are being remunerated fairly, or are being exploited to the detriment of the future recordings business.
Artists, Managers and Performers (AMP), the newly formed alliance between the MU, the MMF and FAC, recently made a submission to the EU's copyright consultation, that calls for streaming royalties to be split equally between the artist and the label, arguing that a stream is not a sale in the traditional sense and does not involve any of the associated costs for the label.
In trying to do away with some of the confusion and controversy around how money reaches the artist in this new model, the event promises open discussion about how royalties are calculated, and whether the economics of the streaming model as it currently stands can work for all parts of the value chain.
Said MusicTank Chairman Keith Harris: "It's time to shine a light into the dark corners of the ongoing furore about streaming. While recent events suggest that there are clearly ongoing issues that need to be dealt with, there's a danger that discussions about streaming will be reduced to polarised shouting matches, unless we as an industry collectively make an effort to clarify what is really going on. As ever, MusicTank aims to do this with honest and open debate and an investigation into the positions of all parties involved."
Date: 7th April 2014
Time: 6.30pm to 9.00pm
Venue: Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, W1B 2UW
Prices: MusicTank members: £25.00 | Standard: £40.00 | Students: £15.00