Saturday, August 02, 2014

Exclusion Contracts for Small Performance Rooms: Earn Loyalty

Imagine the reaction among the young musicians and their fans if BMI/SESAC/ASCAP (a songwriter can only join one) if these organizations announced jointly that they have set a lower tier for rooms that host music events from which they will not collect performance royalties. No monitoring required other than the room submit an application for exclusion based on real income to the room that is updated every year. Past a certain amount of income, the room agrees to pay the fees without legal recourse.

The Bigs have a terrible reputation which they deserve. The Pirates are doing terrible damage to the industry and deserve to be shut down with a vengeance. Between them is an ad industry and tech industry that doesn't give a flying frik because all they have to do is keep doing what they are doing and they pick up enough jacks to win. If this is to change for the betterment of the artists, the collection agencies have to reform their policies to allow new acts to emerge and still want to be part of those societies. Conventional wisdom in the big centers like LA, Nashville and New York is these acts have no choice if they want to be paid. They aren't being paid anyway. So they have zero to lose. Why not take another tack and give them something to gain: earn as they go. Show them genuine respect instead of dismissing them as second raters. Try inclusion instead of exclusion, big tent instead of a curated elite. Elites emerge organically. Talent doesn't have to be curated except by its audience. Curators are not gatekeepers; they are expediters and if they take that role, the us vs them diminishes. If the collection agencies stop robbing piggy banks, the antagonism (which is real and intensifying) diminshes. It is replaced by loyalty. It is replaced by good will.

And the pirate industries fear this because they know if the kids, the new generation decides to throw in with the curators and the collectors, the pirates are done because the web has always been viral and some viruses immunize. Give it some thought.

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