Session: Creating A Fair Digital Deal For Artists - Experiences From The Independent Music Sector
25.09.2015, 11:30 Uhr Schmidt Theater (Saal), Spielbudenplatz 27-28, 20359 Hamburg
The recent months have seen the digital music market in an uproar. While many artists started to talk about the little money they receive for a lot of streams and everyone started discussing the transparency and fairness of the deals between streaming services and labels and between labels and their artists, it was Apple’s announcement of a 3-month trial period for their new streaming service that was supposed to leave artists and labels unpaid, which sparked a new level of discussion about fairness in times of music streaming. It was the independent labels who spoke out the loudest against the planned free trial’s deal conditions. To fight for fairness is nothing new for the independents. In 2014, independent music associations around the world launched the initiative „Fair Digital Deals Declaration“. The initiative proved many independent music companies' commitment to reaching a fair and transparent deal with their artists, sharing digital revenues accordingly. So what is a fair deal for artists? How do labels share digital revenues with their artists and what does this relationship look like? Are the current deals the streaming platforms offer rights holders feasible?
Photo: Anton Renborg
Helienne Lindvall is an award-winning professional songwriter, musician and music and media writer for the Guardian. Hailing from Sweden, she worked as a session singer, recording artist and performer in Stockholm and NYC before settling in London, where she signed a publishing deal with BMG Scandinavia. Since then she’s been working with recording artists on both sides of the Atlantic, including Roger Sanchez and Big Daddy Wilson, collaborating with award-winning writers such as Jörgen Elofsson (Kelly Clarkson, Britney Spears), Patrik Berger (Icona Pop, Robyn) and Steve McEwan (Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood).
In 2007, Helienne also started writing about music for the Guardian. Her weekly column Behind The Music, which ran until August 2012, covered and analysed all areas of the music business, from the creative process to issues surrounding copyright. In September 2012 her next column, Plugged In, launched on MediaGuardian.
Helienne contributed a chapter for the Swedish book Myten om Internet (The Myth of the Internet), published August 2012. She’s written for Digital Music News, Netopia, The Musician, The Australian and STIM-Magasinet, and regularly appears on Sky News, the BBC, Irish National Radio and Swedish National Radio.
In November 2014, Helienne added another string to her bow, as head of business relations for music rights management platform Auddly.com, co-owned by hitmakers Max Martin and Abba’s Björn Ulvaeus. She remains active as a professional musician and songwriter.
Alison has spent over 35 years working in the music industry, and is one of the most experienced and well known practitioners in the business. She has worked in both the independent and the multinational sectors, gaining comprehensive experience of the advantages and disadvantages of independent versus multinational infrastructures, while developing a thorough knowledge of all aspects of the industry.
She has been Chairman and CEO of AIM since it was formed in 1998, and has guided it through growth in membership and influence. AIM members represent around 28% of the UK market and independents are the acknowledged creative backbone of the industry, developing new trends, new artists and adopting new technologies ahead of the multinationals. In addition Alison has been Chairman of the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN), since it’s inception in 2006. WIN now represents independents music companies and their national trade associations worldwide in over 25 territories; acting as advocate, instigator and facilitator for its membership.
In December 2010, Alison was awarded an O.B.E for Services to the Creative Industries.
Paul is CEO of the Featured Artists Coalition (‘FAC’), the organization in the music industry that represents the interests and rights of the artists. Paul is also President of the International Artist Organisation (‘IAO’), which unites artist organisations from different country to speak with one voice. In his early career, Paul spent almost 10 years in the City in banking and strategy consultancy before leaving to focus on Specific Music in 2005. Specific Music is a creative music consultancy which designs and delivers bespoke music for industry clients as well as brands and charities. Paul also set up The AllStars Collective, which is made up of 40 of the world's top session musicians. Paul continues to perform and record with his band, Pacifico Blues.
Foto: Anke Peters
Ursprünglich aus dem Rheinland kommend, gründete Désirée J. Vach 2009 Snowhite. Zuvor arbeitete Vach für das Independent-Label Kitty-Yo, das die Veröffentlichung von Tonträgern jedoch 2006 einstellte, woraufhin Vach Kitty-Yo verließ und die Leitung des Independent-Label Weekender Records Germany übernahm. Anfang 2009 beendete Vach ihre Tätigkeit bei Weekender Records Germany und gründete Snowhite.
Désirée J. Vach ist des Weiteren Dozentin bei dem Projekt „DigiMediaL_musik“, einem Weiterbildungsangebot für Musiker_innen am Berlin Career College der Universität der Künste Berlin, und ebenfalls tätig als Consulterin für den amerikanischen Digitalvertrieb INgrooves.
Mark Williamson leads the Artist Services team at Spotify, which is the main point of contact for artists and managers, and represents artists’ interests within Spotify.
Mark first joined Spotify in 2011. Since then, he has been working to help artists and their teams to navigate the rapidly changing world of streaming and its impact on the music industry as Spotify has grown from a niche player, to a key part of the industry.
Mark has been involved in various initiatives aimed at improving transparency, eduction and opportunities for artists at Spotify, including: the launch of Spotify in the USA, the creation of spotifyartists.com (a resource to improve transparency and education around the Spotify business model), the introduction of concert listings, merchandise and artist analytics as well as building relationships directly with artists and management companies around the world.
Mark is particularly focused on the economic impact of streaming for artists and the music industry, now and in the future. In this capacity he regularly speaks at conferences, features in interviews and gets frustrated with his inability to figure out Excel pivot tables.