Vickie Nauman provided some great questions to start making music more sustainable.
We need companies and organizations investing and competing to be the best in each of these five areas:
(1) Great Music – which labels, publishers, management companies and organizations are best at identifying and fostering new talent? Helping invest at different career levels? Have the best accounting systems to track micropayments and ensure accurate metadata? Who is helping the self-released artist?
(2) Engaged Fans – which platforms and services know their customers well enough to engage around music? How can they encourage more listening and connect artists meaningfully with these fans? How can an engaged fan turn into a high value fan for an artist? How can we better serve tribes and casual fans
(3) Rights Data Management – who is optimizing modern technology so that rights data is simply a conduit to attribution and getting paid? How can data that is in a state of constant change be cleaner? Which practices need to be left behind, while new methodologies adopted? Privacy need not be lost in the establishment of consistency and standards. I dream of a future state for industry events without the need for metadata panels.
(4) Copyright Law – is it possible to have laws stay current with technology? What will get core stakeholders aligned to foster protection that is better for the whole? Short of massive overhaul, are there interim wins?
(5) Business – we’ve currently got a handful of multi-billion dollar companies offering legally licensed music to fans – this is a fantastic new baseline, but is it enough to sustain the entire industry? Is niche, mid-tier, and back catalog music reaching fans and generating adequate royalties through the pipes to the niche, mid-tier and heritage artists? How can we move to spur innovation while retaining value? Are there other ways to grow now that the industry is somewhat painted into a corner with a value proposition of $9.99/month for every crown jewel ever created?