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A roundup of news and opinion in the industry. If you’d like to add your voice to the listings we choose each week, please don’t hesitate to send us a note.



Can the President of the United States fix a ‘broken copyright system’? We’re about to find out.

In 2015, the U.S. music industry contributed $15 billion dollars to the American economy, creating jobs in every state. But the laws governing the sale and distribution of music have failed to keep pace with technology, keeping music creators from receiving fair market value for their work.

Read a recent letter to President-Elect Trump, from members of The Recording Academy’s National Advocacy Committee, that urges him to take action to correct the problems.

Click here for the story >


Can New Music Succeed in Being Politically Relevant?
NY Times: Corinna de Fonseca-Wollheim
The writer reviews So Percussion’s recent response to the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting.

Forget Perfection: An Insider’s Guide to Audition Committee Persuasion

Nathan Cole (blog)
The First Associate Concertmaster of the La Phil “What a committee craves is a player who makes their decision easy and enjoyable.”

Arts Diversity: The Quota Conversation

Arts Professional: Christy Romer
Quotas in the arts failed in the 1980s. But now is the time to champion their reintroduction, across workforce and artistic programming, argues Christy Romer in the fifth in a series of articles.

Is Facebook Starting to Take Music Copyright Seriously?

Music Business Worldwide: Tim Ingham
In September, we discovered that Facebook was hiring for a Director of Global Music Rights – a sure sign that the social media behemoth was aiming to shore up its relationships with the entertainment industry. Now, we get another clue about its intentions. Mark Zuckerberg’s company is hiring for a Product Manager with specific music-related duties at its HQ in Menlo Park, CA.


Two Interesting articles from the Arts Journal:

Artists Lay Their Fears at Ivanka Trump’s Door
NY Times: Randy Kennedy
More than 150 artists, curators and gallery workers turned out Monday night to march in front of a Downtown Manhattan building where Ivanka Trump, the future first daughter, has an apartment and is believed to keep some pieces of a notable contemporary collection.

This Ballet Superstar is Making a Dance About Space Travel for the JFK Centennial

Washingtonian: Andrea Marks
Commissioned by Julie Kent—Stiefel’s longtime colleague in American Ballet Theatre’s top ranks and the successor to Septime Webre at the helm of the Washington Ballet—the piece for roughly a dozen dancers, tentatively titled Frontier, premieres in May on a mixed bill at the Kennedy Center, as the city celebrates JFK’s 100th birthday.

As Pittsburgh Symphony Resumes Play, Financial Woes Persist

Trib-Live: Mark Kanny
A shortfall of more than $1.5 million looms for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, even as its musicians resume performances this weekend.

The Met’s Bumpy Road with New Opera

The Washington Post: Anne Midgette
Osvaldo Golijov will not be writing an opera for the Metropolitan Opera. The announcement is causing everyone to refocus on what the Met has and hasn’t done for contemporary opera.

James Booker Was Hands Down the Greatest New Orleans Piano Player Ever

The Daily Beast
A junkie and ex-con, the late James Booker was also the epitome of Crescent City keyboard artistry. A new documentary captures him right down to his glittering eye patch.


In Meeting, Putin Vows to Protect Artistic Freedom in Russia
NY Times: Andrew Kramer
Meddling in the arts by government officials and the Russian Orthodox Church is raising worries over a return of censorship not only to political news, but also to plays, movies and art exhibition.

New .ART Domain Launches With Dozens of Early Adopter Museums and Institutions On Board

ArtNew: Eileen Kinsella
The first internet domain dedicated to the global art community, .ART, is now active and has  more than 60 well-known museums and arts organizations on board, according to a statement from London-based .ART.

Mahler Symphony Score Sells for Record $5.6 Million

Art Daily: Dario Thuburn
The complete score of Gustav Mahler's Second Symphony was sold in London for £4.5 million on Tuesday, a record for a musical manuscript, Sotheby's auction house said.

China Bans All Korean Music and Entertainment

Digital Music News: Daniel Adrian Sanchez
Many Korean music artists, groups, and actors often travel to China. The reason? The country is arguably one of Korea’s most profitable entertainment markets. However, these music artists aren’t immune to the worsening crisis between China and South Korea.


Instagram Rips Off Snapchat with Live Video Launch
Digital Music News: Daniel Adrian Sanchez
Is Instagram becoming more like Snapchat? Or is Snapchat becoming more like Instagram?

Spotify’s March to Monopolize Playlists Continues

Motive Unknown: Tom Packer
It is hard enough to market off-Spotify and drive people to the platform effectively, and there are very limited tools to market on the platform itself. If search is now compromised, so that even once you build organic awareness and activity around an artist that interest is driving traffic to Spotify editorial, rather than the artists releases or artist curated playlists, there is a problem.

How to get music in podcasts (and make money from it… legally)

Digital Music News: Ari Herstand
I was just hit up by Nathan Lively, who runs the podcast Sound Design Live, with a question about how podcasters can get legal music for their shows. Well, since this is intended for musicians, I’m going to go about this the other way.

Report: $2 Million Required to ‘Create’ an Artist Success (In One Market)…

Digital Music News: Daniel Adrian Sanchez
According to a new report released by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, or IFPI, and in association with the World Independent Network, or WIN, music labels invested more than $4.5 billion in both artists and repertoire, or A&R, and marketing in 2015.

The World’s Largest ‘YouTube to MP3’ Converter Appears Dead

Digital Music News: Patrick Courrielche
Philip Matesanz, the intriguing German programmer who created the YouTube to MP3 converter, has yet to respond to a lawsuit filed by the major record labels, a representative of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) tells me. And as of this writing, the site does not seem to be functioning. This could be a major blow to the entire industry of stream ripping.

Music Distribution Veteran Symphonic Distribution Turns 10

Digital Music News: Paul Resnikoff
The average digital music distribution company doesn’t survive two years.  Symphonic Distribution is now celebrating its tenth birthday.


The Daily 360: Rocking Out Backstage With an Opera Star
NY Times Video
Times journalists around the world bring you a new 360 video every day.

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