Last night we held our ‘I Can See Clearly Now: Transparency in the Digital Age’ debate in London. Among the speakers were manager Brian Message, who made a call for managers and artists to be more involved in digital dealmaking – citing the rumoured $1bn that YouTube is paying to major labels for its upcoming subscription service as a prime example. “As artists and managers we don’t have access to that information, or know how that billion dollars is going to be split up. At some point we have to rely on the people doing those deals to look after our interests. That, for us, may be a little tricky,” he said, choosing his words carefully. “There is definitely a scepticism within the management industry about whether the best deals are being done. If labels are pulling out hundreds of millions of dollars of advances, is that the right thing to be done? Is that in the best interests of the long term of the industry?” And he delivered a politely-worded threat. “It’s time for us as a management community… to step up and get involved and we have to start driving some rules in terms of how to shape the future. If we can’t drive those rules internally, we’re going to have to seek some kind of legal solution.” For full reports from the event, read our two liveblog posts linked below.

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