Musician and activist Blake Morgan attended the MMF’s first meeting in New York and reported back to Music Technology Policy about what the burning issues were.

He said between 40 and 50 managers were in attendance and raised a highly quizzical eyebrow when he said the “only seemingly tangible theme to the meeting was to inform us all how terrific Spotify is”.

He provides a capsule review of what panelists were saying about Spotify (“Spotify is the best product ever”, “It’s so frustrating that artists don’t understand [how great Spotify is]”, “The question is will artists be willing to take a short term loss for long term gain?”), but he took a step back from it all and suggested that managers were at risk of being caught up in the hype and missing the wider issues here.

“The kool-aid narrative of ‘Spotify and streaming actually pays all this money, but it never gets to artists because of evil labels’ was pervasive,” he said. “Transparency to them, it seems, doesn’t include the understanding that labels can’t pay artists money that never comes in from services in the first place.”

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