If you've been following FMC's work, you've no doubt heard us talk about the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) — a forward-looking non-profit organization that represents a broad coalition of independent labels.
A2IM has gone to bat on a number of important issues, including making commercial radio friendlier to independent artists — an effort FMC wholeheartedly supports. In fact, we recently collaborated with A2IM on a report about how indie labels are still having difficulty getting airplay on commercial radio a year after the "Rules of Engagement" with major station groups. (These voluntary agreements were a result of 2006-2007 payola investigations; for more info see our Payola Education Guide.)
On January 15, A2IM President Rich Bengloff published "An Indie Music Memo to the FCC: We Need a Level Playing Field Too" at the Huffington Post. The article calls on the Commission to recognize the indie sector's contribution to the music economy (around 30 percent of all domestic music sold), and says that access to the digital marketplace is crucial to indie artists and labels. That means net neutrality — the principle that protects the open internet — must be preserved. (For more info on net neutrality and the music community, visit FMC's Rock the Net page.)
Bengloff also underscores the need to properly compensate musicians for their creative efforts:
Everyone who embraces the digital model now has access to a global market and can compete. Intellectual Property in general, and music specifically, are big contributors to our economy -- and to our culture. Making certain that open and fair access to market is maintained while supporting fair compensation for the use of music is the worthwhile and achievable goal.
That pretty much hits the nail on the head. Achieving this goal isn't exactly easy, but you can count on groups like A2IM and FMC to keep working towards it nonetheless. You could say the future of music depends on it!