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June 25, 2014 |CEO's Corner

RIAA CEO Sherman Urges Simplified Licensing System

Touts Contribution of Major Labels In New Report

The House Judiciary this morning convenes a second subcommittee hearing on music licensing.  Cary Sherman, CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), will testify.  In his opening testimony, Sherman calls for a series of reforms, including:

  • Grant a broadcast performance right for sound recordings
  • Make sure artists who recorded before 1972 are paid
  • Allow rights to be bundled and administered together
  • Create an across-the-board market-based rate standard
  • Consider a one-stop shop for musical work licenses

He also touts a new report from the RIAA, submitted to the committee on Tuesday:  “Labels At Work:  The Music Business In The Digital Age.”   In his testimony, he cited some of the new facts and figures unveiled in the report:

In the process of embracing digital distribution, record labels have revolutionized the business, streamlining their operations and allocating a higher proportion of their revenues to investing in artist career development. Record labels provide the investment on which everyone in the music value chain depends, “seeding” the entire music ecosystem with $20 billion in U.S. talent investment – including artists, songwriters and music publishers – in just the last decade (and that’s just from the major labels). The majors also invested an additional $6 billion over the same period to market recordings in the U.S.

And even in tough times, our investments in creators have been significant. As a percentage of U.S. net sales revenue, over the last decade major label payments for artist advances and royalties have increased by 36% and mechanical royalties for songwriters and music publishers have increased by 44%.