Knowledge Bank

news category created 17 June 2014 written by Mick Glossop

Producers’ Income & The Future of Record Production

The massive reduction in sales of recorded music has had the effect of not only reducing the personal income of those who traditionally benefitted from it, i.e. artists, record producers, publishers, managers and record companies, but has also fed back into the financial structure and reduced the amount of money invested in record production; recording budgets are much lower than 5-10 years ago.

Thus, recording producers are hit at both ends; reduced budgets means lower advances, and reduced sales means lower royalties.

Artists have, to a limited extent, been able to compensate for this loss by increasing the number of live performances, but record producers (and, it should be noted, non-performing song-writers) have no such comparable option.

As record producers’ overall income has decreased, they have been forced to try to seek ways of achieving financial benefit from other, associated, sources, e.g. a share of an artists’ publishing, sync, PPL, PRS income.

So far, this has been negotiated on an individual basis, but there is an opportunity for the MPG to play a major role in helping those individuals achieve greater success in this area.

The MPG can, and in my opinion should, embark on a pro-active campaign, using public debate (via the website and social media), the press, and public events like Q-Time, to broadcast the issue, enlighten those who are unaware, and create a climate of understanding that record production, as a valuable and creative source to the benefit of recording artists, should be supported and cultivated in the face of financial compromise.

The MPG should adopt a responsibility for supporting individual record producers not only in general, but also in particular, over this issue of diminishing income streams. Mounting a campaign of public awareness will create a climate of sympathy towards this issue, and make it much easier for individual producers to negotiate better terms as a basis for their relationships with artists and recording companies.

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