a 2 i m

A2IM Monthly Digest– Nov/Dec 2023


  • A2IM Holiday Parties 🎉

    Huge thanks to our members for joining us at our holiday parties in Los Angeles and in NYC! We loved seeing you IRL and hope you had a great time! Special thanks to The Gold Line, Stones Throw Records, and Armada Music for helping us organize and host the shindigs. Shoutout to Waterloo Sparkling Water and Deep Eddy Vodka for sponsoring our bevvies!

Photos by Eric Cunningham
  • Export & International Opps 🌏

    A2IM organized a second trade mission to Saudi Arabia which took place in early December 2023. Lisa Hresko, A2IM’s General Manager, traveled to Saudi Arabia with representatives from A2IM member companies. Via our MDCP (Market Development Cooperators Program) US Government Grant, A2IM met with a representative from the U.S. Department of Commerce/ITA (International Trade Administration) in Saudi Arabia. The representative provided first hand information on how to do music business in the Kingdom. The delegation also attended a pretty cool music conference, in Riyadh, called XP Music Futures

Updates 🙌

  • Advocacy
    • US President of Beggars Group & A2IM Board Member, Nabil Ayers, wrote an Op-Ed on the Luminate independent retail store situation that was published in Music Business Worldwide.
    • Many direct conversations are being had with Luminate, the independent retail coalitions, the Music Business Association and others to try to find a solution to the issue of the vast majority of independent retail store sales not being counted. 
    • AI Filing – A2IMs Reply Comments filed in conjunction with the Recording Academy and the RIAA asserting that AI uses of copyrighted material must be licensed. Read the full filing here
    • Bipartisan ticketing bill the Fans First Act: A bipartisan group of senators proposed the Fans First Act to reform the ticketing marketplaces. Backed by music industry associations such as the American Association of Independent Music, National Independent Venue Association, National Independent Talent Organization, the Recording Academy, and the Recording Industry Association of America, the bill aims to increase transparency, ban speculative sales, tackle bots, enhance consumer protections, and establish enforcement mechanisms for violations. Ticket resellers criticized the legislation.
    • Template agreement conversations for live recording sessions at non-comm radio stations continue.
    • A2IM has been named as an advisor to the Music Industry Climate Collective (MICC). MICC is looking to A2IM to assist with a number of issues, beginning with recommendations on how best to include small-to-medium-sized businesses by connecting the indies’ critical perspective to the initiative.
  • A2IM Publishing Council
    • This newly created group held its second meeting, and its overall goal is to optimize publishing holdings for A2IM member labels.
  • Industry Updates
    • Spotify Payment Plan
      Spotify is currently working with all recorded licensing partners to finalize the a new Payment Plan that aims to drive an estimated $1B to emerging and professional artists. Spotify aims to implement it in early 2024. Spotify will share the timing when it’s finalized.
    • Important notice:  New mechanical rates for 2024 announced by CRB
      Last year, the Copyright Royalty Board adopted new mechanical rates for physical products and downloads.  These rates were the result of a settlement between the major record companies and the NMPA – a settlement reached after the CRB rejected those parties’ initial settlement, which would have kept rates at the same level as the prior term.  A2IM strenuously opposed the new settlement; you can read our comments here:  https://app.crb.gov/document/download/26934

      Under the new settlement, the CRB immediately increased the mechanical rates for 2023 to 12 cents per physical download and permanent download, or 2.31 cents per minute of playing time, whichever is larger – an increase of more than 30%.  In addition, for every subsequent year in the term, the rates are adjusted for inflation – as measured by the CPI-U and reported in November of each year.  The Federal Register notice announcing these rates can be found here:  https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2022-12-16/pdf/2022-27237.pdf

      Last week, the CRB announced the new rates for 2024, reflecting the adjustment for inflation.  These are effective as of January 1, 2024.  In 2024, the new mechanical rates will be 12.4 cents per copy or 2.39 cents per minute of playing time.  The official announcement can be found here:https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2023/12/12/2023-27290/cost-of-living-adjustment-to-royalty-rates-and-terms-for-making-and-distributing-phonorecords

About A2IM:
A2IM is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit trade organization headquartered in New York City that exists to support and strengthen the independent recorded music sector. Membership currently includes a broad coalition of more than 700 Independently-owned American music labels. A2IM represents these independently owned small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) interests in the marketplace, in the media, on Capitol Hill, and as part of the global music community. In doing so, it supports a key segment of America’s creative class that represents America’s diverse musical cultural heritage. Billboard Magazine identified the Independent music label sector as 37.32 percent of the music industry’s U.S. recorded music sales market in 2016 based on copyright ownership, making Independent labels collectively the largest music industry sector.

Learn more about A2IM here.
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