“The Devil You Don’t Know: Artists & Direct Deals” at the SXSW Music Conference

Major labels and publishers tout the benefits of “direct deals” and “free market rates.” But are they telling artists the whole story? While it’s possible that direct deals might lead to higher rates, it’s just as likely that the opposite will occur, as rightsholders rush to undercut one another. Artists would cede leverage to just a handful of powerful industry players, with no guarantee bigger paydays. At a time where we desperately need more transparency, are direct deals a step in the opposite direction? We’ll examine the issues at play in Washington DC, and in the marketplace and what they might mean for the most important players in the space: music creators.

Casey Rae, CEO, Future of Music Coalition

Vickie Naumann, CrossBorderWorks
Simon Dennett, Kobalt Music
Keith Bernstein, CEO, Royalty Review Council