Senior VP of Latin membership, ASCAP
In a year in which the music business in general has changed dramatically and sales in the Latin music business have continued to sharply decline, Alexandra Lioutikoff's biggest challenge in her role at ASCAP has been educating certain sectors on the value of songwriters' contributions "and convincing them that songwriters should not have to give away their songs, or part of their rights of authorship, to be able to make a living from their art," she says.
The goal underscores the clout of songwriters and collecting societies in a time of dwindling sales. Performances of ASCAP songs have "definitely increased in the past year," says Lioutikoff, thanks in part to new signings like Claudia Brant, Lucero and Noel Schajris; a growing number of Spanish-language radio stations; and an increasing number of Latin songs performed in mainstream media. Aside from increasing royalty payments, Lioutikoff has reinforced ASCAP's relationships with foreign performance rights organizations-including Panama's SPAC, Cuba's ACDAM, the Dominican Republic's SGACEDOM, Colombia's SAYCO and Mexico's SACM-and developed new creative opportunities for her writers. These include regular showcases in ASCAP's Latin markets, including Puerto Rico, New York, Miami and Texas. And, Lioutikoff says, "I am really excited about our Song Camps, which we expanded to give our writers multigenre collaboration opportunities that created cuts for several different albums."