"We don’t need to figure out how to optimize the current publishing infrastructure," says Meddling founder Travis Rosenblatt. "We need a new one for the world we live in now."
Performing rights organizations turned 170 years old on Feb. 28 this year. I forgot to get them something, but they pocket billions of dollars of songwriters' royalties each year, so let's call it even.
Their jobs used to be difficult and local: they had to do things like go door-to-door collecting fees from cafes and crash weddings to monitor for unlicensed performances. Today, more than 98% of repertoire usage is reported digitally. Streaming has catapulted the industry into handling trillions of micro-transactions, and while the onset of digitization imposed obvious technology costs, songwriters should have long ago started benefiting from its improved efficiency. Yet, collection fees have continued to rise in terms of actual dollars and we’ve completely forfeited the potential benefits of globalization due to legacy back scratching.