Latin Music Week

D.C. Musical Map: Navigating Music Row in the Nation's Capital

A.E. Kieren

The music industry has always had its power hubs, be it the Brill Building in 1960s’ New York or Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip in the ’80s. Today, many of the important decisions concerning streaming, creators’ rights and other aspects of the digital music business are being made in a square-mile area of Washington, D.C., neighboring the White House and the Capitol. Call it “Washington’s Music Row,” as several executives from the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) at 975 F St. already do. How music will live online in the future — and how it will work for and with labels, publishers and artists — may very well be determined in these few blocks.

1. The Recording Academy
(529 14th St. NW)

The organization that puts on the Grammys advocates for music creators from an office in the National Press Building.

(1025 F St. NW)

The major labels’ D.C. mouthpiece. The organization’s biggest issue in 2016 is the “value grab” — policies that let some companies pay little or nothing to use recorded music.

3. Sony Music
(1025 F St. NW)

The second-largest of the three major labels has its D.C. office on the same floor as the RIAA.

(975 F St. NW)

Representing music publishers, it’s now lobbying against the Justice Department’s new interpretation
of the ASCAP and BMI antitrust consent decrees.

5. SoundExchange
(733 10th St. NW)

A nonprofit that collects and distributes Internet and satellite radio royalties to labels and performers.

6. Universal Music Group
(701 Eighth St. NW)

The largest of the majors appointed Eric Berman as its chief lobbyist/head of public policy in 2015.


This article originally appeared in the Sept. 24 issue of Billboard.