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MANAGERS DIVIDE AND UNITE

Managers across Europe have united under one pan European body, the European Music Manager Alliance (EMMA), to have a louder collective voice when it comes to protecting the rights of artists in today’s music business. In doing so, it has created a rival body to the International Music Managers Forum (IMMF) which has responded to the news with a meme.

At a launch in London Wednesday night organised by the U.K.'s Music Managers Forum, managers from the U.K., Finland, Poland, Norway and Sweden discussed issues they’d like to see addressed under EMMA. Those included changes brought about by Brexit, licensing deals for new revenue streams, the lack of ad revenue generated on Spotify’s free tier that makes its way to the artist, the limited amount of data managers have access to from platforms like Apple Music, as well as little transparency around the way PROs operate in each territory. 

In total, EMMA will collectively represent more than 800 managers across Europe, and another 600 worldwide. The organisation’s inaugural chair will be Keith Harris and all founder members will nominate representatives to the board. 

“The manager has become more central to today’s music business—20 years ago, the major labels ruled with an iron first and there was not a great deal of flexibility in the way deals were done,” Harris said at the launch. 

“Current conversations are lacking the manager’s voice. The majors have agreed to distribute [the money earned from the sale of Spotify stock] to artists, but that’s up for debate, and you’d think there would have been an upfront conversation about how that is going to take place. One of the reasons that hasn’t happened is because people need to know who to talk to.

“There’s an alliance of music managers who don’t feel we can wait until the European exit has sorted itself out. We need to start talking now. We need to make sure manager's voices get heard otherwise our artist's lives are going to get increasingly difficult. The primary aim of EMMA is to get our voices heard properly across Europe.”

The IMMF, which reps managers from across 50 countries, isn’t happy about the news. They issued a statement: “This new initiative from MMF U.K. adds confusion and IMMF regrets that the initiative was taken without any consultation. IMMF believes this is counter-productive in our efforts to best defend the interests of artists we represent, in particular before European institutions.” Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?

 

 

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