Magazine article International Musician

Is the AFM Still Relevant to Recording Artists?

Magazine article International Musician

Is the AFM Still Relevant to Recording Artists?

Article excerpt

The current crop of young, aspiring musici ans are, from my experience, the more difficult to reach in terms of joining the AFM, than any generation previous. There are many reasons for this. First of all, we are not the only union that has difficulty recruiting. Unless the potential members are within a closed-shop environment and eager to be under a CBA, young people these days are just not "joiners."

For the AFM, the music industry has literally exploded. Every artist is constantly told they must have a manager, agent, entertainment lawyer, publicist, web designer, graphic artist-the list is endless. All of them are expensive and all target the recording musician. Hence the joke: If you want to play music, don't quit your day job.

At the heart of it all lies the Internet, with its promise of an unlimited exposure, fan base and the ability to "tweet" yourself to a huge profit potential-all without the necessity of being signed to a major label, or joining the AFM for that matter. There is no denying that there have been overnight successes, especially for those who have thought up a new "model," or have been fortunate enough to have a video go viral. But for the vast majority, the reality is quite different

Not so long ago, success hinged upon how good a deal you got from the label-how much upfront money to tour, versus how many albums recorded, how many singles released in how many countries. The label, in most cases, did a fairly good job managing the artist's copyright. Under contract law, the AFM was able to secure for the artist session payments, pension, special payments, and new use. …

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