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Behind The Record + Advocacy: Moving Music Creators To The Front
"Just as album credits are essential for inspiring and educating listeners with information about their favorite recordings, they are also a critical first step in ensuring those credited are paid proper royalties." –Conversations In Advocacy #67
The tide is shifting in the music industry, and album credits are officially back. Today the Recording Academy launches Behind The Record, a global social media initiative to bring the names of producers, engineers, songwriters, composers and other collaborators who worked on the record to the front.
For many music professionals, album credits played a key role in their inspiration to work in the music field. Most music makers flipped over a vinyl record cover or thumbed through a CD booklet to find out exactly who made the sounds that moved them. But with the advent of streaming, this critical information was lost in favor of convenience of on-demand anywhere listening.
Behind The Record leads the surge to put this information back in the hands of the fans. Supporters of the initiative further prove the resurrection of album credits is here to stay and include on line database Jaxta, and streaming service Tidal, and internet radio service Pandora, who has also added song credits to their platforms.
This exciting new movement underscores the tireless, year-round work the Recording Academy Advocacy team to fight for music creators' rights on Capitol Hill. Just as album credits are essential to inspiring and educating listeners with information about their favorite recordings, they are also critical in ensuring those credited are paid proper royalties.
Credits have been a casualty of the digital age, for all that we gained with streaming we lost in the opportunity for recognition and even discovery. @RecordingAcad's #BehindTheRecord champions all professional music creators. Learn more: https://t.co/o864t2gFLx #GiveCredit pic.twitter.com/PKtEiq5iAc
— GRAMMY Advocacy (@GRAMMYAdvocacy) October 25, 2019
But album credits are only the first step in the process. Next, our laws must reflect what’s needed in digital world and that all creators on a track are able to get fair compensation. Through our Advocacy work in concert with the Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing
Specifically, the Allocation For Music Producers (AMP) Act, introduced last year to codify into law the way producers and engineers are paid for their work, "mark[ed] the first time U.S. legislation would protect the rights of the studio professionals who help create the essence of the recordings we love," according to Daryl Friedman, Chief Industry, Government, & Member Relations Officer for the Recording Academy. With bipartisan support in Washington and support from studio professionals across the industry, the AMP Act was included in the historic Music Modernization Act (MMA), which has benefitted songwriters, artists and studio professionals immensely since being passed one year ago.
The MMA also requires a comprehensive database to be built and managed by the Mechanical Licensing Collective that will be inclusive of the many creatives who contribute to a song. The fight for the landmark legislation and its ultimate passing into law also helps boost fair compensation for the behind-the-scenes songwriters and backing musicians and vocalists, proving that Advocacy works.
— GRAMMY Advocacy (@GRAMMYAdvocacy) October 16, 2019
So as we celebrate the return of album credits with the launch of Behind The Record, we are reminded of the important role lawmakers play in building a better future for music. Earlier this month, nearly 2,000 members of the Recording Academy met with their local members of Congress during District Advocate day to do just that.
It can be a long road from the moment inspiration strikes a music maker to the moment royalties land in their band account. Shouldn't every creator be entitled to credit for their work? Shouldn't our laws protect and support them to ensure they are fairly compensated for their work? Today, as we celebrate Behind The Record and the work of the Recording Academy's Advocacy efforts, we answer proudly: absolutely.