Pennies From The Celestial Jukebox

SXSW panel reviews

Ballroom Dancing
Photo by John Anderson

Pennies From The Celestial Jukebox

Austin Convention Center, Friday, March 16

As the first royalty checks rolled in from the launch of Spotify and other music streaming services, many artists were left wondering what happened to the promise of the cloud. The answer, not surprisingly, is complicated, as evidenced by the volume of South by Southwest panels this year trying to decipher digital streaming rights, royalties, and repercussions. Digging into the data from invoices of the artists they represent, the Pennies panel still waxed optimistic for the potential payoff as these nascent services scale with more subscribers and plays. "It's a different game now, a different world, and a different math," stressed R.E.M. manager Bertis Downs, noting that the streaming market is one of accumulated fractions over time. While all saw potential in the long run for streams to generate revenue comparable to paid downloads, major labels were still the scapegoats among the panelists for the tightly sealed deals cut with the streaming companies. The pervasive theme of all the discussions this week has been preventing artists getting lost in that digital black box, emphasizing the need for better rights registries to facilitate payment. The next decade will be a battle to determine whether the new boss is the same as the old boss.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Doug Freeman
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

Oct. 23, 2020

New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

Oct. 16, 2020



One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle