Come Together: Why Songwriters Should Support the Music Modernization Act

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Songwriters of North America founding member Adam Gorgoni makes a case why the creative community should back the legislation.

It's no secret that the advent of digital technology has caused massive upheaval in the music business. Initially, at the turn of the century, due to Napster and file "sharing" services, revenue shrunk dramatically and for all of the players in the industry -- record labels, artists, publishers and songwriters alike -- it's hard to compete with free.

More recently, things have begun looking up. With the arrival of digital streaming, a new paradigm for how people consume music is evolving and revenue has begun to climb again. Record companies are posting record quarterly profits. Indeed, things have been looking up -- for everyone, that is, except songwriters. For example, of every dollar Spotify paid out to creators in 2017, approximately 81 percent went to labels and artists… only 19 percent to writers and publishers, according to Billboard estimates. This is inequitable and unsustainable.

Fortunately, there is legislation currently moving through Congress that seeks to address the systemic problems facing songwriters whether independent or signed to publishers. It's part of the Music Modernization Act (or MMA) and we at Songwriters of North America (SONA) believe that if it passes, it will significantly improve our ability to collect our fair share of revenue in the digital marketplace going forward.

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