Transcript: Musicians in an Age of Digital Disruption | Jul 10, 2018

Nam sits in the studio. She's in her early forties, with shoulder length curly brown hair. She's wearing glasses and a black blazer over a white shirt, and a pearl necklace.

A caption on screen reads "Musicians in an age of digital disruption. Nam Kiwanuka, @namshine, @theagenda."

NAM says MUSIC HAS NEVER BEEN MORE
AVAILABLE, ACCESSIBLE, OR
ABUNDANT THAN IT IS TODAY.
MUCH OF THAT IS THANKS TO OUR
DIGITAL AGE.
BUT THAT HASN'T TRANSLATED INTO
GREAT NEWS FOR ALL MUSICIANS.
MIRANDA MULHOLLAND KNOWS THE
REALITIES FIRST HAND.
SHE'S AN INCREDIBLY VERSATILE
AND ACCOMPLISHED MUSICIAN,
RECORD LABEL CREATOR, AND
FESTIVAL ORGANIZER.
AND IT'S A PLEASURE TO WELCOME
HER TO OUR STUDIO TO EXPLAIN.

Miranda is in her thirties, with long curly bright ginger hair. She's wearing a black T-shirt that with an image of brass knuckles and the words "Kensington Market."

Nam says LOTS OF THINGS.
YOU WEAR MANY HATS.

Miranda says I DO.

NAM SAYS BUT I GUESS IN
THIS DAY AND AGE, FOR MUSICIANS
YOU HAVE TO.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE EVERYTHING?

The caption changes to "Miranda Mulholland. Musician."

Miranda says WELL, THERE'S A LOT
OF... [LAUGHING]... THERE'S A LOT OF
TIME SORT OF ORGANIZING MY TIME,
IN A DAY-TO-DAY WAY.
BUT IF... I FIND THAT BECAUSE
EVERYTHING SORT OF FLOWS INTO
EVERYTHING ELSE, THE LABEL, THE
FESTIVAL, MY OWN WORK AS A
SOLOIST AND IN BANDS, THERE IS A
MARRIAGE OF ALL OF THEM SO THAT
THERE'S SORT OF A NATURAL
ORGANIC PROGRESSION TO MY DAY
WHERE IT DOES LEAD INTO ALL
THESE THINGS BUT CERTAINLY
SCHEDULING IS DIFFICULT.

Nam says WELL, I WANT TO SHOW PEOPLE AT
HOME YOU IN YOUR ELEMENT AS A
MUSICIAN.
LET'S TAKE A LOOK.

A clip plays on screen in which Miranda and a man in his fifties perform in a park. She plays a violin as the man plays an acoustic guitar and sings.

He sings
GOOD NIGHT IN HEAVEN WITH
ALL THE SIX CONCESSIONS,
WITH THEE...

Miranda joins and they sing
YOU KNOW I FOUND YOU WHERE I
HOPED I LOST YOU
YOU KNOW I WANT YOU TO FIND
YOUR WAY TO ME
BUT I WANTED NOTHING SO I GOT
NOTHING
BUT IT TURNED INTO SOMETHING
AND I MADE MYSELF FREE

The clip ends.

Nam says AND THERE YOU ARE WITH HARROW FAIR.
WHAT'S IT LIKE TO BE IN THAT
ELEMENT... IN YOUR ELEMENT,
PERFORMING AND SINGING.

Miranda says WELL, THIS PARTICULAR BAND IS
ONE OF THE BEST MUSICAL
COLLABORATIONS THAT I'VE EVER
HAD OVER THE COURSE OF MY
15-YEAR CAREER.
I'VE BEEN A SIDE PERSON SO I'VE
PLAYED WITH GROUPS LIKE GREAT
LAKE SWIMMERS AND JIM CUDDY,
ALAN DOYLE, AMONG OTHERS BUT
THIS ONE IS A REAL EQUAL
PARTNERSHIP SO ANDREW PENNER,
WHO IS THE OTHER HALF OF HARROW
FAIR, HE PLAYS DRUMS, AS YOU
SAW, AND GUITAR AND EVERYTHING ELSE.
AND I GO THROUGH MY AMP WITH MY
FIDDLE AND SING.
I MEAN, IT'S A REALLY...

NAM SAYS YOU SEEM REALLY HAPPY.

Miranda says REALLY EQUAL PARTNERSHIP.

Nam says BUT YOU SEEM HAPPY WHEN YOU'RE
MAKING MUSIC.

Miranda says OH YEAH, THERE'S NOTHING BETTER
THAN THE ACTUAL ART OF
PERFORMING, I FIND, YEAH.

Nam says SO WITH DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY,
WE'VE ALL BEEN UNDER THE
IMPRESSION THAT DIGITIZATION HAS
DEMOCRATIZED THE PROCESS OF A
LOT OF INDUSTRIES, INCLUDING MUSIC. HAS IT?

Miranda says WELL THAT WAS THE PROMISE WHEN
THE DIGITAL ERA WAS ON THE
FOREFRONT AND IT HAS NOT COME TO
PASS IN SUCH A WAY.
THE DEMOCRATIZATION, SURE,
PEOPLE CAN MAKE ALBUMS IN THEIR
BEDROOMS NOW.
THERE'S A LOT MORE AVAILABLE.
WE'VE NEVER HAD SO MUCH CONTENT
EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD
AS THERE IS NOW.
BUT UNFORTUNATELY, THAT'S JUST
LED TO MORE MIDDLE MEN RATHER THAN...

NAM SAYS ELIMINATING THE MIDDLE MEN.

Miranda says WELL, EXACTLY, YEAH.

Nam says SO THE MIDDLE MAN BEFORE WAS THE
RECORD LABEL.

Miranda says THAT WAS ONE OF THEM, YEAH, YEAH.

NAM SAYS BUT NOW?

The caption changes to "Miranda Mulholland. Roaring Girl Records."

Miranda says WELL NOW, INSTEAD OF THE RECORD
LABEL, WHICH ACTUALLY HAS A
FOUNDATION AND AN AMPLIFIER AND
SOMETHING SET UP IN ORDER TO GET
YOUR MUSIC OUT THERE AND HEARD,
NOW THERE'S JUST A FLOOD OF
CONTENT AS WELL AND FEWER TASTE
MAKERS.
I MEAN, WE DON'T HAVE AS MANY
PEOPLE ACTUALLY WRITING ABOUT
MUSIC WITH ANY KIND OF...

NAM SAYS REALLY?

Miranda says WELL, LOOK AT ALL THE ART
SECTIONS THAT ARE BEING CUT FROM
NEWSPAPERS ACROSS THE BOARD.
I MEAN, FOR INSTANCE, THEY'RE
TAKING FROM ARTS AND
ENTERTAINMENT NOW.
IT'S ENTERTAINMENT AND SPORT.
I MEAN, THERE JUST AREN'T AS
MANY WORKING JOURNALISTS.

Nam says WELL, LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT THE
HISTORY OF THIS DIGITAL DISRUPTION.

MIRANDA MULHOLLAND SAYS UH HMM.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "A timeline of digital disruption."

Nam reads data from the slate and says
SO IN 1996, THE WORLD
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
ORGANIZATION HAD THE COPYRIGHT
TREATIES DRAFTED IN RESPONSE TO
INCREASED DIGITIZATION.
IN 1998... WOW... GOOGLE
WAS INCORPORATED.
1999, NAPSTER, AND OTHER
PEER-TO-PEER SHARING
SERVICES APPEARED ONLINE.
2001, THE IPOD IS INTRODUCED.
I REMEMBER THIS.

[LAUGHTER]

Nam says 2003, APPLE OPENS
THE ITUNES MUSIC STORE.
2005, YOUTUBE IS LAUNCHED AND
2008, SPOTIFY IS LAUNCHED.
HOW HAVE THESE DIGITAL
MILESTONES CHANGED THE MUSIC INDUSTRY?

The caption changes to "Streaming killed the radio star."

Miranda says WELL, WE'VE SEEN A SHARP EROSION
OF REVENUE SO FOR THE SAME THING
THAT... IF I HAD CREATED A SONG
AND WORKED WITH A PRODUCER TO
PUT IT OUT, PAID ALL MY
MUSICIANS, PAID THE PRODUCER,
THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT I'M
MAKING NOW IS WILDLY LESS THAN
WHAT I WOULD BE MAKING 20 YEARS
AGO BEFORE THE DIGITAL
DISRUPTION AND I'M NOT AGAINST
CHANGE AND THE GREAT
THING... THERE ARE A LOT OF GREAT
THINGS ABOUT THE DIGITAL
DISRUPTION AND DISRUPTION IN
GENERAL, I THINK, WE NEED IT IN
ORDER TO MOVE FORWARD.
BUT...

Nam says BUT YOU'RE MAKING LESS MONEY NOW
BECAUSE...

Miranda says RADICALLY LESS MONEY, YES.

NAM SAYS BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE NOT
BUYING MUSIC OR... ?

Miranda says PEOPLE ARE NOT BUYING MUSIC.
I MEAN, WE HAVE THE, AS YOU SAW,
NAPSTER AND PIRATED MUSIC.
THE VALUE OF MUSIC HAS GONE DOWN.
PEOPLE... EVEN THOUGH PEOPLE CAN
HAVE, YOU KNOW, ON YOUR PHONE,
YOU HAVE ANY SONG THAT YOU WANT
IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD, FOR, IF
YOU PAID FOR IT LIKE 9.99 BUT
WE STILL HAVE SEEN THIS... THE
CREATORS GET LESS AND LESS AND
LESS OF THIS REVENUE.

Nam says AND HOW HAS THIS AFFECTED YOU PERSONALLY?

Miranda says WELL, IT'S BEEN INTERESTING
'CAUSE I ENTERED THE... I ENTERED
THE MARKETPLACE AS A SMALL
BUSINESS... I MEAN, EVERY MUSICIAN
IS A SMALL BUSINESS... IN 1999.
SO A REALLY BAD TIME TO START
BEING A PROFESSIONAL MUSICIAN.
BUT I WAS STILL SEEING HOW
THE... HOW... WHAT HAD COME BEFORE ME.
SO I WAS IN PARTS OF BANDS THAT
HAD HAD THE BENEFITS OF ACTUALLY
SELLING RECORDS AND MAKING MONEY
FROM THEIR WORK.
AND SO, I HAVE NOTICED DWINDLING
ALBUM SALES.
THERE'S A MARKETPLACE THAT'S
JUST FLOODED WITH CONTENT SO
THERE'S AN EXHAUSTION.
I MEAN, PEOPLE TALK ABOUT THE
NETFLIX EFFECT BUT I DON'T SEE
IT SO MUCH AS THE NETFLIX
EFFECT, WHICH MEANS THAT PEOPLE
AREN'T GOING OUT AS MUCH CAUSE
THEY CAN STAY HOME.
BUT I THINK IT'S A SYMPTOM OF
JUST BEING OVERWHELMED WITH
CONTENT.

Nam says SO YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT TO CHOOSE.

Miranda says YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT TO CHOOSE.
I MEAN, IF YOU SEE THAT THERE'S
A CONCERT GOING ON AT MASSEY
HALL, OR YOU CAN SEE TEN OTHER
BANDS THE SAME NIGHT, THERE'S A
COMEDY SHOW, THERE'S A... YOU CAN
GO TO A MOVIE.
THERE IS SORT OF AN EXHAUSTION I
THINK, OF JUST, WELL,
"I'LL JUST STAY HOME
AND YOU KNOW..."

Nam says CHILL.

Miranda says CHILL, YEAH.

[NAM LAUGHING]

Miranda says AND YOU KNOW, IT'S TOO BAD.
I MEAN, I THINK THAT, YOU KNOW,
PHILOSOPHICALLY, THAT'S
CHALLENGING AND I THINK THAT
THAT'S SORT OF... IT'S SOMETHING
THAT CULTURALLY WE'LL HAVE TO
ADDRESS BUT... BUT CERTAINLY
AFFECTS ME GREATLY, YEAH.

Nam says BUT I THINK SOME PEOPLE WOULD
ARGUE THAT, YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE
CERTAIN ARTISTS LIKE THE DRAKES,
THE JUSTIN BIEBERS, SHAWN
MENDES, THEY'VE BEEN ABLE TO
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS DIGITAL
DISRUPTION AND ACTUALLY PROBABLY
BEEN MORE SUCCESSFUL THAN IF IT
HADN'T EXISTED IN THE FIRST PLACE.
SO WHY DOES IT WORK FOR SOME
ARTISTS AND NOT OTHERS?

Miranda says WELL, THE WAY THAT THE BUSINESS
MODELS ARE STRUCTURED WITH
SOMETHING LIKE SPOTIFY IS, IT'S
BASED ON MARKET SHARE.
SO IF I PUT OUT A RECORD THE
SAME MONTH AS DRAKE AND MY ALBUM
WAS SPUN A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF
TIMES OR STREAMED ON THIS
PLATFORM, BECAUSE DRAKE WOULD
HAVE SUCH WILDLY HIGHER
STREAMING NUMBERS AS A MORE
POPULAR AND MORE MAINSTREAM
ARTIST, ONE WOULD ARGUE, HIS
PER-STREAM NUMBER WOULD BE
HIGHER THAN MINE.
SO IT'S NOT... THERE'S NOT A
GENERAL, YOU KNOW, IF YOU MADE A
RECORD AND I MADE A RECORD,
OUR... WHAT WE GOT PAID WOULD NOT
BE THE SAME.

Nam says AND DO YOU THINK TOO THAT, YOU
KNOW, IN MUSIC, THERE'S SO MANY
LABELS AND I DON'T WANT TO LABEL
YOUR MUSIC.
BUT DO YOU THINK THAT BECAUSE
DRAKE HAS PLAYED ON RADIO, THAT
THAT BENEFITS THOSE ARTISTS?

Miranda says OH, OF COURSE.
I MEAN, JUST IN TERMS OF BEING A
MORE MAINSTREAM ARTIST WOULD
BENEFIT HIM.
THE WAY THAT THE ALGORITHMS
WORK, THE MORE TIMES YOU'RE
PLAYED, THE MORE LIKELY IT WILL
BE THAT YOU ARE PLAYED AT RANDOM.
YOU KNOW, THAT'S HOW IT WORKS SO
AGAIN, IT'S THAT MARKET SHARE
BUSINESS MODEL THAT PUTS THE
FRINGE, THE NICHE ARTISTS AT RISK.
AND YOU KNOW, SPEAKING AS A
NICHE ARTIST, I MEAN, MY FIRST
BAND WAS A TOTALLY UNPOPULAR
JAZZ CABARET OPERA, YOU KNOW,
NOIR THING.
THAT'S PRETTY NICHE.

Nam says BUT I'M THINKING YOU'D BE
REACHING A LOT OF DIFFERENT
PEOPLE 'CAUSE YOUR...

[MIRANDA LAUGHING]

Nam says SO MANY CATEGORIES, RIGHT?

Miranda says ONE WOULD THINK BUT IT'S SADLY NOT.
IT'S IN THE PAST BUT THE THING
IS THAT YOU KNOW, THE ARGUMENT
IS MADE, WELL, YOU CAN REACH THE
PEOPLE WHO LIKE JAZZ CABARET
NOIR.
THOSE FIVE PEOPLE AROUND THE
WORLD.

[NAM LAUGHING]

Nam says YOU CAN NOW FIND THEM ON THE
INTERNET.

Miranda says WELL, YOU CAN BUT BECAUSE IT'S A
NICHE AND IT'S BEING STREAMED
LESS AND LESS, THE LESS IT GETS
STREAMED, THE LESS LIKELY IT
IS... YOUR ABILITY TO FIND THOSE
PEOPLE IS GREATLY DIMINISHED.

Nam says AND SO THE WAY THAT SPOTIFY
WORKS IS THAT THEY GIVE A
CERTAIN PERCENTAGE TO THE LABELS
AND THEN THE LABELS GIVE THE
ARTISTS A CERTAIN PERCENTAGE OF THAT MONEY?

Miranda says WELL, IT DEPENDS ON HOW YOU'RE SET UP.
SO MYSELF, I HAVE A BOUTIQUE
RECORD LABEL AND I HAVE 10
ARTISTS ON MY LABEL.
AND I GET, THROUGH MY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY,
THEY FUNNEL THE STREAMING
INCOME, WHICH IS A BIT,
QUITE RISIBLE, TO ME, AND I
GIVE IT TO MY ARTISTS.
THEY TAKE A PERCENTAGE OF IT,
THE DISTRIBUTION COMPANY.
SO THAT'S THE WAY THAT THAT
WORKS IN MY PARTICULAR CASE.

Nam says THERE'S BEEN TALKS OF SPOTIFY
BECOMING A LABEL ITSELF AND
THEREFORE ELIMINATING THE
SO-CALLED MIDDLE PERSON.
IS THAT A GOOD IDEA OR BAD IDEA?

The caption changes to "Miranda Mulholland, @miramulholland."

Miranda says WELL, ONCE AGAIN, IT'S SORT OF
JUST CREATING ANOTHER PROBLEM, I THINK.
I MEAN, I APPLAUD THEM FOR
TRYING TO MAKE NEW CONTENT AND
TRYING TO DO SOMETHING
THAT... WE'VE SEEN THE SUCCESS OF
THIS WITH NETFLIX.
OBVIOUSLY, NETFLIX HAS BEEN
CREATING THEIR OWN CONTENT,
RATHER THAN USING OTHER PEOPLE'S
CONTENT.
BUT IN THERE LIES THE PROBLEM
BECAUSE NOW WE HAVE AN
ALGORITHM-BASED COMPANY WHO IS
PUTTING THEIR CONTENT FIRST.
IF YOU GO TO NETFLIX, WHAT COMES
UP ON THE FIRST BAR?

The caption changes to "Connect with us: TVO.org. Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Instagram."

Nam says ALL THE NETFLIX...

Miranda says EXACTLY.
SO ONCE AGAIN, IF YOU'RE A NICHE
ARTIST AND YOU'RE TRYING TO GET
YOUR MUSIC HEARD AROUND THIS,
YOU KNOW, DEMOCRACY PLATFORM,
NOW YOU'LL BE IN COMPETITION
WITH SPOTIFY-BASED PRODUCTIONS.
SO YOU KNOW, ONCE AGAIN, IT'S
STACKED AGAINST YOU.

Nam says I'M WONDERING WHEN, YOU KNOW,
BACK IN THE '50S AND '60S WHEN
I GUESS, WAS IT A RESURGENCE OF
MUSIC, PEOPLE BECAME... THERE WAS
SO MUCH MUSIC TO CHOOSE FROM.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE BACK THEN?
WERE ARTISTS GETTING PAID FAIRLY?

The caption changes to "The sound system."

Miranda says WELL, I HAVEN'T GOT MY TIME MACHINE.

[NAM LAUGHING]

Miranda says BUT, YOU KNOW, BUT I HAVE SEEN
THE RESULTS.
YOU KNOW, IT'S INTERESTING.
I JUST SAW THIS AMAZING KEYNOTE
BY A MAN NAMED JONATHAN TAPLIN
AND HE WAS TALKING ABOUT HIS
FRIEND LEVON HELM, WHO WAS IN
THE BAND.

A black and white picture shows a bearded man playing drums on a stage.

Miranda says AND NOW, THIS IS A U.S... YOU
KNOW, OBVIOUSLY SOME OF THE BAND
WERE CANADIAN BUT LEVON IS AN
AMERICAN CITIZEN AND BECAUSE OF
SOME OF THEIR LAWS THAT THEY HAD
IN PLACE, HE WAS NOT MAKING ANY
REVENUE OFF OF SOME OF HIS SONGS
THAT HAD BEEN WRITTEN.
IT WAS CALLED THE CLASSICS ACT
BEFORE A CERTAIN TIME.
SO EVEN THOUGH HE HAD BEEN IN
THIS WILDLY SUCCESSFUL BAND AND
WRITTEN SOME OF THESE AMAZING
SONGS, AFTER A CERTAIN POINT, HE
WASN'T GETTING ANY MONEY FOR
THEM AND THIS BECAME A HUGE
PROBLEM.
HE ENDED UP... HE GOT VERY SICK
AND COULDN'T PAY HIS MEDICAL
BILLS.
AND IT GOT TO A POINT WHERE, YOU
KNOW, THIS LEGEND COULDN'T
SUSTAIN HIMSELF.
AND JONATHAN, YOU KNOW, WAS
TALKING ABOUT THIS PARTICULAR
TRAGEDY, ABOUT HOW WE'RE NOT
TAKING CARE OF OUR ARTISTS.
AND THIS IS THROUGH SOMETHING
LIKE LEGISLATION.
JUST TO HAVE THE CLASSICS ACT
COME INTO PLAY IN THE U.S.
AND WE HAVE CERTAIN LEGISLATIONS
HERE IN CANADA THAT ARE
DIFFERENT BUT ARE... COULD BE JUST
AS USEFUL TO PULL THAT LEVER AND
HELP OUT ARTISTS NOW.

Nam says WELL, IN CANADA, WE HAVE
SOMETHING THAT IS SUPPOSED TO
HELP ARTISTS, SOCAN.
WHAT IS SOCAN?

Miranda says SOCAN IS A COLLECTION.
WHAT THEY DO IS THEY... ANY TIME
MUSIC IS PLAYED... THEY IDENTIFY
WHO WROTE IT AND THEY MAKE SURE
THAT THE CREATORS ARE BEING PAID.
IT'S A VERY GOOD ORGANIZATION.

NAM SAYS AND YOU'RE A MEMBER OF IT?

Miranda says I AM, YEAH.

Nam says OKAY.
AND LET'S JUST TAKE A LOOK AT 2017.
SOME GOOD NEWS AND SOME BAD NEWS
FOR SOCAN.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Good news."

Nam reads data from the slate and says
THERE WERE RECORD REVENUES FOR IT.
150,000 MEMBER SONGWRITERS,
COMPOSERS, AND MUSIC PUBLISHERS
IN 2017.
TOTAL PERFORMING REVENUES IN
2017 WAS OVER 350 MILLION dollars, A
6.4 percent INCREASE OVER 2016.
INTERNET AUDIO STREAMING
REVENUES HIT 49.3 MILLION dollars,
A 46 percent INCREASE OVER 2016.
NOW THE BAD NEWS WAS, THE VAST
MAJORITY OF SOCAN MEMBERS WHO
RECEIVED PAYMENT FOR THEIR
STREAMING MUSIC IN 2017 EARNED
AN AVERAGE OF ONLY 38 dollars 72 cents,
DESPITE THE GROWTH.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT?

The caption changes to "The sound system."

Miranda says WELL, ONCE AGAIN, THAT SPEAKS TO
THE MARKET SHARE QUESTION.
SO YOU KNOW, DRAKE DID VERY
WELL.
WEEKND... THE WEEKND DID VERY
WELL.
AND THAT'S WONDERFUL AND IT'S
GOOD NEWS.
YOU KNOW, OUR POLITICIANS ARE
CERTAINLY MAKING A MEAL OF IT.
IT IS GOOD NEWS.
WE'VE ALSO HAD SUCH A DRASTIC
DROP OFF IN REVENUES.
SO TO ANNOUNCE ANY KIND OF
INCLINE MAKES TOTAL SENSE
BECAUSE NOW WE AT LEAST HAVE
SOME MODELS LIKE APPLE MUSIC,
WHICH YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR.
THEY HAVE NO AD-BASED
SUBSCRIPTION SERIES.
SPOTIFY DOES HAVE AD-BASED AND
THEY ALSO HAVE SUBSCRIPTION AND
MORE PEOPLE ARE HOPEFULLY
SUBSCRIBING.
IT'S ONLY 9.99.

NAM SAYS BUT I'M GUESSING THE
MAJORITY DON'T.

Miranda says WELL, UNFORTUNATELY, MAJORITY DO
NOT, AS OF YET.
THE PROJECTIONS WERE OFF.
THEY HAD HOPED TO HAVE A LOT
BIGGER SUBSCRIPTIONS,
AS SUBSCRIBERS, I GUESS, AND
THEY DON'T.
THE BIGGEST YOU KNOW, THE
BIGGEST PROBLEM IN THIS
PARTICULAR LANDSCAPE RIGHT NOW
IS YOUTUBE WHO PAYS THE RECORD
LOWEST AMOUNT TO SONGWRITERS.

Nam says A LOT OF PEOPLE WOULD THINK THAT
YOUTUBE IS A GREAT PLACE TO
SHOWCASE NEW ARTISTS, NEW CREATORS.
WHY DO YOU SAY THAT?

Miranda says OKAY, SO YOUTUBE IS UNDER... OWNED
BY GOOGLE... IS UNDER A LOT OF
SAFE HARBOUR RULES BECAUSE OF
OUR GOVERNMENT WHICH MEANS THAT
IT DOESN'T HAVE TO ABIDE BY
CERTAIN TAX LAWS AND IT DOESN'T
HAVE TO PAY ROYALTIES TO A
CERTAIN EXTENT.
SO WHAT WE'RE ACTUALLY HAVING
HERE, IS A CORPORATION THAT SAYS THAT THEY ARE MERELY... I THINK
THEY CALL IT DUMB PIPE BUT IT'S
SORT OF JUST... SORT OF A
STOREFRONT WINDOW.
THEY'RE CLAIMING THAT THEY'RE
JUST THE WINDOW AND THEY HAVE NO
INFLUENCE OVER WHAT GOES IN THE
WINDOW CAUSE IT'S USER-UPLOADED
CONTENT SO BECAUSE THEY CAN SAY
THAT, THEY GET THIS SAFE
HARBOUR.
AS SOON AS THEY START TO DO
SOMETHING LIKE SPOTIFY WHERE
THEY'RE PROGRAMMING STREAMING
AND THEY CLAIM THAT THEY'RE SORT
OF A BROADCASTER, THEY WOULD
HAVE TO PAY THOSE TAXES.
THEY DON'T.
SO RIGHT NOW, EVEN THOUGH THEY
NOW ARE GENERATING CONTENT
THROUGH THOSE "DUMB PIPES" AND
SUGGESTING THINGS TO YOU, IF YOU
GO AND LISTEN TO A SONG YOU
LIKE, SOMETHING WILL COME UP
NEXT.

NAM SAYS UH HMM, YEAH.

Miranda says AND SO THEY ACTUALLY ARE A
SUGGESTING SERVICE SO THEY'RE
SORT OF GOING AGAINST WHAT THEY
SAID THAT THEY WEREN'T GOING TO DO.

Nam says AND THESE LAWS ARE FROM LIKE THE
1990S, RIGHT?

Miranda says YEAH, I MEAN, A LOT OF THESE
THINGS THAT WE HAVE IN OUR
COPYRIGHT ACT AND THAT WE
HAVE... THAT OUR GOVERNMENT HAS
PUT IN PLACE TO HELP START TECH
COMPANIES, TO MAKE SURE THAT
THEY HAD FOOTING IN A NEW
ENVIRONMENT.
THE ENVIRONMENT HAS CHANGED SO
DRASTICALLY OVER THE LAST 20 YEARS.
WE REALLY NEED TO UPDATE THEM
AND TAKE A LOOK AT WHO THEY'RE
ACTUALLY PROTECTING 'CAUSE NOW
WE'RE PROTECTING SILICON VALLEY
AND WE'RE NOT PROTECTING
CANADIAN CREATORS.

Nam says BECAUSE WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT,
IF ALL CREATORS DECIDED NOT TO
DO ANYTHING ON YOUTUBE, OR IF
ALL COMPANIES SAID, "YOU CAN'T
USE OUR STUFF," WHAT WOULD BE ON YOUTUBE?

Miranda says WELL, EXACTLY.
BUT THEY DO... I MEAN, A LOT OF
ARTISTS GO AND SAY, "PLEASE TAKE
DOWN MY MUSIC.
SOMEONE HAS UPLOADED IT ILLEGALLY."
BUT IT'S WHACK-A-MOLE.

NAM SAYS RIGHT.

Miranda says I MEAN, IT COMES DOWN AND THEN
IT GOES BACK UP AGAIN SO THAT'S
A REAL PROBLEM.

Nam says WHAT ARE INDUSTRY
CROSS-SUBSIDIES?

Miranda says INDUSTRY CROSS-SUBSIDIES, WE
HAVE ONE SORT OF BIG EXAMPLE OF THIS.
IT'S THE RADIO ROYALTY EXEMPTION
AND IT WAS CREATED, I THINK, IN 1997.
AND IT WAS FOR, YOU KNOW, OUR
COUNTRY IS SO BIG AND SO WE'VE
HAD ALL THESE LITTLE OUTPOSTS OF
RADIO STATIONS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.
A LOT OF MOM AND POP STATIONS
THAT ARE KIND OF KEEPING
COMMUNITIES TOGETHER AND MAKING
SURE THAT COMMUNITIES HAVE A
VOICE.
AND THEY WERE BEING
TAXED... HAVING TO PAY ROYALTIES
ON THEIR INCOME THAT THEY MADE
FOR ANY OF THEIR ADS AND REVENUE
FROM THERE.
SO THERE WAS A SUBSIDY MADE
WHICH WAS, THEY ONLY HAVE TO PAY
100 dollars IN ROYALTIES ON THEIR FIRST
1.25 MILLION IN AD REVENUE THAT
THEY MAKE.

NAM SAYS JEANS COST MORE THAN THAT.

Miranda says YEAH.

[LAUGHTER]

Miranda says I KNOW.
WHICH IS KIND OF INSANE WHEN YOU
THINK ABOUT IT NOW BECAUSE MOST
OF THOSE MOM AND POP STATIONS
HAVE BEEN BOUGHT UP BY OUR
MAJOR MEDIA COMPANIES.
SO NOW, ARTISTS... YOUR FAVOURITE
ARTISTS, YOUR FAVOURITE CANADIAN
ARTISTS ARE SUBSIDIZING BELL AND
ROGERS AND ALL THE BIG MEDIA
COMPANIES BECAUSE THEY'RE
GETTING THIS TAX BREAK.
AND YOU KNOW, THAT'S JUST...

NAM SAYS WHAT DO LABELS THINK OF
THAT OR IS IT JUST LABELS RELY
SO MUCH ON RADIO TO GET MUSIC HEARD...

Miranda says OH, IT'S ACROSS THE BOARD THAT
EVERYONE AGREES THIS IS UNFAIR.
I MEAN, IF THIS HAPPENED... IF
THIS LEVER WAS PULLED BY THE
GOVERNMENT AND THEY SAID, "OKAY,
WE'RE GOING TO TAKE ANOTHER LOOK
AT THIS CROSS-SUBSIDY AND WE'RE
GOING TO SAY, WHAT WAS FAIR IN
1997 NO LONGER IS FAIR.
WE'RE GOING TO PULL THIS
EXEMPTION."
OR CHANGE IT OR ALLOW SOME OF
THE REMAINING MOM AND POPS
TO KEEP IT BUT YET...

NAM SAYS NOT FOR THE BIG...

Miranda says YEAH, IF THERE WAS SOME KIND OF
LEVER PULLED THAT WOULD ALLOW SO
MANY MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO GO
DIRECTLY TO THE LABELS AND TO ARTISTS.

Nam says SO HOW DO ARTISTS MAKE MONEY IF
YOU'RE NOT MAKING IT FROM RECORD
SALES AND IF YOU'RE NOT MAKING
IT FROM THESE STREAMING PLATFORMS?
HOW DO YOU MAKE MONEY?

Miranda says WELL, I'LL TELL YOU A FUNNY STORY.

[NAM LAUGHING]

Miranda says I TEXTED... I STARTED A MUSIC
FESTIVAL LAST YEAR.
AND I TEXTED A FRIEND OF MINE
WHO IS A MULTI-JUNO AWARD
WINNER.
AND I WANTED TO SEE IF HE WAS
AVAILABLE FOR THE FESTIVAL SO I
JUST SAID, "ARE YOU AVAILABLE
THIS WEEKEND," AND GAVE HIM THE DATES.
AND HE TEXTED ME RIGHT BACK AND
HE SAID, "OH, NO.
I'VE BEEN BOOKED UP FOR AGES."
AND THEN FIVE MINUTES LATER, I
GOT ANOTHER TEXT AND HE SAID,
"OH, DID YOU MEAN AS A MUSICIAN?
I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO RENT MY
AIRBNB."

Nam says OH, NO!

Miranda says SO... THIS IS A JUNO AWARD WINNER...

Nam says SO YOU HAVE TO HUSTLE.

Miranda says YOU HAVE TO HUSTLE.
I MEAN, ONCE AGAIN, YOU HAVE TO
WEAR A LOT OF HATS AND I EVEN
FEEL THOUGH... I WAS VERY FORTUNATE.
FOR A LOT OF REASONS, ONE, MY
PARENTS BELIEVED IN MUSIC AND
GAVE ME VIOLIN LESSONS, YOU
KNOW, WHEN I WAS FOUR AND REALLY
MADE ME STICK WITH IT WHICH WAS,
YOU KNOW, VERY IMPORTANT AND
TAUGHT ME THE REAL BENEFITS OF
LIVE PERFORMANCE AND MUSIC BUT I
ALSO DID GET TO SEE WHAT THE
PREVIOUS GENERATIONS LIVES HAVE
LOOKED LIKE.
A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT I PLAY WITH
HAD HAD A VERY DIFFERENT CAREER
LEADING UP THE FIRST 10 YEARS OF
THEIR CAREER THAN I DID.

NAM SAYS THEY COULD MAKE A LIVING.

The caption changes to "Watch us on Facebook Live: Weekdays at 8 PM."

Miranda says AND SO TO SORT OF SEE... I MEAN,
AT FIRST I THOUGHT, "MAYBE I'M
JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH."
BUT I STARTED TALKING TO OTHER
FRIENDS OF MINE AND IT WAS
ACROSS THE BOARD.
I MEAN, PEOPLE THAT I THOUGHT
WERE DOING WAY BETTER THAN ME
BUT IT WAS A REAL PROBLEM RIGHT
NOW AND SO THE PEOPLE THAT I
ACTUALLY WANT TO ADVOCATE FOR
AND TRY TO CHANGE SOME OF THESE
THINGS IS THE YOUNGER PEOPLE WHO
ARE COMING UP NOW WHO PERHAPS,
THEY HAD THEIR BAND PROGRAM CUT
IN SCHOOL.
I MEAN, MUSIC EDUCATION IS SO IMPORTANT.
AND THOSE PEOPLE WHO WERE TRYING
TO CONTEMPLATE WHAT A MUSIC
CAREER COULD EVEN LOOK LIKE IN
THIS CLIMATE.
AND SO THERE'S, YOU KNOW, THINGS
THAT WE CAN ALL DO TO HELP THESE
YOUNG PEOPLE ACTUALLY BE ABLE TO
SEE A VIABLE CAREER IN MUSIC.

Nam says WHAT DO YOU THINK NEEDS TO BE
CHANGED THEN?

The caption changes to "Staying alive."

Miranda says WELL, I THINK THE GOVERNMENT
DOES NEED TO TAKE SOME STEPS.
THE RADIO ROYALTY EXEMPTION IS ONE.
THERE'S ANOTHER ONE THAT'S
ACTUALLY REALLY INTERESTING.
WHO KNEW THAT COPYRIGHT COULD BE
SO INTERESTING.

[NAM LAUGHING]

Miranda says SO ONE IS JUST A SLIGHT CHANGE
IN THE WORDING ON THE COPYRIGHT ACT.
I MYSELF PLAYED FIDDLE ON THE TV
SHOW
REPUBLIC OF DOYLE
SO
WHENEVER YOU HEAR A FIDDLE ON
THAT SHOW...

NAM SAYS THAT'S YOU?

Miranda says WHICH IS OFTEN, IT'S ME.

NAM SAYS THAT'S SO COOL!

A picture shows a young man in a black T-shirt sitting at the wheel of a classic car.

Miranda says YEAH, AND SO YOU KNOW, I DID
THOSE SESSIONS WITH A GREAT
COMPOSER AND WENT INTO THE
STUDIO AND RECORDED THOSE AND
NOW, BECAUSE OF THE TINY WORDING
OF WHAT A SOUND RECORDING MEANS,
ANYTIME THAT THAT SHOW IS PLAYED
AND IT'S SYNDICATED WORLDWIDE
NOW, SO I MEAN, I'VE SEEN IT IN HOLLAND.
I'VE SEEN IT IN FRANCE.
YOU KNOW, ALLAN HAWCO DUBBED IN FRENCH.

Nam says SO YOU GET LOTS OF CHEQUES?

Miranda says NO!
BECAUSE EVERY TIME THAT'S
PLAYED, I DO NOT GET PAID.
THE COMPOSER GETS PAID BUT I DO NOT.
AND THE ACTORS GET PAID BUT
BECAUSE OF THIS TINY DEFINITION
OF SOUND RECORDING IN THE
COPYRIGHT ACT, I DON'T GET PAID.

Nam says HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THAT TO
PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY MUST THINK
THAT YOUR MUSIC IS ON A
TELEVISION SHOW THAT PEOPLE
WATCH AROUND THE WORLD BUT
YOU'RE NOT GETTING ANY MONEY FROM IT.

Miranda says WELL, I THINK IT'S SUPREMELY UNFAIR.

[LAUGHTER]

Miranda says I MEAN, IT'S COME DOWN TO SUCH A
SMALL THING AS A WORDING.
YOU KNOW, THAT'S SORT OF
SHOCKING.
AND THERE ARE MANY COUNTRIES
AROUND THE WORLD.
I THINK 44 COUNTRIES THAT IF I
HAD PERFORMED THAT MUSIC IN THAT
COUNTRY AND IT WAS ON THEIR AIR
THAT I WOULD BE PAID.
SO THIS IS NOT... YOU KNOW, CANADA
IS AN EXEMPTION.
WE'RE NOT LEADING THE CHARGE
HERE ON FAIR PAY.

Nam says I KNOW YOU'RE DOING A LOT OF
ADVOCACY RIGHT NOW BUT WHAT
KEEPS YOU MOTIVATED TO KEEP
MAKING MUSIC IN THIS CLIMATE
WHERE YOU'RE NOT BEING SUPPORTED?

Miranda says WHAT KEEPS ME MOTIVATED IS LIVE
PERFORMANCE.
AND JUST THE JOY OF PERFORMING
AND CREATING SOMETHING THAT YOU
KNOW, IN THIS TIME OF SO MUCH
CONTENT, LIVE PERFORMANCE IS
SOMETHING THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN
AGAIN.

A picture shows Miranda playing the fiddle on stage as a man standing next to her plays the double bass.

Miranda says YOU'LL NEVER BE IN THAT ROOM
WITH THOSE EXACT PEOPLE ON THAT
EXACT DAY.
AND THAT ENERGY IS JUST UNLIKE
ANYTHING.
I MEAN, I WAS ADDICTED TO IT
WHEN I WAS A KID AND PLAYING,
YOU KNOW, "TWINKLE TWINKLE
LITTLE STAR."
AND THAT... THAT JOY AND THAT
PASSION KEEPS ME GOING.

In another picture, Miranda sings on stage as she strums the strings on her fiddle.
In a third picture, she plays intently.

Miranda says I LOVE COLLABORATING.
I FEEL AS THOUGH, ESPECIALLY IN
THIS SORT OF SILOED BUSINESS
APPROACH OF THE SPOTIFYS AND
THESE BIG TECH COMPANIES, MINE
IS A LOT MORE SORT OF THINKING
LIKE AN ECOSYSTEM.
I BELIEVE THAT WE ALL HAVE OUR
RESPONSIBILITY TO INCUBATE, TO
NURTURE, TO EDUCATE.
AND SO HENCE, THE FESTIVAL.
I MEAN, I WENT FROM HAVING A
LITTLE LABEL TO STARTING A MUSIC
FESTIVAL 'CAUSE I WANTED TO
EMPLOY MY FRIENDS AND PEOPLE I
BELIEVE IN AND I WANTED TO GET
PEOPLE WHO MAYBE HADN'T BEEN
HEARD BEFORE IN FRONT OF A
BIGGER AUDIENCE OR AN AUDIENCE
OF PEOPLE WHO DIDN'T KNOW WHO
THEY WERE.
AND CELEBRATE TOGETHER.

Nam says WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE LIKE
FOR THE REST OF THE MUSIC
INDUSTRY TO DO, LIKE THE RECORD
LABELS, THE RADIO STATIONS, AND
THE STREAMING SERVICES?

Miranda says WELL, I THINK THE STREAMING
SERVICES NEED TO TAKE A LOOK AT
THEIR BUSINESS MODEL.
RIGHT NOW, IF YOU ASK A SPOTIFY
EMPLOYEE... AND I KEEP PICKING ON
SPOTIFY... BUT YOU KNOW, AT LEAST
THEY'RE TRYING TO DO SOMETHING.
SO YOU KNOW, THERE IS THAT AND
I'D SAY IF YOU DON'T SUBSCRIBE
TO A STREAMING SERVICE,
SUBSCRIBE RATHER THAN
JUST USE THE AD-BASED.
'CAUSE IT DOES ACTUALLY HELP
MUSICIANS.
BUT I THINK THEIR BUSINESS
MODEL, THEY SAY... I SAY, "WELL,
WHAT IS YOUR PRODUCT?"
THEY'D SAY, "OUR PRODUCT IS
SPOTIFY."
WELL, THE PRODUCT ISN'T SPOTIFY.
THEIR PRODUCT IS OUR MUSIC THAT
THEY'RE USING AT UNFAIR LOW
PRICES.
AND SO THAT, YOU KNOW, TO TAKE A
LOOK AT THE FAIRNESS OF THAT AND
ACTUALLY WHAT IS THEIR PRODUCT
AND WHO ARE THEY SERVING?

Nam says DO YOU THINK FANS REALIZE
THAT... YOU KNOW, YOU JUST SAID
THAT FOR FANS TO SUBSCRIBE
BECAUSE YOU'RE SUPPORTING THE ARTIST.
DO YOU THINK FANS ACTUALLY
REALIZE THAT YOU KNOW, I GUESS
EVERYBODY LIKES THINGS FOR FREE
AND THEY'RE FANS OF THE MUSIC
BUT MAYBE THERE'S A DISCONNECT
AS TO REALIZE WHAT'S HAPPENING
WITH MUSICIANS BECAUSE IT'S
PAINTED AS IF IT'S A REALLY
LAVISH PROFESSION AND YOU KNOW,
"LET ME JUST TAKE THIS FOR FREE.
IT'S NOT LIKE THEY'RE GOING TO MISS IT."

Miranda says WELL, I THINK THERE WAS A MYTH
THAT HAPPENED AROUND THE TIME OF
NAPSTER WHERE PEOPLE THOUGHT,
"WELL, I'M STEALING BRITNEY SPEARS."
WE'RE GOING BACK IN TIME HERE.
"AND IT DOESN'T HARM ANYBODY
ELSE 'CAUSE SHE'S SO RICH,
IT DOESN'T MATTER."
BUT THE PROBLEM WAS, WHAT
HAPPENED WAS... ALL OF THOSE
LITTLE ARTERIES THAT WENT OFF TO
THE NICHE ARTISTS THAT THOSE
RECORD COMPANIES WERE SUPPORTING
GOT CHOKED OFF BECAUSE THEY
COULD NO LONGER SPEND MONEY ON
THESE NICHE ARTISTS.
SO SUDDENLY, THE MAINSTREAM JUST
GOT MORE MAINSTREAM.
I MEAN, IN THE NICHE STUFF,
THAT'S WHERE THE EXCITING STUFF
IS HAPPENING.
YOU KNOW, YOU GO TO THE CAMERON
HOUSE IN TORONTO ON ANY GIVEN
NIGHT AND YOU HEAR REALLY COOL
THINGS.
OR TRANZAC.
I MEAN, TORONTO IS AN INCREDIBLE
PLACE TO HEAR LIVE MUSIC AND...

Nam says AND ALSO THE PLACES THAT YOU CAN
HEAR LIVE MUSIC ARE ALSO
DISAPPEARING.

Miranda says WELL, OF COURSE, WITH REAL
ESTATE PRICES AND THINGS.
THAT'S ANOTHER CHALLENGE.

Nam says TELL ME ABOUT YOUR FESTIVAL.

The caption changes to "Play that funky music."

Miranda says WELL, MY FESTIVAL IS IN
GRAVENHURST, THE FIRST WEEKEND
OF AUGUST.
SO AUGUST LONG WEEKEND.
MY GREAT-GREAT-GRANDFATHER
WAS... OBVIOUSLY I NEVER MET HIM.
SOMEBODY ASKED ME IF I MET HIM.

Nam says WELL, LET'S JUST...

Miranda says BACK IN TIME.
TIME MACHINE, I KNOW.

[LAUGHTER]

Miranda says I WISH I'D MET HIM.
MY GREAT-GREAT-GRANDFATHER WAS
THIS INCREDIBLE MAN NAMED
CHARLES MICKLE AND HE STARTED A
SAWMILL UP IN GRAVENHURST.
WHICH IS... THE TOWN BECAME KNOWN
AS SAWDUST CITY BECAUSE OF THIS
SAWMILL.
AND...

NAM SAYS VERY ROCK AND ROLL.

Miranda says I KNOW.
AND HE ALSO WAS THE MAYOR, I
THINK, TWO OR THREE TIMES.
AND WHEN HE WAS THE MAYOR, HE
HAD THIS OPERA HOUSE BUILT ON
THE MAIN STREET AND IT'S STILL
THERE TODAY.
IT'S 117 YEARS LATER.

A picture shows the brick-faced opera house against a partly cloudy sky.

Miranda says AND IT'S ONE OF THE TOP-10
ACOUSTICS IN CANADA.
AND FOR HIM TO BELIEVE IN THIS
MORE BLUE COLLAR TOWN THAT THE
ARTS MATTERED, I THINK IS A REAL
INCREDIBLE TESTAMENT TO HIS VISION.
SO...

NAM SAYS YOU'RE CARRYING THE LEGACY
FORWARD.

Miranda says I'M TRYING TO CARRY THE LEGACY
FORWARD.
I THINK THIS TOWN IS GORGEOUS.
IT'S HISTORIC.
THERE'S A BEAUTIFUL BARGE THAT
WAS BUILT IN THE '60S THAT'S ON
THE WATER, ON GULL LAKE.
AND THEN YOU CAN GO... YOU CAN
WATCH THE CONCERTS.
THEY HAVE A WHOLE SERIES OF
MUSIC SERIES THAT'S FREE EVERY
SUMMER.
EVERY SUNDAY.

A picture shows a band performing on the barge, on the lake, as people watch from a lakeside lawn.

Miranda says AND WE PLUGGED OURSELVES INTO
THE SERIES SO WE HAVE SHOWS AT
THE OPERA HOUSE.
WE HAVE A SHOW ON THE MUSIC
BARGE.
AND YOU CAN WATCH FROM YOUR
KAYAK OR YOUR CANOE OR THE BEACH
OR THE GRASS.
AND HEAR AMAZING MUSIC ALL
WEEKEND LONG IN GRAVENHURST.

Nam says WELL, MIRANDA, THANK YOU SO MUCH
FOR BEING HERE.

Miranda says THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

The caption changes to "Producer: Sandra Gionas, @sandragionas."

NAM SAYS YOU'VE GIVEN US A LOT TO
THINK ABOUT.
AND I AM GOING TO SUBSCRIBE...

Miranda says YAY!

NAM SAYS INSTEAD OF TAKING FOR
FREE.

Miranda says THANK YOU SO MUCH.

NAM SAYS IT WAS A PLEASURE TO MEET YOU.

Miranda says NICE TO MEET YOU TOO.

Watch: Musicians in an Age of Digital Disruption