Opinion | Beyond the Bob Dylan Deal: A Word From the Music World

To the Editor:

Re “A Bard With a Business Side: Dylan Sells His Iconic Catalog” (front page, Dec. 8):

As board members of the Artist Rights Alliance, a nonprofit advocating for fair compensation for working musicians and songwriters, we can attest that online streaming hasn’t “helped lift the entire music market.” It has instead concentrated new revenues at a handful of major labels, publishers and superstars who operate at scale while most artists and songwriters struggle to build sustainable careers, even those who receive substantial airplay and critical acclaim.

That’s why the Artist Rights Alliance and our peer creators’ organizations continue to fight for higher baseline royalties and more equitable rules of the digital road on major platforms like Spotify and YouTube, and growing ones like Twitch, which continues to refuse to license or pay for most of the music on which its success is built.

Bob Dylan is a unique and historic genius, and we celebrate his musical greatness, as well as his continuing economic success. But if today’s artists and songwriters can’t capture a fair and sustainable share of the economic value their work creates, we risk a world in which the next Bob Dylan never gets heard at all.

Ivan Barias
Rosanne Cash
Thomas Manzi
John McCrea
Tift Merritt
Matthew Montfort
Maggie Vail

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