Minnesota Music Summit looks at state of the industry

GRRRL PRTY will perform at the Minnesota Music Summit Friday, April 11.
MPR Photo/Nate Ryan

The Minnesota Music Summit, an annual festival for musicians and music fans, kicked off Thursday in St. Paul.

Casey Rae, interim executive director of the Washington, D.C., based Future of Music Coalition, will give the keynote speech for the event Friday. The group has been lobbying on behalf of musicians since 2000.

The digital music space helped break down barriers for new artists, but it also challenges traditional methods for compensation, Rae said in an interview for the World Creators Summit last year:

Historically, creators had to navigate a complex system of bottlenecks and gatekeepers to have any shot at reaching an audience. With the advent of digital technology, there are opportunities for artists outside of traditional industry structures.

Creative careers have never come with guarantees, but there are definitely challenges in today's marketplace. There's not a lot of confidence around existing or emerging business models for artists, and compensation on even the legitimate digital services is a point of contention. The marketplace is much more crowded, and it can be difficult being heard through all the noise. Artists have to work at things that they may have never had to consider a mere decade ago — from managing fan relationships to drumming up funding for projects to tending to their online presence. But it's also a very exciting time, and the future is still to a large extent unwritten.

Rae joins The Daily Circuit ahead of his speech to discuss how musicians are navigating the music industry to earn a living through their art.

Before you keep reading ...

MPR News is made by Members. Gifts from individuals fuel the programs that you and your neighbors rely on. Donate today to power news, analysis, and community conversations for all.