John Simson is leaving his post as Executive Director of SoundExchange at the end of the year.
So why not replace him with an artist?
Not such a crazy idea, especially considering the organization’s charter. And now, one artist – Samantha Murphy – is gunning for the spot. “As an artist, I can no longer stand by and watch SoundExchange continue to get away with covering up the truth,” Murphy recently announced. “I’m excited about change, I’m excited about the future and I’m excited about the possibility of serving you by creating a fair and open system that gets artists paid.”
SoundExchange does not appear to be holding open elections, and one observer called the idea “far-fetched”. And, Murphy admittedly considered her qualifications prior to the announcement. But the broader vision revolves around a “by artist, for artist” level of thinking, and a shift towards greater transparency.
But Murphy raises another issue. SoundExchange currently holds an impressive “stuck & unmatched” balance, and is struggling to find proper payees. In reality, many of these funds will never be distributed because of matching impossibilities, raising the question of why they are being collected in the first place. “If we don’t know who to distribute the funds to, then we should not collect them in the first place,” Murphy noted. “SoundExchange should not be sitting on funds with no incentive to disperse them. It’s unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
Report by Alexandra Osorio.