On Monday, the music sector will be at the heart of a new union bargaining agreement, but the unions will be the ones most impacted by the change.
Union membership in the music business has plummeted, with fewer than 20 percent of the roughly 4 million musicians worldwide today having a union membership.
But as the industry has seen a dramatic increase in digital downloads and streaming services, the number of musicians and fans has skyrocketed.
And as music has grown more mainstream, so too have the pressures on union members.
“Our numbers have been in decline, and they’re going to be at a disadvantage,” said Mark Hulick, a former executive at Warner Bros. and the owner of music streaming service Goodspeed Opera House.
“There’s a lot of pressure to be part of the industry, and there’s a whole bunch of people looking to do that for a living, and if you’re not part of that, you’re going down.
It’s a big opportunity for the musicians.”
Hulick has been at Goodspeed for nearly four years.
While he didn’t want to share his full name, he told CBS News that the business is growing at a faster rate than his previous company, which closed down in 2009.
The music industry, he said, is going through an “unimaginable transformation.”
“There’s going to have to be some concessions made,” Hulicks said.
“I don’t know if we’re going be able to make a lot.
But the industry is changing, and it’s going into an uncertain period.”
The union will have to weigh whether it can negotiate for better wages and working conditions, and the pay gap between musicians and their employees.
The unions are also going to get a chance to talk about the music-industry’s new streaming services.
These new services are the result of an agreement between Spotify and the labels.
Hulicks, who is also the chairman of the National Federation of Independent Music Enterprises, said he is concerned about how those new services will affect the music and recording industry.
“The labels and Spotify are both looking to capitalize on the digital revolution,” HULICK said.
“There are going to still be certain aspects of the record industry that will survive the digital wave.
It will be gone, but we’re not going to see that. “
The record industry is going down the path that it’s been on for 30-plus years.
It will be gone, but we’re not going to see that.
We’re going back to the way we were in the past, which is the way it was.”HULICK added that he would not be surprised if the industry’s unions were more receptive to the new union deal than he was.”
If you’re an artist, there’s going be a lot more pressure, and you’re probably going to feel a lot less,” he said.HULICHICK said that while he believes that musicians should be paid more, he also believes that they should be compensated fairly.”
We’re all in this together, and we all need to be compensated equally,” Hulaick said.