There has been a lot of media coverage of late regarding balance in the music industry, particularly in terms of ethnicity and gender. I know that we live in an imperfect world where tolerance and division seem to be regular themes with which to grapple, but it still seems incredible to me that here we are in 2019, and such occurrences even exist.
The salary figures that large companies are obligated to disclose made particularly wince-inducing reading, with some discrepancies between male and female earnings of up to 50%. Whilst one can point to the closing of that financial chasm somewhat in comparison with previous years, one can’t help but draw the comparison with the so-called ‘value gap’ as referenced in the industry’s on-going plight with Youtube pay-through. Are we honestly content to claim that females contribute up to 50% less to the business..? That is your value gap right there.
Whilst its gratifying to see people within the business bringing this issue to the fore, I guess it is that much harder for any Caucasian males employed within the major label infrastructure to speak out about such imbalance, without fear of compromising their own positions. Unencumbered by any such conflict then, I feel compelled to join the chorus.
Here is the crux for me; one of the core elements that attracted me to music in the first instance was its capacity to bring a sense of commonality, a shared togetherness. Whilst sport can do the same to some extent, it tends to be one competitor pitted against another, placing the supporters of either entity on opposing sides of the fence. Music is a shared language, with shared cultures, and fans of any given artist would expect to enjoy the experiencing of it with like-minded others. Sharing meaning access for all.
Music then, and the business which underpins it, should reflect that commonality, with race, gender, or any other means of subdividing humanity of no more relevance than the colour of a gig attendee’s socks.
Come on music business, we should be leading the charge on this.