The Future Of What Podcast

A Podcast and Radio Show About the Music Industry

In addition to her role as President of Music Biz, Portia Sabin is also the host of her own podcast and radio show, The Future of What. The show was created to educate musicians to the realities of the music business, and has grown into a forum where the most significant voices in the industry discuss important issues of the day. 

As we strive to provide resources to inform our member’s general understanding of the modern music industry landscape, we’re thrilled to offer you access to new episodes of The Future of What on our website as they debut!

February 7, 2020 – The Future of What Episode #177: Where Do Black Box Royalties Go?

When you hear people within the industry referring to “The Black Box,” they’re most likely referring to the growing sum of undistributed and/or undistributable royalties that have been collected on an artist’s behalf by organizations like SoundExchange. What happens with this “Black Box” is a hotly debated topic within the industry, as every collection society that has one deals with these unclaimed royalties differently. Join us as we discuss the problem and its potential solutions with John Simson (American University),... Listen

January 27, 2020 – The Future of What Episode #176: New Tools For Songwriters

As we move into 2020, two things have become all the more apparent: artists have to view themselves as small businesses in order to survive, and income streams within the industry are increasingly fragmented. Thankfully, these trends have been tracked for several years in a row, and there are a multitude of services available to bands, artists, and songwriters to help them collect these fractionalized income streams so that they can keep their creative businesses afloat and their rights secure.... Listen

January 17, 2020 – The Future of What Episode #175: Nashville’s Project Music

Since 2015, the Nashville Entrepreneur Center has played host to Project Music, an accelerator program for tech start-ups whose focus is upon creating solutions for the music industry. This first of its kind accelerator program has supported five different cohorts to date, and several members of those cohorts have already gone to market with their unique solutions, as a result of the mentorship and fundraising help they received through the program. Click here to listen.... Listen

January 10, 2020 – The Future of What Episode #174: Trends For 2020

After several years of growth, the music business no longer feels like its in freefall, and some hopeful industry insiders are hinting that the best is yet to come in the 2020’s. As streaming goes global, and the overall adoption rate goes up across the board, continued revenue growth will be the norm in 2020 and beyond, which is to say nothing of the new ways that music is being monetized in video games, short form video,... Listen

January 3, 2020 – The Future of What Episode #173 : The Evolution of Streaming

Today’s streaming market is a crowded arena that’s chock full of big brands, all of whom are vying for the same monthly subscribers, but none of them have truly distinguished themselves from the other. Yes, they all have different visual interfaces and apps, and some are even offering higher bitrates, but as listeners switch over to voice activated listening via smart speakers, how will users know the difference between Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, etc. when the interaction becomes purely audio?... Listen

December 27, 2019 – The Future of What Episode #172: Best of 2019

With 2019 coming to an end, it feels like the right time to highlight a few of our audience’s most listened to episodes and of the year, so we’re doing a best of 2019 this week! We went through this year’s stats, and isolated the top ten episodes of the year, and then culled the most informative and/or interesting interviews from that bunch. Listen in as we revisit our interviews with writer Cherie Hu, former Merlin CEO Charles Caldas,... Listen

December 20, 2019 – The Future of What Episode #171: New Tools For Developing Artists

While some artists are eschewing the traditional label route to market, there is no getting around the fact that artists simply can’t do everything they need to do in order to be successful on their own. Most developing artists need help with marketing, branding, social media strategy, booking, publishing, content creation and more, if they’re going to breakthrough the din of digital noise. On this episode, we speak with Chelsea Cressman (AGD Entertainment) and Cameo Carlson (mTheory) about the ways that their companies are helping artists build and hire teams to manage the tasks that are beyond their particular scope and level(s) of expertise.... Listen

November 25, 2019 – The Future Of What Episode #170: Direct Shot’s Ambiguous Future

At the beginning of the year, record stores big and small started noticing a difference between what they ordered and what they received in the mail. This became all the more noticeable when stores were shorted important and highly sought after titles for Record Store Day in April. Since then, the problem has only gotten worse according to some, and bands have missed their street dates entirely in the process, costing them countless dollars, but also chart positions,... Listen

November 18, 2019 – The Future Of What Episode #169: New Ideas In The Digital Marketplace

In the past, digital start-ups frequently approached the music industry with tech solutions to problems that didn’t exist for most artists and labels. That paradigm has seemingly shifted in the past few years, and now the solutions being brought forth by tech companies are helping to alleviate certain stresses and strains on the music industry. On this episode, we’re highlighting new tech companies like Ursa Music, Corite, and Pitch who are creating new revenue streams for artists and labels,... Listen

November 8, 2019 – The Future Of What Episode #168: Indie Label Spotlight – Frenchkiss Records

Twenty years ago, Syd Butler started Frenchkiss Records, after his band Les Savy Fav couldn’t find a home at the prominent labels of the time. Fast forward up until today, Syd’s now part of Seth Meyer’s 8G Band, the label is still going strong, and Les Savy Fav is still playing shows. On this episode, Syd joins us to talk about the label’s triumphs and tribulations over the course of the last two decades, as does Craig Finn,... Listen