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!

March 13, 2020 – The Future of What Episode #182 : Educating The Next Generation of Music Business Professionals

While many people start their career in the music business by forming a band or record label, and learning the industry’s norms and quirks largely through trial and error, others choose to enroll in various university programs to learn about the industry. This week we’re exploring what those university programs look like for both undergraduate and graduate students, and what the key takeaways from those programs are. Join us as we speak with Serona Elton (University of Miami),... Listen

March 9, 2020 – The Future of What Episode #181 – Consolidating Credits In The Cloud

Music production has become increasingly fragmented thanks to the advent of affordable studio technology and high speed internet connections, which comes with both benefits and drawbacks. The main benefit is that band members and songwriting teams can now collaborate from anywhere in the world at any time of day, and they can arrange for special guest features with little more than a simple email exchange. The drawback to this evolution is that proper attribution for these collaborations are often messy,... Listen

February 28, 2020 – The Future of What Episode #180: Indie Label Spotlight — Ninja Tune

Matt Black and Jonathan Fine first joined forces in the late 1980’s, after a chance encounter at a local record shop. Now, some thirty-odd years later, the two are still working together in multiple capacities, and show no signs of stopping. They’ve released multiple albums as the electronic duo Coldcut, and helped produce several others, in addition to founding the highly regarded UK electronic label Ninja Tune, which is now in its thirtieth year of existence.... Listen

February 21, 2020 – The Future of What Episode #179: New Tools For Booking Tours

Touring has quickly become one of the most effective ways for bands and artists to earn money in the streaming era, despite the fact that getting around is more expensive than it’s ever been. Thankfully, some new technologies have made planning and booking a tour easier than ever, so that bands and artists can push into new markets, without the same level of financial risk that was associated with doing so in the past. Join us this week as we speak with Fabrice Sergent (BandsInTown),... Listen

February 17, 2020 – The Future of What Ep. #178: Licensing Music For Podcasts

While music consumption has pivoted away from piracy and downloads, the spectre of the past is once again looming over the industry, as podcasts become an even more dominant medium. Generally unregulated, most podcasts contain at least one musical work, that is likely unlicensed, which means that those episodes you’re downloading are really no different than the unauthorized downloads of the past. So, will the industry coalesce around a standard blanket license to solve this issue?... Listen

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