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!

June 8, 2020 – The Future of What Episode #191 – Music Biz LIVE with The MLC

One of the more important pieces of the Music Modernization Act passed in 2018 was the establishment of the Mechanical Licensing Collective. Similar to SoundExchange, the MLC (as it’s commonly referred to) is a third party organization that exists for the purpose of collecting the royalties (mechanical) that are generated from plays on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. In addition to collecting said royalties, the MLC (like SoundExchange) is also responsible for dispersing those royalties to self-publishing artists and publishers alike,... Listen

June 3, 2020 – The Future of What Episode #190 – Music Biz LIVE with Live Music Venues

With states opening up more and more spaces to the public, the question on some minds is “When will live music return, and what will it look like once it does?” Can venues enforce social distancing responsibly? Will half capacity be enough to sustain artists, venues and crew financially? What can venues do now to assure that they will survive long enough to re-open down the road? We get answers to these questions and more from the audio taken from a recent Music Biz LIVE session.... Listen

May 18, 2020 – The Future of What Episode 188: Music Biz LIVE, Mental Health Focus

While many have speculated about what the long term economic impacts of the COVID-19 quarantine might be, fewer have openly discussed what the long term psychological impacts on society might be. In this episode, Portia speaks with several mental health experts who were actively working with musicians before the quarantine began, and gets their take on what was working for their clients pre-quarantine and what should happen next, if those mental health gains are to be maintained.... Listen

May 8, 2020 – The Future of What Episode #187 – Music Biz LIVE with EU & UK Music Organizations

Over the past several episodes, Portia has had countless discussions with the heads of music business organizations who represent various facets of the industry within the United States. This week, she’s speaking with their peers and equivalents in the U.K. and E.U. about how they’re weathering the pandemic, and what efforts their various governing bodies are making to aid musicians and other cultural workers in this time of crisis. The six person panel also speculates on what happens next within the industry,... Listen

May 4, 2020 – The Future of What Episode #186 — Music Biz LIVE with the Music Biz Board

While the effects of the COVID-19 quarantine on live entertainment and brick and mortar retail are already apparent, other sectors of the music industry like publishing haven’t truly felt the effects of the pandemic yet because of their buffered collection timeline. Will some sectors bare the brunt of this pandemic, while others thrive? Join us this week as Portia speaks candidly with members of the MusicBiz board about how they intend on mediating the effects of this pandemic on their particular niches inside of the music business,... Listen

April 27, 2020 – The Future of What Episode #185 – Music Biz LIVE with Independent Record Retailers

It should come as no surprise that independent record stores have been particularly hard hit by the “shelter in place” orders established by many states around the country in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Some retailers have pivoted to online sales and other creative means to keep customers happy, but for many brick and mortars, this move just isn’t enough to maintain community or their bottom line. To make matters worse, the revenue generated by Record Store Day will not be coming anytime soon,... Listen

April 20, 2020 – The Future of What Episode #184 – Music Biz LIVE with NMPA, RIAA, CMA, A2IM & NSAI

On this week’s episode, we’re revisiting another Music Biz LIVE event that features candid conversation about what music business trade associations are doing to help their specific constituencies navigate the COVID-19 quagmire. Joining Portia in conversation about the CARES Act and more are: Mitch Glazier and Michele Ballantyne of the RIAA, Richard Burgess of A2IM, Bart Herbison of the NSIA, David Israelite of the NMPA and Sarah Trahern of the CMA. Listen in to find out what relief is coming your way,... Listen

April 13, 2020 – The Future of What Episode #183 – Music Biz LIVE with Instagram and Facebook

In the few weeks since our last episode, COVID-19 has changed the world and how we interact with one another, and that has had many impacts upon the music business as a whole. With venues and record stores closed to the public for the foreseeable future, musicians are having to find new ways to interact with their fans, and because of the quarantine, most of those interactions are happening virtually. To help with this transition to a digital-only reality,... Listen

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