Jan 24, 2024 2 min read

The year ahead: Jess Partridge, Executive Director of EMMA

EMMA Executive Director Jess Partridge looks ahead to 2024 in the latest of our series of interviews with the music industry’s trade bodies. She discusses the key challenges facing music managers and the organisation’s lobbying work, as well as initiatives like EMMPower

The year ahead: Jess Partridge, Executive Director of EMMA

As we head into 2024, CMU recently sat down with the bosses of many of the music industry’s trade organisations to talk about their work, the key challenges faced by their members, and what to expect in the year ahead. Today, Jess Partridge, Executive Director of the European Music Managers Alliance, which brings together music manager representative bodies from across Europe. 

Explore the full series of interviews

What were the biggest wins for EMMA in 2023?

EMMA went through a transitional year in 2023. With two new members, and bolstered by the launch of our EU-funded project EMMPower, we've been delivering a wide range of content to support the development of managers across Europe. 

This has included creating genre focused networking groups, digital masterclasses and a spotlight series to help managers develop their artists in new territories. We hosted a huge reception at Reeperbahn alongside panels focusing on AI and innovation. 

We've also been busy representing managers' interests on an advocacy level - including joining the call for a new vision for European touring, and through the report on remuneration for artists that was recently adopted by the European Parliament.

What are key challenges for your members?

There are several specific challenges that we've been focused on over the last year. 

With touring, double taxation through withholding tax is causing artists with profitable tours to come out with a loss, which is a huge concern for our members and a focus of our advocacy work. 

Streaming remuneration, and the changes around DSP payment models, are also a huge concern, alongside the pressing issue of AI and how they are trained, specifically in relation to artists having the option to opt in or out. 

The rapidly changing role of the manager as CEOs of artist businesses - often doubling up as the label, promoter, social media manager etc - is a general challenge and something each member is dealing with. 

What will be key priorities for EMMA in the year ahead?

The biggest challenges will continue from last year around touring, remuneration and AI - and we'll see conversations on all those things progress through the European Parliament. 

The European Parliament elections - and the Commission's decisions around music funding and what topics it will prioritise over the next seven years - will be very important to EMMA and many of our members too. 

We will be continuing our EMMPower project, as well as starting a diversity and inclusion taskforce, and building a resource centre around mental health for managers. And we began the year by publishing the results of the first ever survey of managers across Europe at Eurosonic.

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