Jan 22, 2024 2 min read

The year ahead: Mitch Glazier, CEO and Michele Ballantyne, COO of RIAA

RIAA CEO Mitch Glazier and COO Michele Ballantyne look ahead to 2024 in the latest of our series of interviews with the music industry’s trade bodies. They discuss the organisation’s work around AI, including co-founding the Human Artistry Campaign, plus the recent Gold and Platinum Class Of 2023

The year ahead: Mitch Glazier, CEO and Michele Ballantyne, COO of RIAA

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, the Recording Industry Association Of America’s CEO Mitch Glazier and COO Michele Ballantyne. 

Explore the full series of interviews

What were the biggest wins for the RIAA in 2023?

MG: As generative AI quickly shifted from a novel technology to ubiquitous in mainstream conversation, RIAA has worked as part of the creative community to keep irreplaceable human creation and artistry at the forefront of culture and policy. 

One of our biggest wins in 2023 was being a part of a founding group of organisations in the Human Artistry Campaign, setting baseline principles for ethical and responsible AI development and use - making credit, compensation and consent core values.

With more 170 organisations across sectors in 34 countries, the campaign’s principles balance supporting innovation with protecting the essential human elements driving culture. 

We have already seen RIAA member companies use AI technologies in groundbreaking ways – with full consent and participation of the artists and rightsholders involved – and know through our experiences during the streaming era that frameworks allowing all to thrive responsibly exist.

What have been the biggest challenges for your members in the last year? 

MG: Challenge and opportunity are often the same issue under a different lens. And that holds true with the music industry’s relationship to generative AI. 

As we have explored and learned about this emerging technology over the last year alongside the entire creative community, we’ve educated policymakers on how human artistry and culture could be impacted and why it is vital to establish methods for both art and technology to move forward together.

What will be a key focus for the RIAA in 2024?

MB: We will continue to fight for a sustainable system where creators’ works, livelihoods and voices are protected as new technology is at the point of catastrophically ‘moving fast and breaking things’ or investing in a future that advances both. 

A large focus in 2024 for RIAA will be the importance of transparency in AI model recordkeeping, protecting copyrighted material, and establishing clear rules that prevent deepfakes from stealing the most essential pieces of individual human identity.

You also run the US industry’s Gold and Platinum Program - what have been key moments in that domain in recent months? 

MB: We were so excited to announce our Gold and Platinum Class Of 2023, featuring 57 breakout artists who earned their first certification last year. This is our largest ‘Class Of’ ever – we love to see more and more new artists breaking through, working with labels to build sustainable, successful careers. 

Our Gold and Platinum Program continues to reflect the great relationships artists build with their fans and fans’ passion for music. 

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