The boss of The Ivors Academy, Graham Davies, is leaving the UK songwriter organisation to head up the Digital Media Association – or DiMA – in the United States. DiMA represents the interests of the big streaming services, including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube and Pandora.
Confirming Davies as the new President and CEO of the organisation, the DiMA board says: “Graham has long championed initiatives that bring the music industry together through collaborative discussion and action. His demonstrated track record of working constructively across diverse stakeholders – and across borders – for the betterment of creators and the music ecosystem as a whole resonated with us”.
Davies joined The Ivors Academy – then still known as BASCA – in 2018, having previously worked in a number of roles at PRS. His stint leading the songwriter organisation coincided with the Economics Of Music Streaming Inquiry in the UK Parliament, which was in no small part prompted by the Fix Streaming campaign instigated by the Ivors Academy and the Musicians’ Union.
He has played a key lobbying role in seeking to reform the way the streaming business works through that inquiry and the subsequent government-led work on data, transparency and music-maker remuneration. He also co-founded the Credits Due campaign, which is focused on the data issues in the digital music supply chain that can impact if and when songwriters get paid.
The UK’s parliamentary inquiry around streaming ultimately focused more on the relationship between music-makers and their music industry business partners. So, record labels, music publishers and collecting societies. Though there were also calls on the streaming services to embrace and support new transparency and data initiatives.
At the same time as this was happening in the UK, the US was focused on the Copyright Royalty Board hearings that considered what the song royalty rate for streaming should be. That was very much a battle between the songwriters and publishers on one side and the streaming services on the other.
A deal was ultimately done that both sides supported, though an early task for Davies in his new job will likely be seeking to improve songwriter/service relations after years of Copyright Royalty Board battling.
Commenting on his new job, Davies says: “DiMA has taken a forward-leaning approach to initiatives that benefit the entire music industry and the brightest future for music is one where key players work together. It’s critical that we accelerate industry dialogues that reward creativity”.
“In my new post”, he adds, “I look forward to listening, engaging in conversation, and looking at ways continued innovation can create new opportunity”.