Music Speaker Profile: Jeremy Peters

Written by Rory Burbeck | March 1, 2014

SXSW 2014 Music Speaker: Jeremy Peters

Very briefly, what do you do and what is your session about?

I am the Director of Creative Licensing and Business Affairs for Ghoslty International and Ghostly Songs. In short, my job is to collect royalties for our artists alongside my team, and to find great places to license our songs and masters to. My session is about Microcent royalties - at first, seems boring, but these streams of income add up very quickly, and as the industry moves to an on-demand/streaming model, they’re becoming more and more important. I hope, alongside my panelists, to give folks a road map.

How/why did you get started in the music industry?

I got lucky, and got an internship which turned into a part time job while finishing up school — the label needed someone to look after the increasing number of licensing requests coming in, and I ended up being able to teach myself on the job how to do that well.

How many years have you attended/spoke at SXSW in the past? If this is your first time at SXSW, what are you expecting?

I’ve probably attended 6 out of the last 8 SXSW conferences, and have been a mentor in the Indie Village but never a speaker, always wanted to, though. I love the confluence of most of our industry being in one place, all that you can learn and the new acts you can see, and the fact that Austin is usually a tad bit warmer than Michigan in March isn’t bad either.

Best thing that’s happened in music in the last year?

In general, I see that musicians are being a bit more open to non-standard, odd usages and interesting ideas. We’ve suffered, as an industry, from a bit of head-in-the-sand, and I’m happy to see that we’re looking at more ways for artists to have thriving careers while not giving away the farm at the same time.

Favorite new app/service/tech development in music?

To be honest, I haven’t downloaded it, but I’m quite interested in Beats Music — it’s interesting to see another competitor in this arena and from what I’ve heard, one that took the time to try and get it right.

What’s the biggest issue facing the music business today? Can it be overcome?

I think the biggest issue facing our industry is trying to sort a fair way to compensate original artists for their work but to do it in a regulated system, almost like mechanical royalties of sorts, for mash-up and remix artists. This form of art isn’t going away, so it’d behoove us to figure out a way to make it work for all involved.

What’s the last live show you saw that floored you?

Sigur Ros @ Laneway Festival, Detroit in 2013.

Favorite moment/weirdest thing you saw from a past SXSW?

I think it was at the Warp Records party at SXSW (Red 7, perhaps) two years ago. I saw Oneohtrix Point Never for the first time live, and was blown away by how awesome it is.

What artist(s) are you most looking forward to seeing perform at SXSW 2014?

I usually take a somewhat random approach to each day, but I wouldn’t be sad if I caught a set by Connan Mockasin.

Tacos or BBQ?

LOL. BBQ. FTW.

Hear Jeremy Peters on the Makin' Cents: Why Microcents Count panel on Thursday, March 13th at 3:30pm in ACC Room17B.

Photo courtesy of the speaker