At the National Music Publishers' Association's annual meeting the theme was very much fight for fair compensation from digital music service providers.
Sting performed two Police songs ("Next To You" and "Message In the Bottle”) and was presented the ICON Songwriter award by Sony/ATV chairman/CEO Martin Bandier, who showed a 20-year-old picture of Sting singing his publishing deal. "Times are tough," he quipped. "If you look closely you will see that I am wearing the same jacket and tie as I was then. Market conditions have been really difficult."
Sting remembered writing songs in a cold water flat 40 years ago and not knowing if anybody else would ever hear them. Now, he says there is "no greater feeling," when he hears an audience sing the song back to him when he is performing. Songwriting -- "this is important work," he said. "Ill say it again, this is important work."
He also said he was grateful that he could make a living from his craft. "The same is not true for young songwriters starting out today," he lamented. "They can't make a fair wage."
Read a fuller article about the event at Billboard magazine.