Recording Industry Association of America
USINFO | 2014-06-23 15:32

Abbreviation RIAA
Formation 1952; 62 years ago
Type Licensing and royalties, technical standards
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Location United States
Chairman and CEO Cary Sherman
Slogan "Representing Music"

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is a trade organization that represents the recording industry in the United States. Its members consist of record labels and distributors, which the RIAA says "create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 85% of all legally sold recorded music in the United States." The RIAA headquarters is in Washington, D.C.

The RIAA was formed in 1952. Its original mission was to administer recording copyright fees and problems, work with trade unions, and do research relating to the record industry and government regulations. Early RIAA standards included the RIAA equalization curve, the format of the stereophonic record groove and the dimensions of 33 1/3 rpm, 45 rpm, and 78 rpm records.

The RIAA says its current mission includes the following: protect intellectual property rights and the First Amendment rights of artists; perform research about the music industry; monitor and review relevant laws, regulations and policies.

Since 2001, the RIAA has spent upwards of $2 to $6 million each year on lobbying in the United States alone.
The RIAA also participates in the collective rights management of sound recordings, and it is responsible for certifyingGold and Platinum albums and singles in the United States.

Company structure and sales
Cary Sherman has been the RIAA's chairman and CEO since 2011. Sherman joined the RIAA as its general counsel in 1997 and became president of the board of directors in 2001, serving in that position until being made chairman and CEO.

Mitch Glazier has been the RIAA's senior executive vice president since 2011. He served as executive vice president for public policy and industry relations from 2000 to 2011.

The past RIAA chairman and CEO is the Mitch Bainwol, who served from 2003 to 2011. He left in 2011 to become president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.

The board of directors consists of 26 members of the board, drawn mostly from the big three members of the RIAA. The board is currently made up of:
•Cary Sherman – RIAA
•Colin Finkelstein – EMI Recorded Music
•Bill Hearn – EMI Christian Music Group
•Deirdre McDonald – Sony Music Entertainment
•Terry Hemmings – Provident Music Group/Sony Music Entertainment
•Kevin Kelleher – Sony Music Entertainment
•Thomas Hesse – Sony Music Entertainment
•Julie Swidler – Sony Music Entertainment
•Luke Wood – Interscope Records
•Jeff Harleston – Universal Music Group
•Zach Horowitz – Universal Music Group
•Mel Lewinter – Universal Motown Republic Group
•Craig Kallman – The Atlantic Group
•Paul Robinson – Warner Music Group
•Bob Cavallo – Buena Vista Music
•Glen Barros – Concord Music Group
•Mike Curb – Curb Records
•Michael Koch – Entertainment One U.S.
•Tom Silverman – Tommy Boy Entertainment
•Steve Bartels – Island Records

The RIAA represents over 1,600 member labels, which are private corporate entities such as record labels and distributors, and collectively create and distribute about 90% of recorded music sold in the United States. The largest and most influential of the members are the "Big Three":
•Sony Music Entertainment
•Universal Music Group
•Warner Music Group

The RIAA reports that total retail value of recordings sold by their members was $10.4 billion at the end of 2007, a decline from $14.6 billion in 1999.

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