‘Dissecting The Digital Dollar’ Part 1 is a major report commissioned by the UK’s Music Managers Forum which sets out to explain – once and for all – how streaming services are licensed and how digital income is shared between each stakeholder in the wider music community.
It examines how the music rights industry has evolved a new licensing model for the
streaming platforms, and the copyright laws, industry conventions and legacy agreements that have influenced this process.
As revenues from this new licensing model seem set to dominate the music rights business of the future, ‘Dissecting The Digital Dollar’ outlines seven key issues the wider music industry now faces. It then poses 15 questions for artists, managers and their business partners to answer.
Written by Chris Cooke of CMU Insights, the report is based on in-depth conversations with over 30 legal, digital and music business practitioners, and a survey of 50 artist managers in five markets who between them work with acts signed to all three majors and over 100 independent record labels.
The report- written by Chris Cooke of CMU Insights- summarises discussions that took place at a series of roundtable debates staged in the UK, US, Canada and France in 2016.
Managers need to better understand streaming deals so that they can audit their artists’ royalties, advise clients on the best music industry business partners to work with, and make informed decisions about which streaming services – and which streaming business models – work best for their artists, so that those artists can confidentially encourage fans to become paying customers of the right streaming platforms.
Other findings in the report, produced for the MMF by music business consultancy CMU Insights, include:
• While recognising that record companies continue to make significant investments in new music, many in the music community believe that there needs to be a frank conversation about how streaming income is shared.
• Many people felt that the share received by heritage artists, session musicians and songwriters needs particular consideration, and that a ‘performer equitable remuneration’ system like that that operates in the radio sector and the ‘contract adjustment mechanism’ proposed in the draft European copyright directive might be ways to address some of these concerns.
• Artists and songwriters would generally prefer more digital services to be licensed through the collective licensing system, though managers recognise that there can be issues with that approach. CMOs should seek to address those issues.
• Everyone agrees that the music industry needs to address its music data issues. Many managers felt the CMOs should take the lead here – and acknowledged that some already are – while recognising that they themselves may need to be more proactive in ensuring artist, songwriters and producers log correct data for new works.
• Artists and managers shared the concerns of labels and publishers over opt-out streaming services that exploit the safe harbours of copyright law, though again transparency issues need to be addressed so that managers can take a more informed viewpoint on this matter.
All of this- and more- is available to read free now, simply download the report below.