The music industry hits an all-time high
The music industry is currently on a peak mainly because of the huge boost of on-demand streaming. How did such a service manage to increase global music revenue on such a fast path? What were the circumstances facilitating its implementation?
How to make a living out of music » written by David Stopps under the commission of WIPO, is a toolbox for any music artist, author or performer, wishing to make a living out of their passion. For that purpose, legal aspects are emphasized so artists are well aware of their rights. Now more than ever, is the time for any aspiring artist to read that book and to jump in the business for the simple reason that the music industry is on its best peak.
David Stopps, author of this book and manager of many famous artists, was invited to Maastricht University on the 11th of September where he gave a lecture. He indeed transmitted his passion to all the students and interested musicians who attended that lecture by insisting on the powerful dimension of music. He managed to convince the audience that yes, music can change the world. It can go from sensitizing people on Ebola disease, to freeing Nelson Mandela out of prison. If it has been proven that music is way more than random lyrics put on a certain rhythm, and that it truly has the power to change the world. Shouldn’t this power be rewarded? Is music enough for making a living? Again “how to make a living out of music?"
How on demand music streaming boosted the music industry
The answer rests in Intellectual property rights management, a secret formula that on demand music streaming integrated very well lately. After having been through a deep economic downturn, the music industry is now recovering very rapidly with an 8.1% increase in global music revenue in 2018 with streaming revenues being the largest, while downloading is declining. On demand music streaming “saved” the music industry by providing artists with the necessary management of their right in exchange of a license.
This expansion has mainly been facilitated by the WIPO internet treaties of 1996 which redefined in a broader manner the exclusive “right of communication to the public” and the exclusive “right to make it available”, belonging to the copyright owner. Streaming broadcasters can thus be licensed. These rights being broadened, licensing process between the copyright owner and the right holder becomes more confident, thus facilitating negotiations.
This mechanism, coupled to globalization facilities offered by the internet, boosted music industry’s income tremendously. However, one question is still at stake: who benefits from that income? Who can actually make a living out of music? The problems that appears is that it seems that, usually revenues accrue to the recording industry, which is best placed to take advantage of the digital market place. The position of the music producers or performers is far less secure. Therefore, if we want to restore a fair copyright system with a fair use of licenses not making one party whose the music is in its hand worse-off, a balance needs to be created so as the revenues are equally distributed. Only then, the music industry will be stimulating for artists.
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