Nov 21, 2016 Annamari Engelberg
Slush Music Presents is the blog series about the speakers and discussions that will be highlighted at Slush Music program this year. Slush Music is organized on Nov 30–Dec 1 at the Cable Factory and Expo & Convention Centre in Helsinki, Finland. Get your ticket to Slush Music now!
From all copyrighted works, music is potentially the most restricted and heavily licensed. Still, whether the original rationale for music licensing – compensating the right holder of their work – is achieved in today’s digitized world, is another issue. For making most of the music licensing and distribution essence, that will be a hot topic at Slush Music especially on November 30, make sure that especially the following talks, panels and presentations are highlighted in your program with bold red.
“Online music distributors launched services without having a proper structure to pay those who created the music correctly,” states Helienne Lindvall, Head of Business Relations from Auddly, and one of the experts in the Slush Music panel on ‘Music Licensing in the Age of Streaming’. “Imagine a supermarket chain selling products without knowing who the suppliers are, or how to pay them, saying – we’ll figure it out later!”
Songwriters hit harder than anyone
In addition, Lindvall notes how the songwriters have been hit harder than anyone else, as “the share they get from the streaming ‘pie’ is between a fifth and a fifteenth, depending on the service – and nothing from the advances and shares the major labels receive.” Another issue musicians may struggle with is the lack of correct metadata, i.e. the right information on the names of the tracks and songwriters behind them in each service, which Auddly is also addressing. ”Using Auddly empowers the music creators to take charge of their rights and avoid disputes. It’s a tool that tracks each project from inception to release, and acts like a music rights management hub that can provide clean metadata as soon as a track is ready to be released. That’s revolutionary.”
In order to discuss these topics in the current state of the music industry, in which the digital revenues are overtaking the physical ones, Lindvall is joining a fireside on Drop Stage with Richard Lapington, a leading audio designer from Remedy Games, Annabella Coldrick, the CEO of Music Managers Forum UK, and as the legal expert, Tobias Salomon from the law firm Dottir’s Berlin office. The future digital honey pots for generating revenue, as well as the so-called ‘streaming war’ between the competing streaming services, will also be under discussion.
Chris Cooke, a music editor, journalist and entrepreneur from Music Managers Forum, is also at the heart of music licensing problems with his ‘Study of Revenue Distribution of Streaming’ case presentation. Cooke’s 2015 report, ‘Dissecting the Digital Dollar’, focuses on the licensing of the streaming services and how the digital revenues are shared between different stakeholders.
New era for licensing?
Discussing how the immutable and distributed technology behind Bitcoin is potentially changing the music industry, another fascinating theme will be ‘Blockchain – Music and Next Steps’, introduced in the expert panel by Allen Bargfrede, founder and CEO of Rethink Music, a Berklee College of Music initiative for bringing together the brightest minds to discuss the future of the music industry, Turo Pekari from Teosto, the NGO protecting and administering Finnish music authors’ rights, and Bruno Guez as the founder of Revelator, the platform for asset, rights and data tracking.
Another company trying to tackle the future of streaming is the Finnish startup Frida. Their case presentation, a ’Revolution of Digital Distribution’ by Jaakko-Veikko Ajanko will address the issues of unjust revenue distribution and unnecessary intermediaries instead of direct payments to the right holders, and Frida will also join the later streaming discussion with Sony’s and Deezer’s representatives. Ajanko explains Frida’s vision of a future with streaming platforms becoming ”media messengers”, making the life of the end-user easier. “Recently, it’s been stated that the ecosystem wars are over. Yet we don’t think so”, states Ajanko. “There are a number of doors to be opened,” backs up Miika Särmäkari. “Let the best ecosystem win.”
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