Canadian-Music-Week

Canadian Music Week - Global Forum 2007.

21 May 2007

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Executive Summary

The Global Forum was an invitation-only event designed as a collaborative session to explore the present and future landscape of the international music industry. It was hosted by Rogers Wireless Canadian Music Week and took place on Friday March 9th 2007.

Among the common themes emerging from the forum:

  • The music industry is undergoing profound change on an unprecedented scale and on an accelerated timetable. Most industry professionals attending the Global Forum believe that CD sales will dramatically decline in the next two years, and that monetizing user-generated content will be the wave of the future.
  • The industry continues to strongly believe that music has value – even though the public may perceive that music, at least on a per-unit basis, is worth less than it once was.
  • Each sector sees opportunities to exploiting this value in a digital landscape. Virtually every industry sector sees positive near-term prospects for the direction of their businesses.
  • Visions of how to realize these prospects vary by sector. On one end of the spectrum, those engaged in the Online/Technology and Broadcast/Journalism sectors of the industry see the brightest future in an environment where the consumer is offered unfettered – if not ‘free’ – access to digital music. At the opposite end, the Industry Associations and Collectives strongly support a more active role for government through regulation and public policy that will set guidelines for the future, and especially for creators’ rights.
  • Music labels face a formidable task of reinvention as existing business models are turned inside out. As noted throughout discussions at the forum, labels need to establish their value and continued relevance in an online world where artists and managers believe they can bypass the label’s traditional role as marketers and distributors.
  • The Global Forum discussions also identified areas of common ground among the various sectors. Most notably:
    • Digital interoperability and ease of use is a clear necessity;
    • The use of CD copy protection contributed to consumer dissatisfaction;
    • Legal remedies currently do not effectively communicate the value of music;
    • Digital Rights Management can play a role as an accountant, if not as a police officer, of music use;
    • Collective licensing has the potential to increase revenues;
    • Live performance is more important than ever, and;
    • Audiences are more sophisticated.
  • Finally, delegates acknowledged the compelling need for increased co-operation between all sectors. If the industry hopes to realize all the future possibilities discussed at the forum, there will need to be a greater alignment of vision – or some players risk being left behind.

The full report is free for all to access.