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Upcoming Events – The Big Question: Can Streaming Go Mainstream? – MusicTank
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The Big Question: Can Streaming Go Mainstream?

23rd February 2012 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Venue: Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster

“Genuinely the most interesting panel discussion I’ve seen in a long time.  As captivating as it was accessible, stuffed with people who didn’t always agree – but who clearly all care passionately about the business.” 

Tim Ingham – Editor, Music Week



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The recordings business begins 2012 at a make-or-break crossroads.

Digital is growing and in under a decade, the download business has emerged to constitute approximately a quarter of all UK music consumption – a considerable slice of the pie.

Streaming is still a niche activity, but with Spotify already regularly used by about 10% of households, it is showing potential.  The model is very much at a delicate point in its infancy however, which makes the growing disquiet that ‘streaming isn’t paying’ – fuelled by artists from Jon Hopkins to the Black Keys –  all the more problematic.

These artists are not on their own.  Many across the business, from labels through to lawyers, question the industry’s approach to this new model.  And the questions aren’t just about pennies per stream – some wonder whether streaming is cannibalising downloads.  Several draw parallels with the business’ response to the original Napster, the implication being that ‘get this wrong and the recordings business is going to be thrashing around a fifth percentile of licensed consumption for years to come’.

Many also feel that the services themselves could be more open.  The streaming model alters our relationship with music from standard ownership to a pay-for-access model – realistically the biggest change in consumption of recorded music since its invention, yet, just when an extra effort to encourage understanding is needed, silence is fuelling fear.

In some ways it’s a testament to the success of the model that industry stakeholders care to voice their concerns, though in the end, if people in the value chain don’t see value then there is a problem.

Ultimately there are two questions at the heart of the issue that this session aims to address:

  • How does the model work?
  • How do the artists get paid?

The discussion is sure to raise many issues – from artist contracts, the potential erosion of performers’ equitable right of remuneration for radio play, also the question of chart eligibility – however this session will avoid getting immersed in the finer ramifications for the rest of the business at this stage.

The immediate need is to understand what impact the biggest change in music consumption since the wax cylinder might have on the future of all in the recordings business – especially artists.

DELEGATES INCLUDE: Universal, Cherry Red, EMI, Atlantic, Clintons, Nokia, PPL, Music Law, Linklaters, Absolute Marketing, Absolute Radio, Ministry of Sound, Sony Music, Sony Computers, Finetunes, Ofcom, Sheridans, Omnifone, Enders Analysis, University of Nottingham, Nielsen, Wildlife Management, Box TV and many more…
NB: Click speaker names to access biogs.
Notes: A limited number of FREE places are available on a first-come, first-served basis to new applicants for the Creative Futures programme.  Contact MusicTank for full details and eligibility criteria. All registration documents must be completed and accepted at least 3 working days prior to the event.
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