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The MMF: ‘Dissecting The Digital Dollar’ Part 2 – MusicTank

The MMF: ‘Dissecting The Digital Dollar’ Part 2

06 Oct 2016

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Artist managers call for more transparency around the music industry’s streaming deals.

This 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 earlier this year (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.