Monetizing Music on the Web: The Long, Hard Road Still Looks Long and Hard

This comes from the blog of MIDEM:

As recent research by Viacom Music Group shows, today’s 13-40 year olds are “practically bathing in music” — which is good news! — but “fans connect with artists through a variety of means and platforms, including TV, social media and concerts”, which makes content hard to monetise. Not to mention the astonishing evolution of formats over the last 30 years – explained in a brilliant animation published by Digital Music News – that makes music monetisation an even more complex topic. How can collecting societies efficiently track copyrights nowadays? Can labels even pay artists their fair share in this disrupted economy?

The figures are quite clear: The Guardian points out that music streams are up and downloads are down, which leaves right holders with no choice – music monetisation must evolve and adapt to new consumption modes. The Daily Beast suggests that the music industry should learn from TV, an industry that overcame similar challenges by “selling content via a profitable subscription model”:

“What happened? Well, the same thing that is happening in the music business right now, namely the need to convince people to pay for what they previously got for free. HBO and its peers have proven that consumers will embrace a subscription-based model for content, but you need to give them a reason to do so.”

Keep reading.  Once you’re done, move on this this article from The New Yorker entitled “The Classical Cloud” which expresses worry about the fate of genres such of classical music in the all-digital era. I wrote about something similar earlier this week.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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