Ways The Music Industry Can Change For The Better
Music attorney Erin Jacobson gives her critique of the music industry and shares ideas for way that the industry can improve the treatment of artists in 2017.This article originally appeared on Forbes
2016 saw a lot of lawsuits and lobbying in regards to changes in the music industry. Here are a few major issues that need to be resolved in 2017 and beyond to help sustain the music business.
Higher rates for streaming and YouTube views
The rates creators and rights owners earn from streaming and views are currently fractions of pennies. A songwriter or rights owner needs to see millions of streams/views to make any substantial income from this revenue stream. Streaming services and YouTube are the biggest platforms for consumers to listen to music, but those that make music are not able to make a sustainable living solely off income from those sources. The rates need to be higher so that those who create music for a living are actually able to earn a living.
Music publishers need to be paid more
In a similar vein, music publishers earn less than record labels from YouTube, Spotify, and other streaming and digital services. There is no music – and no recordings to be made of music -- without the creation of a musical composition first. When music publishers are paid less than record labels, not only are music publishers earning less, but the songwriters signed to those companies are earning less. If songwriters cannot make a living writing songs, then songwriting will become a hobby instead of a career.
Even though labels are making more than music publishers, the amount that the artists make is still substantially small due to the contractual terms with the labels. Again, the artists bringing songs to life are not making sufficient money based on their performances and interpretations of songs, and they will not be able to sustain a career that is financially inadequate. Creators need to be properly compensated and this should be recognized by anyone who values music in their life.