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Economics Of Streaming Perspectives: Association Of Independent Music

By | Published on Thursday 1 June 2023


Following the announcements this week about the ongoing UK government-led economics of music streaming work, we spoke to representatives from some of the organisations involved in that work to get their perspectives on what has been achieved so far and what should happen next.

This time Silvia Montello, CEO of the Association Of Independent Music. AIM represents the independent music sector.

What do you think have been the most important aspects of the IPO led projects that were instigated after the select committee inquiry?
The work that the IPO has engaged the industry in around copyright, contract transparency and metadata has been important for engaging the various stakeholders across music to work together to agree a route forward that will benefit the creator community.

What do you think should be the priorities of the music-maker remuneration working group that is now being convened?
The key priority from AIM’s perspective is that this committee works positively together; not to simply create new ‘winners’ and ‘losers’, but to understand the bigger picture of the landscape and collaborate on solutions which will benefit creators and rightsholders across the industry. By working together, rather than in individual silos, we can make a positive difference.

The IPO has already undertaken research on the three copyright reforms proposed by the select committee – ie reversion rights, contract adjustment rights and performer ER. What is your current position on those proposals?
AIM believe that artists, contributors and creators ought to be rightly rewarded for their creativity whilst ensuring that the labels and publishers who have invested in and nurtured them continue to have sustainable successful business models.

The ER modelling to date shows that this change would not benefit the majority of stakeholders across our industry and we are committed to exploring other models, alongside the pro rata status quo, to demonstrate the impacts – positive and negative – on the various sectors of UK music.

By exploring other options, we broaden the conversation and hopefully present alternatives which can protect and grow our industry ecosystem.

There has been a lot of discussion of late about reforming the way streaming monies are allocated to individual tracks and catalogues. How can the ongoing economics of streaming work in the UK inform and influence that conversation?
Whilst the review of streaming economics in the UK has been important for bringing a clearer understanding of how the current model falls short for many creators, we feel that changes need to be made on a global basis in order to effect genuine change.

We support positive discussion and engagement with the streaming platforms across the board to ensure that many more creators can make a better living from streaming as part of their overall music industry income.

How do you think the undertakings in the metadata code will impact on the way streaming services work and music-makers get paid?
Metadata is one of the single biggest issues facing our industry, and by defining the standards and working towards better, more accurate and more complete metadata, we can ensure that recording artists, songwriters and other contributors get the revenue and attribution due to them for their creativity.

How can your members help ensure the metadata code has the maximum impact? What measures would you encourage them to implement?
We intend to collaborate with our industry partners to create workshops and resources to help our members understand the code and how best to implement it.

How can other stakeholders in the music community ensure that the metadata code has the maximum impact? What measures would you encourage them to implement?
For the metadata code to truly deliver the positive results the sector hopes for, we will have to have commitment and engagement from all stakeholders, from rightsholders to creators, distributors and platforms.

We all have a part to play in ensuring that every stakeholder can enjoy the recognition and financial reward that is due to them. We invite technology partners to work with our sector to facilitate the implementation of the code.