Whatever woes people point to in the modern music industry, it’s not a matter of good vs. evil; it’s a problem of data management. Or so says CD Baby CEO Tracy Maddux in a recent article he wrote for Music Business Worldwide:
Ninety-nine percent of the data in existence was created within the past two years. Yet, more than 99% of recorded music was created before the past two years.
He goes on to say:
The bulk of the data meant to help collect revenue for music rights holders is not ready for the digital world. Much of this metadata is incomplete. It is often in conflict with other data sources and does not form a complete picture of the recording it’s meant to describe.
The underlying music that consumers enjoy and which serves as the livelihood for songwriters, labels, publishers and artists must have clean and connected data to ensure that digital revenue reaches its correct earner.
So why not sort this all out in court?
What is happening in our industry is technological disruption and changing patterns of consumer preference as renting music becomes as popular as buying music. This is irreversible and as participants in an industry, we have to choose our path to the digital world carefully for our industry to prosper.
If the participants in our industry vilify and attack each other, either through litigation or extortive threats of litigation, we engage in zero-sum behavior: one entity wins, one entity loses. This is not a path towards the creation of a healthy music industry. And it does not solve the metadata problem.
He goes on to talk about the competing interests within the music industry surrounding sound recording and composition copyrights, and why litigation will further complicate the issue of creators getting fairly paid.
Check out the whole article HERE.
What’s your opinion? Let us know in the comments below.
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