Artists invited to live streaming roundtable series by EMC Connect

Artists and music industry stakeholders are invited to join EMC Connect for a series of special roundtables as they explore the ins and outs of livestreaming for artists and businesses. The first is ‘Licensing For Livestreaming Is Broken – So How Do We Fix It?’

Two decades on from Napster and the Music Industry’s struggles with technology are as complex as ever with the huge uptake in livestreaming causing frustration and confusion for many. Takedowns are abundant and when it comes to licensing for streams only the few – not the many – have the means to obtain licenses for their streams.

Live streaming isn’t new to electronic music. (Cue Boiler Room, Cercle, Worldwide FM etc) With the rest of the music world having raced to live streaming due to COVID-19 shutdowns, the challenges with the online licensing framework (that have always been there) are now firmly under the spotlight.

Numerous Public Rights Organisations (PROs) that represent publishers and songwriters have adjusted public performance licenses for live streaming – but the PROs that represent the public performance of the recordings rights don’t have blanket license options in place with the key platforms for live streaming. (Facebook, YouTube etc)

In April, Mixcloud announced MixCloud LIVE which provides a license compliant platform for both publishing and master licensing needs. In recent weeks, Facebook have gone a step further than muting and takedowns and are now issuing bans to DJs and promoters who broadcast unlicensed music in live streams. In March, Twitch announced a partnership with Soundcloud. United We Stream have partnered with a European TV broadcaster which covers their streams under a blanket license.

COVID-19 has presented the music industry with it’s “Napster moment” again, in more ways than one. For the millions of streamers around the world, there is an awareness of the need to share income generated from streams with the rights holder of the music being played. But only a limited number of individuals and organisations have the ability and capacity to secure licensing deals with individual labels to make sure their content isn’t taken down – or worse – that they’re banned from platforms.
The current licensing system is seemingly creating barriers to those that want and need to get licenses in place. This is especially complex on the recordings side – which is particularly important for DJs in live streams. And as we see more brands filtering into live streams, the licensing situation becomes even more complex.Despite all the focus over many years about the need for equality in the music industry, it seems that when it comes to licensing for live streams that only the few – not the many – have the means to obtain licenses for their streams.

The system is broken. So how do we fix it, fast?

The first in the round table series takes a look at this on Thursday 4 June at 6pm AEST, with speakers Jakue López Armendáriz (VP Digital, BMAT in Spain), Jennifer Tutty (Studio Legal in Australia), Jez Bell (Chief Licensing Officer, PPL UK), Nico Perez (CEO, Mixcloud UK), Shawn Reynaldo (Editor/Journalist and Moderator, Spain), Silvia Montello (Head of Business Development, Blokur UK), Stuart Watters (Director Licensing and Business Affairs, Nightlife Australia). Places are limited. Register for free here.

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