“Now more than ever, it’s time to innovate,” says Canadian CMO executive and moderator Veronica Syrtash, kicking off this panel on new, thought-provoking ways for artists to find new opportunities and revenue streams. This Midem panel is open to all thanks to the Midem Digital Edition.
The three panelists are experts in specific, rapidly evolving areas in licensing, sync, and streaming content monetization. In building their companies, they all saw opportunities in digital music and new formats, turning online and multimedia content into cornerstones of a new music business model. Now, in the wake of worldwide changes due to COVID-19, they dig deep into the shifts in their areas of expertise and how artists, managers, labels, and rights holders can seize any and all opportunities.
The crisis has accelerated innovation at many partner platforms, which are rolling out artist-centered focus to make up for the near-total collapse of live performance revenues. “We see a lot of our partners creating more content, putting out more videos and songs. We’re also trying to help them with other sides of the business,” recounts Roy LaManna of Vydia. “Due to our relationships with DSPs like Facebook or Twitch. Facebook Live has a new live monetization feature, something they’ve always had in the mix, but that they’ve accelerated due to COVID. We’re trying to meet with and have discussions with all our partners and figure out what solutions they are coming up with and who in our client base fits that. There’s not one solution, but there are various solutions partners are coming up with to get [artists] through this period.”
One of the things we decided to do is create a free solution for artists, so they didn’t have to put a credit card in or put up any money to distribute their music.
“This is the time to focus on taking care that all your music is out there, to finish music and get more music out there.”
Now is the time, the panelists urge artists, to distribute, register, and monetize their work. “When I was a musician that lived gig to gig, when it was 1995 or so, if we had had a pandemic then it would have been impossible to make any money,” says Paul Wiltshire of Songtradr. “We do have this wonderful thing called the internet now and so much opportunity coming out of that. There’s more time to spend uploading your music to different opportunities. This is the time to focus on taking care that all your music is out there, to finish music and get more music out there. We are seeing significant growth of distributed music, four times as much in the last month [April] compared to March. This is a time to channel your feelings into those masterpieces.
It’s also the perfect time to maximize their potential income by gathering all the diverse, if still small streams together into a growing pool of revenue in the long run. “The early adopters on a new platform tend to benefit the most,” says LaManna, “when and if that platform takes off.” And it’s not all bad news: “Some verticals are experiencing a boom time, and some a pause,” notes Wiltshire.
“There are opportunities now because of digital music to have all these new revenue streams.”
As Darryl Ballantyne of LyricFind pointed out, “it’s all additive.” In many cases, it’s not that innovation is simply replacing older approaches or formats, Ballantyne explains, but that a new revenue stream has been added to more traditional ones, as is the case with many lyric uses, including licensed translations, allowing artists to “create once, earn forever.”
“There are opportunities now because of digital music to have all these new revenue streams,” he continues. “It’s created a situation where we’re in a unique time of a shared global experience in going through this. That connects all the world in a way we’ve never been connected before. We’re all in this together, fighting a common enemy.”
For more than 50 years, Midem has brought the global music community together in Cannes. This year, Midem Digital Edition (June 2-5) will feature 264 speakers from 48 countries, 64 sessions, and 23 livestreamed keynote sessions, talks, and presentations.