Music Industry Grows Thanks To The Cloud

Music Industry Grows Thanks To The Cloud

It is widely known that when it comes to trying to solve the music piracy problem, the music industry closed the gate after the horse bolted. For years CDs and tapes (remember those?) were overpriced, and then re-released with one extra track. In my youth I spent my pocket money on music. A CD single was about £4.99 for one or two songs, and an album never less than £9.99 but usually £14.99- £19.99. Not small change then, especially for young people who were not always earning yet.

Not that it is any better now. The recession has knocked the stuffing out of people and businesses alike. Thankfully people are still going to concerts and there is another glimmer of hope thanks to the ever more amazing Cloud. The Cloud is a win-win for the music industry and the figures are backing this up: the global sales of the digital music industry have grown by 5.3%. Cloud services also grew by 4.6% between 2009-10.

The growth of cloud based music services is incredibly good news for the music industry as cloud music stops piracy because they only operate through licensed services. This means all of their music is copyrighted.

Even better for the consumer is that there is a free version of Spotify, one of the most popular cloud music services. As long as the consumer does not mind adverts they can listen to music to their hearts content. Although this depends in which country they are in.

Spotify may be the most popular cloud music service in Europe but it is not available in every European country (including Greece) and even if it was there is also a problem with licensing. Just because you can listen to a song in the United Kingdom does not mean you would be able to listen to it in Germany, as Spotify may not have a license for that song in certain countries. This may mean you cannot listen to your entire music collection in other countries.

Then there is another negative: splitting the revenue. Artists may not be getting a fair deal.

Helen Smith, Independent labels’ association Impala executive chair, said: “While new services such as digital music lockers are welcome developments which will help boost the online market, they also raise fundamental questions. Digital music lockers should be based on a simple licensing models and the monetisation of these services should deliver fair value to artists and labels.”

“This is essential to the development of new cloud-based services and also includes the need to ensure that services negotiate terms with Small and medium enterprises’ rights holders on similar terms and at the same time as with the major rights owners,”

By Catherine Balavage

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