| 27 Sep 2022
All That Matters: Transparent data would help music ecosystem

SINGAPORE: The music industry has been shying away from sharing data with rest of the ecosystem, which could help understand the space along with bringing more transparency to the space. During day three of All That Matters, music professionals like Believe Digital Asia sales head- Sylvain Delange, Pandora global licensing VP- Elizabeth Moody, and Beggars Group digital director- Simon Wheeler among others, discussed transparency in the music streaming sector.

Moody said that artists and songwriters do not understand how their royalties are being split up. The revenue made through the track is paid to publishers and labels. However, while artists do get paid, not all of them understand what happens. She also said that music streaming services pay artists through various channels, but artists are not aware about this. In her opinion, artists need to be educated and informed about pay-out procedures of royalties. "Data transparency is a good place to start."

Delange feels that the music industry cannot be more transparent than it is right now. He pointed out that during the peak of the physical format, there was no specific data or figures that could help understand the market in a different light, but now demography, gender and age of end users is available. He also added that there is enormous data to help understand the music industry today.

Tag Strategic managing partner, Ted Cohen, who moderated the session, confessed that there was a time when iTunes had failed to provide him with sales data even though it was part of its deal. To which one of the panellists praised Pandora for sharing data that would help companies and artistes understand the market and its users better and plan strategies around it. Moody agreed and said that it also helps musicians to decide their tours.

Wheeler stated that the label company gets a lot of financial data every month. "We cannot present artists and managers with all the data; we need to present it to them in a way they understand." He also said that they experiment with different data to help artists, but having said that he also feels that they cannot waste time in collecting and understanding data that comes from hundreds of outlets. Delange agreed with Wheeler, clarifying that data is a tool to improve and increase revenues.

When quizzed by Cohen on high quality services, Wheeler said they are experimenting and that it is a good thing that streaming services are looking to create new models and differentiated content.

Delange pointed out that there are huge costs involved in digital, and the industry is not attempting to understand that area.

Moody added that if publisher fail to share ownership data with streaming services, it makes it difficult to serve them. "This is changing, but it has just started," she revealed.