Sounds like magic, but it’s science.— Soundtrack (@SoundtrackYour) October 9, 2018
See how music can give you happier customers and higher sales. https://t.co/bfYIS1vdmB
Photo: Courtesy of Soundtrack Your Brand
"Licensed soundtracks for small businesses offer a win-win musical opportunity" — Conversations In Advocacy #40
Innovation in U.S. compensation for music's creators took a huge step forward last week as the Music Modernization Act was signed into law, but this week it's worth looking ahead to what streaming can do for small businesses. Nielsen conducted two studies earlier this year, commissioned by Soundtrack Your Brand, that showed a multi-billion dollar opportunity for the streaming revolution to add value and proper licensing to global business environments.
"Music makers are being shortchanged without knowing it," said Soundtrack Your Brand Chairman/Co-founder Andreas Liffgarden. "Consumer streaming companies have millions of customers who are actually businesses, who may be unknowingly misusing their services and not paying music makers the money they are entitled to, which is potentially in the billions of dollars."
World-wide, background music in business settings was estimated as a $12.3 billion industry, in itself. But among small businesses with at most 10 employees, Nielsen estimated that 83 percent are using unlicensed music in the workplace. Liffgarden was an executive during the start-up days of Spotify and sees this market as a promising opportunity, bringing streaming services with business background-music licenses into professional settings bound to benefit. Large brands are more likely to know better and comply, but tens of millions of small businesses with music playing are likely to be using personal accounts with services only licensed for consumer listening — about 83 percent of businesses on average.
For example in the United States, 71 percent of small business owners are under the mistaken impression that using a personal, consumer service is all the licensing they need. In the UK the figure is 60 percent. For marketing experts, this is the difference between two acronyms — B2B for business-to-business licensing versus B2C for business-to-consumer licensing. A commercial B2B license is intended to serve a larger number of listeners, as major brands already realize. In the U.S. that gap has been valued at an estimated $888 million annually.
"We weren't surprised by the results per se, but the scale of it was a little bit daunting, to be honest," Liffgarden told Rolling Stone. "The music industry at large needs to do better to educate. You instinctively know that you can't use your Netflix account and open a cinema — you'd surely roll your eyes and say, 'of course I knew that' — but the same isn't true for music." The "educational journey" that he believes in should provide benefits for all stakeholders.
Digital music piracy by consumers was viewed 20 years ago as a problem caused by technology, but now digital music royalties amount to more than half of global music revenue — because the problem was solved by technology, working with stakeholders to build a complete ecosystem. In the U.S., the Music Modernization Act helps to complete this virtuous circle.
For Soundtrack Your Brand, the opportunity to offer digital music for business is clear and the challenge is to get more than 20 million global places-of-work on board by enticing them with great service. There are many costs on commercial ledger sheets, for example janitorial service or providing complimentary coffee. Music is more than just another cost and comparatively, it is not a large cost — especially if it can be made more convenient, like a 'no-brainer.' Music's creators would clearly benefit from being rewarded with the money they don't receive from small businesses. But these businesses are also missing out by believing consumer services meet their commercial music needs.
"There's no doubt the overwhelming majority of small business owners are willing to pay to use music in their business," says Jody McKinley, North America Managing Director for Soundtrack Your Brand. "After all, it makes their business environment better. It helps create an experience for their customers or helps motivate their staff. Business owners understand that music adds value. What they don't understand is how to ethically source the music they are using in their business. We want to help fix that."
It will most likely be the benefits for small businesses that will help drive them along the educational journey. Creating an atmosphere that is good for business productivity distinguishes competitors, as shops and restaurants know. Aside from the legal liability of misusing B2C services in B2B settings, business owners are missing out by taking a passive approach to background music. Over time, digital playlists in various commercial environments should benefit from the same types of practical analysis that goes into choosing wall colors or determining how many tables or countertops are ideal. There is tremendous growth space for business creativity, backed up by data science and analytics.
Nielsen's "largest-ever international study into background music" supplies the vision and promising data to embark on a new streaming revolution — to mobilize consumers to get out of the house and go somewhere that offers a wonderful atmosphere. It's not just a matter of getting some owners to pay more for the right licenses. By helping brands stand out, music can drive customers and employees to want to spend time in their place. It's clear why that journey is a billion-dollar proposition that will help internet traffic become foot-traffic.
"Conversations in Advocacy" is your weekend digital tip sheet on music advocacy and the policies that affect music makers and their craft. New installments post every Friday.
Photo: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Believe it or not, during the 2016 election, 90 million eligible voters didn't go to the ballots, and only 16 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds voted in the last midterm elections. As the November 6 midterm election approaches this year, artists have been using their social platforms to inspire more people – especially young Americans – to get out and vote.
"I was literally astonished that over 90 million people didn't vote," says GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter/producer Linda Perry.
Perry, a member of the Recording Academy’s L.A. Chapter Board, has her eye on youth and is spearheading a voter campaign encouraging all music creators and fans not only to register and show up on election day, but also to share social media captions mobilizing young voters to get involved. Here are example of what you can do to spread the word and get our millennials to vote. Please do one or both of the steps below on Oct. 23 at 12 p.m. noon PST:
Pick one of the following captions for Twitter or Instagram:
- Doesn't matter what you wear just as long as you are there. #GETUP&VOTE!
- Not voting is equivalent to letting your Grandma decide what to post on your Instagram account. Curate your future! #GETUP&VOTE!
- We don’t choose our parents, so don’t let them choose 4 you. #GETUP&VOTE!
Record a short video of yourself reading the caption out loud and post on your socials!
The campaign goes a step further, prompting individuals to record a short video of themselves reading the caption out loud and post on their social platforms. Perry is leading the charge specifically targeted at inspiring youth to get involved and decide their own future.
"Our youth that is supposed to be curating their future, they're not paying attention or they're not feeling that their voice is gonna be heard," she said.
Perry is not alone in her passion for encouraging millennials to hit the polls. Rihanna tweeted and used Instagram to send out a list of voter registration deadlines.
GOOD MORNING AMERICAI don’t care what responsibilities you have today. There’s no greater responsibility than being in control of your future and it starts NOW!! REGISTER TO VOTE TODAY at https://t.co/k42TB6cvIZ & triple check that you are properly registered! Let’s go!! pic.twitter.com/i0Tnwsjd9E
— Rihanna (@rihanna) October 9, 2018
"I don’t care what responsibilities you have today. There’s no greater responsibility than being in control of your future and it starts NOW!!" she posted.
John Legend, another member of the Academy’s Los Angeles board, shared a video last month encouraging his followers to vote. Taylor Swift used her acceptance speech at the American Music awards as time to remind people to get out and vote during midterm elections. Recently, A Perfect Circle took advantage of their visit to the GRAMMY Museum to remind their fans to register to vote. Other artists like Common and Alicia Keys are also trying to inspire people to vote.
This National Voter Registration Day, research the voting rights in your state and make a plan to vote. By making your voice heard at the polls, you can determine the future of our country’s criminal justice system. Call https://t.co/2F1Uc6A3TO to know your rights. #NVRD pic.twitter.com/m79C1jayQV
— John Legend (@johnlegend) September 25, 2018
Using the recent passing and signing of the Music Modernization Act, which brought together songwriters, producers and artists, Perry says more thinking like that is needed to make change happen.
"That was people coming together that probably didn't think this would happen, but they put all their personal emotions aside and went and fought as a community and that made a huge difference," Perry said. "That's how we win battles by getting together as a community and fighting, and standing up and protecting."
Photo: Courtesy of the White House
"We're finally getting it done" — Conversations In Advocacy #39
On Oct. 11 at the White House, President Trump signed the Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (MMA) into law. The historic signing ceremony was attended by musicians Jeff Baxter, Kid Rock, Mike Love, MercyMe, Sam Moore, Craig Morgan, John Rich, members of Congress including Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Darrell Issa (R-Ca.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and our own Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. President Trump gave special thanks to Portnow and concluded, "We're finally getting it done!"
Moments ago, President Trump signed the Music Modernization Act, which will close loopholes in our digital royalty laws to ensure that songwriters, artists, producers, and providers receive fair payment for the licensing of music. pic.twitter.com/yeQxBI15V0— The White House (@WhiteHouse) October 11, 2018
"With the president's signature today, the Music Modernization Act is officially the law of the land," said Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. "As we celebrate the harmony and unity that got us here, we applaud the efforts of the thousands of performers, songwriters, and studio professionals who rallied for historic change to ensure all music creators are compensated fairly when their work is used by digital and satellite music services. We thank the members of Congress who championed this issue throughout the past several years to bring music law into the 21st century."
After years of effort leading up to this major reform of copyright law for the digital age, celebrating the occasion includes looking back while looking ahead — gratitude for unprecedented unity by industry stakeholders, deep satisfaction that a unanimous Congress worked together in a bipartisan manner to craft the law, and excitement looking ahead to marketplace incentives that will soon be put in place, making life more fair for those who rely on music for their livelihoods.
The stage was set for this turning point once the House of Representatives — having passed their version of the MMA previously — voted unanimously for final passage of the Senate's legislation, which absorbed solutions from the House bill during the Senate's drafting of their own version. To celebrate the occasion, the Recording Academy Membership's 12 Chapters across America raised their glasses in unison last week in a #ToastToMusic.
In three major "titles," the MMA has benefits for everyone. The first title includes the "willing buyer/willing seller" rate-setting standard, helping both artists and songwriters, governing determinations for online royalties made by the Copyright Royalty Board. This also means songwriter organizations such as ASCAP and BMI will be in an improved negotiating position to secure rates that are fair in the future. Songwriters will also benefit from the mechanical licensing collection entity created by the MMA, which plans to leverage modern digital tech to administer digital rights with unprecedented transparency.
The second title closes the pre-1972 loophole that excluded legacy performers of iconic American recordings from compensation for online streams. Artists benefit from its solutions which were previously introduced by the CLASSICS Act.
The third title welcomes producers and engineers into the language of copyright law for the very first time, reflecting in statute the critical contributions these studio professionals continue to make every day. This overdue recognition was first introduced in the AMP Act.
The Orrin G. Hatch–Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act is signed into law. Find out more about the Act and the Copyright Office’s upcoming implementation efforts here: https://t.co/kiGU1hxxl3 #MusicModernizationAct pic.twitter.com/HIuOZhUp3j— US Copyright Office (@CopyrightOffice) October 11, 2018
Even internet associations and digital activists have found reasons to celebrate the balanced copyright reform package embodied in the MMA, for example its clearing the way for historic Orphan Works to reach the public in unfortunate cases where creators cannot be identified. Also, the MMA's new platform for music business will end long-standing conflicts that led to lawsuits, eating up years in the courts and costing millions of dollars to litigate.
For all music fans, including the creators in our membership, access to modernized, transparent data will change the way we all learn what's out there for us to listen to, as well as what others are listening to. Thanks to the copyright reform work of industry professionals, lawmakers and outspoken advocates for music from every background, all of us can look forward to new tools and innovations given a firm basis in data.
Looking ahead, Recording Academy Advocacy work on behalf of music's many creatives and professionals will continue, year round, building on this new platform of modernized copyright to lobby for additional improvements not included in the MMA omnibus. Our District Advocate day with its focus on local action will be here soon, on Oct. 24. Thousands of our members participate in "the nation's largest grassroots advocacy movement for music." The pride and gratitude inspired by today's turning point will no doubt still feel fresh.
Sting and Shaggy
Photo: Recording Academy
GRAMMY winners Sting and Shaggy are not necessarily the most-expected of collaborators, but their passion for music was part of what brought them together. The duo, who have been playing shows around the world together the past few months, stopped by the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles on Oct. 7 for a special edition of Up Close & Personal presented by the Recording Academy and moderated by the organization's Chief Industry, Government & Member Relations Officer Daryl Friedman.
In the intimate discussion, Sting and Shaggy talked about the causes most important to them and why it's important for musicians to both give back to the things near to their hearts as well as advocate for their rights as music creators. The two artists also discussed how their latest musical collaboration came together.
On an evening focused on music advocacy, Sting and Shaggy revealed they are supportive of improving music creators' rights. This passion is shared by others in the industry and is reflected in recent efforts by members of the music community advocating for the Music Modernization Act, new legislation which would establish fairer rates and greater protections for all music creators. Thanks to widespread, bipartisan support for the bill and increased awareness around the need for copyright law reform to protect creators, the bill has passed both the House and Senate and currently awaits final approval by the President.
Sting and Shaggy also discussed their ongoing dedication to giving back as musicians, using their platforms for social good. They shared two of their biggest causes, the Rainforest Foundation Fund and the Make a Difference Foundation, and why it has been important to each of them to contribute to the communities and causes they’re passionate about. They encouraged other musicians to use their platforms for good, including to advocate for artists' rights and the music community as a whole.
For anyone lucky enough to be in the room for this exclusive event, Sting and Shaggy brought down the house, closing the night with a special performance of some of their new songs, serving as a reminder of the magic music can create.