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Could Berklee and MIT's Open Music Initiative Solve Payment Issues in the Music Industry?

Image by Mattia Panciroli via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The issues with music licensing in the digital era of music are frustrating and certainly abundant, but there may be a solution in the works. 

Recently, the Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE) teamed up with the MIT Media Lab with the goal of creating a shared and open database of ownership rights. The partnership is appropriately titled the Open Music Initiative (OMI) and involves other major names like Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, Netflix, SoundCloud, NPR/WBUR, Sony, Universal, Warner, and more. This new initiative may have the power to help solve major transparency, distribution, and payment issues that occur within the music industry. 

How Much Do Music Aficionados Actually Spend on Music Now? [Infographic]

Photo by Björn Olsson via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

It's obvious that the way we consume music has changed drastically within the last few years. Music streaming services allow us to listen to nearly any song at any given moment for free or for a small fee. As a result of these changes, the ways in which people buy music is also affected. But has streaming changed the habits of music superfans or, rather, "music aficionados"?

What Movies Got Right About Streaming is Everything Music Got Wrong [Opinion]

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This article originally appeared on Haulix Daily.


Before I dive too deep into this piece, I want to stress that I am a huge supporter of streaming services in general. The age of streaming has made it possible for artists at every level to continue making money on older releases long after consumer interest in purchasing those titles has been depleted.

We can argue all day about whether or not the royalty rate is acceptable (it’s not), but that is another conversation for another time. Streaming provides a steady stream of income for artists even when they have nothing new to promote, which in turn makes it possible for more artists to continue creating even when their latest release is less than well received by the general public.

Okay? Okay.

The more I think about the digital age and how it has impacted the entertainment industry as a whole, the more I realize that the film industry may have handled the war against piracy far better than those working in music. Unless a film is being released on VOD (video on demand), those interested in seeing a new title still have to buy a ticket and visit a theater in order to experience the film immediately following its release.

3 Things Savvy Musicians Always Add to Their YouTube Videos

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If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times just on this blog alone: YouTube is so important to you as a musician. You might not like the payout rates or even the website itself, but it doesn’t change the fact that the platform is incredibly popular, and that you’ll be losing out by not investing time and effort into making sure you’re getting as much as possible out of your channel and your videos.

YouTube has an option where you can actually add certain features to your videos, as in right on top of the clip itself! We’ve all seen it, but many people have never really thought about looking into how people do this, or into doing it themselves. If you’re curious, read on. There are a handful of options you might want to start adding to your videos before you post.

Pandora is Taking Steps to Make Sure Artists Are Paid Fairly and Transparently for Streams

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Nearly every day, the music industry suggests that music streaming and subscription services are public enemy number one for musicians. We've seen the salaries of the top dogs at these major service providers, and it's no surprise that the CEOs and employees are earning better wages than the artists their platforms stream. By the way headlines frame it, making music and money seems dismal for independent artists. But Pandora's new on-demand subscription service may be the catalyst that starts to change that.

The launch of the internet radio platform's subscription service has been long awaited by music fans, and as Pandora approaches the launch, new goals are being laid out for the service. Pandora is aiming to assure that artists get fair and transparent royalties, unlike some of their predecessors and competitors in the streaming world.