The rise of digital has created both challenges and opportunities for the music industry. The challenges around piracy have been widely documented, but working with legitimate digital services has also been challenging for music rights owners, especially as we have seen a shift from downloads to streams, because licensing these platforms requires a new approach to doing business.
Over the last decade the music rights sector has been busy evolving new licensing models, and new industry standards are now starting to emerge. However, issues remain, and there is some debate as to whether both the fundamentals and the specifics of these new business models are the best possible solutions, and whether or not they have been created to be more beneficial to some stakeholders in the music community than others.
And even where standards are emerging, there remains much confusion in the wider music community as to how, exactly, streaming services are being licensed, how it is calculated what digital service providers must pay, and how that money is then processed and shared by the music rights industry.