The organisations, artists, and artist managers, that collectively form the International Music Managers Forum (IMMF), respect and value the various stakeholders we work with across the music industry. We all have a shared interest in seeing a healthy ecosystem in which the benefits and rewards generated by the music are fairly and transparently shared.
Recent debates involving various music industry stakeholders like YouTube and WIN have however left the artists and their representatives with a feeling like that of being at a party, where you know everybody else is talking about you, but not to you. The artists we represent, create music, and are the foundation of the music industry, and yet they are often the last people to be included in “industry” conversations. Artists communicate directly with their audiences, that is a sustainable relationship, which should serve as an example to the many stakeholders who participate in the music industry.
The IMMF is thus releasing a statement on the digital music value chain, in order to give a voice to the international music managers, artists and ultimately creators in these ongoing debates.
Luxembourg, 23 July 2014
As illustrated by the recent discussions between YouTube and WIN – the independent record label organization – the evolution of the digital music market call’s for a wider debate, in order to ensure the well-being of both creator’s and consumer’s interests. The diversity of culture informs the spirit of our society. The support of culture and creators is good for society.
The IMMF represents creators in the digital music value chain.
Within the digital music value chain there are a number of stakeholders, positioned between creators and consumers. If any stakeholder does not explicitly support the following two basic principles set out here, then the IMMF will not support them.
Transparency is essential. The terms of usage of any creator’s content should be transparent to that creator, as should the subsequent income streams.
Authors and Performers should earn a fair remuneration from all uses of their creative content. Transparency facilitates fair remuneration, and fair remuneration is impossible to prove without transparency.
Music Services and Record Labels are key players in the digital music value chain (along with other intermediaries). They should add value for both the creator and the consumer. The IMMF calls for:
There are an increasing range of opportunities for monetising digital music consumption, making it increasingly complex to list all the revenue streams. Consequently, Labels, Publishers and other rights holders have a responsibility to ensure that the exploitation of the creator’s content is appropriately accounted to the creator. As a consequence the IMMF calls for action to address the following issues:
The digital music value chain is challenged by unsustainable old world anachronisms such as packaging deductions, which make no sense for digital distribution models. As a consequence IMMF calls for action to address the following issue:
Digital holds an unprecedented potential to deliver transparency, itemisation, and line-by-line accessible accounting to all stakeholders in the digital music value chain. However this potential will only be realised for creators if they are fairly and transparently involved and empowered. It is in each stakeholder’s own interest to work with, and not against, the interests of our creators, because without the creators there would be no value chain in the first place.
The following regional associations of artist managers co-developed and approved this IMMF statement:
|MMF Latin America
|MMF New Zealand
|MMF South Africa
|MMF West Africa
|Statement download link ENStatement download link FRStatement download link DE