Streaming Ahead?

StreamingI really do love reading the British trade mag. Classical Music over coffee of a morning once a month or so if only to digest, in that inimitable style only the British can muster, what’s happening in Classical Music and Opera in the UK.

Interesting to note that the Mark Allen Group has bought out this title along with Rhinegold Publishing in recent days.  This is potentially not a good thing in terms of editorial independence, but that’s a subject for a different day.

I’m also somewhat fascinated by the ‘infotorials’ disguised under the banner of ‘guest editing’ in the August edition about music streaming and its growing impact on the classical music sector.  Provided by industry insiders (I have no wish to mention them by name) I can’t quite throw off the feeling I am being conned.

That said, if you want to track down this edition of the magazine, do take careful note of what Becky Lees (Head of LSO Live) and Alexander Van Ingen (CE of The Academy of Ancient Music) have to say; being both insightful, grounded, if not direct and unapologetic.  The rest, however, suffers from a lack of balanced reporting.  There are some vested interests in play.

This is the reality: however measured, all digital streaming across the classical music sector under present agreements with record companies is crucifying producers, composers and artists.  It is not acceptable, from an invitational editorial standpoint, to wash over the financial rorting of non-equitable recompense to those currently affected by appalling streaming royalty rates (which, by the way, no-one can understand or definitively reveal) stating (I am paraphrasing here) “…in the future, payments to artists and copyright holders will be better…when we fix the royalty rate”

OK, I could buy that, on the basis that streaming providers would subsequently back-date these ‘lost’ royalties with the blessing of their corporate shareholders? Really? I don’t think so.

There is so much wrong with perceptions around digital streaming both in terms of efficacy and erroneous theories of cause and effect – none of which have been substantiated in any critical research that I have yet seen, let alone unverified studies of consumption by so-called ‘digital natives’, that you wonder who is pulling the strings in this dumb puppet show.

I have the feeling we’re being conned.

More soon,


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