In recent years, technological change has brought about radical shifts in the music industry. Digitalisation has created new challenges both within the sector and for consumers.
“Thanks to new business models and new distribution channels, especially streaming, we have today an opportunity to act. We are ready to take it, with determination and passion”, Magnier added.
Given this shift, the European Commission proudly announced its partnership with streaming platforms Deezer, Spotify and Soundsgood to promote Europe's musical diversity.
Discovering Europe’s vast musical repertoire through ‘European playlists'
Millions of European titles are available in the catalogues of these streaming platforms. In cooperation with EMEE, the European Music Export Exchange Network, the European Commission prepared three specific ‘European playlists' that are now public and accessible on Spotify and Deezer. Marine Elgrichi, Head of Public Policy Europe at Spotify, embraced the project and said: “new technology and streaming are key to enhance musical diversity because they remove previously existing barriers.”
These playlists, in combination with the launch of ‘Europe’s Perfect Playlist’ Challenge - an initiative that invites interested users of online music platforms to co-create and share their own playlist with other music enthusiasts - serve as a pilot showing how streaming can contribute to the promotion of Europe’s extremely wide and varied musical repertoire across national borders and beyond.
Although musical talent is everywhere it is not easily discoverable and may remain hidden. For Ludovic Pouilly, responsible for Institutional & Music Industry Relations at Deezer, “discovery and diversity are at the very heart of Deezer DNA.”
He added: “That is why we are delighted and proud to support the European Commission in their initiative to promote European music diversity online.”
Fostering Europe’s cultural diversity by using technology
Another achievement in support of the music sector the European Commission, in cooperation with Startup Sesame, is a selection of innovative start-ups specialising in the fields of artist discovery and music recommendation. Yvan Boudillet, Entertainment Lead at Startup Sesame, Europe’s largest alliance of tech events, states that “technology should be an enabler of diversity. In this context, we are thrilled to support the blooming music start-up ecosystem in Europe, in particular those creative companies that allow both users and music professionals a better discoverability of European content on streaming platforms.”
The eight selected start-ups from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Slovenia and the United Kingdom are:
Blokur (UK) blokur.com
TrackRecord AI by Pinyal (Germany) trackrecord.ai
Viberate (Slovenia) viberate.com
Warm (Denmark) warmmusic.net
Requestify (Norway) requestify.com
Soundsgood (France) soundsgood.co
Promoting European music offline
On Tuesday, Martine Reicherts, Director-General for Education and Culture, stressed that besides online distribution the European Commission also pays attention to "offline distribution", or rather live music.
“Digital culture is indispensable, but will never replace direct contact between the artist or their work on the one hand and the audience on the other”, Reicherts said.
Katia Clot of EUROPAVOX, a project supported by the Creative Europe Programme, that is entirely dedicated to the fostering of European musical diversity emphasised that “new technologies and digital services are nothing without a sincere approach towards artists and their professional entourage, attending their concerts, participating in many showcase festivals. They are nothing without building up strong relationships with trustworthy people involved in the same direction.”
This is why ‘Music Moves Europe’ is on its way to strengthen the European music sector through exploring the possibility of supporting festivals, platforms for live music, dedicated venues, mobility of musicians, audience development and many more. To prepare for this new programme, the European Commission hopes to get the European Parliament’s support, in form of a specific budget this year.
Note to the Editor - About Music Moves Europe
Music Moves Europe is the framework for the European Commission's initiatives and actions in support of the European music sector. In late 2015, it began with meetings with key music stakeholders to identify the key challenges facing the sector. The outcomes of this dialogue can be found in the AB Music Working Group report. The dialogue revealed the need to support music creation, promote musical diversity and to explore the opportunities offered by online and offline distribution, more effectively. The Commission's ultimate goal is to strengthen the EU's political and financial support for the industry.
Over the past decade, the creation, production, distribution and consumption of music have fundamentally changed. In 2015, digital became the primary revenue stream for recorded music globally. Digital revenues today account for 45 % of total revenues compared to 39 % for physical sales. Performance rights revenues to producers and artists represent the remaining of 14 %. Streaming is the recorded music industry’s fastest growing revenue.
Music is a sector with a complex value chain, largely based on small and medium size businesses, and contributing significantly to Europe’s economy: among the Cultural and creative sectors (CCS), it is the third largest employer in the EU (employing more people in the EU than the film industry) and, in the past years, it generated revenues of more than EUR 25 billion per year.
Contact: William Hammer, ICF Mostra, Tel+ 32476/26.75.87 , email: William.Hammer@mostra.com