Executive Summary: Five Ideas for Shaping the Future of the Music Industry
1. Fair participation in value creation: The same rules for all music services
Currently, YouTube is not required to license music as is the case, for example with Spotify. It should be made legally clear that YouTube is to be treated in the same way as other music streaming services and thus, must fully license music or otherwise be liable for compensation. Only then can market-oriented price development in streaming take place.
2. Enabling and facilitating cultural diversity for a rich musical landscape – also and especially on the radio
At present, the music of small and medium-sized music companies is, with few exceptions, underrepresented on public radio. The cultural and educational mandate should therefore be intensified by these radio stations so that the diversity that independent music companies stand for is also represented.
3. Ensure the rights of small and medium-sized music companies and make them easier to enforce
Small and medium-sized music companies do not have the financial and human resources to effectively enforce their rights across borders. Therefore, the legal framework must be adapted in such a way that on the one hand, the operation of structural copyright infringing offers is made more difficult, while on the other hand, appropriate, practicable possibilities are created for all concerned to deal with rights violations.
4. A future-oriented funding for small and medium-sized music companies
Small and medium-sized music companies need economic support which is adapted to their structure (such as the “Initiative Musik” at the federal level, or the label promotion by the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg at state level), addresses all genres and gives them access to financing and digitisation possibilities that make their daily work easier.
5. Make international business for small and medium-sized music companies easier and reduce bureaucratic hurdles
The music industry is based on licenses, but the current process for the exemption from double taxation does not consider the resources and structure of the industry, which leads to a higher work and financial burden for small and medium-sized enterprises. The exemption process should be simplified and accelerated through the addition of an industry-specific annex to the questionnaire in the most common languages. Not only German music companies and their foreign partners, but also the employees of the Federal Tax Office would benefit from this.