The Future of Music Publishing

The world of music publishing is evolving due to the digital music era.  Emmanuel Legrand writes, “music publishing today has become the art of milking the multiple streams of revenues offered by the new digital eco-system.”  Many artists are accepting 360 deals with labels that capitalize on these different sources of income.  This changes the whole game of music publishing and licensing. 


Many online music-streaming services are butting heads with music publishing companies.  Composers and songwriters feel that they are losing income due to these services.  Music publishing companies work to collect this income from companies like Pandora, Spotify and Amazon.  Etan Rosenbloom writes, “the ability to stream any piece of music at any times is great for consumers…but affects songwriters and composers” negatively.    


A recent court decision was made that gave Pandora permission to broker streaming deals with major music publishers.  Pandora had a deal with BMI before this court ruling that gave them access to their large library they helped administer.  A number of labels have decided to withdraw their business with BMI due to this change in business.  It is not certain on whether or not music publishers will be next to cancel their business with BMI.


Another large online music service is making progress to work with music publishers.  YouTube has been working to provide compensation for songwriters and composers, while protecting copyrights.  Which means video uploads will be monitored and scrutinized more.  There will also be an option to attach ads to videos, which allows for artists to earn more money.    


All of these changes to the music-publishing world continue to force industry professionals to find new ways to keep their clients paid.  Services like YouTube, Spotify and Pandora were not something music publishers predicted to be successful.  They must continue to work with these companies in order to flourish in the future of the music industry.