Tunis, October 17-22, 2009


New developments in digital distribution and the shake-out of the music industry
Convenor and chairperson of this session: Peter Rantasa

Since more than a decade, the forces of the “digital revolution” have changed the shape of the music business. One the one hand, more music than ever before is accessible for listeners with direct access to the Internet or via mobile phone, internet cafes or public libraries. Social networks, various locally and internationally available online-shops and new subscription services became the new gateways for the diversity of music. Long gone “Back catalog”, music of new talents, self-promoted artists as well as of amateurs in all genres are made available and have in common, that they are not backed by heavy marketing budgets of big companies. On the other hand, the size of the global music market has dramatically shrunk. In many countries, record stores, distributors and record labels are dying and musicians do not find an environment of support. National and international cultural policies are challenged to find answers to the challenges caused by this vast and fast change but have not forecome with conclusions or sufficient actions.
In the last World Forum on Music we have discussed the legal implications and the impact on copyright and authors rights law. This time we look at the practical situation of music businesses and the artists and creators. After an introduction that will outline the interdependency of technological change, economics and aesthetics (Peter Rantasa, IMC) we will hear about the quest of independent record companies to find remuneration for their repertoire and artists (Charles Caldas, Merlin), the challenge for music export and the experiences of a digital aggregator (Michelle Amar, IODA) and the new possibilities for online self-marketing artists around the globe to find an international audience (Manfred Lappé, ReBeat).


Peter Rantasa (IMC): introduction
Charles Caldas (Merlin, UK) (paper)
Michelle Amar (IODA, USA) (paper and powerpoint)
Manfred Lappé (ReBeat, Austria) (paper)

Project presentations:
Scott Simon (USA): The use of libraries as a setting for music performances and music education (paper and powerpoint)
Thomas Dayan (FIM):
a) Field experience: how to best involve and remunerate the various players of the distribution chain in African countries, from artists to resellers? b) Online uses of recorded performances: innovative models for a fair remuneration of musicians
Richard Letts (Australia): Think tanks for music future (paper)
Wouter Turkenburg (IASJ): Fair music (paper)

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