Why we love sleep music (and what to expect in the future)
A recent report from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has been met with a mixture of disbelief and a bit of skepticism.
In an open letter to President Donald Trump, the organization argued that a lack of regulation and copyright protections in the US would result in music and movies becoming available to everyone at an “unprecedented” rate.
The RIAA, which represents artists and companies including Spotify, Apple Music, Apple and Rdio, wrote that music streaming was “potentially one of the most transformative technologies of our time,” adding that it could “transform how we consume music and content.”
But they also warned that the “threat of widespread misuse” could be real.
That’s because copyright holders have long fought to stop streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora from gaining popularity, and in 2017 the RIAAA proposed new regulations that would effectively kill the industry.
The industry also says that the move will allow artists to “further monetize their music through streaming services,” and even threaten the music industry itself.
In the meantime, though, the RiaA says that there are still “important issues” for artists to discuss with the administration.
“For example, a recent report suggests that the RAAA is concerned that streaming services could allow copyright holders to restrict artists’ freedom of expression and to limit or even block access to copyrighted material,” the letter read.
“In light of these concerns, the [presidential] administration should address the possibility that streaming platforms could provide content or services that circumvent the restrictions that music labels have traditionally imposed on their performers.”
The RiaAs letter comes as Spotify has struggled with the popularity of its streaming service and the possibility of a major copyright infringement lawsuit against it.
In September, Spotify announced that it was launching a copyright trial with an entertainment giant in the U.K. After a trial, Spotify agreed to pay a fine of $4.9 million to Universal Music Group, which had sued Spotify for allegedly violating copyright.
The music streaming service said it was “deeply sorry” for the fine and said it would donate $3 million to the Music, Film and Music Rights Foundation (MFMRF), a nonprofit dedicated to helping artists fight copyright infringement.
Spotify is also considering an initial licensing deal with Universal Music, according to the Wall Street Journal.
But the R&P is far from a done deal, as streaming services are increasingly experimenting with licensing arrangements.
Spotify, for example, is working with the BBC on a new streaming service that would stream shows like Doctor Who, Star Wars and Marvel’s Doctor Strange to users across the U, U.S. and Australia.
And in May, Spotify will begin streaming shows from HBO, the CW, and Starz, among others.
Spotify’s licensing deal for shows like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead is still under negotiation, but it’s not clear whether the company will begin making its own shows or merely stream them.
The company is also in talks with Fox about licensing some of its shows for the network.
Spotify has been working to launch an app to stream its shows to iOS devices, as well.
“It’s hard to overstate the potential power of a new kind of streaming service,” the RaaAs letter said.
“We can now enjoy music for free, while enjoying our favorite shows and movies with our friends and family.
This is the new normal.”