Last week I visited Gramex Finland, the collective rights management entity tasked with licensing broadcast and public use of recordings on behalf of performers and record companies. Finland has a long and varied music history, ranging from the rockier sounds of Hanoi Rocks and Lordi, through to the breakbeats and techno of Bomfunk MCs and Darude. I was reminded of this on arrival at the airport, as the coach arrived to take us from the plane to the terminal of HEL (the airport, that is)…
I was invited by Gramex to run a one day seminar on current international music industry developments. Gramex management were keen to run the session so their staff and other invitees could benefit from analysis and discussion of some important issues our industry is facing at the moment.
We covered six really interesting topics, some of which are especially relevant for the Finnish market and Gramex’s licensing activities. Other subjects were more global and speculative in scope, opening up a debate on implications for artists, creators and industry outside the US, UK and other larger markets.
A huge thanks to the team at Gramex for the kind invitation to run the session for them. It was a really enjoyable and interesting day, and I look forward to seeing how some of the ideas we discussed develop over time. Thanks especially to Tuomas, Anne and Sari for all their help and organisational prowess. It was indeed a very warm welcome to HEL!
Here are the topics we covered. If you would like more detail, or would like to discuss a similar session for your organisation or colleagues, please just email me on info [at ] proventrackrecords.com. I’ll get straight back to you.
1. Licensing mandates: rights types, uses and business cases.
Where does collective licensing intersect with direct licensing? What are the merits and drawbacks of each approach to licensing music?
2. Rights and data in a globalised industry.
How does data describe rights in music? Who are the main entities and who does what? Through which structures does this data flow to create a ‘global digital music industry’?
3. Music in audio-visual products.
What are the opportunities for music makers in this space? How does it work, and what’s needed? What are the main rights and licensing points you need to know about? What does the future hold, with global services like Netflix and Amazon?
4. Industry structures: then, now and future.
Where do today’s industry structures come from? Should we be looking away from the traditional roles of ‘publisher’, ‘record company’ and ‘performer’ given the crossover of roles and rights?
Industry infrastructure has come a very long way in recent years: what are the main examples? Is there further scope for collaboration between industry entities, to create efficiencies?
5. Economics of streaming: overview of 2021/22 UK government enquiry.
What was being debated, and by whom? What were the main arguments and what were their merits? What were the outcomes of this process, and what can we expect next? What are the ramifications of this process outside the UK, and for which sectors of the music industry?
6. Music and finance: recent developments, and wider implications for industry.
An overview of newsworthy acquisitions of music catalogues by entities backed by corporate finance institutions. Why is this investment of interest, what sort of figures are involved and for what sort of rights and repertoire?
What does this mean for emerging talent and non-mainstream markets? Should policy makers be taking an interest in this, and support their domestic markets in competing in this relatively new music economy?
Postscript: Gramex also secured an interview for me with Finland’s leading financial daily news outlet, Kauppalehti. It’s published here: