Jul 30
DANCE TO THE MUSIC by Alex J. Socorro  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Tue, Jul 30, 2013

You can make a living out of your music. That’s the essence of the recent seminar organized by IPOPHL (Intellectual Property Rights Office of the Philippines).

Just like the movie industry, the music industry has their indie as well. Contrary to the big-budgeted production for an album, the so-called indie music thrives on shoestring budget with no more left for promotional expenses.

According to David Stopps, your music can earn you substantial amount despite the dwindling sales of the physical music, i.e. the CD. In February of 2013, the internet has a 35% share of the worldwide music market.


IPOPHL director general Ricardo Blancaflor giving the opening remarks

Stopps started as the promoter of the famous Friars Club in Aylesbury, England. Some bands he handled were U2, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac and Queen. A member of the British Copyright Council, he is also a director of Copyright and Related Rights for the Music Managers Forum UK.

A good prospect for getting revenue from your music is the internet. But first and foremost, according to Stopps, you have to create good music as it is your commodity that you would sell.

After creating your music, the next step is the promotion. It is worthwhile to harness the internet since it is almost for free. Especially for indie music, Facebook is a good venue to promote your music with its more than a billion users.

A page for your artist can be created easily and with no obligation. Promoting that page is the hardest part. As an advice, Stopps said to start with your friends and relatives and ask them to share your artist’s page. Also, the name of the artist should be unique.


PARI chairman Ramon Chuaying

Twitter is another good venue for promoting your music with its more than half a billion users. However, you should be creative enough in relaying your intent because Twitter has a maximum of 140 characters per message.

ITunes, the musical arm of Apple Computers, is the largest online market for music. It captures 90% of sales with the 10% scattered among Spotify, Napster and some other musical websites for streaming or downloading.

It is comforting to know that ITunes is paying 70 cents per download of a song while Spotify, an emerging force in music streaming pays 5 cents per streaming. The online market for music is growing by leaps and bounds so the opportunity is almost unlimited.


Ridge Tan, a seminar participant providing a short entertainment

As an economist, Mr. Stephen Siwek from Washington DC expounded on the promising market in the mobile industry. Right now, the Telcos (Telecommunications Companies) are the ones earning because they dictate the scheme of sharing.

It is surprising to know that legal downloading and streaming, where the user pays a certain amount, is in direct confrontation with musical piracy. There’s a vision that time will come when piracy would be curtailed by the cheap cost of music download/stream.

In terms of copyright, the composer and the artist should be getting an equitable share. But the collection and distribution depends on the methods employed by the CMOs (Collective Management Organization) like the FILSCAP or PRSP.

FILSCAP (Filipino Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) takes care of the welfare of composers. For the artists, it is the PRSP (Performers Rights Society of the Philippines) which also covers the interest of actors and live performers.


The panel of speakers: David Stopps, Young-ah Lee, Stephen Siwek, Dimiter Gantchev, Atty. Thursday Alciso, Atty. Marivic Benedicto

Atty. Thursday Alciso, the general manager of FILSCAP, explained how their CMO functions. Since it is difficult to pinpoint the specific music that would be played by radio stations so they just collect an amount based on a fixed rate.

Atty. Marivic Benedicto, president of MCAP (Music Copyright Administrators of the Philippines) is also an executive of Star Songs. She delved on the rising youtube stars in this part of the world. One can also earn from Youtube exposures.

Other speakers in the seminar are Dimiter Gantchev and Ms. Young-ah Lee. A deputy director of WIPO (World Intellectual Property Office), Mr. Gantchev exhorted the sowing of IP rights among the young Filipinos.

If there would be a favorable atmosphere then the copyright protection wouldn’t be a problem. The best solution is to incorporate that in the culture like giving the notion that patronizing piracy is a a shameful act.


IPOPHL director Carmen Peralta moderating the open forum

Another WIPO officer, Ms. Lee talked of Korea’s role in the global music industry. It is good to note that Korea is giving full support to their artists and composers which was a great factor in the popularity of the K-Pop genre.

Mostly musicians, the participants are looking forward to the prospect of roadmapping to chart a strategy for the protection of copyright for the composers, musicians, artists and other stakeholders in the industry.

The 2-day seminar was held in Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati from July 23 to 24, 2013.

Comments to this article can be sent to ajsocorro@yahoo.com


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