Collecting societies act as intermediaries between right holders in the music industry but also in other art forms like books or films, and the service providers intending to use their works. There are more than 250 collecting societies in the EU that manage revenues of around 6 billion euro annually. The use of rights in the music sector accounts for about 80% of the total revenue collected by collecting societies.
The collective management of rights is also important for the licensing of online music service providers (music download services, streaming services). This is particularly the case for the rights of those that compose the music or write the lyrics. Online service providers often want to cover a multitude of territories and a large catalogue of music. They also often want to test new business models. All this makes online licensing very demanding. Many collecting societies are not ready for these challenges and as a result, service providers face serious difficulties when trying to obtain the licences necessary to launch online music services across the EU. This results in fewer online music services available to consumers across the EU and a slower incorporation of innovative services.
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