Music creators’ earnings in the digital era

Hesmondalgh, D. (2021) Intellectual Property Office

In recent years, hundreds of online sources, in mainstream and independent outlets, blogs and social media have debated issues concerning the earnings of musicians in ‘the digital era’. As we show in this report, a particularly controversial issue has been the level of earnings that musicians can achieve in a new music system where audio streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, and video streaming services that provide access to music, most notably YouTube, are increasingly central. But as we also show, many contributions to public debate on these and other matters reveal important misunderstandings of the system by which musicians earn money from royalties for copyrighted works.

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