Law revision to mean more profit for artists from streamed music

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : Jun 20, 2018 - 17:02
Updated : Jun 20, 2018 - 17:02

Musicians in Korea will make more money from their products starting next year, as a law revision approved Wednesday will increase their share from streaming music.

According to the revised law, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said, copyright holders of music will now get 65 percent of the profit earned by streaming their product. Currently, they are entitled to 60 percent.

The discount rate on package deals on sales of more than 30 songs, which can be purchased at a discount of 35 to 50 percent currently, will also be abolished by 2021.

Promotional service of online music platform Melon (Melon)

When the revised law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2019, it will not be retroactively applied to those who applied for aforementioned services before that date.

Officials said the revision was to ensure that musicians are rightfully compensated. The original proposition submitted to the ministry by four music copyrights groups, including the Korea Music Copyright Association, requested that copyright holders’ share be raised to 73 percent.

Addressing complaints about low profits from music streaming and what some claim to be excessive discount rates on downloaded music, the ministry in 2016 launched a joint committee of music creators, platform operators and consumers to collect opinions via public hearings on the possible law revision.

The law revision, however, is only to be applied to music platforms based in Korea and not to foreign platforms like Apple Music. This is leading to speculation that some consumers are likely to move to foreign-based platforms, if local platforms decide to raise the price in response to the revision.

By Yoon Min-sik


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The Korea Herald by Herald Corporation