South Korean music services increase payments to artists

Artists and labels are going to be paid more for their music on South Korea’s mobile services with a new change to their royalty regulations.

On Tuesday South Korea’s copyright royalty regulations changed to stipulate that 65% of the revenues made on music streaming services must go to the copyright holders, 5% more than before. The change in law is a great move for artists and labels meaning that they will be compensated higher for their digital sales and streams in the emerging digital music market of South Korea.

Whilst streaming plans aren’t being affected by the change, listeners who look to download their music to own will be paying the price. Many services that offer discounts for bulk downloads of songs are reducing their discount rates. Whereas discounts of up to 50% were available for 30-song packages these have been reduced to 40%. The discount on song download bundles is expected to be completely rid of by 2021.

South Korea’s biggest and favourite music service MelOn set their unlimited mobile streaming package with a 50-song download at a new price of 20,000 won ($17.86) a month. Last year the same package cost subscribers 15,500 won. However their unlimited mobile music streaming package, MelOn’s Mobile Streaming Club, stayed the same price of 7,400 won.

With the discounts expected to keep reducing until reaching 0 in 2021, music downloads will likely continue to increase in cost. But hopefully as with Tuesday’s change in copyright law this will translate in to higher revenue payouts for artists and labels on South Korea’s blooming digital music market.

Head of Social Media and Marketing, RouteNote

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