Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud and more join Berklee College of Music’s initiative for music streaming royalties

Berklee College of Music have revealed their Open Music Initiative (OMI) that aims to streamline copyright and royalties for digital music distribution.

The digital music market is massive and now accounts for the majority of music consumption, especially with the inception of music streaming which doubled in scope just last year. However there are concerns over whether artists are rightly compensated for their music in a sometimes ambiguous music market.

With the goal of simplifying copyright and payment for digital music Berklee’s renowned music college have set up OMI with support from major services and labels, as well as cooperation from the Massachussetts Institute of Technology Media Lab.

Berklee say: “The mission of the Open Music Initiative is to promote and advance the development of open source standards and innovation related to music, to help assure proper compensation for all creators, performers and rights holders of music.

“New technologies can be applied to radically simplify the way music rights owners are identified and compensated, resulting in sustainable business models for artists, entrepreneurs and music businesses alike.”

Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship’s, managing director and OMI co-founder, Panos Panay added: “We want to use the brainpower, neutrality and convening ability of our collective academic institutions along with broad industry collaboration, to create a shared digital architecture for the modern music business. We believe an open-sourced platform around creative rights can yield an innovation dividend for creators and rights holders alike.”

So far OMI has gained support and participation from major labels Universal Music, Sony Music, and Warner Music. Streaming services include Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, SoundCloud, and strangely also Netflix. You can see a list of the over 50 companies and entities that are on board so far here.

As OMI say themselves: “Though initiatives like this have been attempted in the past, this is the first time that the effort is led by a broad coalition that includes academic institutions, entrepreneurs, technologists, non-profits and, most importantly, enjoys representation from all facets of the music industry unifying around the issue.”

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