There is a lot of talk around the concept of “Metaverse”. The company formerly known as Facebook recently announced its ambition to create a futuristic, immersive social experienceand to achieve this, it will become a new hub for listening, discovering and interacting with music and music creators. No doubt, music will be as important to the metaverse as it is to the real world.
As Mark Zuckerberg recently said The Vergecast, “You can participate in an experience, like a 3D concert or something, from your phone, so you can get 2D elements or 3D elements. … I think this is going to be a really important part of the next chapter for the tech industry and it’s something that we’re very excited about. ”
The merging of social media, games, consumerism, and other forms of entertainment into one innovative digital universe holds great promise for the music industry. And while terms and technology will change, the rules will not. Music must be licensed and paid for regardless of how it is consumed, which bodes well for musicians in this new frontier.
Example: Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite – which recently presented Ariana Grande‘NS Visiting Rift – shows a glimpse of the potential of the metaverse. These events can draw viewership far beyond what a stadium tour can provide for an experience far beyond listening to the radio. This virtual platform also gives artists the ability to ‘perform’ more often and to millions of fans, enabling more revenue to be generated.
Accelerated by the sudden shift to home entertainment caused by the pandemic, Big Tech is exploring and investing in music-related virtual experiences like never before. Giants like Microsoft have already begun to build music composition for their massively popular Groups platform. Disney, which is much loved for its animation and accompanying music, has recently entered the metaverse market. The bottom line is that investing in the metaverse shows that people spend more time and money consuming music in new and creative ways.
Why is this good for musicians? Because music will be an important component of the metaverse and the rules governing its use will be much more favorable.
Playing music in a public forum requires a performance license with royalties paid for by PROS: ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and GMR. While performance rights are technically free-market, ASCAP and BMI are governed by World War II-era consent decrees, which greatly devalue this space. .
However, let’s say a foundation wants to hold a concert in the metaverse. Since this will take place in curated, synchronized reality with all forms of visual programming, a synchronization license is required. Such licensing is not controlled by outdated mandatory licenses and consent decrees, and thus results in much more equal pay to record labels and artists than to music. musician and music publisher. Everyone wins, because in this space musicians can say no, so they are much more likely to negotiate a fair price. The price that companies like Meta, Apple, Google and others can clearly afford.
The idea that consumers could spend a lot of time in a supermarket chock full of music led to an increase in the value of song rights. This, among other factors, certainly contributed to Rampant investment in the music category. This is partly due to the pressure placed on platforms to license the rights associated with new forms of consumption – even if they initially denied the value and necessity of the music. for their service.
Over the last decade or so, we’ve seen countless platforms emerge. In fact, nearly 30% of publishing revenue today comes from sources bolstered through transactions made over the past 15 years at NMPA – all with players who initially claimed they were not. pay publishers and musicians. Today musicians get a new source of income from lyrics, ring, music videos, interactive streaming, social media platform, NS fitness industry and gaming.
Many, if not all, companies that use music to lure users into the metaverse will need to enter into new licensing deals. For example, Facebook be licenced Its social media platforms followed pressure from publishers and musicians, and the deal benefits itself and its users. However, its expanded offerings in the metaverse, hinted by its CEO, will expand significantly on previously agreed terms.
To project some value in terms of music usage in the metaverse, we can look at other platforms within or enter that range. Roblox reached an agreement with NMPA earlier this year, paving the way for music to fill its virtual world. Other companies like Twitch and TikTok has also come to the table to compensate musicians.
Much has been written about how songs as an asset class are on the rise. This is only fully realized if musicians are appreciated by new platforms. We are still fighting to music creators paid by streaming services – now valued in the billions – who initially claimed they couldn’t afford to pay commensurately. We should be optimistic about musicians’ contributions to the metaverse from the outset and not accept that emerging technologies either don’t know the necessary licenses or aren’t able to properly compensate creators. create.
Ultimately, while the concept of the metaverse is abstract and will evolve and change over time, the underlying rules surrounding this space are not. If you create a platform that allows users to access and enjoy music, you must ensure that the creators are paid before launching the platform. Too often, we see tech companies decline only after damage has been incurred, just to disguise a lack of understanding of the obvious rules of the game.
The legislation is clear and the metaverse is an opportunity to bring music creators into fundamental partners. If this were to happen, the real future could be virtually imperceptible and transformative.
David Israelite is the President & CEO of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA). The NMPA is the trade association representing American music publishers and their songwriting partners.
https://www.billboard.com/pro/metaverse-music-creators-guest-column-nmpa/ What it means for music creators – Billboard