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Towards a competitive, fair and sustainable European music ecosystem


Music has an important economic value, but also a fundamental societal impact, contributing to social development and wellbeing. This is particularly relevant in the case of big economic and social crisis, such as the recent one provoked by COVID-19. Of all the cultural and creative sectors, music has also been the one hit the most from the digital revolution, the reduction of physical sales and the concentration of digital distribution in few big players. The sector is currently bearing dramatic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. Moreover, the music sector is subject to the fast-evolving consumer behaviours related to cultural content consumption and live performances.

At EU level, support for the music sector comes under the Music Moves Europe initiative (MME)[[]]along different strands (programme funding, policy cooperation, regulatory measures, dialogue). The lack of reliable and comparable data to develop a competitive, fair and sustainable European music ecosystem is an underlying issue. Therefore, proposals should assess and develop appropriate methodologies and perform quantitative, qualitative and statistical analyses at national and EU level to estimate the economic and the societal impact of the music sector.

Proposals should aim at improving statistical data and methods for capturing the economic impact of the music sector. In estimating the economic value of the sector, proposals should also elaborate on lacking definitions related to national and European repertoire and on methodologies allowing to include, on one side, the many professionals being micro enterprises (and therefore completely excluded from official statistics) and, on the other, big digital platforms, making music available for free via adds or selling of data, that are also not reflected in official European statistics. The results of this research should also show the impact of COVID-19 on the music sector, both live and online. In addition, proposals should further research on the economy of the streaming models: while streaming (for free or via a subscription) services are becoming a main access point for music and are expected to grow even further in the years to come, their economic impact on the whole sector in the long term, in particular on the creators, is still uncertain. Proposals should also include in their analysis the impact of COVID-19 on music consumption through streaming platforms. In particular, they should assess whether the catastrophic economic impact of cancelling live music events has translated into a parallel increase in music consumption and revenues for creators and the music sector as a whole. Proposals should also estimate the economic impact on the music sector of the evolution and future trends of social media platforms and new social media channels, as well as streaming of live music events and new forms of “home-made creation” production. Proposals should assess and develop appropriate methodologies to estimate the societal impact of music. They should map the various forms of music participation: playing, performing, creating and consuming music, and their impact as a source of wellbeing across population segments. Based on innovative approaches and a representative geographic coverage across Europe, proposals should also explain how people engage with music in the age of social media, internet and television across different socio-economic groups.