Three-quarters of Belgians consider it important for musical artist to be remunerated, but only four out of ten are willing to reach their wallets for music, as revealed by a study of the Profacts company contracted by the Belgian Society of Authors, Composers and Editors (Sabam), presented on Tuesday. Sabam states that the present-day musical culture tends to evolve towards an economy of experiences (concerts, etc.), and that the “collapse” of physical means continues. Furthermore, the study shows that only 39% of Belgians are willing to pay for music, while 75% consider that authors should be remunerated when their music is used, said Jérôme Van Wim, the person in charge of communication at Sabam. Also, close to six out of every ten Belgians (57%) consider it valid for companies or stores that play music to pay a usage fee for it.
But, “there is no balance between consumption and payment to artists.” The advent of a free culture reduces music to an economic good with practically no value,” which is why “it is imperative that in the future the acquiring of habits against authors and to the benefit of internet service providers be gradually corrected in order to reach a balanced model,” argues Jérôme Van Wim.
Sabam demands more clarity in the European law. “Presently, the European directive on e-commerce does not make internet service providers responsible for the content placed by third parties on their sites, which leads them to believe that they don’t need to pay anything.
However, the fact that they are not legally responsible should not exempt them from paying a remuneration when they place publicity on content which is protected by copyright, since this creates income for them.” “The business model of streaming is no longer to our advantage; it is time to reconsider it to make it more in tune with present economic reality,” concluded Sabam.
For the study, 1,015 persons were asked regarding their experience with music, as well as another sample of 300 businesspersons.