China-Singapore Jingwei Client, July 18 (Zhao Jiaran and Chang Tao) With Xiami Music officially shutting down five months ago, the online music platform has re-division of the market structure.

Since then, online music platforms relying on exclusive copyrights to compete for the market have been a hot topic in the industry.

What are the pros and cons of exclusive music rights?

What does the loss of exclusive copyright mean for online music platforms and markets?

We chatted with four senior practitioners.

Where is the exclusive music copyright "independence"?

  The dispute over the exclusive copyright of music platforms has a long history.

"Exclusive music copyright has attracted much attention since the copyright war between Tencent Music and NetEase Cloud Music in 2016." Tang Ziyu, founder of digital music copyright commercial distribution platform VFine Music, said in an interview with the Sino-Singapore Jingwei client that the

public is currently


the "exclusive" "Music copyright" is still misunderstood, thinking that if you have obtained the exclusive music copyright, you have the ownership of the song, but in fact it only obtained the copyright agency right.

  "Exclusive music copyright has several meanings. First, exclusive music copyright refers to exclusive use rights; second, exclusive music copyright use is limited to streaming media. For example, a certain song has exclusive copyright only when it is played on QQ Music. If Huawei wants to use this song on a mobile phone, it can only install the QQ Music App. If the song is given to Huawei separately, it is infringing. In addition, it is also possible to license this song to various short video platforms, movies, variety shows, etc. a."

  Li Min, a senior partner of Shanghai Hansheng Law Firm, told the Sino-Singapore Jingwei Client that "exclusive music copyright" refers to the exclusive authorization of music copyright, which means that the copyright owner authorizes music works to the only music platform and only accepts Listen on this platform.

  "The legal basis for exclusive copyright is the relevant provisions of my country's "Copyright Law". According to the provisions of this law, unless otherwise provided by the law, the use of other people's works must be approved by the copyright owner. The rights of permitted use include exclusive use rights and non-exclusive use rights. There are two kinds of usage rights, namely, what we call "exclusive authorization" and "non-exclusive authorization"." Li Min said that in addition to music works, video works, such as film and television dramas, also apply.

  So, is the phenomenon of buying exclusive music rights internationally common?

In this regard, Li Min said that for the protection of intellectual property rights, foreign countries also have exclusive copyright regulations, but in order to prevent monopoly, other systems will restrict exclusive authorization behaviors.

For example, the "Amendment to the Right of Sound Recording Digital Performance" promulgated by the United States in 1995 stipulates that the exclusive license period for the right of digital audio transmission sound recording performed by any interactive service (business) by the right holder shall not exceed 12 months.

  Many industry insiders told the Sino-Singapore Jingwei client that there are fewer cases of foreign music platforms buying exclusive copyrights.

"There is basically no concept of exclusiveness overseas. At most, it will be exclusively launched on a certain platform 3 days to 1 week in advance." Zhou Qian, founder and CEO of music copyright platform Hifanwu Technology, said in an interview with Sino-Singapore Jingwei Client.

  "Foreign platforms will focus their core competition on product differences, users, rather than assets, which is beneficial to users." Tang Ziyu said that there are almost no exclusive music rights in foreign countries.

  Since 2015, the National Copyright Administration has organized a special rectification on the copyright order of online music.

In 2017, the National Copyright Administration had interviewed heads of companies such as Tencent Music, NetEase Music, and Ali Music over music copyright issues.

At that time, Duan Yuping, deputy director of the Copyright Management Department of the National Copyright Administration, stated that the purchase of music copyright should follow the principles of fairness and reasonableness, conform to market laws and international practices, and must not drive up prices, vicious bidding, and avoid purchasing exclusive copyrights.

  At the beginning of 2018, under the promotion of the National Copyright Administration, Tencent Music and NetEase Cloud Music reached an agreement on online music copyright cooperation and mutually authorized music works, reaching more than 99% of the respective exclusive music works.

However, from the perspective of the industry,

based on the huge music copyright library, only 1% of exclusive copyrights is still a large number.

  According to recent media reports, people familiar with the matter said that the State Administration for Market Regulation is preparing to ask Tencent's music streaming department to give up its exclusive copyright.

As of press time, Tencent has no response to this news.

Industry: Exclusive copyright does more harm than good in the long run

  Why does exclusive music copyright become a "competitive place" for music platforms?

This is closely related to the competition in the online music market.

  In an interview with the Sino-Singapore Jingwei client, Xiang Zheng, the founder of the podcast "Daily Secret Talk" and former Warner Music/Universal Music China marketing director, said that the previous online music market was Tencent, NetEase Cloud Music and Ali "three parts of the world" , And with the official closure of Xiami in February, it means that Ali has withdrawn from competition. At present, the only leading platforms on the market are Tencent and NetEase Cloud Music. The former has music platforms such as QQ Music, Kuwo Music, and Kugou Music.

  "Tencent Music previously had a great advantage in the competition for exclusive copyrights and bought the exclusive copyrights of music companies such as Sony; while NetEase Cloud Music did not have a clear advantage in exclusive copyrights, but took a different path and took the route of independent musicians. , Increase the bargaining chip in the community." Zhou Qian said.

  "The economic foundation determines the strength of the platform." Xiangzheng said frankly that the music platform has an exclusive copyright advantage, which means prepayment to a large number of copyright parties to purchase exclusive copyrights for a certain period of time. The power of funds is self-evident.

"With the withdrawal of Ali, Tencent already has a clear advantage in market share, and this pattern has basically stabilized, and the possibility of change in the short term is small."

  Tang Ziyu believes that in the

short term


exclusive music rights are beneficial to a certain company or two companies, and can establish an advantage in the industry track in the short term.

But in the long run, especially for users, it is not particularly friendly.

"In a sense, if you get an exclusive music copyright, you have the right to price the song. For example, you must buy a member to listen to a song by a certain singer, or you must pay for a single song. This is very unhealthy. Owning an exclusive music copyright The platform can make the product experience very poor, but because you have the resources of your favorite songs, you will also use it."

  Xiangzheng believes that exclusive music rights can indeed enable copyright owners to obtain considerable copyright fees in the short term. However, as the market structure stabilizes, the period of "spending money" to buy exclusive copyrights to obtain the market will eventually pass, and copyright owners have the right to speak. It will be increasingly weakened, which is not conducive to the healthy development of the online music industry.

"At present, the relationship between the copyright owner and the platform party is in an obvious buyer's market, and the copyright fee given by the top platform is gradually decreasing, and the copyright owner has to accept the gradual lowering of the price and reduce the right to speak based on the starting point of disseminating music."

What does it mean to let go of exclusive rights?

  Recently, the industry has renewed discussions on the topic of releasing exclusive copyrights.

After the importance of the intuitive factor of copyright resources is weakened, will the online music market be reshuffled?

  Zhou Qian said that assuming that the copyright content of each platform is similar, the competition of the platform depends on product innovation and a better user experience.

"At the same time, various platforms may enter the field of content production, like video platforms such as "Unique", and invest in the creation of upstream content, in order to compete for the market."

  Xiangzheng also believes that if the exclusive music copyright is abandoned, the service characteristics of the music platform will be magnified.

"For example, NetEase Cloud Music has a strong community attribute, and it will gather some groups who like specific styles and specific musicians. If the advantage of exclusive copyright becomes weak in the future, users' demand for community identity will increase, which will naturally Choose the appropriate platform."

  At the same time, Xiangzheng also stated that

even assuming that all music copyrights are cross-licensed in the future, there is a high probability that a platform with a 100% music library will not appear.

"It is a theoretical situation that a certain music app has all the music libraries. In fact, the copyright owner will also have its own preference, and the platform will also focus on the copyright purchase."

  On the other hand, the future settlement method of copyright fees has also aroused industry attention.

"If you don’t use pre-paid copyright purchases, the settlement of copyright fees may still be related to traffic, such as the number of broadcasts. At that time, traffic calculation methods, data collection methods, and pricing models will be more concerned. The copyright owner and the platform The party will play further games, and at the same time hope that relevant departments can strengthen supervision on this." (Zhongxin Jingwei APP)

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