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[Manic Monday] Pertemuan Musik, Kewirausahaan dan Teknologi

Hari Sabtu kemarin, tanggal 20 April 2013, saya dan beberapa teman-teman berkesempatan untuk membuat kumpul-kumpul kecil-kecilan untuk berdiskusi soal musik, kewirausahaan, dan teknologi. Pertemuan ini dimulai dari berkumpulnya beberapa orang dalam grup yang berjudul sama di Google+, yang dimoderatori oleh Robin Malau dan Widi Asmoro. Melihat ramainya diskusi di grup ini, dan begitu beragamnya topik yang sudah dibahas dalam umur grup yang masih dalam hitungan beberapa minggu, saya pun menawarkan untuk membuat pertemuan pertama grup ini di kantor Think Web, yang merupakan tempat kantornya juga. Terima kasih pada Ramya Prajna yang sudah menyediakan tempat dan peralatan audiovisual.

Yang hadir tak sampai 20 orang, tapi materi yang dibahas semuanya sangat menarik.

Baca detilnya di Dailysocial.

[Manic Monday] Mencermati Kembali Royalti

Salah satu pilar utama dari industri-industri yang berbasis hak kekayaan intelektual, adalah royalti. Dalam definisi ini, royalti adalah nilai bagi hasil yang diterima oleh pemilik sebuah hak kekayaan intelektual  atau karya, atas penggunaan karya tersebut oleh orang lain; biasanya mengacu terhadap karya cipta lagu. Royalti ini pun dapat sebesar 0% atau 100%, tergantung perjanjian antara pemilik karya dan pihak yang mau mengeksploitasi. Pada intinya, setiap karyanya dipakai, baik itu diduplikasi, disiarkan ataupun digunakan dengan produk lain (yang dinamakan hak sinkronisasi, biasanya untuk iklan, soundtrack film, dan sebagainya), sang pemilik karya akan mendapat bagian, sesuai dengan kesepakatan.

Kata kuncinya, kesepakatan. Terdapat berbagai kesepakatan antara perwakilan pencipta lagu dan perusahaan rekaman mengenai penggunaan lagu untuk rekaman, dan proses pembayaran royalti dari perusahaan rekaman ke perwakilan pencipta lagu (yaitu penerbit musik atau publisher, yang bertindak sebagai semacam perwakilan bisnis/agen untuk komposer/pencipta lagu) adalah proses bisnis sehari-hari, dan nilai royaltinya pun ada kalanya disepakati pada tingkat industri, antar asosiasi perusahaan rekaman dan asosiasi penerbit musik, untuk periode tertentu. Kesepakatan tingkat industri ini gunanya untuk mengurangi proses negosiasi berulang setiap pembuatan album, dan berlaku untuk semua anggota para asosiasi.

baca penjelasan lanjutannya di Dailysocial.

[Music Monday] The Darker Side Of Digital Music

Many people are not aware the complex structure that sits in what is vaguely known as “the music industry”. For many people, what is seen through the media is the musician, artist or songwriter (albeit not as often), and sometimes a mild mention of the music label here, a record producer there, and sometimes the supporting musicians of  a certain album. But actually, a clockwork between songwriters, publishers, record producers, music labels, distribution channels, artists, and countless other people and bodies are involved in an intricate (and often confusing) dance. So, what happens if that clockwork breaks down?

Yet again it was somehow much simpler in the pre-digital days of music, and even that balance was struck after years of haggling, negotiation, and corporate maneuvering. The publishers represent the songwriters for anything to do with duplication (duplication of the song to any medium, of which they get ‘mechanical’ royalties), and synchronization (the use of a song in sync with any sort of other media, i.e. TV commercials) and make sure the songwriters get a good deal. The record labels basically invest in making albums and building artists, and take the lion’s share of profits from album sales. The distributor – the CD store and any go-betweens – make money from distributing the music products, and public performance collecting societies, usually representing the songwriter also, collect royalties from any company or body that uses songs for public performance, i.e. for TV broadcast, radio, karaoke, hotels, restaurants; anything where the establishment using the music gets an indirect benefit (more viewers, more customers, etc). Things more or less stayed in balance and any issue was discussed between the industry-level associations.

Read the rest of the post on Dailysocial.

[Music Monday] Revisiting Indonesia’s Copyright Law

Indonesia is a democratic country, at least by principle. Well, at least, the word “democratic” doesn’t come with quote marks anymore, as it did during the time of the New Order. Now, a democracy will either vote or discuss on everything, or appoint representatives to do all the voting and discussing, and thus deciding on whatever is going to be enacted into law, to be followed and safeguarded by the executive branch (just to remind you, this means the President and his government). Now what does this have to do with the digital music business? The law, that’s what.

Being basically a content-based business, the music industry is highly influenced by copyright laws – how the government sees the issue regarding copyright and how it thinks it is best implemented. And of the million things that need regulation in the country, Indonesia’s most recent copyright law was signed into law in 2002, under President Megawati Soekarnoputri. Albeit according to some still lacking in some areas, the upgraded legislation added some much-needed law protection for works of cinematography to computer programs, as the earlier version of the copyright law was signed into law in 1979.

Read the rest of the post on Dailysocial.

[Music Monday] Taking OpenEMI’s Torch And Taking It Further #unresolved

On April 22-24, 2012, a conference aptly named Rethink Music was organized by the Berklee College of Music in Boston. They basically brought together professionals from all over the music industry – from media, from the music labels, from artist management, and even from technology companies like Youtube, Rhapsody and Echo Nest (you can look at the whole speaker roster here). But one of the most interesting things announced and discussed at Rethink Music, in my opinion, is OpenEMI.

The basic concept of OpenEMI is to provide access to startups who want to create music applications and services based on EMI’s music library – and if the app is interesting enough, EMI may partner with the startup to develop it further. You can either request for a access to a wide range of songs, or request deeper access to single artists with more audio, video and other content. This developer-friendly system is supported by Echo Nest, the company that also has a wider-range API for music applications that power services like Spotify’s Radio feature.

Read the rest of the post at Dailysocial.

Why You Should Care About Ringback Tones #unresolved

For many in Indonesia, the ringback tone is somewhat of a controversial issue; drawing the ire of many, and polarizing related industries into an almost “for-and-against” situation. But not too long ago, ringbacktones were the craze of the moment and the darling of the music industry (and remains the darling of the music industry, depending on who you ask). And not only the music industry – the soaring growth of the ringbacktone market was one of the first indications that Indonesia, as a digital content market, is simply different from other countries and plays by different rules.

I have been writing about how music startups have actually been around in Indonesia for the past 6-7 years or so, and I felt if fitting to dedicate the last post in the series to discuss the ringback tone. Popularized in Korea to replace that boring connecting tone when you wait for the person on the other end to pick up your call, ringback tones (also known as ‘color ringback tones’, as they added ‘color’ to your ringback tone), the technology was imported into Indonesia in 2004 where both Indosat and Telkomsel started building their ringback tone services and offered them to the public later that year. The telecommunication companies approached the music labels to obtain attractive content for these services; negotiations took place, and business deals were agreed which were to define the business model for ringback tones across the industry.

 Read the rest of the post at Dailysocial.

[Music Monday] Actually, Music Startups In Indonesia Have Been Around For A While (Part 1)

What is a startup, actually? And in the context of DailySocial, what is a tech startup, anyway? According to Wikipedia, a startup is a “company or temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model”. The article goes on to describe that “Startup companies can come in all forms, but the phrase “startup company” is often associated with high growth, technology oriented companies. Investors are generally most attracted to those new companies distinguished by their risk/reward profile and scalability”. You can read the whole thing on the link provided, but I think I’ve put the key definitions here. And I think most people would add “under 3 years old” to that criteria.

Now, with all the attention that tech startups have been receiving the past year, a quick look at the Showcase shows a small smattering of music startups, some defunct, some only having a beta signup page, and some not live at all. Although I agree that it the list is less than comprehensive, it shows that at least music startups have largely gone unnoticed by the recent wave of media attention towards startups in general. If you don’t believe me, try an internet search for music startups in Indonesia, and see where that gets you.

Read the rest of the article at Dailysocial.