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Even though the recording industry’s latest numbers provide reason to celebrate, last year’s positive financial returns are no guarantee of continued success. Indeed, success going forward will depend heavily on making legitimate music sites more convenient and enticing than their illegal counterparts. This easily can be accomplished by establishing a robust licensing regime that empowers digital music services to add new features and functionality in a timely manner. After all, recent studies clearly demonstrate that a user-friendly music service that is legally authorized to offer content at a reasonable price point can considerably diminish unwanted acts of piracy.
For their part, digital music services are deeply committed to innovation, customer satisfaction and a healthy music marketplace. In a relatively short time frame they’ve offered consumers enhanced streaming options, introduced music downloads and just recently launched new cloud-based music services. These developments have been met with a great deal of fanfare, but more important — as evidenced by the recent IFPI report — these efforts have contributed significantly to the financial bottom lines of the artists who create the content digital music services distribute.
Looking ahead, the future promises to be even brighter provided the music licensing process continues to improve and keeps pace with ongoing advances in technology.
Here’s to us all doing our part to ensure the good times keep rolling.
Gregory Alan Barnes is general counsel for the Digital Media Association.