Streaming and a better rights deal for artists

by | Apr 20, 2021

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the music industry was facing one of its biggest challenges: piracy.
It has made big inroads to reduce the unauthorised use or reproduction of another’s work via the formation of companies like Spotify and Apple Music. But are artists getting a fair cut?

And what hope is there for stars of tomorrow looking to propel themselves onto the global stage? One man who believes he has the solution is Pascal De Mul, CEO of Exit Live. We spoke to Pascal about streaming’s future following Exit Live’s first live online broadcast event One Venue One Voice in partnership with TicketCo Media Services.

Supporting live music

Exit Live was started to solve a simple problem – fans cannot relive live shows they have been to or ones they have missed.

It works with established and upcoming artists to record shows and make them instantly available for purchase by fans across the world. Up to 80% of proceeds from Exit Live sales are shared directly with the artists, providing a new income stream in live music.

“We feel live music doesn’t receive the attention it deserves since the CD market disappeared,” said Pascal. “We work with artists to record high quality audio from live shows and bring it to fans. Our employees have decades of experience as performing artists or selling live music before they joined Exit Live, so they understand the market and fans’ demand for live music.”

Artist first

Working with Exit Live provides both artists and venues with increased opportunity to showcase performances, improve reach globally and achieve a greater share of revenue. Using the high-quality digital recording equipment that now is a standard feature of even the smallest venues, uploading content to the Exit Live platform immediately after a show comes at no cost to the artist.

“In the CD’s golden years, it was not unusual for artists to make more out of CD sales than out of their fees for performing,” added Pascal. “At Exit Live, we are showcasing artists’ work to the global stage in a cost-effective way. The revenue performers generate from their live show recordings via our platform can be in their bank account the day after a performance. This service comes at no cost to the artist. They publish their content and shout about it to their fans, we take a 20% cut from the proceeds to run our systems, handling streaming, administration, currencies and licensing.”

Innovation partnership

This month TicketCo formed an innovation partnership Exit Live to benefit artists and venues delivering digital events.

The partnership enhances artists’ offerings to fans by combining live stream, on-demand and audio recordings.

Pascal added: “The past year has been extremely tough for smaller artists and bands, many of them are low on cash and we feel they need our support. By collaborating with TicketCo, we are facilitating opportunities to get performers in front of the camera and engage with their audiences via live streaming. It is then our responsibility to helps artists maximise revenue after the show through live audio recordings via Exit Live. TicketCo are great innovators who make live streaming easy. We feel we are turning a corner after a tough year for the industry.”

One Venue One Voice

On Sunday, April 11, the innovation partnership delivered its first digital event One Venue One Voice in association with Kycker Music and Velvet Music Management.

The event was hosted at Corporation Sheffield and featured three local groups Haig, Mookie and the Bab and Perfect Parachute Picture. Five cameras were used by the One Venue One Voice team to produce and stream the show through TicketCo Media Services, with an audio recording made available immediately through Exit Live after all performances had ended.

“We wanted a show to suit all audiences,” said Pascal. “The response was amazing; we sold more tickets for the live show than forecast. What interested me was that 58% of viewers paid £5 on top of their ticket price to access an instant live audio recording of the show through Exit Live once the evening concluded. We cannot ask for better endorsement.

“The show’s success has fuelled our passion for supporting regional UK artists and we’re now in talks with venues in Liverpool, Manchester, London and Brighton to deliver similar shows. Currently it’s hard for regional artists to make money, One Venue One Voice in partnership with TicketCo can help generate funds.”

Facilitating opportunity

Last year, Exit Live worked with James Morrison to publish a live recording of his gig at Dingwalls, London. Within 12 hours of the 44-minute audio clip going on sale, fans from 22 countries had purchased the recording.

Pascal said: “We’re trying to tell artists how great Exit Live is and its ability to engage with a global audience at no cost.

“Our partnership with TicketCo is so important and relevant. Live streaming has been a huge success, and we’re now allowing artists the opportunity to make money out of streaming which was previously near impossible.”

Fair deal

Pascal is an active supporter of Tom Gray’s Broken Record campaign which calls for fairer payments from streaming services to support artists throughout the pandemic. The campaign has already been backed by Tim Burgess of The Charlatans, Boy George and John Grant. It is Pascal’s ambition to provide artists with a fair streaming deal to support the live music industry.

He said: “We have the power to broadcast unique content by publishing audio for gig-goers to listen to on their way home from performances. And our platform works just as well for live streaming as it does for live shows. At a live show, you have a great opportunity to make your recording memorable and we believe it’s important to capture that.”

The future

So, what does Pascal believe the future holds for music streaming and how can Exit Live act as a disruptor in the market?

Pascal said: “I’m very positive about streaming and its impact, it makes good money for an industry that was previously threatened by piracy. But I also believe artists should get more out of streaming, although it’s not as simple to blame streamers. Spotify for example has an amazing distribution of music.

“For many in the industry, recorded live music is simply an after-thought, and I struggle to understand why. Personally, I believe there are tonnes of bands out there that perform better live than in a studio – that energy and spur of the moment is exciting.

“There is a disregard for live music, we’re no longer in the 50s where making a vinyl record is a huge investment. Recording technology is digital and state-of-the-art equipment is routinely available. We highlighted this through our One Venue One Voice show in partnership with TicketCo. I am positive about the future for live music and our ability to stream it.”

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