ERA Digital in the U.K.

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Let’s face it, record companies don’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to market response and willingness to modify their business models. To no surprise, the emergence of the digital music marketplace has been to the benefit of consumers, artists and outside-the-box innovators, while the majors have fallen flat from dragging their feet too long.

Let’s face it, record companies don’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to market response and willingness to modify their business models. To no surprise, the emergence of the digital music marketplace has been to the benefit of consumers, artists and outside-the-box innovators, while the majors have fallen flat from dragging their feet too long.

Taking note of the major league mistakes, an assembly of British online music stores has outlined a five-point plan for achieving success in the digital music era. The group, called ERA Digital, is a branch of the Entertainment Retailers Association and consists of leading players in the digital music business such as hmv.com, 7digital.com and Orange.

Included in the proposal are some obvious points, most notably chiding the recording industry for a lack of open-mindedness when it comes to digital music models. The group also calls for the abandonment of DRM-protected sales and the promotion of competition among licensing collection societies to increase efficiency. In a more innovative point, the plan suggests approaching the problem of illegal file-sharing and ISP responsibility from a commercial standpoint, rather than a litigious one. Additionally, the ERA Digital plan calls for more in-depth tracking of digital music consumption in order to better understand the marketplace.

“Too often the debate about the future of music is dominated by the interests of producers rather than of consumers. As the link in the chain closest to the consumer, it is right and appropriate that ERA Digital should align itself with the interests of music fans,” stated ERA Digital chairman Russel Coultart.

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