Pro-music website marks first year with new directory of legal online music services
Educational site for online music hits 25,000 visits per month and launches third national version in Italy
27 May, 2004
The music industry's campaign to promote legitimate online music services has stepped up a gear with the publication of a new directory of digital music services on the one-year old www.pro-music.org website.
The directory offers a comprehensive selection of legitimate online services across the world where consumers can access and download music. It lists over 100 sites covering virtually every region of the world, the numbers of available tracks, type of repertoire and links to the services. It will be regularly updated as new services come online, and as more repertoire is added.
In the year since the launch of pro-music, there has been a sharp rise in the number of digital music services being offered. When the site was launched around 20 sites were listed in the USA and Europe, with an average catalogue of 200,000 songs. Today, the worldwide tracker lists over 100 sites, including the latest country launch in the UK from Napster. The average offering on the major services is more than 500,000 unique tracks.
www.pro-music.org was launched in May 2003 supported by an international alliance of musicians, performers, artists, major and independent record companies, and music retailers. The initiative was set up to promote legitimate digital music services and confront the myths surrounding online music piracy.
Also coinciding with the year anniversary, FIMI, the Italian IFPI national group has announced the launch of its own, national version of the site. The website www.pro-music.it went live online for the first time this week, backed by Italian labels, managers, artists and SIAE, the Italian authors' society.
Jay Berman, Chairman and CEO of IFPI said: "Pro-music has achieved over twelve months what its founding alliance partners intended it to be - a successful international educational campaign about online music. Pro-music is supported across the music sector, has attracted tens of thousands of visitors and rolled out in national versions in French, German and Italian. The site spells out in clear and simple terms the legal and copyright concerns around online music. It explains the fight against internet piracy. And, above all, it has tracked the surge of new legitimate services that have come on stream in the last year. Pro-music has a vital role to play in improving awareness in this area, and there seems no doubt that the second year of the campaign will be even more important than the first."
The first year of pro-music saw some key developments:
Launch of national sites
Germany was the first country to develop its own customised national site. www.pro-musicorg.de was launched by the German recording industry associations at Popkomm in August 2003.
The launch of French pro-music site www.promusicfrance.com in January 2004 at Midem was supported by the French Minister of Culture and by a coalition of French music industry bodies including the country's major and independent record producers, authors, composers and publishers, retailers, music managers and live music promoters.
International site statistics
Visits to the international site are currently in the region of around 25,000 a month. This has remained relatively steady and compares to around 16,000 hits a month in the first six months of operation. In April 2004, the highest number of visits was from the USA, followed by the UK, France, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Mexico, Sweden, Australia, Austria and Brazil. Visitors from 100 countries around the world visited the site in April.
Pro-music.org also sees around 1,000 downloads a month including pdfs for uninstalling or turning off the 'upload' function of P2P software programmes, and of IFPI's Copyright and Security Guides for businesses, governments and academia.
Comment from Pro-music partners
"GIART, the International Organisation of Performing Artists, strongly supports Pro-Music as a valuable initiative that should help music lovers understand that the work of performing artists needs protection in the online world.
"Widespread Internet piracy is having a devastating impact on artists and the whole creative chain involved in making music. Pro-Music should help inform everyone who loves music about the many attractive, legitimate music services that offer music downloads. It will help to convey the important message that artists deserve to get paid for the talent and effort that goes into making great music." GIART, the International Organisation of Performing Artists
"The Pro-music campaign has been extremely helpful in raising awareness amongst consumers of the damaging effects of piracy. The increased availability of legitimate online music services means consumers now have a good legal possibility to download music. GERA-Europe will continue to support the development of a viable online music market and the elimination of piracy." Martin de Wilde, President of GERA - Europe, the European retailers association.
"Piracy - which includes illegal downloading - undermines all this and threatens the future of music. The International Federation of Musicians (FIM) and its member organisations throughout the world join with the other creative interests in a campaign to awaken public interest in these issues and to call on all legislators to provide a satisfactory national and international legal framework to safeguard new music, new markets and new consumer satisfaction. Piracy is the major threat to creativity and tomorrow's music and musicians." John Morton, President of FIM
"The IMMF continues to support and encourage the growth of an economically sustainable online music market and believes that helping the consumer to understand the direct connection between a healthy copyright system and a healthy and vibrant music scene throughout the world is one of the great challenges that the modern music industry faces. The creator should always be at the centre of any decision about how and when his or her creations are made available to the public, and we think that the pro-music initiative continues to be both useful and relevant in disseminating information and aiding in understanding." IMMF, the international forum for music managers
"It is clearly important for the development of music that the fundamental role of songwriters and composers is recognised and valued by the public. Pro-music has helped to bring a better understanding of the work that goes into music - often behind the scenes - including the composing of songs and the business of publishing. We support the moral and legal right of the people involved in creating music and bringing it to the wider public to be rewarded for the work they do, and we are happy to continue our support of pro-music." Jenny Vacher, ICMP/CIEM Chief Executive
"Our main problem is everyone can sing in his bath, so why should he pay to listen to someone else singing in a studio? They forget that all creative people need to get paid in return for offering the world a wide choice of talents, genres and musical diversity.
"Writers and book publishers need to earn a living to exist. The same is true for film directors, actors, script writers, theatre directors, painters and video game makers. It seems obvious that composers and musicians should be paid for their work, as well as the people who help them secure a creative environment and gain access to market for their music." Michel Lambot, Impala President
"When Pro-music was launched digital downloads were still in their relative infancy but OD2 had already been in operation for four years and we were focused on building a digital music business in Europe. In the past 18 months in particular, the success of our partner sites and the increase in numbers of subscribers shows there is a growing appetite for safe, legal and consumer-friendly ways to get music online." OD2, European music distributor
"Combating piracy needs to be an education process and the www.pro-music.org website raises public awareness of the growing number of legal online music services as well as the damage caused to the industry by copyright abuse," said Leanne Sharman, Napster vice-president and UK general manager. "At Napster we believe in the 'carrot' approach and offering consumers a far superior service than they could get elsewhere - legally or illegally."
For further information please contact:
www.pro-music.org - 'everything you need to know about music online'