Mom-and-pop shops cost Apple Music (and artists) billions

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music streaming
Many small business owners are unaware they need a license to stream music in their shops.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

The music industry loses $2.65B annually because small businesses are using music streaming services like Apple Music or Spotify without a license.

Nielsen Music surveyed 5,000 small business around the world and found a majority streamed music with a personal account, with many not knowing a business license for streaming music is required by law.

In the United States, 71 percent of the business surveyed were unaware of the licensing requirement, with many business owners believing it was OK to play background music from their personal streaming accounts.

Nielsen Music estimates more than 29 million small businesses around the world stream music, yet only 17 percent hold business streaming licenses.

Business music streaming needs improvement

“Lack of innovations has driven small businesses to choose consumers services, as they are far more accessible and tasty to use than most business alternatives,” said Andreas Liffgarden, co-founder of Soundtrack Your Brand, a licensing service for businesses which commissioned the study. “We need a new generation of…streaming services attract to business owners that make sure music makers get fair compensation.”

Nielsen Music researchers conducted their interviews in the U.S. Sweden, Spain, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy – countries with copyright laws that require a license to stream music in public spaces.

Liffgarden was with Spotify when it launched 10 years ago and has a vested interest in the findings as his new music venture would benefit from proper licensing.

Source: Digital Music News