Library Music Update
3 May 2011
Following the article in the last issue of TheWorks ('The Changing World of Library Music'), a number of library music composers attended an open meeting last month to discuss the issues raised in the feature.
BASCA hosted the meeting in the PRS for Music boardroom and as well as many experienced members working in this sector, there were several non-members equally keen to share their experiences and voice their concerns.
Of all the areas of media composing, library music has enjoyed perhaps the greatest stability over the years, with the MCPS rate card at the centre of a system that has seen solid, productive and mutually beneficial relationships between writer and publisher. However, the arrival of digital technology along with increasing commercial pressures has, as in every other part of the music business, led to the breaking down of long-established conventions.
The mood among the more than 80 composers in the room was one of reluctant concern - reluctant because most people appeared to have been happy with the traditional model. However, the force of change cannot be resisted, especially when that change is driven by technology.
It was accepted that library music is in a state of transition and that the world will probably look very different four or five years from now. With composers representing 50% of the stakeholders in the sector, it is important that they are as informed and knowledgable as possible in order to face the inevitable challenges ahead.