Considering Covid-prompted loss of ephemerality in live music through the dichotomy between labour income and capital income
Keywords:capital income, labour income, design culture, COVID-19, live music, livestreaming, copyright
There are two main types of income earned by musicians. The first is capital income, which is the type of income derived from owning the intellectual rights to music, either through record sales or leveraging moral rights. The second is labour income, which is generated from live performance and takes the form of performance fees. Historically, these two activities are considered separate with some ontological and economic interdependences, creating two different streams of income; however, we present a case which shows that the two merged when much ‘live’ music appeared online during the COVID-19 pandemic in the form of livestreams. These livestreams theoretically allow musicians to earn both capital income and labour income from the same activity. We use ‘design culture’, as a form of organizational culture, to describe how musicians can use the new livestreaming trend to realize better/fairer deals for themselves. This is especially prescient because in contemporary history, most musicians cannot earn a sustainable income from releasing recorded music, so have relied on live performance. Live performance has thus become less ephemeral, as has the income derived from it.
APRA AMCOS. 2021. ‘How Music Copyright Works’. https://www.apraamcos.com.au/about/what-we-do/how-music-copyright-works (accessed 4 March 2021).
Auslander, P. 2008. Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture, 2nd edn. London and New York: Routledge.
Bartleet, B.-L., D. Bennett, R. Bridgstock, S. Harrison, P. Draper, V. Tomlinson and C. Ballico. 2020. Making Music Work: Sustainable Portfolio Careers for Australian Musicians. Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre, Griffith University.
Baudrillard, J. 1981. For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign, trans. C. Levin. St Louis, MO: Telos Press.
Benjamin, W. 2008. ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’, trans. J. A. Underwood. In Penguin Books Great Ideas: 56. London: Penguin.
Boiler Room. 2020. ‘About’. Boiler Room. https://boilerroom.tv/about (accessed 31 August 2020).
Brown, S. C., and D. Knox. 2017. ‘Why Go to Pop Concerts? The Motivations behind Live Music Attendance’. Musicae Scientiae 21/3: 233–49. https://doi.org/10.1177/1029864916650719
Cambridge. 2019. ‘Moral Rights’. Cambridge English Dictionary. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/moral-rights (accessed 19 October 2019).
Cave, N. 2020. ‘Idiot Prayer—Nick Cave Alone at Alexandra Palace: Cinema Screenings & Ticket Booking’. https://www.idiotprayerfilm.com/ (accessed 30 March 2021).
Cirisano, T. 2020. ‘If You Stream It, Will They Come? Inside the Livestream Boom’. Billboard, 31 August. https://www.billboard.com/articles/deep-dive/the-new-livestreaming-landscape/9441717/inside-livestream-concert-tech-boom (accessed 4 March 2021).
Couldry, N. 2004. ‘Liveness, “Reality”, and the Mediated Habitus from Television to the Mobile Phone’. The Communication Review 7/4: 353–61. https://doi.org/10.1080/10714420490886952
Danielsen, A., and Y. Kjus. 2019. ‘The Mediated Festival: Live Music as Trigger of Streaming and Social Media Engagement’. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 25/4: 714–34. https://doi.org/10.1177/1354856517721808
Elberse, A. 2013. Blockbusters: Hit-Making, Risk-Taking, and the Big Business of Entertainment. New York: Henry Holt and Co.
European Commission. 2019. European Union Directive on Copyright and Related Rights in the Digital Single Market. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/dir/2019/790/oj (accessed 11 August 2019).
Frith, S. 2007. ‘Live Music Matters’. Scottish Music Review 1/1: 1–17.
Glitsos, L. 2018. ‘The Camera Phone in the Concert Space: Live Music and Moving Images on the Screen’. Music, Sound and the Moving Image 2/1: 33–52. https://doi.org/10.3828/msmi.2018.2
Holt, F. 2010. ‘The Economy of Live Music in the Digital Age’. European Journal of Cultural Studies 13/2: 243–61. https://doi.org/10.1177/1367549409352277
Hughes, D., M. Evans, G. Morrow and S. Keith. 2016. The New Music Industries. Cham: Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-40364-9
ILMG. 2020. ‘About’. I Lost My Gig Australia. https://ilostmygig.net.au/about (accessed 29 July 2020).
Jansen, G. 2010. ‘Whose Burden Is It Anyway? Addressing the Needs of Content Owners in DMCA Safe Harbors’. Federal Communications Law Journal 62/1: 153–82.
Julier, G. 2006. ‘From Visual Culture to Design Culture’. Design Issues 22/1: 64–76.
Julier, G. 2013. The Culture of Design. London: Sage.
Julier, G., and A. V. Munch. 2019. ‘Introducing Design Culture’. In Design Culture: Objects and Approaches, ed. G. Julier, A. Munch, M. Folkmann, H. Jensen and N. Skou, 1–15. London: Bloomsbury Visual Arts.
Knopper, S. 2020. ‘Licensed to Stream? Clearing Rights Can Be Tricky in the “Wild West” Livestream Age’. Billboard, 23 May. https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/9364171/livestreaming-artists-licensing-issues-clearing-rights-publishing-coronavirus/ (accessed 11 March 2021).
Krueger, A. B. 2005. ‘The Economics of Real Superstars: The Market for Rock Concerts in the Material World’. Journal of Labor Economics 23/1: 1–30. https://doi.org/10.1086/425431
Lessig, L. 2004a. Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity. New York: Penguin Press.
Lessig, L. 2004b. ‘Free(ing) Culture for Remix’. Utah Law Review 4: 961–75.
Lessig, L. 2009. Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy. London: Bloomsbury.
McCarthy, J. 2020. ‘Amid Swell of Support, Patreon Explains Why It Is Now “a Lifeline for Creators”’. The Drum, 15 April. https://www.thedrum.com/news/2020/04/15/amid-swell-support-patreon-explains-why-it-now-lifeline-creators (accessed 7 October 2020).
Montoro-Pons, J. D., and M. Cuadrado-García. 2011. ‘Live and Prerecorded Popular Music Consumption’. Journal of Cultural Economics 35/1: 19–48. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10824-010-9130-2
Morrow, G. 2020. Designing the Music Business: Design Culture, Music Video and Virtual Reality. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.
Nordgård, D. 2013. ‘Rapport fra Nordgård-utvalget’. The Norwegian Ministry of Culture. http://www.regjeringen.no/en/dep/kud/documents/reports-and-plans/reports/2013/rapport-fra-nordgard-utvalget.html?id=734716 (accessed 28 January 2019).
Nordgård, D. 2016. ‘Lessons from the World’s Most Advanced Market for Music Streaming Services’. In Business Innovation and Disruption in the Music Industry, ed. P. Wikström and R. DeFillippi, 175–90. Massachusetts: Edward Elgar.
Nordgård, D. 2017. ‘Assessing Music Streaming and Industry Disruptions’. In Policy Implications of Virtual Work, ed. P. Meil and V. Kirov, 139–63. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Nordgård, D. 2018. The Music Business and Digital Impacts: Innovations and Disruptions in the Music Industries. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-3-319-91887-7
Pedersen, R. 2015. ‘Ad Hoc Entrepreneurs: Middle-layer Musicians and the Contemporary Media Landscape’. PhD thesis, Department of Communication, Business and Information Technologies, Roskilde University, Denmark.
Pedersen, R. 2018. ‘Exploring Bounty and Spread: Key Changes in the Danish Music Streaming Economy’. International Journal of Music Business Research 7/1: 6–25.
Perkel, C. 2020. ‘Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert’. YouTube Originals. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=jjwilAja7Lc&feature=emb_title (accessed 31 August 2020).
Porter, M. E. 1985. Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance. New York: The Free Press.
Saintilan, P., and D. Schreiber. 2018. Managing Organizations in the Creative Economy: Organizational Behaviour for the Cultural Sector. Abingdon: Routledge.
Sampson, P. 2021. ‘What Is in Store for the Music Publishing Industry in the Years to Come?’ The Music Network, 11 January. https://themusicnetwork.com/music-publishing-2021/ (accessed 22 January 2021).
Sanden, P. 2013. Liveness in Modern Music: Musicians, Technology, and the Perception of Performance. New York: Routledge.
Sousa, J. P. 1993. ‘Machine Songs IV: The Menace of Mechanical Music’. Computer Music Journal 17/1: 14–18.
Strong, C., and F. Cannizzo. 2020. Understanding Challenges to the Victorian Music Industry during COVID-19. Melbourne: RMIT University.
Taylor, I. A. 2020. ‘“Well-worn Grooves”: Music, Materiality and Biographical Memory’. Popular Music History 12/3: 256–74. https://doi.org/10.1558/pomh.41832
Tschmuck, P. 2017. The Economics of Music. Newcastle upon Tyne: Agenda Publishing.
Wilson, Z. 2019. ‘Five Takeaways from BIGSOUND’s Splitting the Pie Panel on Artist Management’. The Music Network. https://themusicnetwork.com/artist-management-bigsound/ (accessed 8 November 2019).
WTO (World Trade Organization). 2021. Module II: Copyright and Related Rights. https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/trips_e/ta_docs_e/modules2_e.pdf (accessed 15 March 2021).
Wurtzler, S. 1992. ‘She Sang Live, but the Microphone Was Turned off: The Live, the Recorded, and the Subject of Representation’. In Sound Theory Sound Practice, ed. R. Altman, 87–102. New York: Routledge.
Xie, M., and Q. Chen. 2020. ‘Insight into 2019 Novel Coronavirus—An Updated Interim Review and Lessons from SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV’. International Journal of Infectious Diseases 94 (May): 119–24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2020.03.071
Interview 1: Emily Ulman, Isol-Aid co-founder, Melbourne, 21 July 2020.
Interview 2: Nick O’Byrne, Artist manager, Melbourne, 21 July 2020.
How to Cite
© Equinox Publishing Ltd.
For information regarding our Open Access policy, click here.