Via this new kind of platform “Hyundai Card Music”, indie musicians could sell their songs at a price they choose. Of the price the buyer pays, 80 percent goes to the creator while 14 percent to the Korea Music Copyright Association and the Federation of Korean Music Performers and the remaining 6 percent as service operation fees, in stark contrast to the previous business model relating to this music file sales businesses.
Seoul, Korea ¶May 24, 2012-- The online music file exchange platform in which songwriters can sell their songs at a price is fast becoming a reality. This is a new trend in that the market is opening up without the mediation of incumbent record labels or music distributors.
Hyundai Card, a major credit card issuer in Korea, on May 9 launched a website called “Hyundai Card Music” where indie musicians could sell their songs at a price they choose. Of the price the buyer pays, 80 percent goes to the creator while 14 percent to the Korea Music Copyright Association and the Federation of Korean Music Performers and the remaining 6 percent as service operation fees.
A Hyundai Card official said of the arrangement, “We take no percentage of the income at all. It is purely for the purpose of helping out indie musicians and improving the unfair sharing structure of digital songs.” As of now, the Hyundai Card Music site has posted as many as 850 songs created by 400 bands. Another music exchange site BugsCast run by Neowiz Internet has begun operations since late last month. Currently the site makes available 300 songs posted by 350 bands.
Even though the price can be set by the creator, the buyer may pay more than the price. For example, as much as 11 percent of all songs sold on BugsCast were sold at prices higher than the original price. A song called “A Fish on the Cutting Board” sung by Big Shift, whose selling price was 600 won, was once sold at 10,000 won.
Lee Sung-Hyuk, a member of a band Cranfield, said, “Previously we had to rely our income on sales of CDs to people we know and nothing else. But now the online file exchanges have helped us enormously by giving a chance to make a living off of it.”
Korea’s first creator-driven music exchange was launched in 2007 when a startup company Syrus opened a site called “Blayer.” Currently Blayer makes available 1,300 songs to Internet users.
Sean Chung (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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