The Role of Market-Driven and Legislative Solutions to Online Music Licensing in Europe

In a world where a very few platforms have increasingly become the gatekeepers of digital markets, online music licensing requires solutions based on data infrastructure and detailed rights ownership information and technologies. So far, these solutions have been mostly market-driven, having developed at a time when proprietary platforms emerged as a radical alternative to fully decentralized distribution networks. This paper clarifies how social media and on-demand platforms have influenced the way music right-holders concretely license their rights, either collectively or individually. The paper critically evaluates the impact of recent regulatory initiatives the EU has undertaken with the aim to make online platforms more accountable and to grant music creators access to information they need to better negotiate their licensing deals.