LegalMindsTV Interview Transcript: "Music and Film Licensing in the Current Digital Environment"


The growth of technology has had a significant impact on most every facet of the entertainment industry. And according to Marc Jacobson, whose practice at Greenberg Traurig LLP is focused on media and entertainment, this has been most evident in the music business, where unit sales, revenues and jobs have all been reduced by an astonishing 50% since 2001.

But Jacobson is also quick to point out that “music is consumed, listened to, played, streamed, downloaded and copies are made more than ever before.”

In this exclusive video interview with LegalMindsTV, he discusses how changes in technology have led to a profound shift in the entertainment industry and how constantly-evolving business models are struggling to compete in a landscape dominated by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iTunes, which accounts for 69% of all digital music sales and 25% of all music sold, and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), which is a distant second with 8% of the digital market.

Complicating these challenges further have been complex licensing issues, bad business models, a less than robust advertising market, and a reduction in available capital.

Jacobson believes that the film industry has fared better because they’ve learned from the mistakes of the music industry. Additionally, they benefit from a more advantageous financing structure as most cities and states have recognized that film is an “environmentally-friendly jobs creator” and have provided tax benefits for film producers.

Regardless of the challenges, Jacobson feels it’s very important to look at 2010 as a clean slate and that the opportunity exists for high quality music and film offerings – with and without the internet. “They key is to make sure you have a business plan that makes sense, enough capital to withstand the peaks and valleys and long-term vision.” He adds, “it’s no longer like it was in the dot-com boom of ten years ago.”

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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