Awakening Vietnam's online music market
Vietnam's online music industry could have a yearly value of thousands of billions of VND if it is protected and exploited.
Covid-19 has helped the global recorded music industry as the online segment grew 18.5% in 2021, reaching 14.5 billion USD, with more than 1 billion people paying for music online. In particular, music streaming is taking the throne, accounting for 62% of online music revenue.
In 2021, many big voices sold their music to online platforms. For example, singer-songwriter Bob Dylan sold the rights to all his songs to Universal Music Publishing Group, for about US$300-$400 million; Neil Young sold the rights to half of his works to Hipgnosis Song Fund Group (UK) for $150 million; and singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks sold the rights to 80% of his song to Primary Wave Company for $100 million.
Online music distribution platforms like Spotify earned nearly $10 billion in revenue in 2021 from nearly 400 million regular users. Apple said that Apple Music subscribers reached about 60 million paid subscribers.
According to experts, if Vietnam manages copyright on the Internet well, it will promote the online music industry, bringing in huge revenue, estimated at thousands of billions of VND per year.
New push for online music market
In Vietnam, the digital music market is still in its infancy. Popular singers such as My Tam, Son Tung MTP, Dam Vinh Hung and Le Quyen have earned revenue from digital music and began music streaming with very positive results in 2021. However, online music piracy is the biggest barrier.
Digital music copyright violation in Vietnam is rampant. The development and application of technology to manage and protect gray matter and protect intellectual property on the Internet is a prerequisite for exploiting the "gold mine" of digital music in Vietnam.
MCM Online is the first enterprise in Vietnam to provide Sigma DRM and Sigma Watermarking copyright protection services. Accordingly, Sigma DRM technology encrypts all tracks, issues a decryption key each time the work is used, and each time the key is issued, the system will count as one use of the work.
Sigma Watermarking technology is used to mark (digitally sign) when the authors want to distribute or derive a musical work, thereby helping the authors trace it to easily check the origin, or track the distribution and use of work.
Ms. Pham Thi Kim Oanh, Deputy Director of the Copyright Department (Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism), said that digital music copyright protection is a burning issue in Vietnam. On February 17, 2022, the Copyright Treaty of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WCT) took effect in Vietnam, marking the official participation of Vietnam in the international copyright protection playground.
“We are working on a more complete legal system to protect copyright, especially copyright protection in the digital environment. When synchronizing the legal system with the participation of international treaties, enforcement, transparency and publicity in copyright exploitation with the contribution of technology platforms will soon be implemented effectively,” said Oanh.
The Music Copyrights Management Online Joint Stock Company (MCM Online) launched an ecosystem on February 22 as part of efforts to protect music copyright on the internet, the first of its kind in Vietnam.
Vietnamese singers may face copyright problems if they sing exclusive songs belonging to other singers, but it appears to be ‘safer’ when they sing international songs.