Ma 20.04.2009 @ 13:24Marja Honkakorpi

Embracing the music - music, Internet and public service

YLE New Media is organizing an event on May 8th, where experts of digital media, music industry, musicians, labels, copyrights organisation, YLE and users are getting together to talk about music, Internet and public service.


Music fans are happy. If they have decent Internet connections. Music supply is deep and wide, most of it is free or relatively cheap and the ways of listening have developed a lot. For example platforms like and Spotify are enjoying a great success here in Finland like most of Europe.

Bands and musicians are quite happy too, I suppose. At least less known and niche bands, which have bigger changes to pop into fame and glory through different social media services like MySpace. Music labels are struggling to find new business models. Old-fashioned records are not selling for masses anymore and partly because of that finally we Finnish music lovers are pampered by wide range of concerts and are robbed by high priced tickets.

Copyrights are a current and painful subject in this new social-media-driven society, where user is the king, content has to be free, shareable and re-constructible. Young generations are not willing to pay from content like their parents.

Radio is surviving this media convergence as a winner. The concept of radio is changing: the old traditional radio is elegantly adapting itself into new ways of delivering quality radio content. Radio is truly everywhere: when and how you want. Finnish broadcasting company's radio streams can be listened globally, programmes are found as podcasts or as on-demand streams in YLE Areena. Elsewhere so-called genre-radios have found their audiences. For us the copyrights are restricting some of the downloadable material: music. Like many other media companies we are struggling to keep our young audiences and the current situation is somewhat awkward.

Professional music journalists as well as music fans and ordinary users produce playlists on the Internet. Sharing music has very long traditions; my own memories are from 70's and 80's when I was mixing my own cassette tapes recorded from radio. Evolved alongside radio tradition playlists are becoming more and more popular with different kind of cool shareable features like ratings, comments, social bookmarkings, listings etc.

What about public service and music, Finnish broadcasting company YLE, the "Finnish BBC"? How can we participate to make the industry more vivid, accessible and enjoyable? In Finland there has been traditionally strong publicly funded music content in our channels in the radio and TV. We have long experience in preserving Finnish music, hosting music competitions and playing new bands.

We want to continue to be significant part in music life in Finland, despite the mildly restrictive (and expensive!) fact that we are proudly honouring the copyright laws. We want to be the driver in developing new ways to consume music in Finland by offering our expertise to use. We have a new so called "enabler strategy" that gives us change to participate, facilitate and find new ways of developing music services, platforms and radio with music industry, bands, developers and users. Perhaps even find new business models.

Now the big questions are: what should we focus on, where should we put our resources, and what kind of role should we take in Finnish music life? Developing music journalism, finding new Finnish music, be influential in music discussion in general, broadcast and preserve live concerts, collect music archives, support traditional radio content and develop new ways of delivering radio? Do we really know what people want and are we able to react on the right signals? Is there a risk that we abandon the masses if we want to be trendsetters? What kind of services should we develop to find new win-win -models with our partners and to the users? What kind of obligations and responsibilities do we have in this new situation - or are there any anymore?

We would like to hear your opinion and invite you to discuss and brainstorm future of the music on the Internet. YLE New Media is organizing an event on May 8th, where experts of digital media, music industry, musicians, labels, copyrights organisation, YLE and users are getting together to talk about these issues.

Our goal is to open the discussion about YLE's role in this playground and the new enabler strategy in the music services and the future of the radio. We have interesting guests like Jonas Woost (, Dominik Born and Samuel Vuillermoz (MxLab, Switzerland), Alex Nieminen (Laundry, Finland), Riku Vassinen (Diego, Finland), Mikko Sirén from the band Apocalyptica, Timo Kuoppamäki (EMI Finland), Vappu Verronen (TEOSTO, copyrights organization), Tomi Saarinen (radio station YleX) and many more.

The whole event will be broadcasted live in YLE Areena (online TV and radio service) throughout the web, and we are trying to get to a global audience as big as possible. We’ll also take questions through Twitter, which will be shot at a screen in the seminar. Our Twitter contact is Arttu Silvast, editor of service. So you should start to follow his account called “arttuextra”. Contribution to discussion is done by using the topic “#yle_music”.

Detailed programme of the event will be published in this blog soon.

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