Virtual music value chains

Saturday, May 2, 2020

So these days fortnite (the battle royale game) has a separate party environment where players can hang out and party and watch live concerts without risking to be shot. Tonight they hosted a Diplo concert/DJ set. Together with the tweet announcing the concert, the official fortnite account also tweeted this:

To most people this will likely sound like gibberish, but this provides an interesting insight into the complexities of music industry value chains these days. From a copyright perspective the whole setup is pretty mind boggling:

A remix artist is performing a set that largly consists of songs recorded by others in a virtual environment. The company that runs they virtual environment feels the need to tell creators (in this context: people who stream tehir exploits in games and virtual worlds as a means to make a living) that if they stream the concert their streams will be demonetised (i.e the recoding industry will claim all the ad revenue generated by these streams) but that there will be no takedowns and no copyright strikes against them if they stream the concert.

It would be really fascinating to understand the money-flows involved in this setup. Which parts of an advertising dollar spend on a youtube video that includes footage from the Diplo concert ends up in whose pockets?