QIT #6 News and music are incomparable

I’ve was listening on the radio (You & Yours, I think) to a debate about the PPL and PRS licences businesses need in order to play music in the workplace.

As a quick explanation, this is from law firm Hammonds (warning – it’s a pdf):

Any copyright music which is played within a business and can be heard by more than one person (whether staff members or the general public) is likely to require a licence. This includes music played almost anywhere outside a private dwelling, for example in offices and factories; shops and stores; leisure facilities; kitchens; staff rooms; post rooms; and even music played on the telephone whilst customers are put on hold; as well as the usual public areas such as waiting rooms, restaurants and bars.

That lead me to think of all the newspapers sitting in cafes, bars and waiting rooms across the UK. Each newspaper is only bought once but many may read and benefit from it.

In some respects it doesn’t really matter how this has come to pass – whether it is because of competition from other platforms, the public perception of news being a right or just the newspaper industry historically undervaluing itself – the point it illustrates is that the news industry doesn’t really believe its content has any value other than to provide structure around which to place advertising.

This seriously effects how the industry can now move forward and, with such different attitudes to the value of their content, how can we suggest that the answers to the news industry’s woes can be found in the experiences of the music industry?