04.06.10 What is Music Matters?


Music Matters is a collective of people across the music industry, including artists, retailers, songwriters, labels and managers, formed to remind listeners of the significance and value of music.



1. We all know that music matters: why is this initiative important?

We all know that music is important. But with music more available than ever before, it's worth reminding ourselves of that fact. It's easy to forget about the extraordinary lengths that performers, songwriters and musicians can go to record their songs, and the powerful effect music has on each and every one of us.

We believe it is important to support the artists and all those involved in making incredible music by choosing to consume music in an ethical way, and that's why we've set up Music Matters.

2. What is the Music Matters Trustmark?

The Music Matters trust mark will act as a guide for music fans and help differentiate legal music services from illegal ones. Click here for a list of all supporting sites and look for the Music Matters trust mark when choosing new music.

When you choose sites carrying the trustmark you can be sure the site is legal and the copyright holders are paid for their creative work.

3. Why do we need a trustmark?

Globally, 19 out of every 20 tracks downloaded are done so illegally. In an evolving digital landscape, there can be confusion over which sites are legal. We think music fans would like to know that when the site that they are using is legitimate they are supporting the artists, musicians, songwriters and everyone involved in creating the music.

4. My favourite band is unsigned - does this mean I can download their material without paying for it?

It is exactly the same for unknown, unsigned bands as it is for bands with record deals. Unless the unsigned band chooses to offer their music to fans for free, downloading or sharing that music for free is illegal.

5. What is the difference between a streaming and downloading music service?

With a downloading service, tracks are stored on an individual's iPod, iPhone or preferred device and can be listened to when and where the consumer chooses.

Online streaming services make the music available to listen to online without purchasing and downloading the files.

Both of these are legitimate ways to consume music. Look for the Music Matters trustmark to find legal sites.

6. Pop stars and record companies are rich. Does it really matter if I download one or two tracks without paying?

Every creator has a right to be paid for the time, effort and money invested in producing quality music for us to enjoy. The money received can be reinvested in music and the people that make it. When music is downloaded for free, the investment cycle is broken, and that has an adverse impact on investment in emerging talent.

7. How can I tell if I am using a legal or illegal site to obtain music?

The Music Matters Certification Scheme is working with legal digital music services to ensure they carry the Music Matters trustmark. This will help audiences differentiate legal music sites from illegal sites. There are currently dozens of legitimate digital music services in the UK. Check out the list of legal sites here.

8. If I have an iPhone, is iTunes the only download service I can use?

No - this is a common myth which can be very confusing. Most online stores now offer music files which can be played on different devices. These are known as DRM-free files.

More information available at http://www.whymusicmatters.org/what-music-matters.

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