NEWS FROM ECSA – December Edition


ECSA wishes Merry Christmas

Dear friends and colleagues,

The end of this peculiar year gives us the opportunity not only to extend our thoughts to everyone who has been affected by the Covid19 virus, but also to express our gratitude to all of you for your continuous support to ECSA. 

We wish you all a very safe and merry holiday season and a joyful New Year.

The ECSA Team

Meeting of the European Ministers of Culture on recovery measures, gender equality and a free and pluralistic media ecosystem

On 1st December, EU Ministers of Culture gathered online to discuss the recovery measures for the cultural and creative sectors and adopt Council Conclusions on gender equality in the field of culture and on a free and pluralistic media system.

The ministers welcomed the budget’s increase of the Creative Europe programme for 2021-2027 and agreed that the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), should benefit the cultural and creative sectors through the various recovery measures designed at national level. German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media Monika Grütters stated that ”Our discussion confirmed Member States’ determination to continue supporting them at national and EU level, better targeting of recovery aid, adequate information on funding and flexible approach towards travel restrictions”.

In its  conclusions on gender equality in the field of culture, the Council acknowledges the existing obstacles to gender equality in the cultural and creative sector, and invites both EU Member States and the European Commission to take various measures to address this issue, including the promotion of role models, the establishment of synergies between gender equality and cultural policies, the enhancement of equal pay, work-life balance and female entrepreneurship, the promotion of research and data collection on gender equality, the exchange of best practices and guidelines, and the enhancement of projects and initiatives of awareness raising in the framework of EU-funded programmes.

Finally, the Council conclusions on a free and pluralistic media system shows the need for further transparency regulations for online platforms, including on the algorithms used and criteria for enhanced findability and discoverability to strengthen pluralism and cultural diversity.

The EU reaches an informal agreement on the next Creative Europe Programme (2021-2027)

On 14th December 2020, the EU institutions reached a provisional agreement on the next Creative Europe Programme (2021-2027). The next Programme will benefit from an increased budget of approximately 2,2 billion euros. It will also notably put a stronger emphasis on the music sector through the sectorial action “Music Moves Europe” and provide an additional support to audiovisual creators in the MEDIA sub-programme (which could benefit the FFACE committee and audiovisual composers). The Music Moves Europe Programme should now be better equipped to address the challenges faced by the music sector across Europe, notably the fair remuneration of creators, the lack of transparency and data, and the high level of concentration in the music market. This agreement offers a glimmer of hope to the cultural and creative sectors heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis but much remains to be done to ensure that all EU Member States make an optimal use of the EU recovery package to support creators and the cultural and creative sectors at national level.

ECSA’s Creators’ Roundtable on Music Streaming

On 1st December 2020, ECSA organised an online event entitled Creators’ Roundtable on Music Streaming.

MEP hosts Alexis Georgoulis (GUE/NGL) and Niklas Nienaß (Greens/EFA) along with speakers Chris Cooke (CompleteMusicUpdate), Michelle Leonard (singer-songwriter), Anton Gourman (Deezer), and Naomi Pohl (British Musicians’ Union) discussed the functioning of music streaming platforms and their impacts on songwriters and composers – as well as shared concerns and information on what could be done to ensure artists are proportionally remunerated. ECSA President Alfons Karabuda welcomed the participants and guided the discussions during the roundtable.

In his welcoming words MEP Niklas Nienaß highlighted the fact that “streaming is here to stay”, but since the focus is on consumer-friendly services, a balance must be found between consumers and creators. Nienaß also stated that in order to achieve fair remuneration for artists, between juristic overview and the free market as it is, it seems that we can no longer wait on the latter to solve the issue.

MEP Alexis Georgoulis complemented that statement by pointing out that, especially during the pandemic, the artistic world has given everything they could to the public – and need to be adequately repaid for their services, not in the form of charity, but with concrete reform and action.

Chris Cooke went on to make an informative presentation on how streaming services are licensed, revealing the complexity of the system.

Anton Gourman followed with a presentation on Deezer’s suggestion for a “user-centric” payment system– a model aiming at a more balanced distribution of revenue by allocating the user subscription fee only to the artists that the user is listening to, as opposed to the market share value model, which favours the most-listened-to artists platform-wide.

Michelle Leonard shared how the current streaming workings impact songwriters, highlighting that they are often ‘lost in translation’ due to the complexity of the music chain, and calling for a fairer revenue distribution within the music industry.

Lastly, Naomi Pohl brought some perspective from the UK,  problematising the fact that even artists with large fan bases have been hit severely by the pandemic crisis. With over 20.000 artists applying to the music industry Hardship Funds as a result of live venues closing in the wake of the pandemic, the issue of streaming royalties being insufficient has been emboldened in yet another way – an issue that the #FixStreaming campaign addresses.

This Creators’ Roundtable was followed by over 150 viewers from 24 countries, with a strong participation from EU policy makers, creators, representatives of Collective Management Organisations and many stakeholders from the music sector and the cultural and creative sectors at large.

Creators Talks at Eurosonic Noorderslag

The discussion about a fair music value chain has become more urgent than ever due to COVID-19 and the closure of live venues, bars and restaurants. As online platforms are increasingly the main avenues to listen to music, how does this new situation affect revenues streams? How can all stakeholders in the music value chain benefit in a fair way?

ECSA calls for an open debate with various parties to have a critical look at the business- and revenue models and discuss the way we can create a ‘fair music value chain’ for all parties, at the ESNS (Eurosonic Noorderslag) conference, on 14th January 11:00 – 12:00 CET (Channel 2). 

The panel will be moderated by songwriter and performer Aafke Romeijn (BAM! Popauteurs) and will include ECSA board member and songwriter Arriën Molema, Executive Chair of the European association of independent music companies (Impala) Helen Smith, Chief Executive of the Music Managers Forum (MMF) Anabella Coldrick, of-Counsel to Independent Music Publishers International Forum (IMPF) Ger Hatton, and co-founder and Managing Director of Complete Music Update Chris Cooke.

The European Commission publishes its first report on the implementation of the 2018 Geo-blocking regulation

On 30th November, the European Commission published the conclusions of its first short-term review of the 2018 Geo-blocking Regulation, which prohibits unjustified geographical restrictions in the sale of goods and services within the EU. This review includes a Commission report and the accompanying Staff Working Document (SWD).

Regarding a possible extension to music the Report concludes “that a further extension of the scope would not necessarily bring substantial benefits to consumers in terms of choice of content, as the catalogues offered are rather homogeneous (in many instances beyond 90%) among Member States”. The Report also highlights potential impacts on the price of services in certain Member States. Last but not least, the report also identifies the potential impact of an extension of the scope to the audio-visual sector but concludes that it needs to be further assessed. As a result, the Commission plans to launch a stakeholder dialogue with the audiovisual sector in order to improve consumers’ access to audiovisual content across the EU.

European Commission’s study on the status and working conditions of artists and creative professionals

As one of the five priority themes of the Council Work Plan for Culture 2019-2022 was ‘An ecosystem supporting artists, cultural and creative professionals and European content’, the objective of the study was to explore the concept of artist status and the working conditions and career paths of artists and creative professionals. ECSA contributed to this study with a survey involving ECSA Members, which highlighted that i) 92% of them are either self-employed or freelancers ii) 69% experience precarious working conditions and iii) 74% cannot live from the income from their artistic profession.

The study, by the European Expert Network on Culture and Audiovisual (EENCA) highlights that “artists and cultural and creative professionals are highly likely to be self-employed, freelancers, work part-time, combine two or more jobs, or do not have a permanent contract, which means that they are often excluded or only partially covered by social security protection”. It also makes several recommendations on the artists’ status, minimum wages, social security, taxation, but also the nature of their income and artistic freedom and expression.

Amongst its recommendations, the study also provides that “the swift and effective implementation of the Copyright Directive is essential to ensure the ability of creators to negotiate and be properly remunerated for the use of their works online. Last but not least, it also states that “lack of collective bargaining practices in the CCS contribute to poor job quality, low income and limited social protection” and recommends that “the conflict between labour law rights and competition law should be resolved so that all artists, including the self-employed, adequately enjoy freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining and the related beneficial outcomes”.

Read ECSA’s summary here.

The European Commission adopts its “Media and Audiovisual Action Plan”

On 3rd December 2020, the European Commission adopted its Media and Audiovisual Action Plan “to support the recovery and transformation of the media and audiovisual sector”. In the Commission’s words, the “Action Plan focuses on three areas of activity and 10 concrete actions, to help the media sector recover from the crisis by facilitating and broadening access to finance, transform by stimulating investments to embrace the twin digital and green transitions while ensuring the sector’s future resilience and empower European citizens and companies”. This Communication includes several positive references to the Copyright and AVMS Directives and helpfully mentions the issue of “work-for-hire” contracts (or buy-out contracts) and its harmful effect which “can “lock in” producers/talents” with those platforms. It also announces future initiatives to foster more diversity in video-on-demand catalogues, including an adequate share of co-produced European works or of European works of non-domestic origin in their services.

Composers Announced for the ECCO concert, Digital Edition 2021

ECSA is pleased to announce the 16th edition of the ECCO concert, taking place online on 2nd February 2021.

The European Composer and Songwriter Alliance is pleased to announce the official programme of the next edition of the ECCO concert, featuring the ensemble Slagwerk den Haag.

The 16th edition of the ECCO concert will take place on 2nd February 2021 as an online streaming event and will feature the works of six composers. Three pieces were selected by the ECCO Artistic Committee, with chair Dušan Bavdek, Jana Andreevska, Irina Hasnas, and Olli Virtaperko,  as well as by a member of the ensemble Slagwerk Den Haag, Fedor Teunisse. The remaining three pieces were selected by the audience through a public voting process.

The composers and their respective pieces selected are: 

  • Age Veeroos –  Ma olen suur kuu su silmapiiril (Estonia)
  • Davor Branimir Vincze – Na Crti Crta (Croatia)
  • Katharina Roth – Gute Reise! (Austria) 
  • Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard – Sound X Sound (Denmark) 
  • Petra Strahovnik – Between East and west for four percussionists (Slovenia) 
  • Thierry De Mey – Affordance (Belgium)

ECSA will announce technical details such as where to watch the concert in due time. 

Nominees & Jury members Announced for Camille Awards 2021

Camille Awards - European Film Composer Awards Logo

ECSA is  glad to announce the lineup for the next edition of the Camille Awards! The Awards will honour three composers of original music for audio-visual artworks in three categories: “Best Orchestral Score”, “Best Electro-acoustic Score”, “Best Original Music for a Series”.

Exceptionally, this year ECSA will also recognise the work of another composer with an “Special” Award.

The members of the International Jury, which consists of film music composers solely, are:

  • David Arnold
  • Patrick Doyle
  • Sophia Ersson
  • Pascal Gaigne
  • Eva Gancedo 

Visit the Camille Awards website for more news about the nominees and the International Jury! Or follow us on Facebook!

Winners of the Ivors Composer Awards 2020 announced!

The Ivors Composer Awards 2020 celebrates works that are composed by a UK born or ordinarily resident composer and received a UK premiere performance, either live or broadcast, between 1st April 2019 and 3rd March 2020. Nominations were announced on Tuesday 3rd November. The winners were revealed on Tuesday 1 December as part of a two-hour ceremony broadcast exclusively on BBC Radio 3.

In addition to the eleven categories, three Gift of the Academy Awards were presented as part of the BBC Radio 3 broadcast on 1st December. These included an Academy Fellowship, the highest honour bestowed by The Ivors Academy, the Innovation Award and the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Works Collection.

NEWS in MAP: Survey to women in formal leadership positions in music organisation 

In the framework of NEWS in MAP, a three-year strategic partnership project funded by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ programme, the Association of European Conservatories (AEC) has launched a survey addressed to women in formal leadership positions in music organisations. The survey aims to gather female leaders’ opinions on which skills and training are necessary to assume formal leadership positions, and their perceptions of barriers to leadership.

The NEWS in MAP project seeks to raise the consciousness of women in relation to their suitability for positions of leadership, to increase both the participation of women at all levels of decision making and the opportunities for women to assume leadership roles. The context for this project lies in the discrepancy between the skill sets required by the greater music career and the traditional education available at music departments of European Conservatories and Music departments of European Universities.

European Film Awards’ European Original Score announced!

Dascha Dauenhauer won the European Original Score 2020 of the 33rd European Film Awards (EFA) for Berlin Alexanderplatz

The score in Berlin Alexanderplatz makes use of the entire spectrum of film music – from big orchestral arrangements to chamber-like strings, electronic and immersive sounds to pop music. Dascha Dauenhauer’s impressive score blends perfectly with the sound design and continuously propels the story forwards.

Listen to the score here.

Many calls open for music artists!

JUMP is looking for professionals with great ideas!

What is JUMP? Co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Commission, JUMP – the European Music Market Accelerator provides a framework for music professionals to develop innovative business models. It aims to help the music sector adapt to the recent transformations of the market, while encouraging it to work on a transnational level.

How does it work? For nine months, 10 to 20 participants coming from all over Europe will have the opportunity to develop their projects and ideas, and to benefit in parallel from an extensive training and a personalised tutorship. JUMP will offer three fellowships over its duration (2018-2022), each taking place respectively in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

If you are an experienced professional developing an innovative idea addressing one or more of the music industry’s needs feeling that you are missing the necessary tools, knowledge and networks to support its development, apply before Monday February 1st, 2021!

Apply and find out more here.

i-Portunus 2020-21 needs artists to support international collaborations!

i-Portunus is an EU mobility scheme supporting artists, creators and cultural professionals, with the aim of supporting international collaborations. A second pilot-project has been selected and co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme and is implemented by a consortium headed by Goethe-Institut with Institut français and Izolyatsia.

i-Portunus will launch five open calls for applications, targeting artists, creators and cultural professionals in music, literary translation, architecture and cultural heritage in December 2020, January 2021 and February 2021.

Calls for applications for the music and literary translation sectors are now open until 28th February 2021.

Create an account at and fill in the online application form to apply!

Carmen Mateu Young Artist European Award 2021 is searching for talents!

Call for nominations: Carmen Mateu Young Artist European Award !

The Castell de Peralada Private Foundation announces the Second Edition of the Carmen Mateu Young Artist European Award, Opera and Dance, aimed at the category of opera, and specifically at the discipline of composition. The award recognises young artists for the excellence of their career in Europe, deserving support in their development.

On Friday 27th November 2020, the period for receiving nominations began, ending on 28th February 2021 at 23:59 GMT.

The prize will be a total of 30,000 euros gross (subject to applicable tax) for the commissioning of a pocket opera, a trophy created by the artist Santi Moix and produced by the renowned creative jewellers’ Bagués Masriera, together with the option of mentoring with the composer Alberto García Demestres and Medal of Honour of the Festival Castell de Peralada, during the creative process of the work.  

The premiere will take place at the Festival Castell de Peralada and will be co-produced by the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and the Teatro Real in Madrid, where it will also be performed later.

The prize will be distributed as follows: 

  • the first 10,000 euros will be awarded at the same time as the award ceremony;
  • the next 10,000 euros will be awarded during the process of creating the work commissioned by the Castell de Peralada Festival, at the time determined by the Festival;
  • and the remaining 10,000 euros will be awarded when this opera is premiered at the Castell de Peralada Festival. 

You can find the rules and requirements for submitting applications here

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