Argentina: Another Missed Opportunity for the Music Industry…

You can’t blame this on the music services, but you can blame a fragmented, territorial, and extremely difficult global licensing terrain.  Because even the most powerful and well-financed companies can spend years trying to license one country.

Like Argentina, the eighth-largest country in the world and a major missed opportunity.  Here’s what happens when you crack open a laptop in Buenos Aires…

yes, there’s progress…

but there’s also this…

18 Responses

  1. Visitor

    I’m more concerned about iTunes and China/Africa/the Arab world.

  2. The_Real_IJM

    Hey record labels & music publishers. Why you gotta make Argentina so shitty?

  3. R.P.

    If Pepsi, Coke, McDonald’s and Nike operated the same way, they would be failing too.


    • J

      OR because they have products people are more than willing to pay money for, much different royalty issues, etc. Irrelevant.

    • hippydog

      Ditto on what Billy said..

      Spotify and Pandora are not in Canada for the likely reason Canada wants them to pay more then the USA (without the market to justify it.)

      I’m sure there are other reasons to, but RDIO dit it..

      youtube and netflix got er done..

      So I am thinking if they can’t broker a deal directly with the Canadian Labels they are forced to pay the ‘standard’ rates, which makes it tough..

      • Visitor

        I don’t really get the problem because the “labels” are actually international entities. Different legal systems?

        • hippydog

          The Labels are international, but copywrite laws are not..

          its easier for the labels to have branches in the respective country and are treated as a sub-division..

          IE: there is a ‘Sony Canada’ as well as a “Warner music Canada”

          The biggest reason (I think) for this is because Canada by law requires all broadcasters to incorporate a certain amount of Canadian Content. To be ‘considered’ a ‘Canadian artist’ the music must be produced in Canada (having your label stationed in another country would make this problematic)

          Europe, Australia, mexico, etc etc have some sort of quotas also..

  4. Alex

    Bravo Paul – this is certainly something worth exploring. Brazil is a particularly difficult market to break into, but I’d be remiss to say Argentina was even on the radar as having similar barriers to entry.

    Perhaps DMN should lose the Deadspin kick and start re-focusing on aspects like this?

  5. P

    Not sure if you can call this a missed opportunity when it’s one that I’m sure the labels are working on…

    If Digital Music News is blocked in China (hypothetically), would it be fair to say that you dropped the ball on this one Paul? I don’t think so. And, yes, Pirate Bay is available to use in Argentina… but it’s a pirating site you goofball! It’s illegal. You can’t compare legal services to illegal ones. I’m sure pandora has the technology to make everything available in Argentina if they wanted to do it illegally.


    • Visitante

      What do you mean the labels are “working on” this? If they wanted to do it, they would do it. But they don’t, so they won’t.

      • Alex

        The music services themselves are required to deal with local copyright societies and copyright law (not exactly cookie-cutter, cut-and-paste practices). That’s the usual roadblock. You need to clear publishing rights (often mechanical/performance) and label rights in the local territory in order for a service to exist. If the society requires an arm-and-a-leg fee-wise, or the territory simply hasn’t produced a digital roadmap for entry (such as compulsory licensing mechanisms and best practices), then it’s a non-starter.

        Of course the digital music services want to expand in every territory, maximize userbase, and in turn profits. It’s just not _ that _ simple. This article is a good start at showing how difficult international launches can be.

        • Visitante

          Right, but it’s important to differentiate between music services and labels. The labels simply don’t want to do it.

    • paul

      I take ‘goofball’ as a compliment, btw.

      But I think I may have failed to communicate the larger point here, which is that legal and illegal are always competitors. The fact that Spotify has reduced illegal file-swapping means that it is effectively competing with it and winning on some levels. Regardless of what you think of Spotify, it is legal.

      Now extend that to Argentina, where there is no Spotify. I’ve spoken to a few people here who are young, educated, and iTunes downloaders but have no idea what subscription is. But they know how to get music for free…


  6. Argentinean

    There are quite a few local digital music services as well, would be good to do a little research before publishing this. There is also a complex economic problem going on right now.

  7. Joaquin

    Hey guys, there are services who mask your I.P address allowing you to set it in several countries. Just google VPN4all…

    Now regarding Argentinian Legislation it seems to be that now they are protecting more the local industries.

    I am setting my own label with some local talent and it’s working pretty well…

    Happy new year to all!