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The Enduring Value of Songs—Leveraging Technology to Drive Growth for Songwriters and Publishers

For those unable to attend Music Biz this year, we’ve broken down some essential takeaways from the conversation between these two knowledgeable CEO’s – Alex Heiche of Sound Royalties and Laurent Hubert of Kobalt. 

1. User-generated content (UGC) and digital streaming have completely changed how publishers understand and manage dynamic consumption.  

Before the significant advancements of music technology, including UGC and digital streaming, the closest understanding of music consumption we could see was through radio – which is a smaller scale than streaming. Today, because of the “multiplier effect” that streaming has introduced, we have seen the ease of access to music greatly evolve and increase. This directly affects the amount of music consumed.

Digital streaming has also created some challenges for publishers regarding royalty tracking, which can slow down the royalty processing time. With the massive amount of data that they receive from streaming platforms, publishers have recently started tapping into artificial intelligence (AI) to help accelerate this process. With the use of AI, they can now match consumption data with revenue faster, easier, and with accuracy. 


2. The value of music copyrights depends on many details, including the depth of the catalog, and remain steady because technology allows music to evolve with the market.

As the cost of capital has changed over the past few years, so have the players in the catalog sales space. We may not have seen major effects for top-tier catalogs, but there has been a slowdown in sales with the middle-tier catalogs because of a higher cost of capital. However, there hasn’t been much change in terms of smaller/newer catalog sales, as they already had a reduced market due to a lower value. 

“Music is at the perfect crossroads of high engagement and ease of consumption, and that, I think, gives a unique opportunity, which is vastly different than a video game, movie, or book,” Laurent said as he explained why the value of music copyrights will persevere despite the music industry being a mature market.

As an industry, we went from an ownership model to a consumption model (buying hard copies vs. streaming), which radically changed the industry and catalogs as we knew them. But even in mature markets, there is still room for growth; this just means that the digital service providers (DSPs) and the other players in the music space will need to expand and grow new opportunities. Throughout the history of the music industry, tech has driven more consumption; we just have to continue solving for the lagging element of monetization. 

3. AI brings both opportunities and challenges to the music industry.

These days, the topic of AI remains a hot button. While there is general fear and negativity surrounding the topic, both CEOs agree that there is great opportunity for AI in the music industry.

On one hand, we are hearing about some companies releasing an exorbitant number of songs daily because of AI, which can suppress the value of songwriting. On the other hand, this is not the first time technology has entered the music industry and caused new challenges.

This was evident with the emergence of streaming platforms like Napster, and social media platforms like YouTube and TikTok.  The industry had to figure out how to manage and adapt to these new evolutions in music consumption, and did. 

AI can also be used to a creative’s benefit. For example, a creative can hear how a sample track sounds with their voice. AI can even give the gift of creating back to musicians, like Randy Travis, who was able to release new music despite being diagnosed with aphasia after a stroke.

A special thank you to the Music Business Association for organizing another informative conference, and to Alex and Laurent for sharing their expert knowledge and experience with us. For more information about Music Biz 2025, visit