11:34 pm - 01/28/2013

MelOn doubles fees for its music-streaming service



MelOn doubled the monthly fee subscribers must pay for unlimited access to its music-streaming service to 6,000 won ($5.60) yesterday.

Rivals of the nation’s top online music-streaming service provider and digital music file seller have either already adopted similar measures or are expected to do so soon. The government recently revised its guidelines pertaining to how they should charge their customers.

MelOn, a unique service provider operated by Loen Entertainment, a subsidiary of the nation’s No. 1 mobile carrier SK Telecom, also raised the price of its other service packages.
These include unlimited streaming online on top of downloading a limited number of MP3 files. The cost of downloading 50 to 150 songs rose by up to 3,000 won, to between 11,000 won and 16,500 won.

However, people who have been subscribing to the services before Jan. 1 will get a grace period of six months, meaning the price hikes will not apply for them until July 1.

Mnet, the nation’s No. 2 player, also raised its fees yesterday. It now charges 6,000 won a month for unlimited online music streaming; 5,500 won to download up to 30 MP3 files plus streaming over Android smartphones; and 6,000 won to download up to 30 MP3 files over the Web.

Other service providers such as Soribada are also gearing up to unveil new price plans. They will be banned from selling products unless they raise their prices, to make sure they conform to the recently revised guidelines on digital music fees issued by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

This raises the share of profits from music files sales that go to copyright holders from 50 percent to 60 percent. An extra 10 percentage points will be added each year until 2016.

Music copyright holders have long complained about how they are being cheated out of what they see as their deserved profits. Digital music files are also much cheaper in Korea than in other countries. A music file costs at least $0.99 on iTunes, but a subscriber to a music download package with MelOn only needs to pay 63.9 won per file, or about half as much.

The price increase “will contribute to the development of music industry over the long term, given that it is aimed at boosting the profits of music source copyright holders and creators,” said MelOn on its home page.

“We will try to provide a more stable service and better content to prevent the music market from contracting in the aftermath of the price changes.”

MelOn has 18 million estimated users, including two million active subscribers, accounting for almost half of the market.

source: korea joongang daily

these are really old news, but I thought it would be interesting to share it.
supplanter 29th-Jan-2013 04:53 am (UTC)
Hm... I wonder if the other music-streaming service providers also have a grace period for their fee increases. (In which case, for now we can probably directly compare the performance of currently charting songs to songs last year... although I heard the fees were also raised last year?)
rosetta16 29th-Jan-2013 04:54 am (UTC)
I always thought korean music sites were way to cheap, like with 10$ u could buy 150 songs but in iTunes with 10 u can only buy 1 album by much so i guess this is good
ideservestars 29th-Jan-2013 05:16 am (UTC)
dats super cheap, i pay 10 dollars a month for spotify
anconeous 29th-Jan-2013 05:36 am (UTC)
Still dirt cheap.

And I say that as someone who has never ever paid for any online music.
fallingfortruth 29th-Jan-2013 06:09 am (UTC)
About damn time. I'm also really glad that the vast majority of the increase is going to the copyright holders, because it will mean that digital sales will become more meaningful in terms of financial stability and success.

Because these services are (still) so inexpensive, and so thoroughly integrated into consumers' preexisting relationships with their digital devices, I don't really think this is going to have any negative impact on user base going forward, especially since the overall increase is being spaced out over a period of years.

This will definitely have an interesting impact on what constitutes "success" as an idol group, though, and I suspect will end up making dudes like GD, Jinyoung, and Zico (once he's out of legal limbo) a metric ass-ton of money. Since for some of their respective groups' songs they're the sole credited lyricist/composer.
erisinia 29th-Jan-2013 07:35 am (UTC)
I heard that some Beast guy makes a lot of money because he writes all his own raps? If so, Baro will be set for life omg.
fallingfortruth 29th-Jan-2013 07:44 am (UTC)
Junhyung has also composed a surprising number of songs, which is where the much larger portion of his income comes from. A shocking number of rappers get lyrics credit for their raps (Baro, BYG, Zelo, Junhyung, TOP, GD, just off the top of my head) but it's composition that gets you the major-league cashy monies.

It's really interesting to me that people are currently making a huge deal about the importance of idols as productive musicians, because even in the big boy groups (i.e. SuJu) a number of the members have been writing and arranging songs for at least the last few albums. I suspect that it's not nearly the crisis that the media is making it out to be, so much as a reflection of a previously-existing sea change in how groups are structured and music is produced.

Which I am 100% cool with, since it makes for a more interesting and varied finished product, which means we pretty much all win.

(Sorry, my inner "my research focus for my college major was popular music" uber-nerd is showing.)
chibiyunie 29th-Jan-2013 07:19 am (UTC)
That is so cheap.
Gosh.
erisinia 29th-Jan-2013 07:36 am (UTC)
I've heard lots of complaining that it's too cheap (from official sources like interviews, customers certainly aren't complaining lol) so hopefully this will actually get some profit going \o/
ashiva 29th-Jan-2013 10:59 am (UTC)
Still too cheap, but it's a move to right direction at least.
asnindie 29th-Jan-2013 12:02 pm (UTC)
I've seen lower digital scores being blamed from higher prices but hopefully it can get back on track.
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