The Price of Digital Songs Increases in Korea


Beginning January 1, 2013, the price of all digital music sold online in Korea will be raised.

The long lasting debate on profit share of copyright holders and producers has come to an end with a bit of concern. The question is whether it would result in market shrinkage when the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) approved the bill to increase the price of digital music products.

In theory, this new policy should further motivate producers and songwriters. It will foster competitiveness that would lead to a prosperous digital music industry in the long run. According to the new policy, the copyright holder’s profit share of music sales increases from 50% to 60%. The distribution unit price is also expected to increase 10% per year. The price of a song is going to be 12 Won ($0.01) for streaming and 600 Won ($0.56) per download.

As a result, the expectation is that the number of users downloading music legally would possibly decrease in the future, as well as the profits of copyright holders and songwriters, putting the digital music market at risk.