Deezer has joined forces with a consortium of major music industry players, including Bardis Music Co. Ltd and LyricFind, to form BELEM. The consortium aims to build capacity for music publishers, songwriters, platforms, and labels to democratise and monetize access to lyrics. It will also strive to break down cultural barriers by making human translated lyrics accessible to all listeners.
BELEM is an EU-funded four year project that has been granted €2 million in funding through the Creative Europe Programme (CREA). It will drive new revenue streams to key players in the music industry by promoting European lyrics and the translations of these lyrics, alongside their monetisation. The project is also aiming to amplify the co-creation and co-production of European lyrics, adding new economic value to European musical and linguistic heritage.
In particular, the project is placing a strong focus on online and streaming lyric translations, as well as supporting publisher capacity building and the songwriters themselves on creation and translation. BELEM will also look to benefit labels and artists through providing better accessibility for lyric videos — including translated lyrics. It will also aim to impact the live sector, via both virtual and physical lyric translation exhibitions.
“In the digital age, it’s imperative for music to be localised, universal and accessible,” said Florian von Hoyer, COO at MusicHub and BELEM Lead on behalf of Zebralution. “Lyrics hold a vital function in understanding music. But language barriers present a major obstacle. Through human-translated lyrics, we can help bridge the gap of understanding, expose artists to entirely new audiences, and help those artists to monetise their lyrics and the translations better. This project has a grand ambition — to empower artists and connect cultures to transform European music revenues and understanding.”
The project has been formed in response to an increased understanding of the power of translated lyrics in helping break down cultural barriers and further support artists’ monetisation of their works. As a significant partner in BELEM, Deezer has already worked with LyricFind to translate over 10,000 lyrics in four languages, all displayed in-app. For Deezer subscribers, the on-demand multilingual translation has introduced a brand-new music experience based on innovation; with a simple click, music fans can view precise lyric translations of many of the most popular English songs in French, German, Spanish and Portuguese.
“Lyrics can be a truly powerful addition to a song, and as the home of music and a French-founded company operating worldwide, we understand how challenging language barriers can be for artists with international ambitions,” said Ludovic Pouilly, SVP Institutional and Music Industry Relations at Deezer. “BELEM offers an exhilarating prospect — to help artists reach more audiences and for the listeners to better and intuitively understand the music they are listening to. Our core mission is to help music fans on Deezer find new favourites and expand their horizons; our work with BELEM will greatly help achieve this goal for the benefit of all.”
Alongside Deezer, BELEM includes 14 EU music publishing, technology, distribution, labels, and academic partners. This consortium of music industry firms are working together to amplify the understanding, co-creation and co-production of European lyrics to add new economic value to European musical and linguistic heritage.
Companies involved in the BELEM project include German all-audio company Zebralution and .MUSIC domain name registry. They are joined by Canadian lyric solutions company, LyricFind, which has provided innovation in lyric licensing and data service to companies such as Amazon, Google, and Deezer.
“Lyrics are exceptionally important — they can move us, make us question our world, or conjure powerful memories and feelings. But for many artists, the language challenge means their art and their stories often don’t reach the audiences they deserve,” said Robert Singerman, SVP at LyricFind and EVP at .MUSIC. “But with the combined power of 15 committed partners and the resources of the EU, we can make dramatic strides towards improving the diversity and unity of artists and audiences both within the EU and beyond. We can help artists fully unleash the meaning of their songs.”
The full list of 15 companies participating in the BELEM Project include: