Rock guitarist Shin Dae-chul has called on musicians to embrace the cooperative model to ensure their survival in the industry.
In a posting on his Facebook page on Tuesday, Shin, son of guitar legend Shin Joong-hyun and leader of the heavy metal band Sinawe, revealed plans to launch the tentatively named "Bareun (Fair) Music Distribution Cooperative."
The co-op will be dedicated to protecting musicians' interests and helping them arrange better working conditions in the face of tough economic times, said Shin. He claimed that greedy distribution companies are preventing artists from getting a fair cut of income produced from their music.
"We need a fairer playground," Shin wrote.
"I am getting help from legal experts and consulting companies, and I am confident that we can produce a co-op that functions effectively.
Shin has been a frequent critic of music labels and online streaming services such as MelOn and Soribada, which he claims are profiting from business models that increase the financial vulnerability of artists.
"The market for CDs is dying, now accounting for only 10 percent of the market. The digital music market is expanding, but artists are getting only a 6-percent share in the overall income," he wrote.
Shin plans to continue using Facebook as a platform to share opinions about the shaping of his co-op.
"There are a lot of immensely successful co-ops in every sector, such as the Barcelona football team, Sunkist Growers and the Associated Press. We can experiment with this model in the music business, too. It will be important for us not only to make things better for artists, but also find ways to make things better for music fans as well," he said.