MediaNet Blog

RECAP: The Whole Story on the Frank Ocean Apple Music Exclusive, Spotify’s Label Contracts Expire, Closing the Value Gap in Europe

Posted by Glen Sears, Editorial Content Manager | August 29, 2016 9:14 am | No Comments

frank-ocean

Story of the Week

What the Frank Ocean Apple Music Exclusive Deal Means for UMG, Artists, and Labels
When Frank Ocean’s latest album ‘Blond’ dropped, it did so like a nuclear bomb, sending shockwaves throughout the music industry. In one of the audacious release strategies of recent years, Ocean and his team at 360 fulfilled the final album contractual commitment to Universal Music by ushering his breaking-the-mold visual album ‘Endless’ onto Apple Music.

But no sooner had Universal executives started daydreaming about Grammys then along came what turned out to be the ‘actual’ album ‘Blonde’, self released by Ocean (Universal contractual commitments now of course conveniently fulfilled) and, for now at least, exclusively available on Apple Music. Universal boss Lucian Grainge then reportedly sent a memo to the entire company outlawing exclusive deals with streaming services.

Sean Glass – a former Apple Music employee – wrote: “Contrary to what you read, there’s no scary Apple board room conspiracy where corporate is plotting to take over creativity via artist exclusives. There’s one guy who is behind ALL of these campaigns — and he is light years ahead of everyone else. He works intimately with each artist as a creative peer, and develops an amazing plan, this is no simple land grab. He works closer with the artists than labels do.”

That ‘one guy’ is very likely Larry Jackson – a Jimmy Iovine protege, who is tasked with striking artist relationships that result in exclusive deals for Apple.

Mark Mulligan of MiDiA Reseach claims, “Streaming exclusives (and indeed label services deals) work best when an artist has already established a brand and an audience. Most often that means after an artist has had a record label recording career. Apple cannot be relied upon to build anything more than a handful of artist brands.”

“Labels still account for the vast, vast, vast majority of music listening. Make no mistake, a momentous value chain shift is taking place, with more power and autonomy shifting to the creators, but that is a long journey and ‘Blond’ is but one part of this much bigger shift.”

Read the entire story on Music Business Worldwide & MiDiA Music Industry Blog.

Top Music News Stories

Spotify Is Out Of Contract With All Three Major Labels – And Wants To Pay Them Less. Spotify continues to be licensed by all three majors on a rolling month-by-month basis, and the possibility of UMG, Sony or Warner catalogues being pulled is widely regarded as out of the question.

Should We Believe All The Negative Hype Surrounding New DOJ Rules On PROs? Dave Brooks of Amplify offers an alternative perspective on the recent Department of Justice ruling, suggesting that the rules may in fact help rather than harm venues and event producers.

European Commission Seeks Solutions for YouTube Value Gap. Plans for user-generated platforms like YouTube and DailyMotion to require licenses or sign-up to revenue sharing deals with rights holders are reportedly being considered by the European Commission.

Playlists Dominate Listening For Most Music Streamers. Streaming music users love playlists and use them to drive their music consumption, according to a new survey and infographic just released by the analysts at Music Watch.

Amazon’s Echo-Only Music Streaming Service Again Rumored. The service will cost half of the now-standard $10-per-month that Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal (minus hi-res) and Amazon’s own rumored, full-feature service will cost.

Soundcloud Logs 175 Million Monthly Listeners To Massive 135 Million Track Catalog. New Soundcloud stats show just how big its footprint is, both in terms of listenership and the size of its music catalog — but most of their listeners are free and monetizing them, along with making such a massive catalog user-friendly, presents a challenge.

The Coming Arms Race In Online Music: Artist Services. Digital music industry veteran Tim Quirk examines the coming arms race in the music industry, with online music services competing to offer artists programs and features which enable them to generate revenue beyond just streaming royalties.

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RECAP: Pandora Nearing On-Demand Deals, Dubset Inks Deal with Sony/ATV, More News in U.S. Publishing

Posted by Glen Sears, Editorial Content Manager | August 22, 2016 9:16 am | No Comments

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Story of the Week

Pandora Nears Deals For On-Demand Streaming
Pandora Media Inc. is aiming to start expanding its internet-radio service as soon as next month, offering its hallmark free tier as well as two new monthly subscription options that will mark its foray into on-demand music streaming, said people familiar with the matter.

While the music industry broadly supports the new paid tiers, some record-label executives are still wary of granting Pandora permission to launch its free service in new foreign markets without the ability to control which songs they put on the free tier.

The foreign expansion could jump-start growth for Pandora, which has seen its listenership plateau in recent years at about 80 million active monthly users. Most listeners use Pandora’s free tier, with about 4 million subscribing to an ad-free version of its service, Pandora One, for $5 a month.

Read the full story on The Wall Street Journal

Top Music News Stories

Dubset Inks Deal With Sony/ATV. The Sony/ATV news comes on the heels of Dubset’s landmark rights agreement with the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), giving hundreds of independent songwriters and publishers access to an emerging new royalty system.

Russian Collection Societies Break Ties Amidst Fog of Fraud. Earlier this month, several rights holders registered with RAO called for the organization’s management to be replaced and that fundamental changes to its charter be made, amidst major allegations of embezzlement.

What Is YouTube Red Paying Artists? Digital Music News claims to have been leaked an earnings statement from a “chill electronica catalog” showing the per stream and per-publisher royalty payouts for YouTube Red.

Samsung is shutting down Milk Music in September. Samsung will be shutting down Milk Music on September 22nd, urging its Galaxy and Note smartphone users to switch over to Slacker Radio, which powered the system.

Streaming Music Business Bigger Than Previously Thought. Glenn Peoples from Pandora claims “These adjusted streaming numbers are a good reminder there’s more to the streaming market than on-demand services that dominate the media’s attention.”

“Dept. of Justice’s New Decision Could Wreak Havoc on International Rights.” “When it needs fixing… don’t break it further.” Gadi Oron, the Director General of CISAC, laments the global implications of a new decision.

A Primer for the World of Music Licensing and Its Pricing. To help readers better understand this labyrinthine world, Ed Christman at Billboard put together an explainer, organized from simple to complex.

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RECAP: DOJ Slams BMI Over 100% Licensing, Judge Upholds BMG Verdict, Users Still Can’t Hear High Fidelity

Posted by Glen Sears, Editorial Content Manager | August 15, 2016 9:49 am | No Comments

DOJ music licensing publishing ASCAP BMI

Story of the Week

Dept. of Justice Slams BMI’s Protest of Licensing Changes
In a letter to Judge Louis Stanton, who presides over the rate court that determines what performance rights organization (PRO) BMI can charge for various uses of its members’ work, the U.S. Dept of Justice has responded to BMI’s challenge of its interpretation that the consent decree requires the performing rights organization to license songs on a “full-works” basis.

The DoJ’s letter aims to remind Stanton of all the places and times BMI has claimed its blanket license entitles a licensee to play any song in its catalog, including in his own courtroom. “Just five months ago, BMI told this Court that its licenses provide “immediate access to the more than 10.5 million works in BMI’s repertoire,” according to the DOJ letter.

The DoJ also noted that BMI is urging the court to defer to the U.S. Copyright’s Office’s interpretation of the consent decree, which is at odds with the DoJ stance. But, DoJ writes, “the question at issue, however, is one of antitrust law and decree interpretation, not copyright law.”

In closing, the letter, submitted by Kelsey Shannon, notes that after its review, the agency “concluded that modifying the consent decrees to allow fractional licensing would undermine the traditional role of the ASCAP and BMI licenses, impair the functioning of the market for public performance licensing, and potentially reduce the playing of music.”

Read the entire story on Billboard

Top Music News Stories

Judge Upholds $25 Million Judgment in Favor of BMG in Piracy Case. “This case presents the question of whether a conduit internet service provider may be held liable for the infringing activity of its subscribers based on the uploading and downloading of copyrighted musical works using BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer file sharing network.”

Sony Acquires Ministry Of Sound, One Of World’s Largest Indie Labels. The UK indie label specializes in dance and house music and has scored cumulative album sales of 70 million including 40 #1 UK albums and 21 #1 UK singles.

The Concept of ‘Value Gap’ In Music Services Could Harm Tech, Music Industry. Mike Masnick claims “When you have a one-size-fits-all model, it pushes towards a world where the vast majority of casual music fans are left out, in a misguided effort to try to force more money out of stronger music fans.”

Led Zeppelin On Hook For $800,000 In Legal Fees For ‘Stairway’ Case. According to the BBC, R Gary Klausner, the judge overseeing the case, said that Jimmie Page and Robert Plant, along with their publishing company Warner/Chappell were responsible for almost $800,000 in legal fees after ruling that the lawsuit was not frivolous.

Younger People Aren’t Driving the Resurgence in Vinyl, Study Finds. According to their Profiles data, it’s not the hip youngster looking to check out what vinyl records were all about, but rather, “[vinyl] records’ resurgence is rooted in middle-aged nostalgia.”

Top Two Execs Pushed Out Of Music Tech Startup Bkstg. CEO Ran Harnev and president/Chief Revenue Officer Erika Nardini, both former AOL execs, exited the firm in July — Three Six Zero Group executive James Sealey, who originally joined the firm as SVP of Development and head of music, will take over COO duties and founder and chairman Ori Birnbaum will see his role at the company expanded with new executive duties.

Does High-Fidelity Music In Streaming Really Matter? Probably Not, Says a CNBC Test. Out of 48 total songs played, only 1 out of every 3 participants identified the correct high-fidelity sound service, but “at least four times” people couldn’t hear any difference.

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RECAP: U.S. Publishers In Uproar Against DOJ Consent Decree Ruling, EU Privacy Shield, Streaming Nets Labels $15M Daily

Posted by Glen Sears, Editorial Content Manager | August 8, 2016 9:42 am | No Comments

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Story of the Week

U.S. Publishing Industry in Uproar Over DOJ Licensing Plans
The Justice Department announced on Thursday that it had concluded a two-year investigation into the complex world of music licensing and decided against making changes to the regulatory agreements that govern Ascap and BMI, two large clearinghouses for performing rights that process about $2 billion in royalty payments each year.

The DOJ also added a new requirement, saying that for Ascap and BMI to comply with the existing regulations, they must offer “100 percent licensing” of their songs. Since then, members of the publishing community have been having their say, and it should not surprise you to hear that they are pretty much 100% against the plans – with many questioning the motivation behind the DoJ’s move.

“Where will this consistent erosion and undermining of the fundamental rights of authors and composers end? How is it that policy makers, on both sides of the Atlantic, have put themselves in the business of making decisions that are disastrous for the music community, but curiously beneficial for others?” is how IMPF president Pierre Mossiat put it in a statement condemning the plans.

Read the full story on Music Ally & The New York Times

Top Music News Stories

An Alternative View Of The DoJ’s ASCAP/BMI Consent Decree Review. “When the Department says that the PROs are required to offer 100% licensing, it conforms to the default rule of copyright law: so long as one author agrees to let a PRO license their work, the PRO has permission to license the whole work to users.”

European Regulators Greenlight Sony/ATV & Jackson estate Deal. “The transaction will not materially increase Sony’s market power vis-a-vis digital music providers compared to the situation prior to the merger,” Reuters reports an EU competition enforcer as saying of the approval.

Joint EU, U.S. Digital Privacy Shield Comes Into Effect. The “EU-U.S. Privacy Shield” ensures that everyone in the European Union has rights when their data is processed, such as the right to ask a company for information about the data they hold about them on U.S. servers, or to amend their records if the data are outdated or inaccurate.

Warner Music Group And Vevo Reach Deal After 7 Year Impasse. The deal does not extend to Vevo on YouTube, but is part of an extensive reboot for Vevo, including a redesign and new initiatives in programming and branding.

Lenders Crush Sillerman’s Plan To Pull SFX From Bankruptcy. Bob Sillerman’s plan to emerge from bankruptcy and retain some of his SFX assets was foiled by the same lenders he originally dealt with to finance the company, after they filed a new restructuring agreement with dramatically different – and significantly less favorable – terms.

Every Day Major Music Companies Earn $10M Millon, Indies $5 Million In Streaming Revenue. With average payments hovering around $.00575 per play, its easily arguable that Spotify, Apple Music, and others are not returning sufficient revenue to creators, but in aggregate streaming has become a major source of revenue for independent and major labels.

US and Swiss Collection Societies Partner to Form ‘Mint.’ SESAC Holdings, the U.S. company that owns the collecting society SESAC and the Harry Fox Agency, is launching a joint venture with SUISA, the Swiss collecting society.

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RECAP: MiDiA Research Uncovers Trove of YouTube Intelligence, Guvera Shutters in Australia, WMG & Vevo Close to Deal

Posted by Glen Sears, Editorial Content Manager | August 1, 2016 9:40 am | No Comments

youtube silhouette

Story of the Week

MIDiA Takes A Deep Dive Into YouTube As A Music Business
MIDiA Research has released a report on YouTube and the video platform’s impact on the music economy. With YouTube commanding a massive audience, but still drawing criticism and skepticism from artists and labels, the report adds much-needed data to explain the service’s role.

“Safe Harbour-enabled UGC is no longer the threat it once was, with just 2% of music video views from unofficial uploads,” MIDiA Research says. That statement, backed by research detailed in the report, is an interesting contradiction of some rights-holder complaints that UGC (user-generated content), and the regulation surrounding UGC platforms, do not adequately protect artists, labels, and songwriters.

The report examines several facets of YouTube’s business, including details about the most popular videos and distinct trends in listener behaviors. It revealed that three-quarters of music video views happen through official sources, and a further 76% of those are uploads from distributor Vevo. It also found that audience behaviors are quite sophisticated, with sizable listener groups only listening to the audio or navigating directly to an artist’s channel.

Read the full story on RAIN News

Top Music News Stories

Warner Music Group and Vevo Close to Reaching Content Deal. For Warner Music Group, this comes in a year when the company seems to be focusing its efforts in making more licensing deals, having partnered with Facebook, and signing a deal with social video sharing app musical.ly to let its music be licensed for the platform.

Canadian Music Industry Reaches $66M Settlement With Piracy Site isoHunt. The court found that isoHunt and Fung were liable for $55 million in damages and an additional $10 million in punitive damages, plus another million in court costs.

SOCAN And Audiam Talk Tech, Streaming And 21st-Century PROs. It’s unusual to see a PRO acquiring a music/tech company, let alone two in quick succession; Music Ally spoke to SOCAN chief executive Eric Baptiste and Audiam boss Jeff Price [paywall] to explore its strategy.

Troubled Music Streaming Startup Guvera Closes Up Shop in Australia. “Born and launched into Australia in 2008, we have had the best time bringing all the latest tunes to the ears of our listeners here; unfortunately, and with a heavy heart, the time has come to pull back from our operations in the country.”

SoundCloud Is For Sale, But They’re Having Trouble Finding A Buyer. In June, SoundCloud raised $70 million from Twitter in a $100 million funding round at reported valuation of $700 million — now Soundcloud is for sale.

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RECAP: Google & Music Industry Spar Over Piracy Report, Apple Wants To Simplify Licensing, Crowdmix Goes Bust

Posted by Glen Sears, Editorial Content Manager | July 18, 2016 9:42 am | No Comments

googlepiracy

Story of the Week

“How Google Fights Piracy” Report Makes Youtube, Search Defense
Google has published a new version of its ‘How Google Fights Piracy Report.’ It’s the third revision in four years for the report, which makes the company’s defence against creative industry attacks on its approach to copyright, from user-generated content on YouTube to piracy sites’ ranking on Google’s search engine.

“Google takes the challenge of online piracy seriously – we continue to invest significant resources in the development of tools to report and manage copyrighted content, and we work with other industry leaders to set the standard for how tech companies fight piracy.”

Some new figures: there are now more than 50m active reference files in the Content ID database, and more than 8,000 partners using the system – “a 38% increase since our 2014 report”. Meanwhile, Google says that 98% of copyright issues on YouTube are resolved using Content ID, with 90% resulting in monetisation for the original rightsholder.

Read the full story on Music Ally.

Top Music News Stories

BPI and IFPI Say Google’s Fight Piracy Report is ‘Greenwash.’ “Although we welcome the measures Google has taken so far, it is still one of the key enablers of piracy on the planet. Google has the resources and the tech expertise to do much more to get rid of the illegal content on its services.”

YouTube’s Payment Rate to Labels Halved in 2015, Analyst Finds. According to findings by Midia Research provided to the Financial Times, the site increased payments to rights holders by 15 percent last year (to $740 million), but at the same time streams on YouTube and Vevo jumped 132 percent, totaling 751 billion.

Apple Proposes Simplified Statutory Licensing Scheme to D.C. The company’s proposal to the Copyright Royalty Board suggests a simple, “all-in” statutory rate that would be “fair, simple and transparent, unlike the incredibly complicated structure that currently exists” — a rate of $0.00091 per interactive stream, or 9.1 cents per hundred plays.

Indie Music Trade Groups A2IM, AIMP, CMPA Issue Joint Response To DoJ 100% Licensing Position. Condemnation of a new U.S. Department of Justice position allowing 100% licencing of songs has been nearly universal within the music publishing community.

Songwriters: The DOJ Got It Right. Your Sky Is Not Falling. Jody Dunitz, ex-EVP of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, calls 100% licensing “another gift from the DOJ to songwriters.”

Omnifone Business and Assets To Be Sold For $10M To Mystery U.S. Firm. The administrator’s report also outlines the key moments in Omnifone’s slide into administration, including the cancellation of contracts with Sony and SiriusXM, as well as another client, streaming service Guvera – currently facing troubles of its own – stopping paying Omnifone for its services.

Quick Take: Crowdmix Bites The Dust. Analyst Mark Mulligan claims Crowdmix failed because “music is fundamentally not important enough to enough people to build any sort of scale of social network around it.”

VKontakte and Universal Music Near Licensing Deal. The leading Russian business daily Vedomosti quoted two people close to the negotiations as saying that a deal between VKontakte and UMG could be signed within days, covering, in addition to VKontakte, Mail.ru Group’s two other social networks, Odnoklassniki and Moi mir.

U.S. Teens Love On-Demand Music Streaming — Especially YouTube. The Music Business Association claims that for this age group, on-demand streaming accounts for 51% of their daily listening time, compared to 20% for downloads/files, 12% for AM/FM radio and 9% to internet radio like Pandora.

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RECAP: U.K. Digital Economy & Piracy Reports, Rdio Goes After Sony, Spotify May Abandon Freemium

Posted by Glen Sears, Editorial Content Manager | July 11, 2016 10:02 am | No Comments

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Story of the Week

U.K.’s Digital Economy Bill Introduced, Would Allow Retransmission Fees
The U.K. government on Tuesday unveiled its Digital Economy Bill, which includes a part that could pave the way to U.S.-style retransmission consent fees and which wants to make the U.K. “the most digital nation in the world.”

The new bill also includes measures designed to strengthen protections for citizens. Among others, it will “protect children from online pornography by requiring age verification for access to all pornographic sites and applications” and “increase the sentencing options for people who infringe [on] copyright laws online, bringing sentences into line with the current penalties available for ‘physical infringement’.”

“We have consistently called for major pay-TV platforms to pay U.K. public service broadcasters (PSBs) fairly for the ‘transmission’ of their channels ending what is effectively a multi-million pound subsidy — and this is clearly a welcome first step in that direction,” an ITV spokesman said. “This is simply about ITV, and other PSBs, being paid fairly for their investment in original U.K. content so that we can continue to invest in the programs viewers love.”

Read the full story on Billboard.

Top Music News

Concerns Loom Over U.K. Music Business’ Future in Wake of Brexit Vote. Two weeks on from the U.K.’s historic decision to leave the European Union, no one is any the wiser about what or how big an impact it will have on the nation’s economy, 64 million population or future.

YouTube Leads Music Consumption While Piracy Dips, According to U.K. Government Survey. An estimated 78 million music tracks were accessed illegally online in the United Kingdom in a three month period, but levels of digital piracy are gradually beginning to decline, according to new research from the U.K.’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

What the Dept. of Justice’s Decision Means for Music Publishing. Almost everyone in the music-publishing business has expressed frustration with the Department of Justice’s recent decision not to amend the antitrust consent decree, but they don’t seem to agree on how this decision will affect the music industry — or even exactly what it means.

Sony Music Investigated by Rdio for Alleged Collusion in Streaming Music. The label responds that the suggestion of antitrust violations are “nothing but speculation and conjecture” and pretext for avoiding $17 million claims plus allegations of fraud.

Soundcloud Aims Straight At Spotify, Apple Music With “Artist Stations.” “The algorithm behind Stations serves content in a different way than the Suggested Tracks feature we recently launched — Stations serve a longer queue of songs that are a mixture of similar, new, and popular tracks related to the track or artist you started the Station from, for an experience closer to listening to the radio.

Users Leave Apple Music 3X Faster Than They Do Spotify. Apple Music has a problem with users dropping the service called their churn rate – “the annual percentage rate at which customers stop subscribing to a service” – and Apple Music’s is three times that of Spotify.

The End Of Freemium For Spotify? Analyst Mark Mulligan argues “that mid-priced subscriptions are crucial to driving the streaming market, and the burgeoning success of Spotify’s mid-priced-subscriptions-by-stealth strategy provides a bulging corpus of supporting evidence.”

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RECAP: Apple Makes News With Spotify & TIDAL, U.S. DOJ Imposes New Regulation on Songwriters

Posted by Glen Sears, Editorial Content Manager | July 5, 2016 9:59 am | No Comments

JayZ

Story of the Week

Apple In Talks To Buy Tidal Says Wall St. Journal, But New York Times Says ‘No Way’
Apple is in talks to acquire Tidal, the Wall Street Journal blasted late last week; and hours later re/code sources confirmed the conversations. But respected New York Times music journalist Ben Sisario quotes his sources as saying that Apple has no intention of purchasing Jay Z’s music streaming service.

Whoever turns out to be right, Apple buying Tidal is an intriguing concept. For both sides, the pros would seem to outweigh the cons. This would not be the first time that bad feelings and bravado have been overcome by a big check.

Read the full story on Hypebot.

Top Music News Stories

TIDAL Subscriber Count Significantly Lower Than Expected. A chart from analytics firm Statista show it with only 3 million subscribers.

Spotify Says Apple Won’t Approve New version of App Because It Doesn’t Want Competition. The firm says Apple turned down a new version of the app while citing “business model rules” and demanded that Spotify use Apple’s billing system if “Spotify wants to use the app to acquire new customers and sell subscriptions.”

Justice Department Won’t Alter Music Industry Royalty Rules. Justice Department lawyers told representatives of Ascap and BMI that the two groups, called performing rights organizations, must adopt a policy known as “100 percent licensing,” which means that any party that controls a part of a composition can issue a license for the use of the whole thing.

Global Music Market Expected To Grow Over The Next 5 Years. The market growth is attributed to the rising number of vendors and their expanding reach in developing markets, the popularity of concerts, growing number of music schools, and prevalence of digital music formats.

Music Is Almost As Important As Coffee For Monday Morning Motivation, Says New Survey. A new Spotify Ipsos survey, conducted in the US, Australia, Brazil, France and Sweden, found that music is just as likely as caffeine to motivate people on a typical Monday.

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RECAP: What Brexit Means For The U.K. Music Business, Led Zeppelin Wins In Court, Ticket Bots Under Attack

Posted by Glen Sears, Editorial Content Manager | June 27, 2016 9:32 am | No Comments

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Story of the Week

What Brexit Means For The U.K. Music Business
The British music industry and wider touring business faces a turbulent future after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union (EU). Thursday’s historic referendum saw 52 percent of the electorate vote to exit the EU – dubbed Brexit – with more than 30 million people voting, the country’s highest turnout at an election in over 20 years.

The implications for the music industry are similarly grave with the decision to leave the economic stability of the EU anticipated to impact heavily on the live sector. A members’ survey conducted before the vote by the labels trade group BPI found that a two-thirds majority opposed Brexit on the grounds that going alone would carry grace consequences for the U.K. music biz.

“We’re stunned and saddened at the UK’s decision to leave the EU family,” Beggars Group founder and chairman Martin Mills said of the news in an email to his staff provided to Billboard. “While we digest the consequences, we’d just like to re-assure you all that the Beggars family is, always has been, and always will be, international, with no frontiers.”

Read the entire story on Billboard.

Top Music News Stories

European Commission, IFPI, BPI, AIM and Others’ Full Statements on Britain’s Exit. “We regret this decision but respect it.”

Led Zeppelin Wins ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Jury Trial. The jury — eight California citizens — delivered its verdict that the plaintiff owned the copyright to “Taurus,” that Led Zeppelin members indeed heard it, but that there was no substantial similarity in the extrinsic elements of “Taurus” and “Stairway to Heaven.”

Inside the Music Industry — and Congress’ — Fight Against Ticket Bots. “I don’t know how people in the first 30 rows get their ­tickets,” Q Prime’s Peter Mensch, ­longtime Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers co-­manager, told Billboard in January. “But none of my friends seem to be able to do it. And no one seems to care.”

U.S. Copyright Office Modernizes Key Part of Digital Licensing. The U.S. Copyright Office has taken an important step, finally making it possible to file compulsory licenses digitally.

Irving Azoff Calls On Music Industry To “Work Together.” “The music industry has never been more powerful and popular and we as an industry have never done a shittier job of rallying together as one industry.”

Pandora Listeners Added 1 Million New Music Stations In First 24 Hours. Each week, Pandora’s music team will handpick recently released music for each New Music Station blending emerging, underground and well-known artists across 9 genres.

Spotify, IHeartMedia Sued Over Audio Playback Patents. As the value of music streaming has grown, so have the legal action surrounding it—Spotify and iHeartMedia are the latest targets.

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RECAP: Artists Petition Against DMCA, Apple Slams YouTube, TuneCore & SOCAN Deliver Huge Payments

Posted by Glen Sears, Editorial Content Manager | June 20, 2016 9:30 am | No Comments

taylor-swift-press-photo-2016-billboard-1548

Story of the Week

Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney Among 180 Artists Signing Petition For Digital Copyright Reform
In an ad that will run Tuesday through Thursday in the Washington DC magazines Politico, The Hill, and Roll Call, 180 performers and songwriters are calling for reform of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which regulates copyright online. A range of big names from every genre signed the ad — from Taylor Swift to Sir Paul McCartney, Vince Gill to Vince Staples, Carole King to the Kings of Leon — as did 19 organizations and companies, including the major labels.

Artists are usually reluctant to get involved in copyright policy debates, but several signed an April 1 petition on the same topic. Like the petition many artists signed in 2012 against the Internet Radio Fairness act, which would have lowered online radio royalties, this represents a rare case in which most of the music business agrees on something.

Two other artists have been especially critical of YouTube. Trent Reznor, no stranger to technology given his role at Apple Music, told Billboard on June 13 that YouTube was “built on the backs of free, stolen content.” Nikki Sixx’ band Sixx:A.M. also wrote a detailed open letter to YouTube, appealing to Larry Page, chief executive of Google’s parent company Alphabet, to better compensate musicians. Last week, YouTube responded, in a statement to Music Business Worldwide that said “the voices of the artists are being heard.”

Read the entire story on Billboard.

Top Music News Stories

Apple Says YouTube Is “Built On the Backs of Free, Stolen Content.” “Personally, I find YouTube’s business to be very disingenuous. It is built on the backs of free, stolen content and that’s how they got that big. I think any free-tiered service is not fair. It’s making their numbers and getting them a big IPO and it is built on the back of my work and that of my peers. That’s how I feel about it. Strongly.”

Why Apple Music Matters So Much To Apple. Apple is building a new narrative for Wall Street that focuses on the revenue it generates from its existing customer base (in order to distract attention from slowing device sales). Apple Music is the proof of concept. If it gets Apple Music right it will demonstrate its ability to deliver on best-in-class digital services.

Twitter Makes A Massive $70 Million Investment In SoundCloud. Both companies could use some help—Twitter has been punished by Wall Street for its inability to add users at a rapid clip; SoundCloud’s flat valuation indicates that investors are also worried about its own growth prospects.

Rhapsody Rebrands As Napster But Promises ‘No Changes.’ “No changes to your playlists, favorites, albums, and artists. Same music. Same service. Same price. 100% the music you love. Stay tuned!

Guvera $75M IPO Blocked By ASX, Future Of Music Streamer In Doubt. In an almost unprecedented move, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has rejected a $75 million IPO by international music streamer Guvera just one day after its was approved by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

Federal Court Upholds FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules. The 2-1 ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is a win for the Obama administration, consumer groups, and content companies such as Netflix that want to prevent online content from being blocked or channeled into fast and slow lanes.

SOCAN Reports Record Figures For Canadian Creators In 2015. The PRO brought in $307.8 million in total domestic and international royalties, the first time in its history exceeding $300 million in total revenues from the performance of the music of its more than 135,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members.

TuneCore Artists Earned $42 Million Last Quarter, Up 16%. Revenue from music streaming services like Spotify, TIDAL, Deezer and Rhaposdy has grown significantly, according to the digital music distributor.

RIAA Writes to Judge About Controversial Ruling Over Remastered Sound Recordings. Despite the view that the RIAA might find the remastered ruling beneficial — some have even argued that remastered albums might allow record companies to avoid copyright termination — the recording industry’s top trade group appears to be siding with ABS in this fight.

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