MediaNet Blog

Spotify and Sony Reach Deal, Amazon Music Grows, Facebook Reveals Music Plans

Posted by Glen Sears | July 17, 2017 10:04 am | No Comments

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Spotify Sony Deal Confirmed. The terms include windowing, which would allow the label group to keep some tracks and albums from the music streamer’s free tier for up to two weeks.

German Music Publishers Say It’s ‘High Time’ the EU Acted on YouTube. “These online platforms are still not giving creative people reasonable and fair remuneration. This is a grave injustice and cannot be tolerated any longer.”

Judge Voids Prince $31 Million Universal Music Deal. The request was filed by UMG after the company learned that many of the tracks it had paid for were still under contract with Warner Music Group.

Amazon Is Now The 3rd Biggest Music Subscription Service. Mark Mulligan of MiDIA Research states, “Amazon can now discard its dark horse guise and be revealed for what it is: one of the top streaming music players.

Facebook Reveals Plans To Negotiate With Existing Digital Music Platforms. “This role will lead Facebook’s strategy and negotiations with digital music services, as well as collaborate with our product, media partnerships and platform partnerships teams to ensure a coordinated and best-in-class approach.”

Warner Music Group Acquires Songkick Concert Discovery App. The surprise deal, which appears motivated by the startups protracted legal battle with Ticketmaster, includes Songkick’s concert discovery app and web site, but not its ticketing business.

SoundCloud Responds Reports Of Impending Insolvency. Soundcloud CEO Alex Ljung responded to a TechCrunch report claiming the company would be insolvent in 50 days, saying “There are a number of inaccuracies within the TechCrunch article.”

Lyor Cohen Details YouTube’s Future Product Plans. YouTube’s Global Head of Music Lyor Cohen sat down with the board of directors of A2IM recently and detailed the video channel’s priorities and product plans for 2017.

Soundcloud Has A Really Bad Week, Apple and Deezer Show Interest, Concord Grabs ex-Warner Catalog

Posted by Glen Sears | July 10, 2017 10:25 am | No Comments

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SoundCloud Lays Off 40 Percent of Staff, Commits to ‘Independent Future’
In a statement on SoundCloud’s blog announcing the move, co-founder and CEO Alex Ljung wrote that the layoffs were due to a long-term desire to achieve profitability through cost reduction and revenue growth, in order to be “in control of SoundCloud’s independent future.”

After Laying Off 173 Employees, Does SoundCloud Really Have A ‘Path To Profitability’? According to Music Business Worldwide, in the context of SoundCloud’s recent financial results, it arguably doesn’t seem very realistic.

How Soundcloud Could Transform Deezer’s Market Narrative. Mark Mulligan claims that, despite this shift in its public narrative, Soundcloud remains a uniquely valuable asset in the streaming landscape, one that would give another streaming service a distinct competitive advantage.

Radio Still Has A Wider Weekly Reach Than Smartphones, TV. With all of the press and meteoric growth of streaming, it easy to discount radio, but for sheer monthly reach, nothing beats it, according to a new chart.

Concord Buys Yet Again In Multi-Million Dollar Deal With Warner. Concord has, in the past few weeks, fully acquired a bundle of recorded music rights as part of Warner’s post-Parlophone divestment process, including the Atlantic catalogue of US Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Jewel.

Because Confirms Acquisition Of London Records Catalog. Because stands to acquire some standout London Records catalog from Warner’s post-Parlophone divestment process, including classic albums by the Happy Mondays (like Bummed, pictured), who were originally signed to Factory Records.

Pandora CEO May Be Stepping Down, Apple Music Wants Lower Royalty Payments, TuneCore Nears $1B Revenue

Posted by Glen Sears | June 26, 2017 10:56 am | No Comments

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Story of the Week

Pandora CEO Tim Westergren May Be Stepping Down, According to a New Report
According to Recode, Pandora hasn’t selected a replacement for Westergren, sources say; he will likely stay on at the company he founded 17 years ago until a new CEO is in place.

Top Music News Highlights

Pandora [P] Stock Up On Report Of CEO Westergren’s Exit. Wall Street seemed to approve of the potential changes at Pandora, with Pandora stock up 2.78% to $8.51 by mid-day trading.

Apple Wants To Reduce Royalty Rate It Pays Record Labels. According to a report from Bloomberg, the Cupertino giant’s long-term licensing deals with the labels for both Apple Music and iTunes are due to expire at the end of this month.

TuneCore Artists Nearing $1 Billion in Revenue. The company said that as of May 31, artists have earned more than $920 million on the strength of over 75 billion streams and downloads.

Elon Musk’s Tesla Looks Set To Launch Its Own Music Streaming Service. Tesla is reportedly looking at launching multiple tiers of pricing, starting with a ‘Pandora-like web radio offering’.

The BPI Has Now Sent 312M Takedowns To Google. In the last month alone, the BPI has requested 11.2m URLs to be removed from Google’s public search listings, with Google’s transparency report revealing that 99.8% of URLS reported by the body are ultimately removed.

YouTube & ASCAP Announce Landmark Data Sharing Agreement, SOCAN Beats Royalty Records, Believe Digital Seeking Sale

Posted by Glen Sears | June 19, 2017 8:58 am | No Comments

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Story of the Week

YouTube, ASCAP to Share Data in First-Ever Voluntary Deal
In what is the performance rights group’s first-ever fully-negotiated, voluntary licensing deal with the decade-old video hub not prompted by a rate-court proceeding, ASCAP will combine its database of 10.5 million musical works with YouTube’s data exchange, a move that ASCAP’s CEO Elizabeth Matthews says will result in bigger payouts.

Other Music News Highlights

Canada’s SOCAN Collected Record-Setting $249M In Royalties For 2016. The PRO said it recorded “new highs on almost every front,” with nearly 4,500 businesses that use music became “licensed to play” with SOCAN and 6,500 additional songwriters, composers and music publishers signed up for membership.

Merlin Deals Paying Out The Equivalent Of Nearly $1M A Day To Independent Labels. Before the end of March, Merlin’s admin fee for these members was 2% of total revenues – it proudly reduced this to 1.5% in April – suggesting its total collections in the 2016/2017 period stood at around $360M.

Believe Digital Actively Seeks Sale, Major Players Show Interest. Global independent distributor, label services provider, and TuneCore owner Believe Digital is for sale, sources tell Hypebot, and a two to three week deadline has been set for initial bids.

Sony/ATV’s Martin Bandier Calls on Spotify, Apple Music, And YouTube To Credit Songwriters. While he acknowledged that songwriters and publishers are beginning to benefit from the uptick in revenues with the rise of streaming, he was quick to note that “songwriters and music publishers, while we’re headed in the right direction, the fruits of our labor are not being equitably rewarded and we are not benefiting from the streaming revolution as meaningfully as we should.”

Spotify Revenues Hit $3.3B In 2016 – But Net Losses Soared To $597M. The streaming giant’s revenues saw healthy growth of 52%, but the ongoing cost of debt and widening operations costs ballooned its net losses over 133%.

Digest: SiriusXM Buys $480M Stake in Pandora, Pandora Unloads Ticketfly, 3 Takeaways from Midem 2017

Posted by Glen Sears | June 12, 2017 10:07 am | No Comments

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Story of the Week

SiriusXM to Buy $480M Stake in Pandora
Under the terms of the agreement, a subsidiary of SiriusXM will purchase news convertible preferred stock of Pandora, while SiriusXM has already bought $172.5 million of preferred stock representing a stake of 19 percent in Pandora’s, or a 16 percent stake when converted.

Other Music News Highlights

Pandora Sells Ticketfly To Eventbrite For $200M, A $250M Loss. The Ticketfly transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017 — Eventbrite is funding the acquisition using a combination of $150 million in cash and a $50 million note payable to Pandora.

Analysis: What Pandora’s Ticketfly Sale and SiriusXM Investment Means. The money from the deals, coupled with the $199 million that the company disclosed in 2016 year-end report, gives the company a total of $856 million in cash—buying Pandora time to prove it can build a successful, profitable on-demand music service.

3 Big Takeaways From Midem 2017. Zach Fuller of MiDIA Research shares his top three takeaways from the annual conference addressing the latest developments in the music industry.

YouTube Has A New Label Relations Boss: SoundCloud’s Stephen Bryan. Cohen, Global Head of Music at YouTube, said: “At YouTube, we have over a billion viewers and thousands of label partners and Stephen is going to be the bridge that brings them together.

Taylor Swift’s Catalog Now On Other Streamers As Apple Music Loses Key Exclusive. Recently Spotify eliminated a key Taylor Swift objection to streaming, adding the ability to window releases.

Concord Acquires Imagem, Sony Merges Red & The Orchard, MiDIA Releases “State of Streaming” Report

Posted by Glen Sears | June 5, 2017 9:44 am | No Comments

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Story of the Week

Concord Bicycle Music Acquires Imagem In $600 Million Deal, Sources Say
The acquisition of Imagem, first reported by the New York Times, would make Bicycle Music the sixth largest music publisher in the world, Billboard estimates.

Other Top Music News

Concord’s Imagem Buy Marks The Birth Of A Major Player In Music. The last music industry acquisition of a comparable size would have been Sony Corp’s $750m acquisition of the 50% in Sony/ATV it didn’t already own, which completed in August last year.

Sony Merges The Orchard and Red Essential Into Single Division. Based in central London, the new enterprise will take The Orchard name and be led by Red Essential co-managing directors Ian Dutt and Mike Chadwick.

Announcing MIDiA’s State Of The Streaming Nation 2 Report. MIDiA’s 2nd annual benchmark of the global streaming business presents a definitive assessment of the global market, combining an unprecedented breadth and depth of supply side, demand side and market level data, as well as revenue and user forecasts out to 2025.

What Will Spotify’s $43 Million Class Action Settlement Mean For Publishers? Since it’s an opt-out settlement, songwriters and publishers who own works registered with the U.S. Copyright Office are assumed to be included unless they say otherwise.

SoundCloud’s Stephen Bryan Headed To YouTube, Say Sources. As Chief Content Officer at SoundCloud, Bryan was instrumental in closing deals with Universal, Sony, and Warner – agreements which enabled SoundCloud to launch on-demand streaming tier SoundCloud Go.

Napster Makes 20M Indie Tracks Available In Japan With Rakuten Partnership. “Today, we’re excited to partner with Rakuten, a world-class brand, to extend the Napster experience into Asia and bring the Japanese music community access to over 20 million tracks through our partnership with Rakuten Music.”

Warner/Chappell Strikes Multi-Territory Deal With France’s SACEM. The deal specifically covers the administration and licensing of mechanical rights to YouTube, Deezer and French streaming service Qobuz.

Canadians Listen to Way More Radio Than Americans, Study Finds. Edison Research results showed that AM/FM radio stations account for 61 percent of all Canadian listening, whether over-the-air or via streaming, with the U.S. at 50 percent.

Digest: MiDIA Research Teases Yearly Report, TIDAL Loses 3rd CEO, Spotify Settles

Posted by Glen Sears | May 30, 2017 9:38 am | No Comments

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Story of the Week

MiDIA Research: Who’s Leading The Streaming Pack?
YouTube and Spotify emerge as the leading services with 25.1% and 16.3% WAU (weekly active user) penetration respectively. However, at the other end of the spectrum, Deezer swaps its top half of the table subscriber count ranking for the bottom ranking for WAUs with just 2.3%.

Other Music News Highlights

Spotify Settles Class Action Lawsuits With $43.4 Million Fund. Under the agreement, which will need to be approved by the court, the streaming company will set up a fund worth $43.4 million to compensate songwriters and publishers whose compositions the service used without paying mechanical royalties.

Judge Agrees Broadcasters Have First Amendment Right to Refuse Advertisements. According to a California federal judge ruling in a case involving SiriusXM, not running an ad is an exercise in free speech.

TIDAL Loses Its Third CEO In Two Years As Jeff Toig Exits. “As part of Tidal’s continued expansion this year we will be announcing a new CEO in the coming weeks,” TIDAL said in a statement.

SoundCloud Announces Departure of Content Chief Stephen Bryan. During his three years in the role, Bryan helped secure the label and publishing deals needed to launch the SoundCloud Go line of on-demand subscription tiers.

IMS Biz Report: Global Electronic Market Up 3% to $7.4 Billion. The report, which looked at industry data from 2016, reported the dance music market was up 3% to $7.4 billion dollars, up from $7.1 billion the year before.

Digest: Pandora & SiriusXM Might Be Back On, Paypal Sues, DOJ Appeals in BMI Case

Posted by Glen Sears | May 22, 2017 10:42 am | No Comments

Story of the Week

SiriusXM’s Pandora Buyout Could Be Back On
That’s according to a new report from the New York Post, which suggests that Sirius recently restarted talks with Pandora’s banks and is currently “discussing the size of a potential offer.”

Top Music News Highlights

Pandora Sued By PayPal For Alleged ‘Harmful’ Logo Infringement. PayPal’s suit, filed on May 19, claims: “The similarities between the logos are striking, obvious, and patently unlawful. Just like the PayPal logo, the Pandora logo is a capital P in block style, sans serif, with no counter, in the same deep-blue color range.”

Merlin Agrees Multi-Year Licensing Deal With HD Music Firm MQA. The partnership will enable the number of independent labels represented by Merlin to encode their master recordings in MQA’s master quality audio technology.

Department of Justice Appeals Consent Decree Ruling, BMI Hits Back. The DOJ claims that BMI is seeking to include a special exception for split works and it notes that while BMI has the right to license some of these split works on a full-works basis, it is asking the court to create an exception for all split works so that it can provide fractional licenses for those songs.

France’s Sacem Posts Record Revenues of $1.5 Billion. Of that total, $1.3 billion was paid out to members and affiliate neighboring rights organizations (up 2% on 2015) with just under $67 million invested in almost 2,000 creative and cultural sustainability projects – including financial support for music venues and festivals – to help “ensure long term growth for the industry.”

The MP3 Is Dead, Long Live The MP3. The last of the patents related to the MP3 format expired (or will very soon), so patent-holder Fraunhofer IIS has nothing left to license.

Digest: Spotify Nearing WMG Deal and May List Directly, SoundExchange Acquires CMRRA, eMusic Relaunches

Posted by Glen Sears | May 15, 2017 9:28 am | No Comments

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Story of the Week

Warner Music Boss Nears Royalty Deal With Spotify
Sources tell On the Money that Warner and Spotify are getting this close to a new royalty agreement and a deal could be signed by June; if inked, Daniel Ek’s Spotify would be on the way to its long-planned IPO — expected in the final quarter of 2017.

Top Music News Headlines

Spotify Valued At $13bn – And Is Pushing Ahead With A Direct Listing. The move would be the biggest test yet for the direct listing process, which for companies willing to list shares without raising capital eliminates the need for a Wall Street bank or broker to underwrite an initial public offering (IPO) along with many associated fees.

SoundExchange Moves Into Publishing Rights By Acquiring Canadian Body CMRRA. The organization has been thriving in recent years, but its business model faces some undeniable threats: SoundExchange’s biggest source of revenues, Pandora, is failing to grow its listener base – and recently inked direct licensing deals for the first time to cover its new three-tiered streaming product.

Pandora Secures At Least $150m Investment But May Still Sell. Pandora’s revenues grew by 6.3% year-on-year to $316m in the first quarter of 2017, however, the company’s net loss increased from $115.1m in Q1 2016 to $132.3m a year later, with a 9.4% hike in content acquisition costs to $187.4m one of the key reasons.

Australian Streaming Guvera Service Has Shut Down. According to CEO Herft’s letter to shareholders, the company will look into selling or commercializing some of its “valuable” intellectual properties in an attempt to get back on its feet.

eMusic Relaunches As Indie-Centric Music Service. The “fully overhauled and upgraded” eMusic is based around a music ownership model rather than an access streaming model and offers users free and discounted downloads, cloud-based storage, universal access on any device and a catalog of 32 million titles exclusively from independent labels.

Smule Raises $54M At $604M Valuation. Social music startup Smule has raised $54 million in a strategic financing round led by Tencent, used to expand the service, which has 54 million monthly active users creating over 20 million songs daily, into Asia.

Google Releases Study Defending YouTube’s Value To Music Biz; Trade Bodies Hit Back. According to a European study carried out by RBB Economics, if music content was removed from YouTube around 85 percent of the time that users spend on the platform would switch to lower value channels, such as TV, radio or internet radio.

iTunes and Apple Music Coming to Microsoft’s Windows Store. Microsoft said that once the app is released to the Windows Store, users of its just-revealed Windows 10 S operating system will get a “complete” iTunes experience, including Apple Music and full support for iPhone syncing.

Universal Music Group Revenue Rises 12.7%, Biggest Q1 In 15 Years. A UMG company spokesman said that the first quarter revenue was its highest first quarter total since UMG reported 1.365 billion euros ($1.48 billion) back in the first quarter of 2002.

Digest: WMG Signs Deal With YouTube, VKontakte Launches Streaming, The Orchard Expands in Europe

Posted by Glen Sears | May 8, 2017 9:40 am | No Comments

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Story of the Week

Warner Music Group Extends Deal With YouTube
Warner Music Group has extended its recorded music and publishing deals with YouTube, according to the video platform and a memo by WMG CEO Stephen Cooper obtained by Billboard. The memo said WMG was able to secure “the best possible deals under very difficult circumstances” and that term for the deal is shorter so to allow for “more options in the future.”

Other Important Music News

Everything You Need To Know About The “Difficult” WMG, YouTube Deal. Hypebot breaks down the nitty-gritty details of the WMG/YouTube deal and aggregates responses, as well as analysis, from around the internet.

Irving Azoff Hopes Warner Music Avoided ‘Step Backwards’ On YouTube Deal. “I trust that Warner took its responsibility to its artists and insisted on two crucial points: both better control for artists and increased compensation,” Mr. Azoff said in an email.

‘Russia’s Facebook’ Launches Fully Licensed New Spotify Rival. With over 100 million active users, Russian Facebook VKontakte (VK) has the same sized audience as Spotify’s last confirmed active user base (across both freemium and premium users).

SoundExchange Q1 Collections Down Thanks To Pandora Direct Deals. In these new agreements, Pandora is paying rights owners directly and SoundExchange is continuing to pay artist royalties directly for the service’s ad-supported tier.”

Sony’s The Orchard Buys Independent Distributors Finetunes And Phonofile. The move effectively means Sony has acquired four independent European distributors in little over a year; the company swooped for both Essential Music & Marketing (UK) and Century Media (DE) in 2016 for a combined price of just under $21m.

German Music Publishers Hold ‘Historic’ Meeting to Show Unity Amid Royalty Sharing ‘Crisis.’ Germany’s music publishers are coming to terms after a court decided in November that performing rights society GEMA is not required to give them an equal share of all income.

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Recent posts

Spotify and Sony Reach Deal, Amazon Music Grows, Facebook Reveals Music Plans
July 17, 2017
Soundcloud Has A Really Bad Week, Apple and Deezer Show Interest, Concord Grabs ex-Warner Catalog
July 10, 2017
Pandora CEO May Be Stepping Down, Apple Music Wants Lower Royalty Payments, TuneCore Nears $1B Revenue
June 26, 2017

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