MediaNet Blog

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

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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

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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

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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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RECAP: Amazon Standalone Streaming Rumors, Majors’ Deal With Publishers, RIAA Battles Pirate Bay

Posted by Glen Sears, Editorial Content Manager | June 13, 2016 8:23 am | No Comments

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Story of the Week

Amazon to Launch Standalone Music-Streaming Service
Amazon’s Prime Music has, through its inclusion in the broader Prime membership, quietly become one of the most popular music-streaming services in the world. Now Amazon is planning to launch a standalone version, including a cut-price subscription option for owners of Amazon’s Echo connected-speaker.

Rumours of the service have been bubbling for some time: back in January, there were reports of Amazon holding licensing talks with music rightsholders for a standalone service. Over the weekend, Reuters reported that those plans have progressed: the $9.99 service will “likely be launched in late summer or early fall” with a “competitive catalogue of songs” to rivals.

Another $9.99-a-month streaming service may not be cause for wild celebrations, but plans to cut its price for owners (or new buyers) of Amazon’s Echo speaker are more interesting. We’ve been hearing rumours that ‘Project Purple’ (as one source described it to us) would see Echo owners pay $2-$3 a month to access the service from just that speaker.

Read the full story on Music Ally.

Top Music News Stories

Two of Three Majors Reach Settlement with Publishers on Digital Sales Rates. While the NMPA and sources at UMG & WMG wouldn’t comment — beyond confirming the agreement — sources tell Billboard it will keep mechanical rates flat for track downloads and CDs and that the mechanical rate, if approved by the CRB, would remain at the current rate of 9.1 cents per song; and 24 cents for ringtones.

SoundExchange Calls for Appeal of New Webcasting Rates, Saying They ‘Erode the Value of Music In Our Economy.’ “SoundExchange believes, respectfully, that the webcasting rates set by the Copyright Royalty Board in the Web IV proceedings do not reflect a fair market price for music and will erode the value of music in our economy,” according to a statement on its website.

Rhapsody/Napster Restructures, Laying Off Staff, Closing San Francisco Office. “As part of our plan to better position Rhapsody/Napster for long-term profitability and accelerated growth in a competitive global market, we have a new, streamlined structure for the company that unfortunately impacts a number of positions across our global offices.”

RIAA Demands Takedown Of ThePirateBay.Org, EasyDNS Refuses. Following The Pirate Bay’s return to its original .org domain, the RIAA has demanded that the popular search engine be once again taken down, a request complicated by the fact that there doesn’t seem to be much legal precedent to do so.

Inside the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Lawsuit: Everything You Need to Know. As with 2015’s “Blurred Lines” trial, after which a jury ordered Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams to pay $7.4 million (later reduced to $5.3 million) in damages for infringing Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up,” the stakes are high.

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RECAP: Kraftwerk Loses Landmark Sampling Case, MIDEM 2016 Recaps, Understanding Streaming Income

Posted by Glen Sears, Editorial Content Manager | June 6, 2016 9:41 am | No Comments

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Story of the Week

Kraftwerk Loses Round In Long Court Battle Over 2 Second Drum Beat
Electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk were dealt a legal setback after a German court ruled that a hip hop artist could use a two second beat sampled from a Kraftwerk track without infringing on their copyright. According to The Guardian, the court, based in Karlsruhe in south-west Germany, determined that the sequences in question were only seconds long and created a “totally new and independent piece of work”.

The decision overturned a lower court, which had ruled in favor of singer Ralf Hütter, who claimed that his copyright had been breached by the producer Moses Pelham in the song Nur Mir, German for Only for Me, sung by the rapper Sabrina Setlur. Pelham sampled the sequence from Kraftwerk’s track Metall auf Metall. While the sample was only two seconds long, it was looped in the Pelham’s track.

The ruling is widely seen as precedent-setting in Germany and addresses the complex legal issues of fair use and artistic freedom in regards to copyright.

Read the full story on Hypebot.

Top Music News Stories

TuneCore CEO: YouTube Is Not The Enemy – It’s A Goldmine Of ‘Found Money.’ As the major labels tanks rumble towards YouTube’s lawn, TuneCore CEO Scott Ackerman claims that independently distributed artists are increasingly seeing the video channel as both a goldmine and the greatest marketing weapon in their arsenal.

Canadian Rights Group SOCAN Signs Transatlantic Deal With SACEM. With the deal, announced Friday, SOCAN and its 135,000 members will be able to participate in large pan-European deals with digital service providers—the partnership entrusts SACEM to represent the European licensing and sales-processing for SOCAN, providing a single point of collection across the continent.

17% Of Fans Represent 61% Of All $’S Spent On Music. These are the consumers that used to spend $20, $30 or more each month on buying albums—now they spend $9.99.

Explainer: Understanding Streaming Music Income. Bobby Owsinski attempts to make sense of streaming income as he looks at why it varies so much, and why the sales parameters we set in the days of vinyl and CDs no longer apply in the digital age.

EDM Still Has Room For Growth, Contrary To Predictions. While there have been concerns within the industry lately that the popularity of EDM is in decline, the genre has been continuing to gain significant momentum outside of the US, suggesting it may remain one of the profitable areas of the music business.

Spotify Reportedly Prepping July Launch In Japan. Spotify finally appears to be gearing up for a July launch in Japan; Apple Music and several local companies have already launched there, but found the country’s usually tech savvy consumers slow to adopt paid streaming.

Catch Up On All Four Days of MIDEM 2016. Catch up on all the industry chatter from Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4.

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RECAP: Music Piracy Costs Hundreds of Millions, SOCAN Releases New APIs, Spotify Gets Millions of DJ Mixes

Posted by Glen Sears, Editorial Content Manager | May 31, 2016 9:38 am | No Comments

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Story of the Week

Music Piracy Costs Europe $190 Million a Year, EU Study Estimates
Music piracy has taken a small but noticeable bite out of potential profits for the recording industry throughout Europe, according to a new study by the European Union Intellectual Property Office. The report places an estimate on lost music sales in 19 EU states as a result of piracy in 2014, and comes up with a total of €170 million ($190 million), or 5.2 percent of all sales.

When broken down, that amounts to €113 million ($126 million) in lost digital sales and €57m ($63.5 million) in lost physical sales, the report finds. That’s the equivalent of 5.2 percent of the sector’s revenues from both physical and digital sales.

Two member states, Germany and the U.K., account for more than half of those losses. Europe’s biggest market, Germany lost €40 million ($44.5 million) in sales due to piracy, while the U.K. lost €49 million ($54.6 million). In France, where physical sales make up two-thirds of music sales, about €26.4 ($29 million) remained on the floor. And in the land of Spotify — Sweden — €8.9 million of the €9.1 million ($10 million) total lost was in digital formats.

Read the full story on Billboard

Top Music News Stories

SOCAN Launches APIs to Drive Music Royalties Innovation. The first two APIs announced today are “Song Registration” and “Concert Notification,” which enable writers to use new workflow apps and software to register their songs more accurately with their music publishers, labels, digital services, and SOCAN.

Spotify Cuts Dubset Deal To Add Millions Of Mixes. The MixBANK deal makes it possible for DJs to upload and legally stream their mixes and single track remixes, and enable Spotify listeners to stream radio shows and other user generated mixes that have not been previously legally available to music fans.

Global Electronic Music Industry, Worth $7.1 Billion Last Year, Sees Growth Slow. While growth in the sector is slowing — up just 3.5 percent year-over-year, the smallest chunk of a 59 percent increase over the past three — the electronic field is echoing the larger trends of the global recorded music industry as reported by the IFPI earlier this year.

David Lowery and Melissa Ferrick’s Lawsuits Against Spotify Get Combined. The suits were essentially the same in purpose and aim, and now Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell of the Central District of California has granted a motion for them to be consolidated.

Pandora Stock Up 32% On Sale Rumors. No specific suitors have been named, but Pandora has said that it is open to the right merger or acquisition — Pandora’s market cap is currently $2.61 billion.

iHeartMedia Wins Court Case Over Stock Shuffle Designed to Deal with Its Massive Debt. As the San Antonio Express-News reports, Judge Cathleen Stryker ruled in favor of the media company, which was brought to court on the transfer of 100 million shares — valued at over $500 million — from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings to another subsidiary, Broader Media, LLC.

Spotify’s Discover Weekly Logs 40M Listeners, 5B Tracks Streamed. Discover Weekly is also proving good for artists, with 8,000+ artists having added more than half of their listeners in the last month from Discover Weekly alone.

The Two Spotify Charts You Need To See. Rights and associated costs accounted for 83% of Spotify’s 2015 revenue, up from 81% in 2014, and this resulted in a dramatic fall in Spotify’s gross margin per user: down from $4.20 in 2013 to $3.45 in 2015.

Shamrock Capital Advisors Close $250 Million Fund To Invest In Music Publishing, Record Masters, Other Intellectual Property. Shamrock Capital Advisors today announced the final closing of Entertainment IP Fund (EIP), a $250 million fund focused on acquiring or financing entertainment intellectual property rights including music publishing, recorded music masters, tv, film video games and other entertainment content.

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RECAP: New Streaming Research Drops, Dubset Opens to NMPA Members, Rhapsody Launches VR

Posted by Glen Sears, Editorial Content Manager | May 23, 2016 9:16 am | No Comments

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Story of the Week

New Research Claims Streaming ‘Black Hole’ Beyond Millennials
A new survey of British consumers suggests that people older than 35 may be being “left out in the cold” by music-streaming services. And while there’s a caveat here – the research was commissioned by Electric Jukebox, which is launching a streaming service aimed at exactly that demographic – YouGov’s 2,000-person survey still throws up some talking points.

The study claims that 16% of millennials – defined as 14-34 year-olds in this case – have music-streaming subscriptions, compared to 6% of Generation X consumers (35-55 year-olds) and 3% of Baby Boomers (over-55s). “Our research finds the older you are, the less likely you are to stream music and that if you’re over 35 you’re very unlikely to be a subscriber,” said CEO Rob Lewis.

Read the full story on Music Ally.

Top Music News Stories

Dubset/NMPA Deal Means New Income For Indie Artists, Publishers. Just weeks after groundbreaking deals with Apple Music and SoundCloud, Dubset has extended its MixBANK monetization platform to indie songrwriters and publishers that belong to the National Music Publishers’ Association.

SoundCloud Says Reports of DJ Mixes Being Pulled Are Wrong. Despite a report claiming the platform would be pulling down this type of content frequently in the wake of its deals with Universal Music Group and Sony Music, the company tells Billboard that “the story has no truth to it.”

YouTube Adopting New Tool For Faster, More Accurate Royalty Payments. It looks as though the service will soon be implementing a new data standardization tool which will help artists get clearer information regarding views and payments, as well as providing more accurate and efficient royalty accounting.

Pandora’s Biggest Shareholder Urges Sale of Company. In a cage-rattling letter to Pandora’s board of directors, Keith Meister said that Cortex now owns 9.9 percent and urged the streaming company to curb plans to diversify beyond ad-supported radio and explore a sale.

Is Terrestrial Radio Facing Its Judgment Day With Fierce Digital Competition? During a panel discussion at the Worldwide Radio Summit in Los Angeles on April 15, the moderator asked veteran programmer Jim McGuinn, formerly of modern-rock station WPLY (Y100) Philadelphia, why FM was no longer relevant to listeners in their 20s.

Rhapsody/Napster Launches First Virtual Reality Music App. At launch, Rhapsody VR features live performances of Talib Kweli performing his classic “Get By” and Flatbush Zombies performing “Bath Salt” and “Bounce.” There are also performances by The Blind Shake, Low Cut Connie, Sweet Spirit, Eli “Paperboy” Reed and Shannon and The Clams.

Universal Music Appeals Ruling Against VKontakte. Universal was one of the three international majors that filed a lawsuit against VKontake over copyright infringement back in 2014. The others, Sony Music and Warner Music Group, have since signed agreements with the social network.

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RECAP: ASCAP Settles With DOJ, SOCAN Acquires MediaNet, U.K. Announces Safe Harbor Review

Posted by Glen Sears, Editorial Content Manager | May 16, 2016 9:27 am | No Comments

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Story of the Week

ASCAP Pays $1.75 Million To Settle DoJ Investigation
The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Thursday that the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has agreed to pay $1.75 million to settle allegations that they had engaged in anti-competitive practices in violation of a court order. According to DoJ, ASCAP signed contracts with approximately 150 songwriters and publisher members that made ASCAP the exclusive licensor of their performance rights, despite provisions in a court order prohibiting ASCAP from interfering with its members’ ability to directly license their songs.

As part of the settlement, ASCAP has also promised not to enter into further exclusive contracts and agreed to reform its licensing practices to remove music publishers from overseeing ASCAP’s licensing.

“Settling this matter was the right thing to do for our members,” said ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews in a statement announcing the settlement. “With these issues resolved, we continue our focus on leading the way towards a more efficient, effective and transparent music licensing system and advocating for key reforms to the laws that govern music creator compensation.”

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SOCAN Predicts Dramatic YouTube Revenue Uplift As It Acquires Medianet. Canada-based collection society SOCAN has acquired B2B music tech provider Medianet in a bid to ‘ensure that creators and music publishers, including artists and all relevant rights owners, are properly compensated for their work.’

Medianet, SOCAN, YouTube And The Kobalt Effect. “SOCAN has seized the initiative with the Medianet acquisition, setting out its stall as a rights society that puts tech innovation, effective reporting and accountability at the centre of what it does for its members.” says Mark Mulligan, “It has also positioned itself as a contender for global successor of the GRD—consider this the first major repercussion of the innovation and transparency agenda that Kobalt set in motion.”

U.K. Government Announces Anti-Piracy Strategy, Safe Harbor Review. Published today, the “Protecting Creativity, Supporting Innovation: IP Enforcement 2020” policy paper sets out its four year strategy “to address the multiple and growing challenges posed by IP infringement and counterfeiting” across multiple creative and retail industries.

$300 Million – $600 Million US IPO Planned For China Based Streaming Music Service. China Music Corp, which is backed by Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings and operates Chinese digital music services Kugou and Kuwo, has hired Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to prep a US IPO that could take place later this year, sources are telling the Wall Street Journal.

Facebook Working with WMG on ’Slideshows’ Music Feature. Within the past few weeks, the social network has quietly initiated talks with music labels about licensing a limited amount of songs that users can upload to, say, summer vacation videos or birthday parties, sources said.

Beatport Suspends Auction and Shuts Down Streaming, News and Events Divisions. “Beatport has made a strategic decision to return to its roots, focusing its efforts on its flagship Beatport Store, the leading global source of electronic music for DJs and consumers,” SFX wrote in a statement provided to Billboard.

Irving Azoff Pens An Open Letter To YouTube: ‘The Root Of The Problem Here Is You.’ “You have built a business that works really well for you and for Google, but it doesn’t work well for artists. If you think it is just the labels and publishers who are complaining, you are wrong. The music community is traditionally a very fractured one, but on this we are united.”

Amazon Launches a New Rival for YouTube. Amazon Video Direct, which kicked off Tuesday, shares money with video creators through the method they choose: ads, subscriptions, rentals, or simply by the number of hours streamed to tens of millions of subscribers of Amazon Prime, its two-day shipping service.

Apple Music Set To Receive A Facelift. Although the service has certainly been picking up users, Apple Music has received some complaints about its less-than-stellar interface. It looks like this is about to change, however, with Apple set to give its streaming service a much needed facelift, in hopes of catching up with Spotify.

Our best wishes for a great week! – MediaNet

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