Posted by Glen Sears | August 31, 2015 11:06 am | No Comments
Story of the Week
PRS Music Sues Soundcloud After “5 Years Of Unsuccessful Negotiations.”
Read More: http://bit.ly/1KXvSJU
After careful consideration, and following five years of unsuccessful negotiations, we now find ourselves in a situation where we have no alternative but to commence legal proceedings against the online music service SoundCloud.
When a writer or publisher becomes a member of the Performing Right Society, they assign certain rights to their works over for us to administer, so it’s our job to ensure we collect and distribute royalties due to them. SoundCloud actively promotes and shares music. (more…)
Posted by Glen Sears | August 27, 2015 11:53 am | No Comments
The survey, given to 50-something anonymous music industry executives, had a few unexpected bits of information inside. We don’t know which executives were polled and what their industry position is. They might be from labels, publishers, distributors, techs, PROs, or others. Let’s assume they’re evenly distributed, being totally honest, and let’s have some fun.
Even A-List Execs Don’t Think Artists Are Treated Fairly.
In a 3:2 ratio, industry executives stated clearly that the industry isn’t favorable to artists. While it’s a fairly ambiguous question, it does highlight the shifting landscape of opinions on artist treatment. We’ve said recently ourselves that artists aren’t the only ones that “being left behind” by the music industry, but they are certainly one of the many. Everyone deserves to get paid for the music they helped create, and the belief that artists aren’t given proper fairness is a good step forward.
Everyone Continues to Hate on EDM, but Also on Rap.
It’s no secret that EDM has a tough time gaining legitimacy in the broader music industry. Despite its massive revenue-generating power, EDM behemoth SFX Entertainment is poised for bankruptcy in just a few short weeks. What’s more surprising is that hip-hop, currently enjoying yet another pop culture resurgence thanks to the movie Straight Outta Compton, is the music industry’s least favorite genre. What would Drake think of that?
Boomers and Gen X’ers Think They Understand Technology Better Than Millennials.
In another 3:2 ratio, music industry executives claim they understand technology better than their teenager. On the one hand that makes sense. No average teen knows how to deploy a global music catalog in 13 formats across more than 50 services. On the other hand, until we see more major brands using GroupMe and participating in hack weeks maybe some 14 year olds might be more familiar with emergent technologies and social platforms.
Wherever You Work, You Might Wish It Was Apple or Spotify.
This one isn’t a huge surprise. In the music technology world, it doesn’t get much loftier than Apple or Spotify. Even so, it’s still a little surprising that over half of music industry executives (not associates) might leave their current posts to work at a different company. Even after the very public denigration of Apple Music. Good thing these surveys were totally anonymous, huh?
Nobody Believes In Tidal.
Poor Tidal. The Jay-Z owned high-definition music streaming service has had a really rough go. First their launch is a PR nightmare. Then multiple CEOs are fired or jump ship. Additionally, we’ve covered in great detail how difficult and expensive it can be to run a high-definition music service. It turns out, most music industry execs don’t believe Tidal has more than a year left in it. Whether or not this is true (analysts regularly predict the fall of Apple Music, too) it does prove that Tidal still has a major public opinion mountain to climb.
What Does It All Mean?
Public opinion is generally shaped by trends in ideas, money, and current events. In many ways these surveys are only surprising because we expect music industry executives to be pretty stalwart and seemingly less susceptible to trends and flashes in the pan.
Everybody loves Taylor Swift, but will they always? Does she have another 10 years in her? Are we all just jumping from ship-to-ship, hoping the tide will rise long enough to make the next musical leap? It’s worth noting that one music executive thought it possible.
“I’m sure everybody will answer Taylor [Swift], but the big question I ask myself is can she sustain this for more than another album or two? I lean towards betting on her, but I’m sure the cost that comes with it becomes exponential over the next few campaigns.”
Billboard seems to have proven that music industry executives are more like us in many ways than we might think. Is that a recent trend? Is that good or bad? We believe music industry executives are key influencers, critical to renewed growth and revenue for the entire musical supply chain. We encourage everyone, from executives all the way to consumers, to think about the future of music, instead of reacting to the present.
Posted by Glen Sears | August 19, 2015 2:34 pm | No Comments
Next Big Sound, a digital music analytics firm recently acquired by Pandora, made headlines last week with the release of its report “Data To Date: The Rapid Rise of Social and Streaming.” This in-depth report examines how digital music is streamed and how it is shared.
The report, which analyzed over one trillion plays across 7 major services, put real data to many of the suspicions held about digital music. It’s growing rapidly, videos carry huge weight, and being a huge pop star all but ensures you continue to be a huge pop star.
While the report is easy-to-read and well-formatted, it is also long. We decided to pull what we feel are the most important parts of the report and compile them here.
1. More digital music was streamed in the 1st half of 2015 than in all of 2014.
Anyone with a Spotify or Apple Music account knows just how prevalent streaming music has become. What’s surprising is the almost unbelievable speed at which it is growing. The 1,032,225,905,640 plays dwarfs 2014’s 434,695,663,626, with 4.5 months still left in the year.
Part of this play data can likely be attributed to the inclusion of Pandora’s venerable streaming radio service, but even so the numbers show just how fast digital music streaming is skyrocketing.
2. If you’re an artist building your brand, you need to use Instagram daily.
When considering social media for musicians, no platform showed the massive growth of Instagram. Monthly new follows for artists were up an astounding 455%, from 51m in June 2014 to 283m in May 2015.
Artists can use the platform to give listeners and fans a glimpse into their lives. Fetty Wap (known for his breakout hit “Trap Queen”), is a prime example of this phenomenon, adding 1.1m new followers since the beginning of 2015.
3. Latin artists are disproportionately popular on Facebook.
A strange anomaly in the NBS data, Latin artists provided a social media surprise. With most Latin artists making up around 2% of activity across social media channels, Facebook activity for the genre is more than double at 5%.
Additionally, of the 10 artists that attracted the highest number of page likes, 50% were in the Latin genre. Nicky Jam added more than 14m Likes in just six months.
4. Soundcloud is still a major player and growing — even with the controversy.
With recent news that Soundcloud struck a deal with Universal Music Group, its days as a copyright Wild West may be coming to an end. But that didn’t stop the streaming service from tallying an explosion in plays, growing from 2.5b in June 2014 to 4.9b in May 2015.
This would seem to suggest that hesitant rights owners like Sony may find themselves reluctantly striking Soundcloud deals in order to get their share of the action. These deals, however, could also cannibalize a user base accustomed to receiving the service for free.
5. Undiscovered artists are gaining notoriety not from their own videos, but from videos using their songs.
Liv Buli, the public report’s author, calls YouTube song-in-video detection “one of the more telling metrics” about fan engagement. In theory, using an artist’s track in your own content is considered “next-level” engagement.
To this end, undiscovered artists like Halsey are finding major success on the platform even without doing the work directly. Three of their songs breached the Top 10 list of unsigned artists whose music is being used widely on the network.
Posted by Glen Sears | August 17, 2015 10:50 am | No Comments
Story of the Week
Next Big Sound Releases “Data To Date: The Rise of Social and Streaming” Report
Read More: http://bit.ly/1UOKZfV
Hot on the heels of Berklee’s report on transparency in the music industry, Pandora-owned digital music analytics firm Next Big Sound released their own report on streaming music and how we share music socially. To create this report NBS analyzed one trillion plays across YouTube, Vevo, Vimeo, Spotify, Rdio, SoundCloud, and Pandora.
“What really blew our minds when tallying these totals was that the number of online plays in just the first six months of the year far exceeds what we tracked in all of 2014, even before the addition of Pandora’s data. And social is growing like a weed as well. We tracked close to 14 billion new followers, page likes, and stations added in the first half of the year, already more than three quarters of the total from last year.
Let’s take a moment to consider what impact this could have on the music industry at large. For musicians, their piece of the streaming pie will only continue to grow, let’s shift our focus from the decline in sales, and instead focus on maximizing digital revenue from streaming and social interaction with fans.”
Other Important Headlines
Berklee’s Rethink Music Releases Fair Music Report Followup – According to Allen Bargfrede, “in spite of living in an age where music is more accessible than ever before, the commercial end of the business has a long way to go as far as getting artists the money they deserve.” Read more
SoundExchange Launches PLAYS Search Engine – Money earned from digital plays often, for one reason or another, ends up in the wrong hands, and even services like SoudExchange can misdirect funds. Enter the PLAYS Search Engine, a tool which allows artists to track where their money is going. Read More
What Apple Music’s 11 Million Trialists Really Mean – How successful has Apple Music actually been? While an initial report of 11 million trial subscribers certainly looks good on paper, the question remains over how many of these trial users will turn into paid subscribers. Read More
Sillerman’s Bid to Take SFX Private Fails, Stock Tumbles – Sillerman’s offer of $5.25 per share for the company became increasingly untenable as the stock continued to decline to its current $1.55 per share — a 20.1 percent decline from Thursday’s closing price. SFX has released a statement on Friday saying it is exploring “strategic alternatives” for its future. Read More
EDM Artist Laidback Luke Pens Op-Ed On Pay to Play for Festival Lineups – “Corporate investors are now involved and they often extend offers to promoters that they can’t refuse. Such investments require return, and lineup strategy and conversation gets weighed down even more by charts and apps that continuously poll the audience about what they like, who they are going to see on the day, and what they want and appreciate.” Read More
Rdio Announces Live Broadcast Radio Function With 500 U.S. Stations Onboard – The partnership with Cumulus Media includes Los Angeles’ 95.5 KLOS, San Francisco’s KFOG, and New York’s NASH FM 94.7 all stations now operating on the Rdio platform. Read More
Columbia House, Former ‘Music Club,’ Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy – Columbia House was once famous for operating a mail-order business that enticed consumers with the prospect of “11 records or tapes for $1.” Now the company finds itself in massive debt to the people who once provided its products—labels. Read More
U.S. DOJ Considering Baffling New Licensing Rules, and Apple Music Is (or Isn’t) Succeeding [Soundcheck]
Posted by Glen Sears | August 3, 2015 10:58 am | No Comments
Story of the Week
The Dept. of Justice Said to Be Considering a Baffling New Rule Change for Song Licensing
Read More: http://bit.ly/1DlaKQK
According to numerous sources, the DoJ has sent a letter to two performance rights societies (ASCAP & BMI) governed by the consent decree, telling them that on “split works” songs — songs written by multiple writers — any writer or rights holder can issue a license for 100 percent of the song. In other words, the long-established industry practice of each rights owner greenlighting their particular portion of a song in order to establish a license — also known as fractional licensing — may no longer be allowed.
Currently, if a song has multiple writers, each writer must give permission for a song to be licensed for a cover, streaming service, or sync with film. These new laws, if verified and eventually passed, “would turn music publishing into the Wild West.” “If the DoJ follows through on this position, it could upend every agreement between co-writers and producers,” says one publishing executive.
Other Important Headlines
RIAA and Other Groups Revisit Case Against Cnet Over Downloads in New Letter – A 16-member coalition sent a letter stating that the CBS-owned property “has made various computer, web, and mobile applications available that induce users to infringe copyrighted content by ripping the audio or the audio and video from what might be an otherwise legitimate stream.” Read More
SFX Gives Sillerman Two Weeks to Secure Financing For Takeover Bid – After finding no other bidders, the SFX board says Sillerman has two weeks to provide proof of secured financing for his proposed (and overdue) takeover of the EDM promoter. Read More
Apple Music Racked Up 10 Million Subscribers in Less Than a Month… Three weeks after Apple Music’s launch, Apple CEO Tim Cook said “millions and millions of customers” had already signed up for the new streaming service. Read More
…But Apple Music Streams Just 4% Of Spotify, Says Indie Distributor – Independent music digital distributor DashGo, monitoring activity for its artists, says that, so far, streams from Apple Music are only 4% of what they see from Spotify. Read More
Soundcloud Subscription Tier Is Coming – While the exact details haven’t been revealed yet, it’s believed that the service will offer a free tier with a capped number of streams and downloads per month, and a paid tier where both are unlimited. Read More
No Happy Birthday Decision After New “Smoking Gun” Evidence Submitted – The judge overseeing the ‘Happy Birthday’ copyright dispute has pushed back any decision making for at least another week. Read More
1000 Musicians Gather To Lure Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters To Italy – It’s the most impressive video you’ll watch all week. Read More
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