MediaNet Blog

Music News Recap: Pandora Signs With ASCAP/BMI, Songkick Sues Ticketmaster, Soundcloud & PRS Bury The Hatchet

Posted by Glen Sears | December 28, 2015 9:56 am | No Comments


Story of the Week

Pandora Signs Landmark Licensing Agreements With ASCAP And BMI, Drops Rate Court Appeal
After scoring direct licensing deals with many of the world’s biggest music publishing companies, Pandora has cut its most important deals yet – separate multi-year licensing agreements with both ASCAP and BMI.

Pandora announced the signing of two separate multi-year licensing agreements for the combined million track catalogs on ASCAP and BMI, the world’s largest Performance Rights Organizations. Pandora has also agreed to withdraw its appeal of the May 2015 order in the BMI rate case.

While the specific terms of both multi-year agreements remain confidential, both sides call the deal “an innovative approach to public performance licensing.” According to a joint statement, “it allows both ASCAP and BMI to further their goal of delivering improved performance royalties for their songwriters and publishers, while Pandora will benefit from greater rate certainty and the ability to add new flexibility to the company’s product offering over time.”

The public performance royalties Pandora also pays to rights holders of master recordings are not affected by this agreement.

Read more on Hypebot:

Top Music News

Songkick Sues Live Nation and Ticketmaster for Antitrust
Songkick alleges in its 68-page complaint that Live Nation and Ticketmaster undertook a concerted effort to hamper its business and that the two companies employed their vastly dominant positions in the live event and ticketing industries to do so.

SoundCloud and PRS Reach Licensing Agreement, Legal Action Off
PRS For Music and SoundCloud have reached a multi-territory licensing agreement, which brings an end to the litigation that was launched by the UK publishing sector’s collecting society against the streaming service earlier this year.

The Beatles Launch Digital Catalog on 9 Music Streaming Services
The Fab Four are adding their back catalogue to streaming services after almost a decade of holding out. The services are: Spotify, Apple Music, Slacker, Tidal, Microsoft’s Groove, Rhapsody, Deezer, Google Play, and Amazon’s Prime Music.

A2IM Interim President Molly Neuman Named Kickstarter’s First Head of Music
Neuman, who temporarily took the reins of the American Association of Independent Music following Rich Bengloff’s departure this past summer, is joining Kickstarter as the company’s first head of music. In a statement on her departure, Neuman indicates her replacement will be sourced from inside A2IM.

Surprising Discoveries

Apple Is Reportedly Developing a Hi-Res Audio Format
A report in the Japanese blog Macotakara has sparked rumors that Apple is preparing to release a new audio format that has more than twice the sound quality of a CD. The blog cites “several insiders familiar with Apple” as saying that the company “has been developing hi-res audio streaming up to 96kHz/24-bit.”

SoundExchange Sat on Fewer Unclaimed Royalties at End of 2014
With a significant webcasting rate hike coming in 2016, the music industry might be wondering about the efficiency and effectiveness of SoundExchange. The information from its breakdown of its 2014 year-end account balances shows the organization has continued to improve how it collects and pays out royalties.

Spotify Announces Database to Properly Manage Royalties
Against a backdrop of controversy over not properly licensing songs or paying publishing royalties to music publishers and songwriters, Spotify’s global head of publisher relations James Duffett-Smith writes that the company “will invest in the resources and technical expertise to build a comprehensive publishing administration system to solve this problem.”

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Music News Recap: Pandora’s New Royalty Rates, BMG/RIAA Settlements, Apple Music Updates

Posted by Glen Sears | December 21, 2015 11:20 am | No Comments

Copyright Royalty Board raises royalty rates

Story of the Week

Copyright Royalty Board Raises Pandora, Non-Interactive Music Streaming Rates By 20%
In a landmark decision, the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board today raised the rates that commercial non-interactive webcasters like Pandora effective January 1st, 2016. But the news could have been much worse for Pandora. Non-interactive webcasters will now pay 17 cents per 100 plays for those listening to free and ad supported streams through 2020, according to a statement from the royalty board. That’s up 20% from the current rate of 14 cents per 100 streams.

The decision can be considered a victory for both sides. SoundExchange had requested a rate of 25 cents per 200′ while Pandora had lobbied for a drop to 11 cents. In addition to Pandora, the rate applys to most internet radio stations including iHeartRadio, AccuRadio, Live365, Shoutcast and the webcasts of terrestrial radio stations.

Starting in 2017 the rates for both subscription and nonsubscription services can be adjusted to reflect the increases or decreases, if any, in the general price level, as measured by the Consumer Price Index. Relieved investors sent Pandora stock up 20% in after hours trading.
Read more on Hypebot:

Pandora Pleased at CRB Ruling bu Direct Licenses Are Its Future – “As we noted last month, the CRB rates are likely to play a far less central role in Pandora’s business as we move toward the future. To fully unlock the global and functional potential of our business, we’re aggressively pursuing direct licensing agreements,” said McAndrews. Read More

Pandora’s Rate Ruling Reveals The Cracks In Streaming Economics – wWile on-demand services have little meaningful way of increasing revenue per user with the current model, Pandora has more than doubled revenue per user in 6 years while rights costs have declined in relative terms. Read More

Top Music Industry News Stories

Pandora and Warner/Chappell Sign Direct Licensing Deal – Pandora has cut a multi-year direct publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Music, making it the final of the three major music publishers to sign a direct deal with the web radio giant. Read More

BMG Awarded $25 Million in Potentially Landmark Case on U.S. Safe Harbours – The court said that BMG (at this point Round Hill was removed from the litigation) had sufficiently demonstrated that Cox had a deliberately slack approach to dealing with suspected infringers, so that it could keep selling those people internet services. Read More

RIAA Wins $17 Million Lawsuit Against Grooveshark Clone – The judge granted the RIAA and its major label members more than $13 million in piracy damages along with another $4 million for “willful counterfeiting,” reports TorrentFreak. Read More

Surprising Discoveries

SoundExchange Payments To Artists, Labels Fall 24% To $204 Million – Just hours before today’s important rate ruling by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board, SoundExchange released figures showing $204 million in payments in the 3d Quarter. Read More

Apple Updates Music Data, Which Should Benefit Classical Composers and Performers – A seemingly minor update to iTunes should please Classical music fans and could mean bigger royalty checks for newer composers. Read More

Music Streamers Still Buy Music, Says Study – Streaming is sometimes thought of as replacing any need to buy music, but a recent study from the British Phonograph Industry suggests that streaming my actually be motivating consumers to purchase physical albums. Read More

Imogen Heap Inks ‘Forward-Thinking’ Publishing Deal, Planning ‘Fair Trade’ Payment System – “Things are moving incredibly quickly,” Heap says. “It’s like a tidal wave, moving in a really positive direction like it never has done before for the music industry.” Read More

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MediaNet Ends the Year With 48M Tracks in Our Catalog

Posted by Glen Sears | December 18, 2015 2:49 pm | No Comments

MediaNet Catalog Reached 48 Million Tracks and Songs

2015 has been a great year for music. Adele smashed every conceivable sales record, Taylor Swift’s 1989 was so popular it helped tip major digital music reform, and hip-hop had another big year in the form of Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and others.

2015 has also been a great year for the MediaNet catalog. When we started the year, we had 39.1 million tracks available for download, stream, and online radio. As we close out the year, our December 2015 track count has increased to 48.2 million tracks. That’s a 23% increase in tracks available to our Partners and their customers! Many of these tracks and albums are unavailable on most digital music platforms, but MediaNet’s deep, long-term relationship with the music industry means we can make even the most sought-after music available to you.

As our CEO Frank Johnson was quoted in September, “It is amazing the volume of catalog growth and amazing that it shows no signs of slowing down. This growth makes the work of matching songs to owners, writers, and publishers even more urgent to ensure everyone is paid for every play.”

Each week MediaNet’s Content Operations Team ingests over 150,000 new tracks into our catalog. These tracks are licensed for download and streaming by major record labels, as well as over 80,000 independent record labels and publishers. MediaNet then provides developers access to high-quality audio files—in 11 formats up to 320kbps —with rights secured across multiple international territories. MediaNet content is delivered through our partner services, websites, and apps to a global network of users and music fans.

MediaNet partners include Beats Music, CÜR Music, Pulselocker, Songza, iMesh, Univision, and many more of the worlds best-loved music apps. MediaNet also offers a full range of publishing and rights administration services, including license acquisition, publisher payments for labels, rights management, high-quality compliant reporting, and more. Our rights-managed catalog allows us to reach a level of accuracy and efficiency unmatched in the digital music space.

As 2015 ends and 2016 begins, you can be sure MediaNet will continue to expand our catalog with music from all corners of the world, and provide it to our partners at the highest quality. Thank you to all our Partners, labels, publishers, artists, and everyone else who makes these incredible milestones possible.

Ready to connect to the MediaNet suite of services? Let’s chat!

Music News Recap: New Royalty Rates Imminent, Aurous Shut Down, Spotify Insights

Posted by Glen Sears | December 14, 2015 10:39 am | No Comments

Music Royalty Rates MediaNet Soundcheck

Top Music Industry News Stories

Washington D.C.’s Royalty Rate Ruling Is Imminent, Possibly Even Today – The announcement will be the culmination of Webcasting IV, the rate proceeding that will determine the statutory royalty rates to be paid by non-interactive Internet radio stations like Pandora for the next five years. Read More

Tidal Launches in Puerto Rico – Tidal is making a splashy move into Puerto Rico with the concert by one of one of its biggest stars. But the company is a late-comer to the island, traditionally a strong Latin music market. Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora are already established there. Read More

Unlaunched Music Streamer CÜR Media Completes $1.75 Million Financing Round – Even as music streamers from Pandora to Spotify struggle to find profits and Rdio files for bankruptcy, others are still hoping to get into the game. U.S.-based CUR Media is one, and they just added $1.75 million to make it happen. Read More

Pandora, SONGS Music Publishing Agree to Multi-Year Deal – The agreement follows Pandora’s licensing deal with one of the major publishing companies, Sony/ATV Music, a month ago. Read More

Illegal Streamer Aurous Shuts Down After $3m Settlement With RIAA – The deal will see developer Andrew Sampson barred from operating the Aurous website or similar services, while the plaintiffs – Atlantic Records, Capitol Records, Sony Music, Universal Music, and Warner Bros Records – now own the Aurous intellectual property. Read More

Surprising Discoveries

Report Claims Spotify Will Allow Some Premium Windowing – The no-windowing policy was at the heart of the streaming service’s dispute with Taylor Swift; and its resolve has been tested by artists including Beyoncé, Adele and Coldplay, as the idea of making big albums only available for subscribers gained currency. Read More

Less Than 10% Of Spotify Users Listen To 1 Full Album Per Month, According To Study – “Based on research that we did at Universal a year and a half ago, we looked at free users, we looked at their album listening habits within a one month period, and we found that fewer than 10% of them listened to an album in full within that period. That’s something everybody’s got to wake up to.” Read More

Warner/Chappell Settles Happy Birthday Suit, Song Enters Public Domain – The settlement comes just days after Judge George H. King of the Central District of California had raised the possibility that other plaintiffs may be eligible to file claims on back royalties paid to Warner/Chappell and the previous rightsholders Birch Tree and the Summy Co. dating back to 1949. Read More

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FAQ: What Is a Notice of Intent (NOI)?

Posted by Glen Sears | December 11, 2015 12:55 pm | No Comments

MediaNet FAQ

Publishers take many forms. Large companies, small mom-and-pop shops, or even artists themselves. The thing that remains the same is what a publisher does: ensure songwriters and composers receive payment when their compositions are used commercially.

Throughout the course of being a publisher, you will almost certainly receive at least one Notice of Intent to acquire a “compulsory mechanical license.” If a composition has already been commercially recorded and released to the public, and a party wishes to record and distribute that composition themselves (and they are not the original songwriter), they must obtain a mechanical license from a publisher.

Sometimes, publishers can’t be contacted or won’t agree to a direct deal. In this scenario, Section 115 of the 1976 U.S. Copyright Act allows the party to obtain a “compulsory” mechanical license. This means a composition can be re-recorded and/or distributed without the publisher’s express permission, provided the publisher is paid the standard royalty rates set out by Congress.

The Copyright Act also requires parties acquiring compulsory licenses to provide publishers with a Notice of Intent (NOI). This NOI alerts the publisher that their musical property is being used. Often royalty statements (and payments) will follow thereafter.

Consumer Spending On Digital Music Actually Fell In 2014 + Your Top Music News

Posted by Glen Sears | December 7, 2015 11:04 am | No Comments

Digital music spending actually fell in 2014 soundcheck

Story of the Week

Consumer Spending On Digital Music Actually Fell In 2014 (Yes You Read That Right)
Though the drop was small – 1% – it was still nonetheless a drop at a period when digital spending should be booming.

In some key markets the consumer spending decline was significantly larger, such as a 3% fall in the UK. Of course, overall digital music revenue grew globally in 2014 but all of that growth came from the 37% increase in digital music B2B revenues, such as advertising income and telco bundles. In short, the music industry is getting better at selling to businesses and worse at selling to consumers in the digital arena.

Read more on the Midia Blog:

Top News Stories

YouTube Outgrossing Pandora and Candy Crush Saga On The U.S. App Store – People are starting to pay their monthly subscriptions for YouTube Red, the new subscription tier to YouTube, and the early indications are that plenty have paid for at least one month. Read More

Google Retires the Songza Brand – On January 31, over a year and a half after being acquired by Google, Songza will finally retire its website and app, marking an end to a small yet innovative Internet radio service. Read More

MediaNet is proud to have supported Songza from its early startup days, powering the backend of the Songza Platform with our catalog and streaming services, helping it grow to the scale and popularity it attained on the Web and with its mobile apps. We look forward to the impact its industry-leading, human-curated playlists will have on Google Play. See our many customers here.

Pandora Shares Fell 11.5% Thursday After Music Streamer Announces Plan To Borrow $300 Million – Pandora has announced its intention to offer $300 million in convertible senior notes due in 2020 in a private placement to institutional buyers. Read More

Jay Z’s Tidal Gets New CEO: Former SoundCloud Exec Jeff Toig – Before he was SoundCloud’s Chief Business Officer, Toig was a founder and svp at Muve Music, Cricket Wireless’s innovative music service, and was on the Virgin Mobile USA founding team. Read More

Live Nation’s James Barton Is In ‘Serious Talks’ For A Leadership Role At SFX Entertainment – Barton’s arrival at SFX comes amid talk that its directors are unhappy with CEO Bob Sillerman’s performance to date and the state of SFXE’s teetering finances. Read More

Tunecore Has Been Hacked, Sensitive Data Revealed, All User Passwords Invalidated – “We recently discovered suspicious activity on TuneCore’s servers in November, and that on November 17th an individual illegally collected information from our servers.” Read More

Facebook Adds Concert Ticketing and Opens Up Live Streaming – News of the ticketing pilot came as Facebook opened up its live-streaming video to all users – well, all users in the US at least – having previously made it only available to verified users. Read More

Surprising Discoveries

Rdio May Have 100k U.S. Subscribers “Up For Grabs” By Rivals – Rhapsody’s senior director of traffic and demand Greg Spils told Billboard that Rdio’s closure may leave around 100,000 US subscribers “up for grabs”, with his company keen to attract as many of them as possible. Read More

Spotify Tops Pandora as World’s Most Popular Music Streaming App – In the past year Spotify moved to the top of the game in revenue, active users, and app downloads, according to a new report from app analytics firm App Annie. Read More

Coldplay Rejects Freemium: New Album Not On Spotify, But Is Streaming On Apple Music, Tidal, Amazon, Rhapsody – The decision is a clear rejection of free and freemium by the multi-platinum rockers. Read More

First-of-Its-Kind Report Assembles Hard Numbers on the World’s Creative Industries – Creative industries contributed $2.25 trillion to the global economy, according to the report by CISAC president Jean-Michel Jarre and director general Gadi Oron, UNESCO director general Irina Bokov and EY consultant Marc Lhermitte. Read More

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