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RECAP: David Lowery Motion Claims Songwriters Being “Misled”, TIDAL Gets Beyonce Exclusive, UMG Wins Big

Posted by Glen Sears | April 25, 2016 10:38 am | No Comments

lowery

Story of the Week

David Lowery Files Motion To Stop Spotify, NMPA From “Misleading” Songwriters
Songwriters are being “misled” by being encouraged to sign onto a settlement it made with the National Music Publishers Association, according to a motion filed by attorneys representing David Lowery, who is suing the music streamer for use of his songs without a license.

The NMPA and Spotify had reached a settlement for music publishers and songwriters to receive royalties for “unmatched” compositions used on Spotify in the U.S. from a $25 million fund. In addition to identifying the rightful recipients of the royalties, the agreement establishes a bonus compensation fund reported to add $5 million to the settlement.

According to the filings, Lowery’s team alleges that Spotify is misleading songwriters to encourage them to sign the NMPA brokered agreement. They are demanding copies of all communications between Spotify, publishers and songwriters related to the deal, along with additional payments for damages.

Read more on Hypebot.

Top Music News Stories

$84M Class Action Suit Filed Against Kanye West, Jay Z Over Tidal Album Release. A fan of Kanye West fan is suing the star and and the streaming music service Tidal saying that the falsely lured users into subscriptions based on the promise that it would be the exclusive outlet for his latest album, “The Life Of Pablo.”

Beyoncé Releases Surprise Album ‘Lemonade,’ Will Stream Exclusively On TIDAL Forever. Saturday night Beyoncé became the latest superstar TIDAL artist-owner to release their new album exclusively on the platform, following Kanye West and Rhianna–the much anticipated 12 track album sent fans into a frenzy on social media.

Universal Wins Big Ruling in Copyright Lawsuit Over In-Flight Music. Universal Music and Capitol Records have navigated the complexities of international air travel to score a summary judgment ruling that when it gets to a jury next month to decide damages, could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

“Compulsory Licenses Must Require Display Of Songwriter Credits.” Chris Castle argues that the U.S. government should require that digital music services provide proper attribution to songwriters when compulsory licenses relating to said artist are obtained.

Facebook Launches Its Version Of Content ID. Following complaints from content creators that their YouTube videos have been appearing on Facebook after being posted without the creator’s consent, the social network has released its own version of YouTube’s fabled Content ID.

YouTube Defends Content ID Following Music Labels’ Criticism. It represents the latest front in the war of words between YouTube and the music industry at a time when the service is preparing to negotiate new licensing deals – and also when reviews of safe-harbour legislation are underway on both sides of the Atlantic.

‘Alibaba Planet’ is China’s Latest Music Platform. “Music fans can use their smartphones to follow their favourite stars, participate in fan activities, purchase related merchandise and watch live shows of cyber celebrities and popular singers, in addition to listening to streaming songs,” says the internet giant.

Prince Fans Pay Tribute, Buying 1M Tracks, 240K Albums In U.S. On Day Of His Death. The unprecedented stats were compiled by BuzzAngle Music, a sales & streaming tracking service of music technology company Border City Media.

Rhapsody Names Its First-Ever CEO. Streaming service Rhapsody and its international version Napster have been operating without a full-time leader at the top, until now, as the Seattle-based parent company Rhapsody International has announced it has hired Mike Davis as the company’s new — and first — CEO.

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Recap: IFPI 2016 Global Music Report, Soundcloud Hits Europe, Facebook Tackles ‘Freebooting’

Posted by Glen Sears | April 18, 2016 9:44 am | No Comments

IFPI releases its 2016 Global Music Report

Story of the Week

IFPI 2016 Global Music Report: Digital Revenues Surpass Physical for the First Time
The global recorded music business reached an important tipping point in 2015: Digital services now account for 45 percent of recorded music revenue and outstripped physical revenue for the first time, according to numbers released Wednesday by the global trade body IFPI.

The global snapshot is equally positive. Low single-digit revenue growth was registered by North America (+1.4 percent) and Europe (+2.3 percent) while Asia improved 5.7 percent and Latin America rose 11.8 percent behind 80.4-percent growth in streaming revenue.

The most momentum happened with subscription services. Subscription revenue, excluding revenue from some services’ free tiers, jumped $58.9 million to $2 billion. The number of subscribers grew 66 percent to 68 million. The number of new subscribers, 27 million, was twice the 28-million subscriber gain in 2014 and over three times the growth in 2013.

Read the full story on Billboard.

Top Music News Stories

Analyst Mark Mulligan Dives Into IFPI’s GM2016 Report, Surfaces Surprising Takeaways. “Revenue was flat, downloads and physical are both still falling, streaming growth accelerated, ad supported revenue fell, and streaming ARPU is up but subscription ARPU is down.

War of Words: Labels and Trade Groups Target YouTube’s ‘Value Gap.’ Labels define this “value gap” as the difference between what YouTube actually pays and what they believe it should pay. Labels argue that safe harbor “distorts” the market by giving services leverage in negotiations.

SoundCloud and Sony/ATV Announce Licensing Deal in Europe. SoundCloud wants to take its GO paid subscription service global; and a new deal with Sony/ATV, who has had a deal with SoundCloud in the U.S. since the 2014 launch of its monetization efforts, extends the partnership to Europe.

The Launch Of SoundCloud Go Leaves Unanswered Questions. Nicole Daley, speaking about Soundcloud Go, says “although the service has interesting potential, there remain several unanswered questions regarding things like how artists will get paid, or how royalties are being calculated.”

Facebook Tackles ‘Freebooting’ With Rights Manager Tool. The social media giant has launched Rights Manager, an admin tool which is intended to curb the dubious practice where Business Pages and celebs can rip videos from elsewhere, repost the copyrighted content on Facebook and grow their brands while robbing the content creators of views.

CÜR Media Raises $2M To Pay Labels, Launch Streaming Service Aimed At Casual Music Fans. CÜR Media has announced the completion of $2 million in financing led by Intuitive Venture Partners and Katalyst Securities. CÜR Music, currently in public beta, is a streaming music service aimed at more casual music fans with tiers beginning at $1.99 per month after a 14-day free trial.

ASACP Sues 10 Venues That Refuse To Pay To Use Music. Over the past two years, and in many cases longer, ASCAP says it made numerous attempts to offer to license these venues and educate the owners about their obligations under federal law.

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Recap: Sony Accuses Rdio of Fraud, TuneCore Arrives in Germany, Streaming Hits New Milestone

Posted by Glen Sears | April 11, 2016 10:02 am | No Comments

pandora rdio medianet soundcheck

Story of the Week

Sony Music Files Fraud Lawsuit Against Rdio Executives Over Pandora Deal
In a new lawsuit, Sony Music alleges it was defrauded of millions when the on-demand service Rdio came to agreement with Pandora and subsequently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last November.

The complaint states: “Unbeknownst to SME, at the same time that Rdio was negotiating the amendment to its Content Agreement with SME, it was simultaneously negotiating its deal with Pandora — under which Rdio would file for bankruptcy; Pandora would buy Rdio’s assets out of bankruptcy; defendant Bay (as part-owner, executive officer, and director of Rdio’s secured creditor) would expect to be first in line to receive proceeds of the Pandora deal; and SME (as an unsecured creditor) would receive pennies on the dollar for the amounts owed to it under the amended Content Agreement.”

Sony says that Rdio purposely kept its Pandora negotiations and impending bankruptcy secret so as to hold back Sony from demanding immediate payment of the $5.5 million and “inducing” extensions and a restructuring of payment obligations.
Read more on Billboard.

Top Music News Stories

TuneCore Launches In Germany. This marks the fifth international expansion for the company which added the UK and Australian markets in 2015.

Rhapsody, Napster Launch The Listener Network Designed To Make Music More Social. Powered by its patent-pending Music Intelligence Engine, The Listener Network connects Rhapsody and Napster users globally to form communities of music lovers with similar tastes to share and discover new music.

Streaming Hits 67.5 Million Subscribers But Identity Crisis Looms. “17% of music buyers account for 61% of spending…The question the music industry must now answer is how seriously does it want to treat the opportunity represented by these [remaining] consumers?”

iHeartMedia Gets More Time To Resolve Its Massive Debt Problems. Interest on the debt is a drag on earnings; in spite of generating $6.5 billion in revenues in 2015, iHeart paid $1.8 billion in interest expense and ended with a total net loss of $651 million.

Bandcamp Has Paid Artists $150M in 8 Years. Amidst the current streaming wars, Bandcamp has largely stayed above the fray without directly competing with the biggest players but serving as an alternative favored in large part by independent artists and labels.

3 Major Players That Could Disrupt The Streaming Music Industry. According to Hugh McIntyre of Forbes, Amazon, Samsung, and Soundcloud have enough leverage and resources to potentially be considered viable challengers.

SFX Bankruptcy Court Allocates $15 Million In Payments To Artists. The judge overseeing the SFX bankruptcy gave top tier EDM artists and their agents reason to celebrate this week with the allocation of $15 million to be paid to artists performing at the beleaguered promoter’s festivals this summer.

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Recap: Soundcloud Goes Premium, TIDAL Sues Previous Owner, UMPG Abandons ASCAP

Posted by Glen Sears | April 4, 2016 9:47 am | No Comments

Soundcloud Go Music Recap Soundcheck Medianet

Story of the Week

Soundcloud Go Paid Subscription Service Finally Launches in the U.S.
The launch comes shortly after SoundCloud reached a licensing deal with Sony Music, the third and final major label to sign on the dotted line, also joining indie agency Merlin and various publishers.

Details? The official price for SoundCloud Go will be $9.99 a month – with a 30-day free trial – with features including offline listening; a catalogue of 125m tracks swelled by the catalogues of those partner labels; and no advertising.

Why “official” price? Because SoundCloud Go is launching through the company’s iOS and Android apps: it’ll cost $9.99 on Android but $12.99 on iOS, due to Apple’s 30% cut of in-app subscriptions. Meanwhile, musicians and other creators who already pay for SoundCloud’s ‘Pro Unlimited’ features will get a discounted rate of $4.99 a month on SoundCloud Go for the first six months.

Read the full story on Music Ally.

Top Music News Stories

SoundCloud Premium Faces Unique And Difficult Challenges. Industry analyst Mark Mulligan says “the current model will not maximize Soundcloud’s vast potential—instead of Spotify-like 15-20% conversion rates, expect King and Supercell-like 1.5-5% rates.”

YouTube Says It Already Pays A Whole Lot Of Royalties. YouTube’s powerful position in the industry makes it a tough financial nut to crack after coming under fire for underpaying on the substantial percentage of total music streams delivered by the service.

What A New Pandora CEO Means For Artists, Labels And Investors. Chris Castle believes Tim Westergren has integrity, but must address Pandora’s overhead, litigation, and lobbying issues to truly turn the company around.

Music Industry A-Listers Call on Congress to Reform Copyright Act. “Artists spanning a variety of genres and generations are submitting comments to the federal government’s U.S. Copyright Office today and tomorrow demanding reforms to the antiquated DMCA which forces creators to police the entire Internet for instances of theft, placing an undue burden on these artists and unfairly favoring technology companies and rogue pirate sites.”

Spotify Raises $1 Billion in Convertible Debt Financing. Convertible debt can be exchanged for stock later and comes with the advantage that it does not require a company valuation at the time of investment and hence does not risk diluting stock value when Spotify goes public.

David Lowery Talks Lawsuits, Licensing, and Free Streaming. “Maybe it was naive of us, but we thought we would solve this problem for everybody – and that services, investors in those services and even the entire music industry might welcome that solution.”

Jay Z Serves Legal Papers to Former Tidal Owners Over ‘Misleading’ Subscriber Numbers. “It became clear after taking control of Tidal and conducting our own audit that the total number of subscribers was actually well below the 540,000 reported to us by the prior owners—as a result, we have now served legal notice to parties involved in the sale.

Bankrupt SFX Forced To Pay Artists 100% In Advance, CEO Sillerman Shares Resignation Letter. “As we enter this next phase, despite the place we find ourselves, there is much to be proud of. It remains incumbent on all of us to refocus our energies and find the path to success that is out there. I am confident that with renewed discipline combined with passion and creativity that our original goals can and will be met.”

UMPG, Ole Pull Production Music Catalogs From ASCAP, Move Them to SESAC. The move has enraged several songwriters groups, which have aligned under the banner MusicAnswers to protest the moves, claiming that writers alone should have the right to decide their PRO affiliation, and that publishers do not have the right to change it unilaterally.

Our best wishes for a great week! – MediaNet

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