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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 | 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 | 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.

Our best wishes for a great week! – MediaNet

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

Posted by Glen Sears | 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 | 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.

Our best wishes for a great week! – MediaNet

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Have questions about how Medianet can help your digital music business? Ask us here. Want a topic or insight published on this blog? Ask us here. Other questions or comments? Let us know!

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