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Digest: Dubset Announces Major Funding, BMI/RMLC Interim Licensing Rate, “YouTube Can Do Better”

Posted by Glen Sears | February 27, 2017 9:27 am | No Comments

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Top Music News Story

Dubset Announces $4 Million Funding Round
Dubset Media is getting an injection of funds as it attempts to solve one of dance music’s most frustrating issues. The company, led by CEO Stephen White, announced this morning (Feb. 27) it had completed a $4 million round of Series A funding led by Boston-based equity firm Cue Ball Capital.

In 2015, Dubset — a dance-centric digital distributor based in New York City — introduced a new technology called MixBANK, which identifies individual tracks within DJ mixes, allowing copyright owners to get paid when their work is sampled or remixed within a DJ mix.

MediaNet is proud to be a Series A investor for Dubset, along with Neoteny 3, Resolute Venture Partners and Redwood Venture Partners.

Read the full story on Billboard.

Other Music News Highlights

The Value Of Music Publishing, In 5 Figures. The Midemblog staff take a look at five of Billboard’s latest top 10 publishers in figures and find out how they’re making news.

BMI and Radio Industry Group Agree to Interim Licensing Rate. Broadcast Music Inc. and the Radio Music License Committee have agreed to set an interim rate of 1.7 percent of radio revenue, while the two sides either negotiate a final rate, or failing that, go to rate court to determine the final number.

Coalition of 15 Music Orgs File Complaint Over DMCA. The substance of the filing is fairly similar to what various music business organizations have said before: By setting up a system where rightsholders need to ask websites to remove content uploaded by users, the DMCA erodes the value of music.

Techstars Music Reveals Start-Ups For Inaugural Accelerator Program. Each company will receive a $120,000 investment, mentorship form a vast pool of professionals, support for life, and undergo an intensive three month incubation program out of Techstars’ new L.A. office — in exchange for 6% equity in each company.

‘YouTube Can Do Better’: Cee Lo, Evanescence, Rush Among Artists Calling for DMCA Action. Unlike most such filings, which tend to consist of pages of anecdotes and arguments, the video — titled “YouTube Can Do Better” — couldn’t be much simpler.

Universal Music Group’s Publishing Revenues Have Grown 18% In Two Years. According to new Vivendi data reported in Paris, UMG’s publishing revenues reached €792m ($876m) in 2016, up 4.8% on 2015 in real terms, and up 6.7% at constant currency/perimeter.

Spotify Adds 3 Original Music Business Focused Podcasts. It’s part of a push to add more original content to the music streamer, while still rejecting the exclusive releases favored by some of its major rivals.

Alex Da Kid: “There’s Going To Be A Resurgence In Independent Music Companies.” Universal recently spent big bucks on signing a ‘unique and innovative’ multifaceted deal with the Grammy-winning Brit’s KIDinaKORNER – a combined record label, publisher, production house and marketing agency.

MIDiA: Global Recorded Market Music Market Shares, 2016. MIDiA has created a recorded music market share model to provide a unique view of where the revenue flows in the global business.

Digest: Songkick Accuses Ticketmaster of Hacking, Landmark Anti-Piracy Measure in U.K., YouTube Launches Live Streaming

Posted by Glen Sears | February 21, 2017 9:24 am | No Comments

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Top Story Last Week

Songkick Alleges Live Nation & Ticketmaster Hacked Trade Secrets
Songkick’s long-running lawsuit against Live Nation and Ticketmaster alleging antitrust violations, anticompetitive behavior and intentional interference has taken another turn. In an amended complaint filed in U.S. District Court in California, Songkick is now alleging that a former CrowdSurge executive and current Ticketmaster employee, Stephen Mead, hacked into CrowdSurge’s protected computers and acquired trade secrets and confidential information, which he then funneled to Ticketmaster in order to improve the ticketing giant’s Artist Services division. (Songkick acquired CrowdSurge in June 2015; this lawsuit was initially filed in December 2015.)

In the new filing, Songkick claims Mead resigned from CrowdSurge in July 2012 and walked out with as many as 85,000 documents, including “a suite of proprietary service offerings; financial information, such as ticket sales, merchandise revenues, quarterly profitability, and forecasts of various kinds; cost and pricing data; customer information; and other non-public information of economic value.”

Read the full story on Billboard.

Other Music News Highlights

Spotify-Backed Startup ‘Soundtrack Your Brand’ Raises $22 Million. The Stockholm-based firm, which was founded by Beats Music co-founder Ola Sars and ex-Spotify executive Andreas Liffgarden, provides businesses with a modern platform for playing and curating licensed music in public.

U.K. Labels and Google Partner on Landmark Anti-Piracy Measure. Search engines Google and Bing will step up their efforts to demote and restrict access to copyright infringing websites, following the agreement of a voluntary code of practice between rights holders and tech companies in the U.K.

BMG Awarded $8M More From Cox In $25M Music Piracy Battle. U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady said that without such an award, the cost of suing a company like Cox would “deter other potential plaintiffs from seeking to enforce their rights.”

Universal Music and MQA Announce Hi-Res Streaming Collaboration. “Universal’s timeless catalog and impressive artist roster will fuel music streaming services worldwide and enable the premium listening experience for all music fans.”

YouTube Unleashes Power Of Live Streaming. The new service called “Super Chat” allows users of the service to “get a creator’s attention” by buying a variety of emoji and chat messages which are then pinned to the top of the chat window for up to five hours.

Digest: Soundcloud Loses Two Top Execs, Grammys Recap, Songwriters Threaten To Sue DOJ

Posted by Glen Sears | February 13, 2017 9:54 am | No Comments

SoundCloud Ltd. Co-Founders Unveil U.K. Subscription Service

Top Story Last Week

A Month After Posting Heavy Losses, SoundCloud Loses Two Top Execs
The news comes five weeks after the Berlin-based company filed a fiscal report for 2015 showing annual revenues up 21.6% to €21.1m ($22m), but net losses accelerating 30.9% to €51.22m ($52m). SoundCloud’s co-founder Alexander Ljung noted in the filing that the company may “run out of cash” before the end of 2017 if it cannot secure further financing.

In reaction to Strigel and Harder’s departure, a SoundCloud spokesperson told the Financial Times: “After five or so years, they felt it was time to move on to new adventures.”

Read the full story on Music Business Worldwide.

Other Music News Highlights

Grammys 2017 Review: Adele, Tribe and Beyonce Make it an Award Show to Remember. “Such an ending only amplifies the unusual amount of raw feeling produced by the entirety of this year’s Grammys — the excitement, the righteous fury, even the brief moments of humiliation which made these ceremonies so gripping.”

Songwriters Say They Have Standing to Sue the Justice Department Over Consent Decrees. On Tuesday, plaintiffs in this case told a DC Circuit judge they have sufficient standing and concrete injuries to bring constitutional claims over the Justice Department’s latest interpretation of consent decrees stretching back decades.

Google Combines YouTube, Google Play Music Teams, Unified App Appears Likely. “Music is very important to Google and we’re evaluating how to bring together our music offerings to deliver the best possible product for our users, music partners and artists. Nothing will change for users today and we’ll provide plenty of notice before any changes are made.”

Dr. Luke Claims That Kesha Owes Him $1.3 Million in Royalties. “In December 2016 alone, Defendant received payments under her contracts with Plaintiffs in excess of $650,000 — In sharp contrast, Defendant admits that she owes Plaintiff KMI over $1.3 million in ancillary royalties that she has failed to pay.”

Universal Music Wins Battle To Manage Prince Recordings. The multi-year deal struck with the late star’s estate assigns Universal exclusive licensing rights to Prince’s NPG recordings, as well as his (reportedly considerable) vault of unreleased tracks.

For Continued Growth, Music Streaming Needs Product & Pricing Innovation. Analyst Mark Mulligan says “the next phase of the streaming market requires a more sustainable approach to pricing strategy, coupled with some serious product innovation.”

Nearly Half Of US Music Subscribers May Have Amazon Prime Music. According to Parks Associates, given estimates of 102.5m broadband households in the US at the end of 2015, that could mean upwards of 15 million households using Amazon Prime Music.

Digest: Big Players Back dotBlockchain, ESPN Reaches Licensing Settlement, Sprint Reveals TIDAL Details

Posted by Glen Sears | February 6, 2017 9:38 am | No Comments

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Top Story Last Week

SOCAN, CD Baby, SongTrust And FUGA Back DotBlockchain
The dotBlockchain Music Project (dotBC), which aims to solve data, rights, ownership and payment issues in the music industry, has won backing from SOCAN and subsidiary MediaNet, plus Songtrust, CDBaby and FUGA. The partners will contribute technical and financial resources to the project, which will allow dotBC to accelerate its product development efforts.

Read the full story on Music Business Worldwide

Other Music News Highlights

ESPN Reaches Settlement in Music Licensing Dispute. The deal resolves a rate-setting proceeding that ESPN initiated a year ago when it sued BMI for allegedly not being reasonable in licensing negotiations.

Netflix Taps BMG for Music Publishing Rights Outside U.S. The exclusive agreement covers elements such as scores, featured songs, transition cues and themes for all Netflix-owned original programming, including TV series, docs and feature films.

Canada’s SOCAN Announces 8 Percent Growth in Revenue, Huge Jump in Streaming. “SOCAN’s work to lead the global transformation of music rights continues, benefitting music creators and publishers even more in terms of royalties identified, collected, and distributed in Canada and worldwide,” said CEO Eric Baptiste, in a statement.

Why Did Sprint Pay $200m For TIDAL? Now we know: because Sprint Corporation CEO Raul Marcelo Claure is using TIDAL as a “test case” to see if exclusive content can help close the gap on rivals like AT&T.

SoundExchange Pays Out Record $884 Million. The record comes amid uncertainty over how SoundExchange revenue will be affected by an increasing number of direct deals between digital broadcaster and rightsholders.

Report Claims Spotify IPO Could Slip Back To 2018. TechCrunch heard from multiple sources that the company is weighing a plan to delay an IPO until 2018 to build up a better balance sheet and work on shifting its business model to improve its margins.

Nielsen Completes Acquisition of Gracenote. With the deal, Nielsen significantly expands its footprint for data measurement via Gracenote’s global database and technology solutions that spans across multichannel video programming distributors, smart televisions, streaming music services, connected devices, media players and in-car infotainment systems.

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