Posted by Glen Sears | May 30, 2017 9:38 am | No Comments
Story of the Week
MiDIA Research: Who’s Leading The Streaming Pack?
YouTube and Spotify emerge as the leading services with 25.1% and 16.3% WAU (weekly active user) penetration respectively. However, at the other end of the spectrum, Deezer swaps its top half of the table subscriber count ranking for the bottom ranking for WAUs with just 2.3%.
Other Music News Highlights
Spotify Settles Class Action Lawsuits With $43.4 Million Fund. Under the agreement, which will need to be approved by the court, the streaming company will set up a fund worth $43.4 million to compensate songwriters and publishers whose compositions the service used without paying mechanical royalties.
Judge Agrees Broadcasters Have First Amendment Right to Refuse Advertisements. According to a California federal judge ruling in a case involving SiriusXM, not running an ad is an exercise in free speech.
TIDAL Loses Its Third CEO In Two Years As Jeff Toig Exits. “As part of Tidal’s continued expansion this year we will be announcing a new CEO in the coming weeks,” TIDAL said in a statement.
SoundCloud Announces Departure of Content Chief Stephen Bryan. During his three years in the role, Bryan helped secure the label and publishing deals needed to launch the SoundCloud Go line of on-demand subscription tiers.
IMS Biz Report: Global Electronic Market Up 3% to $7.4 Billion. The report, which looked at industry data from 2016, reported the dance music market was up 3% to $7.4 billion dollars, up from $7.1 billion the year before.
Posted by Glen Sears | May 22, 2017 10:42 am | No Comments
Story of the Week
SiriusXM’s Pandora Buyout Could Be Back On
That’s according to a new report from the New York Post, which suggests that Sirius recently restarted talks with Pandora’s banks and is currently “discussing the size of a potential offer.”
Top Music News Highlights
Pandora Sued By PayPal For Alleged ‘Harmful’ Logo Infringement. PayPal’s suit, filed on May 19, claims: “The similarities between the logos are striking, obvious, and patently unlawful. Just like the PayPal logo, the Pandora logo is a capital P in block style, sans serif, with no counter, in the same deep-blue color range.”
Merlin Agrees Multi-Year Licensing Deal With HD Music Firm MQA. The partnership will enable the number of independent labels represented by Merlin to encode their master recordings in MQA’s master quality audio technology.
Department of Justice Appeals Consent Decree Ruling, BMI Hits Back. The DOJ claims that BMI is seeking to include a special exception for split works and it notes that while BMI has the right to license some of these split works on a full-works basis, it is asking the court to create an exception for all split works so that it can provide fractional licenses for those songs.
France’s Sacem Posts Record Revenues of $1.5 Billion. Of that total, $1.3 billion was paid out to members and affiliate neighboring rights organizations (up 2% on 2015) with just under $67 million invested in almost 2,000 creative and cultural sustainability projects – including financial support for music venues and festivals – to help “ensure long term growth for the industry.”
The MP3 Is Dead, Long Live The MP3. The last of the patents related to the MP3 format expired (or will very soon), so patent-holder Fraunhofer IIS has nothing left to license.
Digest: Spotify Nearing WMG Deal and May List Directly, SoundExchange Acquires CMRRA, eMusic Relaunches
Posted by Glen Sears | May 15, 2017 9:28 am | No Comments
Story of the Week
Warner Music Boss Nears Royalty Deal With Spotify
Sources tell On the Money that Warner and Spotify are getting this close to a new royalty agreement and a deal could be signed by June; if inked, Daniel Ek’s Spotify would be on the way to its long-planned IPO — expected in the final quarter of 2017.
Top Music News Headlines
Spotify Valued At $13bn – And Is Pushing Ahead With A Direct Listing. The move would be the biggest test yet for the direct listing process, which for companies willing to list shares without raising capital eliminates the need for a Wall Street bank or broker to underwrite an initial public offering (IPO) along with many associated fees.
SoundExchange Moves Into Publishing Rights By Acquiring Canadian Body CMRRA. The organization has been thriving in recent years, but its business model faces some undeniable threats: SoundExchange’s biggest source of revenues, Pandora, is failing to grow its listener base – and recently inked direct licensing deals for the first time to cover its new three-tiered streaming product.
Pandora Secures At Least $150m Investment But May Still Sell. Pandora’s revenues grew by 6.3% year-on-year to $316m in the first quarter of 2017, however, the company’s net loss increased from $115.1m in Q1 2016 to $132.3m a year later, with a 9.4% hike in content acquisition costs to $187.4m one of the key reasons.
Australian Streaming Guvera Service Has Shut Down. According to CEO Herft’s letter to shareholders, the company will look into selling or commercializing some of its “valuable” intellectual properties in an attempt to get back on its feet.
eMusic Relaunches As Indie-Centric Music Service. The “fully overhauled and upgraded” eMusic is based around a music ownership model rather than an access streaming model and offers users free and discounted downloads, cloud-based storage, universal access on any device and a catalog of 32 million titles exclusively from independent labels.
Smule Raises $54M At $604M Valuation. Social music startup Smule has raised $54 million in a strategic financing round led by Tencent, used to expand the service, which has 54 million monthly active users creating over 20 million songs daily, into Asia.
Google Releases Study Defending YouTube’s Value To Music Biz; Trade Bodies Hit Back. According to a European study carried out by RBB Economics, if music content was removed from YouTube around 85 percent of the time that users spend on the platform would switch to lower value channels, such as TV, radio or internet radio.
iTunes and Apple Music Coming to Microsoft’s Windows Store. Microsoft said that once the app is released to the Windows Store, users of its just-revealed Windows 10 S operating system will get a “complete” iTunes experience, including Apple Music and full support for iPhone syncing.
Universal Music Group Revenue Rises 12.7%, Biggest Q1 In 15 Years. A UMG company spokesman said that the first quarter revenue was its highest first quarter total since UMG reported 1.365 billion euros ($1.48 billion) back in the first quarter of 2002.
Posted by Glen Sears | May 8, 2017 9:40 am | No Comments
Story of the Week
Warner Music Group Extends Deal With YouTube
Warner Music Group has extended its recorded music and publishing deals with YouTube, according to the video platform and a memo by WMG CEO Stephen Cooper obtained by Billboard. The memo said WMG was able to secure “the best possible deals under very difficult circumstances” and that term for the deal is shorter so to allow for “more options in the future.”
Other Important Music News
Everything You Need To Know About The “Difficult” WMG, YouTube Deal. Hypebot breaks down the nitty-gritty details of the WMG/YouTube deal and aggregates responses, as well as analysis, from around the internet.
Irving Azoff Hopes Warner Music Avoided ‘Step Backwards’ On YouTube Deal. “I trust that Warner took its responsibility to its artists and insisted on two crucial points: both better control for artists and increased compensation,” Mr. Azoff said in an email.
‘Russia’s Facebook’ Launches Fully Licensed New Spotify Rival. With over 100 million active users, Russian Facebook VKontakte (VK) has the same sized audience as Spotify’s last confirmed active user base (across both freemium and premium users).
SoundExchange Q1 Collections Down Thanks To Pandora Direct Deals. “In these new agreements, Pandora is paying rights owners directly and SoundExchange is continuing to pay artist royalties directly for the service’s ad-supported tier.”
Sony’s The Orchard Buys Independent Distributors Finetunes And Phonofile. The move effectively means Sony has acquired four independent European distributors in little over a year; the company swooped for both Essential Music & Marketing (UK) and Century Media (DE) in 2016 for a combined price of just under $21m.
German Music Publishers Hold ‘Historic’ Meeting to Show Unity Amid Royalty Sharing ‘Crisis.’ Germany’s music publishers are coming to terms after a court decided in November that performing rights society GEMA is not required to give them an equal share of all income.
Posted by Glen Sears | May 1, 2017 9:26 am | No Comments
Top Music News Story
Musical.ly, Apple Music Ink New Partnership
With the new partnership, Musical.ly users will be able to stream full-length songs — rather than just 15-second clips — from Apple Music’s catalog directly within the Musical.ly app, with the further option to save particular songs to their own playlists within Apple Music and access Musical.ly-branded playlists via the streaming service as well.
Other Music News Highlights
Apple Music To Reportedly Relaunch With More Video, Original Programming. “A music service needs to be more than a bunch of songs and a few playlists. I’m trying to help Apple Music be an overall movement in popular culture, everything from unsigned bands to video. We have a lot of plans.”
Merlin Reduces Fees For Indies 25%. “On the back of our new agreement with Spotify, I am proud to announce yet another reduction in our Administration Fee,” Charles Caldas, CEO, Merlin said. “Together it means Merlin continues to deliver maximum value to our members’ digital business, and highlights our ongoing commitment to provide ever greater efficiencies.”
Spotify Hires Mediachain Labs, Blockchain Developers. When applied to the music industry, blockchain technology resembles a secure-but-shared ledger that connects data “blocks” containing data about every song and its rights holders.
Bill to Make Register of Copyrights a Presidential Appointee Approved by U.S. House. The next stop for this reform effort will be the Senate, where thus far legislation to accomplish that end has not been approved.
VKontakte (Russia’s Facebook) Launches Built-In Music Streaming Service. The built-in music service allows users to choose between the subscription-based and ad-supported models, giving them access to tracks licensed from Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Merlin Network and local labels.
Universal Music Group Valued At $22bn – Three Times What It Was Worth In 2013. That’s according to top brass at UMG parent Vivendi, speaking at its annual shareholders’ meeting April 25th in Paris.
Streaming Income For TuneCore Artists grew 85% Last Year. Streaming revenue for TuneCore artists was up 85% with top streaming stores including Apple Music, Tidal, Spotify and Google Play. Publishing revenue for TuneCore artists was up 42% percent from 2015, and sync revenue up 28%.
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