Posted by Glen Sears | August 14, 2017 9:22 am | No Comments
SoundCloud Accepts $170 Million Rescue, Taps New CEO to Replace Alex Ljung. The Raine Group, a boutique merchant bank, joined with the Singapore-based investment company Temasek, in leading a $169.5 million investment round that infuses SoundCloud with much-needed cash, and former Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor succeeds founder Alex Ljung as chief executive.
3 Things Soundcloud Should Do To Stay Afloat. The Next Web suggest that “beyond just reshuffling upper management, there are a few things the company can do to stay alive, now that it’s starting a new chapter with a leaner team.”
TIDAL Names 4th CEO In 2.5 Years, Former Kobalt, Sony Exec Richard Sanders. Sanders joins as Kanye West threatens a major lawsuit, but buoyed by a $200 million investment from Sprint, which acquired a 33% stake of TIDAL in January.
Amazon Is Eyeing U.S. Ticketing Business. According to Reuters, Amazon sees the U.S. ticketing market as a “ripe” field for business development by the e-commerce giant, driven by consumer dislike of ticket fees and venue owners and sports leagues who want alternatives for ticket distributors.
Posted by Glen Sears | August 7, 2017 9:19 am | No Comments
Could A Major Label Have Rescued Soundcloud? According to MBW, “SoundCloud’s first-on-the-ground relationship with millions of musicians could be of immense strategic A&R value to any large rights-holder interested in being first to frontline signings.”
Spotify Is Set To End 2017 With 70M Subscribers And $5B In Revenue. Spotify’s growth rate looks healthy, according to Music Business Worldwide’s deep dive into their numbers, but they still believe “doubts remain over the long-term viability of Spotify’s current model.”
Apple In Talks Over $1B Buyout Of Major Music & Movie Company In India. Eros is the largest movie producer in India, with the music recordings associated with these movies housed under subsidiary Eros Music.
Facebook Is Hiring For A Music Publishing Head In Europe. Facebook’s ad for the EMEA publishing role notes that the successful candidate will also “collaborate with our product and media partnerships teams to ensure a coordinated and best-in-class licensing structure.”
Sony Music Revenue, Operating Income Up Double Digits In First Quarter. Streaming and physical sales rise, digital downloads fall and Harry Styles’ debut album leads the way in the company’s fiscal Q1 report.
Judge Rules KickassTorrents Founder Artem Vaulin Properly Charged. Vaulin is currently in a jail cell in Poland after the 31-year-old was charged last year by U.S. authorities with running one of the world’s most popular places to illegally obtain movies, television shows, songs and video games.
SoundCloud May Have New Equity Deals, YouTube Red Merging with Google Play, SESAC Strikes U.S. Radio Deal
Posted by Glen Sears | July 31, 2017 9:25 am | No Comments
SoundCloud Nears Deal To Sell Majority Stake To Private Equity Firms. A pair of private equity firms are reportedly close to each taking a separate stake in the unprofitable music streamer that would collectively mean the acquisition of a majority of the company.
YouTube Red And Google Play Music To Merge, Says Lyor Cohen. Cohen didn’t talk timescale or details, but Google has issued its own statement to The Verge confirming that the plans are afoot, following its decision to combine the two services’ teams in February this year.
SESAC Strikes Landmark US Radio Deal. The private US-based licensing organization has reached a new deal with the Radio Music License Committee, which the PRO claims will result in substantially larger rates for its clients that ASCAP’s equivalent agreement.
Pandora Shuts Down In Australia And New Zealand After 5 Years. “We’re honored to have connected so many listeners with the music they love these past few years. Thank you for your loyalty and the opportunity to serve you.”
Facebook Takes Another Big Step Towards The Music Biz With Source3 Buyout. The move is being looked on in many quarters as evidence that Facebook wants to shore up the ability of its Rights Manager platform in order to catch copyright infringing videos on its platform.
ASCAP, BMI Are Building A Joint Song Database. The database, which will be publicly available initially via ASCAP’s and BMI’s websites, will feature aggregated information from both repertories.
ASCAP-BMI Song Database Plan Rollout Questioned. Some industry executives said the nearly two-year-long effort to create a single database is a step in the right direction, but others are disappointed that it omits key data and for now excludes SESAC and Global Music Rights.
PBS CEO Warns Federal Cuts Will Mean ‘A Number’ of Stations Will Shut Down. Many of those stations are in rural and underserved areas, she said, with residents who either don’t have access to cable or satellite or can’t afford it and who rely on over-the-air broadcasting.
Posted by Glen Sears | July 17, 2017 10:04 am | No Comments
Spotify Sony Deal Confirmed. The terms include windowing, which would allow the label group to keep some tracks and albums from the music streamer’s free tier for up to two weeks.
German Music Publishers Say It’s ‘High Time’ the EU Acted on YouTube. “These online platforms are still not giving creative people reasonable and fair remuneration. This is a grave injustice and cannot be tolerated any longer.”
Judge Voids Prince $31 Million Universal Music Deal. The request was filed by UMG after the company learned that many of the tracks it had paid for were still under contract with Warner Music Group.
Amazon Is Now The 3rd Biggest Music Subscription Service. Mark Mulligan of MiDIA Research states, “Amazon can now discard its dark horse guise and be revealed for what it is: one of the top streaming music players.”
Facebook Reveals Plans To Negotiate With Existing Digital Music Platforms. “This role will lead Facebook’s strategy and negotiations with digital music services, as well as collaborate with our product, media partnerships and platform partnerships teams to ensure a coordinated and best-in-class approach.”
Warner Music Group Acquires Songkick Concert Discovery App. The surprise deal, which appears motivated by the startups protracted legal battle with Ticketmaster, includes Songkick’s concert discovery app and web site, but not its ticketing business.
SoundCloud Responds Reports Of Impending Insolvency. Soundcloud CEO Alex Ljung responded to a TechCrunch report claiming the company would be insolvent in 50 days, saying “There are a number of inaccuracies within the TechCrunch article.”
Lyor Cohen Details YouTube’s Future Product Plans. YouTube’s Global Head of Music Lyor Cohen sat down with the board of directors of A2IM recently and detailed the video channel’s priorities and product plans for 2017.
Posted by Glen Sears | July 10, 2017 10:25 am | No Comments
SoundCloud Lays Off 40 Percent of Staff, Commits to ‘Independent Future’
In a statement on SoundCloud’s blog announcing the move, co-founder and CEO Alex Ljung wrote that the layoffs were due to a long-term desire to achieve profitability through cost reduction and revenue growth, in order to be “in control of SoundCloud’s independent future.”
After Laying Off 173 Employees, Does SoundCloud Really Have A ‘Path To Profitability’? According to Music Business Worldwide, in the context of SoundCloud’s recent financial results, it arguably doesn’t seem very realistic.
How Soundcloud Could Transform Deezer’s Market Narrative. Mark Mulligan claims that, despite this shift in its public narrative, Soundcloud remains a uniquely valuable asset in the streaming landscape, one that would give another streaming service a distinct competitive advantage.
Radio Still Has A Wider Weekly Reach Than Smartphones, TV. With all of the press and meteoric growth of streaming, it easy to discount radio, but for sheer monthly reach, nothing beats it, according to a new chart.
Concord Buys Yet Again In Multi-Million Dollar Deal With Warner. Concord has, in the past few weeks, fully acquired a bundle of recorded music rights as part of Warner’s post-Parlophone divestment process, including the Atlantic catalogue of US Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Jewel.
Because Confirms Acquisition Of London Records Catalog. Because stands to acquire some standout London Records catalog from Warner’s post-Parlophone divestment process, including classic albums by the Happy Mondays (like Bummed, pictured), who were originally signed to Factory Records.
Pandora CEO May Be Stepping Down, Apple Music Wants Lower Royalty Payments, TuneCore Nears $1B Revenue
Posted by Glen Sears | June 26, 2017 10:56 am | No Comments
Story of the Week
Pandora CEO Tim Westergren May Be Stepping Down, According to a New Report
According to Recode, Pandora hasn’t selected a replacement for Westergren, sources say; he will likely stay on at the company he founded 17 years ago until a new CEO is in place.
Top Music News Highlights
Pandora [P] Stock Up On Report Of CEO Westergren’s Exit. Wall Street seemed to approve of the potential changes at Pandora, with Pandora stock up 2.78% to $8.51 by mid-day trading.
Apple Wants To Reduce Royalty Rate It Pays Record Labels. According to a report from Bloomberg, the Cupertino giant’s long-term licensing deals with the labels for both Apple Music and iTunes are due to expire at the end of this month.
TuneCore Artists Nearing $1 Billion in Revenue. The company said that as of May 31, artists have earned more than $920 million on the strength of over 75 billion streams and downloads.
Elon Musk’s Tesla Looks Set To Launch Its Own Music Streaming Service. Tesla is reportedly looking at launching multiple tiers of pricing, starting with a ‘Pandora-like web radio offering’.
The BPI Has Now Sent 312M Takedowns To Google. In the last month alone, the BPI has requested 11.2m URLs to be removed from Google’s public search listings, with Google’s transparency report revealing that 99.8% of URLS reported by the body are ultimately removed.
YouTube & ASCAP Announce Landmark Data Sharing Agreement, SOCAN Beats Royalty Records, Believe Digital Seeking Sale
Posted by Glen Sears | June 19, 2017 8:58 am | No Comments
Story of the Week
YouTube, ASCAP to Share Data in First-Ever Voluntary Deal
In what is the performance rights group’s first-ever fully-negotiated, voluntary licensing deal with the decade-old video hub not prompted by a rate-court proceeding, ASCAP will combine its database of 10.5 million musical works with YouTube’s data exchange, a move that ASCAP’s CEO Elizabeth Matthews says will result in bigger payouts.
Other Music News Highlights
Canada’s SOCAN Collected Record-Setting $249M In Royalties For 2016. The PRO said it recorded “new highs on almost every front,” with nearly 4,500 businesses that use music became “licensed to play” with SOCAN and 6,500 additional songwriters, composers and music publishers signed up for membership.
Merlin Deals Paying Out The Equivalent Of Nearly $1M A Day To Independent Labels. Before the end of March, Merlin’s admin fee for these members was 2% of total revenues – it proudly reduced this to 1.5% in April – suggesting its total collections in the 2016/2017 period stood at around $360M.
Believe Digital Actively Seeks Sale, Major Players Show Interest. Global independent distributor, label services provider, and TuneCore owner Believe Digital is for sale, sources tell Hypebot, and a two to three week deadline has been set for initial bids.
Sony/ATV’s Martin Bandier Calls on Spotify, Apple Music, And YouTube To Credit Songwriters. While he acknowledged that songwriters and publishers are beginning to benefit from the uptick in revenues with the rise of streaming, he was quick to note that “songwriters and music publishers, while we’re headed in the right direction, the fruits of our labor are not being equitably rewarded and we are not benefiting from the streaming revolution as meaningfully as we should.”
Spotify Revenues Hit $3.3B In 2016 – But Net Losses Soared To $597M. The streaming giant’s revenues saw healthy growth of 52%, but the ongoing cost of debt and widening operations costs ballooned its net losses over 133%.
Digest: SiriusXM Buys $480M Stake in Pandora, Pandora Unloads Ticketfly, 3 Takeaways from Midem 2017
Posted by Glen Sears | June 12, 2017 10:07 am | No Comments
Story of the Week
SiriusXM to Buy $480M Stake in Pandora
Under the terms of the agreement, a subsidiary of SiriusXM will purchase news convertible preferred stock of Pandora, while SiriusXM has already bought $172.5 million of preferred stock representing a stake of 19 percent in Pandora’s, or a 16 percent stake when converted.
Other Music News Highlights
Pandora Sells Ticketfly To Eventbrite For $200M, A $250M Loss. The Ticketfly transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017 — Eventbrite is funding the acquisition using a combination of $150 million in cash and a $50 million note payable to Pandora.
Analysis: What Pandora’s Ticketfly Sale and SiriusXM Investment Means. The money from the deals, coupled with the $199 million that the company disclosed in 2016 year-end report, gives the company a total of $856 million in cash—buying Pandora time to prove it can build a successful, profitable on-demand music service.
3 Big Takeaways From Midem 2017. Zach Fuller of MiDIA Research shares his top three takeaways from the annual conference addressing the latest developments in the music industry.
YouTube Has A New Label Relations Boss: SoundCloud’s Stephen Bryan. Cohen, Global Head of Music at YouTube, said: “At YouTube, we have over a billion viewers and thousands of label partners and Stephen is going to be the bridge that brings them together.
Taylor Swift’s Catalog Now On Other Streamers As Apple Music Loses Key Exclusive. Recently Spotify eliminated a key Taylor Swift objection to streaming, adding the ability to window releases.
Posted by Glen Sears | June 5, 2017 9:44 am | No Comments
Story of the Week
Concord Bicycle Music Acquires Imagem In $600 Million Deal, Sources Say
The acquisition of Imagem, first reported by the New York Times, would make Bicycle Music the sixth largest music publisher in the world, Billboard estimates.
Other Top Music News
Concord’s Imagem Buy Marks The Birth Of A Major Player In Music. The last music industry acquisition of a comparable size would have been Sony Corp’s $750m acquisition of the 50% in Sony/ATV it didn’t already own, which completed in August last year.
Sony Merges The Orchard and Red Essential Into Single Division. Based in central London, the new enterprise will take The Orchard name and be led by Red Essential co-managing directors Ian Dutt and Mike Chadwick.
Announcing MIDiA’s State Of The Streaming Nation 2 Report. MIDiA’s 2nd annual benchmark of the global streaming business presents a definitive assessment of the global market, combining an unprecedented breadth and depth of supply side, demand side and market level data, as well as revenue and user forecasts out to 2025.
What Will Spotify’s $43 Million Class Action Settlement Mean For Publishers? Since it’s an opt-out settlement, songwriters and publishers who own works registered with the U.S. Copyright Office are assumed to be included unless they say otherwise.
SoundCloud’s Stephen Bryan Headed To YouTube, Say Sources. As Chief Content Officer at SoundCloud, Bryan was instrumental in closing deals with Universal, Sony, and Warner – agreements which enabled SoundCloud to launch on-demand streaming tier SoundCloud Go.
Napster Makes 20M Indie Tracks Available In Japan With Rakuten Partnership. “Today, we’re excited to partner with Rakuten, a world-class brand, to extend the Napster experience into Asia and bring the Japanese music community access to over 20 million tracks through our partnership with Rakuten Music.”
Warner/Chappell Strikes Multi-Territory Deal With France’s SACEM. The deal specifically covers the administration and licensing of mechanical rights to YouTube, Deezer and French streaming service Qobuz.
Canadians Listen to Way More Radio Than Americans, Study Finds. Edison Research results showed that AM/FM radio stations account for 61 percent of all Canadian listening, whether over-the-air or via streaming, with the U.S. at 50 percent.
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.
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