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Spotify and Sony Reach Deal, Amazon Music Grows, Facebook Reveals Music Plans

Posted by Glen Sears | July 17, 2017 10:04 am | No Comments

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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.

Digest: Fans More Willing To Pay For Music, Amazon’s Music Plans, Slacker Lays Off Staff

Posted by Glen Sears | April 17, 2017 9:20 am | No Comments

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Top Music News Story

Fans Have A Growing Willingness To Actually Pay For Music
Music fans are showing a growing willingness to actually pay for music, and that is helping to drive the current growth in the recorded music industry. In fact, the value of those fans grew 11% last year driven by tens of millions of $10 per month on-demand subscriptions, according to MusicWatch’s Annual Music Study.

Read the full story on Hypebot

Other Music News Highlights

“Music Streaming Still Needs To Get A Lot Easier For Consumers.” In an exclusive interview with MBW, Steve Boom discusses Amazon’s ambitions in digital music, streaming’s potential to grow globally, the tricky subject of artist exclusives and free vs. paid- plus the small matter of how we’re all going to listen to music in future.

Slacker Radio Has Laid Off 25% Of Its Staff. “Slacker Radio is laying off approximately 25% of the team as part of our ongoing effort to focus on efficiency and accelerate the path towards profitability.”

Pandora Is Now Talking To Private Equity Firms In Search Of Cash. Pandora is in talks with private equity firms Providence Equity Partners, Silver Lake, KKR and others; tandem talks with other potential partners about strategic investments and even sale are continuing, and Pandora hired Centerview Partners last July to explore strategic options.

TuneCore Now Offers Musicians and Indie Labels Fast, Low Cost Royalty Advances. TuneCore launched TuneCore Direct Advance in collaboration with Lyric Financial — a new service provides U.S.-based TuneCore customers the option of quick, automated advances on their future distribution sales revenue.

U.K. Recorded Music Industry Grew By 5.1% in 2016. Mark Mulligan of MiDIA Research gives his quick take on another streaming music success, and why there may be more to the story.

Digest: Spotify Acquires Sonalytic To Improve Pub Data, Pandora Premium Launching, NMPA Goes To Court

Posted by Glen Sears | March 13, 2017 10:14 am | No Comments

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Top Music News Story

Spotify Acquires Audio Detection Startup Sonalytic To Improve Publishing Data
Spotify has acquired Sonalytic, a UK based startup that specializes in audio identification that enables us to connect creators and rights-holders to monetization opportunities.

Spotify says it will use Sonalytic audio detection to improve its personalized playlists and to match songs with compositions to improve their publishing data system. Publishing data and subsequent payments have been a source of tension between the music streamer and music publishers and songwriters.

Read the full story on Hypebot.

Other Music News Highlights

Opinion 1: “Spotify Could Use It’s New Acquisition To Take On Shazam.” Hypebot reports that, “in addition to its public intent to use Sonalytic’s audio detection to improve its personalized playlists and to match songs with compositions to improve their publishing data system, Spotify could use it to build its own Shazam.”

Opinion 2: “Could Sonalytic Help Spotify Build, Not Buy SoundCloud?” “If Spotify is so minded, then, it could use Sonalytic’s technology to build its own version of the kind of technology SoundCloud has been developing – and thus open up Spotify’s platform to the kind of mixes, mash-ups and other user-generated content that has been the engine behind SoundCloud’s growth.”

Pandora Premium $9.99 On Demand Streaming To Launch Wednesday. Invites for a free trial will be sent to select users this Wednesday; and an option to upgrade will be available to all listeners over the coming weeks.

Liberty: We’d Buy Pandora… For $1bn Less Than We Offered Last Year. At the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference in Florida, Greg Maffei stated that Liberty believes Pandora’s “stock is overvalued. We will not pay the current market price so I think it’s very unlikely we’re going to end up buying them.”

Amazon Is Getting Involved In The Music Festival Business. The plans will involve a “physical festival presence” which could include “on-site food and product delivery, custom tour merchandise for purchase, artist meet and greets, and convenience amenities such as free Wi-Fi, water, charging stations, and restrooms”.

4,000 Songwriters Sign NMPA Petition As Copyright Royalty Rate Hearings Heat Up. The NMPA, in a statement last week, said, “This week the most important trial most people have never heard of will begin in Washington, D.C.”

“I Don’t See A YouTube Value Gap.” Believe boss Denis Ladegaillerie claims his digital distribution and artist services company earns 20% of its overall revenues worldwide from YouTube, and sees it as a vital revenue and promotion tool.

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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Music News Recap: Amazon Reportedly Expanding Streaming, SFXE Declares Bankruptcy, Cür Music Launches

Posted by Glen Sears | February 1, 2016 10:06 am | No Comments

Amazon may launch its own music streaming service

Amazon Reportedly Preparing to Launch Standalone Music-Streaming Service

Story of the Week
According to the New York Post (who themselves cite unnamed music industry sources), Amazon is prepping a Spotify-killer. The e-commerce giant has held meetings in the past few weeks to discuss licensing tunes for a full-blown subscription music service that would ape streaming music market leaders Spotify and Apple Music, several sources confirmed.

Amazon already has a music streaming service: Prime Music. The service has launched in the world’s four biggest music markets, and is enjoying moderate success. Yet the service is bundled into Amazon’s Prime membership program, with a small 1.4m-tracks catalogue tuned for mainstream listening. The planned stand-alone music streaming service would come with its own monthly fee. “The music industry wants to see all the tech giants fighting it out to try and really take streaming to the mainstream,” one music industry insider said.

As downloads decline and streaming grows, it may make strategic sense for Amazon to prepare a replacement for its MP3 store – but only if this most data-driven of companies identifies an audience of music fans for whom Prime Music won’t be enough—or of Prime Music users who’d be ripe for an upgrade using their billing relationship with Amazon.

Read more on The New York Post, Music Ally

Top Music News Headlines

Cür Music launches to compete with streaming heavyweights. The “hybrid streaming service,” with support from Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group, intersects internet radio services like Pandora and on-demand services like Spotify.

Spotify Raises Half a Billion — Can It Hold Off Apple Music? Spotify wants to have enough capital for any “consolidation opportunities” that arise, like its 2014 acquisition of The Echo Nest or Seed Scientific in 2015.

Apple’s Free iTunes Radio Has Shut Down. As signaled, Apple’s free ad supported iTunes Radio shut down last week, with the Pandora-like online radio service now only available for Apple Music paid subscribers.

SFX Files For Bankruptcy, Sillerman to Be Replaced as CEO. The company says it will to eliminate “more than $300 million” of its $490 million of debt in part by turning the majority of bondholder debt into equity.

YouTube Wins Latest Round With German Collection Society. The Munich Regional Appeal Court ruled against GEMA, which argued that YouTube is technically a music service and therefore responsible for the infringing content found on its site.

Record Labels Accuse MP3Tunes Founder of Separating from Wife to Hide Assets. “Indeed, the timing is highly suggestive that Robertson may have separated from Burcham for the precise purpose of shielding assets from his creditors.”

Is This The End Of AM Radio? Bobby Owsinski claims that with numerous technological changes taking place, demand for AM radio has been steadily dropping—electric cars like the Tesla Model X or BMW i3 don’t install them since the AM reception is impossible due to the internal electrical noise of the car.

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