MediaNet Blog

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: Soundcloud Is/Isn’t Running Out of Cash, SESAC Sells to Blackstone (for Maybe A Lot?)

Posted by Glen Sears | January 9, 2017 9:47 am | No Comments

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Top Story This Week

SoundCloud ‘May Run Out Of Cash This Year’ As It Posts $54M Loss
SoundCloud’s losses grew faster than its revenues in 2015 – with the company now admitting that, should its subscription service flop, its funding may run dry this year, according to a new filing at Companies House (UK).

“The assumption of a successful launch of the new subscription service is the key element of [our] financial projections for the next three years… [This] bears financial risks regarding the operating results and cash flows of the group. The occurrence of these risks can seriously affect the ability of the group to generate sufficient cash to cover the planned expenditures and could require the Group to raise additional funds which have not yet been agreed.”

Read the full story on Music Business Worldwide

Other Music News Highlights

SoundCloud Responds To Cash Crunch Claims. In a statement, Soundcloud told journalists: “We are on a very positive path to achieving our aim of enabling all creators to be paid for their work, while also building a financially sustainable platform where our connected community of creators, listeners and curators can continue to thrive.”

Blackstone to Acquire Music Rights Organization SESAC. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but this marks Blackstone’s first step in a new strategy to hold onto private investments longer than most equity firms, a point highlighted by SESAC CEO John Josephson in the announcement.

Was Blackstone’s SESAC Acquisition a $1 Billion Deal? Ed Christman looks at the tea leaves in the Blackstone/SESAC acquisition that “might well be $1 billion deal,” including company financials and Wall Street reports.

BMI Files Action Against RMLC Over Royalty Rate Proposal. “The RMLC can point to no changed circumstances that warrant a reduction in BMI’s interim or final rate,” the BMI filing states. “BMI believes that the market developments will support a final rate of greater than 1.7 percent of gross revenue payable to BMI.”

BMG Responds To Appeal In Cox Communications Dispute. “Cox claims that BMG’s notices are ‘littered with flaws’, but Cox was able to identify errors in a tiny handful of the 1.8 million BMG notices at issue — the evidence showed that Rightscorp’s system was ‘well over 99%’ accurate.”

SiriusXM Ends 2016 With More Than 31 Million Subscribers. The company also said that it expects to meet or exceed its 2016 guidance for revenue, adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), as well as free cash flow when it reports its full financials next month.

All Three Major Labels, Pandora and RIAA Announce Support for Hi-Res Audio Streaming. The announcement came during, and from, the 50th Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas where the DEG sponsored a hi-res “Audio Pavilion.” The exhibition manifested its “Stream the Studio” message with a fully-equipped world-class recording facility filled with hi-res devices and showcasing a series of live demo sessions with award-winning engineers.

Our best wishes for a great week! – MediaNet

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RECAP: DOJ Appeals Stanton BMI Decision, Cox Appeals BMG Verdict, Facebook Moves Toward Media

Posted by Glen Sears | November 14, 2016 9:23 am | No Comments

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Dept. of Justice Appeals BMI Consent Decree Decision

Story of the Week
The Department of Justice has filed a notice that it is appealing a September ruling by federal Judge Louis Stanton that concluded fractional licensing is allowed under the BMI consent decree. This appeal, which was expected, comes after the Judge KO’d the DOJ’s interpretation that the consent decree requires 100 percent licensing, AKA full-works licensing.

“While we hoped the DOJ would accept Judge Stanton’s decision, we are not surprised it chose to file an appeal,” BMI president/CEO Mike O’Neill said in a statement. “It is unfortunate that the DOJ continues to fight for an interpretation of BMI’s consent decree that is at odds with hundreds of thousands of songwriters and composers, the country’s two largest performing rights organizations, numerous publishers and members of the music community, members of Congress, a U.S. Governor, the U.S. Copyright Office and, in Judge Stanton, a federal judge.”

“We believe Judge Stanton’s decision is correct and look forward to defending our position in the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.”

Read the full story on Billboard.

Top Music News Stories

Cox Communications Appeals Against $25m BMG Verdict. Cox has said it is entitled to a new trial against music publisher BMG Rights Management because of several errors by a federal judge in Virginia.

Amazon Music Unlimited lands in the UK, Germany, and Austria. One month after the new on-demand streaming service launched in the U.S. Amazon has brought the service to the U.K.; Germany and Austria are close behind.

Apple Aquires Tech, Talent Of Bankrupt Music Streamer Omnifone. According to sources from TechCrunch, Apple hired at least 16 employees and purchased select technology from Omnifone, an early player in streaming music services.

SoundCloud On Acquisition Talk: ‘There Is A Lot Of Interest In Us.’ “We are very determined that we are building a sustainable platform,” he said. “We are focused on the long game here and it has been a long time coming.”

Napster Posted A $1.6m Profit For Its Latest Quarter. Napster recorded a net profit of just over $1.6m in the third quarter of 2016, according to the financial results of RealNetworks, which has a 42% ownership stake in the music streamer.

“Facebook Is Finally Ready To Become A Media Company.” According to analyst Mark Mulligan, Facebook “is now about to start looking and behaving much more like a media company, but in doing so it will rewrite the rule book on what a media company is.”

Orlando Buys Pulse Nightclub, Plans to Turn It Into Memorial. “This location is now a permanent part of Orlando’s history, it’s the site of the most tragic event that has ever occurred in the City of Orlando. We want our entire community to be a part of this site.”

Finally last week, the music industry lost a major talent in Leonard Cohen. As a songwriter, poet, singer, and popular icon, Cohen contributed so much to our industry and will be remembered fondly in our hearts.

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.

RECAP: Judge Rules Against ‘100 Percent Licensing,’ IFPI Releases New Reports, TIDAL Posts Big Losses

Posted by Glen Sears | September 19, 2016 8:43 am | No Comments

bmi rate court overturn 100 percent licensing

Story of the Week

Federal judge rules against Dept. of Justice’s ‘100 Percent’ Licensing decision
In a surprise move, BMI’s rate court judge ruled on Friday that fractional licensing is allowed under the consent decree the performing-rights organization operates under, according to a statement from BMI.

According to Stanton’s ruling, “The consent decree neither bars fractional licensing nor requires full-work licensing,” which is the exact opposite of what the DOJ argued when it gave ASCAP and BMI one year to employ full-works licensing.

Since the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees are similar, some hope that the ASCAP rate court Judge Denise Cote will follow suit, should the matter come before her. Now the question becomes, will the Dept. of Justice turn to Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit? “The Department of Justice has received the Order and is reviewing it,” a DOJ spokesperson said in a statement.

Read the full story on Billboard

Top Music News Stories

IFPI makes stream-ripping latest front in YouTube row… The IFPI commissioned research firm Ipsos to survey fans in 13 countries, and claims that the study reveals almost half of 16-24 year-olds now use stream-ripping software, making it a more popular form of music piracy than file-sharing.

…and finds that one-third of under-25’s now pay for a streaming service. South Korea, Sweden and Mexico are identified as the most popular (per population) markets for subscription services, with about four in every ten people paying for a music subscription. In the U.S. and U.K., the number was around two in every ten; in Japan around one in every ten.

Tidal posts $28M net loss in 2015, more than double the year before. It’s been a big year for Tidal, as the company has released exclusive albums from Beyonce, Kanye West and Rihanna…but the company has more than doubled its net losses while increasing its revenue only 30 percent.

Recorded music sales up in Sweden as streaming revenue grows 10%. The results help banish fears that Sweden’s streaming growth had hit a saturation point – a worry first raised when Sweden’s overall recorded music income dipped by 0.4% in 2014.

Pandora launches Pandora Plus, an improved version of its $5 subscription service. “Whether a listener wants to take advantage of our enhanced ad-supported experience, our ground-breaking subscription radio service, or our fully interactive on-demand option coming later this year, we have a solution tailored for you at a price point you can afford,” Westergren said in a statement.

Spotify reaches 40m subscribers six months after passing 30m. Spotify isn’t claiming that all 40 million subscribers are paying $9.99 a month: its milestone is purely about the number of people on its services.

Warner Brothers reports its own site as illegal. As the popularity of takedown notices continues to grow, some are taking things a little too far including, it seems, Warner Brothers Pictures, a company which accidentally requested Google remove Warner Brothers’ own website from its search results.

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!

BBC Planning Its Own Music Streaming Service, and the Week in Review

Posted by Glen Sears | September 14, 2015 2:19 pm | No Comments

bbc new music streaming service medianet

Story of the Week

The BBC says it is planning to launch a ‘New Music Discovery Service’, which would make the 50,000 tracks broadcast by the BBC every month available to stream for a limited period. This digital platform will go one better than the ‘BBC Playlister’ initiative launched in 2013, which allowed listeners and viewers to transfer playlists of radio DJs’ shows to Spotify and other services.

This time, the BBC will directly compete with the likes of Spotify and Apple for the attention of music fans – with a fully-fledged online music streaming service, owned and hosted by the Beeb. “We must evolve our music offering so that it serves new audience needs and habits and allows us to remain a strong partner and contributor to the UK creative sector.”

There is no set timeline for launch, although it’s certainly more than just an idea, with the BBC revealing that it has already developed a digital music proposal with the music industry.

Read More: http://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/bbc-takes-on-spotify-and-apple-music-while-helping-them-out/

Other Important Headlines

95 Percent of Streaming Music Catalogs Are ‘Irrelevant’ to Consumers, Study Finds – “Indeed, just 5% of streaming catalogues is regularly frequented. Most of the rest is irrelevant for most consumers.” Read More

PRS For Music To Review Over 40 Public Performance Tariffs – The UK publishing sector’s collecting society is simplifying, streamlining and consolidating over 40 of its “tariffs”, in order to make it easier to acquire public performance licences for songs. Read More

BMI Reports Record Breaking $1 Billion Revenue – The performing rights organization reported its highest ever revenue collection of over $1 billion, and with it comes its largest ever distribution of $877 million to songwriters, composers and music publishers. Read More

Music Nerd? Here’s What You Need to Know From Apple’s “Hey Siri” Keynote – For music junkies there were a number of big announcements. We’ve detailed the most notable below. Read More

Digital Usage Continues to Rapidly Rise in Latin America – Digital usage continued to rise in the region between April 2014 through April 2015, according to a new comScore report, “Latin America Digital Future in Focus.” Read More

Should One Co-Writer Have the Power to License a Collaborative Work? – “This is a complicated subject but it basically means that if either of these PROs controls any part of a song, no matter how small, they would be required to license the entire song without the approval of those who control the remainder.” Read More

Google Was Processing 23 Copyright Takedowns A Second Last Month – The takedown notices to which we refer are those issued under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act against the Google search engine. Read More

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U.S. DOJ Considering Baffling New Licensing Rules, and Apple Music Is (or Isn’t) Succeeding [Soundcheck]

Posted by Glen Sears | August 3, 2015 10:58 am | No Comments

DOJ music licensing publishing ASCAP BMI

Story of the Week

The Dept. of Justice Said to Be Considering a Baffling New Rule Change for Song Licensing
Read More: http://bit.ly/1DlaKQK
According to numerous sources, the DoJ has sent a letter to two performance rights societies (ASCAP & BMI) governed by the consent decree, telling them that on “split works” songs — songs written by multiple writers — any writer or rights holder can issue a license for 100 percent of the song. In other words, the long-established industry practice of each rights owner greenlighting their particular portion of a song in order to establish a license — also known as fractional licensing — may no longer be allowed.

Currently, if a song has multiple writers, each writer must give permission for a song to be licensed for a cover, streaming service, or sync with film. These new laws, if verified and eventually passed, “would turn music publishing into the Wild West.” “If the DoJ follows through on this position, it could upend every agreement between co-writers and producers,” says one publishing executive.

Other Important Headlines

RIAA and Other Groups Revisit Case Against Cnet Over Downloads in New Letter – A 16-member coalition sent a letter stating that the CBS-owned property “has made various computer, web, and mobile applications available that induce users to infringe copyrighted content by ripping the audio or the audio and video from what might be an otherwise legitimate stream.” Read More

SFX Gives Sillerman Two Weeks to Secure Financing For Takeover Bid – After finding no other bidders, the SFX board says Sillerman has two weeks to provide proof of secured financing for his proposed (and overdue) takeover of the EDM promoter. Read More

Apple Music Racked Up 10 Million Subscribers in Less Than a Month… Three weeks after Apple Music’s launch, Apple CEO Tim Cook said “millions and millions of customers” had already signed up for the new streaming service. Read More

…But Apple Music Streams Just 4% Of Spotify, Says Indie Distributor – Independent music digital distributor DashGo, monitoring activity for its artists, says that, so far, streams from Apple Music are only 4% of what they see from Spotify. Read More

Soundcloud Subscription Tier Is Coming – While the exact details haven’t been revealed yet, it’s believed that the service will offer a free tier with a capped number of streams and downloads per month, and a paid tier where both are unlimited. Read More

No Happy Birthday Decision After New “Smoking Gun” Evidence Submitted – The judge overseeing the ‘Happy Birthday’ copyright dispute has pushed back any decision making for at least another week. Read More

1000 Musicians Gather To Lure Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters To Italy – It’s the most impressive video you’ll watch all week. Read More

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FAQ: When Will My Performing Rights Organization Pay Me?

Posted by Glen Sears | July 28, 2015 8:24 am | No Comments

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Performing rights organizations, or PROs, are societies responsible for collecting income on behalf of songwriters and music publishers when a song is publicly broadcast. This includes live covers, radio plays, television plays, internet radio services like Pandora, streaming services like Spotify, restaurants or bars, nightclubs, and any other public performance. All these users pay the associated PRO a fee, which the PROs then pay to their registered songwriters.

For a comparison of performing rights organizations, click here.

Given the different processes in digital music, PROs have different distribution schedules. Many times payments will be remitted as much as two quarters following the performance. We’ve taken the liberty of combining all 3 U.S. PRO payment schedules here:

ASCAP

ASCAP, an organization owned and run by its members, is the leading U.S. Performing Rights Organization representing over 540,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers.

2015 DATES TYPE PERFORMANCE PERIOD
April 6, 2015 Domestic Writers July, August & September 2014 (3Q14)
May 11, 2015 International Distribution
June 19, 2015 Domestic Publishers October, November & December 2014 (4Q14)
July 6, 2015 Domestic Writers October, November & December 2014 (4Q14)
August 10, 2015 International Distribution
September 18, 2015 Domestic Publishers January, February & March 2015 (1Q15)
October 5, 2015 Domestic Writers January, February & March 2015 (1Q15)
November 9, 2015 International Distribution
December 18, 2015 Domestic Publishers April, May & June 2015 (2Q15)

Source: http://www.ascap.com/members/payment/distribution.aspx

BMI

BMI is the bridge between songwriters and the businesses and organizations that want to play their music publicly. As a global leader in music rights management, BMI serves as an advocate for the value of music, representing more than 8.5 million musical works created and owned by more than 650,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers.

PERFORMANCES BETWEEN ENTERED BY PAYMENT
October 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014 June 30, 2014 September 2014
January 1, 2014 – June 30, 2014 September 30, 2014 January 2015
April 1, 2014 – September 30, 2014 December 21, 2014 March 2015
July 1, 2014 – December 31, 2014 March 31, 2015 June 2015
October 1, 2014 – March 31, 2015 June 30, 2015 September 2015

Source: http://www.bmi.com/faq/entry/how_often_is_this_paid_out

SESAC

SESAC currently licenses the public performances of more than 400,000 songs on behalf of its 30,000 affiliated songwriters, composers and music publishers.

Domestic Royalty Payments

PERFORMANCES OCCURRING BETWEEN ARE DISTRIBUTED ON OR AROUND
January 1 – March 31 (Qtr 1) June 30
April 1- June 30 (Qtr 2) September 30
July 1 – September 30 (Qtr 3) December 31
October 1 – December 31 (Qtr 4) March 31 (next year)

Foreign Royalty Payments

ROYALTIES RECEIVED FROM FOREIGN ARE DISTRIBUTED ON OR AROUND
January 1 – March 31 September 30
April 1- June 30 December 31
July 1 – September 30 March 31 (next year)
October 1 – December 31 June 30 (next year)

Monthly Radio Royalty Payments
Radio-Payments-Schedule
Source: http://www.sesac.com/WritersPublishers/HowWePay/GeneralInfo.aspx

Have more questions about managing your musical rights and payments? Email us here!

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