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RECAP: New Streaming Research Drops, Dubset Opens to NMPA Members, Rhapsody Launches VR

Posted by Glen Sears | May 23, 2016 9:16 am | No Comments

Electric-Jukebox-Infographic-4-700x364

Story of the Week

New Research Claims Streaming ‘Black Hole’ Beyond Millennials
A new survey of British consumers suggests that people older than 35 may be being “left out in the cold” by music-streaming services. And while there’s a caveat here – the research was commissioned by Electric Jukebox, which is launching a streaming service aimed at exactly that demographic – YouGov’s 2,000-person survey still throws up some talking points.

The study claims that 16% of millennials – defined as 14-34 year-olds in this case – have music-streaming subscriptions, compared to 6% of Generation X consumers (35-55 year-olds) and 3% of Baby Boomers (over-55s). “Our research finds the older you are, the less likely you are to stream music and that if you’re over 35 you’re very unlikely to be a subscriber,” said CEO Rob Lewis.

Read the full story on Music Ally.

Top Music News Stories

Dubset/NMPA Deal Means New Income For Indie Artists, Publishers. Just weeks after groundbreaking deals with Apple Music and SoundCloud, Dubset has extended its MixBANK monetization platform to indie songrwriters and publishers that belong to the National Music Publishers’ Association.

SoundCloud Says Reports of DJ Mixes Being Pulled Are Wrong. Despite a report claiming the platform would be pulling down this type of content frequently in the wake of its deals with Universal Music Group and Sony Music, the company tells Billboard that “the story has no truth to it.”

YouTube Adopting New Tool For Faster, More Accurate Royalty Payments. It looks as though the service will soon be implementing a new data standardization tool which will help artists get clearer information regarding views and payments, as well as providing more accurate and efficient royalty accounting.

Pandora’s Biggest Shareholder Urges Sale of Company. In a cage-rattling letter to Pandora’s board of directors, Keith Meister said that Cortex now owns 9.9 percent and urged the streaming company to curb plans to diversify beyond ad-supported radio and explore a sale.

Is Terrestrial Radio Facing Its Judgment Day With Fierce Digital Competition? During a panel discussion at the Worldwide Radio Summit in Los Angeles on April 15, the moderator asked veteran programmer Jim McGuinn, formerly of modern-rock station WPLY (Y100) Philadelphia, why FM was no longer relevant to listeners in their 20s.

Rhapsody/Napster Launches First Virtual Reality Music App. At launch, Rhapsody VR features live performances of Talib Kweli performing his classic “Get By” and Flatbush Zombies performing “Bath Salt” and “Bounce.” There are also performances by The Blind Shake, Low Cut Connie, Sweet Spirit, Eli “Paperboy” Reed and Shannon and The Clams.

Universal Music Appeals Ruling Against VKontakte. Universal was one of the three international majors that filed a lawsuit against VKontake over copyright infringement back in 2014. The others, Sony Music and Warner Music Group, have since signed agreements with the social network.

Our best wishes for a great week! – MediaNet

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Recap: Sony Accuses Rdio of Fraud, TuneCore Arrives in Germany, Streaming Hits New Milestone

Posted by Glen Sears | April 11, 2016 10:02 am | No Comments

pandora rdio medianet soundcheck

Story of the Week

Sony Music Files Fraud Lawsuit Against Rdio Executives Over Pandora Deal
In a new lawsuit, Sony Music alleges it was defrauded of millions when the on-demand service Rdio came to agreement with Pandora and subsequently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last November.

The complaint states: “Unbeknownst to SME, at the same time that Rdio was negotiating the amendment to its Content Agreement with SME, it was simultaneously negotiating its deal with Pandora — under which Rdio would file for bankruptcy; Pandora would buy Rdio’s assets out of bankruptcy; defendant Bay (as part-owner, executive officer, and director of Rdio’s secured creditor) would expect to be first in line to receive proceeds of the Pandora deal; and SME (as an unsecured creditor) would receive pennies on the dollar for the amounts owed to it under the amended Content Agreement.”

Sony says that Rdio purposely kept its Pandora negotiations and impending bankruptcy secret so as to hold back Sony from demanding immediate payment of the $5.5 million and “inducing” extensions and a restructuring of payment obligations.
Read more on Billboard.

Top Music News Stories

TuneCore Launches In Germany. This marks the fifth international expansion for the company which added the UK and Australian markets in 2015.

Rhapsody, Napster Launch The Listener Network Designed To Make Music More Social. Powered by its patent-pending Music Intelligence Engine, The Listener Network connects Rhapsody and Napster users globally to form communities of music lovers with similar tastes to share and discover new music.

Streaming Hits 67.5 Million Subscribers But Identity Crisis Looms. “17% of music buyers account for 61% of spending…The question the music industry must now answer is how seriously does it want to treat the opportunity represented by these [remaining] consumers?”

iHeartMedia Gets More Time To Resolve Its Massive Debt Problems. Interest on the debt is a drag on earnings; in spite of generating $6.5 billion in revenues in 2015, iHeart paid $1.8 billion in interest expense and ended with a total net loss of $651 million.

Bandcamp Has Paid Artists $150M in 8 Years. Amidst the current streaming wars, Bandcamp has largely stayed above the fray without directly competing with the biggest players but serving as an alternative favored in large part by independent artists and labels.

3 Major Players That Could Disrupt The Streaming Music Industry. According to Hugh McIntyre of Forbes, Amazon, Samsung, and Soundcloud have enough leverage and resources to potentially be considered viable challengers.

SFX Bankruptcy Court Allocates $15 Million In Payments To Artists. The judge overseeing the SFX bankruptcy gave top tier EDM artists and their agents reason to celebrate this week with the allocation of $15 million to be paid to artists performing at the beleaguered promoter’s festivals this summer.

Our best wishes for a great week! – MediaNet

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Recap: Soundcloud Goes Premium, TIDAL Sues Previous Owner, UMPG Abandons ASCAP

Posted by Glen Sears | April 4, 2016 9:47 am | No Comments

Soundcloud Go Music Recap Soundcheck Medianet

Story of the Week

Soundcloud Go Paid Subscription Service Finally Launches in the U.S.
The launch comes shortly after SoundCloud reached a licensing deal with Sony Music, the third and final major label to sign on the dotted line, also joining indie agency Merlin and various publishers.

Details? The official price for SoundCloud Go will be $9.99 a month – with a 30-day free trial – with features including offline listening; a catalogue of 125m tracks swelled by the catalogues of those partner labels; and no advertising.

Why “official” price? Because SoundCloud Go is launching through the company’s iOS and Android apps: it’ll cost $9.99 on Android but $12.99 on iOS, due to Apple’s 30% cut of in-app subscriptions. Meanwhile, musicians and other creators who already pay for SoundCloud’s ‘Pro Unlimited’ features will get a discounted rate of $4.99 a month on SoundCloud Go for the first six months.

Read the full story on Music Ally.

Top Music News Stories

SoundCloud Premium Faces Unique And Difficult Challenges. Industry analyst Mark Mulligan says “the current model will not maximize Soundcloud’s vast potential—instead of Spotify-like 15-20% conversion rates, expect King and Supercell-like 1.5-5% rates.”

YouTube Says It Already Pays A Whole Lot Of Royalties. YouTube’s powerful position in the industry makes it a tough financial nut to crack after coming under fire for underpaying on the substantial percentage of total music streams delivered by the service.

What A New Pandora CEO Means For Artists, Labels And Investors. Chris Castle believes Tim Westergren has integrity, but must address Pandora’s overhead, litigation, and lobbying issues to truly turn the company around.

Music Industry A-Listers Call on Congress to Reform Copyright Act. “Artists spanning a variety of genres and generations are submitting comments to the federal government’s U.S. Copyright Office today and tomorrow demanding reforms to the antiquated DMCA which forces creators to police the entire Internet for instances of theft, placing an undue burden on these artists and unfairly favoring technology companies and rogue pirate sites.”

Spotify Raises $1 Billion in Convertible Debt Financing. Convertible debt can be exchanged for stock later and comes with the advantage that it does not require a company valuation at the time of investment and hence does not risk diluting stock value when Spotify goes public.

David Lowery Talks Lawsuits, Licensing, and Free Streaming. “Maybe it was naive of us, but we thought we would solve this problem for everybody – and that services, investors in those services and even the entire music industry might welcome that solution.”

Jay Z Serves Legal Papers to Former Tidal Owners Over ‘Misleading’ Subscriber Numbers. “It became clear after taking control of Tidal and conducting our own audit that the total number of subscribers was actually well below the 540,000 reported to us by the prior owners—as a result, we have now served legal notice to parties involved in the sale.

Bankrupt SFX Forced To Pay Artists 100% In Advance, CEO Sillerman Shares Resignation Letter. “As we enter this next phase, despite the place we find ourselves, there is much to be proud of. It remains incumbent on all of us to refocus our energies and find the path to success that is out there. I am confident that with renewed discipline combined with passion and creativity that our original goals can and will be met.”

UMPG, Ole Pull Production Music Catalogs From ASCAP, Move Them to SESAC. The move has enraged several songwriters groups, which have aligned under the banner MusicAnswers to protest the moves, claiming that writers alone should have the right to decide their PRO affiliation, and that publishers do not have the right to change it unilaterally.

Our best wishes for a great week! – MediaNet

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Recap: Pandora Founder Back as CEO, RIAA Releases 2015 Industry Numbers, YouTube Monetization Explained

Posted by Glen Sears | March 28, 2016 10:38 am | No Comments

Pandora CEO

Story of the Week

Pandora Names Founder Tim Westergren CEO As Part Of Broad Executive Restructuring
Brian McAndrews is out and founder Tim Westergren is in, as the CEO of Pandora, effective immediately. The move is part of a broader restructuring at Pandora, aimed at restoring investor confidence and in anticipation of a possible future sale. Tim Westergren has long been the public face of Pandora, preaching his Music Genome gospel to literally anyone who would listen. Pushed aside in the board room as the company grew and went public, Westergren is now back in charge as Pandora’s new CEO—which is likely great news for artists.

A former touring musician, Tim Westergren has always been a champion of Pandora’s efforts to provide artist data and marketing opportunities. “I am incredibly excited about the future of Pandora. We’re on the cusp of realizing an extraordinary vision: fundamentally changing the way listeners discover and enjoy music, and the way artists build and sustain their careers,” said Westergren. “We are pursuing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a massive, vibrant music marketplace. We have the audience, the technology infrastructure, the monetization engine and most importantly the right team with the passion and commitment to do it.”

Current independent member Jim Feuille is Chairman of the Board. “Tim is the ideal CEO for Pandora as we embark on our next phase of growth,” he said in a statement. “As the original founder, Tim carries the vision for how Pandora can transform the music industry and he is uniquely able to connect with listeners, music makers and employees.”

Read more on Hypebot…

Top Music News Headlines

U.S. Recording Industry Sees Slight Uptick in Revenue Last Year, Streaming Dominates Digital. The 2015 numbers, released last week by the RIAA, arrive bearing both good and bad news for the players in the digital music space.

Vinyl Sales Made More Than YouTube, Spotify and Soundcloud Ads Combined… RIAA figures revealed that vinyl sales made $416 million, while the combined total ad revenue from streaming sites Soundcloud, Spotify and YouTube accounted for only $385 million.

…But Vinyl Sales May Not Have Made More Than Streaming. The RIAA’s vinyl revenue number is based on gross retail sales, but the ad supported streaming revenue number it is compared to is only the net amount paid to labels.

Cracker Barrel Joins the Vinyl ‘Revolution.’ The Southern-themed retailer and roadside restaurant chain with a long track record in country, bluegrass, and faith-based CD sales has officially entered the still-booming vinyl market for the first time, with an exclusive numbered collector’s edition of country duo Joey & Rory’s Hymns That Are Important To Us.

“The Music Industry Finds Itself Fighting Over Pennies While Waving Goodbye To Dollars.” [CHART] A New York Times analysis of the statistics shared this week by the RIAA leads to a sobering conclusion: “…the big sales numbers that have sustained the recorded music business for years are way down, and it is hard to see how they could ever return to where they were even a decade ago.”

Where’s The Money? YouTube Revenues Explained. Chris Castle clears the fog surrounding how revenue from YouTube uploads is determined, as well as how the video sharing site’s content management system functions—and whether or not monetization is the best choice for you.

SoundCloud’s Next Move Will Change the Streaming Game (Again). “It’s a very organic, user-friendly ­experience that’s really social,” says a major-label executive who has seen a ­demonstration that includes the paid tier. “It’s true to the way SoundCloud works now.”

BandsInTown and Ticketmaster Debut In-App Ticket Purchases. With the likes of Pandora and Spotify thinking hard about how ticketing fits in to their businesses, startups like Dice iterating rapidly, and Songkick planning big things after its merger with CrowdSurge, it’s an encouraging time for the live market.

Grant Bussinger Claims We Need An Open Source Music Industry. Warped Records’ Head of Digital claims “There is as an opportunity to leverage the same resources and adopt the same guiding principles that have seen success everywhere else.”

Our best wishes for a great week! – MediaNet

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Pandora Releases Financials, Reportedly Courts Buyers, Apple Passes Spotify Geographically [Music News Recap]

Posted by Glen Sears | February 16, 2016 10:13 am | No Comments

pandora financials and possible sale

Story of the Week

Pandora Releases Financials: Huge Revenue & Losses, $120M to Battle Spotify, May Be Courting Buyers
Music-streaming service Pandora announced its latest financial results last night, revealing revenues of $1.16B in 2015, but a net loss of $169.7M. Pandora is preparing to expand from its current radio-like model to fully on-demand, subscription – including outside the US. CEO Brian McAndrews said that 2016 will primarily be a year of licensing negotiations and product development for Pandora, with its global rollout beginning in earnest in 2017.

“Of the investments we are outlining, $120M of it is earmarked specifically to develop and launch new music services that we believe will accelerate revenue growth in 2017 and beyond,” said CFO Michael Herring.

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Interestingly, a New York Times report, published just hours before Pandora released fourth quarter and 2015 earnings, claims the Internet radio company has engaged Morgan Stanley to meet potential buyers. A Pandora representative told Billboard the company “decline[s] to comment on rumor or speculation.”

McAndrews has admitted that intensifying competition is having an effect on Pandora’s listener growth, but the CEO was also bullish about whether any of those rivals are a serious threat. “Over the years, we have seen more than 30 imitators and so-called Pandora-killers. And yet, Pandora has thrived where others have not, becoming the mobile service with the highest engagement across the consumer internet.”

(more…)

Music News Recap: Pandora Signs With ASCAP/BMI, Songkick Sues Ticketmaster, Soundcloud & PRS Bury The Hatchet

Posted by Glen Sears | December 28, 2015 9:56 am | No Comments

Pandora ASCAP BMI

Story of the Week

Pandora Signs Landmark Licensing Agreements With ASCAP And BMI, Drops Rate Court Appeal
After scoring direct licensing deals with many of the world’s biggest music publishing companies, Pandora has cut its most important deals yet – separate multi-year licensing agreements with both ASCAP and BMI.

Pandora announced the signing of two separate multi-year licensing agreements for the combined million track catalogs on ASCAP and BMI, the world’s largest Performance Rights Organizations. Pandora has also agreed to withdraw its appeal of the May 2015 order in the BMI rate case.

While the specific terms of both multi-year agreements remain confidential, both sides call the deal “an innovative approach to public performance licensing.” According to a joint statement, “it allows both ASCAP and BMI to further their goal of delivering improved performance royalties for their songwriters and publishers, while Pandora will benefit from greater rate certainty and the ability to add new flexibility to the company’s product offering over time.”

The public performance royalties Pandora also pays to rights holders of master recordings are not affected by this agreement.

Read more on Hypebot: http://bit.ly/1SiOKKR

Top Music News

Songkick Sues Live Nation and Ticketmaster for Antitrust
Songkick alleges in its 68-page complaint that Live Nation and Ticketmaster undertook a concerted effort to hamper its business and that the two companies employed their vastly dominant positions in the live event and ticketing industries to do so.

SoundCloud and PRS Reach Licensing Agreement, Legal Action Off
PRS For Music and SoundCloud have reached a multi-territory licensing agreement, which brings an end to the litigation that was launched by the UK publishing sector’s collecting society against the streaming service earlier this year.

The Beatles Launch Digital Catalog on 9 Music Streaming Services
The Fab Four are adding their back catalogue to streaming services after almost a decade of holding out. The services are: Spotify, Apple Music, Slacker, Tidal, Microsoft’s Groove, Rhapsody, Deezer, Google Play, and Amazon’s Prime Music.

A2IM Interim President Molly Neuman Named Kickstarter’s First Head of Music
Neuman, who temporarily took the reins of the American Association of Independent Music following Rich Bengloff’s departure this past summer, is joining Kickstarter as the company’s first head of music. In a statement on her departure, Neuman indicates her replacement will be sourced from inside A2IM.

Surprising Discoveries

Apple Is Reportedly Developing a Hi-Res Audio Format
A report in the Japanese blog Macotakara has sparked rumors that Apple is preparing to release a new audio format that has more than twice the sound quality of a CD. The blog cites “several insiders familiar with Apple” as saying that the company “has been developing hi-res audio streaming up to 96kHz/24-bit.”

SoundExchange Sat on Fewer Unclaimed Royalties at End of 2014
With a significant webcasting rate hike coming in 2016, the music industry might be wondering about the efficiency and effectiveness of SoundExchange. The information from its breakdown of its 2014 year-end account balances shows the organization has continued to improve how it collects and pays out royalties.

Spotify Announces Database to Properly Manage Royalties
Against a backdrop of controversy over not properly licensing songs or paying publishing royalties to music publishers and songwriters, Spotify’s global head of publisher relations James Duffett-Smith writes that the company “will invest in the resources and technical expertise to build a comprehensive publishing administration system to solve this problem.”

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Music News Recap: Pandora’s New Royalty Rates, BMG/RIAA Settlements, Apple Music Updates

Posted by Glen Sears | December 21, 2015 11:20 am | No Comments

Copyright Royalty Board raises royalty rates

Story of the Week

Copyright Royalty Board Raises Pandora, Non-Interactive Music Streaming Rates By 20%
In a landmark decision, the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board today raised the rates that commercial non-interactive webcasters like Pandora effective January 1st, 2016. But the news could have been much worse for Pandora. Non-interactive webcasters will now pay 17 cents per 100 plays for those listening to free and ad supported streams through 2020, according to a statement from the royalty board. That’s up 20% from the current rate of 14 cents per 100 streams.

The decision can be considered a victory for both sides. SoundExchange had requested a rate of 25 cents per 200′ while Pandora had lobbied for a drop to 11 cents. In addition to Pandora, the rate applys to most internet radio stations including iHeartRadio, AccuRadio, Live365, Shoutcast and the webcasts of terrestrial radio stations.

Starting in 2017 the rates for both subscription and nonsubscription services can be adjusted to reflect the increases or decreases, if any, in the general price level, as measured by the Consumer Price Index. Relieved investors sent Pandora stock up 20% in after hours trading.
Read more on Hypebot: http://bit.ly/1IkDf3t

Pandora Pleased at CRB Ruling bu Direct Licenses Are Its Future – “As we noted last month, the CRB rates are likely to play a far less central role in Pandora’s business as we move toward the future. To fully unlock the global and functional potential of our business, we’re aggressively pursuing direct licensing agreements,” said McAndrews. Read More

Pandora’s Rate Ruling Reveals The Cracks In Streaming Economics – wWile on-demand services have little meaningful way of increasing revenue per user with the current model, Pandora has more than doubled revenue per user in 6 years while rights costs have declined in relative terms. Read More

Top Music Industry News Stories

Pandora and Warner/Chappell Sign Direct Licensing Deal – Pandora has cut a multi-year direct publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Music, making it the final of the three major music publishers to sign a direct deal with the web radio giant. Read More

BMG Awarded $25 Million in Potentially Landmark Case on U.S. Safe Harbours – The court said that BMG (at this point Round Hill was removed from the litigation) had sufficiently demonstrated that Cox had a deliberately slack approach to dealing with suspected infringers, so that it could keep selling those people internet services. Read More

RIAA Wins $17 Million Lawsuit Against Grooveshark Clone – The judge granted the RIAA and its major label members more than $13 million in piracy damages along with another $4 million for “willful counterfeiting,” reports TorrentFreak. Read More

Surprising Discoveries

SoundExchange Payments To Artists, Labels Fall 24% To $204 Million – Just hours before today’s important rate ruling by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board, SoundExchange released figures showing $204 million in payments in the 3d Quarter. Read More

Apple Updates Music Data, Which Should Benefit Classical Composers and Performers – A seemingly minor update to iTunes should please Classical music fans and could mean bigger royalty checks for newer composers. Read More

Music Streamers Still Buy Music, Says Study – Streaming is sometimes thought of as replacing any need to buy music, but a recent study from the British Phonograph Industry suggests that streaming my actually be motivating consumers to purchase physical albums. Read More

Imogen Heap Inks ‘Forward-Thinking’ Publishing Deal, Planning ‘Fair Trade’ Payment System – “Things are moving incredibly quickly,” Heap says. “It’s like a tidal wave, moving in a really positive direction like it never has done before for the music industry.” Read More

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Adele’s ’25’ Smashes Every Conceivable Sales Record + Your Top Music News

Posted by Glen Sears | November 30, 2015 10:45 am | No Comments

adele 25 record breaking album sales medianet

Story of the Week

Adele’s ’25’ Smashes Every Conceivable Sales Record
It’s official: Adele’s ’25’ album sold 3.38 million copies in its first week in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music. That’s the largest single sales week for an album since Nielsen began tracking point-of-sale music purchases in 1991, beating *NSYNC’s previous record of 2.42 million copies.

’25’ is the first album to sell more than 3 million copies in a week in Nielsen history, and only the second to surpass 2 million sold in a single frame. ’25’ sold 335 copies per minute and constituted 41% of all record sales in the week.

The album also ended the week with U.K. sales of 800,307 copies, smashing the previous record of 696,000 created by Oasis’ Be Here Now in 1997. Finally, ’25’ reached triple platinum status in Australia, topping out the ARIA Albums Chart and its lead single “Hello” leading the ARIA Singles Chart for the fifth successive week.

These sales numbers come after the notable omission of ’25’ from major streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.
Read all the stats on Billboard: http://bit.ly/1NDXFpZ

Top News Stories

Pandora Goes Ahead and Streams Adele’s ’25’ Anyway – Thanks to the structure of U.S. online radio laws, Pandora confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that every track from Adele’e new album is available through its radio service. Read More

Judge Sides With BMG and Round Hill, Says Cox Not Absolved From User Piracy – A judge ruled on Thursday, Nov. 19 that Cox Communications is not entitled to safe harbor from copyright liability because of its failure to reasonably implement a repeat-infringer policy with regards to piracy. Read More

RIAA CTO David Hughes Responds To Hi-Res Music “Confusion” – “I understand there might be some confusion about exactly what constitutes ‘high resolution music.'” Read More

Guvera Raises $72.2m and Plans IPO – But Lost $58.6m Last Fiscal Year – Austrailian digital music firm Guvera startled the industry by announcing a $72.2 million funding round, yet the company’s latest financial results reveal that it lost $58.6m in its last financial year. Read More

Surprising Discoveries

Pandora Financials Reveal $1bn+ Investment Since 2009 – Analysis by Music Ally reveals that since the start of 2009, Pandora has also spent $183.9m on product development costs, $959.1m on sales and marketing, and $1.7bn on content acquisition costs. Read More

Foo Fighters Release New EP For Free – The new EP is called ‘Saint Cecilia’ with the band using the release to pay tribute to the victims of the attacks in Paris earlier this month. Read More

Barack Obama To Sing On Coldplay’s Next Album – “We have a tiny clip of the president singing ‘Amazing Grace’,” front man Chris Martin told the British tabloid The Sun. A person close to the band said they received “permission from Obama himself and the Charleston church it was recorded in.” Read More

Major Labels Won’t Get Higher Royalty Rates in Webcasting IV – The possibility that different types of labels could be paid different royalties was put to rest by the Register of Copyrights regarding Webcasting IV, the rate-setting procedure that will establish the royalties non-interactive webcasters like Pandora must pay record labels and artists from 2016 to 2020. Read More

Speaking of royalties, are you curious when various PROs will deliver royalties? Here’s a list of every PRO’s pay-out dates.

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Pandora Acquires Rdio For $75 Million + Your Top Music News

Posted by Glen Sears | November 23, 2015 11:38 am | No Comments

pandora rdio medianet soundcheck

Story of the Week

Pandora Acquires Bankrupt Rdio For $75 Million, Plans Global Expansion
Consolidation in streaming music has begun, though perhaps a bit earlier than expected. Pandora is acquiring “the technology and intellectual property” of streaming music service Rdio for $75 million, and will use the assets to compete with Spotify, Apple Music and others.

The bid comes as Pandora, whose user growth has slowed to just 3%, searches for new avenues of expansion. “We seek to be the definitive source for music discovery and enjoyment globally,” Pandora CEO Brian McAndrews told Variety. The music streamer plans to offer “full on-demand paid subscription” over time. “We plan to substantially broaden our subscription business.”

McAndrews said that Pandora chose Rdio because it had “the best product” in subscription streaming. “We just were really enamored with their product.”
Read more on Hypebot: http://bit.ly/1XmbxV5

Top News Stories

Pandora Didn’t Buy Rdio Because It Was $220m In Debt – “The business was challenged, and financially would have been a drain for us,” Pandora CFO Mike Herring told analysts. The scale of that challenge was revealed overnight in Rdio’s bankruptcy filing. Read More

The Pros And Cons Of Pandora’s Rdio Acquisition – On the surface it seems like a huge positive for the company, but there are also a few potential land mines that come with the deal. Read More

Spotify Claims Users Listen 1.7bn Hours Each Month – The listening statistics closely match those published by Pandora. Once Pandora moves into on-demand in 2016 – licensing deals allowing – the two companies could become fierce rivals. Read More

Bye Bye Beats, So Long Zune – Apple, Microsoft Retire Major Digital Music Brands – Two major digital music brands are being retired. Apple is shuttering its Beats Music service and pushing users to Apple Music; and Microsoft is shuttering one of the original digital music services Zune. Read More

New Board Elected For Digital Rights Group Merlin – North American reps include Epitaph, CV America, Secret City Records, Tommy Boy and the Secretly Group. “[We are] delighted that so many of our members took the opportunity to vote in this election.” Read More

Surprising Discoveries

Adele’s ’25’ Won’t Be On Streaming Services – This is sure to increase 25’s chances of breaking *NSYNC’s record for the biggest first-week sales of the Nielsen/SoundScan era (1991-present). Read More

Robert Sillerman Pulls Third Bid to Buy Back SFX – In a company memo acquired by The Wall Street Journal, he explained that with prices so low ($0.41/share as of Thursday morning), “the time is not right to go forward on this path.” Read More

YouTube To Pay Fees For Some Video Makers To Fight Takedowns – The video giant said on Thursday that it would pick up the legal costs of a handful of video creators that the company thinks are the targets of unfair takedown demands. Read More

RIAA Introduces A Hi-Res Music Logo – The logo, and a definition of what constitutes hi-res, are intended to be displayed by distributors so music consumers will have no confusion over what kind of fidelity to expect. Read More

Curious why all music streaming services aren’t ‘high-definition?’ Read our explanation of the huge infrastructure costs on Medium.

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Napster Relaunches in Canada as Subscription Music Streamer, and Other Top News

Posted by Glen Sears | November 9, 2015 10:57 am | No Comments

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Story of the Week

Napster Relaunches in Canada as Subscription Music Streamer
Long after Napster transformed the music and tech worlds before a court-ordered closure in 2001, the one-time file-sharing site has returned to Canada as a subscription online music service.

The Canadian relaunch gives consumers online streaming and offline playback access to around 35 million songs for CAN$9.99 (US$7.65) a month. The music streaming service was legally available here for seven years until 2011, when Napster left the Canadian market after being acquired by U.S.-based Rhapsody International, its current owner.

Napster’s new Canadian service, available on the iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Web, Sonos and Chromecast platforms, has hand-curated playlists and local artists like Shawn Mendes.
Read more on Billboard: http://bit.ly/1L6QgI5

Other Top Stories

SoundCloud Launches ‘Pulse,’ Dedicated App for Creators – Key features include: Reply to comments on tracks directly through the app, up-to-date stats on the performance of tracks, share sounds already uploaded, and follow other users. Read More

Adele’s ‘Hello’ Has Biggest Sales Week for a Single Since Elton John’s Princess Diana Tribute in 1997 – It’s the first song ever to sell at least 1 million downloads in a week. Read More

Adam Levine On Record Labels: ‘No One Knows What They’re Doing.’ – Adam Levine and his band Maroon 5 are clearly products of the big label, big media system. That didn’t stop him from having some harsh words for record labels. Read More

Value of U.K. Music Industry Grows to $6.3 Billion – At a time when grassroots venues across the United Kingdom are finding it increasingly difficult to survive, a new report outlining the value of the British music industry illustrates the sector’s importance to the country’s financial well-being. Read More

Facebook Announces New ‘Music Stories’ Feature – Beginning last week, songs shared either through a URL or “Share on Facebook” button within Spotify and Apple Music will appear in the news feeds of iOS users as 30-second song samples. Read More

Sony/ATV Announces Direct Licensing Deal With Pandora – This pre-empts any future change to collective licensing rules Stateside, and means America’s biggest streaming service will now agree rates directly with the Sony publishing firm, rather than relying on fees set in the country’s rate courts. Read More

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