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Digest: Facebook Is Hiring A Licensing Expert, YouTube Is Launching a TV Service, Global Music Revenue at 15-Year High

Posted by Glen Sears | March 6, 2017 9:09 am | No Comments

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Top Music News Story

Facebook Is Hiring A Legal Music Licensing Boss
According to a freshly-posted job advert, the company is seeking a Legal Director of Music Licensing, based at its HQ in Menlo Park, California. “In this role, you will be responsible for solving cutting-edge licensing issues on a global scale, with an opportunity to help shape the future of music use on Facebook.”

It explains: “This position will partner closely with internal business counterparts in driving licensing negotiations, as well as coordinating with product, engineering, operations, finance and legal teams in support of the company’s evolving music licensing needs.”

Read the full story on Music Business Worldwide

Other Music News Highlights

YouTube to Launch Live TV Service. The new service will include content from all four broadcasters as well as some cable channels, all for $35 a month, the company announced Tuesday at an event for press and partners at YouTube Space LA.

Global Recorded Music Industry Reached $16.1bn In 2016. Discussing the numbers, MiDIA’s Mark Mulligan said: “The recorded music industry changed gear in 2016 and revenue looks set to be on an upward trajectory over the next few years.

SoundCloud Launches $4.99-A-Month Fully On-Demand Streaming Product. “SoundCloud Go answers the call from our users who want the ability to take the huge catalog of content found in SoundCloud’s free, ad-supported offering with them anytime, anywhere, without interruptions, at a very affordable price.”

Spotify Tops 50m Subscribers As Growth Rate Slows Down. It’s an impressive climb, and over double the latest equivalent figure from Apple Music – but actually represents a slowdown in subscriber growth percentage terms.

A Look At The 11 Startups Named To TechStar Music’s Inaugural Class. Bas Grasmayer of Music Tech Future takes a brief look at the eleven startups TechStar Music has inducted into their inaugural startup investment class.

RECAP: Dubset Launches Remixes on Streaming, Techstars Announces Music Startup Incubator, Azoff Goes After “Pirates”

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

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Spotify And Apple Music Dubset Deals Start To Pay Off

Startup Dubset Media is trying to license the kind of remixes and mash-ups previously only available on SoundCloud for other streaming services, with Apple Music and Spotify already on its slate of distribution deals.

TechCrunch reported that one of the first Dubset-licensed remixes has gone live on Spotify and Apple Music: a DJ Jazzy Jeff remix of Anderson Paak’s ‘Room In Here’. Interestingly, on Spotify the track’s rightsholder is listed as Dubset Media.

“Mixes are coming next,” Dubset boss Stephen White told TechCrunch. “Content owners have been very supportive. The publishing and label deals we have under license provides a large catalogue to work with.”

Read the full story on Music Ally.

Top Music News Stories

Techstars to Launch Accelerator for Music-Industry Tech Startups. It is the second music-focused accelerator to start in recent months, [paywall] after artist-management firm Th3rd Brain started one to help launch careers for individual musicians.

Irving Azoff Claims YouTube “Pirates” Are “Really Evil.” The CEO and Chairman of Azoff MSG Entertainment, Irving Azoff, is leveling some heavy criticism at YouTube in very public war as he attempts to get the popular video sharing site to properly compensate artists for their music.

What Is Google Daydream And What Does It Mean For Music VR? There are a growing number of VR/music startups who are expected to explore the Daydream platform alongside Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and other VR platforms.

Amazon Reportedly to Launch Amazon Music Unlimited and Echo-Only Streaming Service. A new post from German blogger Carsten Knobloch points to a clue hidden deep in the code for the Amazon Music app for the Fire TV media streamer that shows the company is due to launch their new music service soon.

Deezer Partners With Feature.fm to Let Artists Pay for Sponsored Plays. Feature.fm promises “unprecedented exposure” to artists who find themselves outside the radio system, offering a self-service way to upload music, choose a target audience and then monitor its performance — for a fee.

Download Revenue To Shrink 50% As Streaming Music Grows To 950 Million Users. According to the latest forecast by Strategy Analytics, streaming will account for 95% of all mobile music use, and that will grow the market to $12 billion by 2022.

TuneCore Acquires JustGo, Relaunches It As A Free Social Media Tool. TuneCore Social offers streamlined posts to Facebook, Twitter, Mixcloud, Soundcloud, YouTube, and Instagram, plus scheduled posts and analytics.

Spotify Reportedly Dealing With Malware Issue On Its Free Service. Spotify has acknowledged the issue, blaming “an isolated issue with an ad on our free tier” and promising that “We have now identified the source of the problem and have shut it down.

BitTorrent Reportedly Fires Co-CEOs, Shutters Streaming Service. During Delamar and Johnson’s brief tenure, the company launched BitTorrent Live, an app featuring 16 channels of live streaming content from independent video producers.

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RECAP: The Whole Story on the Frank Ocean Apple Music Exclusive, Spotify’s Label Contracts Expire, Closing the Value Gap in Europe

Posted by Glen Sears | August 29, 2016 9:14 am | No Comments

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Story of the Week

What the Frank Ocean Apple Music Exclusive Deal Means for UMG, Artists, and Labels
When Frank Ocean’s latest album ‘Blond’ dropped, it did so like a nuclear bomb, sending shockwaves throughout the music industry. In one of the audacious release strategies of recent years, Ocean and his team at 360 fulfilled the final album contractual commitment to Universal Music by ushering his breaking-the-mold visual album ‘Endless’ onto Apple Music.

But no sooner had Universal executives started daydreaming about Grammys then along came what turned out to be the ‘actual’ album ‘Blonde’, self released by Ocean (Universal contractual commitments now of course conveniently fulfilled) and, for now at least, exclusively available on Apple Music. Universal boss Lucian Grainge then reportedly sent a memo to the entire company outlawing exclusive deals with streaming services.

Sean Glass – a former Apple Music employee – wrote: “Contrary to what you read, there’s no scary Apple board room conspiracy where corporate is plotting to take over creativity via artist exclusives. There’s one guy who is behind ALL of these campaigns — and he is light years ahead of everyone else. He works intimately with each artist as a creative peer, and develops an amazing plan, this is no simple land grab. He works closer with the artists than labels do.”

That ‘one guy’ is very likely Larry Jackson – a Jimmy Iovine protege, who is tasked with striking artist relationships that result in exclusive deals for Apple.

Mark Mulligan of MiDiA Reseach claims, “Streaming exclusives (and indeed label services deals) work best when an artist has already established a brand and an audience. Most often that means after an artist has had a record label recording career. Apple cannot be relied upon to build anything more than a handful of artist brands.”

“Labels still account for the vast, vast, vast majority of music listening. Make no mistake, a momentous value chain shift is taking place, with more power and autonomy shifting to the creators, but that is a long journey and ‘Blond’ is but one part of this much bigger shift.”

Read the entire story on Music Business Worldwide & MiDiA Music Industry Blog.

Top Music News Stories

Spotify Is Out Of Contract With All Three Major Labels – And Wants To Pay Them Less. Spotify continues to be licensed by all three majors on a rolling month-by-month basis, and the possibility of UMG, Sony or Warner catalogues being pulled is widely regarded as out of the question.

Should We Believe All The Negative Hype Surrounding New DOJ Rules On PROs? Dave Brooks of Amplify offers an alternative perspective on the recent Department of Justice ruling, suggesting that the rules may in fact help rather than harm venues and event producers.

European Commission Seeks Solutions for YouTube Value Gap. Plans for user-generated platforms like YouTube and DailyMotion to require licenses or sign-up to revenue sharing deals with rights holders are reportedly being considered by the European Commission.

Playlists Dominate Listening For Most Music Streamers. Streaming music users love playlists and use them to drive their music consumption, according to a new survey and infographic just released by the analysts at Music Watch.

Amazon’s Echo-Only Music Streaming Service Again Rumored. The service will cost half of the now-standard $10-per-month that Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal (minus hi-res) and Amazon’s own rumored, full-feature service will cost.

Soundcloud Logs 175 Million Monthly Listeners To Massive 135 Million Track Catalog. New Soundcloud stats show just how big its footprint is, both in terms of listenership and the size of its music catalog — but most of their listeners are free and monetizing them, along with making such a massive catalog user-friendly, presents a challenge.

The Coming Arms Race In Online Music: Artist Services. Digital music industry veteran Tim Quirk examines the coming arms race in the music industry, with online music services competing to offer artists programs and features which enable them to generate revenue beyond just streaming royalties.

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RECAP: U.K. Digital Economy & Piracy Reports, Rdio Goes After Sony, Spotify May Abandon Freemium

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

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Story of the Week

U.K.’s Digital Economy Bill Introduced, Would Allow Retransmission Fees
The U.K. government on Tuesday unveiled its Digital Economy Bill, which includes a part that could pave the way to U.S.-style retransmission consent fees and which wants to make the U.K. “the most digital nation in the world.”

The new bill also includes measures designed to strengthen protections for citizens. Among others, it will “protect children from online pornography by requiring age verification for access to all pornographic sites and applications” and “increase the sentencing options for people who infringe [on] copyright laws online, bringing sentences into line with the current penalties available for ‘physical infringement’.”

“We have consistently called for major pay-TV platforms to pay U.K. public service broadcasters (PSBs) fairly for the ‘transmission’ of their channels ending what is effectively a multi-million pound subsidy — and this is clearly a welcome first step in that direction,” an ITV spokesman said. “This is simply about ITV, and other PSBs, being paid fairly for their investment in original U.K. content so that we can continue to invest in the programs viewers love.”

Read the full story on Billboard.

Top Music News

Concerns Loom Over U.K. Music Business’ Future in Wake of Brexit Vote. Two weeks on from the U.K.’s historic decision to leave the European Union, no one is any the wiser about what or how big an impact it will have on the nation’s economy, 64 million population or future.

YouTube Leads Music Consumption While Piracy Dips, According to U.K. Government Survey. An estimated 78 million music tracks were accessed illegally online in the United Kingdom in a three month period, but levels of digital piracy are gradually beginning to decline, according to new research from the U.K.’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

What the Dept. of Justice’s Decision Means for Music Publishing. Almost everyone in the music-publishing business has expressed frustration with the Department of Justice’s recent decision not to amend the antitrust consent decree, but they don’t seem to agree on how this decision will affect the music industry — or even exactly what it means.

Sony Music Investigated by Rdio for Alleged Collusion in Streaming Music. The label responds that the suggestion of antitrust violations are “nothing but speculation and conjecture” and pretext for avoiding $17 million claims plus allegations of fraud.

Soundcloud Aims Straight At Spotify, Apple Music With “Artist Stations.” “The algorithm behind Stations serves content in a different way than the Suggested Tracks feature we recently launched — Stations serve a longer queue of songs that are a mixture of similar, new, and popular tracks related to the track or artist you started the Station from, for an experience closer to listening to the radio.

Users Leave Apple Music 3X Faster Than They Do Spotify. Apple Music has a problem with users dropping the service called their churn rate – “the annual percentage rate at which customers stop subscribing to a service” – and Apple Music’s is three times that of Spotify.

The End Of Freemium For Spotify? Analyst Mark Mulligan argues “that mid-priced subscriptions are crucial to driving the streaming market, and the burgeoning success of Spotify’s mid-priced-subscriptions-by-stealth strategy provides a bulging corpus of supporting evidence.”

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RECAP: Apple Makes News With Spotify & TIDAL, U.S. DOJ Imposes New Regulation on Songwriters

Posted by Glen Sears | July 5, 2016 9:59 am | No Comments

JayZ

Story of the Week

Apple In Talks To Buy Tidal Says Wall St. Journal, But New York Times Says ‘No Way’
Apple is in talks to acquire Tidal, the Wall Street Journal blasted late last week; and hours later re/code sources confirmed the conversations. But respected New York Times music journalist Ben Sisario quotes his sources as saying that Apple has no intention of purchasing Jay Z’s music streaming service.

Whoever turns out to be right, Apple buying Tidal is an intriguing concept. For both sides, the pros would seem to outweigh the cons. This would not be the first time that bad feelings and bravado have been overcome by a big check.

Read the full story on Hypebot.

Top Music News Stories

TIDAL Subscriber Count Significantly Lower Than Expected. A chart from analytics firm Statista show it with only 3 million subscribers.

Spotify Says Apple Won’t Approve New version of App Because It Doesn’t Want Competition. The firm says Apple turned down a new version of the app while citing “business model rules” and demanded that Spotify use Apple’s billing system if “Spotify wants to use the app to acquire new customers and sell subscriptions.”

Justice Department Won’t Alter Music Industry Royalty Rules. Justice Department lawyers told representatives of Ascap and BMI that the two groups, called performing rights organizations, must adopt a policy known as “100 percent licensing,” which means that any party that controls a part of a composition can issue a license for the use of the whole thing.

Global Music Market Expected To Grow Over The Next 5 Years. The market growth is attributed to the rising number of vendors and their expanding reach in developing markets, the popularity of concerts, growing number of music schools, and prevalence of digital music formats.

Music Is Almost As Important As Coffee For Monday Morning Motivation, Says New Survey. A new Spotify Ipsos survey, conducted in the US, Australia, Brazil, France and Sweden, found that music is just as likely as caffeine to motivate people on a typical Monday.

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RECAP: What Brexit Means For The U.K. Music Business, Led Zeppelin Wins In Court, Ticket Bots Under Attack

Posted by Glen Sears | June 27, 2016 9:32 am | No Comments

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Story of the Week

What Brexit Means For The U.K. Music Business
The British music industry and wider touring business faces a turbulent future after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union (EU). Thursday’s historic referendum saw 52 percent of the electorate vote to exit the EU – dubbed Brexit – with more than 30 million people voting, the country’s highest turnout at an election in over 20 years.

The implications for the music industry are similarly grave with the decision to leave the economic stability of the EU anticipated to impact heavily on the live sector. A members’ survey conducted before the vote by the labels trade group BPI found that a two-thirds majority opposed Brexit on the grounds that going alone would carry grace consequences for the U.K. music biz.

“We’re stunned and saddened at the UK’s decision to leave the EU family,” Beggars Group founder and chairman Martin Mills said of the news in an email to his staff provided to Billboard. “While we digest the consequences, we’d just like to re-assure you all that the Beggars family is, always has been, and always will be, international, with no frontiers.”

Read the entire story on Billboard.

Top Music News Stories

European Commission, IFPI, BPI, AIM and Others’ Full Statements on Britain’s Exit. “We regret this decision but respect it.”

Led Zeppelin Wins ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Jury Trial. The jury — eight California citizens — delivered its verdict that the plaintiff owned the copyright to “Taurus,” that Led Zeppelin members indeed heard it, but that there was no substantial similarity in the extrinsic elements of “Taurus” and “Stairway to Heaven.”

Inside the Music Industry — and Congress’ — Fight Against Ticket Bots. “I don’t know how people in the first 30 rows get their ­tickets,” Q Prime’s Peter Mensch, ­longtime Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers co-­manager, told Billboard in January. “But none of my friends seem to be able to do it. And no one seems to care.”

U.S. Copyright Office Modernizes Key Part of Digital Licensing. The U.S. Copyright Office has taken an important step, finally making it possible to file compulsory licenses digitally.

Irving Azoff Calls On Music Industry To “Work Together.” “The music industry has never been more powerful and popular and we as an industry have never done a shittier job of rallying together as one industry.”

Pandora Listeners Added 1 Million New Music Stations In First 24 Hours. Each week, Pandora’s music team will handpick recently released music for each New Music Station blending emerging, underground and well-known artists across 9 genres.

Spotify, IHeartMedia Sued Over Audio Playback Patents. As the value of music streaming has grown, so have the legal action surrounding it—Spotify and iHeartMedia are the latest targets.

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RECAP: Music Piracy Costs Hundreds of Millions, SOCAN Releases New APIs, Spotify Gets Millions of DJ Mixes

Posted by Glen Sears | May 31, 2016 9:38 am | No Comments

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Story of the Week

Music Piracy Costs Europe $190 Million a Year, EU Study Estimates
Music piracy has taken a small but noticeable bite out of potential profits for the recording industry throughout Europe, according to a new study by the European Union Intellectual Property Office. The report places an estimate on lost music sales in 19 EU states as a result of piracy in 2014, and comes up with a total of €170 million ($190 million), or 5.2 percent of all sales.

When broken down, that amounts to €113 million ($126 million) in lost digital sales and €57m ($63.5 million) in lost physical sales, the report finds. That’s the equivalent of 5.2 percent of the sector’s revenues from both physical and digital sales.

Two member states, Germany and the U.K., account for more than half of those losses. Europe’s biggest market, Germany lost €40 million ($44.5 million) in sales due to piracy, while the U.K. lost €49 million ($54.6 million). In France, where physical sales make up two-thirds of music sales, about €26.4 ($29 million) remained on the floor. And in the land of Spotify — Sweden — €8.9 million of the €9.1 million ($10 million) total lost was in digital formats.

Read the full story on Billboard

Top Music News Stories

SOCAN Launches APIs to Drive Music Royalties Innovation. The first two APIs announced today are “Song Registration” and “Concert Notification,” which enable writers to use new workflow apps and software to register their songs more accurately with their music publishers, labels, digital services, and SOCAN.

Spotify Cuts Dubset Deal To Add Millions Of Mixes. The MixBANK deal makes it possible for DJs to upload and legally stream their mixes and single track remixes, and enable Spotify listeners to stream radio shows and other user generated mixes that have not been previously legally available to music fans.

Global Electronic Music Industry, Worth $7.1 Billion Last Year, Sees Growth Slow. While growth in the sector is slowing — up just 3.5 percent year-over-year, the smallest chunk of a 59 percent increase over the past three — the electronic field is echoing the larger trends of the global recorded music industry as reported by the IFPI earlier this year.

David Lowery and Melissa Ferrick’s Lawsuits Against Spotify Get Combined. The suits were essentially the same in purpose and aim, and now Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell of the Central District of California has granted a motion for them to be consolidated.

Pandora Stock Up 32% On Sale Rumors. No specific suitors have been named, but Pandora has said that it is open to the right merger or acquisition — Pandora’s market cap is currently $2.61 billion.

iHeartMedia Wins Court Case Over Stock Shuffle Designed to Deal with Its Massive Debt. As the San Antonio Express-News reports, Judge Cathleen Stryker ruled in favor of the media company, which was brought to court on the transfer of 100 million shares — valued at over $500 million — from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings to another subsidiary, Broader Media, LLC.

Spotify’s Discover Weekly Logs 40M Listeners, 5B Tracks Streamed. Discover Weekly is also proving good for artists, with 8,000+ artists having added more than half of their listeners in the last month from Discover Weekly alone.

The Two Spotify Charts You Need To See. Rights and associated costs accounted for 83% of Spotify’s 2015 revenue, up from 81% in 2014, and this resulted in a dramatic fall in Spotify’s gross margin per user: down from $4.20 in 2013 to $3.45 in 2015.

Shamrock Capital Advisors Close $250 Million Fund To Invest In Music Publishing, Record Masters, Other Intellectual Property. Shamrock Capital Advisors today announced the final closing of Entertainment IP Fund (EIP), a $250 million fund focused on acquiring or financing entertainment intellectual property rights including music publishing, recorded music masters, tv, film video games and other entertainment content.

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RECAP: David Lowery Motion Claims Songwriters Being “Misled”, TIDAL Gets Beyonce Exclusive, UMG Wins Big

Posted by Glen Sears | April 25, 2016 10:38 am | No Comments

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Story of the Week

David Lowery Files Motion To Stop Spotify, NMPA From “Misleading” Songwriters
Songwriters are being “misled” by being encouraged to sign onto a settlement it made with the National Music Publishers Association, according to a motion filed by attorneys representing David Lowery, who is suing the music streamer for use of his songs without a license.

The NMPA and Spotify had reached a settlement for music publishers and songwriters to receive royalties for “unmatched” compositions used on Spotify in the U.S. from a $25 million fund. In addition to identifying the rightful recipients of the royalties, the agreement establishes a bonus compensation fund reported to add $5 million to the settlement.

According to the filings, Lowery’s team alleges that Spotify is misleading songwriters to encourage them to sign the NMPA brokered agreement. They are demanding copies of all communications between Spotify, publishers and songwriters related to the deal, along with additional payments for damages.

Read more on Hypebot.

Top Music News Stories

$84M Class Action Suit Filed Against Kanye West, Jay Z Over Tidal Album Release. A fan of Kanye West fan is suing the star and and the streaming music service Tidal saying that the falsely lured users into subscriptions based on the promise that it would be the exclusive outlet for his latest album, “The Life Of Pablo.”

Beyoncé Releases Surprise Album ‘Lemonade,’ Will Stream Exclusively On TIDAL Forever. Saturday night Beyoncé became the latest superstar TIDAL artist-owner to release their new album exclusively on the platform, following Kanye West and Rhianna–the much anticipated 12 track album sent fans into a frenzy on social media.

Universal Wins Big Ruling in Copyright Lawsuit Over In-Flight Music. Universal Music and Capitol Records have navigated the complexities of international air travel to score a summary judgment ruling that when it gets to a jury next month to decide damages, could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

“Compulsory Licenses Must Require Display Of Songwriter Credits.” Chris Castle argues that the U.S. government should require that digital music services provide proper attribution to songwriters when compulsory licenses relating to said artist are obtained.

Facebook Launches Its Version Of Content ID. Following complaints from content creators that their YouTube videos have been appearing on Facebook after being posted without the creator’s consent, the social network has released its own version of YouTube’s fabled Content ID.

YouTube Defends Content ID Following Music Labels’ Criticism. It represents the latest front in the war of words between YouTube and the music industry at a time when the service is preparing to negotiate new licensing deals – and also when reviews of safe-harbour legislation are underway on both sides of the Atlantic.

‘Alibaba Planet’ is China’s Latest Music Platform. “Music fans can use their smartphones to follow their favourite stars, participate in fan activities, purchase related merchandise and watch live shows of cyber celebrities and popular singers, in addition to listening to streaming songs,” says the internet giant.

Prince Fans Pay Tribute, Buying 1M Tracks, 240K Albums In U.S. On Day Of His Death. The unprecedented stats were compiled by BuzzAngle Music, a sales & streaming tracking service of music technology company Border City Media.

Rhapsody Names Its First-Ever CEO. Streaming service Rhapsody and its international version Napster have been operating without a full-time leader at the top, until now, as the Seattle-based parent company Rhapsody International has announced it has hired Mike Davis as the company’s new — and first — CEO.

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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.

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Recap: Spotify & NMPA Reach Settlement, Music Metadata and Streaming Focuses of SXSW

Posted by Glen Sears | March 21, 2016 9:49 am | No Comments

Spotify and NMPA reach $30M settlement

Story of the Week

Spotify and NMPA Reach $30 Million Settlement Agreement Over Unpaid Royalties
The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) has announced its successful brokering of a settlement between Spotify and its constituents over unmatched (songs that haven’t received payment because Spotify didn’t identify their publishers) and unpaid song royalties, a topic that has given rise to several legal cases against the streaming services over the past few months.

The settlement process will begin in early April with a three-month opt-in period that will allow NMPA members to participate in the disbursement of an estimated $30 million payout pool. The agreement covers the period between Spotify’s inception though June 30, 2017, with an automatic renewal period tacked on through for another 2 years, through June 30, 2019.

By claiming and proving ownership of songs in the unpaid and unmatched pool of songs, publishers will be paid their share from actual plays of those songs to be drawn from that $25 million. A portal for claimants will open following the conclusion of the opt-in period. In addition remuneration from their claims, publishers will receive further payment, based on each publisher’s estimated market share as calculated by the NMPA, from the $5 million penalty pool.

Finally, any funds left over from the pending and unmatched funding pools for each period will be divided among participating publishers based on their market share on Spotify during that royalty period.

Finish reading the story on Billboard…

Top Music News Stories

Songwriters And Publishers Should Think Twice Before Accepting Spotify’s Settlement. The law firm representing David Lowery in his class action suit against Spotify warns that “It is impossible to determine the true benefit to songwriters because the settlement negotiations between NMPA and Spotify have been conducted without Court oversight.”

Bad Data Is The Worm In The Streaming Music Apple. As one senior executive at one of the biggest global tech companies said, “We love rights fragmentation and complexity: it makes it really difficult for anyone without really deep pockets to compete with us in this market.”

Transparency and Data Problems Hotly Debated During First Week of SXSW 2016. The central issue at hand is incomplete metadata attached to song recordings that are licensed to digital distributors — missing publishing information, unclear songwriting splits and the outdated, overly complex system governing it.

Sony Paid $750 Million For Stake In Sony/ATV That Michael Jackson Aquired For $41.5 Million. Music publishing is still a hot sale target at impressive multiples—and if rate renegotiations continue trending upward and streaming issues get resolved, publishers could be worth even more.

At SXSW, Pragmatism Replaces Panic About Streaming Services. Labels are figuring out how to monetize their catalogs in new ways, and although there can be improvements in how royalties are collected and distributed, the problems don’t overshadow the fact that streaming’s prominent place in the industry has become settled law.

Apple Music, Dubset Partner to Stream Previously Unlicensed Remixes and DJ Mixes. Thousands upon thousands of cool mash-ups and hour-long mixes have effectively been pulled out of the underground and placed onto the world’s second-largest music subscription service.

SoundCloud Signs Deal with Holdout Major Sony Music. “We are very excited to be working with SME,” SoundCloud CEO Alexander Ljung writes in a statement, “and cannot wait to see what we can achieve together as we continue to transform the future of music online.”

Our best wishes for a great week! – MediaNet

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