Digest: Big Players Back dotBlockchain, ESPN Reaches Licensing Settlement, Sprint Reveals TIDAL Details
Posted by Glen Sears, Editorial Content Manager | February 6, 2017 9:38 am | No Comments
Top Story Last Week
SOCAN, CD Baby, SongTrust And FUGA Back DotBlockchain
The dotBlockchain Music Project (dotBC), which aims to solve data, rights, ownership and payment issues in the music industry, has won backing from SOCAN and subsidiary MediaNet, plus Songtrust, CDBaby and FUGA. The partners will contribute technical and financial resources to the project, which will allow dotBC to accelerate its product development efforts.
Other Music News Highlights
ESPN Reaches Settlement in Music Licensing Dispute. The deal resolves a rate-setting proceeding that ESPN initiated a year ago when it sued BMI for allegedly not being reasonable in licensing negotiations.
Netflix Taps BMG for Music Publishing Rights Outside U.S. The exclusive agreement covers elements such as scores, featured songs, transition cues and themes for all Netflix-owned original programming, including TV series, docs and feature films.
Canada’s SOCAN Announces 8 Percent Growth in Revenue, Huge Jump in Streaming. “SOCAN’s work to lead the global transformation of music rights continues, benefitting music creators and publishers even more in terms of royalties identified, collected, and distributed in Canada and worldwide,” said CEO Eric Baptiste, in a statement.
Why Did Sprint Pay $200m For TIDAL? Now we know: because Sprint Corporation CEO Raul Marcelo Claure is using TIDAL as a “test case” to see if exclusive content can help close the gap on rivals like AT&T.
SoundExchange Pays Out Record $884 Million. The record comes amid uncertainty over how SoundExchange revenue will be affected by an increasing number of direct deals between digital broadcaster and rightsholders.
Report Claims Spotify IPO Could Slip Back To 2018. TechCrunch heard from multiple sources that the company is weighing a plan to delay an IPO until 2018 to build up a better balance sheet and work on shifting its business model to improve its margins.
Nielsen Completes Acquisition of Gracenote. With the deal, Nielsen significantly expands its footprint for data measurement via Gracenote’s global database and technology solutions that spans across multichannel video programming distributors, smart televisions, streaming music services, connected devices, media players and in-car infotainment systems.
Posted by Glen Sears, Editorial Content Manager | January 23, 2017 9:21 am | No Comments
Top Story This Week
Sprint Buys 33% of Jay Z’s Music Streaming Service Tidal
Sprint Corp. acquired a 33 percent stake in music-streaming service Tidal as the fourth-largest U.S. wireless carrier turns to media streaming to attract more customers with exclusive content.
Marcelo Claure, Sprint’s chief executive officer, will join the Tidal board and musician Jay Z will continue to run the business, according to a statement Monday. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Sprint paid $200 million for the stake, according to a report in MusicBusinessWorldwide.
Other Music News Highlights
MusicFirst Coalition Pens Letter to Congress on Radio, Copyright Concerns. Dated Jan. 18, the letter outlines the group’s main aims in its pursuit of “market-based principles [that] drive compensation for all artists and creators whenever and however their music is played.”
CEO Susan Wojcicki Promises YouTube Red Expansion In 2017. “We’ll continue to roll out YouTube Red in new markets throughout 2017, giving creators another meaningful way to earn revenue from their content and fans access to brand new original series and films.”
Donald Trump Expected to Appoint Ajit Pai as New FCC Chairman. In his time at the FCC, Pai has been extremely vocal about his unhappiness with the agency’s heavy hand, and has signaled an intent to roll back the FCC’s “open internet” rules, also known as Net Neutrality.
Is Apple Getting Serious About Original Content? The iPhone maker is exploring producing original television shows and movies to turn its Apple Music subscription service into what Apple executive Jimmy Iovine described Jan. 14 as “an entire cultural, pop cultural experience.”
Have $9.99 Streaming Subscriptions Reached A Saturation Point? MiDIA Research’s Mark Mulligan wonders, based on the financially polarizing pricing structure currently being implemented by the streaming industry, if the number of customers willing to pay $9.99 has hit a saturation point.
Garth Brooks’ Ghost Tunes Folding Into Amazon Music. A digital and physical distribution platform billed as an alternative to iTunes that launched a little over two years ago, Ghost Tunes is apparently folding into Amazon Music.
Sony/ATV Responds Publicly To Paul McCartney Lawsuit. McCartney filed the lawsuit last week in the Southern New York District Court, claiming that Sony/ATV had repeatedly failed to confirm it would transfer US copyrights to the songwriter when the company’s legal rights expire.
Our best wishes for a great week! – MediaNet
RECAP: David Lowery Motion Claims Songwriters Being “Misled”, TIDAL Gets Beyonce Exclusive, UMG Wins Big
Posted by Glen Sears, Editorial Content Manager | April 25, 2016 10:38 am | No Comments
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.
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.
Our best wishes for a great week! – MediaNet
Posted by Glen Sears, Editorial Content Manager | March 7, 2016 10:22 am | No Comments
Story of the Week
Rhapsody Next Streaming Service to Pair Big Revenue Growth With Big Losses
Like many other streaming services, according to its 2015 financials Rhapsody has conformed to the “bigger revenues/bigger losses” streaming music growth model. The numbers, published by RealNetworks as part of its financial report, show Rhapsody’s revenues rose from $173.5M in 2014 to $202M in 2015 – growth of 16.4%. However, its net losses rose from $21.3M in 2014 to $35.5M in 2015, representing a 66.3% increase year-on-year.
This came as Rhapsody’s subscriber base grew by 45% in 2015, revealed in February in RealNetworks’ last earnings call – the company still holds a 43% stake in Rhapsody. Rhapsody reached 2M subscribers in July 2014 and 3M in July 2015. It’s thus reasonable to suggest that it had around 2.5M at the end of 2014, with 45% growth in 2015 indicating around 3.6M by the end of that year.
With Rhapsody, Spotify, Soundcloud, and others all posting major losses, and their competitors can absorb streaming losses with their income from device sales, advertising and e-commerce…2016 might be the year to talk more about what it means to succeed in streaming long term.
Posted by Glen Sears, Editorial Content Manager | December 14, 2015 10:39 am | No Comments
Top Music Industry News Stories
Washington D.C.’s Royalty Rate Ruling Is Imminent, Possibly Even Today – The announcement will be the culmination of Webcasting IV, the rate proceeding that will determine the statutory royalty rates to be paid by non-interactive Internet radio stations like Pandora for the next five years. Read More
Tidal Launches in Puerto Rico – Tidal is making a splashy move into Puerto Rico with the concert by one of one of its biggest stars. But the company is a late-comer to the island, traditionally a strong Latin music market. Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora are already established there. Read More
Unlaunched Music Streamer CÜR Media Completes $1.75 Million Financing Round – Even as music streamers from Pandora to Spotify struggle to find profits and Rdio files for bankruptcy, others are still hoping to get into the game. U.S.-based CUR Media is one, and they just added $1.75 million to make it happen. Read More
Pandora, SONGS Music Publishing Agree to Multi-Year Deal – The agreement follows Pandora’s licensing deal with one of the major publishing companies, Sony/ATV Music, a month ago. Read More
Illegal Streamer Aurous Shuts Down After $3m Settlement With RIAA – The deal will see developer Andrew Sampson barred from operating the Aurous website or similar services, while the plaintiffs – Atlantic Records, Capitol Records, Sony Music, Universal Music, and Warner Bros Records – now own the Aurous intellectual property. Read More
Report Claims Spotify Will Allow Some Premium Windowing – The no-windowing policy was at the heart of the streaming service’s dispute with Taylor Swift; and its resolve has been tested by artists including Beyoncé, Adele and Coldplay, as the idea of making big albums only available for subscribers gained currency. Read More
Less Than 10% Of Spotify Users Listen To 1 Full Album Per Month, According To Study – “Based on research that we did at Universal a year and a half ago, we looked at free users, we looked at their album listening habits within a one month period, and we found that fewer than 10% of them listened to an album in full within that period. That’s something everybody’s got to wake up to.” Read More
Warner/Chappell Settles Happy Birthday Suit, Song Enters Public Domain – The settlement comes just days after Judge George H. King of the Central District of California had raised the possibility that other plaintiffs may be eligible to file claims on back royalties paid to Warner/Chappell and the previous rightsholders Birch Tree and the Summy Co. dating back to 1949. Read More
Posted by Glen Sears, Editorial Content Manager | June 29, 2015 9:00 am | No Comments
Story Of The Week
Merlin, WIN, Beggars, IMPALA, and Other Indies Agree To Bring Over 20,000 Artists Into Revised Apple Music Ecosystem
The weeks leading up to tomorrow’s Apple Music launch have been nothing if not eventful. After announcing huge artists for the new Beats One radio station and securing Taylor Swift as a fan, Apple Music scored another coup last week. Huge indie labels and organizations are now flocking to the new streaming service, and bringing with them enormous libraries of music.
It wasn’t without an uphill battle. Organizations such as independent music licensor Merlin boycotted Apple Music after it became public that Apple wouldn’t pay royalties to songwriters during the service’s 90-day free trial. Despite the fact that this is fairly standard practice across the industry, many (including Swift, an independent artist herself) looked to Apple to set the tone for the future of streaming music, saying “I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company.”
After Apple announced it would pay on its free trial of Apple Music, indie labels, publishers, and associations came around quickly. Beggars Group, one of indie music’s largest label groups, summed up the greater feelings toward Apple: “Over the last few days we have had increasingly fruitful discussions with Apple. We are now delighted to say that we are happy to endorse the deal with Apple Music as it now stands, and look forward to being a big part of a very exciting future.”
Other Important Headlines
TIDAL Parent Aspiro Removes CEO Andy Chen, Replaces Him With The CEO He Replaced – As the streaming company struggles to gain foothold, more shakeups on their Executive Team. Read More
Spotify Buys Beats’ Analytics Provider Seed Scientific – Spotify doubles down on data-driven recommendations and services, now boosted by the purchase of a data firm who previously served its primary competitor. Read More
American Idol Winners Sue Sony Music: “Your Equity Stake In Spotify Cheats Artists” – “…Together, and individually, Sony and the other major record labels therefore have significant power to exert control over Spotify in order to not only dictate how revenue will be paid, but wrongfully and in bad faith divert money from royalties that must be shared to other forms of revenue that they can keep for themselves.” Read More
SiriusXM Settles Lawsuit, Agrees To Pay $210 Million For Use Of Pre-1972 Recordings – They’ll also be able to play pre-1972 music through 2017. After that, they’ll have to come to new agreements. Read More
Linkin Park Looks For New Music Revenue, Ends Up At Harvard, Starts Venture Capital Firm – “To be clear, we are still in the music business, but creating and selling music now plays more of a supporting role in our overall business mix.” Read More
Courtney Love Attacked in Paris, Uber Driver Held Hostage by ‘Mob of Taxi Drivers’ – Love tweeted her experience during Paris’ protests-turned-violent against rideshare company Uber. Read More
Posted by Glen Sears, Editorial Content Manager | May 26, 2015 8:47 am | No Comments
Last wee’s music news cycle focused heavily on streaming services and subsequent publishing rights, in large part due to The Verge’s leak of a Sony/Spotify contract agreement. The agreement sent shockwaves through the music industry as many were surprised by the full spectrum of the deal. Here are last week’s top stories:
Former Rhapsody Exec Jon Maples Joins 8Tracks
International Music Managers Forum Publishes Open Letter to EU on Publishing Laws
Long-Time ASCAP Executive Karen Sherry Is Retiring
Sony Prepares To Remove More Music From Soundcloud, While Ultra Questions Its Model
Jack White Defends Tidal & Jay-Z, Asks “Should Movies Be Free?”
Spotify Moves Into YouTube Territory With New Video Offerings
Beloved Executive & Blue Note Veteran Bruce Lundvall Dies at 79
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- Digest: Spotify Inks Long-Term Deal With Merlin, Google Play Now Samsung’s Default Music Service, SAG-AFTRA Fund
- April 24, 2017
- Digest: Fans More Willing To Pay For Music, Amazon’s Music Plans, Slacker Lays Off Staff
- April 17, 2017
- Digest: SOCAN & SODRAC Set To Join Forces, Spotify Signs UMG Deal, May Avoid IPO
- April 10, 2017
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