December 1, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – EU Artists & Labels Call to Stem €125M Performance Outflow / Brazil and Peru Extend ‘Operation 404’ on Music Infringements / iHeartMedia Set for $100M from BMI Sale
Major European music industry stakeholders are urgently appealing to the EU for a legislative remedy following a court ruling, known as the “RAAP case,” that could potentially cost artists and labels millions annually.
Brazilian and Peruvian law enforcement, in collaboration with IFPI and Pro-Música Brasil, have successfully concluded another phase of ‘Operation 404.’ This ongoing initiative, one of the largest of its kind, targets internet infringement, particularly in unlicensed music services.
The boss of SoundExchange has used the news that US radio giant iHeartMedia stands to make about $100 million from the sale of BMI to again big up the American Music Fairness Act.
The Culture Committee in the European Parliament has called for new rules in the European Union in relation to music streaming, seeking more transparency about streaming service algorithms and forcing platforms to better credit music-makers and rightsholders.
The Grammy Museum Grant Program awards $200,000 to 14 recipients to provide support for music archiving, preservation, and research.
November 24, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – BMI Sells to New Mountain Capital / Spotify to Change Its Royalty Model / CMM Criticizes UK Government Over AI Roundtable
Private equity outfit New Mountain Capital has agreed a deal to buy US collecting society BMI – terms of the deal are not known but $100 million will be distributed to songwriters and publishers allied to the organisation.
Spotify has officially confirmed major changes to its royalty model in Q1 2024. The music streaming giant aims to address three key issues: discouraging artificial streaming, improving the distribution of small payments to artists, and preventing manipulation of the system with noise.
The UK government’s attempt to gather views on regulating artificial intelligence in the creative industries has faced criticism from the Council of Music Makers, which criticized the event for being unbalanced, as it allotted three seats to major record company executives but only one for representatives of all creatives across various media.
OpenAI is now facing yet another copyright infringement lawsuit over the protected media that it allegedly used to train ChatGPT. Unlike similar complaints, however, the newly filed class-action also names Microsoft as a defendant.
Spotify may leave Uruguay due to changes in music copyright laws. The company seeks clarity on cost responsibilities and plans to phase out services starting January 1, 2024, with a complete cessation by February 2024 if the issues are not resolved.
November 17, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Another Suitor Wants BMI And Has Put a $2BN+ Proposal on the Table / The MLC Introduces a New Lawyer Toolkit for Legal Professionals / Stability AI’s VP Of Audio Resigns Over Its Position on AI Training
Sources say a new financial player has made a weighty acquisition proposal for BMI, citing a higher 15X multiple on BMI’s annual EBITDA, suggesting a substantial enterprise valuation of $2.175 billion.
The Mechanical Licensing Collective has introduced The MLC’s Lawyer Toolkit, a resource designed to aid legal advisors and members of the music publishing community, such as music publishers, songwriters, composers, and lyricists, in addressing frequently asked questions related to The MLC.
The VP Of Audio at Stability AI, Ed Newton-Rex, has resigned in protest at the company’s position that training generative AI models with existing content is fair use under US copyright law – meaning it does not need to get the permission of copyright owners.
YouTube CEO Neal Mohan has expressed support for generative AI on the platform, but similar to TikTok, YouTube will soon require videos made with AI to be labeled as “synthetic.” The labels, to be introduced in the coming months, are meant for content that realistically depicts events or actions that didn’t occur, particularly in sensitive topics like elections and public health crises.
Got a YouTube copyright claim? The company is making efforts to streamline the process while steering creators toward its Creator Music to mitigate the amount of infringing content that appears on the platform.
November 10, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Campaign Launches to Support Introduction of US Radio Royalties / Global Value of Music Copyright Grew 14% to $41.5bn in 2022 / ASCAP Calls for Enhanced Copyright Office Guidance on AI
The musicFIRST Coalition has launched a new Dionne Warwick-fronted campaign to garner support for the American Music Fairness Act, which would introduce a royalty for the use of sound recordings by AM and FM radio stations in the US for the first time.
Will Page, former Spotify chief economist, has released his annual analysis of the global value of music copyright, revealing a record-breaking figure of $41.5 billion, a 14% increase from the previous year. The total comprises $26 billion from recorded music revenues, $11.4 million from collecting society revenues, and $4.1 million from ‘publishers’ direct’ revenues.
A little over one month after a number of ASCAP songwriters urged legislative action on artificial intelligence, the performance rights organization (PRO) has forwarded nearly 60 pages’ worth of music-specific AI commentary and regulatory recommendations to the Copyright Office.
Spotify plans to implement a new policy in early 2024 that exempts tracks from royalty payments until they accumulate over 1000 streams annually. This move, supported by major labels and streaming platforms, aims to redistribute royalties from less popular tracks to more active artists.
On November 10, the 66th annual Grammy Award nominees will be announced in a livestream event featuring thirteen past Grammy winners, including Amy Grant and Kim Petras. The event, accessible on live.Grammy.com and YouTube, will also include CBS Mornings co-hosts and Recording Academy CEO.
November 3, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – The MLC Has Distributed Over $1.5 Billion in Royalties to Members / BMG to Speed Up Mechanical Royalty Payments for Songs Released by their US Artists / Human Artistry Campaign Welcomes Joe Biden’s AI Executive Order
In its third Annual Membership Meeting last week, The Mechanical Licensing Collective revealed milestones and key metrics from the previous year, announcing the successful distribution of over $1.5 billion in royalties.
BMG has unveiled an initiative to speed up the payment of mechanical royalties to its US publishing clients when their songs are used on recordings released by BMG’s US artists. Mechanicals will be paid within the same quarter rather than the standard industry practice of at least three to six months later.
US President Joe Biden yesterday issued an executive order setting out a wide range of initiatives to regulate AI – a move welcomed by the music industry-led Human Artistry Campaign
Submissions to the US Copyright Office’s AI review have been published, with tech companies unsurprisingly insisting that training generative AI models with existing content is fair use and therefore can be done without the permission of copyright owners
TikTok and DistroKid have struck a new global deal that they say will create “new revenue opportunities for independent artists”. The deal will see music distributed by DistroKid available across TikTok Music, CapCut, and in TikTok’s Commercial Music Library.
October 27, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Cisac Reports Global Music Collections Rose 28% in 2022 / PRS for Music Scores the ‘Largest Single Royalty Payment in Its 109-Year History’ / Spotify Plots Change to Royalties Structure
Cisac, the global collecting societies body, has reported significant growth in music royalties collected by its members in 2022. Royalties for songwriters and composers reached €10.8 billion, a 28% increase from the previous year and the first time it exceeded €10 billion.
PRS for Music reports a record quarterly royalty distribution — the largest single royalty payment in the organization’s 109-year history — with live music touring and revenues from international markets among the key contributors.
Spotify is set to implement changes to its royalties model in early 2023. The reported changes will impact artists with lower streaming numbers, those accused of fraudulent activity, and creators uploading non-music tracks like white noise or nature sounds.
GESAC, representing song right collecting societies across Europe, has welcomed the news that two European Parliament committees have adopted a report which, among other things, calls for protections for music-makers against forced buy-outs when they are commissioned to create new music.
The record industry in Brazil has welcomed the shutdown of piracy site FileWarez following action taken by the cybercrime unit,Cyber Gaeco, at the São Paulo prosecutor’s office.
October 13, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – IMPF Proposes Set of ‘Ethical’ Guidelines For AI Developers / RIAA Adds ‘Voice Cloning’ Category to Notorious Markets List / Stream Manipulation Service Closes Down After Record Industry Legal Action
The Independent Music Publishers International Forum has issued a new set of guidelines for AI developers, which have been endorsed by 200 independent music publishing companies worldwide and aim to ensure “a more transparent collaboration” between indie publishers and AI tech firms.
The RIAA is adding a ‘Voice Cloning’ watch to its Notorious Markets report as generative AI makes it possible for anyone to create deep fake voice profiles of public figures. Here’s the latest.
Stream manipulation service SP-Onlinepromotion has closed down following legal action by German record industry trade group BVMI and global industry organisation IFPI.
Somms·ai, a new startup founded by former executives from Beatport, Napster, MTV, and Native Instruments, aims to assist artists, labels, and distributors in building their own AI music models using their catalog. The key feature of their platform is the ability to accurately trace AI-generated music back to its original inputs, ensuring proper credit, compensation, and monetization for creators.
The Pet Shop Boys have accused Drake of using their 1984 hit ‘West End Girls’ on a track from his new album ‘For All The Dogs’ without permission.
October 6, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – PPL Pays $15.4M in Neighboring Rights Royalties for Q3 2023 / US Supreme Court To Take Up Case Around Limitations on Copyright Damages / Spotify Threatens Uruguay Exit Amid Proposed Changes To Music Copyright Law
In its Q3 distribution, UK’s leading Collective Management Organization PPL paid out £12.7 million ($15.43 million) to over 25,500 performers and recording rights holders.
At the request of music publisher Warner Chappell Music and copyright owner Artist Publishing Group, the US Supreme Court is set to make a decision on statutes of limitations for copyright lawsuits. The decision could impact how long rights holders have to file infringement complaints.
Music streaming giant Spotify is considering withdrawal from Uruguay over proposed amendments to music copyright law in the market, which would see ‘social networks and the Internet [added] as formats for which, if a song is reproduced, the performer is entitled to financial remuneration’.
American lawyer Ben Crump says he is preparing a legal case challenging the way record companies are interpreting pre-digital record contracts when it comes to sharing streaming income with heritage artists.
Vinyl sales have surged by 13.2% year-on-year for the first nine months of 2023. According to data from the BPI, 3,952,262 vinyl LPs were sold during the year to the end of September.
September 29, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Latin Music Generated $627M in US Recorded Music Revenues in H1 2023 / Mdundo Triples Premium Revenue as MAUs Top 26.6 Million / SiriusXM Moves To Dismiss SoundExchange’s Lawsuit
Latin music revenues grew 14.8% YoY in the US in H1, generating $627M in gross revenues, growing from 7.1% in the first half of 2022 to a new high of 7.5% in the first half of 2023.
In the annual report for its fiscal year that ended on June 30, Mdundo reported a subscription revenue jump from $1.02 million the previous year to $1.78 million by the end of June. The Kenya-headquartered music streaming service reported a 239% year-over-year jump in revenue from paid subscriptions, recording a 23.2% increase in monthly active users.
Last month, SoundExchange sued SiriusXM for allegedly failing to pay north of $150 million in owed royalties. Now, the satellite radio giant has moved to dismiss the complaint on jurisdictional grounds.
A group of music publishers have submitted another filing in their ongoing legal battle with X – or Twitter if you prefer – hitting back at the social media firm’s motion for dismissal. They dispute X’s interpretation of US copyright law regarding what is required to hold it liable for copyright infringement.
The estate of Ed Townsend — who is the co-writer of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” — has decided to officially end the court battle with Sheeran over allegations that the latter’s “Thinking Out Loud” infringed Gaye’s 1973 hit.
September 22, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – US Bill Would Allow Indie Artists Negotiations with Streaming Services, AI Companies / US Recorded Music Grew 9.3% in H1 2023 / SoundExchange Paid $498M in H1 2023
The Protect Working Musicians Act of 2023 bill would give independent music creator-owners the ability to negotiate collectively over payments from streaming services, and over the use of their works by AI algorithms.
The RIAA has published stats for the US recorded music market in the first half of 2023 – retail revenues grew 9.3% to $8.4 billion, in no small part powered by ongoing growth in premium streaming and vinyl.
US performance rights organization SoundExchange distributed USD $269 million in digital royalties to creators in the second quarter of 2023 which marked a 17% YoY increase from the same period last year.
A group of songwriters and composers will go to Congress on Thursday (September 21) to discuss the protection of music creators’ rights around the recent expansion of artificial intelligence (AI).
The Bertelsmann-owned music company formally detailed the publishing administration pact with 68-year-old Jones, 67-year-old Cook, and the estate of Sid Vicious today. Focusing mainly on the cultural impact of the Sex Pistols, the corresponding release notes that the newly inked deal extends to the mentioned professionals’ “portion of the legendary rock band’s songwriting catalog.”
September 15, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – ICMP to Launch Anti-Piracy Platform for Music Publishers in Partnership With MUSO / Spain’s Recorded Music Market Grew 11.53% During H1 2023 / DistroKid Has Acquired Bandzoogle
The International Confederation of Music Publishers, the global trade organization representing the music publishing industry, has launched the ICMP Anti-Piracy Platform in partnership with piracy tracking startup MUSO, aiming to counter what they call “the pervasive issue of Illegal musical content online”.
The Spanish music industry grew almost 12% during 2023’s opening half, when streaming accounted for nearly 87% of revenue, according to newly released data.
D.I.Y. digital music distributor DistroKid has acquired the leading music website and commerce platform, Bandzoogle which powers over 60,000 musician websites and commission-free online stores.
The Association of Independent Music Publishers and Producers in Bulgaria (ANMIP), has joined IMPALA, the association for independent music businesses across Europe. ANMIP, founded earlier this year, aims to strengthen Bulgaria’s independent music community and align with European counterparts. ANMIP will also join the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) through IMPALA.
Stability AI yesterday launched Stable Audio, which it says “will empower music enthusiasts and creative professionals to generate new content with the help of AI”.
September 8, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Streaming Services Must Pay Late Fees on Mechanical Licenses / PRS For Music expands Nexus data programme to speed up royalty payments / BMI boss responds to speculation over reported private equity sale
The US Copyright Office has ruled that streaming services must pay late fees on royalty payments in connection with the Music Modernization Act’s blanket mechanical license.
PRS For Music has extended its Nexus programme, with a new initiative to ensure songwriter and composer information is linked to recordings prior to release.
The boss of BMI has issued a statement in response to all the speculation about the US collecting society’s shift to becoming a for-profit enterprise and a reported imminent sale to private equity outfit New Mountain Capital.
The French music industry generated €397 million from digital and physical music sales & streaming. Streaming accounted for a whopping 77% of that total, rising from 71% in 2021 and 75% in 2022.
Apple is making further strides into the classical music industry, following the launch of Apple Music Classical earlier this year. The company has now acquired BIS Records, a 50-year old Swedish record label known for its focus on early and contemporary classical music.
September 1, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – BMG Grows Revenues to €414M / US Copyright Office Declines To Revisit the Section 115 Compulsory License / Italy’s Recorded Music Revenues Grew 14.2% in H1
Bertelsmann’s half-year report highlights BMG’s impressive performance, with revenues reaching €414 million, marking an 11.5% increase from last year’s €371 million.
In response to singer-songwriter George Johnson’s request for a study on repealing the Section 115 compulsory license, the US Copyright Office has deemed a new inquiry “premature.”
Recorded music revenues in Italy experienced a substantial 14.2% year-on-year growth in the first half of this year, totaling €175 million.
The US Copyright Office has initiated a public consultation regarding copyright concerns associated with artificial intelligence, particularly generative AI. Interested parties are encouraged to share their views on four main discussion areas and specific questions outlined in the consultation.
The SOURCE Hall of Fame welcomed seven distinguished music industry veterans in a ceremony held at Nashville’s Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. This year’s inductees included Marcie Allen Van Mol, Renee Bell, Janice Jackson, Jackie Patillo, Becky Shanks, Denise Stiff, and Valerie Summers.
August 25, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – BMI Reportedly in Talks to Sell to Private Equity Firm / Songwriters Seek Details on For-Profit BMI’s Plans and Sale / Netease Cloud Music’s Paid Monthly Users Grew 11%
BMI is reportedly considering an offer to sell to private equity firm New Mountain Capital for $1.7 billion. The deal is yet to be signed, while New Mountain Capital has entered an exclusive window to look it over.
Several US songwriter groups have written to the CEO of American collecting society BMI, raising concerns about its decision to become a for-profit entity and recent reports of potential sale to private equity.
NetEase Cloud Music, China’s second-largest music streaming service, reported a growth in paying subscribers and music streaming revenue in its recent earnings report.
The Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) has released its annual report for 2022/23, announcing the addition of new members and highlighting the strength of the independent recorded music sector.
YouTube is addressing the responsible use of generative AI models in music creation, given initiatives from companies like Google, Meta, and OpenAI.
August 18, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – CRB Officially Finalizes Phonorecords III Determination / PPL Makes Progress in Reducing Gender and Ethnicity Pay Gaps / SoundExchange Sues SiriusXM
Back in April, songwriter organizations called on the Copyright Royalty Board to accelerate the finalization of the Phonorecords III ruling that it had handed down in July of 2022. Now, the three-judge CRB has officially issued its final determination for the five-year stretch at hand.
UK licensing firm PPL has released its recent diversity statistics, indicating positive advancements in narrowing gender and ethnicity pay disparities. The mean gender pay gap in favour of men is now 5.4%, down from 11.7% in 2022, and the mean ethnicity pay gap has reduced from 39.8% in favour of white employees in 2022 to 30% now.
SoundExchange has initiated legal action against SiriusXM to reclaim unpaid royalties and late fees related to sound recordings used on the satellite streaming service. SoundExchange alleges that SiriusXM has withheld more than $150 million in unpaid royalties over the past several years, in their estimation.
UK electronic music pioneers, the Chemical Brothers, have chosen to consolidate their entire publishing catalogue with BMG. The deal means the duo’s first seven albums, beginning with 1995’s Exit Planet Dust, now move to BMG, including No.1 singles Block Rockin’ Beats and Setting Sun, plus major hits Galvanize and Hey Boy Hey Girl.
The Recording Academy opens up Grammy U membership to anyone between the ages of 18-29 seeking a music career, negating the college enrollment requirement. Launched in 2006, Grammy U is an avenue for college students seeking music careers to achieve their dreams.
August 11, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Bandlab Supports HAC / musicFIRST Criticizes iHeartMedia For Not Compensating Recording Artists / PRS and PPL Partner with Audoo
BandLab Technologies, a prominent music creation company headquartered in Singapore, has become the first music creation platform to officially support the Human Artistry Campaign (HAC), an alliance of over 150 organizations dedicated to overseeing the responsible use of generative AI in enhancing human creativity.
After iHeartMedia posted total revenue of $920M for Q2 2023, it faced criticism from the musicFIRST Coalition for not compensating recording artists.
UK collecting societies PRS and PPL have partnered with Audoo, a technology company specializing in monitoring music played in establishments like pubs, bars, cafes, and shops.
Spotify is expanding the beta version of its AI-enhanced DJ feature to 50 new countries, extending from its initial launch in the US and Canada.
YouTube is commemorating the 50th anniversary of hip-hop with its FIFTY DEEP campaign, showcasing an archive of 2,000 music videos that highlight the genre’s defining artists, spanning from Ice T to Ice Spice.
August 4, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Deezer Lowers Revenue Forecast For FY 2023 / Meta Introduces AudioCraft / A2IM Launches Health Care Program for Artists
Deezer lowered its revenue growth forecast for 2023 from double-digit to 7-10% YoY due to slower partnership and vertical growth.
Meta has announced a new tool that can generate high-quality, realistic audio from text prompts called AudioCraft.
The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) launched the A2IM Artist Pro program, providing independent artists with health insurance and other benefits for a $99 annual membership fee.
Meta shows progress by beating Wall Street projections in Q2 2023. Their Reels feature, similar to TikTok, gets 200 billion daily views on Facebook and Instagram, generating an annual revenue run rate of $10 billion, rivaling TikTok’s earnings.
Amazon Music and Bandsintown have teamed up to allow fans to shop for merchandise from artists’ profiles on the Bandsintown website and app. The integration offers a variety of merchandise, including apparel and physical music, and provides free marketing tools.
July 28, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Sinéad O’Connor, Irish Singer Dies at 56 / YouTube’s Quarterly Ad Revenue Hits $7.7BN / BMI in Renewed Talks to Sell Itself
Irish singer and activist Sinéad O’Connor has passed away at the age of 56, her family and team have revealed.
Alphabet reported $7.665 billion in revenue from YouTube ads, a 4.4% YoY increase.
US performance rights company Broadcast Music Inc. is once again exploring options including a sale.
US performance rights organization SoundExchange collected USD $1.017 billion in royalties to artists and labels in 2022. It collected those royalties from over 3,600 digital streaming providers and distributed them to more than 600,000 creators as well as righstholders.
Spotify achieved all-time-high quarterly user growth – and suffered a €247 million operating loss – during 2023’s second quarter, according to a newly released earnings report.
July 21, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – SESAC Partners With Five SEA Collection Societies to Form Multi-Territorial Digital Licensing Hub / Worldwide Independent Network Expands Into Paraguay and South India / German recorded music sector grew 6.6% in first half of 2023
Five Asian collection societies and SESAC Music Group have entered into what they call a “historic collaboration for the music industry in Asia”. The group of societies have formed The Asian Alliance Music Rights Organization (AAMRO), a music rights hub established to manage music licensing and royalty distribution of their combined repertories.
Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) has expanded into Paraguay and South India and now spans 36 trade associations in 40 territories.
The German recorded music industry grew 6.6% in the first half of 2023 to €1.06bn, after a 6.1% increase for the full year of 2022.
A coalition of organizations representing creators and copyright owners have called on all the institutions of the European Union to back data and transparency provisions that were added to the EU Artificial Intelligence Act by the European Parliament.
The Elon Musk-owned social-media platform only recently announced the program’s formal debut, after first outlining the revenue-sharing initiative closer to 2023’s beginning. Separate from subscriptions and the associated income, Creator Ads Revenue Sharing will ultimately “be available in all the countries where Stripe supports payouts.”
July 14, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Luminate Publishes ‘Midyear Music Report’ / YouTube Content ID Claims Reach All-Time High / OpenAI Inks 6-Year Deal with Shutterstock
Luminate published its ‘Midyear Music Report’, which confirms that digital music consumption continues to grow, with the global music industry’s trillion streams milestone being reached in March this year, a month earlier than in 2022. And, by the end of June, two trillion audio streams had been delivered across the various digital platforms since the start of the year, a 22.9% increase on the same period last year.
YouTube’s recent transparency report shows the number of Content ID copyright system claims has reached a new high — 826 million claims in just six months.
Shutterstock, a leading content and creative workflow platform, has announced the expansion of its partnership with artificial intelligence pioneer OpenAI. Through a new six-year agreement, Shutterstock will provide “high-quality training data” for OpenAI models.
SoundExchange is transforming how creators receive compensation for their musical work by distributing royalty payments easily and immediately into their bank accounts – one of the only organizations of its kind to do so. Along with Paypal and Venmo, last year SoundExchange began offering registered creators the choice of receiving royalty payments using CashApp and Zelle.
The European Composer & Songwriter Alliance has published a new report called ‘Music Streaming And Its Impact On Music Authors’. It sets out six recommendations for addressing the concerns expressed about the digital music business by those who compose and write the music that everyone is streaming.
July 7, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Spanish Authors Society SGAE’s Revenues Hit $367M in 2022 / Sweden’s STIM Reports Record Revenue for 2022 / UK Recorded Music Exports Grew by 20% Last Year
Spanish authors society SGAE posted a 35% year-over-year jump in revenue in 2022 to €349 million, the highest since 2007.
Thanks in large part to an over 200 percent year-over-year (YoY) boost in live revenue as well as a 47 percent YoY hike in international streaming and UGC income, Sweden’s STIM has reported record royalty collections of over $250 million (SEK 2.71 billion) for 2022.
UK recorded music exports last year were up 20% to £709 million, due to an increase in physical and digital download sales, streams and other consumption of British music in every region globally last year.
The stock music niche is projected to grow by nearly $665 million by 2027 due to the expanding variety of stock music coupled with the increasing adoption of the subscription model.
TikTok is finally launching its own “social music streaming service,” initially in Indonesia and Brazil, the company announced Thursday, with licensing from all three major music companies.
June 30, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – NSAI Relaunches House Songwriters Caucus / musicFIRST Coalition Doubles Down on Calls for Terrestrial Radio Royalties / RIAA Asks Discord to Remove ‘AI Hub’ Server Hosting Copyrighted Songs
The Songwriters Caucus – which establishes a group of like-minded lawmakers who support songwriters and will play an important role in promoting the songwriting community by working to ensure the creative rights of songwriters are protected – has been relaunched in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The musicFIRST Coalition is once again calling for the passage of legislation that would compel stateside terrestrial radio stations to pay recorded royalties.
The Recording Industry Association of America has sent a DMCA subpoena to Discord, asking the platform to provide it with the identities of certain individuals who have been sharing musical data on the “AI Hub” Discord server hosting copyrighted songs after previously requesting that Discord disable the server altogether.
Songwriter and copyright campaigner George Johnson has urged the American Copyright Office to review the compulsory licence that exists in the US covering the mechanical copying of songs.
BMI announced it is launching a new initiative to modernize and enhance the customer service experience for its songwriters, composers and publishers. The new project will include the creation of a dedicated customer service team and the implementation of new processes and technologies to more effectively manage the high volume of royalty administration inquiries the company receives.
June 23, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – US Music Publishing and Recorded Music Industry Grew in 2022 / US Live Industry Appeals BMI Royalty Rate Increase / SACEM Posts Record Collections for 2022
The US recorded music industry grew by $500M in 2022 and the US music publishing industry grew by nearly double that amount.
Live music giants and promoters appeal the recent ruling in the American rate courts that increased the royalties they need to pay collecting society BMI for the songs performed at concerts in the US.
French song rights society SACEM reports all-time-high collections of over €1.41 billion (currently $1.55 billion), a 34% increase in collections in 2022.
The sponsors of the American Music Fairness Act, senators Alex Padilla and Marsha Blackburn, have written an op-ed piece for Variety reiterating the bill’s intentions to finally introduce performance royalties for terrestrial radio in the US, arguing that the lack of these royalties hurts American artists not just at home, but internationally.
The Recording Academy has updated the rules for the 2024 Grammy Awards to include music created with the help of AI tools. The new rules now state that “only human creators are eligible to be submitted for consideration for, nominated for, or win a Grammy award”—but AI-assisted music will also be considered.
June 16, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Music Publishers Sue Twitter / Music Distributors Ally to Fight Streaming Fraud / ASCAP CEO Comments on AI Initiatives
The NMPA has filed a $250 million lawsuit against Twitter for copyright infringement on behalf of 17 music publishing companies, claiming that Twitter has knowingly infringed on approximately 1,700 songs and seeks damages of $150,000 for each instance of infringement.
Amazon Music, Spotify, Distrokid, Empire, Downtown, and other major players in the music industry have joined forces to launch the Music Fights Fraud Alliance (MFFA), a global task force that aims to eradicate fraud in music streaming and represents the first united front against streaming fraud.
US-based PRO ASCAP is embracing artificial intelligence (AI) in the music industry with plans for an AI-focused symposium, panel session, and a startup challenge. ASCAP’s board of directors has also outlined principles prioritizing rights, compensation, and proper permissions for music used in AI training.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has introduced an AI text-to-music generator called MusicGen, which can create 12-second music clips based on text prompts and melodic cues.
Grammy-winning composer Maria Schneider has withdrawn her lawsuit against YouTube just a day before the trial was scheduled to begin. Schneider had accused YouTube of enabling infringement of her works through its Content ID system.
June 9, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Australian Music Industry Launches Petition Over Radio Royalty Caps / Music Industry Organisations Give Perspectives On Economics Of Streaming Debate / UK Culture Secretary States Asserts Active Role of Music-Maker Remuneration Group
Australia’s music industry is petitioning for changes to copyright law that imposes caps on radio royalty payments to artists and labels. The caps, in place since 1969, are seen as undervaluing artists and limiting their earnings. The industry seeks fair market rates for music played on the radio.
The UK government is addressing streaming economics through projects on data, transparency, and music-maker remuneration. A music industry contact group representing stakeholders has been involved. Recent developments include a signed code of practice for music metadata and the formation of a new working group on music-maker remuneration.
The UK Culture Secretary assured MPs that the government-led working group on music-maker remuneration will deliver solutions, not just discussions. Disagreements within the music industry and varying remuneration issues pose challenges for consensus.
UK startup Figaro is expanding its audio-search technology to help streaming services address challenges related to AI-generated music. It aims to assist with quantity, quality, and copyright infringement issues.
The Dua Lipa “Levitating” lawsuit has been dismissed by a federal judge. The plaintiffs, Artikal Sound System, have agreed to drop the action. The case has been dismissed with prejudice, and both parties will bear their own costs.
June 2, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – CISAC provides updates on ISWC developments in its annual report / UK Government Forms Creator “Remuneration Working Group”, Unveils Music Streaming Metadata / MCPS Mechanical Distributions Top $232M in 2022
CISAC, the global organization of song right collecting societies, has published its annual report which emphasizes the importance of the ISWC identifier for songs and addresses challenges with the collective licensing system.
The UK government has established what it calls a working group on creator remuneration and in the same week has unveiled an industry agreement on music streaming metadata.
The Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society (MCPS) says it has increased member distributions to £188.4 ($232M) in 2022. The MCPS collects mechanical royalties on behalf of 34,000 publishers, songwriters, and composers when their music is copied or reproduced.
The US Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar last week urged the country’s Supreme Court to decline to review the Genius v Google legal battle, where lyrics platform Genius accused Google of scraping content off its website and then plonking those lyrics into the info boxes that appear on the search engine when people search for specific songs.
Music streaming service TIDAL has unveiled TIDAL Artist Home, a new feature that allows artists to manage how fans see their TIDAL profile, among other functionalities. These initiatives aim to promote fair pay for musicians and enhance the accuracy and transparency of metadata in the streaming industry.
May 26, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Rock ‘n’ Roll Trailblazer Tina Turner Dies at 83 / ASCAP, BMI Create Joint Task Force to Address Fraud / Copyright Royalty Board Confirms Songwriter Mechanical Royalty Rates for 2018-2022
Legendary vocalist Tina Turner has passed away at age 83 after a long illness. Known as the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” she leaves behind a powerful musical legacy and serves as a role model. Turner’s spokesperson confirmed her peaceful passing at her home in Switzerland.
ASCAP and BMI, leading performing rights organizations in the US, have joined forces to combat fraud in the collective management of musical works. Their joint task force will tackle issues in data integrity, identity verification, and registration processes.
The Copyright Royalty Board has issued a determination on mechanical royalty rates for US songwriters and publishers from 2018 to 2022. The ruling increases royalties annually, reaching 15.1% of service revenue by the end of 2022.
The International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has praised a new report from the European Commission, which identifies concerns regarding intellectual property rights enforcement in various countries. The report aims to highlight countries that cause significant economic harm to EU interests.
BMI and Music Nation have partnered to establish a world-class music licensing and royalty distribution infrastructure in the United Arab Emirates. This collaboration aims to protect the rights of music creators, support the development of songwriters and composers, and elevate the region’s music industry.
May 19, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Copyright Alliance backs the record industry in legal battle with Yout / Music by Italian Songwriters Returns to Facebook and Instagram / US Congress puts spotlight on copyright questions posed by generative AI
The US Copyright Alliance supports the RIAA in its legal battle against stream-ripping platform Yout, after it sued the RIAA based on the claim that its service was entirely legal.
The Italian Society of Authors and Publishers (SIAE) has reached a new agreement with Meta-owned platforms Facebook and Instagram, leading to the return of SIAE-represented music on these platforms.
Generative AI technologies and their implications for copyright were the main focus of discussions in the US Congress recently, with music-makers given the opportunity to set out their concerns and priorities before the House Judiciary Committee
The European Union has taken a significant step towards regulating artificial intelligence by adopting a draft negotiating mandate for the world’s first AI rules. The rules aim to ensure AI systems are safe, transparent, non-discriminatory, traceable, and environmentally friendly, with human oversight.
YouTube’s latest impact report reveals that its creator ecosystem contributed over $35 billion to the US GDP in 2022, supporting 390,000 full-time jobs.
SoundExchange has distributed over $10 billion since its establishment in 2003. The milestone was reached with its 162nd distribution, according to SoundExchange.
May 12, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – President Biden Nominates Former RIAA Lawyer as U.S. IPEC / Music Publishers Ask US Supreme Court to Intervene Over Questions in Wolfgang’s Vault Case / PRS Foundation and MMF Reports Hail Success of Music Funds
President Biden nominated Deborah Robinson as the next IPEC, who advises on US intellectual property strategy. Robinson has a strong background in IP enforcement, having worked for Paramount Global and the Recording Industry Association of America, and is involved in various diversity and justice organizations.
Music publishers have appealed to the US Supreme Court, claiming that a specific ruling in their past legal battle with concert streaming service Wolfgang’s Vault misinterpreted American copyright law. The publishers sued in 2015, arguing that Wolfgang’s Vault did not secure necessary licenses to stream concert recordings containing their controlled songs.
The PRS Foundation and MMF have published reports at The Great Escape, quantifying the success of their music funds. The PPL Momentum Music Fund has awarded over £5.2m to 526 emerging artists in the last decade, generating more than £22m for the UK music industry. Meanwhile, the MMC Accelerator programme has supported 115 managers, generating at least £9.4m in artist turnover.
SoundCloud has introduced a direct-to-fan tool called Fans on its SoundCloud For Artists platform that allows music-makers to directly message their most engaged fans about upcoming releases, shows, and merchandise.
Anghami, the MENA region’s Spotify rival, is launching its AI-Powered Personalized Podcast feature, allowing users to create and customize their own podcasts by selecting topics, voices, and languages.
May 5, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – US Government Publishes Annual Report Assessing Copyright Regimes Around the World / Ed Sheeran Cleared by Jury of Infringing on Copyright for Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’ / Spotify Is Blocking Releases from AI Music Platform Boomy – But Not Because of AI
The US Trade Representative’s annual report on intellectual property highlights countries, including China and India, that need to do more to protect IP.
Spotify removed songs created with Boomy due to alleged fake streams, not the use of AI. Boomy, which enables anyone to create original songs using AI, has created 13.81% of the world’s recorded music.
SiriusXM’s revenue dropped 2% YoY due to an 8% decline in Pandora’s Q1 2023 monthly active users amid competition from Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. Traditional radio-style services continue to lose subscribers.
Ed Sheeran was cleared of copyright infringement on Marvin Gaye’s hit song “Let’s Get It On” for his song “Thinking Out Loud.” Sheeran expressed frustration at the accusation and called for trusted individuals to protect copyright and allow the creative process to continue.
Producer David W. Smith is suing 50 Cent, Fat Joe, Remy Ma, and Scott Storch for allegedly copying his 2003 track “WHACHACOM4?” in their songs “Candy Shop” and “Lean Back.” Smith claims the rappers and producer “made millions of dollars from their exploitation” of his track.
April 28, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Indies account for 27.1% of global music publishing market, says new IMPF report / Italian regulator tells Meta to resume licensing talks with SIAE / Politician In France Calls For New Tax On Music Streaming Services
IMPF’s latest report on independent music publishing shows the global market is worth €7.68bn in 2021, up from €6.51bn in 2020. Independent publishers hold a 27.1% market share, worth €2.08bn in 2021. The report highlights the impact of the pandemic on songwriters and publishers, who suffered more due to the loss of live performances. Streaming revenues helped mitigate losses, but indie publishers complain that they only receive 20% of the revenues, calling for a re-balancing of the split to reflect their essential role.
Italy’s competition regulator has ordered Meta to resume negotiations with SIAE, the country’s song rights collecting society. Meta had excluded SIAE’s catalog from its platforms after failing to agree on a new licensing deal. Meta must now seek to restore SIAE’s music to Facebook and Instagram with the society’s consent and provide information for transparent negotiations. SIAE criticized Meta for lack of transparency during the negotiations.
A French senator has proposed a 1.75% tax rate on music streaming apps’ revenue, including Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, and YouTube Music, to generate an estimated €20 million annually. The proposal aims to create a sustainable funding source without disrupting economic balances or affecting consumers. The senator has called on the Minister of Culture to support the proposal.
European independent music organization Impala has published a new plan to reform the streaming economy, with a focus on raising music subscription prices in line with inflation, ending dilution, and tackling value gaps. Impala also opposes Spotify’s Discovery Mode and is against the idea of applying equitable remuneration to streaming royalties, instead calling for labels to pay artists a fair contemporary digital royalty rate.
Ed Sheeran has appeared in a New York court to deny accusations that his song Thinking Out Loud copied Marvin Gaye’s song Let’s Get it On. The heirs of Gaye’s co-writer argue that Sheeran, Warner Music Group and Sony Music Publishing owe them money for allegedly stealing the song.
April 21, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Cassette Tape Sales Reach Almost 200k in 2022 / Snapchat Stories Monetization Expands for Eligible Creators / Soundtrack Loops & Cherry Audio Collaborate for Charitable ‘Humble Bundle’
Cassette tapes are making a comeback with sales rising for ten consecutive years, reaching 195,000 in total. The British Phonographic Industry attributes this to fans wanting to own music and the success of artists with strong followings like Arctic Monkeys and Harry Styles.
Snapchat creators with 50K+ followers and 25M monthly views are eligible for the app’s monetization program. Creators who meet the criteria and share 10 disappearing posts per month may profit from their Stories. Snap is also expanding monetization opportunities on Spotlight, increasing the total payout pool for creators of top Spotlight posts, and introducing Public Profiles and Public Stories.
Soundtrack Loops partners with Cherry Audio to create a donation-based ‘Humble Bundle’ called ‘Level Up Music Creators Power Pack’, with proceeds going to the non-profit organization, Music Will. The bundle offers virtual synths, instruments, and sound packs to support music education in the US public school system.
SoundCloud has teamed up with Feature.fm to provide indie artists with marketing tools including pre-save and smart links, campaign and artist landing pages, and a self-serve ad platform. The partnership includes perks and discounts for SoundCloud artists, with SoundCloud’s highest ‘Next Pro’ tier getting a free plan and ad credits. Feature.fm recently partnered with YouTube Music to track the number of streams from Feature.fm Smart Links.
Obrafour, a Ghanaian artist, has sued rapper Drake for using an unauthorized sample from his song in Drake’s 2022 track “Calling My Name.” Obrafour is seeking $10 million in damages, profits from record sales, and other sources of revenue associated with the track.
April 14, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Latin Music Revenues Reached $1.1B in 2022 / Women & Non-Binary People Makeup ‘Pitifully Low’ Percentage of Producers & Engrs. in Recording Studios / META Faces Competition Probe In Italy After Pulling Music By Italian Songwriters
The Recording Industry Association of America reported that Latin music revenues in the US increased by 24% in 2022, totaling an unprecedented $1.1 billion, with streaming remaining the primary vehicle driving the genre’s revenues at $1.06 billion. Vinyl also grew significantly, accounting for slightly less than 1% of Latin music.
A new report by Fix the Mix — an initiative launched in 2022 by nonprofit We Are Moving the Needle and official music credits database Jaxsta — has found that women and non-binary people are underrepresented in audio producing and engineering roles in recording studios. The report analyzed 1,128 songs from 2022 and found that only 6.7% of the top 240 credited producers and engineers were women and non-binary people.
Italy’s competition regulator, AGCM, has accused Meta of “unduly interrupting” talks with SIAE to license the use of the society’s repertoire on its platforms. SIAE – the main collecting society for tens of thousands of songwriters in Italy – claims that Meta failed to share the information required to carry out a fair negotiation, while Meta said SIAE refused its “take it or leave it” offer. Meta has been removing SIAE’s content since the deal expired on 1 January.
The Human Artistry Campaign, which focuses on issues around generative AI, has gained support from music industry groups globally. The campaign seeks to address the licensing of data mining, transparency, and copyright status of AI-generated works. Music organisations in Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK have joined the campaign.
The Digital Media Association (DiMA) has released a study that looks at the economic impact of music streaming on the U.S. economy, including the creation of 92,000 jobs. The DiMA serves as a trade organization for the biggest music streamers: Amazon, Apple Music, Google/YouTube, Pandora, and Spotify. The study does not look at the impact that streaming has on musicians and songwriters but rather its effect on the broader U.S. economy.
April 7, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – GEMA’s Revenues Rose 13% YOY / PPL Paid Artists and Other Rightsholders $21.5M in International Neighboring Rights Money / Songwriters Call On the CRB to ‘Accelerate Finalization’ of Phonorecords III Determination
Germany-based music collection society GEMA reports to have achieved its best-ever results in 2022. The organization’s total revenues for the financial year were €1.178 billion ($1.238bn at annual average exchange rates as per the IRS), up 13% versus 2021’s €1.039 billion.
The IFPI’s Global Music Report shows the neighboring rights market generated $2.5bn revenue in 2022. PPL paid $21.5m to over 26k rightsholders in Q1, derived from 76 CMOs, with significant payments from France, Germany, Italy, and the USA.
Last July, the Copyright Royalty Board issued a determination for the Phonorecords III (covering 2018-2022) proceeding, increasing by 43.8% on-demand streaming’s mechanical royalty rate for songwriters and publishers in the U.S. Now, multiple organizations are urging the CRB to “accelerate finalization” of the decision – and, in the process, free up $700 million to $800 million in owed royalties.
The Recording Academy and United Nations Human Rights-backed initiatives have launched a “Right Here, Right Now” campaign to promote social justice through music.
In July of 2022, the IFPI celebrated an Italian court’s interim injunction against Cloudflare, which the industry representative accused of “making it possible for users to access copyright infringing websites.” Now, the IFPI has formally responded to a new decision upholding the injunction.
March 31, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – BMI Secures Concert Royalty Rate Boost in the US / UK Government Unveils Bill for Reforming Broadcasting Laws / PRS Reduces Joining Fee for Younger Music-Makers
US music rights management company BMI has clinched victory in a rate court dispute against live events promoters Live Nation, AEG, and the North American Concert Promoters Association.
The UK government proposed a Media Bill to modernize broadcasting legislation and level the playing field with global streaming giants.
PRS is reducing the joining fee for songwriters and composers under 25 from £100 to £30 to make it easier for young music-makers to sign up.
Apple Music’s new standalone ‘Apple Music Classical’ app is now available on the App Store for subscribers worldwide.
A federal judge has officially dismissed a copyright lawsuit filed against Childish Gambino (real name Donald Glover) and others over 2018’s “This Is America.”
March 24, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Global Recorded Music Revenues Grew by 9% / CMM Issues Latest Calls for Streaming Reform / Support for Human Artistry Campaign Grows
According to the IFPI, the global recorded music market generated $26.2bn in 2022, up 9% YoY, with streaming accounting for 67% of revenue.
The Council Of Music Makers urges record labels, music publishers and streaming services to work with artists, songwriters and their managers to address each of the five key priorities they are calling for.
An ever-expanding list of 40+ creative organizations, including music, sports, and acting coalitions, have joined the Human Artistry Campaign to promote a list of principles for advancing artificial intelligence within the creative space.
Italian recorded music industry revenue increased by about 11% year over year (YoY) during 2022, per newly released data from the Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana.
A US judge dismissed a song theft lawsuit against Nickelback due to lack of evidence for how the band had accessed the earlier song.
March 17, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Brazilian Law Enforcement Takes Down Infringing Domains & Music Apps / SNEP Concerned About France’s Streaming Subs Growth / IMPALA Calls on European Commission to Complete its Investigation into the ‘Reciprocity Approach’
With support from IFPI and Pro-Música Brasil, Brazilian law enforcement has completed a substantial series of actions as part of the ongoing Operation 404, an initiative tackling copyright and license-infringing services on the internet.
Alexandre Lasch, managing director of SNEP indicates his concerns that France is lagging behind other major markets in terms of premium subscription streaming.
IMPALA has called on the European Commission to hurry up and complete its work considering what European law says about the flow of broadcast and public performance royalties between countries.
Amazon Music has announced two new shows to highlight hip-hop and Latin music. Hosts include Speedy Morman, Nyla Symone, Gabe P, Rob Markman, and Puerto Rican journalist Gio Rosado. Both shows will be available on Amazon Music and the Wondery YouTube page.
The Rolling Stones have been sued over allegations that their 2020 track ‘Living In A Ghost Town’ rips off two earlier songs.
March 10, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – ASCAP Reports Record-High 2022 Revenue / Spotify Approaches $40BN in Payouts / UK Recorded Music Revenues Up 4.7%
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has reported a record high of $1.52 billion in collections for 2022, with over $1.38 billion having been made available for distribution to members.
A headline stat published by Spotify on Wednesday is that as of 2022, Spotify’s all-time payouts to the music industry are approaching $40 billion (including both recording and publishing royalties).
UK record label trade group BPI presents stats about the performance of the British recorded music business in 2022.
TikTok plans to launch “Series,” allowing creators to turn their “stories, talents, and creativity” into premium content with custom prices.
SoundCloud tests AI-powered vertical feed on iOS and Android apps to suggest new content and enhance music discovery for its users.
March 3, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Netease Cloud Music (NMC) says that it counted more than 611,000 registered independent artists as of the end of December, 2022, and that its content library includes approximately 2.6 million music tracks generated by its registered independent artists. This number was confirmed by NetEase CFO Charles Yang on the company’s earnings call on Thursday, who also told analysts that NCM’s “in-house music studios also made solid progress, popularizing a batch of hit songs,” in 2022.
Spotify announced a new listening feature that incorporates artificial intelligence technology on Wednesday (Feb. 22). Instead of clicking through an editorial playlist like Today’s Top Hits or an algorithmic one like Discovery Weekly, premium users in the United States and Canada can now turn to “DJ,” which supplements algorithmic recommendations with commentary about the selections delivered via an AI voice platform.
The public performance licensing joint venture from PPL and PRS for Music, PPL PRS Ltd, celebrates its fifth anniversary with a report of £1 billion ($1.2 billion) in public performance revenues distributed since its launch in 2018. “The launch of PPL PRS Ltd in 2018 was a landmark moment for the music industry, after 84 years of PPL and PRS for Music independently licensing the public use of music across the UK,” says PPL Chief Executive Peter Leathem OBE. “Five years on, both music users and music creators are now reaping the benefits. Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the joint venture has facilitated the distribution of more than £1 billion in royalties to performers, songwriters, publishers, and recording rightsholders.”
The heart icon has a long history as the way to like things on social media and streaming services, but now Spotify is retiring it. Well, consolidating it to be specific. “Starting today, we’re consolidating the Heart icon and the “Add to playlist” icon into a single symbol: the Plus (+) button,” explained the company. “When you hit Plus (+), you’ll be able to save and choose the destination for any song, playlist, or podcast with a simple tap.” It’s a small user interface tweak, but Spotify says it could be a significant one, with its research having showed that it makes saving songs and podcasts easier – and that “saving songs and podcasts makes users more likely to listen to them again”.
Streaming service Anghami – a key player in the Middle East and North Africa region – has been sued by PopArabia and its partner Reservoir Media for allegedly streaming songs without licence. The lawsuit was seemingly filed late last year with the courts in Abu Dhabi – where both Anghami and PopArabia are based. The lawsuit identifies twelve specific tracks being streamed by Anghami where PopArabia and Reservoir have an interest in the song rights and which, they claim, have not been properly licensed by the streaming service.
February 24, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Custom Radio Stations on YouTube Music / Spotify Unveils New AI Listening Feature / Tuned Global Partners with Lululemon
We want to send our thanks for reading the Exploration Weekly newsletter for February 2023. Check out some of our guides on music industry topics at Exploration Learn, or subscribe to our YouTube channel for more information.
The YouTube Music app will now allow users to create customized radio stations based around specific songs, artists, and moods. They will be able to select up to 30 artists to be featured on a single hub.
Premium users in the U.S. and Canada can now use “DJ” on Spotify, a new listening feature that incorporates artificial intelligence technology and provides commentary on algorithmically recommended selections of music.
B2B music company Tuned Global has recently partnered with Lululemon to provide over 10,000 Lululemon Studio fitness classes with licensed music.
Meta is launching Meta Verified for testing in Australia and New Zealand in order to make it easier for creators to establish a presence online that is verified.
According to a magistrate judge in Texas, the song-theft lawsuit against Nickelback for the song “Rockstar” is recommended to be dismissed due to insufficient evidence of the band having access to the earlier track.
February 17, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – YT Creator Music Available in the US / European Commission Refers Six Countries to Court / TikTok to Launch “Creator Fund 2.0”
YouTube’s latest product, Creator Music, is now available for all YouTube partners in the United States, offering two monetization options: buying a license upfront or entering a revenue-sharing agreement.
The European Commission is going to court against six member states of the European Union. The countries – Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Latvia, Poland, and Portugal – allegedly failed to get the 2019 Copyright Directive properly integrated into their national copyright systems.
According to The Information, TikTok is planning to launch a “Creator Fund 2.0” as early as March, which may pay out more to creators and potentially change the limits of who is eligible.
Sound Credit and Soundways have teamed up with PPL to bring international neighboring rights collection to North American creators working with Sound Credit.
According to the UK government’s Department For Culture, Media And Sport, a new report shows their work around the economics of music streaming looking at the impact of streaming service algorithms on music consumption.
US-based trade body representing music streaming services, DiMA, announced in a new report that the two most popular ways that streamers listen to music are customized playlists created by music fans or friends (45% said they do this) or by the streaming service itself (43%).
February 10, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – American Music Fairness Act Reintroduced / The MLC to Host New Webinar Series / UK IPO Proposes New Rights for Musicians
The American Music Fairness Act was introduced again in Congress followed by the approval of the House Judiciary Committee last year. The legislation would mandate a radio royalty for sound recordings.
Starting from February to March, The MLC will be hosting a new webinar series to provide tips on how to use its Member Tools in order to register compositions and match them to sound recording uses accurately.
In the UK, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) released a study proposing two new rights for musicians on contract adjustment and rights reversion.
According to Believe, the music distribution and services company surpassed the milestone of €1 billion in digital music sales (DMS) for 2022, two months after it posted its Q3 2022 results.
African music streaming service Mdundo reported a net increase of 10 million more users in 2022, with 23.4 million active monthly users by the end of the year, pointing to a strong growth in advertising revenue.
According to a recent survey by Qustodio, the average TikTok user aged 4-18 spent 107 minutes per day on the app in 2022. Survey respondents also showed an average of 67 minutes per day on YouTube.
Almost everyone listens to music via on-demand streaming. But what is it exactly?
On-demand music streaming is an interactive service, meaning the user is able to listen to any song in the Digital Service Provider (DSP)’s database without any restrictions on time or playback capabilities.
Learn more about Exploration’s copyright administration services at our website.
February 3, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Spotify Now Has 205M Paid Subscribers / Termination Rights Case Denied Class Action Status / Amazon Ad Revenues Up 23% in Q4 YoY
Spotify revealed in its latest financial results that the company now stands at 205 million paid subscribers in Q4 2022, up 14% year over year.
Artists were recently denied class-action status in a termination rights lawsuit from early 2019 with Universal Music Group, when musician John Waite and other artists claimed that major labels refused to honor their termination rights.
Amazon counted $149.2 billion in revenue during the fourth quarter of 2022, including a 23% jump in ad revenues year over year.
Apple missed Wall Street expectations, but its services business came in at $20.8 billion for Q4 2022, setting a new revenue record.
SXM Media will continue to be the exclusive advertising representative for SoundCloud in the US into 2024, according to a new deal between the two parties.
Not too long after YouTube formally launched its revenue-sharing program for YouTube Shorts creators, the video-sharing service reported $7.96 billion in advertising revenue in Q4 2022.
According to Chartr, the number of new podcast shows created dropped 80% between 2020 and 2022. Edison Research also added that Americans listening to at least one podcast declined from 41% to 38%.
What is a PRO? Performing rights organizations (PROs) administer performance licenses, collect royalties, and pay those royalties to writers and publishers. They essentially serve as intermediaries between music creators and those who wish to perform that music.
January 27, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – GMR Settles Two Lawsuits / Video Accounts for 65% of All Internet Traffic / PPL Unveils $300M+ Payout to Rights Holders in 2022
Performing rights society Global Music Rights (GMR) recently settled two copyright infringement lawsuits with terrestrial radio companies. The company also settled another lawsuit with the Radio Music Licensing Committee (RMLC) last year.
According to a Sandvine report, data usage from video sites increased by 24% in 2022 YoY, accounting for 65% of all internet traffic. Google and Netflix were the biggest video sites on the list.
Music licensing company PPL paid out over $300 million to a record 165,000 performers and recording rights holders in 2022.
Amazon’s customer service pages confirmed that Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers in the US and UK will begin paying more starting February 21.
The music industry is reconsidering the streaming payment model as new factor come into play: the growth of independent music, fragmentation of consumption, localization of music scenes, and the vast amount of music hitting streaming services.
January 20, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – UK MPs Call for “More Focus” on Fair Pay / “BBC Music Introducing” to Be Axed / Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductions on June 15
Members of the UK Parliament are calling for “more focus” on making sure that creators and performers are getting paid fairly in a follow-up report from the economics of music streaming investigation.
Music industry trade bodies like Music Venue Trust and LIVE wrote an open letter to the BBC about saving “BBC Music Introducing” from being cut, stating that the show is “unique” and is “especially important in left behind communities”.
Gloria Estefan, Snoop Dogg, Teddy Riley, Sade Adu, Liz Rose, Glen Ballard and Jeff Lynne will all see inductions into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on June 15 in New York City. Chairman Nile Rodgers announced, “We are…very proud that we are continually recognizing some of the culturally most important songwriters of all time…”.
In order to help creators optimize short-form content, YouTube Shorts will introduce new tools and features designed to increase viewership. Shorts will launch its revenue-sharing program on February 1.
Spotify entered into a new licensing deal with Rotana Music, bringing over 10,000 Arabic songs to the streaming service. Rotana also signed a licensing agreement with TikTok on January 11.
YouTube and Goldenvoice, the producer of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, renewed their exclusive livestream and content partnership for the annual event through 2026.
Roblox counted 61.5 million daily active users in its December 2022 metrics report, which is up 18% year-on-year. Hours spent on the gaming platform were also up 21%.
For today’s music industry topic, we want to introduce The Harry Fox Agency and Music Reports. You can find this within our 2nd Edition of “How the Music Business Works” – available for free at Exploration.
January 13, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – YouTube Shorts Creators, Rights Holders Monetized / US On-Demand Streams Up 12.2% in 2022 / 350+ Artists Write Letter to USCO
In a recent update by Alphabet, YouTube Shorts ad revenue will now be split between music rights holders and creators, starting February 1, based on the number of tracks used.
Domestic on-demand song streams (for audio as well as video) increased by 12.2% year over year in 2022 to hit 1.3 trillion, says a newly released 2022 year-end report from Luminate.
In a letter organized by the Music Artists Coalition, more than 350 artists, songwriters, managers and music lawyers urged the Copyright Office to grant final approval on a proposed termination rights rule that will allow songwriters to get paid their streaming royalties after regaining control of their music.
In a year-end recap, Apple reported its services division counted approximately 900 million paid subscriptions at 2022’s end. In addition, 80% of users on Apple Music are said to have listened in spatial audio.
UK collecting society PRS has sued livestreaming platform LIVENow, citing the big Dua Lipa livestream in particular, which LIVENow delivered back in November 2020.
After a half-century struggle, John Fogerty has gained worldwide control of his Creedence Clearwater Revival publishing rights, buying the catalog from Concord for an undisclosed amount.
January 6, 2023 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – U.S. Mechanical Streaming Rate Approved by CRB / UK Digital Music Consumption Up 8.2% / TikTok to License IMDb Data
The CRB approved the streaming royalty rates for songwriters for the period of Jan 2023 to Dec 2027 last week, setting the headline rate at an increase to 15.1% of revenue in 2023 to 15.2% in 2024 and peaking at 15.35% in 2027.
Record industry trade group BPI reported that 159.3 billion audio streams occurred on digital music platforms in the UK in 2022, up 8.2% year-over-year. Streaming also accounted for 86.1% of recorded music sales last year.
TikTok will now be licensing IMDb data to allow users to search for Film/TV content via a dedicated, in-app page. The feature will first be rolled out to users in the US and the UK.
Research firm Ampere Analysis has stated that growth is expected to slow down for big subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services like Netflix and Disney+. Their total content spending will increase by 8% this year, down from a 25% estimated increase in 2022.
Believe has calculated based on annual chart data that it was the third largest recorded music company in the German music streaming market based on local repertoire in 2022.
Spotify’s most-streamed song of all time is now The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights”, topping Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You”. The track has racked up 3.336 billion chart-eligible streams as of January 3, 2023.
December 30, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Vinyl Revives Itself in 2022 / Spotify Launches New Year’s Hub / PPL Distributes $52.5 Million in Q4
The BPI recently released new statistics around album sales in 2022 and announced that new releases accounted for the increasing amount of growth for the vinyl format, marking its continued revival.
In order to ring in 2023, Spotify launched a New Year’s Hub for its users to provide a one-stop destination for access to classic party playlists and special takeovers from select musicians like Charli XCX and Rita Ora.
In its Q4 distribution, PPL paid out $52.5 million to 148,000+ performers and recording rights holders, some of which are direct members of PPL or indirect members via collective management organizations.
Sweeping legal changes are expected to affect content creators in 2023. In the past year, internet laws and regulations in the European Union were made and laws were challenged in the U.S.
A number of rights holders, including BMG, Universal Music, Capitol Records and Concord Music Group, filed a lawsuit against internet service operator Altice for copyright infringement, alleging multiple incidents of music piracy via its services.
The live audio format has quickly gone from the hot new feature to the chopping block. Live audio can still have a future, but it will not look the same as its past.
Exploration would like to wish you a warm and happy New Year! We are all so appreciative and grateful for your support this year, and we hope to hear from you as we move into 2023!
December 23, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – CRB Hikes Physical Mechanicals Royalty Rate / 2022 Music Industry Revenues in Review / Morgan Stanley Reduces SPOT Target Price
Effective Jan. 1, 2023, the royalty rate for U.S. mechanicals for physical products, permanent downloads, ringtones and music bundles will now be 12 cents per track or 2.31 cents per minute of playing time or fraction thereof. The rate hike was approved recently by the Copyright Royalty Board on Friday Dec. 16.
According to a new report published by MIDiA, record labels were up 14.3% in music industry earnings and publishers were up 21.1%, outperforming labels. Live music revenues also showed dramatic growth post-COVID.
Morgan Stanley sliced its Spotify stock (SPOT) target price from $115 to $105 per share. However, the company still believes that the value of SPOT could potentially increase in the new year.
Amazon will now be making tens of thousands of music videos available for free viewing on its Fire TV service through its new partnership with Xite. The move is part of a significant increase in the amount of content available on Fire TV.
YouTube announced at the Google for India event that it is bringing switchable audio tracks to India, with a specific focus on healthcare videos. The multilingual audio option will allow users to choose between English, Hindi, Marathi, and Punjabi tracks on certain videos.
In a new report by KOCCA, music revenues for South Korea grew 31.7% year-on-year during the first half of 2022, behind only films but ahead of comics, games, broadcasting, publishing, animation and other creative sectors.
Happy holidays! Exploration provides copyright administration services across multiple platforms to find you unclaimed royalties from around the world. Visit the link here for a deep dive into the services we offer.
December 16, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – AKM Joins ICE Core / Deezer Leads European Lyric Translation Project / Taylor Swift “Shake It Off” Copyright Lawsuit Dismissed
This week, AKM joined ICE Core for online licensing. ICE will now represent and collect on behalf of the Austrian collecting society for compositions within online services in much of the world, excluding the U.S. and some Asian markets.
Deezer has joined with companies including Zebralution and LyricFind to create BELEM, an EU-funded project that aims to promote the benefits of localized, human-translated lyrics in a variety of European languages to rights holders.
Both parties – Taylor Swift and songwriters Nathan Butler and Sean Hall – have reached an agreement to end the copyright lawsuit over the hit “Shake It Off”, which has gone on for five years. The trial was expected to begin next month.
TikTok confirmed on Tuesday to TechCrunch that it is testing a horizontal full-screen mode with select users worldwide. Earlier this year, the company added the ability for users to upload video up to 10 minutes in length.
According to the RIAA, Latin Music is expected to reach the billion-dollar mark in revenues by year-end in the US for the first time. This year, Spanish-language music in the U.S. and other non-Latin markets has reached new heights across multiple metrics, including on the charts, in market share growth and in global reach.
SoundCloud announced in its financial report that the company saw its global revenues grow 19.2% YoY in 2021. The streaming platform has also struck a deal with Warner Music Group to pay its artists via “Fan-Powered Royalties” since last year.
In Epidemic Sound’s end-of-year data, classical music appeared in 90% more YouTube videos than in the previous year. Classical music downloads also rose 64% year-over-year on the platform with the classical music genre reported as the fastest growing soundtrack choice of 2022.
All creators deserve credit and recognition for the art they create. Sadly, however, creators and their work are often taken advantage of. The exclusive right in the U.S. copyright law are basic rights given to all creators to help protect their art and themselves from copyright infringement and improper exploitation of their work. Exclusive Rights allow creators to gain control over their art and provide creators with opportunities to exploit their art for profit.
December 9, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – American Music Fairness Act Approved by House Judiciary Committee / Webcast Royalty Rates Increase / MIDiA Unveils Market Report
The House Judiciary Committee recently approved the American Music Fairness Act, a bill that will implement a sound recording performance royalty on over-the-air broadcasting. Terrestrial radio is currently not required by law to pay royalties to recorded-music copyright owners of the songs played on-air in the U.S.
According to a decision made on Dec. 2 by the Copyright Royalty Board, commercial webcasters will now have to pay 7.1% more cents per stream from the previous year in 2023. For ad-supported performances, that royalty rate will increase by 9.1% in the same year as well.
In MIDiA’s new annual “Music subscriber market shares” report, taking data from 33 different markets, music subscriptions may be resilient to the recession with home entertainment trends expected to perform well during that period.
On Dec. 1, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus announced 33 Latin music nominations to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry with Congressman Joaquin Castro leading the way. The move is an effort to increase Latin representation in the U.S.
Roddy Ricch has been hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit over his 2019 song “The Box” by songwriter Greg Perry, saying the smash hit borrowed from his 1975 soul song “Come On Down”. The track has been a popular sample in hip hop.
VEVA Sound is partnering with universities to help future music professionals improve credits for their songs and receive unmatched royalties. In 2022, Collect assisted musicians by capturing credits at the source, optimizing metadata, and securing payments to these artists for which they were entitled.
We hope you’ve been having a good December! Today’s topic dives deep into the intricacies of a music publisher. To learn more about Exploration’s copyright administration services, please visit our website here.
A music publisher is fundamentally responsible for licensing and administering the composition copyrights of songwriters. Publishers vary in size: some are small, independent boutique firms and some are branches of multinational corporations. Music publishers offer a variety of services. Typically, they are responsible for securing the placement of songs in the publisher’s catalog where royalties and other revenue will be generated. These revenue streams range from royalties obtained through the licensing of compositions for the purposes of sound recording, to digital streaming and synchronization in film, commercials, or television.
December 2, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – U.S. Music Audio Streams at 1 Trillion+ / UK Regulator Comments on Music Streaming Debate / Apple Music Encourages ISNI Metadata
For the first time ever, music audio streams in the US crossed the one trillion mark in a single year, according to Luminate. This figure is up by 11.9 billion compared to 2021, when the full-year tally was 988.1 billion.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK has decided that low returns from music streaming are not being driven by the major labels’ dominance of the market. The news was announced as the competition regulator published its final 165-page report into the UK music business on Tuesday.
Apple Music is now encouraging the use of the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) in its metadata submissions by rights owners. The move is expected to improve listeners’ search experience and improve digital workflows.
The IFPI recently launched the “Official MENA Chart”, the first-ever official chart in the Middle East and North Africa. The chart will combine music streaming data from Anghami, Apple, Deezer, Spotify and YouTube.
At the end of August, major streaming services entered a new agreement with music publishers through the Copyright Royalty Board to determine the fate of publishers’ and songwriters’ royalties for the following five years. The move would be a significant victory; however, songwriters still face concerns about their position in the industry.
According to CEO Peter Leathem of PPL, the state of public performance and broadcast income is expected to improve despite a 42% decline in revenue during 2020 when the UK saw the biggest impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. The following year in 2021 saw a slight recovery.
In the music business, a recording artist is a person that performs songs in a studio-like setting for the purpose of recording songs and releasing them to the public. A recording artist can be a singular individual, a band, or even a massive symphony. A recording artist can also be a songwriter. However, recording artists often perform and record songs that they did not write themselves.
Learn more about music industry terms defined in Exploration’s very own: “How the Music Business Works: 2nd Edition”.
November 24, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Copyright Office Extends Comment Period / NetEase Cloud Music Revenues Up 22.5% / SoundCloud “Next Pro” Plan is 50% Off
The U.S. Copyright Office has decided to extend the deadline for the submission of comments in its termination rights ruling on the statutory mechanical blanket license under the Music Modernization Act. Initial comments are now due by December 1, 2022.
NetEase Cloud Music reported a 22.5% year-over-year increase in revenue in the third quarter, attributing its growth to the continued rise in its paying user base. Revenue for the quarter reached approximately USD $331 million.
SoundCloud is offering half off its “Next Pro” plan, which includes unlimited uploads and releases starting at $12.50/month. The plan was previously known as “Pro Unlimited” and was renamed last month when SoundCloud rebranded its artist services platform.
According to a survey reported by The Guardian, 67% of the 59 biggest advertisers in the UK plan to make their deepest budget cuts to TV ads next year. However, a third of companies surveyed are increasing spend on digital formats such as podcasts and music streaming, and digital screens.
Despite a 15% increase in music traffic and 29% revenue growth year-over-year, Anghami cut 22% of its staff and 19% in cloud computing costs. The North African and Middle Eastern music streaming service revealed the figures in its latest Q3 financial results.
Tune into another sneak peek of our book: “How the Music Business Works: 2nd Edition” below:
In copyright and licensing terms, the songwriter is distinguished from the artist. The songwriter is the person who creates the melodic, harmonic, and lyrical elements of a song, while the recording artist is simply the person who records it. The songwriter obtains a composition copyright upon the creation of their work, and the artist obtains a sound recording copyright upon the creation of their recording. Although writers and artists are often the same people, the two are separate terms in the music industry because of the existence of two different types of copyrights.
November 17, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – YouTube Creator Music Gets a Big Upgrade / Music Listening Up 9% YoY in 2022 / TME’s Paying Music Users Up 19.8% YoY in Q3
YouTube’s Creator Music is getting quadruple the amount of licensed music that can be used in short-form videos, according to an update from the platform. The max video length for Shorts snippets has been extended up to 60 seconds. Music publishers will decide whether to offer 15-, 30-, or 60-second chunks to creators.
The IFPI’s “Engaging with Music 2022” study reveals that music consumers are spending on average 20.1 hours listening to music weekly, a 9% increase from 18.4 hours in 2021. In addition, 46% of those surveyed for the report listen to music through a premium subscription streaming service.
Tencent Music Entertainment, which operates music services, QQ Music, Kugou and Kuwo, generated total revenues of USD $1.04 billion in Q3, according to its financial results, a 5.6% year-over-year decrease. The company’s number of paying music users also reached 85.3 million during the period.
The UK Parliament heard from music industry experts and representatives this week, a year after the committee published its report on the economics of music streaming. Working groups made up of experts convened and discussed plans to manage data and remunerate artists better.
Megan Thee Stallion and Big Sean reached a settlement with two Detroit rappers, ending a lawsuit claiming the hip-hop superstars ripped off an earlier song with their 2020 collaboration “Go Crazy.” Duawn “Go Hard Major” Payne and Harrell “H Matic” James filed the lawsuit in July.
A sound recording is the reproduction of sound waves into a fixed form from which the contents can be heard or communicated again. Inherently, a sound recording is a separate intellectual property from any lyrics, compositions, poetry, script, or speech that may be embodied within it. Meaning that a sound recording is a separate entity in the terms of copyright ownership and licensing. This complexity is what makes understanding exactly what a sound recording is (and is not) so important.
Learn more here from our book: “How the Music Business Works: 2nd Edition”.
November 10, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – YouTube Counts 80M Music, Premium Subs / Major Labels Propose New Deal at TikTok / Apple Music’s Artist of the Year is Bad Bunny
YouTube now has more than 80 million Music and Premium subscribers globally, up 30 million users from 2021. The number also counts trial users. Global Head of Music Lyor Cohen made the announcement in an official blog post this week.
A new Bloomberg report states that major labels Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Universal Music Group are proposing new advertising share revenue models as they negotiate new deals with TikTok. The record companies struck “buy-out” agreements with the streaming service in July.
Bad Bunny (aka Benito Martinez Ocasio) was named Apple Music’s artist of the year for 2022, states an announcement made by Apple. He is currently the most streamed Latin artist of all time on its service and holds the first, second and third biggest first-day stream totals for a Latin artist.
According to The Walt Disney Co., Disney+ beat Wall Street expectations by adding 12.1 million subscribers to 164.2 million. Overall streaming subscribers passed 235 million. On the other hand, streaming losses continue to grow, nearly doubling YoY to $1.47 billion.
TikTok is cutting its global revenue target for this year by 20%, or by at least $2 billion, amid a decline in advertising spending and e-commerce. The company had initially expected revenue to range between $12 billion and $14.5 billion this year, but now expects the figure to be closer to $10 billion, the Financial Times reports.
Neal Mohan, YouTube’s Chief Product Officer, announced in a blog post that YouTube is bringing its YouTube Shorts format to TV with a new look designed to improve how the vertical videos look on widescreens. The customized experience will focus on the video, with creator information to the right.
Registering copyrights with the US Copyright Office (USCO), although not mandatory, is a common procedure for those in the business of licensing music. While it is a formality, it gives the writer certain benefits:
- A way to prove prima facie that they are the owner of a copyright
- The ability to file an infringement claim in federal court
- When registered within three months of publication, the owner is eligible for statutory damages and attorneys’ fees
- Registration permits a copyright owner to establish a record with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for protection against the importation of infringing copies
Learn more here from our book: “How the Music Business Works: 2nd Edition.”
November 3, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
According to author and former Spotify chief economist Will Page in his latest report, the global value of music copyright was worth $39.6 billion in 2021, up 18% from 2020. Streaming accounted for 55% of this value.
Amazon Music Prime Members will now see its full catalog increase from 2 million previously to 100 million tracks. The only caveat is that with the expanded song library, the membership will mostly be limited to shuffle-play mode, instead of on-demand.
The U.S. Copyright Office plans to overturn a previous “erroneous” policy adopted by the MLC and propose a new rule that will allow songwriters to invoke their termination rights and get paid for their streaming royalties. According to the old policy, old publishers may be able to collect on royalties forever even if they no longer own them.
After Senators Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) introduced the American Music Fairness Act in September, more than 60 artists are now signing a joint letter to Congress via the musicFIRST organization, urging them to pass the legislation without delay.
YouTube’s three main formats – long-form videos, short-form videos, and live streams – will now be split into different tabs, reported Neal Mohan, YouTube’s Chief Product Officer. The new feature will be accessible on both iOS and Android devices, as well as the desktop version of YouTube.
Paris-based music company Believe generated EUR €197.0 million in Q3 – a 36.9% YoY increase in revenues. They also upped its full-year forecast for the second quarter in a row.
In its latest earnings report, SiriusXM stated that it added 187,000 self-pay subscribers in its satellite radio unit during the third quarter. Its Pandora streaming business lost 52,000 net self-pay subscribers during the same period.
We want to kick off this newsletter with a new series about Music Industry Basics from our most recent publication: “How the Music Business Works: 2nd Edition”. Each week, take a deep dive into specific topics we wrote to help explain how all the moving parts of the industry work together. Today we discuss:
A composition is intangible. It is the collection of notes, melodies, phrases, rhythms, lyrics, and/or harmonies that make up the essence of the work. There are criteria that a composition must meet in order to be protected under American copyright law. The song must be fixed in a tangible medium and must be an original expression. Once these requirements are met, compositions can be licensed to interested buyers through a music publisher.
October 28, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – The MLC Distributed $700M to Members / Apple Music Now Costs $10.99 in the US / Spotify MAUs Up 20% YoY
The MLC announced in its latest Annual Membership Meeting that in the year and a half since launching full operations, the organization has successfully distributed nearly $700 million in blanket royalties to its Members. The MLC also added that it met every milestone set by Congress in the Music Modernization Act of 2018.
Apple has increased the price for Apple TV+, Apple One, and Apple Music worldwide. Starting October 24, Apple Music will cost $1 more, from $9.99 to $10.99 per month. The company stated that the change in its pricing “is due to an increase in licensing costs”.
In their latest earnings call, Spotify represented its largest Q3 growth to date in monthly active users (MAUs), growing 20% to 456 million – 6 million above Spotify’s prior guidance. The company is looking at raising prices on its US subscription plans, following increases by Apple Music and YouTube Premium, according to CEO Daniel Ek.
Parent company Alphabet revealed on Tuesday that YouTube’s ad revenue dropped down to $7.07 billion during Q3, marking a 1.9% decrease compared to the previous year. Snap has similarly reported a net loss of $360 million during the same period with a 5% decrease in engagement YoY in the US.
Global collecting society grouping CISAC stated that revenues collected by song rights collecting societies globally increased by 7.2% last year, following a COVID-caused dip in 2020. However, total collections were 5.1% down compared to pre-pandemic levels, attributing the reason to restrictions in live music during 2021.
The YouTube Premium family plan in the US will cost $5 more beginning on November 21, reported the company this week. This means that the subscription plan will cost $22.99 per month, which previously cost $17.99 per month in the US.
In the fourth fiscal quarter ending in September, the Apple services division, which encompasses Apple TV+ and Apple Music, saw another slight drop in revenue, generating $19.2 billion in revenue. The category generated $19.6 billion during the third fiscal quarter ending in June.
October 21, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Slacker Owes SoundExchange $10M / Spotify Readying “Platinum” Tier / IMPALA Confirms Opposition to ER
According to a recent ruling by a federal judge, streaming platform Slacker owes SoundExchange nearly $10 million in unpaid performance royalties. The ruling also permanently bars Slacker from using the statutory license, a federal provision that makes copyright licenses for recorded music automatically available at a fixed price.
Spotify is readying the launch of a new $19.99-per-month “Platinum” tier that includes HiFi audio, based on reports from a 9to5 Mac article. It may also include additional features such as a “Headphone Tuner”, “Audio Insights”, “Library Pro” and “Playlist Pro”, plus “Limited-ad Spotify podcasts”.
Pan-European trade group for the indie music sector, IMPALA, is voicing its opposition once again to the extension of performer equitable remuneration to streaming, calling for “all labels to pay fair contemporary digital royalties” to artists. The organization is also urging those EU member countries to implement the 2019 Copyright Directive if they have not already done so.
YouTube is rolling out audio ads globally and allowing marketers to target users who are listening and watching podcasts on the platform, according to an announcement they made on Monday during Advertising Week. US advertisers will also be able to narrow their ad campaigns based on podcast genres.
TikTok unveiled its first revenue-share program, called TikTok Pulse, back in May. However, there are now reports on Twitter of creators getting notices telling them they’re now eligible for the program. The company says monetization is available to makers of the top 4% “most engaging” videos across 12 categories.
Last week, Ed Sheeran’s legal team filed another motion to dismiss the song-theft lawsuit relating to his song “Thinking Out Loud”. The estate of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” co-writer Ed Townsend sued Sheeran for allegedly ripping off his song. Structured Asset Sales (SAS) also filed its own lawsuit, at which Sheeran’s team urged the judge to dismiss the case via summary judgment.
October 14, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – BMI Goes For-Profit / Entire “Phonorecords IV” Settlement Released to Public / GMR Sues 3 US Radio Companies
Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) has moved to a for-profit business model after more than 80 years operating as a not-for-profit organization. The US PRO recently hired Goldman Sachs to explore strategic opportunities earlier this year.
The NMPA, NSAI, and the DiMA released the entire “Phonorecords IV” settlement this week, which is now available on the Copyright Royalty Board’s website. If approved by the CRB judges, the decision will set the parameters for US mechanical streaming royalties for the period of 2023-2027.
US PRO Global Music Rights (GMR) has filed three copyright infringement lawsuits against three US radio companies for failing to secure licenses covering the organization’s songs. The accused broadcasters are One Putt Broadcasting, Southern Stone Communications, and Red Wolf Broadcasting.
African music streaming service Mdundo released its latest report for investors showing that at the end of the last quarter, it had 21.5 million monthly active users, up 107% year-on-year. Nigeria is its biggest market with more than 6.5 million users, followed by Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania.
According to France’s industry body SNEP, the country generated €364 million of recorded music revenues in the first half of 2022, up 8.2% YoY. Streaming was the biggest growth driver, accounting for 76% of total revenues in the market.
TikTok parent ByteDance expects to expand its music-streaming service into more than a dozen markets, eventually integrating it into TikTok and serving it as a major platform for distributing music around the world, according to the Wall Street Journal. The streaming service, which is called Resso, is currently only available in India, Indonesia, and Brazil.
October 7, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
The RIAA recently reported that Latin music reached a total of $510 million in the first half of this year. Music streaming formats made up 97% of total Latin music revenues.
According to Apple Music’s latest blog post, 100 million tracks are now available on its service. In comparison, Spotify’s latest figure is 80 million, and SoundCloud’s 2019 numbers were past 200 million tracks.
Meta saw 30% more engagement with its Reels across both Facebook and Instagram in Q2 2022, and will now offer a catalog of “free, high-quality songs” to Reels advertisers in hopes of driving its short-form video engagement.
The Music Creators North America (MCNA) organization recently called on the US Copyright Royalty Board to provide an unredacted copy of the Phonorecords IV agreement reached between music publishers and streaming services for the period 2023-2027.
PPL revealed that it is set to pay out USD $16.4 million to more than its 33,000 performers and recording rightsholder members in its Q3 distribution of international revenue. This distribution is made up of international revenues collected from 73 CMOs worldwide.
Taylor Swift’s legal team has claimed that songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler do not have the legal right to pursue litigation regarding the song-theft legal battle for the 2014 hit “Shake It Off”. Swift’s team argues that the rights in their 2001 song “Playas Gon Play” are ultimately controlled by their publishers.
September 30, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – MLC Launches Unclaimed Royalties Portal / 73M US Music Listeners on Social Video Services / PRS for Music Reveals Online Portal
This week, the MLC launched the Distributor Unmatched Recordings Portal (DURP) in order to help indie distributors and artists access a custom dashboard that will show them accrued unmatched mechanical royalties for sound recordings they’ve distributed. The metadata comes from usage reports delivered to the MLC by streaming service providers.
According to MusicWatch, in the past three months, 73 million US listeners engaged with music on a social video platform such as TikTok, Instagram Reels, or YouTube Shorts. The report further estimates that there are now 86 million self-pay subscribers to music services in the US.
PRS for Music is set to roll out a metadata-powered online portal by early 2023 that the organization says will provide “unprecedented access to songwriter credits and industry identifiers.” There will be metadata from over 2 million works, according to PRS.
French music streaming service Deezer remains confident that the company will turn a profit by 2025 as its losses narrowed by USD $8.5 million in the first half of the year, according to financial half-year results. It says it will double down on its new B2C/B2B strategy via a “partnership-first go-to-market model”.
The Nigerian music industry showed a large increase in mobile internet penetration and mobile phone usage within the past year, contributing to record digital music consumption, according to the US Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. The IMF reports that the industry is projected to generate $10.8B in revenue by 2023.
Believe appointed a new Southeast Asia leadership team this week. The French distribution and services company promoted Antoine El Iman to Managing Director of Southeast Asia and Australia/New Zealand, Dahlia Wijaya to Country Director, Indonesia, Georgette Tengco, to Country Director, Philippines, and Somwalee Limrachtamorn, to Country Director, Thailand.
September 23, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – YouTube Launches Creator Music / US Recorded Music Revenues Up 9.1% / American Music Fairness Act Introduced in the Senate
YouTube launched Creator Music on Tuesday, which will give YouTubers licensing access to popular music for use in their videos. Music rights holders can allow their copyrights to be used on the digital storefront by charging up-front for a license or by entering into a revenue-share model with the creator.
According to US labels body, the RIAA, the retail value of US recorded music grew by 9.1% to $7.69 billion in the first half of this year. Paid subscriptions to streaming services made up 58.6% of that figure, which saw a steady decrease in growth over the last few years.
On Thursday Sept 22, Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Alex Padilla (D-CA) introduced a companion bill to the American Music Fairness Act (AMFA), which was a House legislation from 15 months ago requiring AM/FM stations to pay performance royalties to music creators and rights holders for radio airplay in the US.
Luminate recently announced that, beginning in Dec 2022, the company will be partnering with Mediabase, combining two different sets of radio charts to power the Billboard rankings. They will also be launching a new client and user platform in 2023 that will put all of its data offerings into one place.
Spotify formally launched its audiobooks business with an à la carte model that will allow users to purchase and download individual audiobooks. The catalog currently includes 300,000 titles from major and indie publishers for users in the US.
YouTube’s Partner Program will now allow Shorts video creators to receive ad revenue from the platform, beginning “early next year”. Those creators with at least 1,000 subscribers who get 10 million views on Shorts in a 90-day period can apply to join the Partner Program.
Tencent Music Entertainment Group has successfully launched its secondary listing on the Main Board of The Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Tuesday Sept 20. The company also started trading on the New York Stock Exchange in 2018.
September 16, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – YouTube Paid $6B+ to the Music Industry / BMI Annual Revenues Up Record 16% / Gaana Goes Subscription-Only
YouTube has reported that the company paid more than $6 billion to the music industry between July 2021 and June 2022. This is a $2 billion increase from the $4 billion in payments from last year. YouTube’s global head of music, Lyor Cohen, stated he expects a combination of ads and subscriptions to be the “#1 contributor of revenue to the industry by 2025”.
According to BMI’s annual report, the performance rights organization saw a nearly 16% jump in annual revenues to $1.573 billion for the fiscal year ended on June 30, 2022. BMI also distributed and administered its highest amount ever to songwriters, composers and publishers, an increase of more than 10% from last year’s distribution.
Reuters recently reported that Indian music streaming app Gaana is going subscription-only for its users in order to avoid closing down. They further reported that Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel may have been interested in Gaana at one point.
Ireland’s government has announced a new pilot scheme in which a total of 2,000 musicians, painters and writers in Ireland are set to receive a weekly basic income of USD $330 per week. It will last three years, and was created following a recommendation from the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce to explore measures to ease the impact of COVID-19 in the arts sector.
Tencent Music Entertainment is set to start trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange next Wednesday. This will be the company’s secondary listing, as its shares already trade on the New York Stock Exchange.
YouTube has announced a new feature called “Sounds on Shorts”, which is a button at the bottom of every Shorts video that shows viewers other clips using the same audio. There will also be a playlist called “Sounds from Shorts” to which viewers can add those tracks for later listening.
September 9, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – IMPEL Partners with CMRRA, SX Works / Streaming to Reach €2B in Germany / US Live Concert Interest Close to Pre-COVID Levels
Indie music publisher organization IMPEL is now partnering in North America with CMRRA and SX Works to help IMPEL members manage their digital rights in Canada and in the US. CMRRA’s music publisher members will also be able to participate in IMPEL’s multi-territory licenses with streaming services in Europe and elsewhere.\
According to a new report by collecting society GEMA, music streaming in Germany is expected to reach €2 billion this year. Approximately 45% of the German population are using music streaming services, with around two thirds of those people on paid subscriptions.
Luminate’s Music 360 study addresses an increase in live concert interest in the US with 36% of consumers saying that they plan on attending a concert in the following year, versus 15% who say they attended one concert in the previous year. Concert attendance, ticket sales, quarterly revenue, and other core business metrics are far exceeding pre-pandemic metrics from the same period.
India’s short-video market is predicted to be worth $19 billion by 2030, states consultancy firm Redseer. Vice President and Managing Director of Meta in India, Ajit Mohan, announced that YouTube and Instagram see India as “a testing ground for their algorithms, influencer campaigns and content experiments that can be exported to the US”.
Legal reps for Sam Smith and Normani have filed another motion to dismiss a song theft lawsuit for their song “Dancing With A Stranger”. The first motion to dismiss was made this past July. The defending parties were sued by artist Jordan Vincent and producer Christopher Miranda who both claim that the hit rips off their 2015 song “Dancing With Strangers”.
September 2, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Phonorecords IV Settles US Streaming Royalty Rate / Mini-Subs Popular in Asia / Italy’s H1 Recorded Music Revenues Up 18.3%
The “Phonorecords IV” settlement has now agreed upon a headline US mechanical streaming royalty rate of 15.35% of total revenue to songwriters and publishers from 2023-2027. The news was announced on Wednesday by the NMPA, the NSAI, and the Digital Media Association (DiMA).
Mini-subscriptions are seeing a rise in the East Asia region, according to a new report from Luminate, due to smartphone usage being predominant among music listeners, but only very little committing to a streaming subscription. Platforms such as Spotify are offering one-time mobile plans on a daily or weekly basis to address APAC consumers’ music habits.
Italy’s recorded music revenues were up by 18.3% in H1 2022, reaching €153 million, confirmed by Italian recorded music industry organization FIMI. The region also saw both the Top 10 best-selling singles and albums consisting entirely of local acts.
The MLC recently launched a new Student Ambassador program to complement its existing Educator Ambassador program. This will provide opportunities for all students currently enrolled in college or university classes to learn about the MLC and support their musical peers.
YouTube is reportedly experimenting with a new Promotions tab inside of YouTube Studio that will bypass Google Ads and allow creators to buy advertisements themselves. According to Social Media Today, the move is an effort to help creators grow their channel and reach a wider audience.
August 26, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – YouTube Launches Podcast Hub / Streaming Overtakes Cable / STIM Unveils Cora Music for YouTube Creators
According to a report by 9to5Google, YouTube released a dedicated Explore page for podcasts alongside its other mainstays like the Trending tab and YouTube Music. The new podcast hub is still not available to everyone yet, and has appeared to have rolled out to some users in late July.
Nielsen recently reported that consumer behavior during July 2022 showed that TV viewers spent more time on streaming platforms than cable TV networks during the measured month. Approximately 34.8% of consumer attention was paid to streaming, compared to 34.4% for cable.
YouTube creators can now easily license a catalog of commercially released music for use in their videos with the launch of STIM’s new service called Cora Music. The Swedish collecting society called it “a world-first service, providing YouTubers with a one-stop shop for quality music”.
In the first half of 2022, Deezer announced in its first earnings release that the online music streaming platform lost 300,000 subscribers, down 2.9% as of the end of June in the year-ago period. On the other hand, Deezer’s overall first-half sales jumped 9.9% year-over-year, attributing its global revenue growth to price increases and a change in the company’s geographical mix.
In MIDiA’s new report, “Re-creating the creator economy”, TikTok-esque feed might be taking on the risk of making content more important than creators. The discovery-focused feed and personalized algorithm may eliminate the need to follow, browse, or search, encouraging passive consumption of content with little regard for the creator behind it.
August 19, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Tencent Music Adds 2.5M Paying Users / African DJ Mixes Up 500% Over Past Year / Ad-Supported Platforms Take 60% of US Ent’t Time
In Q2 2022, China’s Tencent Music Entertainment raked in USD $315 million from online music streaming subscribers, up 17.6% YoY. Paying music users were up 24.9% YoY, or up 2.5 million, to a total of 82.7 million.
Apple Music cited a 500% streaming bump in African DJ mixes from August 2021 through August 2022. In Nigeria alone, the growth of DJ Mixes during 2022 rose 3,000% YoY, making it one of the world’s top 10 countries for DJ mixes.
According to research firm Luminate, ad-supported platforms hold nearly 60% share of the total time US audiences spend consuming entertainment. The report also states that one-third of all Americans say they have canceled cable or satellite TV.
Middle East and North Africa-focused music streaming platform Anghami saw revenues rise by 29% from the prior-year period, the company announced on Monday. In H1 2022, monthly subscribers grew 41% to 1.28 million while active users grew 46% to 19.5 million.
According to the Media Nations report by UK communications regulator Ofcom, music streaming services’ share of audio listening time grew from 8% in 2017 to 20% in 2022. This is particularly true for younger listeners with streaming now making up 47% of 15-34 year olds’ weekly audio listening in the UK.
August 12, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – “Spotify Tickets” Launches / German Music Biz Approaches $1B During H1 2022 / YouTube Tests Rev-Share Model for UGC Videos
Spotify has announced “Spotify Tickets” to start testing concert ticket sales directly to fans. The move comes after a strong post-lockdown fan demand for live music tickets. Fans will need to have a Spotify account to submit an order for a ticket.
According to BVMI, the German music industry generated USD $999.11 million in total revenue during H1 2022, marking a 5.5% increase year-over-year from H1 2021. The number was driven by continued streaming growth, which made up 73.3% of the total.
Video giant YouTube recently explained in its update to its “Test Features and Experiments” page that creators may have more music options for their content, including an ability for them to access partners’ music while still being able to earn revenue on their videos. The company also stated that they are still testing with a limited set of creators.
Taylor Swift stated that her song “Shake It Off” was “written entirely by me”, urging for a trial without jury in her latest copyright infringement lawsuit filed by songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler in 2017. They claims that Taylor’s team lifted her lyrics to “Shake It Off” from a 2001 song called “Playas Gon’ Play”.
iHeartMedia unveiled an 11% boost in overall revenue in Q2 2022 YoY, which was in line with the group’s forecast of between a 10% and 14% revenue growth. The report also states that the company’s podcast segment continues to grab a bigger share of the company’s revenue and income.
August 5, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – DiMA and SONA Push “Credits Due” Initiative / APRA AMCOS Uses Audio Recognition Tech / YT Creators Can Now Edit VODs Into a Short
Trade bodies Digital Media Association (DiMA) and Songwriters of North America (SONA) pushed the “Credits Due” initiative together during a songwriting camp in July. Credits Due was launched in 2021 in hopes of establishing a standard for accurate song metadata.
APRA AMCOS recently partnered with British music tech startup Audoo in order to utilize their Audio Meters tech devices that plug into the wall, recognize what music is playing, and provide data. The move is intended to give a more accurate insight onto which songs are being heard in business premises.
YouTube announced that creators can now convert up to 60 seconds of content from their long-form videos into new Shorts. The tool will pop up as “Edit into a Short” if you’re watching a VOD on mobile, and the published Short will then link back to the source content.
Live Nation posted $4.4 billion in revenue during Q2 as fan attendance soared to 33.4 million across 12,500 events. Total tickets sold for the year hit 100 million, which already exceeds Live Nation’s pre-pandemic fan count in 2019.
In order to allow users to choose whether or not they want to listen to an album, playlist or an artist in order, Spotify unveiled separate buttons for “Shuffle” and “Play” on its music streaming app. This new feature will only be offered to Premium subscribers.
According to reports by Billboard, Indian telecommunication services firm Bharti Airtel is expected to acquire India-based Spotify rival Gaana. If confirmed, the merger would potentially allow Airtel to grab a bigger share of India’s audio streaming market.
July 29, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Facebook Moves to Revenue-Sharing Model for UGC / Spotify Adds 6M Subscribers in Q2 / Apple Services Counts $19.6B in Q2 Revenue
In an initiative to change the way artists and music rights holders are paid from Facebook, Meta announced that it will be moving to a revenue-sharing model for user-generated video content. Facebook videos over 60 seconds long containing licensed music will pay out a 20% share of advertising revenue to video creators.
In its Q2 2022 financial results, Spotify reported its user base grew to 188 million premium subscribers and 256 million free (ad-supported) users, with total monthly active users now hitting the 433 million mark. Total revenue in the second quarter was up 23% year over year.
Apple services, which includes Apple TV+ and Apple Music, brought in $19.6 billion in revenue for Q2 2022, a decline in growth compared to its previous quarter. The category now has more than 860 million paid subscribers, stated Apple CFO Luca Maestri during the company’s earnings call.
US politician Rashida Tlaib is pushing for the creation of a new direct artist streaming royalty. She expressed her concerns over the streaming economy and introduced her plans in a recent written letter to Congress.
Alphabet’s Q2 financial results showed that revenues grew by 12.6% year on year to $69.69 billion. Under Alphabet, YouTube also showed a 4.8% increase in advertising revenues to $7.34 billion. This number missed analyst predictions (of 7%), according to Variety.
Megan Thee Stallion and Big Sean are facing a copyright infringement lawsuit for their 2020 collaboration “Go Crazy”. Detroit-based rappers Duawn Payne and Harrell James have accused the artists for infringing their 2012 track “Krazy”.
SiriusXM announced that it added 23,000 self-pay subscribers in its satellite radio unit for Q2 2022, totalling 34 million subscribers. Revenues increased by 4% to $2.25 billion as the company pointed to headwinds from an “uncertain economic environment” threatening consumer spending.
July 22, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – UK Music Exports Up Record 13.7% in 2021 / YT Shortens Content ID Appeal Period / Recognise the Music Campaign Embraces Audio ID
British music exports were up 13.7% to a record high of USD $709 million in 2021, according to the latest analysis by UK trade body BPI. The report was also driven by a record number of UK artists, nearly 400, achieving 100 million-plus global streams.
YouTube Content ID is shortening the appeal window after a disputed claim is rejected from 30 days to seven. The manual review period for a disputed claim will still be maintained at 30 days. YouTube will also be releasing “block claims” – where creators will be blocked from uploading their video after Content ID flags the use of copyrighted content.
A UK initiative – Recognise the Music – is partnering with Music Venue Trust, Featured Artists Coalition, AIM, the MMF, and Audoo in order to use Audio ID to process public performance royalty payouts. Venues and businesses will be able to sign up to use Audoo’s “Audio Meter” device, and allow it to identify music played in public and feed that data back to the relevant collecting societies.
According to a new update, Mdundo has now reached 20.3 million monthly active users in June 2022, which was up 74% versus June 2021. The company is expecting to hit 25 million MAUs for the 2022/2023 financial year.
YouTube has now released the ability for creators and merchants to link their Shopify stores to their YouTube channels via a newly announced partnership between the two platforms. The announcement was made in a blog post on July 19 by YouTube VP of Shopping Product David Katz.
July 15, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – US Streams Rise 10.6% in H1 2021 / BMI Urges Against RMLC’s Single Rate Court Hearing / Canada Extends Copyright Protection
According to Luminate’s 2022 Midyear Report, on-demand song streams in the US were up 10.6% over the first half of 2021. Country and Latin additionally continued to show streaming gains, while vinyl saw a plateau after enjoying more than a decade of growth.
BMI recently filed court papers against a combined radio royalty rate court hearing with ASCAP, which was proposed by the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) last month. BMI urges to keep the rate proceedings separate from any rate proceedings for ASCAP.
Canada extended copyright protection for musical works by 20 years – from life-plus-50 years to life-plus-70 years. The ruling will come into effect on a date still to be determined by the Canadian government. It will also bring the country’s copyright framework for rights holders in line with international standards.
According to an announcement by STIM, the Swedish collection society reported total royalty receipts at US $250.8 million, a 12.4% increase over the prior year’s total. In addition, distributions to members were almost $214 million, or a 10.1% increase over the prior year’s collections.
A blog post from the YouTube Music team released a new stat that in April 2022, Shorts containing content sampled from long-form videos generated over 100 billion views. Official artist channels uploading both Shorts and long-form videos also saw better overall watch time and subscriber growth relative to those only uploading long-form.
July 8, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – CRB Streaming Rate Increases to 15.1% / European Parliament Passes DSA and DMA / New Zealand Extends Copyright Protection
The Copyright Royalty Board announced the headline rate will increase to 15.1% from 11.4% in royalties paid by streaming services to publishers for the 2018-22 period. Streaming services Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube/Google, and Pandora appealed the rate decision in 2019. The rates for the 2023-27 period may see an initial decision from the CRB around Labor Day.
On Tuesday, members of the European Parliament approved the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act, establishing clear rules and regulations for online services operating in the European Union. These companies will need to allow more room for third party services to operate freely and to provide access to the data they generate on these platforms.
New Zealand is extending its music copyright protection from 50 to 70 years, according to government officials. The decision was negotiated as part of the country’s newly announced trade agreement with the European Union. The extension will presumably cover both sound recordings and underlying compositions.
SoundExchange has sued Slacker, Inc and parent company LiveOne in the US over unpaid royalties owed to performers and rights owners. The organization claims that Slacker stopped paying statutory royalties to creators in 2017.
After Deezer announced it went public via a SPAC merger this year, the streaming service opened trading on the Euronext Paris exchange at €8.50 per share ($8.72) before the price dived by 35%. Although it was a bumpy first day, more results will be delivered over weeks and months.
Kanye West has been sued for alleged copyright infringement of using a sample of Marshall Jefferson’s track Move Your Body in his song Flowers on his Donda 2 album without permission. The legal action was filed by Ultra International Music Publishing, citing its client – Chicago House music pioneer Marshall Jefferson.
July 1, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – CRB Streaming Rate Decision Looms / Alliance Ent’t to IPO via SPAC Merger / US Digital Giants to Finance Canadian Local Content
Senators Slam Streaming Services’ Request to Defer Payment of Back Royalties, as CRB Ruling Looms
CRB streaming rate negotiations for both the 2018-22 and 2023-27 periods are expected to come to a decision as digital services’ request to delay back royalty payments were slammed by senators and the NMPA in a letter.
One of Music’s Biggest Wholesalers is Going Public
Music, video and gaming wholesaler Alliance Entertainment is planning to go public on the NYSE via a reverse merger with SPAC Adara Acquisition Corp., the company announced on June 23. The deal has assigned the business a pre-deal valuation of $480 million.
Canada Passes Legislation to Compel Foreign Streamers, Social Platforms to Finance Local Content
Bill C-11 has recently been passed through Canada’s House of Commons. The legislation calls for raising around $800 million annually from US streamers and social media platforms as they become obligated to subsidize local Canadian film, TV and music products.
African Streaming Service Mdundo Aims for 50 Million Users by 2025
Pan-African music streaming service Mdundo recently announced in a strategy update this week that the company is expected to hit 50 million monthly active users by 2025, fuelled by growth in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa.
Apple Music is Raising the Price of Its Student Plan in the US, UK and Canada
Apple Music raised the price of its student plan in the US, Canada and the UK. Similar increases in this specific plan were also seen in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, India, Indonesia, Israel and more.
June 24, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Apple Music to Hit 110M Subscribers by 2025 / YouTube Leads the Way in Online Video Ad Spend / NMPA Launches App Initiative
According to a prediction by J.P. Morgan analyst Samik Chatterjee, Apple Music will reach 110 million subscriptions by 2025. In late April, Apple confirmed 825 million paid users across its Apple services division, which execs stated had generated a record high of $19.82 billion during the first three months of 2022.
Online video ad spend is up by 30%, says intelligence and sales platform MediaRadar. Many of the advertisers are spending on YouTube, specifically, reporting that among campaigns that run solely on the video platform, ad spend is up by 57%.
The NMPA recently launched an “App Initiative” to “ensure apps that utilize music are properly paying music publishers and songwriters”. The organization has recently filed a lawsuit against Vinkle and has sent out around 100 cease-and-desist letters to other apps that it believes are infringing copyrights.
Indie music pan-European trade group IMPALA is urging European countries to follow the French, not Belgian, approach when it comes to fair remuneration in the digital music sector. In France, a voluntary agreement has been reached within the industry, but in Belgium, a new performer equitable remuneration right has been added into copyright law.
Collections grew by 6% in 2021 to $416 million for Canadian collecting society SOCAN in its latest financial report. Domestic collections saw a 6% rise, and total collections from internet use of music went up by 30%. On the other hand, the society pointed out that its average songwriter member only earned $67 for use of their music online.
Ed Sheeran and songwriting partners Steven McCutcheon and Johnny McDaid were recently awarded more than $1.1 million in legal costs following their victor in a high-profile copyright case over the 2017 hit “Shape Of You”. UK artist Sami Chokri filed the lawsuit, claiming the song infringed his 2015 composition called “Oh Why”.
June 17, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Global Music Biz Revenue to Double in 2030 / RMLC Seeks to Use MMA Against ASCAP & BMI / YT Shorts Reaches 1.5B Monthly Viewers
According to Goldman Sachs’ annual “Music in the Air” report, total global music industry revenue will double to about $131 billion by 2030. The forecast also predicts that publishing revenues will rise to $11.6 billion by 2030, up one billion over last year’s prediction.
The Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) recently filed a motion with a New York court seeking to use the Music Modernization Act in order to determine royalty rates that radio stations need to pay the PROs: ASCAP and BMI. They are requesting a combined hearing in front of one judge to set the rates.
YouTube Shorts now touts more than 1.5 billion monthly viewers, stated the company this week. TikTok, on the other hand, said it surpassed 1 billion monthly active users last September. Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai announced in April that YouTube Shorts averaged more than 30 billion daily views.
SoundExchange announced this week that it has launched a global publisher services administration and licensing division called SX Works Global Publisher Services (or SX Works, for short). The project will focus on launching solutions for the international music publisher and self-published songwriter communities.
Video-sharing platform YouTube has also launched a dedicated hub for songwriters and producers in order to provide resources for them to grow their audiences “through the power of a YouTube channel”. There will additionally be resources for “music publishers, societies, & PROs”.
June 10, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Spotify Reveals Podcast Stats / Mariah Carey Sued in Copyright Lawsuit / Africa Music Streaming Revenues to Hit $314.6M by 2026
During Spotify’s 2022 Investor Day event, the company released statistics and forecasts around its podcasting business. According to CFO Paul Vogel, there were negative gross margins in podcasts during 2021 and 2022, but expects to achieve potential gross margins of 40%-50% within the next five years.
Mariah Carey has been hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit for her song “All I Want for Christmas is You” by artist Vince Vance in Louisiana district court. Vance is requesting damages in “an amount not less than” $20 million as well as costs of his legal action and attorney’s fees.
According to a report by research firm Dataxis, annual music streaming revenues in the entire continent of Africa will grow from $92.9 million in 2021 to $314.5 million by 2026. The IFPI also has stated that the Sub-Saharan Africa region was up by 9.6% year-on-year in 2021.
Seoul-based Beyond Music wants “to conquer the global music IP market”, claiming to be Asia’s largest single music IP asset management company. The firm says it expects to have 1 trillion South Korea Won ($800m) worth of assets under management by the end of this year.
The artist H.E.R. was filed a copyright lawsuit over an alleged unlicensed sample in her song “Could’ve Been” in Manhattan federal court by gospel group Take 6. They alleged that the song illegally uses their 1990 acapella track “Come Unto Me” without permission.
June 3, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Spotify Launches In Focus / Google Rolls Out Ads in YouTube Shorts Worldwide / Games Industry Revenues to Reach $222B in 2022
Google revealed that it is rolling out ads globally in YouTube Shorts, now allowing video action campaigns and app campaigns to automatically scale to the service. Advertisers will eventually be able to connect their product feed to their campaigns and make their video ads on Shorts more shoppable.
Research firms Data·ai and IDC stated that games industry revenues is expected to reach $222 billion in 2022. According to their announcement, 61.3% of that total number is to be spent on mobile games this year.
Live Nation and MSG Entertainment are forecasting record years of growth and bookings are on the rise at concert spaces across the US, but smaller venues are still recovering from the impact of COVID-19. Owners say audiences appear to be cautious to return.
Spinrilla and the major record labels have provided a list of questions to ask potential jurors for their copyright infringement legal dispute, which is finally heading to trial. The majors first sued the mixtape sharing platform in the US in 2018, accusing them of infringing their copyrights by allowing their music to be included in mixes without license.
May 20, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – French Record Business Legalizes Minimum Streaming Royalty Rates / PPL Revenues Up 12% in 2021 / Latin Surpasses Country Music
The French recording industry recently signed a “historic” deal, effective July 1, that would require record companies to pay minimum royalty rates for artists and performers from music streams on different streaming services like Spotify, Deezer, and YouTube. Labels trade body SNEP, SCPP, and SPPF have all signed onto the pact.
Music collection society in the UK, PPL, posted a 12% rise in revenues in 2021 YoY, making this the second highest ever annual total for the organization. Distributions to performers and recording rights holders, on the other hand, were down 15% year-on-year due to PPL’s claim of the negative impacts of the pandemic during 2020.
According to Luminate via Billboard, the week ending May 12 marked Latin’s highest streaming week to date with over 1.8 billion weekly ODA streams, surpassing the country genre. Bad Bunny’s new album “Un Verano Sin Ti” has claimed 18% of all US Latin on-demand streams in a historic shift.
After listing on the NASDAQ in New York three months ago, music streaming service Anghami posted a 16% increase year-over-year in total revenue during 2021. The platform’s advertising revenues also grew by 70%.
Swiss / Liechtensteinian collecting society SUISA has filed a lawsuit in the Hamburg District Court against Snapchat’s parent company Snap for copyright infringement. According to the filing, the SUISA Digital subsidiary has made “repeated attempts to license Snapchat for almost two years” without success.
YouTube announced at its Brandcast event that the company reached more than 230 million people aged 18+ in the US in October 2021, with that reach including 96% of the US population aged 25-54. These figures were pulled from research firm Nielsen.
May 13, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – SoundExchange, VEVA Sound Enter Data Partnership / MMF Drops the “Song Royalties Manifesto” / Amazon Music Expands to Argentina
A new data-sharing partnership has been made between VEVA Sound and SoundExchange in order to increase accuracy and efficiency in royalty payments. Utilizing cloud-based technology, VEVA Collect compiles all creator credits and their associated audio assets to ensure fair compensation.
The Music Managers Forum (MMF) dropped a new report called the “Song Royalties Manifesto” in order to lay out a three-step plan to increase opportunities for songwriters and composers to get paid. The list begins by first making sure that every song’s data is accurately logged with an ISWC code before any recording is released.
Amazon Music has launched in Argentina as part of its LATAM expansion, following its recent launches in Colombia and Chile in 2021. Listeners will be able to access the ad-supported and full music-subscription tier.
According to a study from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), U.S.-based ad sales on podcasts are claimed to “exceed” $2 billion by the end of 2022, will hit $3 billion next year, and will cross $4 billion by 2024.
iHeartMedia reported $69 million in podcast revenue during the first quarter of 2022 while total revenue reached roughly $843.5 million, surpassing Wall Street expectations. The company is continuing to expand in podcasting, following a recent investment in Sounder in February.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) recently proposed legislation called the Copyright Clause Restoration Act of 2022 that limits copyright protection of existing copyrights to 56 years. The senator is targeting Disney for extending its copyright in 1976 and in 1998.
May 6, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Songwriter Mechanical Rates Increase to 12¢ Per Song / New Ad Spots on Top 4% TikTok Videos / Dance Music Sector Up 71% in 2021
A settlement has been reached between the RIAA, NMPA, and NSAI to increase the mechanical rate for physical and download sales to 12 cents per song – up from the 9.1 cent rate that has been in place since 2006. The trade bodies filed a motion yesterday to the Copyright Royalty Board, which is currently in process of setting rates for the 2023-2027 term.
According to TikTok, select creators of the top 4% of videos will be allowed to participate in the company’s new ad program, TikTok Pulse. Marketers can buy ad spots on these videos, which are determined by brand suitability, viewer engagement, video views, and “creator engagement signals”.
In an annual report published by the International Music Summit (IMS), the dance and electronic music sector saw revenues increase by 71% in 2021, representing a significant recovery following the major impact of COVID in 2020.
ByteDance-owned Douyin released a beta music subscription service in China called Qishui Yinyue this week. The app will only be available in China. The country was the 10th largest recorded music market in the world in 2021, according to IFPI.
MCPS, the UK’s mechanical rights collecting society, confirmed that monies distributed to its music publisher and songwriter members last year were up 15% year-on-year. This is the highest pay out by MCPS since 2009.
April 29, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – YouTube Ad Revenues Up 14.4% in Q1 2022 / The MLC Seeking Publisher Candidates / Spotify’s Q1 Revenue Grows 24%
YouTube’s advertising revenues were up 14.4% year-on-year to $6.87 billion for the first quarter of 2022, Alphabet announced this week. YouTube Shorts is now averaging more than 30 billion daily views, double the Q2 2021 figure, said Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai.
The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) is currently accepting suggestions of Publisher candidates for its Board of Directors and Unclaimed Royalties Oversight, Dispute Resolution and Operations Advisory committees until May 26, 2022.
And Spotify’s first quarter revenue of 2022 grew 24% year-on-year to $2.96 billion, which was also a 1% dip from Q4’s revenue. The company also counted a total of 182 million paid users and 252 million ad-supported listeners in its latest earnings release.
According to SoundCloud, 135,000 indie artists are now getting paid through Fan-Powered Royalties (FPR), marking a 30% growth in the volume of artists who have signed up to monetize their music via FPR on the platform since March 2021.
The Apple services division, comprising Apple TV+, Apple Music, iCloud and the App Store, totaled $19.8 billion in revenue during the second quarter of the fiscal year, up from $19.5 billion in Q1. It now has 825 million paying subscribers, says Apple CFO Luca Maestri.
PRS for Music posted a 22.4% YoY revenue increase in 2021, despite public performance nearly 40% beneath pre-pandemic totals. Online plays was the main driver of its 2021 revenue growth, with the category up 45.6% YoY.
SiriusXM announced Thursday that the company lost subscribers in the first quarter of 2022 but improved net income to $317 million on revenue of $2.19 billion. Pandora, SiriusXM’s internet music streaming platform, lost 65,000 self-pay subscribers in the quarter, its third consecutive decline.
April 22, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Exploration Weekly – Netflix Loses 200K Subscribers in Q1 / RIAA & Major Labels Appeal to Keep Mechanical Rate / Spotify Releases Video Podcasts
Netflix posted a loss of 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter on Wednesday with shares of Netflix falling 35.1%. Music companies Spotify, Tencent Music Entertainment, and Cloud Village also saw their own shares fall, leaving investors to question the state of the current streaming market.
The RIAA and major labels filed a motion with the CRB to keep the 9.1 cent mechanical royalty rate on physical and download format sales. It also requested that the CRB extend the response period to 60 days, instead of requiring participants in the proceeding to respond by April 22.
As of yesterday, all creators in the US, Canada, UK, New Zealand, and Australia are now allowed to upload their own video podcasts to Spotify via distribution company Anchor. The streaming service announced that creators will also be able to receive 100% of revenue until the end of this year.
According to the South China Morning Post, TikTok parent ByteDance launched a new music streaming service in China, called Qishui Yinyue. The new app will operate similarly to Resso, and is currently in beta with an invitation code required to use it.
California federal judge Otis D. Wright ruled that Post Malone must stand trial in a copyright lawsuit that claims he failed to credit a co-writer (Tyler Armes) of his hit “Circles”. Armes may have allegedly played a key role during an August 2018 studio session for an earlier song before “Circles” was released.
An annual report by German collecting society GEMA revealed that its revenues grew by 8.4% year-on-year in 2021. After expenses, its distributable amount grew by 9.9%, which is a bounce-back from the first year of the pandemic.
April 15, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Latin Music US Recorded Revenues Up 35% in 2021 / Digital Audio Ad Revenue Outpaces Streaming Video / Deezer to IPO via SPAC
According to the IAB, podcasts and streaming for music and radio reached a total of $4.9 billion in ad revenue during 2021, outpacing streaming video, social media, search, and display advertising growth. Mobile devices accounted for 85% of the category’s total revenue.
Deezer is reportedly trying to go public again after its last attempt fell apart in 2015 on the Paris stock exchange due to difficult “market conditions”. The Wall Street Journal sources say that Deezer is nearing a deal to file a public listing via a SPAC merger.
Live audio chatroom app Spotify Greenroom is now being rebranded as Spotify Live and incorporated into its main streaming app, said Spotify on Tuesday. The feature allows users to participate in group audio conversations with a capacity of up to 1000 people.
Record industry trade body BPI announced that indie recordings in the UK saw its fourth consecutive year of growth in terms of consumption share last year. This category accounted for 26.9% of UK music consumption in 2021, up from 25.9% in 2020.
Deezer unveiled a new real-time translated lyrics feature on its platform this week. The company will provide translations in French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese, accessed through a “With Translation” button, and available on Deezer’s web, desktop, and mobile apps.
April 8, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Amazon Music Prices Increase / Viewers Overwhelmed by Streaming Overload / MLC Appoints Two Advisory Committee Positions
As of May 5, Amazon Music Unlimited subscription prices are rising by a dollar for Prime members. The individual plan is increasing from $7.99 to $8.99 per month, and the single-device plan is rising from $3.99 to $4.99 per month.
A recent Nielsen report revealed that according to its survey, 46% of streaming consumers feel overwhelmed by the number of platforms and titles available to them. However, viewers are not planning to slow down as 93% of respondents said they would keep the paid streaming services they have or add more over the next year.
Spirit Music Group exec Melanie Santa Rosa and drummer/composer Nate Smith have both been appointed to two advisory committee positions at the MLC. Santa Rosa is now part of the Operations Advisory Committee, and Smith is appointed to the Unclaimed Royalties Oversight Committee.
SOCAN saw collections rebound 6.4% to 416 million Canadian dollars ($325.5 million) from the prior year despite the pandemic’s lingering economic impact in 2021. The increase was driven by 29.8% growth in digital collections.
Ed Sheeran recently won a copyright suit in UK court over his 2017 hit “Shape of You” after a judge ruled that the musician did not infringe a 2015 song titled “Oh Why” released by artist Sami Chokri.
The analytics firm Data·ai published its latest “State of Media & Entertainment on Mobile” report, revealing that consumer spending on music and audio apps in 2021 grew by 29% year-on-year to $1.95 billion.
April 1, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – CRB Drops 9.1 Cent Mechanical Rate / Music Catalog Sales Up 180% in 2021 / SoundExchange Unveils $235 Million Payout for Q1 2022
The CRB has agreed to drop the 9.1 cent mechanical royalty rate that songwriters and music publishers will earn from the sale of songs during the upcoming 2023-2027 rate period. All participants must now either come up with a new rate settlement or the rate will have to be litigated.
According to MIDiA Research, music catalog sales were up 180% in 2021 year-over-year, totaling $5.3 billion that investors spent on publishing catalogs, recorded music catalogs, and producer royalties. Of the 131 deals tracked, 76% include publishing rights and 49% feature master royalty rights.
SoundExchange distributed $235 million during Q1 2022 for a total of over $9 billion since 2003, reported SoundExchange execs this week. The organization’s president and CEO Michael Huppe touted live music’s ongoing comeback and technology’s role in the space.
According to the UK’s Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL), the company paid out almost $35 million in international revenue to some 26,000 rights holders and performers for Q1 2022. A total of 41 global CMOs paid into the estimated sum.
Cloud Village saw its revenues grow by 42.9% to just around US $1.1 billion in 2021 as a whole. Like rival Tencent Music, Cloud Village’s revenues are split between online music (NetEase Cloud Music) and social entertainment services (for example livestreaming).
Brazilian star Anitta reached the top of Spotify’s global Top 50 chart with her latest single “Envolver”, according to label WMG. The milestone means Anitta is the first Brazilian artist to reach the top of that chart, and also the first solo Latin woman artist to do so.
March 25, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Global Music Sales Up 18.5% in 2021 / Google, Spotify Lower App Commission Fees / Spotify Paid Out $7B to Rights Holders in 2021
The annual IFPI “Global Music Report 2022” announced that global music sales rose 18.5% in 2021 on the previous year, the highest growth rate ever recorded by the IFPI. Much of the growth attributed to a 21.9% increase in paid streaming subscription revenues and strong gains in physical record sales and performance rights.
Users can now choose whether to subscribe to Spotify using Google Play or the streaming company’s payment services. In a new deal between Google and Spotify, the streaming service can now pay less in app commission fees when users choose the route of Spotify’s payment service. The feature is expected to roll out later this year.
According to Spotify’s annual “Loud and Clear” report, the company paid $7 billion in royalties to rights holders in 2021. These payments go to labels, publishers, distributors, performance rights organizations, and others, according to the report, which then gets divided up depending on the artist or songwriter’s contract.
ASCAP announced that it collected $1.335 billion in 2021, up by just 0.6% over the previous year. This was the smallest in monetary terms for ASCAP since 2013. The CEO Elizabeth Matthews primarily attributed this year-on-year fall in performance royalties on “business closures and the lack of vaccinations” in certain non-US territories.
Italy’s recorded music market saw a 27.8% growth year-on-year in 2021, according to Italian industry body FIMI. That included 24.6% growth for streaming revenues, thus accounting for just under 63% of the market.
In an announcement on Monday, Tencent Music Entertainment unveiled that its revenue from music streaming fell 1.4% to US $1.19 billion in the fourth quarter. Total revenue in 2021, however, was up 7.2% from 2020, mostly driven by a 36.1% subscriber growth to TME’s investment in original content production.
This week, Lizzo’s 2019 copyright case for her hit “Truth Hurts” was put to rest per a joint filing from all involved parties. Justin and Jeremiah Raisen and Justin “Yves” Rothman had purported to have co-written an unreleased Lizzo demo entitled “Healthy” months before “Truth Hurts” was released.
March 18, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – P-MRC Data Rebrands as Luminate / Katy Perry Wins “Dark Horse” Copyright Lawsuit / UK Record Industry Revenues Up 12.8% in 2021
A federal appeals court recently ruled in favor of Katy Perry in the “Dark Horse” copyright infringement lawsuit against rapper Marcus Gray (aka Flame). The initial jury verdict in 2019 finding Perry liable was overturned once again last week after its first time in 2020 when a judge ruled that the eight-note “ostinato” Perry allegedly copied lacked the “quantum of originality” to warrant copyright protection.
According to trade body BPI, UK record industry revenues grew by 12.8% in 2021, driven mostly by streaming, the UK record industry’s biggest revenue generator. Premium streaming revenues were up 13% and income from ad-funded video platforms like YouTube were up 22.6%.
Recorded music revenues in France topped $1 billion in 2021, representing 14.3% year-on-year growth. The results were published on March 15 by French trade body SNEP, and included that streaming made up 97% of total digital revenues in 2021, generating $581.5 million.
The Motion Picture Association (MPA) also announced that there were 1.3 billion online video subscriptions at the end of 2021, up 14% year-on-year. The latest figures from the IFPI, for comparison, counted 443 million users of paid music streaming subscriptions in 2020.
The IFPI has opened a new Southeast Asia regional office in Singapore with Simon Seow appointed to the newly created role of IFPI Regional Director, Southeast Asia. Seow is expected to lead IFPI’s work in the region to promote recorded music, expand its commercial uses and campaign for the rights of record producers, says IFPI.
March 11, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
TikTok has released its own promotion and music distribution platform called SoundOn this week. The service is already live in the UK, US, Brazil, and Indonesia. It allows artists to upload their music directly to TikTok, RESSO, Spotify, Apple Music, Instagram, and others.
UK collecting society PPL is providing international royalty distribution services to its Icelandic counterpart, SFH. The new partnership is an effort to increase the amount of money distributed by SFH, and make the payment of royalties by SFH more accurate and efficient, states PPL.
In a report by Bloomberg, YouTube is “extending offers of $50,000 to individual shows and $200,000 and $300,000 to podcast networks” in hopes of nurturing a new generation of video podcast hits, encouraging shows to produce video as well as audio versions.
Dua Lipa was hit with two copyright infringement lawsuits in the past week for her global hit “Levitating”. According to multiple media reports, the first was filed by Artikal Sound System for their 2017 track “Live Your Life”, and the second was filed by songwriters L. Russell Brown and Sandy Linzer for their 1979 song “Wiggle and Giggle All Night” and 1980 song “Don Diablo”.
March 4, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
In the US, ASCAP has hit a new record for annual collections in 2021, reaching $1.34 billion. The PRO paid out $1.25 billion to more than 850,000 songwriter, composer and publisher members from last year’s collections.
Effective as of March 4, YouTube data will be collected from logged-in users and contribute to all streaming charts released by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). This extension, says ARIA CEO Annabelle Herd, is “helping us to depict an even broader picture of Australia’s music consumption week to week.”
In a new announcement, TikTok is expanding its max video length from three minutes to ten. The ByteDance-owned app launched in 2016 with a maximum length of 15 seconds. The company has been testing ten-minute uploads with some users since August 2021.
According to the German Music Industry Association (BVMI), Germany’s record business revenues topped $2 billion (on a retail basis) for the second year in a row in 2021. The largest share (76.4%) of the market’s recorded music revenues came from digital music, up 17.7% versus the prior year.
In a new legal complaint, five members of indie group Artikal Sound System are alleging that Dua Lipa copied their 2017 song “Live Your Life” for her 2020 release “Levitating”. Other songwriters and producers are also named as defendants, such as Clarence Coffee Jr. and Bosco Kante.
February 25, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
In a recent announcement, Meta will be rolling out Reels on Facebook in more than 150 countries in iOS and Android apps with banner and sticker ads being placed as overlays on Reel videos and video creators earning a share of the revenues.
YouTube, for the first time, will hold its annual Brandcast event during TV’s upfront week on May 17 with an option to livestream the show. This means the advertising event will be held alongside similar events held by The Walt Disney Co., NBCUniversal, and more. YouTube vp Debbie Weinstein wrote in a blog post this week that it will “feature top creators and music talent”.
The RMLC and ASCAP have reached an interim licensing agreement as both parties continue to work toward a long-term deal. The previous licensing deal covered 2017 through 2021, and expired on Dec. 31, 2021. The RMLC, also known as the Radio Music License Committee, represents roughly 10,000 US radio stations and uses blanket licenses to cover the use of songs on those stations.
The US Copyright Office has rejected a second request to copyright a picture called ‘A Recent Entrance to Paradise’ created by an algorithm called Creativity Machine. The registered author of a piece of AI-created music will remain either the developer of the AI, or (if different) the person pushing the button to make it create.
In a Twitter post by YouTube chief product officer Neal Mohan, YouTube creators will now be able to signify that they are live by showing their profile pictures to be encircled by rings when they are in the midst of a stream, with the word “Live” written below.
February 18, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
According to Apple Music, Spatial Audio, the company’s version of Dolby Atmos Music, has seen an increase in listeners, reporting quadruple plays of Spatial Audio tracks since September. The catalog has additionally rapidly expanded, growing sevenfold since Spatial Audio became available last June.
Alphabet recently reported that YouTube made $8.63 billion from advertising in Q4 2021. Adding to the $20.21 billion from ads in the first nine months of 2021, YouTube’s total ads business across the 12 months of 2021 raked in $28.84 billion. This is nearly double the equivalent figure ($15.15 billion) that YouTube generated from ads as recently as 2019.
Billboard and MRC Data have partnered up to compile a new set of weekly “Hits of The World” charts, ranking the top 25 tracks in more than 40 countries worldwide based on streams and download sales. The new charts will be posted on Billboard’s website, with the data made available to MRC Data’s Music Connect subscribers.
According to SoundCloud’s 2020 financials published this week, revenues grew by 31% to €193.5 million (around $219.6 million), and operating losses fell to €15.4 million in 2020. The company is also reportedly considering acquisitions, says their filing, as they “see an opportunity in the current consolidation activities within the wider industry”.
Jon Glass of Warner Music Group (WMG) and Alasdair McMullan of Universal Music Group (UMG) have joined the SoundExchange Board of Directors. They will both lend business development expertise and legal acumen to the nonprofit, says SoundExchange.
February 11, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
The MLC seeks songwriter candidates to be considered for seats on its Board of Directors, Unclaimed Royalties Oversight Committee, and Dispute Resolution Committee. They must be professional songwriters who retain and license mechanical rights for songs they have written.
Amazon’s spending on video and music content in 2021 hit $13 billion, up around 18%, according to its annual SEC filing. The expenses include licensing and production costs as well as costs associated with digital subscriptions and sold or rented content.
PPL hit $127.4m of international collections in 2021, which was up 9.4% year-on-year. The company said that its work around improving recordings metadata and identifying usage of music helped it to grow those collections, along with partnerships with fellow societies around the world.
Songwriters Braindon Cooper and Timothy Valentine are hitting back in a new legal filing accusing Chris Brown and Drake of ripping off one of their tracks on the 2019 hit “No Guidance”. Brown and Drake’s legal reps tried to dismiss the lawsuit last month, but the songwriters are pursuing to counter the motion.
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek is hinting that the delay of the streaming service’s HiFi subscription tier is related to licensing issues, according to an announcement with analysts and investors during Spotify’s quarterly and annual earnings release.
February 4, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
In the fourth quarter of 2021, YouTube sold $8.6 billion in ads, about 25% above the $6.9 billion that it sold in the final quarter of 2020. According to The Hollywood Reporter, this brings YouTube’s 2021 ad revenue haul to $28.8 billion (not including revenues from its subscription services like YouTube Music).
In the same quarter, Spotify’s global Premium Subscribers grew to 180 million, up by 5% from the prior quarter (Q3 2021), and up by 16% year-on-year. The streaming service’s Monthly Active User tally of 406 million was also near the top end of its guidance range, with much of its growth coming from India, Latin America, and Indonesia.
Lastly, SiriusXM posted its Q4 financial report this week as well, revealing that it added around 1.2 million net new self-pay subscribers, taking its total to 32 million – a record for the company. Pandora, on the other hand, saw a decline in its listeners to 52.3 million, but a 30% increase in its advertising revenues to $1.54 billion.
An entertainment tech start-up called WIO, launched WIOpro, a service that monitors airings of film and TV titles in 55 countries, allowing users to add titles to a “portfolio” in order to track usage and generate analysis reports.
Saregama recently announced that it is planning a major investment in its music division. The Financial Express reported that the company has told analysts it is creating a fund of “up to Rs 750 crore” (around $100 million) to invest in music.
January 28, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
In an open letter published by YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki to creators, Wojcicki writes that the number of YouTube channels around the world making more than $10,000 a year is up 40% year over year. She also adds that YouTube Shorts has now hit the milestone of 5 trillion all-time views, and Music and Premium subscribers have hit 50 million.
In the first fiscal quarter of 2022, Apple services has reported $19.5 billion in revenue with Apple as a whole raking in $123.9 billion in sales, beating Wall Street analysts’ expectations of $118.3 billion in revenue, according to Yahoo Finance. The Apple services category is the second top revenue driver and includes Apple TV+, Apple Music, the App Store, and iCloud.
UK competition regulator the CMA has officially launched its music streaming market study. Its first priority is to study “the nature of competition at different levels of the value chain, including the extent to which music companies and music streaming services may have market power.”
Spotify for Artists now includes an educational website dubbed Made to Be Found in order to help artists better understand how users discover new music on the service by detailing editorial curation, personalized algorithmic recommendations and fan-led streaming.
January 21, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – YouTube Music is Fastest Growing Western DSP / CRB Set to Determine Streaming Royalty Rates / YouTube Tests “Smart Downloads”
According to a recent Midia Research study, streaming subscriptions grew by 26.4% worldwide in Q2 2021. Additionally, although Spotify had the highest market share among streaming services with 31%, YouTube Music showed the highest growth in the West by more than 50% during the 2020-to-2021 Q2 period.
The CRB is expected to have new proposed streaming royalty rates by the end of this year, which will determine how much digital music services like Apple Music and Google must pay songwriters and music publishers for their work through 2027. The proposed rates for 2018 to 2022 are currently still under review by copyright judges after being overturned by the federal appeals court in August 2020.
YouTube is considering adding “smart downloads” to its youtube.com/new hub, where it will detect when users are connected to wi-fi and use that connection to download up to 20 recommended videos per week to their device. This feature is already available to Premium YouTube Music subscribers.
The Jimi Hendrix estate has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the Jimi Hendrix Experience bandmates, Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell. The plaintiffs are demanding a restraining order barring the defendant estates “from claiming any rights of ownership or intellectual property rights” pertaining to the Jimi Hendrix Experience recordings.
According to new data from Mobile Index reported by The Korea Times, YouTube Music has grown from a 1.7% share of the South Korean music streaming market in 2019 to 19.22% by the end of 2021. This puts the streaming service neck-and-neck with the second biggest service, Genie (19.24%). YouTube Music’s monthly active users grew from around 630,000 at the start of 2021 to 1.26m by the start of December.
Brazil has 64 million monthly active users of audio platforms and around 18 million music streaming subscribers, according to the Brazilian Association of Independent Music (ABMI). Carlos Mills, president of the ABMI, told Music Ally that Spotify has around 60% of music streaming subscribers in Brazil, followed by Amazon Music.
January 14, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Apple Services Hits 745M Subscriptions / Dark Horse Lawsuit Faces Skeptical Appeals Court / Germany Reaches 165B Streams in 2021
On Tuesday, a federal appeals court was skeptical in reinstating a $2.8 million copyright verdict against Katy Perry over her 2013 song “Dark Horse”. Rapper Flame alleged that this work infringed the copyright of his earlier track “Joyful Noise”. The three-judge panel is set to weigh the merits of the case and issue a ruling in the months ahead.
According to data published by GfK Entertainment and German Music Industry Association (BVMI), Germany reached 165 billion music streams in 2021, almost a fifth more than in 2020 (138 billion), over half more than in 2019 (108 billion streams), and twice as many as 2018 (80 billion streams).
Digital rights licensing organization Merlin has announced its 2022 board of new and returning members. These seats are elected from and by Merlin’s members and includes representatives from across the world.
Spotify’s high-quality audio tier, Spotify HiFi, is delayed indefinitely, according to an announcement by the company this week. The feature was set to launch previously in select markets in November. Other major streaming services like Tidal, Deezer, and Amazon Music have already introduced high-quality audio in the past.
January 6, 2022 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – US Audio On-Demand Streams Up 26.3% and Vinyl Sales Up 51.4% / Winnie-the-Pooh Enters Public Domain / Grammys 2021 Postponed
Early sound recordings from 1926 like Winnie-the-Pooh are now in the public domain in the United States, according to a full list of works published by Duke University this year. Approximately 400,000 early sound recordings have been included as part of the 2018 Music Modernization Act.
The 64th annual Grammy Awards are postponed amid the Omicron surge. The announcement was made by The Recording Academy on Wednesday January 5. The event was originally scheduled for January 31 at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. It is expected to be postponed until spring, sources say.
The IFPI recently developed a “music charts framework,” which will aim to standardize the inclusion of YouTube streams in official music industry charts. They will only count views from logged-in YouTube users and official music videos – so not UGC content.
The US consumer technology industry is projected to generate a record $505 billion in retail sales revenue this year, states a forecast from the Consumer Technology Association, owner and producer of the CES Show. Spending on streaming services and software is expected to rise 6% over 2021, according to CTA’s projections.
The Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) recently announced that vinyl sales grew twice as fast as streaming in the UK last year, helping drive an 8.7% rise in overall music spending. However, digital music services like Spotify and YouTube Music account for almost 80% of recorded music spending in the UK.
December 31, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – GMEI to Buy Up to 14.99% of iHeart / Taylor Swift Files to Dismiss “Shake It Off” Lawsuit / US and UK Vinyl Sales Reach Record Highs
Taylor Swift is filing another dismissal of the song-theft lawsuit over the lyrics of “Shake It Off” before it ends up in front of a jury. Songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler accused Swift of ripping off their 2001 song “Playas Gon Play” in 2017. After a first dismissal, the duo brought it to the appeals court and the case is now sent back to court again for take two.
US and UK vinyl sales are continuing to grow, according to the BPI and MRC Data. In the US, fans have reportedly purchased 2.11 million vinyl albums during the seven days ending on December 23rd, the highest weekly total since at least 1991. And in the UK, domestic fans purchased over 5 million LPs in the year, marking an 8% improvement from 2020.
In 2021, artists like Olivia Rodrigo, BTS, and Bad Bunny topped the major streaming services’ year-end charts, according to the Digital Media Association. The organization stated that streaming continued to rise this year, and that major hip-hop and reggaeton artists garnered many of the top spots in the year-end lists.
Based on research from Insider Intelligence, TikTok is now bigger than both Snapchat and Twitter for global users, making it the third largest social network behind Facebook and Instagram. They further reported that “there will be 755.0 million monthly TikTok users in 2022,” defining TikTok users as “internet users of any age who access their TikTok account via any device at least once per month”.
December 23, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – SoundExchange Royalties Dispute Going to CRB / YT Creators Can Now Appeal Monetization on Mobile / Indies 28% of 2020 Pub Market
SoundExchange’s royalties dispute with US television service Music Choice has been decided that the case will be referred to the Copyright Royalties Board (CRB) for further investigation, rather than being heard in Federal court. SoundExchange launched the lawsuit to recover underpaid royalties in April 2019.
YouTube creators now have the ability to appeal video monetization decisions on the Studio mobile app, a feature previously only available on desktop devices. To do so, they will have to navigate to ‘Content’, tap the yellow ‘$‘ icon, and then select ‘Request Review’.
Independent publishers grew their share of the global music publishing market from 27% in 2019 to 28% in 2020, states a report by the industry body IMPF. This suggests that indies have around $1.92 billion of the estimated $6.8 billion global publishing market in 2020.
African music streaming service Boomplay and independent label agency Merlin have agreed to an expansion of their licensing agreement, extending the availability of Merlin members’ music catalog to 47 additional countries in Africa. Merlin already signed a licensing deal covering 11 countries with Boomplay back in 2019.
Beginning this month, YouTube creators in Pakistan, Ireland, Peru, and more will be eligible to receive monthly bonuses — ranging from $100 to $10,000 — for creating Shorts as part of YouTube’s efforts in expanding its Shorts Fund to 70 additional countries. The $100 million Fund was first announced in May in the US and India.
December 17, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Austria Proposes Copyright Law / TikTok Triples Songs Reaching Billion View Mark in 2021 / YouTube Organizes Subscriptions Feed
In a recent “Year on TikTok 2021 Music Report,” the ByteDance-owned video platform announced that approximately 430 songs surpassed 1 billion video views in 2021, which was three times more than in 2020. Latin music was the fastest-growing genre on the platform in the US, and Hip-hop/rap was the most-popular genre amongst its users in 2021, according to the report.
YouTube released its latest Creator Insider video, stating that it is currently testing a feature called Collections that will allow users to sort the creators and channels they’re subscribed to into specific categories. The Subscriptions Feed currently lists out videos in chronological order from every subscribed creator. Collections will let users create categories and sort channels into them.
In a recent 2021 stats roundup for artists on Spotify, fans listened to artists’ music for 107.9 billion hours this year, covering the “Wrapped” data period from January 1 to November 27. That’s around 9.8 billion monthly listening hours.
Tracklib released its 2021 State of Sampling report with some interesting data: 48% of the songs on the Grammy-nominated releases for Best Rap Album include samples; 54% of the albums that charted on Billboard during 2021 contains samples from other previously released songs; and Drake’s album “Certified Lover Boy” is the most sample-based album of all Billboard charting albums, with 15 samples.
December 10, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – “Brennan Bill” Rejected in the UK / Global Advertising to Jump 22.5% in 2021 / Indie Label Revenue Hit 43.1% Market Share, Says Report
In 2021 and 2022, global advertising is set to grow faster than previously expected, says media investment firm GroupM. In 2025, global media revenue will additionally exceed the $1 trillion mark after hitting $999.9 billion in 2024, according to the latest estimates.
In a new report by Midia, global indie label revenue is confirmed to total 43.1% market share when considered on a “label ownership basis” (i.e. who holds the copyright, not who distributes it). Mida adds that the majors’ previous market share of 66.1% contains revenue of indie labels which use the digital distribution platforms that are owned by the majors.
YouTube posted its first ever Copyright Transparency Report, stating that 60% of copyright claims disputed by content creators were dismissed in their favor. The data in the report was from January to July 2021, representing a total of 722,649,569 copyright claims made through its Content ID system.
SoundCloud CFO/COO Drew Wilson explained in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that the platform will see changes to pricing in early 2022 and it will solidify its relationships with artists and find more new talent on its platform. The company, according to him, is also anticipating net profit by 2023.
The Spotify for Artists platform has now been made available in 16 additional languages: Brazilian Portuguese, Canadian French, Czech, Dutch, European French, European Spanish, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Malay, Polish, Spanish for Latin America, Swedish, and Turkish. The app allows artists and their managers to add a canvas, update bios, artist picks and playlists and enables them to track the performance of new releases.
December 3, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – CRB Posts Latest Royalty Hike for 2022 / UK Streaming Bill Debate Scheduled / TikTok Reveals “Creator Next” Monetization Portal
Politicians in the UK are scheduled to debate a proposed law today on December 3 over higher artist royalties from music streaming platforms as well as reversion rights after a period of 20 years. The Copyright (Rights and Remuneration of Musicians) Bill, introduced by MP Kevin Brennan, contains four key clauses that could change royalty payout structures and contractual terms between music creators and labels and publishers.
TikTok unveiled “Creator Next,” an opt-in monetization portal for creators who meet certain eligibility requirements – such as being 18 or older, having at least 1,000 video views and three posts in the last 30 days. Creators can also gain access to tools and features, like Tips and Video Gifts.
On December 2, Chinese tech giant NetEase‘s subsidiary Cloud Village – which operates music streaming service NetEase Cloud Music – officially listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, raising approximately US $421 million at current exchange rates in its IPO. The share price was set at approx. US $26.3, which was the midpoint of the price range set in the company’s pre-IPO prospectus.
In a recent survey published by Dolby, results showed that social media apps like TikTok are helping young people rediscover catalogue tracks from decades ago. In addition, more than two thirds of respondents said they spend more time listening to music than before the start of 2020.
Spotify is reportedly testing a new vertically scrolling TikTok-style videos feed, says tech veteran Chris Messina and TechCrunch, after Messina spotted it in the new “Discover” button and feed in his Spotify app.
According to a federal appeals court on Monday, Josh Groban’s 2003 hit “You Raise Me Up” didn’t infringe the copyright to a 1977 song, ruling that both songs were actually derived from the century-old folk song “Danny Boy.” This ended a three-year legal battle, upholding an earlier judge’s decision last year that the two songs originated in the famous folk ballad.
November 26, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – New UK Copyright Bill Introduced / India Ranks Up on Global Music Rights Collections / TikTok and APRA AMCOS Sign Licensing Deal
According to new figures published by the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS) and CISAC, the royalty collection organization is now number 32 in the global rankings for music rights collections in 2020, up fourteen spots from the 2019 report. This was due to past settlements from TV and radio users as well as deals struck with Facebook and audio-streaming service Hungama Music.
TikTok and APRA AMCOS have both entered into a new multi-year licensing deal, an agreement that will deliver a new revenue stream for the more than 111,000 songwriters, composers, and music publisher members part of the Australasian PRO.
On December 2, Chinese technology giant NetEase Inc.’s subsidiary Cloud Village, which operates music streaming service NetEase Cloud Music, will list on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange under the symbol “9899.HK.” Sony Music Entertainment is buying shares in Cloud Village worth USD $100 million, as per an agreement signed by Cloud Village and Sony Music on November 22.
According to TikTok global head of music Ole Obermann, the company has ambitions to create deals that cover B2B (commercial) usage by brands and businesses. He says the team at TikTok can “figure out ways that [they] could partner up with the rightsholders on both sides, publishing and master, in order to just make these clearances faster and easier and more user-friendly”.
November 19, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Tidal Launches Direct-to-Artist Payouts / Global Value of Music Copyright Up 2.7% in 2020 / Spotify Rolls Out Real-Time Lyrics
Tidal is now launching a free tier in the US as well as a new user-centric payment model for its premium subscription offerings, according to an announcement made on Wednesday. Rights holders will be paid based on the streaming activity of each individual subscriber on Tidal’s HiFi Plus tier.
An annual report on the “Global Value of Music Copyright” by former Spotify chief economist Will Page states that the calculated value of music copyright for 2020 totalled $32.5 billion, growing by 2.7%. “The driver of these changes is streaming: Its contribution to labels, publishers, and their CMOs has risen, from 22% in 2016 to 54% in 2020,” wrote Page.
Spotify has announced that it is introducing real-time lyrics that display during song playback on both of its free and subscription tiers. The lyrics are provided by Musixmatch, and users can see the lyrics scroll as they listen to a song and can also share selected lyrics on social platforms.
The MLC is now seeking suggestions for a music publisher representative to fill an open seat on its Operations Advisory Committee, which, according to the MMA, “makes recommendations to the Board concerning the operations of the Collective, including the efficient investment in and deployment of information technology and data resources.”
Spotify is expanding its service into six new countries, including Iraq, Libya, Tajikistan, Venezuela, Republic of the Congo, and Democratic Republic of the Congo, making the streaming service available in 184 markets currently.
Investment vehicle Global Media & Entertainment Investments (GMEI) has ended its bid to acquire as much as 49.99% of US radio giant iHeartMedia after reporting that “iHeart didn’t want this, sparking a transcontinental tiff between the two radio industry giants”.
November 12, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Spotify Enters Audiobook Space / Peloton Reduces Annual Revenue Forecast / TME and Apple Music Ink Global Streaming Deal
According to Peloton’s fiscal Q1 2022 (calendar Q3 2021) results, the fitness company posted a 6% year-on-year increase, marking a significant deceleration compared to the prior year quarter, when Peloton’s revenues rocketed by 232% YoY. As a result, annual revenue forecasts have been reduced from $5.4 billion to between $4.4 and $4.8 billion total revenue.
Numerous Chinese musicians will now be able to stream their music globally on Apple’s platform after Apple Music announced that it reached an agreement with Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) this week. Music from record labels and artists that are part of TME Cloud Music will become available on Apple Music.
A judge in the US legal battle between Apple and Epic Games has ruled that Apple must now add links and buttons to alternative payment options in their apps. The company has an option to make a further appeal, but if not, the order takes effect from December 9.
Spotify recently announced the launch of a new Charts destination website that includes new Genre and Local charts, like City & Local Pulse Charts and Artist Charts. These will be available to all Spotify for Artists creators and Spotify listeners around the world, according to the announcement.
According to Tencent Music Entertainment’s financial results for Q2 2021, the company generated total revenues of RMB 7.81 billion (approx $1.21 billion) in Q3, representing an increase of 3% year-over-year. TME further explained that the 1.5% decline they saw in “Mobile MAUs – online music” was due “to churns of our casual users served by other pan-entertainment platforms”.
November 5, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Rising Potential of the Creator Economy / Mexico, Brazil Top Consumers of Music, Says IFPI / Apple Services Revenue Hits $18.3B
Mexico and Brazil both are the first and second countries where people consume most music per capita: 25.7 and 25.4 hours per week, respectively, compared to an average of 18.4 hours per week across the globe. The results were part of the IFPI’s recently released “Engaging With Music” report, which dug deep into the music consumption habits of 43,000 people in 21 countries.
The services division at Apple, which includes Apple TV+, Apple Music, the App Store and iCloud, reached nearly $18.3 billion in revenue during the fourth fiscal quarter of 2021. Apple CFO Luca Maestri told analysts that Apple services had 745 million paid subscribers, up from the “more than 700 million” disclosed during Apple’s last quarterly earnings call.
A new campaign by MusicFirst called “Music Fairness Awareness Month” for November is focusing on the lack of performance royalties paid by traditional radio broadcasters in the US. The pressure for this situation to change will be tied to the proposed American Music Fairness Act legislation that was introduced in June this year.
Snap’s shares tumbled 20% and Facebook missed revenue expectations after Apple’s iOS privacy changes, which requires apps to receive user permission to track their behavior across other apps and websites. However, Alphabet showed strong earnings in advertising revenue, demonstrating Google’s strong ad business, which was able to circumvent changes to ad targeting thanks to its dominance in search and the company’s ownership of the Android operating system.
According to figures published by Spanish industry body Promusicae, Spain showed a strong bounce back in their recorded music market, posting a 22% increase in revenues during the first half of 2021 to nearly €170 million. Streaming made up more than 70% of those revenues.
October 29, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – YouTube Ad Revenue Hits $7.2B / Global Royalties Collections Drops 10.7% in 2020 / Spotify Reaches 172M Subscribers in Q3
YouTube hit $7.2 billion in advertising revenue during Q3, close to surpassing Netflix’s reported advertising revenue of $7.5 billion in the same quarter. Google Advertising increased roughly by 5% in Q3 compared to last quarter.
According to a report published by CISAC, global music royalty collections dropped 10.7% in 2020 due to the pandemic, declining to a pre-2017 level of approximately $9.3 billion. Digital collections, on the other hand, were up by 16.2% in 2020. It surpassed live and background for the first time to become the second largest income stream.
In Spotify’s latest financial results for Q3 2021, global Premium subscribers grew to 172 million, up 19% year-on-year. The company’s total global Monthly Active Users (MAUs) also grew 19% year-on-year in the quarter.
Rep. Ted Deutch introduced a new bill called the Protect Working Musicians Act aiming to give independent music artists and labels the ability to bargain for higher royalty rates. The legislation is endorsed by the Association of Independent Music (A2IM) and the Artist Rights Alliance.
According to the CRB, Spotify, Amazon, and Pandora are proposing lower rates for publishers and songwriters for the period spanning 2023-2027. The rates that cover 2018-2022 are still under an Appeals Court remand, and it’s unclear if its previous determination will stand.
The Verge recently reported that Amazon is “building a new app, codenamed ‘Project Mic,’ that gives anyone the ability to make and distribute a live radio show, complete with music.” It will be similar to a crossover between Clubhouse and Spotify’s “Shows with Music” podcast format.
October 22, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – The MLC Signs Two New DQI Partners / US Senators Propose Anti-Competition Bill / Music Orgs Welcome CMA’s Streaming Market Study
According to a press release announced by The MLC, Simply Royalties and Verifi Media have now joined its Data Quality Initiative (DQI) Partner Program. There are now seven music data companies onboarded as official DQI partners. By working with The MLC, these companies will be able to help their clients and customers prepare and submit their files as part of the DQI to increase accuracy of musical works data.
US Senators Amy Klobuchar and Charles E. Grassley proposed a new bipartisan bill called the American Innovation and Choice Online Act. If the legislation is passed, dominant online platforms like Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook engaging in anti-competitive conduct could face harsh penalties.
Music industry groups like the record industry trade body BPI and indie organization AIM have welcomed the news that the UK’s Competition & Markets Authority will begin a study into the music streaming market in order to consider the dominance of the majors in recorded music and music publishing as well as how streaming monies are currently shared out across the music community.
The IFPI’s new “Engaging With Music” report announced that nearly two-thirds of global music consumption occurs on free, social and video platforms. The organization surveyed around 43,000 internet users aged 16-64 in 21 countries.
Liberty Media sold its entire stake in iHeartMedia, the largest radio broadcaster in the US. The company holds 78% of SiriusXM, which owns music streaming service Pandora, and 32% of Live Nation, the world’s largest concert promoter.
The UK Music’s annual report recently stated that COVID-19 wiped out 69,000 jobs, or one in three of the workforce. In the live sector where 75% of the workforce are self-employed, many were not covered by government support schemes. UK Music is calling on the government to take action.
Apple announced a new Voice Plan that costs $4.99 a month, and is tied to the Siri voice assistant rather than to a single device. Users will be able to access the whole Apple Music catalog, and skip songs as often as they like although they won’t get features like spatial and lossless audio, lyrics or music videos, which are reserved for the $9.99 individual and $14.99 family tiers.
October 15, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – NMPA Seeks 32.4% CRB Rate Increase / Latin Music US Revenues Up 37% Mid-Year / Royalty Shares Receive First SEC Qualification
Latin US recorded music revenues grew by 37% to $407 million for the first six months of 2021, according to the RIAA’s 2021 mid-year Latin revenue report. The genre now represents a 5.8% share of the overall U.S. market, which grew by 27% in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period last year.
The SEC recently green-lit the sale of shares in a song for the first time, reported by fan investment platform and royalties marketplace SongVest. In a move to allow fans to invest in a secure online marketplace, SongVest says the song “Hit the Quan” by ILOVEMEMPHIS has received an SEC qualification to publicly sell Buck Nasty’s share of producer royalties from the song via its platform.
According to research firm eMarketer, for US listeners, Spotify is expected to grow from 83.1 million this year to 100.6 million by 2025, Amazon Music will grow from 49.8 million to 56.9 million, Apple Music will grow from 36.9 million to 40.6 million, and Pandora will fall from 54.2 million to 46.1 million. For paying subscribers, YouTube Premium is expected to grow from 29.5 million US subscribers in 2021 to 46.6 million by 2025.
Apple TV+, which has been available for almost two years now, is set to reach nearly 36 million subscribers by the end of 2026, states Digital TV Research. Competitors like Disney+ and Netflix are also set to reach 284.2 million and 270.7 million subscribers respectively by 2026.
October 8, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – YouTube Contributed $20.5 Billion to US GDP in 2020 / The MLC Presents “Junior Music Rights Week” / TikTok 2020 Revenues in Europe Up 545%
In a YouTube-commissioned study from Oxford Economics, titled The State Of the Creator Economy, YouTube contributed $20.5 billion to the US gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020, as well as the equivalent of 394,000 full-time jobs. These numbers are up 23% and 14%, respectively, from the previous year in 2019.
The MLC is collaborating with the Save The Music Foundation on “Junior Music Rights Week” (October 11-15), an initiative aimed at helping young music creators between 13 and 18 years old learn more about the business side of the music industry and specifically, the mechanical licensing process. There will be two webinars and a virtual pop-quiz for participants to kick off the week.
The latest financial results filed by TikTok Information Technologies UK state that in 2020, TikTok’s revenues in Europe grew by 545% to $170.8 million. The company attributed the sharp increase in revenues to “a substantial increase in our user base which attracted more online advertisers and paying users”.
YouTube Music is set to roll out a background-listening option for ad-supported accounts in Canada “free of charge” on Wednesday, November 3rd, according to a company blog post. The music streaming service expects to launch the feature globally sometime down the line, albeit without disclosing an exact release date.
Chris Brown and Drake have been sued for copyright infringement by singer Brandon Cooper and producer Timothy Valentine for the 2019 song “No Guidance”. According to the lawsuit, it forged elements of their 2016 track “I Love Your Dress” by using similar beat patterns in the melody and lyrics used in the chorus/hook of “No Guidance”.
October 1, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Pex and WIPO Launch Copyright Dispute Resolution Service / NMPA and Roblox Sign New Agreement / TikTok Hits 1 Billion MAUs
Music licensing platform Pex has partnered with the World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Center to provide what they call the “first neutral, third-party copyright dispute resolution service” to address copyright infringement. The system is intended for use by creators, rights holders, platforms, and all those that create and house content. It will be made available within Pex’s Attribution Engine.
Roblox and the NMPA signed a new agreement that is expected to create future opportunities for collaboration between music publishers and creators. It will also settle any previous claims against Roblox filed by NMPA members, and additionally offer songwriters new ways to monetize their songs and catalogs.
TikTok has officially reached one billion monthly active users, the company announced this week. That is up from 689 million monthly active users counted in July 2020. Facebook has a reported 2.9 billion MAUs, YouTube has 2.3 billion, and Twitter has 206 million daily active users, for comparison.
In 2021, global music streaming has increased by 25.9% from the same period in 2020, says a new study of international music trends from MRC Data. The total amount of on-demand audio song streams from January through August of this year was 1.7 trillion, as opposed to 1.4 trillion during the first eight months of last year.
Media investment and intelligence company Magna reported that it must raise its forecast on US advertising spend this year, because it saw record growth of 32% during the first half of 2021. In June, Magna forecast a 15% increase in US ad spending. However, now it has boosted that projection to 23% to $277.6 billion.
September 24, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Twitch Inks Deal with NMPA / New “Credits Due” Initiative Launched / UK Government Responds to Music Streaming Economics Report
Twitch announced a new deal with the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) this week for future collaborations and improvements on the gaming experience and songwriter exposure. Twitch additionally released a new process for music rights holders to report certain uses of their music in their streams.
The Ivors Academy and Music Rights Awareness announced at the Ivor Novello Awards that they are teaming up on a new initiative called Credits Due to make sure all songs are tagged with the creator identifiers and role codes that services need to pay composers. Creators are now also able to register metadata on Sessions software that plugs into various music production tools.
The UK Government responded to a recent music streaming economics report, calling for a market study on the economic impact of the three major labels as well as for the introduction of a right to equitable digital music remuneration.
The MLC is commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month in September with a new initiative – “El MLC en Español” – that is designed to engage both current and prospective Spanish-speaking Members of The MLC and officially kick off the availability of Spanish-language resources to those individuals and groups.
Universal Music Group saw its shares jump in their stock market debut on Amsterdam’s Euronext exchange on Tuesday. The stock closed at 25.10 euros ($29.43), bringing the company’s market value to 45.51 billion euros ($53.35 billion).
According to new reports, TikTok owner ByteDance is potentially releasing a streaming service “tentatively named Feile, and internally referred to as Luna,” which will expectedly launch later this year. ByteDance previously developed and launched a new music streaming service called Resso in India last March of 2020.
Abel Tesfaye (aka The Weeknd) was hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit by the musical group Epikker for not properly crediting their song “Vibeking” on The Weeknd’s 2018 single “Call Out My Name”. According to the lawsuit, the two tracks have the same time signature and similar tempos.
September 17, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – YouTube Largest Content Licensor in the World / Recorded Music Revenues Up 27% in H1 2021 / Apple Music Adds DJ Mixes via Shazam
YouTube is now the largest content licensor in the world, according to YouTube’s chief business officer Robert Kyncl in an announcement at the Royal Television Society Cambridge Convention. He mentioned that the company’s partner program covers about 2 million creators, paying out $30 billion to them over the past three years.
In the RIAA’s latest mid-year report, recorded music revenues in the US grew 27% in the first half of 2021 over 2020. Paid subscriptions were the strongest contributor to growth, comprising nearly two-thirds of total revenue. Streaming accounted for 84% of all revenues, up 26% year over year, due largely to new licensing deals with companies like Facebook and Peloton.
In a company announcement, Apple Music stated it is streaming DJ mixes on its platform via the use of Shazam technology. Now, all rights holders on a mix can be identified and paid through a system that was developed as a result of Apple Music working with major and independent labels.
The lawsuit between Apple and Epic Games was recently settled this week, ruling that Apple did not show antitrust conduct. However, the company must now allow developers to tell consumers how to make purchases outside of apps. Epic Games sued Apple a year ago to bypass the 30% commission that it takes on in-app purchases.
Global digital rights agency Merlin has extended and enhanced its existing music licensing partnership with India-based music streaming service JioSaavn. The deal enables Merlin’s membership to increase their presence in South Asia, and allows JioSaavn’s catalog offering to be expanded to its worldwide audience.
Universal Music Group posted its 306-page prospectus for investors this week ahead of its upcoming public listing, revealing that catalog music accounted for 54% of its recorded music revenues in 2020. Meanwhile: “No single artist accounted for more than 1%, and the top 50 artists only accounted for 23%, of UMG’s recorded music revenue in 2020.”
September 10, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – BMI Distributes $1.335 Billion / Gen Z Finds New Music via Video Games / Ad-Supported Streaming More Cost-Friendly Option
According to a US Music 360 report by MRC Data survey from July 2021, 28% of Gen Z music listeners use video games to discover new music. A large majority of those survey respondents also choose streaming, with 51% of music listeners saying that they had discovered new artists through audio and video streaming platforms.
A recent study from the National Research Group and Roku stated that 70% of survey respondents are more willing to choose ad-supported streaming if it meant monthly subscription costs would be lower. Additionally, nearly a third of respondents said that they added a new ad-supported free streaming service to their entertainment diets, according to the study.
App Annie recently reported that US mobile phone users watch an average of 24 hours of TikTok content per month, and an average of 22 hours and 40 minutes of YouTube content per month. They also announced that TikTok remains the most downloaded app globally.
The Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) and Music Managers Forum (MMF) made comments on music industry issues based on a recent music streaming economics inquiry report in the UK. FAC boss David Martin suggested that within the artist community, featured artists and artists signed to a label might have different viewpoints on streaming economics. The two companies also commented on the economic impact of major record companies in the music rights market.
September 2, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – YouTube Music Reaches 50M Subscribers / Apple Changes App Store Rules / Pershing Square Invests Another 2.9% in UMG
Apple will now allow companies like Spotify and Netflix to include web page links within their iOS apps in the App Store for subscribers to directly sign up to the service. The change was made as a result of an investigation by Japan’s Fair Trade Commission.
Vivendi announced that Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Holdings is acquiring another 2.9% of Universal Music Group for just under $1.15 billion. This follows their 7.1% acquisition for $2.8 billion, totaling the stake to 10% of UMG’s share capital. The music company plans to go public as early as next month.
Users part of Facebook Gaming’s Partner and Level Up programs will now be able to play songs from a wide catalog of popular music thanks to multi-year music licensing agreements with various music companies signed one year ago. Facebook has also been testing its content recognition system to better handle copyright violations.
PPL and Veva Sound have partnered up to tackle dodgy metadata by starting up a new service called Veva Collect: a “secure, cloud-based file sharing credits platform”. “Verification partners” like PPL will now be identifying recording artists with an International Performer Number (IPN) in order to ensure that recordings credits have the accurate data to get musicians paid.
YouTube recently announced that it is expanding its “Copyright Match Tool” to allow rights holders who successfully submit a copyright removal to access the tool as well as the ability to submit requests that YouTube prevent copies of the same content from being uploaded in the future.
Apple has acquired classical music streaming service Primephonic, which offers a listening experience with search and browse functionality optimized for classical, premium-quality audio, handpicked expert recommendations, and extensive contextual details on repertoire and recordings. Apple Music plans to launch a dedicated classical music app next year combining Primephonic’s classical user interface.
August 27, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Spotify Drops Podcast Listener Contact List / Olivia Rodrigo Adds Paramore as Co-Writers / TikTok Creators Turn to YouTube Shorts
Olivia Rodrigo retroactively added two Paramore members, Hayley Williams and Josh Farro, as co-writers on her hit single “Good 4 U”. She previously added Taylor Swift and co-writers to the credits of her song “Déjà vu” and “1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back” during the time of its release. The names are now listed in ASCAP’s Repertory database.
Three TikTok creators – Alyssa McKay, Katie Feeney, and Hannah Montoya – saw huge success on YouTube Shorts after posting a few of their videos on the platform and seeing noticeable gains in subscriber growth. Feeney, popular on TikTok with 6.3 million followers, gained 750,000-plus subscribers in three months.
On August 20, Spotify announced that it is beginning a stock repurchase program at the start of the third quarter of 2021. The company has approved repurchases up to the amount of $1 billion and 10 million of the firm’s ordinary shares. SPOT’s share price shot up by over 6% on the New York Stock Exchange at the time of publishing the buyback news.
YouTube’s Partner Program (YPP) now counts more than two million creators monetizing their content, says chief product officer Neal Mohan in a blog post this week. According to YouTube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki, the number of channels joining the YPP doubled in 2020 compared to 2019.
A lawsuit filed against H.E.R., DJ Camper, Justin Love and Sony Music Entertainment, over the 2016 song “Focus,” has reached a settlement. The complaint alleged that the song intentionally infringed upon Andre Sims’ original composition “Endless Minds” without receiving his consent or giving him compensation. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
August 20, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Facebook Reels is now being rolled out in the US, a new short-form video feature launched earlier this year in India, Mexico, and Canada. Facebook users can choose songs from Facebook’s music library, record their own original audio, or even use someone else’s audio if their Reels are set to public.
Spotify has recently hired Copyright Office exec Regan Smith to fill their head of public policy and government affairs role. Smith had worked at the Copyright Office for several years as former general counsel and associate register of copyrights, handling regulation, litigation, and other legal affairs.
On August 17, Pershing Square Tontine Holdings (PSTH) was hit with a lawsuit pertaining to its failed attempt to invest in Universal Music Group (UMG). The suit alleges that PSTH is not a proper special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), but rather an investment firm, and requests damages reflecting PSTH’s “breach of fiduciary obligations” under the Investment Company Act of 1940.
With the increase in live music outings in the UK, the Music Venue Trust (MVT) has gathered opinions from music fans and venues alike about concerts’ return. Among 1,891 fans surveyed, 8.9% would like to see music events requiring “certification of health status” for attendees. In addition, over two thirds of venues surveyed reported that their advance ticket sales are down compared to pre-COVID-19.
After being hit with regulatory penalties and seeing its share tumble to record lows, Tencent Music Entertainment, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, will be adjusting its business model to downplay music streaming and control of exclusive content. “We would like to reiterate that TME sincerely accepts the decision issued in July by the regulator pertaining to exclusive music licensing arrangements. We are committed to fully complying with all requirements in a timely manner,” said Cussion Pang, executive chairman.
August 13, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
US Senators Richard Blumenthal, Marsha Blackburn and Amy Klobuchar have proposed the Open App Markets Act to regulate the Apple and Google app stores. If passed, the new laws would ban Apple from obliging app-makers to use its proprietary payment system and App Store.
Vivendi recently sold 7.1% of its company Universal Music Group (UMG) to Bill Ackman’s investment firm, Pershing Square Holdings, for $2.8 billion. The deal values UMG at 35 billion Euros, or around $41 billion.
Major labels Sony Music, Universal Music, and Warner Music have filed a second lawsuit against Charter Communications, alleging that the company has allowed thousands of its subscribers to infringe copyright during the period July 26, 2018 to present. The first lawsuit was filed against Charter in March 2019.
YouTube released a new gesture control on the Android version of its app that will allow users to navigate video “Chapters” by double-tapping with two fingers. Chapters, delineated sections of a video within the scrubbing timeline, was first tested in April 2020. The gesture control feature was subsequently rolled out a month later.
In the first half of 2021, Germany’s recorded music revenues grew by 12.4% year-on-year to €903.8 million (around $1.06 billion), according to German industry body BVMI. Streaming was up by 19.9% to account for 70.6% of the market.
A new Financial Times report released by people familiar with the matter states that after shelving tentative plans for an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in April, TikTok owner ByteDance expects to list on the Hong Kong market in the fourth quarter of 2021 or early 2022.
August 6, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – The MLC Releases 2nd Educator Toolkit / Spotify Plus in Testing / #FrozenMechanicals Artist Campaign
A new ad-supported subscription tier is being tested by Spotify. Called Spotify Plus, the potential offering will allow users to play songs of their choice, with unlimited skips, for $0.99 a month. Right now, it is being tested with a “limited number of users,” says a Spotify spokesperson.
Songwriters and artists rights campaigners Helienne Lindvall, David Lowery and Blake Morgan recently submitted comments to the Copyright Royalty Board, protesting the 9.1¢ mechanical rate that has remained static since 2006. In an artist campaign called #FrozenMechanicals, advocates are calling for an un-freezing and gradual increase in the rate.
According to The Verge, YouTube is reportedly testing a new subscription tier called Premium Lite in select European countries for €6.99/month. It expects to offer ad-free viewing, but no offline downloads, background playback, and access to original content, which is included in a full-fledged Premium subscription.
LyricFind has launched a new lyric video creation tool for artists and labels to use for free. They will be able to use custom backgrounds, fonts and visualizers to animate a track’s lyrics in seconds.
China-based video game company NetEase has secured approval from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to spin off its music streaming subsidiary, Cloud Village, which runs the popular NetEase Cloud Music streaming service. The move arrives as surging streaming revenues have invigorated investor interest in music from around the world.
July 30, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – YouTube Ad Revenue Hits $7B in 2Q21 / Spotify Grows to 165M Paid Subs / Songwriter Groups Call On CRB
YouTube generated $7 billion from advertising alone in Q2 2021, equivalent to approximately $77 million a day, or $3.2 million every hour, according to an announcement made by parent company Alphabet. That’s up by 83.7% on the equivalent figure from 2020 ($3.812 billion).
Spotify’s user base grew to 165 million paid subscribers and 210 million free users during the second quarter of 2021, the company announced in its latest earnings report. That’s a net increase of 7 million paid users and 2 million free users compared to the first quarter. The metrics were on target with guidance, though Spotify conceded monthly active user growth was slightly underwhelming due to a softer first half of the quarter.
Several songwriter organizations have called on the US Copyright Royalty Board to reject the NMPA/NSAI mechanical royalty rate proposal. The groups, which include the Songwriters Guild of America, are asking for the current rates to be amended to take into account inflation since 2006.
Apple’s services business, which includes Apple TV+, Apple Music, the App Store and iCloud, delivered $17.5 billion in revenue in the second fiscal quarter of 2021. That is up from $13.1 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Although the company did not disclose how many subscribers each service had, Apple CFO Luca Maestri told analysts that it had “more than 700 million paid subscriptions” across its services division.
A recent study commissioned by Live Nation and produced by Oxford Economics found that, in 2019, the concert business was valued at $132.6 billion, employing 900,000 people with associated labor income of approximately $42.2 billion. Each year, concerts generate $55.2 billion in direct spending in the US. And for every $100 spent by an out-of-town attendee on a concert ticket, $334.92 is generated within the local economy.
SiriusXM reported its latest financial results with its Q2 revenues of $2.16 billion having grown by 15% year-on-year. The company added 355,000 net new self-pay subscribers during the quarter, taking it to 31.4 million overall. Its music streaming subsidiary Pandora had 55.1 million monthly active users in Q2, down from 59.6 million a year ago. On the other hand, its revenues grew by 82% year-on-year to $383 million.
July 23, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Bill Ackman’s special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Pershing Square Tontine Holdings announced this week that it will no longer be acquiring a 10 percent stake in Vivendi’s Universal Music Group. The deal was previously finalized earlier this summer, valuing the music major at $41.6 billion.
YouTube recently launched Super Thanks – a way for fans to “express their gratitude and show support” for individual videos by allowing viewers to buy at four price points, ranging from $2 to $50. The company additionally has three other ways to support creators by paying: Super Chat, Super Stickers, and channel subscriptions.
TikTok unveiled in a blog post that, according to two online surveys conducted separately by MRC Data and Flamingo Group, 75% of TikTok visitors discover artists there, while 63% say it’s a source for music they’ve not heard before, and additionally, 67% state that they are more likely to seek out songs on music-streaming services.
UK-based fitness apparel brand Gymshark was hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit by Sony Music Entertainment (SME) in the US last Thursday. The filing claims that Gymshark allegedly infringed sound recordings and musical compositions used without a license for videos posted on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.
Game developer Peter Madsen recently created a new browser extension for Twitch called SpotifySynchronizer to avoid DMCA strikes. The feature allows viewers to synchronize their Spotify accounts with the streamer – so they can hear the music on their own account. Viewers who are watching without the extension will only hear the standard game audio.
The UK government is cracking down on digital companies like Apple after it created the Digital Markets Unit (DMU) under the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in April. Those large companies with “Strategic Market Status” will be required to follow new rules to avoid alleged anti-competitive behavior.
July 16, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
In 2020, media and entertainment revenue globally dropped 3.8% as the pandemic led to an overall $81 billion drop, says a new report published by PricewaterhouseCoopers. On the other hand, the company predicts that the overall industry is projected to bounce back this year and continue growing, with a 3.5% compound annual growth rate from 2019-2025.
According to MRC Data‘s new mid-year report, H1 2021 saw catalog music’s share of total album consumption in the US rise to 66.4%, up from 63.9% in H1 2020. Conversely, the percentage of total album consumption claimed by ‘current’ music was just 33.6%, down from 36.1% in H1 2020.
YouTube Shorts is now expanding to all the regions where YouTube main is currently available. That will put it live in more than 100 countries worldwide. The TikTok competitor will be in beta as it plans to add more convenient features and increased monetization for creators.
The Copyright Office recently recommended that the first distribution of the black box monies accumulated won’t be distributed until five years after the Mechanical Licensing Collective’s claiming portal is up and running. The system, which is in beta right now, will allow rights holders to search and claim unmatched songs so that they can be paid the royalties for plays of those songs.
SoundExchange announced this week that it will take over the collection and distribution of domestic and foreign private copy royalties. The company will begin claiming international private copy royalties in late 2021 and domestic private copy royalties in February 2022.
According to Midia Research, YouTube Music is the fastest growing subscription service, growing by 60% in 2020, and reaching an 8% market share in Q1 2021 – just under 39 million subscribers.
TikTok parent company ByteDance has indefinitely put on hold plans for an initial public offering in the US or Hong Kong after Chinese government officials warned management to address data security risks, reported the Wall Street Journal. The China-based company was valued at $180 billion in a round of funding in December.
July 9, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Roblox Inks Deal with Sony / IFPI Launches ISRC Data System in Africa / LyricFind Expands to Brazil with Abramus Digital
Virtual experience platform Roblox recently signed a deal with Sony Music Entertainment this week, and is reportedly in talks with other record labels as well. The company has grown dramatically in recent years, reporting 43 million daily active visitors in May. The NMPA filed a lawsuit against Roblox last month for allegedly enabling piracy when users uploaded copyrighted music and shared them within Roblox experiences.
According to a recent announcement, the IFPI’s Sub-Saharan Africa office will be administering the International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) data system for the continent, except for South Africa, where it is already managed by another entity. The office will also be holding virtual seminars this month to teach musicians how to use it.
LyricFind has signed a licensing agreement with Abramus Digital, which is part of Brazilian collecting society Abramus, and represents more than 80,000 songwriters and publishers. Brazil is the fifth-largest territory in terms of business for the lyrics-focused company.
Analytics firm App Annie revealed that as of May 2021, both US and UK TikTok Android users spent more time per user on average than US and UK YouTube Android users. According to their report, US-based TikTok users on Android devices spent an average of 24.5 hours per month, compared to 22 hours per user, per month on YouTube.
A songwriter chart released by music rights data platform Blokur showed that the biggest songwriter of 2020 on YouTube was Indian rapper Badshah. The chart takes into account the success of songs on various streaming charts, as well as the percentage of each song that each songwriter is credited with writing. Badshah counts 2 million subscribers on its YouTube channel and has attracted over 261 million views.
YouTube is the dominant streaming video platform in South Korea, a new study has found, according to a quarterly report from consultancy Media Partners Asia, which leans on the company’s AMPD Research Platform. YouTube accounted for 81% of minuted consumption, compared with 13% for all subscription-VOD platforms combined.
July 2, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Kevin Amer Assigned New Copyright Office Role / Dance Music Loses Half Its Revenue in 2020 / Gaana Raises $40M in Debt Financing
The US Copyright Office has named Kevin Amer as new Acting General Counsel and Associate Register of Copyrights, effective July 2, 2021. He has served as deputy general counsel at the Office since May 2019, helping co-lead the study on section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
Overall earnings in 2020 from the electronic dance music industry reached a total of $3.4 billion, says an annual business report published by the International Dance Music Summit. That’s less than half of 2019’s $7.3 billion in earnings and lower than that of the industry in 2012. Despite the decline, the sectors within the industry – music sales/streaming and software/hardware sales – were up 4% and 23% respectively.
India-based Spotify rival Gaana has just raised an additional $40 million in debt financing from China-based Tencent’s European entity, Tencent Cloud Europe B.V. The music platform also raised $51 million in debt to help finance its growth back in September from two existing Gaana investors – Tencent and Times Internet.
YouTube is expected to expand its “Artist on the Rise” program to new countries: Germany, France, and South Korea. The company announced its latest emerging star – Zoe Wees – as a joint UK/Germany Artist on the Rise.
TikTok will now allow its global user base to post clips up to three minutes long. The video app previously allowed creators to film in 15-second bites, and sew up to four of these bites together to form one 60-second video.
As total podcasting ad revenue is expected to exceed $1.3 billion this year, and $2 billion by 2023, Spotify and Apple are both launching new creator tools in podcast subscriptions. Spotify is allowing creators to set a monthly price of $2.99, $4.99 or $7.99 for consumers, while Apple is allowing a starting price of $0.49 per month.
Instagram is rolling out full-screen videos in their feeds in response to “stiff competition” with TikTok and YouTube, says Instagram head Adam Mosseri on Wednesday. These videos will include recommended content from accounts users don’t already follow, with a new test feature that will allow users to select topics that they want to see more or less of.
June 25, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – American Music Fairness Act Introduced in Congress / Online Platforms Win EU Copyright Case / SoundExchange Payouts Up 4% in 2020
Reps. Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Darrell Issa (R-CA) introduced the American Music Fairness Act via a live streamed event on Thursday in response to the Local Radio Freedom Act introduced last month, which aims to continue terrestrial radio’s royalty-free status. The US is the only major country in the world where terrestrial radio pays no royalties to performers or recorded-music copyright owners of the songs they play.
The European Court of Justice recently made a final ruling on June 22 that online platforms like YouTube should not be held accountable for hosting unauthorized user uploads. These websites, however, are liable if they are aware of illegal uses and refrain from stopping it. In addition, the ruling does not take into account the reforms being made throughout Europe as part of the EU’s Copyright Directive.
SoundExchange distributions grew by 4% to $947 million in 2020, according to the company this week. The US digital performance royalties agency paid out $908.2 million in 2019.
French media firm Vivendi inked a deal to sell a 10% stake in Universal Music Group (UMG) to a “blank check” company set up by Bill Ackman’s hedge fund Pershing Square, valuing the music major at $41.6 billion. Vivendi has long been planning an initial public offering of the music firm in Amsterdam by late September.
Apple announced that its song recognition app Shazam has surpassed 1 billion song matches per month, bringing its total to 50 billion tags since its inception in 2002. The company designs the service with user privacy in mind, creating a digital footprint of the audio and matching it against a database containing millions of songs.
TikTok finalized a multi-year deal with the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) covering digital mechanical royalties in Canada. The new agreement covers past usage of musical works, as well as setting down the terms for future royalty payments.
June 18, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – Spotify Greenroom Launches / CRB Sets Webcasters Royalty Rate / Average Services Per User Falls For First Time
Spotify launched Greenroom on Wednesday, a live audio app and Clubhouse competitor, in addition to announcing new plans to launch a Spotify Creator Fund to pay live audio creators for their work. The new app is available on iOS and Android in more than 135 markets globally.
Last week, the Copyright Royalty Board granted sound recording licensees a royalty rate increase for 2021-2025 for programmed song plays – a rate of $0.0026 per performance for commercial webcasters’ programmed streams and $0.0021 per stream for ad-supported non-subscription services. These new rates apply to companies like Pandora and iHeartRadio, but does not impact interactive on-demand services like Spotify.
According to an announcement made on Tuesday by technology research firm Omdia, the average number of video streaming services utilized per U.S. user has fallen for the first time, from 7.23 in November to 7.06 in April. However, outside of the US, Omdia’s survey found that the number of online services per home is continuing to rise, with the U.K. reaching 5.78 services per user.
Labour MP Kevin Brennan presented a Copyright (Rights And Remuneration Of Musicians etc) Bill to Parliament which seeks to amend UK copyright law. According to the proposed legislation, it seeks to “create a new right to fair remuneration for musicians when their work is played on streaming platforms” in direct response to the #fixstreaming and #brokenrecord campaigns.
British industry body, the BPI, announced that British music generated £517.9m in export earnings in 2020, up 6% year-on-year. It also urged the government to “seize the moment” to boost that even further this year and beyond by doubling the existing ‘Music Export Growth Scheme’ funding to support more artists, and other proposed strategies.
Apple launched its own podcast subscription service this week, in which users can pay to subscribe to individual shows and/or to “channels,” which are themed collections of content that “span many genres and formats, including news, comedy, sports, and true crime”. The news comes after Spotify also unveiled a podcast subscription offering a few weeks before.
June 14, 2021 – Industry Announcements powered by Exploration
Exploration Weekly – TikTok Radio Joins SiriusXM / Germany Approves EU Copyright Reforms / UMG No Longer Accepting LODs for Royalty Sales
TikTok Radio is now coming to SiriusXM this summer as a full-time music channel, available in vehicles and as a streaming channel on the SiriusXM app, desktop, and all connected devices. Subsidiary Pandora will also be launching a TikTok Tastemakers series – a selection of exclusively hosted playlists featuring TikTok creators who will take listeners through their favorite songs with additional commentary.
Germany’s parliament recently passed EU copyright reforms on May 20, sparking controversy that the move could potentially make it harder for music rights holders to agree to future license deals with sites like TikTok and Triller. The decision was made as part of the European Union’s Copyright Directive. The European Parliament approved the Directive in 2019, with the 27 member states of the European Union given two years to adopt its terms into national law.
Universal Music Group (UMG) announced this week that it will no longer be accepting letters of directions (LODs) for the sale of royalty streams, according to Billboard. UMG will now only pay artists and their creative collaborators, and any investors buying the rights to a percentage of that income will need to come to their own arrangements with creators to receive the royalties. The policy does not apply to publishing deals.
In an open letter to the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), songwriter organization Music Creators North America (MCNA) voiced their concerns about the statutory mechanical rate, which has remained at 9.1 cents per composition and copy since January 1, 2006. It was signed by the Songwriters Guild of America’s president, Rick Carnes, as well as MCNA officer and co-chair Ashley Irwin.
NetEase Cloud Music will be spinning off in a public listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange under Cloud Village, the operator of the streaming service. NetEase’s monthly active users stands at 180 million in 2020, according to its filing.
Compiled by Heidi Seo
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