Apple and Beats move forward with their digital music services by developing a streaming service that will rival Spotify. Beats is essentially reshaping Apple’s digital music in innovative ways and something that the company plans to enhance is iTunes radio while targeting a specific market. According to this article, one thing perhaps Apple won’t have is a lower price than its rival services.
Songwriters from around the world have written an open letter regarding publishing rights. This discussion touches topics such as direct licensing, NMPA’s reaction, and a few other subjects. This letter acts as free speech among publishers in the music industry to gage what can be done, what needs to be done, and or what should be done.
American Idol alum signs a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell this week. His recent co-writing endeavor had chart success and the song was listed in the top 20 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart. He has been significantly successful and looks forward to working with some great writers a part of Warner/Chappell’s roster.
The “Blurred Lines” verdict is to award Marvin Gaye’s estate $7.4 million for copyright infringement. This trial became a very pertinent discussion within the music industry between songwriters, publishers, artists, as well as music attorneys regarding where creative boundaries should be drawn.
The Pandora and BMI trial, after lasting a total of five weeks has finally come to a close two weeks ago on March 13th. The court’s decision would have consequences way beyond just an agreement between digital services and performing rights organizations. Yet to be determined is the length of the Pandora license as so much has been invested in this case.
Kendrick Lamar has broken a Spotify record with “To Pimp A Butterfly”. Following several leaks, the album was released one week earlier than schedule and hit 9.6 million streams on its 1st day of release. This follows the surprise release of Drake’s “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” which hit 17.3 million in three days.
The music industry testified before the senate committee this week, in regards to the Songwriter Equity Act. An argument states that songwriters and publishers are predominantly paid by government controlled royalties. Therefore, eliminating the consent decrees would give them more room to negotiate for higher royalties. With many other topics addressed surrounding this issue and many industry professionals representing this idea, it is an ongoing exploration that may or may not result in actual changes.
ASCAP’s top composers were honored at the 30th annual Film & Television 2015 ceremony, specifically, composers Johann Johannsson, Sean Callery, Austin Wintory and many more. Performers during this event included Shawn Patterson, composer of “Everything is Awesome,” and songwriters Dave Kushner, Curtis Stigers, and Bob Thiele.
ASCAP has appointed a new VP and COO to their staff who will be reporting to ASCAP CEO, Elizabeth Matthews. There are many changes in order with this specific performing rights organization in order to find more innovative ways to better protect its members and improve the basic infrastructure. A warm welcome to Brian Roberts, ASCAP’s new COO.
ASCAP topped one billion dollars in revenue in 2014, being the first time that any performing rights organization has collected so much money. As this company has been fighting for survival within the digital age, it has also been finding efficient ways to distribute a significant amount of money to thousands of songwriters. As ASCAP and BMI’s licensing is regulated by the federal government, it has become a debated topic as it results in low royalty rates and in relation to this, Senate Judiciary subcommittees will hold a hearing on ASCAP and BMI’s consent decrees.
The Songwriter Equity Act has been reintroduced to Congress regarding section 114 and 115 of the Copyright act with the goal to achieve better rates for songwriters. This act represents a step in the direction to create a fair market royalty rate for streamed or downloaded music as well as updating the current music licensing system. This is a hopeful work in process and is commended by music representatives.
Pandora is appearing as the leader in streaming according to a recent report from Edison Research and Triton Digital. As music streaming’s popularity consistently increases so does the opportunity to targeting different groups that haven’t dived on these services, specifically ages 25 to 54. The main question of 2015 is how the on-demand steaming market will pan out with both young and old consumers.
Friday has been set as the global record release day according to a recent report from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. This announcement follows the IFPI’S recent report that showed that a majority of active music listeners prefer new music to be released on Fridays and Saturdays. With this in place, international music listeners will have access to new released at the same time regardless of the country they live in. Press releases have been released from executives at RIAA, Concord, The Orchard, and Rdio in support.
Spotify has added a lyrics button to their desktop player through MusixMatch’s Lyrics. With the latest update of Spotify’s desktop client, they have removed the “App Finder” feature and added a button that allows users to lyrics for any song they are listening to. The newest update will also feature a new Friend Feed that vies users more information on what their friends are listening to. Plans for releasing a lyrics button to their mobile apps are still to be determined.
Beatport has released a free dance music streaming service. The music site, originally providing high quality downloads for DJ’s live sets was acquired by SFX in 2013, at which point they began planning a complete overhaul of the entire site. The new streaming service will focus on discovering new music and will focus on the dance/EDM genre.