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Music Publishing News Roundup: February 27, 2015

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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.

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Music Publishing News Roundup: Monday February 23rd, 2015

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The BMI vs. Pandora court battle continues this week in New York City.  As these two entities duke it out, the Department of Justice is reviewing requests from PRO’s and music publishers to remedy the consent decrees it has imposed on ASCAP and BMI since 1941.  The current rates are 1.85% of revenue Pandora pays to ASCAP and the 1.75% it pays to BMI.  Since 2011, publishers have been insisting for PROs to allow the withdrawal of digital rights in order to negotiate direct deals with digital services and this is currently an ongoing objective.

Snapchat CEO may be exploring music, according to a recent talk at the University of Southern California on Wednesday.  According to Spiegel, “after communication music is the highest frequency behavior on your phone,” therefore making it an interesting opportunity to potentially pursue.  This follows the new Discover feature which allowed users to view Snapchat stories from brands such as Comedy Central, Vice, and Cosmopolitan.

Freeplay Music sued several YouTube multi-channel networks Tuesday including Disney’s Maker Studios, DreamWorks and Big Frame over copyright infringement. The music-licensing company’s audio fingerprint technology detected several infringements on accounts of each of the companies mentioned above.  These lawsuits were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and are yet to be resolved.

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Music Publishing News Roundup: Friday February 13th, 2015

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Recording Academy president Neil Portnow launched The Creative Alliance with help from Ryan Tedder and Jennifer Hudson live Monday night during his annual speech at the Grammy’s. With founding members including Steven Tyler, Dr. Luke, and Ryan Tedder, The Creative Alliance will actively lobby for fair royalty rates in the modern age. Highlights of the speech included Neil Protnow’s gloom prediction of a future with no “Best New Artist” category due to new artists not being able to make a living off their craft, Ryan Tedder’s references to Taylor Swift relinquishing her music from Spotify, and The Turtles court case with SiriusXM over Pre-1972 recordings.

The BMI vs. Pandora rate court trial began Wednesday, February 11th at a Federal Court in New York’s Southern District. The objective for BMI in this trial is to increase current rate or 1.75% of revenue from the streaming giant to 2.5%. Scott Edelman, BMI’s lawyer argues the current rate is the result of an experimental license from 2005. At this point, Pandora’s total revenue was only $19.3 million and digital music was only available in laptops. The trial is expected to continue for the next three weeks.

Rapidshare has announced its closure, following legal and cultural issues over the last 13 years in business. The music piracy site similar to MegaUpload and Vuze based their business off of torrents and shared files. The company’s failure represents a shift in the music landscape away from this format to the streaming model.

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Music Publishing News Roundup: Friday, February 6th, 2015

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The US Copyright Office released a music licensing Study on Thursday documenting principles that should guide congress in its plan for music licensing reform. Highlights of the 245 page report include performance rights for terrestrial radio broadcasts for sound recordings, partial withdrawal rights for PRO’s from from digital services, and fully federalizing Pre-1972 recordings. With these changes in place, songwriters and music rights holders alike will be able to more fairly compensated for their works.

Apple and Beats are building a brand new music streaming service. While the service will use several of the Beats Music features, the branding will be entirely designed by Apple. The service will be able to access both the iTunes and Beats Music catalog, and is expected to cost about $7.99/month. The software will work in the iTunes app as well as IOS, Apple TV, and Android.

Spotify plans to raise $500 million in new fundraising aided by Goldman Sachs. The Wall Street Journal expects this to postpone Spotify’s IPO back another year. This would be in addition to their existing $537 million invested from 17 other sources.

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Music Publishing News Roundup: Friday, January 30th, 2015

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Sam Smith has added Tom Petty as a co-writer to his hit “Stay With Me” after Petty’s team discovered similarities between the song and Petty’s 1989 hit “I Won’t Back Down”. Smith and “Stay With Me” co-writers were unaware of the similarities till after releasing the song, and quickly came to an agreement with Petty and his collaborator Jeff Lynne after hearing the similarities. Petty had previously noted a similarity with his song “American Girl” and The Strokes “Last Nite” single but remains not listed as a songwriter.

Spotify is valued at $5.74 billion according to a recent report from merchant bank Manhattan Venture Research. This report follows MVR’s recent valuations of Pandora at $3.2 billion and Live Nation at $5.6 billion. MVR attributes this high valuation to the overall shift in user behavior from an ownership to access model, as well as Spotify’s recent partnerships with telecommunications companies and internet service providers.

Jay-Z has made a bid to acquire Tidal and Wimp streaming services in an effort to enter the music streaming market. Tidal, available in the US and UK offers high-quality streams for a higher subscription rate of $20/month compared to the $10/month rate most other services offer. The estimated $56 million deal is predicted to be finalized by March 11.

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