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Music Publishing News Roundup: Friday, December 23, 2016

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Nielsen Co. has purchased Tribune Media Co.’s Gracenote video, music, and sports for $560 million (in cash).  Metadata giant Gracenote, acquired by Tribune Media in 2014, provides reference information for more than 200 million music tracks.  John Batter, Gracenote’s CEO, said, “Nielsen is a natural home for Gracenote. Both companies have entertainment data at their core and have spent years delivering services to the world’s top media brands. Bringing together our data for driving discovery and tune-in with Nielsen’s deep insights about what people are watching, listening to and buying makes a formidable combination.”

Unsigned artists are begging Facebook to reach an agreement with  music publishers on the use of copyrighted content on the social media platform.  In October, covers of popular songs began being pulled down from Facebook following a spate of copyright infringement notifications from music rights-holders, and the takedowns have only gotten more vigorous since then.  In the meantime, artists who have had great success posting covers on Facebook–like UK-based, unsigned artist Samantha Harvey, who has 1.97 million “likes” on her official Facebook page–have been encouraging their fans to migrate to YouTube.

Mechanical licensing and administration service Loudr has distributed over $1 million in royalties to music publishers worldwide over the last few years.  Since the sale of their digital distribution business earlier this year, Loudr has focused on solving the problem of how to identify music publishers, songwriters, and other rightsholders and issue royalty payments and statements for the use of their compositions.  Loudr CEO Chris Crawford said, “Loudr’s goal is to provide infrastructure to address rights and royalties in the real world.  Since we’re well past the brick-and-mortar era of music distribution, it’s important to make sure that the systems for paying creators and rights holders keeps up with the pace of digital music.”  

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