Despite streaming seemingly threatening the music industry, Universal Music Group has posted its highest revenues in a decade. One of the biggest contributors to the company’s success was Universal Music Publishing Group, which surpassed its own posted revenues over the last 10 years, with its 2015 figure up 3.0% from 2014 at constant currency. The news is encouraging not only for Universal Music Group, who has become the industry’s first billion dollar streaming record company, but for music publishing and the music business as a whole.
Digital service providers are taking steps to protect themselves against future liabilities in the wake of David Lowery’s $200 million lawsuit against rival, Spotify. The lawsuit stems from Spotify’s failure to properly pay mechanical licenses on streams. Harry Fox Agency is assisting Rhapsody in the administration of mechanical licenses by distributing Notices of Intention to Lowery dating back to 2005, while services such as Deezer and Lyricfind have been preemptively removing the catalogs of Cracker and Camper van Beethoven, bands fronted by Lowery.
The Canadian government will issue a CAN $15 million (US $11 million) grant to support the creation of a music fund in British Columbia. The fund, which is “part of a comprehensive strategy to protect and promote the province’s music industry,” was encouraged by trade body Music Canada, and supported by the similar Ontario Music Fund which launched in 2014. British Columbia is home to “58 independent record labels, 123 sound recording studios, and hundreds of music publishers, managers, talent agencies, marketing, and other businesses that support the development and delivery of music.”