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Music Publishing News Roundup: Friday, May 6, 2016

Taylor_Swift

Taylor Swift and Adele were the top earning artists in the publishing sector of the music industry in 2015.  Billboard’s annual Moneymakers rankings list the top 10 earners in four major revenue stream sources: Sales, Streaming, Touring, and Publishing.  Taylor Swift topped all four lists, with a total revenue of $73.5 million for the year, followed by Kenny Chesney, the Rolling Stones, and Billy Joel.

Songwriter rights activist, David Lowery, is appalled at Tunecore’s latest survey to its clients regarding the settlement reached between Spotify and the NMPA.  The survey asks Tunecore’s songwriters whether they would like to opt in to the agreement, and if so, disqualifies them from joining any class action lawsuits against the streaming service.  Lowery’s concerns stem from the fact that the agreement itself is not included, nor does the survey mention the possible statutory damages that songwriters are waiving by opting in.

Despite losses, Pandora posted revenue of $297.3 million for the first quarter of 2016, jumping 29% from the corresponding quarter the year before.  The service attributed some of the losses to increased product costs due to higher rates from the Copyright Royalty Board and from signing direct publishing deals at higher rates than what the company would have paid if it employed the compulsory license.  As part of the company’s focus on improving relations with music companies and artists, it is also moving to dramatically improve listeners’ experience, the company said.

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