Spotify Licensing Deals Could Have Impact on Music Industry

Stockholm-based Spotify is making a move that could challenge traditional royalty models and the major record labels that have long led the music industry. Spotify has struck licensing deals directly with a handful of independent artists over the last year, giving the artists a larger monetary cut and ownership of their recordings. The financial details include advance payments of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to sources, considered “modest” in the music industry. Spotify has released few details about the deals. Continue reading Spotify Licensing Deals Could Have Impact on Music Industry

Musicians and Music Groups Push for Updated Copyright Law

Musical artists and music organizations are banding together in an effort to pass copyright legislation on content recorded before February 17, 1972. A coalition of 213 artists and eight music organizations has joined forces to ask Congress to pass the “CLASSICS Act” (H.R. 3301/S. 2393), which would cover such older recordings, resulting in increased royalties for this older era of musical content. The coalition placed a two-page ad in Politico on February 14 that made their case for the legislation. Continue reading Musicians and Music Groups Push for Updated Copyright Law

‘Despacito’ Has Become the Most-Viewed Video on YouTube

Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi and rapper Daddy Yankee have achieved a notable milestone; the music video for their summer hit single “Despacito” is now the most-watched YouTube video in history. The song reached #1 in May — the first Spanish-language song to do so since “Macarena” in 1996 — and has been atop the Billboard Hot 100 for 12 weeks. Universal Music Latin posted the video in January, which has since been viewed more than 3 billion times, and has surpassed the previous record held by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth for “See You Again” (from the “Furious 7” soundtrack). Continue reading ‘Despacito’ Has Become the Most-Viewed Video on YouTube

Sony Music Reaches New Licensing Agreement with Spotify

Sony Music Entertainment has agreed to a new licensing deal with Spotify, which should be finalized in the coming weeks. “The agreement helps to clear the way for Spotify’s long-anticipated public offering, which is expected later this year or early next year,” reports Variety. An inside source suggests the deal is similar to the current Spotify agreements with Universal Music Group and digital rights agency Merlin. A major component of the deal is a windowing option, “whereby artists can withhold their releases from its free, ad-supported service for up to two weeks.” Continue reading Sony Music Reaches New Licensing Agreement with Spotify

Twitter Creates More Partnerships in Push for Live Streaming

As part of its plan to stream video 24/7 in its apps and on the desktop, Twitter inked deals with BuzzFeed, Vox Media, MLB Advanced Media and Live Nation to produce or provide live-streaming content. The company has already produced more than 800 hours in Q1 2017. It did lose one video outlet: NFL Thursday Night Football games, which Twitter streamed last season but lost to Amazon this season. Among the new content, BuzzFeed will produce a news/current events program, to be streamed live on Twitter every morning. Continue reading Twitter Creates More Partnerships in Push for Live Streaming

How Apple Music Differentiates Itself in a Competitive Market

Since Jimmy Iovine came to Apple in 2014 to revivify Apple Music, the company spent $3 billion to buy Iovine and Dr. Dre’s streaming and headphones company, and doubled its subscriber base from 10 million to 20 million users by 2016. Each user pays a base fee of $10/month. The leap upward is impressive, but the total number of subscribers is still much less than the subscriber bases at Spotify, YouTube and Pandora, all of which offer free, ad-supported versions of their streaming services. Continue reading How Apple Music Differentiates Itself in a Competitive Market

Social Apps Creating More Young Stars Than Traditional Media

At VidCon, live-streaming mobile app YouNow showcased Internet stars such as singer Hailey Knox, who promoted her debut EP in person and to her 80,000 followers. Knox parlayed her online fame to a record deal and a tour, underscoring the reality that today’s young stars and wannabes are more likely to appear on YouNow, Musical.ly, Flipagram, Snapchat or Vine than “American Bandstand” or MTV. Although all these social media platforms skew young, “olds” are beginning to join Snapchat, endangering its “cool” status. Continue reading Social Apps Creating More Young Stars Than Traditional Media

Adele’s Latest Album Breaks Sales Records Without Streaming

With her latest album, “25,” Adele has erased any doubt about her preeminent position in the music world. The new album, which showcases her signature torch songs and ballads, had a record-breaking first week of sales — $3.38 million in the U.S. — despite the fact that Adele withholds her music from streaming sites and largely eschews a social media presence (although she did appear on “Saturday Night Live” and promotions for Target). Adele’s previous album, “21,” sold 30 million copies worldwide. Continue reading Adele’s Latest Album Breaks Sales Records Without Streaming

Conde Nast Plans Scripted VR Series to Attract New Audience

Conde Nast is attempting to appeal to the online audience that does not read the company’s lifestyle magazine, so it will start expanding its online video offerings. The Conde Nast Entertainment (CNE) division will produce two original scripted virtual reality series with Jaunt VR, which recently announced its planned LA studio. These new series will be released on The Scene, Conde Nast’s online video platform. CNE plans to make 2,500 videos for The Scene in the next year with the help of new content partners. Continue reading Conde Nast Plans Scripted VR Series to Attract New Audience

YouTube Upgrades Support Music Artists and Virtual Reality

YouTube has made some compelling new changes in the last week. The video site just announced the launch of its “Cards” system, which is designed to eventually supplant annotations. The company also announced its new site, “YouTube for Artists,” essentially a resource guide for music artists promoting their work on YouTube. In addition, YouTube now supports 360-degree video formats in most of its mobile and Internet platforms, a move the company promised earlier in the year to address the growing interest in virtual reality content. Continue reading YouTube Upgrades Support Music Artists and Virtual Reality

Global Trade Group Proposes Universal Release Day for Albums

After several months of discussions, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has officially declared Fridays as the release day for all new music albums. In today’s digital era, music listeners want to have access to albums the moment they are available anywhere in the world. Rather than staggering the releases on different days in different countries, the universal release approach aims to combat piracy. There is no word yet on when this new distribution model will take effect. Continue reading Global Trade Group Proposes Universal Release Day for Albums

Music: Fifteen-Year-Old Vine Star Tops iTunes Album Charts

Teenager Shawn Mendes’ first album was number one on the iTunes Top Albums chart only 37 minutes after its debut Sunday night. He was first discovered on video sharing service Vine, posting six-second clips of his covers of pop songs. With the help of his 1.5 million Twitter followers and 2.9 million Vine followers, his EP hit the top of the chart, his single “Life of the Party” debuted as No. 24 on Billboard’s Top 100 Chart, and the hashtag #ShawnToNumber1 was trending on Twitter. Continue reading Music: Fifteen-Year-Old Vine Star Tops iTunes Album Charts

Contract for YouTube Premium Music Service Leaked Online

A full 32-page version of YouTube’s contract for its upcoming premium music subscription service has been leaked online through the blog Digital Music News. So far, the most controversial clause included in the contract concerns the ability of major labels to agree upon lowered rates and therefore influence the rate of royalties paid to independent labels. The leaked contract was drafted to send to these independent labels, but is not a reflection of the actual signed deals.  Continue reading Contract for YouTube Premium Music Service Leaked Online

Amazon Launches Ad-Free, Streaming “Prime Music” Service

As expected, Amazon has launched Prime Music featuring more than one million songs and hundreds of playlists. The new service offers unlimited streaming without ads or restrictions. It is free to Amazon Prime members and could potentially help attract new subscribers (those who are interested can sign up for a free 30-day trial). Prime members can also listen to downloaded music offline on their Kindle Fire, HDX, iOS, Android and Mac/PC devices via Amazon’s Cloud Player. Continue reading Amazon Launches Ad-Free, Streaming “Prime Music” Service

Billboard and Twitter Introduce First Real-Time Music Charts

Billboard Twitter Real-Time Charts is a collaboration between Billboard and Twitter where fans help rank the most popular songs shared on the social network in the U.S. The first chart, the Billboard Trending 140, is a ranking of songs shared in the U.S. measured by acceleration over the past hour. A real-time view of the most shared tracks over the past day is available. The second chart, the Emerging Artists chart, is ranked by the number of times each song by an up-and-coming artist was shared over the past day. Continue reading Billboard and Twitter Introduce First Real-Time Music Charts

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