Spotify Inks a New Licensing Deal with Universal Music Group

Spotify and Universal Music Group, the world’s biggest record company, finally inked a global, multiyear licensing deal after two years of intermittent negotiations. With this deal in place, Spotify now has a better chance of convincing Sony and Warner to follow suit, and UMG, whose artists include Drake, U2, The Weeknd and Lady Gaga, has more flexibility on how it streams its music. Spotify’s contracts with UMG, Sony and Warner had expired long ago. Spotify, valued at $8 billion, now also has a clearer path to going public. Continue reading Spotify Inks a New Licensing Deal with Universal Music Group

Congress Passes BOTS Act to Halt Electronic Ticket Scalping

Aimed at suppressing an $8 billion secondary ticket market, Congress passed a bill outlawing bots, computer programs scalpers use to buy the best tickets and resell them at increased prices. The Better Online Ticket Sales Act, or BOTS Act, passed the House with bipartisan support, following its passage in the Senate, and now goes to President Obama for his signature. The BOTS Act would make it illegal to bypass ticketing websites’ security measures. The Federal Trade Commission would be granted authority to enforce the law. Continue reading Congress Passes BOTS Act to Halt Electronic Ticket Scalping

Music Industry, YouTube in Stalemate Over Copyright Tracking

The music industry and YouTube disagree over the efficacy of YouTube’s Content ID system, which tracks content for which royalties are due. According to YouTube, Content ID is 99.7 percent accurate and responsible for $3 billion in payments to the music industry. However, music rights holders put Content ID’s accuracy at about 50 percent, adding that they must engage in time-consuming daily manual searches to find offenders. Also at issue are rates, with YouTube’s payments considerably less than those from other streaming services. Continue reading Music Industry, YouTube in Stalemate Over Copyright Tracking

SoundCloud Strikes New Licensing Deal with Universal Music

Streaming music site SoundCloud will now have access to the Universal Music catalog, including songs from artists like The Weeknd, Sam Smith and U2. The licensing agreement allows Universal Music artists to make money from the advertising on SoundCloud when their songs are played. SoundCloud already has licensing agreements with other music companies, including Merlin and Warner Music Group. The company said it would also introduce a paid streaming subscription service this year. Continue reading SoundCloud Strikes New Licensing Deal with Universal Music

Bandcamp Gives Artists More Control with Subscription Service

Bandcamp, an online music store that supports promotion of independent artists, will now offer individual subscription platforms. Artists will be able to share content, merchandise, and other offers, choosing their own subscription rate. Music will be available to subscribers through downloads or streaming via the mobile app. As a bonus for new subscribers, artists can choose to give items from their back catalog. Bandcamp currently features 12 million tracks and 1.6 million albums. Continue reading Bandcamp Gives Artists More Control with Subscription Service

Mario Batali to Kickstart New Dailymotion Original Programming

In an effort to attract more U.S. viewers, Paris-based online video site Dailymotion is pushing new original programming that it hopes will help the service compete with Google’s YouTube. Dailymotion plans to initially commit between $3 million and $4 million to produce up to six series this year that will include leading personalities from industries such as food, music and entertainment. The company is also courting U.S. firms as potential investors. Continue reading Mario Batali to Kickstart New Dailymotion Original Programming

ABC to Live-Stream Academy Awards via Web and Mobile Apps

ABC plans to live-stream Sunday’s Oscars telecast in eight markets via online and Watch ABC apps for customers of participating pay TV partners including AT&T U-verse, Cablevision, Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox Communications, Google Fiber, Midcontinent Communications and Verizon FiOS. ABC also announced it has retired its standalone Oscars app; red carpet and backstage action will be folded into Watch ABC, available to Oscar fans for free. Continue reading ABC to Live-Stream Academy Awards via Web and Mobile Apps