Spotify Focuses on Major Record Label Deals to Boost Profits

In its efforts to move more free-tier users to its $10/month subscription service, Spotify has redoubled its efforts to ink long-term licenses with major record labels. One potential option is that the labels would limit new releases to Spotify’s subscription tier in exchange for a lower percentage of subscription revenue. Another possibility is that Spotify will provide artists data and promotion in exchange for reduced royalty payments. Spotify is trying to settle the deals by end of 2016, say sources. Continue reading Spotify Focuses on Major Record Label Deals to Boost Profits

Videogame Developers Tap Music Industry for Song Licensing

Videogame app creators are turning out to be a boon to the music industry, for their willingness to pay real money for the rights to well-known songs. Startup music-licensing platform SongLily has inked deals with major record companies and publishers for licensing songs for videogames and mobile apps, for an annual flat fee of about $1,440 per song for up to 100,000 app downloads or individual registered players. For videogame developers — especially smaller ones — eager for recognizable music, that’s a bargain. Continue reading Videogame Developers Tap Music Industry for Song Licensing

Open Music Initiative Creates Wide Coalition for Music Rights

The Open Music Initiative (OMI) just opened, with the goal of simplifying how music creators and rights owners are identified and compensated. Founded by Berklee College of Music’s Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE), OMI also relies on the MIT Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative to develop open source frameworks, University College London researchers and faculty, global design company IDEO’s operational and strategic guidance and Context Labs, which is coordinating the technical platform. Continue reading Open Music Initiative Creates Wide Coalition for Music Rights

Music Labels Cry Foul at YouTube and DMCA’s ‘Safe Harbor’

An International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) report points out that 20 million Americans, and 20 percent of the world’s population, still pirate music. Now, the IFPI will soon join the record labels’ trade group the RIAA in complaining that YouTube doesn’t pay a fair price for the music it gives away for free. At the same time, Universal Music Group, Sony and Warner Music Group are about to renegotiate their contracts with YouTube, and they say the Digital Millennium Copyright Act hurts their bargaining power. Continue reading Music Labels Cry Foul at YouTube and DMCA’s ‘Safe Harbor’

With Sony Music Deal, SoundCloud Reaches 18 Million Artists

Streaming music service SoundCloud finalized a deal with Sony Music to increase the number of songs listeners can access via SoundCloud and also allow Sony Music Entertainment artists to make money from their tracks hosted on its service. The deal with Sony Music is just the latest in several that SoundCloud has inked with other music publishers including Merlin (representing 20,000 indie labels) in June 2015, Universal Music Group earlier this year, and Warner Music in 2014. Continue reading With Sony Music Deal, SoundCloud Reaches 18 Million Artists

Warner, Sony Commit to Divvy Spotify Sales Gains with Artists

Warner Music Group, which has ownership stakes in streaming services, will now share revenue with artists if and when those services go public or are sold. Following Warner’s lead, Sony Music confirmed it would do the same. Analysts believe the move is an attempt to woo artists who receive miniscule returns from streaming. Two other trends leave musicians out in the cold: royalties are often not pegged to a specific song and record labels have traded more generous royalty rates for part ownership of streaming services. Continue reading Warner, Sony Commit to Divvy Spotify Sales Gains with Artists

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

BuzzFeed and iHeartRadio Join Snapchat’s Discover Platform

To meet the needs of its younger audience, Snapchat has added BuzzFeed and iHeartRadio as new content partners for its Discover portal. Snapchat launched the platform earlier this year in hopes that teens and millennials would follow their news and entertainment without leaving the app. The addition of BuzzFeed and iHeartRadio should bolster its efforts and get users to check out other Discover channels. Snapchat hopes to grow Discover, and recently moved the feature to its central Stories screen for easier access. Continue reading BuzzFeed and iHeartRadio Join Snapchat’s Discover Platform

SoundCloud Signs Warner, Grows Mix of Music and Social Media

SoundCloud, which has mixed music and community for eight years, now boasts 150 million registered users who have uploaded over 100 million tracks and clips. Such artists as Prince, Snoop Dogg, Beyoncé and Drake have used the platform to release special tracks, remixes and promos. But as SoundCloud transitions from a free service with unlicensed content to one that licenses content and shares revenue, it teeters between two different creative models and the potential of a major breakthrough or bust. Continue reading SoundCloud Signs Warner, Grows Mix of Music and Social Media

Apple Plans Music Streaming Service to Compete with Spotify

Facing a decline in download sales, Apple plans to launch a competitor to Spotify and other music streaming services. The announcement will likely be made at next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference. In 2003, the iTunes Music Store revolutionized how consumers buy music. While Apple currently sells about 80-85 percent of global music downloads, music consumption has changed, and the company only has a small fraction of the streaming business. Meanwhile, Spotify accounts for 86 percent of on-demand music streaming in the United States. Continue reading Apple Plans Music Streaming Service to Compete with Spotify

Grooveshark Shutters Music Service After Losing Legal Battle

After facing a six-year legal battle with major music labels, Escape Media has finally agreed to cease operations of music startup Grooveshark, which offered users access to millions of songs for free. Grooveshark’s founders recently published a formal statement to apologize for attempting to offer music without having the licensing agreements to legally do so. Under the terms of the settlement, the company has been mandated to shut down its website, apps and clear all of its servers.  Continue reading Grooveshark Shutters Music Service After Losing Legal Battle

Warner Music Group Partners with SoundCloud for Digital Edge

With about 175 million current users, SoundCloud far exceeds Spotify and Pandora, which combine for a total of about 116 million users. And while SoundCloud has yet to build any sort of real business with these numbers, it recently agreed to partner with a major record label. Rather than taking a traditional licensing route with its new Warner Music Group deal, the music-streaming site will offer WMG the option to advertise on some of its songs and share revenue with SoundCloud. Continue reading Warner Music Group Partners with SoundCloud for Digital Edge

Warner Music Group Buys Music Curation Startup Playlists.net

Warner Music Group’s artist and label services company WEA has acquired U.K.-based startup Playlists.net. The startup, which allows users to share, upload, and discover Spotify playlists, will still operate as a standalone company. Because the music charts in the U.K. now take streaming music into account, WEA could use Playlists.net’s platform to promote playlists with their artists or track data that could help predict up-and-coming artists or trends in music. Continue reading Warner Music Group Buys Music Curation Startup Playlists.net

Music Industry: Rulings Could Have Long-Term Consequences

In a 57-page decision issued this week, a New York federal judge ruled against music streaming service Grooveshark in a copyright infringement case. The judge ruled that the service’s parent company, Escape Media Group, and co-founders Samuel Tarantino and Josh Greenberg, had uploaded almost 6,000 songs without licenses, and urged their employees to do the same. Meanwhile, a California judge ruled in favor of musicians Flo & Eddie in a suit against SiriusXM, and now the duo is taking on Pandora. Continue reading Music Industry: Rulings Could Have Long-Term Consequences

Deezer Plans to Bring High-Fidelity Elite Music Service to U.S.

Deezer, a French subscription service available in 180 countries, announced its plans for availability in the U.S. In a partnership with Sonos, the company plans for a high-fidelity version called Deezer Elite. Deezer reaches five million paying subscribers in a model similar to Spotify, Rhapsody and Beats Music. However, Deezer plans to offer songs at a faster bit rate in order to create smaller file sizes for computer storing and transferring, and in the process attract a more affluent group of audiophiles.  Continue reading Deezer Plans to Bring High-Fidelity Elite Music Service to U.S.

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