Spotify generated a billion euros ($1.2 billion) in revenue in the third quarter of 2017, according to two investors briefed on the numbers. That puts it on track for full year revenue of more than four billion euros, up about 40% from 2016. And it would continue a streak of fast growth as Spotify readies for one of the highest-valued tech public listings in recent years.
A recent legal win for songwriters brought the exciting news that mechanical royalties for interactive streaming will be kicking up by roughly 44% over the next five years. Here we look at five important facts artists should keep in mind regarding this increase.
CD sales fell 18.5% last year, as steaming became the dominant format for more and more U.S. consumers. But this substantial decline could accelerate as Best Buys says it will stop selling all CDs; and Target will reportedly follow suit, unless labels agree to more favorable terms.
Apple Music now has 36 million subscribers, up 6 million since an informal announcement from exec Jimmy Iovine of 30 million less than 5 months ago. Spotify has more than 70 million paid subscribers.
It seems like every time I read the controversial Music Modernization Act (“MMA”) I run across a loose end or unintended consequence–and here’s another one. Many of us–myself included–argued for years that PROs like ASCAP, BMI, GMR and SESAC should be allowed to license both the performance right and the mechanical reproduction right for streaming uses. (Recall that the consent decrees prevent this efficiency in licensing for ASCAP and BMI.)
Jim Meyer is ready to move your SiriusXM subscription out of the vehicle. During the satellite company’s fourth-quarter 2017 investor call, the CEO offered that stunning statement – quite a revelation for a company whose entire business model has largely been behind the wheel. The company is currently beta testing a redesigned SiriusXM app for iOS and Android for launch next quarter, which he said “provides a faster, cleaner interface with a high degree of personalized suggestions.”
Readers will recall what I’ve called the “mass NOI” problem–the flawed loophole in the Copyright Act created in 1976 that the biggest digital services have turned into a cottage industry to avoid embracing comprehensive song licensing on their services. In a nutshell, the government takes away a songwriter’s property right to control how their songs are exploited and forces songwriters to allow those songs to be reproduced and distributed by others.
Back in 2012, a music service that had raised $174 million in funding closed without yet having launched to consumers. That service was Beyond Oblivion, a company that intended to transform the music market with music bundled into handsets and phone packages at no extra cost to consumers. Five and half years later, Beyond Oblivion’s founder is finally seeing his latest iteration of the bundled music service model gain traction. Yet Yonder is not on many people’s radar, in large part because it is building its business in markets that are off streaming’s beaten track.
It’s the clearest picture yet that the cold war over music royalties that’s pitted the radio and music industries against one another in recent years is thawing. Broadcasters were not only praised for coming to the negotiating table during a House Judiciary Committee field hearing in New York on Friday, but radio was also given credit by artists for its role in promoting their music to the public. It was enough for one music industry executive to tell lawmakers that it’s a “very different” and “more hopeful” time.
The Copyright Royalty Board has disclosed that SoundExchange will audit the paperwork submitted by three companies. The copyright royalty judges said SoundExchange will audit Alpha Media, cable music service Music Choice, and tech giant Google to determine whether each paid the correct amount of royalties in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
In what could be a signal to Capitol Hill that radio isn’t simply stringing the music industry along and broadcasters are willing to strike a royalty deal when the terms are right, the NAB has agreed to drop its opposition to the proposed Music Modernization Act (H.R. 4706). The bill would change how rate-setting negotiations involving ASCAP and BMI play out when they land in federal court.
The Music Modernization Act is poised to reshape music copyright and compensation for a generation. But what exactly is the MMA, and how will it impact songwriters and publishers? We will be exploring these questions all this week on Hypebot with "The Music Modernization Act: Peril Or Promise?," a series of articles and guest posts designed to explain and dissect the legislation. We begin with this simple question: What is the Music Modernization Act and who supports it?
If you haven’t been following the address unknown NOI debacle, you can get up to speed with my recent article on the subject for the American Bar Association Entertainment & Sports Lawyer. If you have been following, you’ll know that the Copyright Office has accepted millions upon millions of address unknown NOIs that implicate repertoire from all over the world.
[UPDATE 2] In a major win for songwriters and music publishers, the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) has approved major graduated increases in mechanical rates for 2018-2022 totalling 43.8%. It is the biggest single increase in mechanical royalties in CRB history.
Once you’ve decided that you’re getting pretty serious about this whole music career thing, you know that you have to start putting in the effort to come up with effective band marketing ideas. But if you haven’t gotten much farther than “make a Facebook fan page and post a bunch of stuff,” don’t worry — we’ve got you covered with 13 essential marketing strategies to add to your list!
Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy, spoke with Billboard’s Kevan Kenney on the black carpet at the Power 100 event on Thursday to discuss how the easy accessibility of music today impacts the music industry and music consumption.
Spotify has 70 million paid subscribers plus tens of millions more ad-supported users. But as a deeply unprofitable company, its future is far from certain. That has many in both the music industry and Wall Street investors worried, as the music streamer inches closer to its first public stock offering.
YouTube launched Official Artist Channels last year to make it easier for fans to find content from their favorite artists by uniting official videos, live performances, individual songs and albums all under one channel. YouTube has now announced the mandatory consolidation of all an artist’s subscribers under an Official Artist Channel.
SoundExchange subsidiary SXWorks has launched a free database that allows music publishers and songwriters to search more than 60 million address unknown Notice of Intention to Use (NOI) song filings that have been made to the U.S. Copyright Office.
We all know how important digital streaming is in the music industry these days, but for unsigned artists, getting plays can seem near impossible. Don’t worry, you’re not alone because getting plays is something most unsigned artists have trouble achieving.
Spotify, which accounts for an estimated 17% of all major label revenue, has rejuvenated the music industry. But it's own revenue future is far murkier. Spotify, like its competitors, is loosing hundreds of millions each year. And while an eminent public stock listing will replenish reserves, eventually the streamer must become profitable.
Music streaming has changed how people discover and consume music forever, as well as rejuvenated the recorded music industry after years of decline. But its growth came at the expense of a vital income stream for artists and labels - music sales in the form of both physical goods and paid downloads.
While it may come as surprise to some, any email newsletter you send out as a band or artist has number of legal requirements. Here we detail five such necessary elements for any above-board newsletter.
Spotify is unveiling a new initiative called Spotlight, which adds a visual layer to the listening experience for podcasts, news, audiobooks and other audio content. Spotlight will launch with content from partners including BuzzFeed News, Cheddar, Crooked Media, Lenny Letter, Gimlet Media, Genius, The Minefield Girl, Refinery29 and Uninterrupted.
While shelling out cash in the music industry is nothing new when it comes to purchasing merch or paying for Spotify, the idea of a more traditional investment has also been gaining traction of late. Here Cherie Hu explores the viability of investing in music royalties, and one sort of ROI one might see for doing so.
Americans are reaching the point of media oversaturation. That is among the findings from the latest Bridge Ratings consumer study, which suggests digital media burnout has reached a tipping point. The research firm says average Americans are spending more than 15 hours daily consuming media from dozens of different sources.
[UPDATED] Facebook has finally created a system for musicians and rightsholders to get paid for use of their music on the social giant. But they've also set a March 12th deadline to participate directly via an exclusive deal with the Harry Fox Agency's Rumblefish division.
After forty years of old works not tipping over into the public domain, it appears the Term-Extenders-That-Be are opting not to push for an extension this time around, anticipating that they'd face much more significant pushback. Part of this is because the RIAAs and MPAAs of the world know that the fight they'd face this time would be significantly more difficult than when they pushed through the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act 20 plus years ago. Not only do they know it would be more difficult, they know that they'd lose. Unlike last time, this time the public is paying attention and can mobilize on the internet.
Musician and artists advocate David Lowery has been sharing an analysis of the streaming royalties that he receives as the principle songwriter and leader of Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven since 2014. Every year they offer an important snapshot of trends that effect all artists and rightsholders.
As consumers become increasingly bombarded with advertising, that advertising gets increasingly easier to ignore, meaning bands and artists need to seek new (or in some cases old) ways of promoting their event. Thanks to the rise of social media, word-of-mouth promotion is seeing something of a resurgence.
A bill pending in Congress that would change how the rate courts tackle radio’s standoffs with ASCAP and BMI has won the support of the Digital Media Association. That’s the trade group that represents streaming services like Spotify and Pandora. Their motivation isn’t to stick it to radio—something some attorneys think the legislation could do—but rather to help with the creation of a music database
Late last week, Facebook confirmed that it would be downgrading posts from Pages in its News Feeds, in favor of "more genuine" posts from friends. The announcement sent Facebook stock tumbling and cost CEO Mark Zuckerberg $4 billion personally. But, in fact, the decline in traffic delivered to page publishers, like musicians, labels and brands, has already begun.
This data set is isolated to the calendar year 2017 and represents a mid-sized indie label with an approximately 200+ album catalog now generating over 200m+ streams annually. That’s a pretty good sample size. All rates are gross before distribution fees. Spotify was paying .00521 back in 2014, two years later the aggregate net average per play rate dropped to .00437 in 2016, a reduction of 16%.
One of the best ways to spread the buzz about an upcoming event is by using social media. With several platforms to leverage, you can get the word out to various segments of your audience where they live online.
To maximize your social media event marketing efforts, however, it pays to put some strategy behind your posts. After all, it’s not enough for your followers to see your updates – you want to engage and convert them.
OK-ing the Music Modernization Act, the CLASSICS Act and the AMP Act are over 20 organizations, including The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), The Recording Academy, The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), SoundExchange and others.
Every artist goes through phases of their career as they evolve and mature over time. No matter how famous an artist becomes, they all started out somewhere. In the early days, a lot of bands book their own shows until it becomes necessary to seek out an agent or when an agent finds them. For serious artists, hiring a booking agent can be a big step in launching their music career to the next level. If you are wondering when you should get a booking agent, here are some things to consider:
While not the most popular year on record, there are a number of valuable takeaways from 2017, and some evidence that it is once again possible to forage a career as an independent musician. Here we look at a few important lessons from the past year to keep in mind for 2018 releases.
Is a music publishing deal the right way for you to go? Is it beneficial? These are the quesitons you need to answer before going through with it. The answer to the question of whether or not a songwriter should pursue a music publishing contract can grow complex. A quick internet search turns up many arguments for and against “signing a deal.” But only you know what kind of deal will work best for you and your career. How much time can you devote to the business side of music? Do you have a comprehensive understanding of the music business? What do you as the songwriter bring to the deal and what are your obligations?
The radio dial is more crowded than ever. The number of FM translators and boosters jumped 5% to a record 7,585 last year. There are also more noncommercial and low-power FMs licensed today than ever before. Yet even with the opportunity to reach new listeners that FM translators bring, the number of AM stations dropped by 30 last year
For those in the industry making and releasing music, one of the most common themes when it comes to their goals and concerns, is successfully building and growing a fanbase. Here we look at how it can be done.
As the new year begins, the music industry could be set for an epochal moment. Hopes are running high for the first significant reform of music licensing rules in decades. The coming year may also see Spotify go public. But before any of this happens, the Stockholm, Sweden-based streaming giant must now contend with a massive new copyright lawsuit from Wixen Music Publishing.
Top YouTube stars are seeing a major slowdown in subscriber growth and views, according to a new analysis of traffic and other stats. Some of the shift is being blamed on changes in its algorithm, but many others are speculating that Google's video behemoth may have reached peak viewership.
While much is made of inspiration and a passion for music, a more pragmatic approach is essential when it comes to improving your performance, and setting and sticking to a solid practice schedule is essential, whether you're a solo act or part of a band.
While there's plenty of controversy regarding YouTube's role in the music industry, as one of the most popular sites in the world, it still represents a huge opportunity for artists to make money through their work. Here we look at how.
UPDATED: Multiple Reddit users are reporting that their Spotify accounts were hacked, and several point to more than one hack over the last 10 days. Multiple users on Reddit say they have received emails from the music streamer that their usernames or passwords were changed without authorization. Spotify has issued this statement in response:
Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) used the House’s final scheduled day in session this year to introduce a bill that he says would simplify streaming music licensing while at the same time boost the amount of royalties that would be paid to songwriters and composers. But for over-the-air broadcasters his proposal could alter how songwriter royalties are set—and ultimately cost stations more.
Rick Carnes, president of the Songwriters Guild of America, expresses his organization's serious concerns with much of the Music Modernization Act of 2017, which seeks to reform music licensing, although not in ways which the SGA believes will benefit songwriters.
Always an area rife with legal complexity, Erin M. Jacobson here looks at the legal world of the music business industry, and four important cases too keep a close eye on as we move into 2018, and what the broader implication of the outcome of these cases might be.
Amazon, the company that has made billions selling you tons of stuff, would like you to stop hoarding … digital music, that is. The company made as much clear when it recently announced the phase-out of its cloud music locker, which had allowed consumers to upload their own MP3s and then stream them to phones, Echo speakers, and other connected devices.
Linkfire co-founder Jeppe Faurfelt joins Music Biz Weekly podcast co-host Jay Gilbert to the discuss essential and often overlooked marketing tool intelligent URLs and the use of special landing pages for all of your releases.
A group of 41 artists is calling on Congress to pass a bill introduced over the summer which would extend federal copyright protection to music recorded prior to February 1972. The legislation targets online radio and is seen as a bookend to proposals that would force AM/FM to pay for pre-‘72 song use.
When it comes to measuring album success, it has long been a practice to focus only on the 'frontline' releases, with music being relegated to a label's 'catalog' after eighteen month. Thanks to the age of streaming, however, music often sees increased increased spins in the years following its release, leading some to question if the charts are still accurate.
Facebook has announced that they will be demoting posts known as "engagement bait" that encourage fans to like, share, comment and take other actions. The move is a blow to the many artists who ask their fans to help boost engagement.
Prepare and Succeed at Open Mic Night (Rob Owen)
Many musicians have their opinions about open mic nights. Some don't support them because the artists receive no monetary compensation for their performance. Others find the opportunity a valuable tool to hone their skills as artists. But, let's face reality. If you are a musician, songwriter, and/or performer, you have more than likely played at an open mic night. Most of the major artists out there selling out stadiums probably began performing at this type of venue. Open mics are a important part of the learning process and they give us a chance to gain some stage experience and share our music.
Tuesday the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and affirmed BMI’s consent decree victory. The Second Circuit agreed with Judge Louis L. Stanton’s September 16, 2016 decision that the BMI consent decree allows for the practice of fractional licensing.
The Copyright Royalty Board has determined that Satellite Audio Radio Services, i.e. SiriusXM will pay 15.5 percent of revenue for the next five years beginning in 2018 to 2022, although the full determination has yet to be posted on the CRB's website while the participants scrutinize the document to make sure proprietary data is not publicly revealed.
2017 was the year when the shift to streaming music became undeniable, but what will 2018 bring? Here analyst Mark Mulligan, no stranger to Hypebot readers, and the team at MIDiA Research take a stab at predicting the year ahead. In case you're wondering if it's worth reading, last year their predictions came true 94% of the time.
Listenership to National Public Radio (NPR) dropped off by five percentage points in 2017, according to findings published by Civic Science. In 2016, 32% of American adults listened to NPR on the radio. This year, the research group said the number is at 27%
After spending days and possibly even a significant chunk of change on putting together the perfect music video, your going to want a way to disseminate it to the masses without breaking the bank. Here we look at some effective ways of getting your video out there beyond a lazy click of the 'share' button.
Apple has confirmed its purchase of Shazam, according to Billboard, in a deal reportedly worth around $400 million. In a statement Apple said the two companies are a “natural fit” and teased “exciting plans” it has in store for the media recognition app.
While the splash of more modern social media may make email seem antiquated, there is still a great deal of value for artists in this ancient form of communication, and making your newsletter valuable and convincing people to sign up can do a great deal for your bottom line.
YouTube is often maligned for low payments to creators, but CD Baby CEO Tracy Maddux see's the video platform differently. Here, he recounts how, thanks in large part to YouTube's open platform, more and more independent artists have been able to build a significant audience than ever before.
At the end of last week, Spotify and Tencent Music officially announced an equity ‘swap’ which saw both companies gain a 10% ownership stake in one another.There are some obvious reasons why such a deal would be strategically advantageous to both parties.For Tencent Music – in which Chinese media giant Tencent is a majority shareholder – the agreement offers a foothold in the market leading streaming service outside of its huge home territory.
It’s an elegant first step into the hotly-contested international digital music market.
Playlists are clearly becoming the next big thing online as nearly three-quarters of those who stream music in the U.S. create their own online lists both for themselves and others. More than half of all music listeners create playlists, and 32% share their lists with others, up from 24% in 2016, according to Nielsen Music’s annual Music 360 Report.
Trying to successfully book a gig can be a frustrating process for a lot of musicians, and is one the greatest challenges of building a successful career in the music industry. Here we look at how booking used to work, how it works now, and how you can be better at it.
Even if you achieve a relatively high level of commercial and artistic success, there will still be a great deal of work for you to do that is completely non-musical in nature. For this reason it's important to determine and apply the collective skillset you and your band members have outside of music.
As an opening band, how you conduct yourself can make all the difference in either spurring your career upward, or dashing your hopes for music industry success entirely. Here we look some essential etiquette tips for opening bands on the road.
You are likely to struggle in your music career when you don’t follow a proven formula for success. Musicians who reach their goals faster than everyone else follow one formula in particular.You want to maximize your value and ability to prove it. You also want to minimize the risk you carry to any company/band opportunity. Here are just a few ways to do it:
BMI and the U.S. Department of Justice squared off in a Manhattan court room Friday (Dec. 1), presenting oral arguments on whether the performance rights organization’s consent decree requires the PRO to do full-works licensing, as the government insists, or fractional licensing, as the PRO claims has been the industry practice since at least 1976.
Spotify is said to be preparing an initial public offering -- perhaps a “direct listing” that would take place next year. It still faces one significant obstacle, however: Copyright issues around compositions it didn’t license. In May, the company announced a $43.4 million settlement of a putative class-action lawsuit that would compensate publishers and songwriters for the infringement of their work, plus enable them to get paid accurately moving forward.
As someone who’s seen a lot of legal disputes between people in the music industry, it’s always a bummer when musicians give up and walk away from something they know is unfair because they believe they have no access to good legal consultation. Lawyers are expensive, the required paperwork can be complicated, and how do you even find a capable lawyer who’s willing to advise an independent musician?
Ariel Hyatt and her Cyber PR team have been working for years to teach musicians the basics of social media and online fan interaction; and we've always done our best to help spread the word. But too many musicians and music marketers don't seem to have gotten the memo.
In a move that could cost radio millions in royalties, the Dept. of Justice appears to have taken a legal left turn about whether ASCAP and BMI should be allowed to offer fractional licenses. But the NAB and RMLC, as well as companies like iHeartMedia and Google, say that position is “incorrect and dangerous.” The two sides square off in court on Friday.
The Copyright Royalty Board has set a cost of living adjustment to the rates paid to master recording copyright holders for 2018, with the rate increasing on basis point each to $0.0018 for ad-supported, non-subscription music streaming services; and $0.0023 per performance for paid subscription services. Previously, the rates had been $0.0017 and $0.0022, respectively.
Record labels have always salivated at the opportunity to re-sell you their catalog in some new, “improved” format. Their latest update comes in the form of high-resolution digital audio: Music delivered at better-than-CD quality, intended to come as close as possible to the fidelity of a record’s original masters. Audiophiles have been chasing the hi-fi dragon for decades, and it’s mostly remained a niche market. But with the proliferation of streaming services draining music fans’ wallets, the industry is looking for a way to leverage a “premium” product at likewise premium prices to one of its most fervent user bases.
Getting a solid stream count on day one when your music drops is huge indicator for success when it comes and a pre-save, much like an amazon or iTunes pre-sale, can do a lot for helping your numbers. Here we look at how to use them to your advantage
For indie artists seeking to promote their music, Spotify playlists can be an excellent way to get a new release bubbling to the surface for new listeners, but getting your song added to oft perused playlists necessitates you catching the eye of Spotify curator, something which the creation of your own playlists can expedite.
A recent Nielsen U.S. Music 360 study has found that while streaming continues to increase in popularity among music listeners, AM/FM radio still stands as the primary way listeners discover new music, according to 49 percent of study participants. The second most-popular avenue for discovering new music is recommendations from friends and relatives (40 percent), followed by online music services (27 percent) and social media (25 percent). 72 percent on study participants who stream music online also listen to some form of radio.
The word “trend” can evoke feelings of fear and uncertainty for businesses. You want to stay ahead of the curve, but you don’t want to waste time and money on something that isn’t going to stick around (or that isn’t relevant to your business). To help set you up for success, we put together our third annual social media trends report.
As the music industry landscape shifts, the ability to make a living has become the new benchmark for success in the music business. A theory exists that in order for this to happen, an artist must have at least 1000 "true" fans. Here we look at the details behind this theory.