Partisan co-founder talks music-licensing for podcasts

When Music Ally and British industry body the BPI held an event about music and podcasts earlier this year, one of the main talking points was about the difficulty of licensing music for podcasts. “Rights are a disaster,” being just the snappiest summary of the current situation. Now podcasting-industry site Hot Pod News has been talking […]

Tencent Music under pressure over exclusive licensing deals

One of the quirks of China’s music-streaming market has been the system of exclusive licensing deals: where a label will license its catalogue exclusively to one streaming firm, which will then sub-license it to its rivals. There has been talk for several months of the system being done away with at the behest of regulators. […]

DiMA and RLMC warn DoJ off hasty removal of US consent decrees

Just the latest potential shakeup to the US system of music-licensing is the Department of Justice’s antitrust division’s review of the ‘consent decrees’ which govern collecting societies ASCAP and BMI. Now the body that represents streaming services, the Digital Media Association (DiMA) has teamed up with radio-industry body the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) to […]

Amid TikTok dispute, Bytedance hired ICE’s head of rights & repertoire

TikTok has referred licensing hub ICE and its three founders – PRS for Music, GEMA and STIM – to the UK’s Copyright Tribunal, in a dispute over licensing terms. The social app will have some expert help in its corner, it turns out. “Exciting times ahead in a truly inspiring company! Thank you TikTok / […]

Lickd says Ed Sheeran is most-longed-for licence for YouTubers

Ed Sheeran is big on YouTube: as Music Ally recently reported, his channel has just passed the milestone of 40 million subscribers, while it’s now also past the 17bn views mark. However, Sheeran is also the top artist cited by YouTubers when asked whose music they most want to license for use in their videos. […]

NMPA-backed consortium wins race to be the US’ new MLC

The keenly (and very publicly) fought race to oversee the US’ new Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) has been won by the consortium led by publishing bodies the NMPA, NSAI and SONA. The group prevailed over the rival American Mechanical Licensing Collective, with the pair competing to run the new body set up as part of […]

MelodyVR reveals content-licensing deal with Facebook

It’s a busy time for music-VR startup MelodyVR, with its smartphone app having just launched. Now it has announced an intriguing content-licensing deal… with Facebook. “The agreement will see MelodyVR’s content utilised by Facebook/Oculus for advertising purposes and licenses its exploitation across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and via the Oculus Website, for a period of 9 […]

Epidemic Sound raises $20m and prepares for Asia expansion

Production-music firm Epidemic Sound has raised a $20m funding round, which the company says will fuel its expansion to Asia. The round includes equity funding from Korean investor DS Asset Management, and debt funding from Swedish group SEB. Epidemic is opening an office in South Korea this autumn, in partnership with the former company. “We […]

Replica will help artists ‘license their own voices at scale’

Earlier this year, Australian startup Replica was announced as one of the latest cohort for accelerator Techstars Music: a company using AI “to create the next generation of games, films, music, and other media” providing “millions of ‘Replica’ voice actors on demand”. Now the company has been explaining more about what it does, and how it might be […]

Roli launches Kickstarter for Lumi educational instrument

British startup Roli has launched a series of inventive musical instruments. Its latest has been unveiled with a Kickstarter pre-orders campaign. The instrument is called Lumi, which is pitched as “the illuminated keyboard, app and song library that lets you play great songs and learn as you go”. You might compare it to music game Guitar […]

Merlin CEO steps down after another record payouts year

The boss of indie licensing agency Merlin will step down at the end of 2019. Charles Caldas revealed the news yesterday, having led the organisation since its earliest days in 2007. It’s an amicable life-choice decision, with plenty of praise for Caldas’ work in its wake. “Merlin and the whole independent community owe Charles a […]

Report: Bytedance has Indian label deals for new music service

New details have emerged on TikTok’s parent company Bytedance’s plans to launch its own music-streaming service. Bloomberg reports that the new service will launch this autumn “in a handful of territories, mostly poorer countries where paid services have yet to garner large audiences”. The countries aren’t named, but one clue comes from the news that Bytedance has […]

China’s music industry discusses social music-promotion

This weekend saw the ‘WISE’ conference take place in Beijing, with a lineup of Chinese and international speakers from the music and media industries. Music Ally was there to report back on some of the discussions relating to our industry: particularly a debate over how or if platforms like TikTok (Douyin in China) plan to […]

TikTok was the third most-downloaded app globally in Q1 2019

Social app TikTok may be at a point in its lifetime where big numbers around its growth are counter-productive – at least in one specific context: licensing negotiations with the music industry. The bigger TikTok gets, the keener rightsholders will be to point out how important music has been to its growth, and why any […]

Soundstripe raises $4m for video music-licensing business

Nashville-based startup Soundstripe is a production library that licenses its catalogue to video producers of all levels, from YouTubers to advertising firms and filmmakers. The company says it has issued more than 2m of its ‘micro-licences’ since it was founded in 2016. Now it has raised $4m of Series A funding to continue growing the business, adding […]

Groups still competing to run US Mechanical Licensing Collective

As part of the recently-passed Music Modernization Act (MMA) in the US, a new ‘Mechanical Licensing Collective’ (MLC) will be created to license and administer mechanical rights in that country. Two groups are competing to be awarded the contract, and details of their plans have now been published, as part of the process. Billboard has […]

Warner Music signs licensing deal with Boomplay in Africa

Warner Music Group has become the second major label to sign a direct licensing deal with African digital-music service Boomplay, following Universal Music’s deal in November 2018. WMG’s deal covers a catalogue of 1m songs for 10 countries: Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Boomplay will make the music […]

MelodyVR signs four more music-publishing licensing deals

Music virtual-reality startup MelodyVR has announced four new licensing agreements, focusing on the publishing world. The deals include UMPI (part of Universal Music Publishing Group); Sacem; Ascap and BMI. “As MelodyVR continues to expand, these four music licensing deals enhance our opportunities for content creation and distribution on a global basis. Following a successful 2018 and with […]

BMI and ASCAP publish thoughts on replacing US consent decrees

We reported earlier this week on moves afoot in the US to modernise / replace the longstanding ‘consent decrees’ governing licensing in the US. Now collecting societies BMI and ASCAP have published an open letter setting out their views on what should happen. They are calling for an “orderly transition” with new decrees that would […]

US could overhaul its music-licensing rules for publishing

Even as the row over Spotify’s publishing licensing in India rages, so attention is switching back to the US, where the Department of Justice is mulling a shakeup of the long-established ‘consent decrees’. “The Justice Department in the coming weeks is expected to call for public input on whether it should modify or terminate two […]

Court ruling emerges as Warner Music calls Spotify’s comments ‘appalling’

An Indian court has made its ruling on Warner Music Group’s application for an injunction as part of its dispute with Spotify over publishing licensing in the country. Does the ruling settle the matter one way or the other? Unsurprisingly, it’s complicated. Here’s Spotify’s statement, sent out to journalists this morning: “We’re pleased with today’s […]

Sandbox Issue 222: SYNC IN. Music Synchronisation Gets Smarter

Lead: as synchronisation grows in importance, a new wave of tools is emerging to make that whole process work seamlessly and smarter, covering both micro-licensing and pitch management. We look at the key players here, what they do and where they are taking synch – plus consider how AI is set to shake things up […]

Songtradr buys music-licensing agency Big Sync Music

There is more consolidation afoot in the music-licensing world, with Songtradr announcing yesterday that it has acquired British firm Big Sync Music. The latter company focuses on sourcing music for brand campaigns, and counts Dove, Samsung, Amazon, Johnnie Walker and Axe among its clients. Songtradr intends to combine the agency’s contacts and knowledge with its […]

Pitchfork calls TikTok ‘the great music meme scam’

Pitchfork spares no punches in its profile of social-video app TikTok, drawing an unflattering comparison between the value of its parent company Bytedance, and the level of royalties being paid to musicians for use of their work. That said, a tale does emerge of viral TikTok videos sparking streams of music on YouTube and other platforms […]

Marshmello Fortnite concert thought to have attracted 10m fans

Those rumours that dance artist Marshmello was going to play a concert within video-game Fortnite were right: it happened on Saturday. In fact, he played two concerts, 12 hours apart, to ensure people could attend at a suitable moment for their timezone. What’s startling is how many people the first of those concerts attracted. Pollstar […]

ClicknClear gets approval from International Cheer Union

We first wrote about British startup ClicknClear last year (when it was known as Clickamix) with its plans to license music for use in performance sports like cheerleading, figure skating and gymnastics. The company has since started working with more than 100 music rightsholders, including Universal Music Publishing, Warner Music and BMG. Now ClicknClear has […]

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