PRS for Music warns of royalties hit to come from Covid-19

British collecting society PRS for Music has offered another warning that the Covid-19 pandemic will be delivering its biggest hit to songwriter royalties later this year. PRS has just paid out its July 2020 distribution, £132.4m, which was up by 3% year-on-year. However, CEO Andrea Martin warned the society’s members that there are tough times […]

‘Before the MP3 the music industry thought it sold music…’

“The MP3 file has become the URL,” said Spotify boss Daniel Ek 10 years ago, in 2010. Yet the MP3 lives on: it’s actually celebrating its silver (25th) anniversary today, with the file extension name .mp3 having been minted on 14 July 1995 by the Fraunhofer Society. Within five years, the MP3 would be turning the record […]

MLC says it will launch its user portal ‘later this quarter’

The US’s new Mechanical Licensing Collective body (MLC) has provided an update on its plans to launch a portal for independent songwriters to register their works. At the NY:LON Connect conference in January, MLC chair Alisa Coleman said the aim was to have the portal live early in the second quarter of 2020. Then the […]

Spotify sees more labels and distributors crediting songwriters

Spotify’s head of songwriter and publishing relations Jules Parker says that the streaming service’s addition of songwriter credits had a knock-on effect for labels and distributors. “Since we began publicly displaying song credits on Spotify in 2018, we’ve seen a 60% increase in how often labels and distributors credit songwriters on their new releases, allowing […]

UK musician bodies criticise Epidemic Sound / Adobe deal

In June, creative-software company Adobe announced the launch of a library of royalty-free music and audio with partners Epidemic Sound and Jamendo. Now two bodies representing musicians in the UK have attacked one of those deals. The Ivors Academy and the Musicians’ Union aren’t happy about Epidemic Sound’s business model of paying composers upfront in […]

Tools: Jaxsta. The music industry’s official list of who did what.

Noting how the music industry lacked an equivalent to what the film industry had with IMDb – and also how it was missing a verified source of data from across the music supply chain – Jacqui Louez Schoorl, with a background in both film and music, began working on what was to become Jaxsta in […]

Sandbox Issue 254: The Rise of Music Podcasts

Lead: If you aren’t making or appearing on a podcast, do you actually exist? Even with DSPs and record labels investing in them heavily and building whole podcasting divisions, there is still the issue of licensing music for them that is holding back their creative potential. Yet beyond that knotty problem, the sector is still an […]

Today’s positive coronavirus-related industry news (18 May)

Industry body Songwriters of North America (SONA) has launched a new hardship fund for songwriters, which will distribute emergency grants of $1k to creators hit by the Covid-19 pandemic’s economic impact. The new fund was set up thanks to a donation from publisher Sony/ATV last month, reported Billboard. Also in the US, collecting society BMI partnered […]

Keep Music Alive campaign aims to ‘fix streaming now’

The UK’s Musicians’ Union and The Ivors Academy have teamed up for a campaign called ‘Keep Music Alive’ which the two organisations say “aims to ‘fix streaming’ and calls for industry stakeholders to come together to agree an equitable, sustainable and transparent model for royalty distribution in the streaming era”. It kicks off this morning […]

Love ISN’T in the air as DSPs’ US royalty-rates appeal kicks off

David Israelite, president of the National Music Publishers Association in the US, has never been a man to pull his verbal punches when taking digital services to task. “Songwriters: This week, Spotify and Amazon are quite literally taking you to court,” is how his latest guest column for Billboard begins, and it doesn’t get any less […]

I Heart Songwriting Club interview: ‘There is no ceiling to this!’

“I was having panic attacks. I was completely anxious and stuck, because I wasn’t doing the thing I wanted to do. I struggled to write songs: I judged every idea as boring and not good enough, and that stopped me writing altogether. Four songs a year was all I could manage at one point…” Australian […]

Spotify launches ‘songwriter pages’ feature in beta

Spotify is launching a new feature aimed at songwriters, giving them their own profile pages on the streaming service, complete with playlists of recordings of their songs. ‘Songwriter Pages’ launches in beta today, accompanied by a tweak to Spotify’s existing track credits feature to make the names of songwriters taking part in the beta clickable, […]

Music podcast ‘And The Writer Is…’ passes 2m downloads

One of the quirks of the podcasts market in 2019 is that ‘downloads’ is still an important metric, even as the likes of Spotify and Pandora have made ‘streams’ a bigger part of the market. Still, downloads count, and one of the established music podcasts just announced a new milestone. ‘And The Writer Is…’ is […]

Spotify’s relationship with publishers hits the rocks – again

A new Spotify / music publishing story broke on Friday, but there’s a bigger picture here: the increasingly-dispiriting story of the streaming service’s approach towards the publishing community, as well as the perception of Spotify by those publishers and songwriters. At a time when recorded-music revenues are going from strength to strength, what’s happening around […]

Ryan Tedder slams artists who take undeserved songwriting credits

Complaints about artists taking an unmerited share of songwriting royalties on songs written for them aren’t new: the phrase ‘change a word, get a third’ has been around for years. Now songwriter Ryan Tedder has come out swinging against the practice, in a speech at the National Music Publishers’ Association’s annual meeting. “In the entire […]

Arctic Rights Management hits 2.5bn streams milestone

Since it was founded in 2018, Norwegian music firm Arctic Rights Management has built a roster of 30 songwriters and artists, while also representing various publishing catalogues. The company has just announced a milestone: more than 2.5bn streams of the top 100 songs that the company represents. There are some songs doing lots of the […]

Create Music Group’s new app will manage songwriting splits

Music firm Create Music Group has launched a new app aimed at songwriters. It’s called ‘Splits’ and it aims to help writers nail down the royalty-splits for their work as early as possible in the process. The promise is that it takes just a few taps to create a new agreement, add collaborators with their […]

Publishers planning own ‘town hall’ event on CRB rates appeals

Spotify is rumoured (although not, as yet, confirmed) to be holding some ‘town-hall’ events to explain to songwriters why it’s appealing against new royalty rates set by the US Copyright Royalties Board (CRB). Now publishing/songwriting bodies the NMPA and NSAI are planning their own event to tackle the topic from their perspective. It’ll take place […]

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