SESAC row eases to take Music Modernization Act one step forward

Peace appears to have broken out after a heated row involving collecting societies and songwriting bodies in the US, over the Music Modernization Act (MMA). Songwriter bodies SONA and NSAI had strongly criticised Blackstone, owner of SESAC and the Harry Fox Agency, for what they perceived as an attempt to derail the legislation as it […]

SoundExchange payouts grew by 17.5% year-on-year in Q2

US company SoundExchange has published its latest quarterly figures, and they show strong growth in its payouts to artists and labels. The company paid out $208.7m in the second quarter of this year, up 17.5% year-on-year. That growth is also reflected in SoundExchange’s figures for the first half of 2018, with distributions up 17.4% to $398.6m, […]

iHeartRadio launches ‘Your Weekly Mixtape’ personal playlist

A weekly playlist personalised to each individual user of a streaming service? Where on earth could iHeartRadio have got that idea? Okay, so the ‘Discover Weekly’ format is now almost a standard feature for streaming, with the US radio-streaming service the latest to join the hyper-personal bandwagon. To be specific, iHeartRadio’s new Your Weekly Mixtape […]

Drake ‘Scorpion’ album does more than 1bn first-week streams

This is where we’re at in the evolution of music-streaming: a single album has been streamed more than 1bn times in its first week after release. That album, of course, is Drake’s ‘Scorpion’, with label Republic Records having confirmed the figure to The Verge, as well as the artist himself having posted about it. “New era. […]

Sirius XM to pay $150m to SoundExchange to settle lawsuits

Could peace and love be returning to the US digital-music ecosystem? Don’t answer that question… But there is a new rapprochement of sorts in the relationship between satellite-radio firm Sirius XM and royalty-collector SoundExchange. Sirius XM has agreed to pay SoundExchange a lump sum of $150m to settle a pair of lawsuits that had accused […]

Dice rolls with Kanye West album-launch ticketing partnership

Kanye West’s listening events in Brooklyn, Miami and Chicago for his new album ‘Ye’ were understandably focused on the music. But there was a tech aspect too: West’s team and marketing agency 1AM worked with British ticketing firm Dice on the events, making tickets available through its app. 1AM’s Julieanna Goddard tweeted about the plans for the […]

Report claims Apple’s music app has 49.5m users in the US

Research firm Verto Analytics has put out some new numbers comparing Apple Music and Spotify in the US, but it’s important to understand exactly what it’s measuring. And what it isn’t. “This month’s Verto Index looks at the top streaming music properties, from Apple Music to TuneIn Radio, among U.S. adults (ages 18 and above)” […]

Big services can’t find big hits’ writers according to NOIs

Can Spotify, Google and Amazon *really* not identify who to pay publishing royalties to for Drake’s global hit ‘God’s Plan’? Or for Ed Sheeran’s ‘Perfect’? Or for Post Malone’s ‘Rockstar’ or Camila Cabello’s ‘Havana’ or… Well, you get the picture. Artist-rights blog The Trichordist has published a post from industry lawyer Chris Castle in which […]

Liberty Media offers $1.16bn for 40% iHeartMedia stake

US radio group iHeartMedia is battling to restructure its debts in order to avoid bankruptcy, and its latest potential saviour is a fascinating one: Liberty Media. That’s the same Liberty Media that’s the majority owner of satellite-radio firm SiriusXM, which recently acquired a $480m stake in Pandora, which competes directly with iHeartMedia’s iHeartRadio service. The […]

SiriusXM CEO criticises proposed US Classics Act legislation

The proposed Classics Act is trying to clear up the digital-licensing status of songs recorded before 1972. When it was introduced earlier this year, we noted that Pandora was supporting the bill, in stark contrast to satellite-radio firm SiriusXM – despite the latter now being one of its main investors. Now SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer […]

New report quantifies the independent US creative economy

A new report published by a lobbying coalition called Re:Create – we’ll get to who that is in a bit – is trying to put some numbers to the independent creative economy in the US. The report is deliberately narrow in focus, attempting to calculate how much musicians, filmmakers, artists and other creators earned from […]

SiriusXM debuts ‘360L’ in-car satellite-plus-streaming service

US satellite-radio firm SiriusXM has launched the latest iteration of its in-car service, called 360L. That represents “360-degree listening” with a blend of satellite radio and streaming to pipe music into vehicles, starting with the 2019 Ram 1500 truck. Drivers will get SiriusXM’s lineup of 200+ live radio channels, as well as recommendations for other […]

On-demand video was 22.8% of US music consumption in 2017

We reported on the latest music-consumption stats from the UK yesterday, but now Nielsen has published its data for the US, revealing even bigger growth for 2017. Specifically, sales and streams of albums and songs grew by 12.5% last year in the US, driven by a 59% increase in on-demand audio streams. Nielsen also noted […]

Publisher Wixen hits Spotify with a $1.6bn lawsuit

If Spotify was hoping 2018 would see its publishing woes die down… well, Wixen Music Publishing has put those hopes to rest. The publisher has filed a lawsuit seeking damages of at least $1.6bn for Spotify’s use of songs written by Tom Petty, Rage Against The Machine, Neil Young, Stevie Nicks and other artists/songwriters. The […]

Controversy sparked by plans to row back US net neutrality

There are some lobbying rows that pit the creative and technology industries against one another: the US Stop Online Piracy Act in 2012, for example, or the current debates in the US and Europe over safe harbour. But in other cases, the two industries stand together. Net neutrality – the principle that all traffic on […]

Pandora taps its curators for 250+ ‘featured playlists’

As a free radio-style streaming service, Pandora has always been focused on ‘stations’ rather than playlists. But now with its premium tiers, the company is starting to follow its rivals in that space by curating playlists too. “Today we launched Featured Playlists to help you find the perfect jam to set the mood for any […]

RIAA half-year figures reveal 17% rise for US recorded-music revenues

Paid music-streaming subscriptions are the star of US industry body the RIAA’s latest half-year figures, which show a 17% year-on-year rise in recorded-music retail revenues in the first six months of 2017. That means $4bn of spending on recorded music in the first half of the year, up from $3.4bn in the first half of […]

2017 was a billion-dollar distribution year for BMI

US performance-rights organisation BMI has announced a strong set of figures for its 2017 fiscal year, which ended recently. The company generated $1.13bn of revenues, distributing just over $1.02bn to songwriters, composers and publishers – up 10% year-on-year. BMI is hailing the results as “the most public performance revenue and highest royalty distributions of any […]

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