Music Business Roundup: Labels Considering a Universal Release Date, Spotify and BandPage Partner to Sell Merchandise

Ryan Tedder

Each week, Songspace recaps the top stories in the world of music business. Here's everything you need to know from the week ending on August 1st.

Labels Considering a Universal Release Date for Music
Friday may soon be the day music is released, globally. For years the record industry staggered street dates by territory, depending on the consumer habits of each country. For instance, the same album could be released Monday in the United Kingdom, Tuesday in the US, and so forth. Thanks to, well, the internet, this means many fans are now are faced with a choice between accessing widely available leaked tracks or waiting until their respective street date to make a legal purchase. Supporters say a universally standard release date is better suited to fit the needs the modern music consumer.

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Spotify and BandPage Partner to Help Artists Sell Merchandise
While streaming services generate pennies on the dollar compared to traditional CD sales or downloads for most artists, easy world-wide exposure means more potential fans to buy merchandise and concert tickets. That’s the idea, at least. In practice, many artists have gained little financially from all-you-can-eat streaming services. A new partnership between BandPage and Spotify aims to change that by making it easier for artists to sell merchandise directly to fans within the Spotify platform. According to a joint release release, all merchandise revenue sold via the service will go directly to artists, with neither BandPage or Spotify taking a percentage.

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Billboard Announces Q2 Publishing Leaders
Billboard Magazine has announced the top grossing publishers and songwriters of Q2 2014. Pharrell Williams and One Republic frontman Ryan Tedder (pictured above) topped the list.

Check out the full list here…

Music Business Roundup

Each week Songspace recaps the top stories in the world of music business. Here’s everything you need to know from the week ending on July 11th.

Sony/ATV and the PROs

In the midst of licensing debates, Sony/ATV Publishing has threatened to remove their catalogs from BMI and ASCAP, the Performance Rights Organizations that administer Sony’s catalog. Martin N. Bandier, Sony/ATV’s chairman recently sent a letter to thousands of Sony/ATV writers, citing challenges the publishing industry faces, including publisher’s frustration with streaming royalties, which heavily favor artists and labels over songwriters. Without changes, Sony wants to discontinue working with the PROs in favor of negotiating their own rates. As publishers push to withhold certain licenses, both Universal and Sony are moving their catalogs online, lessening their PRO attachment. Sony/ATV represents artists like Taylor Swift, Ray Charles, Bruno Mars and The White Stripes.

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MIDiA predicts Global “Shift to the Consumption Era" in 2014-2019

As most in the industry know, recorded music revenue has declined for the last 10-15 years, but research company MIDiA’s recent music revenue report uncovered a possible change. Their study forecasts that music revenue, in spite of declining over the next four years, will increase starting in 2018. With more streaming customers and continued download purchases, the MIDiA’s predicts the market will tip in a positive direction. However, it is unlikely that this improvement will push the market back to its unprecedented peak of the 90s. The report names a number of factors that could cause inconsistencies in their prognosis including piracy, individual spending, GDP, and technology accessibility.

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Bop.fm Raises Seed Round

Bop.fm recently raised $2 million in their attempt to harmonize the wide variety of streaming sites. Their service allows users to share their playlists across platforms by detecting users’ priority music streaming system. The site includes recordings from Beats, Spotify, Rdio, SoundCloud, YouTube, and Deeza but does not actually host the songs to avoid licensing problems. Artists are also joining the site as a way to reach audience across different platforms.

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Written by Jesse Feister and compiled by Sydney Mathieu.

Music Business Roundup

Each week Songspace recaps the top stories in the world of music business. Here’s everything you need to know from the week ending on June 20th.

YouTube’s ‘Nuclear Threat’ to Indie Labels and Publishers

YouTube is butting heads with independent labels and publishers over its yet-to-be launched on-demand paid streaming service to compete with Spotify and Beats. In what the indies are describing as a “hostage tactics,” YouTube is threatening to remove videos from indie label artists on the world’s most popular internet video site unless they agree to the new service’s terms, which indies say unfairly favorable to the majors. Indie labels and publishers affected represent some notable artists, including Adele, the Arctic Monkeys, and much of Jack White’s catalog.

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New Data on How Americans Listen To Music

For the first time in recent history, there is comprehensive data measuring the cumulative music listening habits of Americans across mediums. Edison Research conducted a study based on a cross-section of Americans over the age of 13 by having them keep a 24-hour listening journal. The survey showed that music plays a more important role in the average American’s life than any other form of media, with each American listening to approximately 4 hours of music every day. 52% of that is broadcast radio, followed by owned music at 20%, streaming at 12%, and other sources like satellite radio making up less than 10%.

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SoundExchange Continues Meteoric Growth

In one of the most promising signs for the recorded music industry, SoundExchange had a record-setting first quarter of 2014, as they distributed more than $162.4 million to sound recording creators and rights holders. That’s a 38% increase over the same period in 2013. The Digital Performance Rights Organization collects royalties on behalf of labels and artists when music is performed digitally, on services like Sirius/XM, Pandora, and Spotify.

In its 10th year of existence, SoundExchange is becoming a major part of the overall industry, accounting for almost 8% of revenue and collecting and distributing over 40% of streaming revenues in 2103.

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Written by Jesse Feister and compiled by Sydney Mathieu.

Music Business Roundup

Each week at Songspace we recap some of the major music business stories here. Here's what you should know from the week ending on June 13th.

Amazon Prime Streaming Music

On Thursday Amazon launched a new music streaming service and joined an increasingly crowded group of tech heavyweights competing in the space. The Amazon service is included as a part of an Amazon Prime subscription, a popular service with an estimated 10 million subscribers.

Unlike Spotify or Beats Music, Prime’s streaming catalog does not attempt to be comprehensive, as it integrates a pay-for-download component for newer releases. Notably missing from Prime is Universal Music Group’s catalog, who cited concerns over Amazon’s methods of calculating and capping payment.

Read more here.

House Judiciary Hearing on Music Licensing Policies

Legislators and music business leaders met Tuesday in Washington to discuss the legal framework for music licensing, an area widely considered outdated and a source of friction within the industry. The spirited debate included the disparity between streaming licenses, which largely favor labels and artists, and broadcast radio licenses, which favor publishers and songwriters. Although most everyone agrees regulation needs to be updated, labels, publishers, technology companies, and broadcasters all have different views of what should change, and how. The hearing is part of an ongoing legislative effort to revisit copyright regulation, which will continue with similar hearings and public forums throughout 2014.

Read more here.

US Music Publishing Industry Estimated to Be Worth $2 Billion 

The National Music Publishers Association released a report that values the US music publishing industry at 2.2 billion dollars, claiming that over 50% of the industry’s potential value is lost because of antiquated government policies, particularly compulsory licenses and restrictions on PROs. PRO licenses are the highest percentage of the publishing industry’s revenue at 52% followed by mechanical at 23%, synchronization at 20%, and miscellaneous print & dramatic licenses at 5%.

Read more here.

Written by Jesse Feister and compiled by Sydney Mathieu.

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