Revelator Raises $2.5M To Expand Digital Music Business Platform 

Tel Aviv based music tech startup Revelator has raised an additional $2.5 million to expand its b2b digital music distribution, sales, licensing and analytics platform.  The Series A round was ld by Exigent Capital with participation from the Digital Currency Group and early-stage fund Reinvent. To date, the startup has raised a total of $4.5 million.

“We are talking about a massive $45-billion-dollar per year global music economy, where people are consuming more and more music, and amazingly almost half of royalty payments aren’t finding their way back to the beneficial owner. The majority of players in the media and collective rights industry still rely on outdated means of tracking distribution and payments, and have completely failed to adapt or modernize their infrastructure to properly handle the explosion of data, channels and new business models,” said Bruno Guez, CEO and Founder of Revelator.

Source: Revelator Raises $2.5M To Expand Digital Music Business Platform – hypebot

Bitcoin Blockchain Anti-Piracy Startup Custos Raises Additional Funds

South African startup Custos Media Technologies, a company that uses the bitcoin blockchain to combat media piracy has reached an agreement with the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) that will see funding of 5.9 million Rand (approx. $400,000) gained by the startup over the next two years.

The technology, seen as a unique way to combat media piracy, works by embedding a bitcoin bounty within a piece of a media. The watermark can then be tracked on the blockchain with the idea of recognizing and identifying infringements when the media leaves the original recipient or buyer of the media.

Source: Bitcoin Blockchain Anti-Piracy Startup Custos Raises Additional Funds – CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News

How a Court Decision on Remastering Could Disrupt Copyright Law

The case in question is ABS Entertainment Inc. v. CBS Corp. et al., case number 2:15-cv- 06257, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.  CBS, one of the largest radio operators in the country, is one of several companies to be sued in recent years for refusing to pay royalties to the owners of pre-1972 recordings.  This has long been a legal gray area because songs recorded prior to 1972 are protected by a patchwork of state laws rather than federal copyright law.

As such, this decision was probably intended to clarify a murky corner of the music copyright landscape.  However, the significant implications of this decision generate a host of new questions regarding the future of music copyright law.

Source: How a Court Decision on Remastering Could Disrupt Copyright Law

IBM Bridges Blockchain, AI With New Business Unit 

IBM is reorganizing its internal blockchain team into a business unit that encompasses its artificial intelligence and cloud computing efforts.

Called ‘Industry Platforms’, the division will be led by Bridget van Kralingen, IBM’s former senior vice president of Global Business Services. Further, as part of the launch, IBM’s entire blockchain leadership will make the transition to the unit, first announced last September.

Source: IBM Bridges Blockchain, AI With New Business Unit – CoinDesk

Frank Ocean’s Bombastic Blond Moment And What It Can Tell Us About The Future Of Artists And Labels 

Just as labels had started to successfully co-opt the label services marketplace by launching their own – e.g. Universal’s Caroline – or by buying up the competition – e.g.Sony’s acquisition of Essential Music & Marketing – along come streaming services giving artists another non-label route to market. In truth, the threat has remained largely unrealised. Exclusives on Tidal have most often proved to be laced with caveats and get out clauses (e.g. Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ arriving on iTunes 24 hours after landing ‘exclusively’ on Tidal). Chance The Rapper’s (in name only) mixtape ‘Colouring Book’ and Ocean’s ‘Blond’ are exceptions rather than the rule. So all that’s about to change now right? Not necessarily

In practice, exclusives are likely to be limited to being the crown jewels of streaming services, their most valuable players, creative playmakers if you like. Even for Netflix, that pioneering exemplar of the streaming originals strategy, only spends 15% of its $3 billion content budget on originals and probably won’t break 20% even by 2020. What Apple and Netflix have in common is that they are using exclusives as a customer acquisition strategy, achieving their aims by making a big noise about each one. But if you’re releasing exclusives every week or two the shine soon wears off. And suddenly the return on investment diminishes.

Source: Frank Ocean’s Bombastic Blond Moment And What It Can Tell Us About The Future Of Artists And Labels – hypebot

For Publishers Looking to Make Inroads into Big Data, Bundling is Key

Technological change has democratized the production of content, long-tail markets allow everything to be distributed, and digital piracy creates a world where it is nearly impossible to control consumers’ access to movies, shows, music, and books. What is scarce today—and what major firms need to compete for—is customer attention, and a detailed understanding of customer preferences.

So if you’re a traditional publishing firm, what can you do? Economic studies have provided an answer: start selling books in bundles. These studies have shown that selling content in large-scale bundles is much more efficient than selling the same content separately, and that by setting the right price for the bundle, firms can make more money. Bundling also creates significant economies of scale, which in the extreme can lead to a single “winner-takes-all” outcome for the company with the largest bundle.

Source: For Publishers Looking to Make Inroads into Big Data, Bundling is Key

Another Reason to Court Celebrity 

Harry Styles, a singer in the British boy-band One Direction, has been discussing deals with an upfront fee in excess of $6 million while aiming to retain majority ownership of his songs, according to people familiar with the matter. Ex-bandmate Zayn Malik got several million dollars for a publishing deal with Kobalt Music Group Ltd. in June, according to Sas Metcalfe, who oversees Kobalt’s deals.

The industrywide scramble for marquee talent, said Ms. Metcalfe, “feels a bit desperate sometimes.” She added that Kobalt competes not just by dangling big advances but by offering its own royalty-collection technology and letting songwriters retain 100% of their copyrights for an administration fee—an arrangement that major music publishers tend to avoid.

Source: Another Reason to Court Celebrity – WSJ