The origins of this 9.99 price point are disputed. Some allude to the “charm pricing” technique purporting that bills ending in 99 feel more than one cent cheaper than the next highest integer. Others say the number was set to mirror the cost of a Blockbuster rental card. Whatever its true genesis, the two-decades old 9.99 price point is the missing note for the ongoing chorus of debate about how much music is worth and what it should cost.
Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine will enter the podcast space thanks to an expansive audio slate deal with iHeartMedia. “We couldn’t be more excited to have iHeart as our partner as we launch the Imagine brand into the audio space,” said Wilkes. “Audio has proven to be a fantastic incubator and engine for IP development and… we’re incredibly well positioned to enter the category.”
Democrats in Congress are taking aim at the pending $43 billion merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery, pushing the Justice Department to scrutinize the transaction on antitrust grounds. In a letter sent Monday to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Justice Department antitrust chief Jonathan Kanter, the legislators assert that too much consolidation in media will hurt competition in Hollywood’s labor market and result in less diversity overall in content.
The New York City-based entity intends to put the $3.5 million tranche towards accelerating the “first of its kind direct global digital licensing and collection for Comedians and other spoken word authors, music publishers and songwriters.” The latter two groups, Word Collections relayed, will benefit from “30% more revenue annually along with unparalleled transparency.”
Tiffany Haddish, Mike Birbiglia and a host of other popular acts have joined a group of entertainers trying to get paid a royalty on a copyright for jokes they wrote when they are played on radio and digital service providers like Spotify, SiriusXM, Pandora and YouTube. The comedians’ effort is largely led by Spoken Giants. The global rights administration company, founded in 2019, wants to collect royalties for underlying composition copyrights of spoken-word media.
The bill contained a number of proposals that would, in essence, have monetarily benefitted artists and featured performers to the detriment of record labels with whom these artists had signed contracts. Proposed by Labour politician Kevin Brennan MP, the headline suggestion of the ‘Brennan bill’ was the introduction of ‘Equitable Remuneration’ into UK law.
YouTube-ripping service Yout.com sued the RIAA last year in an attempt to have its platform declared legal in the US. The music industry group asked the court to dismiss the case, arguing that Yout clearly circumvents technological protection measures. However, Yout counters that YouTube doesn’t have any meaningful restrictions and wants the lawsuit to move forward.
The major record companies still dominate Spotify, but that dominance is lessening as the market share of DIY artists and (non-Merlin) indies grows. But what about the other way around? Do the majors rely more or less on Spotify’s payouts than they used to?
As popular music streaming services like Spotify cut much of musicians’ revenues, new technologies like nonfungible tokens (NFT) will likely help artists grab back their fair share, Saxo Bank predicted. According to one of Saxo Bank’s “Outrageous Predictions 2022: Revolution,” music creators will benefit from NFT-based streaming platforms, as they allow distributing music directly to listeners without centralized intermediaries charging a fee.
Two men have been indicted by a grand jury for running a massive YouTube Content ID scam that netted the pair more than $20m. Webster Batista Fernandez and Jose Teran managed to convince a YouTube partner that the pair owned the rights to 50,000+ tracks and then illegally monetized user uploads over a period of four years.