Merck Mercuriadis, Nile Rodgers to Headline RightsTech Summit

Hipgnosis Songs Fund founder Merck Mercuriadis will be joined by acclaimed artist, producer and Hipgnosis advisory board member Nile Rodgers for a special sit-down interview at the RightsTech Summit in New York on October 5. Mercuriadis and Rodgers will discuss Hipgnosis’ plans to raise as much as £1 billion ($1.3 billion) to acquire song catalogs with the goal of delivering long-term returns to investors and, ultimately, boosting payouts to songwriters.

How the Music Business Came Together to Score Two Policy Wins 

Tuesday evening, the music business scored a political victory that some executives couldn’t chew on until after Yom Kippur ended: The Senate passed the Music Modernization Act. The legislation — which now needs to pass the House of Representatives in its amended form before going to the president — is the most significant copyright reform in a generation.

Source: Laying Down the Law: How the Music Business Came Together to Score Two Policy Wins (Column)

Spotify’s direct distribution deals: What do artists get paid?

The skinny: Spotify’s Kene Anoliefo – Senior Product Lead, Creator Marketplace – has confirmed that the company is paying 50% of (pro-rated) net revenue generated by directly-distributed artists to the performer/recorded music rights-holder concerned. That, we believe, matches the same revenue split offered by Spotify in its much-discussed direct licensing agreements with artists.

Source: Spotify’s direct distribution deals: What do artists get paid?

Apple completes Shazam acquisition, will make app ad-free for everyone

Apple has successfully completed its acquisition of Shazam, the popular song identification app. The company confirmed it was buying Shazam and its development team for a reported $400 million last December. In what’s sure to be welcome news for Shazam users, Apple has announced that it will be removing all ads from the app “soon.” And yes, that includes the Android version, which isn’t going anywhere.

Source: Apple completes Shazam acquisition, will make app ad-free for everyone

SiriusXM to Acquire Pandora in $3.5 Billion Deal

SiriusXM will acquire Pandora in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $3.5 billion, the companies announced Monday morning. According to the announcement, the deal will create the world’s largest audio entertainment company, with more than $7 billion in expected revenue in 2018. It also moves SiriusXM and its parent company, Liberty Media, aggressively into the streaming market.

Source: SiriusXM to Acquire Pandora in $3.5 Billion Deal

House Expected to Clear Music Copyright Bill Soon

The House may clear a music copyright bill as early as next week that would streamline the flow of digital royalties, music industry and congressional sources told Bloomberg Law. House and Senate lawmakers worked together as the Senate made changes to the legislation (H.R. 1551) before passing it on a voice vote Sept. 18, an aide to Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) told Bloomberg Law.

Source: House Expected to Clear Music Copyright Bill Soon

Spotify opens the floodgates: artists can now upload tracks directly to the platform 

Spotify has today launched a new feature which will enable independent artists to upload tracks to the service directly – without any requirement for a third-party aggregator or record label. The feature currently remains in invite-only beta mode – with a few hundred US artists being ushered in – but Spotify says that, in the future, it will “bring upload to even more artists, labels, and teams”.

Source: Spotify opens the floodgates: artists can now upload tracks direct to the streaming platform for FREE

Science Proves Your Band Sucks: AI Writes Better Indie Songs Than You Do

One of the comforts of being human in the early tech age was knowing that there were certain things that computers would never be able to do. As artificial intelligence advances, however, that list of uniquely human skills is dwindling, and now we can officially cross indie music off of it.

Source: Science Proves Your Band Sucks: Artificial Intelligence Writes Better Indie Songs Than You Do

US Court of Appeals Upholds CRB Webcasting Rates, Despite Sound Exchange’s Objections

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has upheld the Copyright Royalty Board webcasting rate determination for the period of 2016-2020 on all counts. Appealing the CRB rates, in June 2016, Sound Exchange argued the rates set for the Web IV rate proceedings “do not reflect a fair market price for music and will erode the value of music in our economy.”

Source: US Court of Appeals Upholds Copyright Royalty Board Webcasting Rates, Despite Sound Exchange’s Objections

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