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.
An increasing number of start-ups in a variety of industries, from finance to energy, healthcare to food, and even – you’ve guessed it – art are embracing blockchain, But what potential does blockchain hold for the traditionally conservative and technophobic art market?
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.
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.
Universal Music Group (UMG) has entered into an agreement with streaming and download tech provider 7digital to launch streaming, download and mechanidse portals for its most popular artists. The global deal is an expansion of 2017 experiments with Shania Twain and Kanye West.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.”