The Apple EU fine, stemming from an antitrust complaint submitted by Spotify, will reportedly be announced on March 5th. Besides the fine, the Commission will reportedly order Apple to axe the allegedly unlawful practices at hand, which it appears will be addressed by the Digital Markets Act (DMA) next month in any event. Tech mainstays including Apple have until the 7th to comply with that law, though the specifics associated with this compliance are eliciting pushback from Spotify.
Google has been quietly striking deals with some publishers to use new generative AI tools to publish stories, according to a report in Adweek. The deals are apparently part of the Google News Initiative (GNI), a six-year-old program that funds media literacy projects, fact-checking tools, and other resources for newsrooms. But the move into generative AI publishing tools would be a new, and likely controversial, step for the company.
Auttomatic, the company that owns WordPress and Tumblr, is making a deal to provide data from their sites to help train OpenAI and Midjourney. “We are also working directly with select AI companies as long as their plans align with what our community cares about: attribution, opt-outs, and control,” an Auttomatic blog post says. “Our partnerships will respect all opt-out settings.”
With media companies like Vice shuttering last week, and mass layoffs at august publications like the Los Angeles Times last month, it feels like a vulnerable moment for humans who write. And the well-known propensity for programs like ChatGPT to write passable — if uninspiring — prose is well documented, but with its jaw-dropping new video model Sora, ChatGPT’s parent company OpenAI has renewed our collective sense that AI companies are on a mission to put people out of work.
Adobe’s latest generative AI experiment aims to help people create and customize music without any professional audio experience. Announced during the Hot Pod Summit in Brooklyn on Wednesday, Project Music GenAI Control is a new prototype tool that allows users to generate music using text prompts and then edit that audio without jumping over to dedicated editing software.
The companies are battling over how much TikTok pays Universal—the world’s largest music company—to make the label’s vast catalog of songs available to one billion-plus social-media users worldwide. The fight escalated this week, with Universal bringing on what many in the industry call “the nuclear option”—requiring TikTok to take down songs on which any songwriter signed to Universal’s publishing division has a credit.
ASCAP collections grew 14.1% to $1.737 billion in 2023 and payouts to songwriters and publishers increased 14.7% to $1.592 billion, the performance rights organization reported Wednesday (Feb. 28). Those figures represent a record year for ASCAP in both revenue buckets, as well as all-time highs for any U.S. performance rights organization ever, ASCAP claimed.
The bruising battle over royalties between Universal Music Group and TikTok entered a new and more severe stage in the early hours of Tuesday as songs published by UMG began to be removed from the platform. The standoff, which began earlier this month, initially saw recordings owned or distributed by UMG removed from the platform, but now is extending to a much larger number of songs by including those published by the company.
Streaming has leveled the playing field in many ways since it became the main platform for music around a decade ago, and the fact that independent artists — which Spotify defines as artists signed to a non-major labels or self-releasing — now account for half of that total, for the first time, is evidence. With some 236 million paying subscribers, Spotify remains by far the world’s largest paid music-streaming service, with the U.S. its biggest territory.