Nearly 10% of annual global market share by volume on Spotify has passed from the major labels and Merlin to independent artists and labels outside of these structures within just the past three years. The annual pace of this decline is getting faster: in 2018, the majors and Merlin lost 2% versus the prior year; in 2019, they lost 3%; and in 2020, they lost 4%.
Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference on Monday, Walt Disney Company chief exec Bob Chapek said he’s “not sure there’s going back” to pre-pandemic theatrical windows. “I think the consumer is probably more impatient than they’ve ever been before,” said Chapek. “Particularly since now they’ve had the luxury of an entire year of getting titles at home pretty much when they want them.
Facebook is launching its news product in Germany without media giant Axel Springer, which publishes the country’s most popular daily newspaper and says it won’t participate due to the “inappropriately low remuneration” offered for journalistic content.
Nearly half of local news outlets’ digital subscribers are “zombie” readers who visit the website less than once a month, according to a data analysis in 45 markets by Northwestern University’s Medill Spiegel Research Center. Concern is growing about this problem because even though the living dead may still pay for local news, they seem like a weak foundation to build a future on.
One of the most hotly-debated concepts in the modern music rights business is user-centric licensing. This model sees streaming royalties paid out based on individual subscriber behavior – with a percentage of each subscriber’s subscription fee being distributed only to the artists/labels they have individually listened to that month.
On Feb. 16, Christie’s announced it would put a fully digital artwork backed by a nonfungible token (NFT) up for auction—the first time for such work at a major auction house. Two weeks later, SuperRare and Verisart are announcing a collaboration that stands to more thoroughly bridge fine art and NFTs: 10×10, a series of 10 auctions for 10 artists, conducted over as many weeks.
Artificial intelligence is breaking boundaries everywhere… including the production of original fine art. “ART AI” is a website that says it’s “the world’s largest gallery of AI-generated art,” which aims to “to democratize art by allowing more people to become owners of original, one of a kind artworks, as well as bring awareness to machine creativity and raise questions about the definition of art.”
In October 2020, Miami-based art collector Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile spent almost $67,000 on a 10-second video artwork that he could have watched for free online. Last week, he sold it for $6.6 million. The video by digital artist Beeple, whose real name is Mike Winkelmann, was authenticated by blockchain, which serves as a digital signature to certify who owns it and that it is the original work.
Fans have been flocking by the thousands to the Top Shot online platform to buy short videos of dramatic sequences from professional basketball games, as a new virtual market enjoys astonishing success among collectors, sports fans and art lovers.
In a post this week, OverDrive CEO Steve Potash said he was proud of some of the “incremental gains” made in the library e-book market in 2020 but insisted that the work of establishing “fair, flexible, and reasonable terms” for libraries and schools to acquire and lend digital content is far from over.