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.”
Since large tech companies are all American, it becomes all too natural for European lawmakers to enact adverse regulations that many welcome as actual protectionism. The result, alas, is well known: the fastest-growing companies will thrive elsewhere, and Europe will once again be lagging behind.
At its core, the EU Copyright Directive is a political battle. “What is really happening here is a political judgement, that Europe wants to have a European copyright approach different from the United States,” says Christopher Beall, a partner at New York-based Fox Rothschild and an expert in copyright law. “The EU is saying: ‘We don’t like the way the Americans handle the internet — and we want to recapture some kind of control over how the internet works.”
An official email sent to the offices of all U.S. Senators on Monday evening stating that the Music Modernization act had officially been hotlined, began a 24 hour countdown for a voice vote by the full Senate late on Tuesday or early on Wednesday. On Monday, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren became the 75th of 100 Senators publicly endorsing the bill. Her full support had been in question.
Some experts think blockchain may increase the share of revenue captured by content creators and producers by introducing new mechanisms for monetization. However, the current hype about blockchain, the diversity of use cases being proposed, and their potential disruptive effects make it difficult for companies to judge what might be possible for them and what’s merely a pipe dream.