Could an overhaul of payola rules be on the horizon? 

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly has written to Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group in the United States to request information from the companies about their current payola-prevention ‘mechanisms’, in addition to their ‘understanding of the current payola rules’.

Source: Could an overhaul of payola rules be on the horizon? Majors asked to explain anti-payola practices to FCC

Downtown buys independent services company FUGA

The deal, for an undisclosed fee, comes 10 months after well-funded Downtown acquired CD Baby and its parent, AVL Digital Group, in a deal valued at circa $200m. (Technically, AVL has acquired FUGA under the parentage of Downtown.) FUGA will continue to function as a standalone business within Downtown’s suite of distribution and monetization capabilities operated across AVL.

Source: Downtown buys independent services company FUGA

Vuulr Online Rights Market Makes Global Expansion at NATPE

Singapore-based Vuulr, an online content marketplace for film and TV rights, is expanding from regional to global operations. The move was announced ahead of NATPE, one of the oldest face-to-face TV rights markets, this week launching its tenth edition in Miami, Florida (Jan 21-23). Launched across Asia in January 2019, Vuulr features rights from Sony, Picture Tree International, Banijay Rights, Warner Media, CNN and Toonz Media Group.

Source: Vuulr Online Rights Market Makes Global Expansion at NATPE

Netflix Adds 8.8 Million Subscribers in Q4, Cites Competition for Lower U.S. Gains

Netflix beat its forecast for overall subscriber additions for the fourth quarter of 2019, while it brought in fewer than expected U.S. streaming customers. “Our low membership growth in [the U.S. and Canada] is probably due to our recent price changes and to U.S. competitive launches,” the company said in its quarterly shareholder letter.

Source: Netflix Adds 8.8 Million Subscribers in Q4, Cites Competition for Lower U.S. Gains

Digital Transformation Takes More than the Right Technology

Publishers are investing heavily in content technologies that offer features and functionality that best support their digital transformation strategy, such as single source publishing, semantic metadata, granular content management, and collaborative authoring and review. However, deploying a feature-rich system doesn’t mean that the organization is set up or ready to successfully leverage these features.

Source: Digital Transformation Takes More than the Right Technology: Part 1 of a 2-part series on how digital transformation requires more than technology to succeed. People and process are key to achieving your goals.

Linear TV Coming Back as More Viewers Stream

Digital Media Rights is launching linear versions of its five channels on the Samsung TV Plus platform. They are being offered as FAST (free ad-supported television) channels. DMR joins several other media companies that found success in the video-on-demand streaming business but felt that some viewers still need help finding something to watch after cutting the cord.

Source: Linear TV Coming Back as More Viewers Stream

Fair Use, Artificial Intelligence, and Creativity

Fair use is essential to a new category of creative works: works generated by an artificial intelligence (“AI”) process. Currently these works include translations, music, and poetry. As AI gets more sophisticated, the works AI processes can generate will also get more sophisticated, and more pleasing to human sensibilities.

Source: Fair Use, Artificial Intelligence, and Creativity

Radiohead launched an online ‘public library’ with rare tracks and a printable library card

The archive launched today, and in a brief introduction, the band describes it as “an online resource containing videos, music, artwork, websites, merchandise, and assorted ephemera.” It’s very loosely arranged by album, and as NME notes, you can find links to work that’s been historically tough to find online.

Source: Radiohead launched an online ‘public library’ with rare tracks and a printable library card

iHeart jobs cull: Over 50 DJs and employees out as firm cites ‘significant investment’ in Artificial Intelligence

Some prominent voices have argued that AI is nothing for the music business to be scared of – and that it should be embraced. This might seem a rather unconvincing point of view today if you’re a radio DJ employed by US broadcast giant iHeartMedia. Or, more accurately, a radio DJ who used to be employed by iHeartMedia, after roles held by dozens of jocks were “dislocated” by the company this week.

Source: iHeart jobs cull: Over 50 DJs and employees out as firm cites ‘significant investment’ in Artificial Intelligence

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