While it seems easy to blame Spotify for joining Google, Amazon and Pandora to appeal a 44% increase in streaming royalties paid to songwriters, the issue is not that simple. In fact, it’s so complex, writes MIDiA analyst Mark Mulligan. that “both sides are right: songwriters need to be paid more, and streaming services need to increase margin.”
The cryptocurrency company Ripple on Tuesday announced an ambitious project to integrate blockchain technology into video games. The plan, which features a $100 million fund for developers, could remake the gaming industry by creating a new way to create in-game marketplaces for digital goods.
Spotify has come out in defense of its attempt to scrap a pay rise for songwriters on its service in the United States – and has subsequently been accused of lying by a significant music industry stakeholder for the second time in a month. In a new blog post, the firm says that it believes “songwriters deserve to be paid more”, but argues that there are “significant flaws” in the CRB’s new rate structure.
As the availability of content continues to balloon and the streaming technology on which it’s accessed continues to advance, the process of clearing music for picture remains stuck in the year 1989, even as the demand for synced, pre-recorded music is ever-increasing.
The rapidly growing popularity of online gaming has also allowed video game companies to develop new monetisation models centred around live services. Online gaming experiences fuelled by virtual economies that allow players to buy in-game cosmetics and other virtual goods with virtual coins. Virtual coins that can be acquired through play or with real money.
News Corp. has reportedly petitioned Australian regulators to break up Google’s operations in the country, saying the company enjoys “overwhelming” power over tech and online markets. The petition accuses Google of “abusing its dominant position to the detriment of consumers, advertisers and publishers.”
The dearth of data on how the big intermediaries—record labels, studios, publishers, and now internet platforms like YouTube, Amazon, and Spotify—structure cultural markets is a long-standing problem. These companies tell creators how much they’re getting paid, but they rarely disclose who else is getting a cut, how their peers are paid, and what factors contribute to differences in promotion or placement.
News organisations say the bots are not intended to displace human reporters or editors but rather to help free them from the most monotonous tasks, such as sports results and earnings reports. Jeremy Gilbert, director of strategic initiatives at The Washington Post, said Heliograf was developed as a tool to help the newspaper’s editorial team.
Since news broke about Spotify’s objection to the ruling, very senior figures in the music business have issued damning statements on the matter. They have also praised Spotify’s fiercest competitor, Apple Music – which stood alone in refusing to object to the CRB ruling. Irving Azoff tweeted: “Apple understands they’re in the artist business. Clearly, Google, Pandora, Spotify and Amazon don’t.”
EU independent music trade group IMPALA and more than 200 organizations from across the cultural and creative sectors have united in calling on the European Parliament to adopt the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. “This Directive has been long sought to create a much-needed level playing field,” the groups argue.