“Dare to create your own version, it might be better than what you were hearing all your life.”
The MLC offered its first members an early look into The MLC Portal this week, revealing a clean, minimalist aesthetic. The portal will allow users to register new works, search for works that may already exist within The MLC’s data, and edit their own existing works. Although The MLC will accept files in the CWR format for bulk work registration, some members will also opt to upload data via an Excel file or manual data entry.
On Wednesday, Twitch launched a new creator tool called Soundtrack, offering rights-cleared music for livestreams via partnerships with a number of indie labels and distributors. The deals do not involve the majors like Sony, Universal, Warner, and Merlin. Soundtrack beta will feature genre-focused Stations and Playlists of regularly updated curated tracks.
According to findings from Edison Research and Triton Digital’s Infinite Dial 202, YouTube is the top source to discover music for 26% of “new music seekers”. Spotify is the preferred music discovery source for 19% of people surveyed, and AM/FM radio is at 11%. Only 10% of new music seekers count the most on friends and families to discover music.
The music industry terms composition and sound recording, but they are not interchangeable. What's the difference between them? Our next video distinguishes this in more detail within our weekly “Music Industry - 5 Mins or Less” video series! Learn more here:
In this newsletter:
- Mechanical Licensing Collective Offers Early Look into The MLC Portal
- Twitch, Still Unlicensed by Majors, Launches Rights-Cleared Music via Deals with Indie Distributors and Labels
- Consumers Now Favor Streaming Services for Music Discovery Over All Other Sources
- YouTube Welcomes Back Music from Danish Songwriters, Inking New Polaris Licensing Deal
- IMPEL Renews Its Alliance with SACEM
- Spotify Adds Video for “Written By” Songwriter Playlists
Now, the details...
Compiled by Heidi Seo
Exploration Weekly - October 2, 2020
Mechanical Licensing Collective Offers Early Look into The MLC Portal
This week, The MLC gave its first members access to The MLC Portal. The early look to the portal revealed a clean, minimalist aesthetic. The portal will allow users to register new works, to search for works that may already exist within The MLC’s data, and to edit their own existing works. Users can see works they have newly registered under a “Pending” tab to help them track which works are in The MLC queue to be processed. A single user can also manage multiple member views. For bulk work registration, The MLC will accept files in the CWR format. Some members may also opt to upload data via an Excel file, while others with smaller numbers of works to register could opt for manual data entry. The portal also allows users to quickly enter essential information for each of their works, such as songwriters and publishing companies involved with each musical work, a song’s ISWC, or an IPI number, along with an option to include a proprietary identification number for works that are part of a larger publisher’s catalog.
Twitch, Still Unlicensed by Majors, Launches Rights-Cleared Music via Deals with Indie Distributors and Labels
On September 30, Twitch announced that it has been developing a new creator tool for the past year called Soundtrack by Twitch, offering rights-cleared music for livestreams via partnerships with a number of labels and distributors. At launch on this day, Soundtrack will have more than a million tracks available from over 30 music companies, all independent businesses - which obviously means no deals with Sony, Universal, or Warner. It also appears not to be licensed by independent label agency Merlin. The Soundtrack beta features genre-focused Stations and Playlists of regularly updated curated tracks. According to Twitch, music from Soundtrack will be separated into its own audio channel so that music can be played during livestreams “without worrying about your archives being muted or receiving strikes against your Twitch channel”.
Consumers Now Favor Streaming Services for Music Discovery Over All Other Sources
In 2020, 62% of people surveyed said streaming services are among their top music discovery sources while just 54% named friends and family, according to the new Music 360 2020 report by MRC Data/Nielsen Music. In the two weeks leading up to the survey period (June 8 to July 6), 65% of people said they had avoided crowded public areas and 45% had listened to more music than the prior two weeks, according to MRC Data’s COVID-19: Tracking the Impact on the Entertainment Landscape - Release 5. Other findings from Edison Research and Triton Digital’s Infinite Dial 202 shows that when people choose a single source of music discovery, nearly half of them say either YouTube and Spotify. YouTube is the top source to discover music for 26% of “new music seekers,” who keep up-to-date on music. Spotify is the preferred music discovery source for 19% of people surveyed, and AM/FM radio followed at 11%. Only 10% of new music seekers count the most on friends and families to discover music.
YouTube Welcomes Back Music from Danish Songwriters, Inking New Polaris Licensing Deal
For the past few months, music videos from superstar Danish acts such as Volbeat have been inaccessible by residents of the Scandinavian countries on YouTube due to a dispute between YouTube and Denmark’s Koda over the remuneration of songwriters and publishers in the market that led to the removal of music written by Danish composers from the service. On October 1, umbrella collection society for the Nordics, Polaris, reached a new licensing agreement with YouTube for music used on its service, which means that music by Danish writers should once again become accessible on the service in Denmark. Previously, YouTube and Koda had been operating under a temporary license agreement since April following the expiration of their previous multi-year YouTube deal. Polaris’ new agreement, entered into on behalf of Koda (Denmark), Teosto (Finland), Tono (Norway), and Stef (Iceland) comes into force today and replaces the local agreements previously entered into by the individual countries.
IMPEL Renews Its Alliance with SACEM
IMPEL - the organization that negotiates direct deals in the digital domain on behalf of an assortment of independent music publishers - has renewed its alliance with French collecting society SACEM. Ever since IMPEL became a distinct standalone organization in 2018, it has worked with SACEM on licensing and managing its members’ repertoire in the streaming market, mainly in Europe. Previously, as a subsidiary of the UK’s Music Publishers Association, British society PRS did the deal-making and royalty administration on behalf of the group. Earlier this year, IMPEL also started working with the LatinAutor copyright hub and its admin partner Backoffice to license and administrate its members’ rights in the Latin American region.
Spotify Adds Video for “Written By” Songwriter Playlists
In February of 2020, Spotify launched a beta “Songwriter Pages” feature offering more visibility for songwriters on its service, including their own profile pages and playlists of recordings of their works. This week, the company is expanding that with video on some of those pages. Songwriters Mike Dean, Raye, and Cautious Clay are the first to get the treatment, with videos in their “Written By” playlists showing them discussing their careers and collaborations. The videos are part of the wider efforts of Spotify’s songwriter relations team, which have also recently included a “Songwriter Saturday” series of interviews on the Spotify for Artists Instagram profile, and another Instagram series called Writer’s Pad.
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