Apple’s services division, which includes music, video, news, fitness, and cloud storage, hailed 745 million paid subscriptions in 2021. A few new features were also announced in the music department, such as lossless and spatial audio and lyrics sharing.

On Tuesday, a federal appeals court was skeptical in reinstating a $2.8 million copyright verdict against Katy Perry over her 2013 song “Dark Horse”. Rapper Flame alleged that the work infringed the copyright of his earlier track “Joyful Noise”. The three-judge panel is set to weigh the merits of the case and issue a ruling in the months ahead.

According to data published by GfK Entertainment and German Music Industry Association (BVMI), Germany reached 165 billion music streams in 2021, almost a fifth more than in 2020 (138 billion), over half more than in 2019 (108 billion streams), and twice as many as 2018 (80 billion streams).

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Compiled by Heidi Seo

Exploration Weekly - January 14, 2022

Apple Hails Services Growth in 2021 with 745 Million Subscriptions

In the latest report by Apple, the services division hailed 745 million paid subscriptions in 2021. This covers music, video, news, fitness, and cloud storage. In music, specifically, Apple announced several new features: lossless and spatial audio; lyrics sharing; city charts; motion cover art and integration with Apple’s TV, news, FaceTime and photo apps for example. There are a couple of carefully-general figures too: “tens of millions” of Apple Music Radio listeners and “millions” of people playing music through the Siri voice assistant.

Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” Copyright Accuser Faces Skeptical Appeals Court

A federal appeals court on Tuesday (Jan. 11) looked unlikely to reinstate a $2.8 million copyright verdict against Katy Perry over her 2013 song “Dark Horse,” with one judge even saying he had to re-listen multiple times just to identify the “purported similarities” to an earlier song. During an hour-long hearing, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit appeared skeptical of accusations leveled by a rapper named Flame that Perry’s hit had infringed the copyright to his earlier track called “Joyful Noise.” Following the hearing, the panel will weigh the merits of the case and issue a ruling at some point in the months ahead.

Germany Generated 165 Billion Music Streams in 2021 … Almost A Fifth More Than in 2020

According to data published on January 11 by GfK Entertainment and German Music Industry Association (BVMI), 165 billion streams were generated in the country in 2021 – almost a fifth more than in 2020 (138 billion). Last year’s tally was also over half more than in 2019, when the country generated 108 billion streams, and twice as many as 2018, when 80 billion streams were reported. The BVMI revealed in its H1 2021 report in August that Germany generated €903.8 million (approximately $1.094 billion) on a retail basis in the first six months of 2021, from physical music sales and streaming, an increase of 12.4% year-over-year.

Merlin Announces 2022 Board, Welcoming Nine New Members

Merlin, the digital-rights licensing partner for independent music companies, has announced its 2022 board. The board is elected from and by Merlin’s members and includes representatives from across the world. Merlin will service the tens of thousands of member labels as it strikes deals with digital partners like Facebook, Peloton, Spotify, Snap, YouTube, Apple, TikTok, and Twitch. Half of the board members have been elected to their first term, while 11 members are returning for another term.

Spotify’s High-Quality Audio Tier Delayed Indefinitely

Spotify has announced that its high-quality audio tier, Spotify HiFi, which it had said would launch in select markets in November, is delayed indefinitely. Other major streaming services have already introduced high-quality audio in the past: Tidal and Deezer have both offered it for years and Qobuz, a French high-quality-only service, launched in the U.S. early in 2019. Amazon Music, the third-largest streaming service in the world followed a few months later; Apple Music, the second-largest, announced Spatial and Lossless Audio last May, for no additional cost.

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