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In this newsletter:

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has reported a record high of $1.52 billion in collections for 2022, with over $1.38 billion having been made available for distribution to members.

A headline stat published by Spotify on Wednesday is that as of 2022, Spotify’s all-time payouts to the music industry are approaching $40 billion (including both recording and publishing royalties).

UK record label trade group BPI presents stats about the performance of the British recorded music business in 2022.

Now, the details...

Exploration Weekly - March 10, 2023
Compiled by Ana Berberana

ASCAP Reports ‘Record-High’ 2022 Revenue and Distribution, Emphasizes Role As ‘America’s Only Not-for-Profit PRO’

ASCAP revealed its 2022 financials on Wednesday (March 8). According to the New York City-headquartered entity, overall collections increased by $187 million from 2021 to crack the aforesaid $1.522 billion in 2022. Within the sum, ASCAP’s domestic revenue is said to have come in at $1.178 billion (up 16.5 percent/$167 million year over year), marking the second year in which stateside revenue “from US-licensed performances topped $1 billion,” per the PRO. “General licensing revenue” grew by about 40 percent YoY, radio hiked by 32 percent, streaming spiked by 16 percent, and audio visual achieved a seven percent uptick, the analysis shows.

Spotify Approaches $40BN in All-Time Payouts to the Music Industry

Spotify hosted its second Stream On event in Los Angeles on Wednesday (March 8), to announce new product updates and tools for artists. The company also updated its annual music royalties report, Loud & Clear, in which it published a trove of stats about what artists and rightsholders earn from music on the platform. Spotify says that “nearly 70%” of every dollar it generates from music “is paid back as royalties to rightsholders, who then pay the artists and songwriters, based on the agreed terms”. These rightsholders include record labels, publishers, independent distributors, performance rights organizations, and collecting societies. The headline stat published by Spotify on Wednesday is that as of 2022, Spotify’s all-time payouts to the music industry are approaching $40 billion (including both recording and publishing royalties).

UK Recorded Music Revenues Up 4.7% to £1.32 Billion in 2022, BPI Confirms

According to UK record label trade group BPI, total revenues in 2022 were up 4.7% year-on-year to £1.32 billion, which is the eighth consecutive year of growth and the highest ever level of income recorded by the BPI in its annual stats round up. So streaming at large was up 6.3% to £885 million, meanwhile premium streaming grew 4.8% to £762.8 million and income from free streaming was up 22.3% to £62.5 million. Vinyl sales also continued to grow last year, with revenues from vinyl albums up 3.1% to £119.5 million. However, CD revenues slipped another 23.7% to £89.5 million, meaning physical revenues overall were down 10.5%. Sync revenues were up 39% to £42.7 million, while broadcast and performance monies were up 23% to £143.4 million. “The hard work and creativity of UK artists and labels meant that 2022 was another great year for British music, but we must guard against any complacency in the face of growing challenges and keep promoting and protecting the value of music”, said BPI’s Chief Strategy Officer and Interim CEO Sophie Jones.

TikTok Adds Paywalled Content With a New Monetization Option Called ‘Series’

A TikTok blog post described Series as a feature that will turn “stories, talents and creativity” into “premium content.” A single Series can include up to 80 videos, each of which can run for up to 20 minutes. Creators will be able to set custom prices for their Series. Series is an extension of TikTok’s Collections. “Series joins our growing range of monetization solutions,” reads the post, “as we continue to build new ways for creators to feel valued and rewarded as they inspire and engage our community.” For now, Series is available to a select group of creators. Applications to join the feature’s testing phase will open up in “the coming months.”

SoundCloud Joins the TikTok Discovery Feed Bandwagon

As more streaming services vie for attention in the wake of TikTok’s astronomic popularity, an AI-powered vertical feed to help users discover new content is increasingly becoming the standard. SoundCloud has become the latest platform to test out such a feature. The company is testing a vertical feed discovery feature with select users on both iOS and Android apps. SoundCloud users in the test will see a new “Discover” page and a “Following” page beneath the Feed tab. Previously, this tab only showed new tracks from artists you were following and reposts from friends. SoundCloud says the Discover page will show songs based on the user’s listening history and musical taste, with a line explaining why a particular track shows up in a user’s recommendations. Additionally, 30-second song previews will become available across both Discover and Following pages, with artists able to select their own clip to highlight or rely on SoundCloud’s AI tech, Musiio, which the company acquired last year. Users can “like” song previews and listen to the full version by tapping the play button, which provides additional information about the track on a new page. This page redesign also makes commenting on the song or adding it to a playlist easier.

Random Ramblings

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  • BLACKPINK sets another record as the most streamed female band on Spotify.

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