Austria is set to pass a law as part of the European Copyright Directive that creates a limited exception for clips of less than 15 seconds shared on online platforms and offers uploaders to declare that their material does not infringe copyright when used as a parody or pastiche. A similar law was passed in Germany. Eight other countries including France, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands have so far implemented the directive.

In a recent “Year on TikTok 2021 Music Report,” the ByteDance-owned video platform announced that approximately 430 songs surpassed 1 billion video views in 2021, which was three times more than in 2020. Latin music was the fastest-growing genre on the platform in the US, and Hip-hop/rap was the most-popular genre amongst its users in 2021, according to the report.

YouTube released its latest Creator Insider video, stating that it is currently testing a feature called Collections that will allow users to sort the creators and channels they’re subscribed to into specific categories. The Subscriptions Feed currently lists out videos in chronological order from every subscribed creator. Collections will let users create categories and sort channels into them.

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Compiled by Heidi Seo

Exploration Weekly - December 17, 2021

Austria Poised to Loosen Online Copyright Protections - Will Other EU Countries Follow?

Austria passed a law on December 7 as part of the European Copyright Directive, and it will go before the Parliament by the middle of December. Like a similar law that was passed in Germany, it creates a limited exception for clips of less than 15 seconds – copyright holders can require sites to block specific material – and offers users a way to declare that the material they’re uploading does not infringe copyright because it’s a parody or pastiche. But while the German law provides a way for collecting societies to take in and disburse payments for these uses – for sound recording as well as publishing rights – the Austrian law has platforms pay labels and publishers for them the same way they pay for other works. If the Austrian law passes in mid-December, it will then go before the Federal Council and finally to the president for signature. So far, aside from Germany, the eight other countries that have implemented the directive include France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. Assuming it passes, the Austrian law would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022.

430 Songs Surpassed 1 Billion Video Views on TikTok in 2021 - 3 Times More Than in 2020

Approximately 430 songs surpassed 1 billion video views as TikTok ‘sounds’ in 2021, which was three times more than in 2020, when over 175 songs reached the billion view mark. That’s according to the ByteDance-owned short-form video platform’s new ‘Year on TikTok 2021 Music Report’, which also reveals the top songs, genres, and artists on the platform over the year. In addition, TikTok reveals that Latin music was the fastest-growing genre on the platform in the US, rising from tenth fastest-growing last year, to sixth in 2021. The company also reveals that Hip-hop/rap was the most-popular genre amongst its users in 2021 and that Popp Hunna’s Adderall (Corvette Corvette) was the most-popular hip-hop song in the US. Additionally, Megan Thee Stallion racked up the most catalog video views of any artist in 2021 for the second straight year.

YouTube’s Latest Test Feature Attempts to Organize the Subscriptions Feed

YouTube is trying to figure out how to better organize its Subscriptions feed. In its latest Creator Insider video, the platform revealed it’s testing a feature called Collections that will let users sort the creators and channels they’re subscribed to into specific categories. “Over the years, what we’ve heard from viewers is that the Subscriptions feed can feel overwhelming,” Chris, a YouTube staffer who works on subscriptions, says in Creator Insider’s upload. As it stands right now, the Subscriptions feed is a seemingly endless stack of videos from every creator you’re subscribed to, in chronological order. The feed does have a bit of auto-organization: if a creator uploads several videos and you haven’t watched any of them, Subscriptions will collect the videos together into a single notification. But beyond that, the feed doesn’t have any management or organizational tools. YouTube aims to change that with Collections. The in-development feature lets users create categories and sort channels into them. Categories they’ve created will then be listed in the Subscriptions tab.

Spotify Notched Up 107.9 Billion Hours of Music Listening in 2021

Spotify has published a stats roundup for what 2021 looked like for artists on its platform. The streaming service highlighted fans “listening to artists’ music for 107,917,574,719 hours this year”. That 107.9 billion covers the ‘Wrapped’ data period from January 1 to November 27. So, it’s around 9.8 billion monthly listening hours. As a mark of its growth, back in 2015 Spotify was doing 1.7 billion monthly listening hours. At the midpoint of 2021, the service had 365 million monthly active users, so you could guesstimate that individual listeners average just under 296 hours over the period covered by the data – and thus nearly 27 monthly hours each. Spotify also published a chart of the ‘biggest gainers’ in 2021, referring to artists with at least one million monthly listeners whose audience grew by the highest percentage this year. Masked Wolf – also topping one of TikTok’s main charts for 2021 – headed that list.

“State of Sampling in 2021” Report Hints at Resurgence

Sample-clearing service Tracklib has released its 2021 State of Sampling report and it includes some interesting data: 48% of the songs on the Grammy-nominated releases for Best Rap Album include samples; 54% of the albums that charted on Billboard during 2021 contains samples from other previously released songs; and Drake’s album “Certified Lover Boy” is the most sample-based album of all Billboard charting albums, with 15 samples. There’s a feeling that technology could perhaps expedite the sample-clearing process: Tracklib has built a catalog of more than 100K recordings from more than 400 labels and publishers, and its latest funding round in September was $12.2 million, including further backing by the Sony Innovation Fund.

Random Ramblings

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