“If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.”
Charles Darwin, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809–82
US performance rights organization BMI has partnered with copyright hub ICE to include part of its repertoire not directly licensed in the digital domain to the ICE Core license across Europe. It follows the same digital licensing framework used by Anglo-American societies PRS and IMRO, Germany’s GEMA, Sweden’s STIM, plus a few independent publishers like Downtown, Concord, and Peermusic.
YouTube creators will no longer need a minimum of 5,000 subscribers to qualify for Channel Memberships. The company announced this week that creators with more than 1,000 subscribers will be able to use Channel Memberships to offer things like extra content and video previews in exchange for a monthly fee. The change was made due to an increase in creators earning revenue from memberships since the start of the pandemic.
The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) has released its brand-new Educator Toolkit, created to help college educators teach music and music business students about the changes to the administration of digital audio mechanical rights in the US that will begin to take effect in January 2021. The free resource, led by Professor Serona Elton, The MLC’s Head of Educational Partnerships, offers instructors a range of materials they can easily incorporate into their existing syllabi or use to create new course modules, and it is part of The MLC’s broader educational mandate to provide foundational knowledge of what The MLC does and why.
PRO and CMO are terms that you hear a lot in the music industry. Almost every territory in the world has their own PRO or CMO. These organizations represent rights on behalf of music around the world. Learn more below in our weekly “Music Industry - 5 Mins or Less” video series!
In this newsletter:
- BMI Allies with ICE on European Digital Licensing
- YouTube Opens Channel Memberships to Creators with At Least 1,000 Subscribers
- The Mechanical Licensing Collective Unveils New Toolkit for College Educators and Future Music Professionals
- Streaming is Stalling: Can Music Keep Up in the Attention Economy?
- Concert Industry Lost $30 Billion in 2020
- Mechanical Licensing Collective Picks More Tech Partners
- Spotify Cozies Up to Songwriters with New Hub
Now, the details...
Compiled by Heidi Seo
Exploration Weekly - December 18, 2020
BMI Allies with ICE on European Digital Licensing
US song rights collecting society BMI has announced a partnership with copyright hub ICE, which will see those elements of its repertoire not covered by direct licensing in the digital domain included in with the ICE Core licence across Europe. It will be joining the same digital licensing framework used by fellow Anglo-American societies PRS and IMRO, as well as Germany’s GEMA and Sweden’s STIM, plus some of the independent publishers going the direct route like Downtown, Concord and Peermusic. At ICE, VP Commercial Ben McEwen adds: “At this time, it’s more critical than ever that rights-holders have the best online licensing representation, with the expertise and shared resources to really address the market on their behalf, and we believe that ICE can provide that for BMI”.
YouTube Opens Channel Memberships to Creators with At Least 1,000 Subscribers
YouTube creators no longer need a minimum of 5,000 subscribers to qualify for Channel Memberships. Starting December 16, creators with more than 1,000 subscribers will be able to use Channel Memberships to offer things like extra content and video previews in exchange for a monthly fee, the platform announced. “When we launched Channel Memberships on YouTube, we did it with the goal of helping creators diversify their revenue streams beyond ads,” Muli Salem, YouTube’s Channel Memberships product manager, wrote in an official blog post. The company is now expanding the program due to an increase in creators earning revenue from memberships since the start of the pandemic, and it plans to release more tools for Channel Memberships in 2021, including “better creator analytics, loyalty and recognition perks, as well as easier ways for viewers to become members.” Channel Memberships debuted in 2018, and were originally offered only to creators with more than 100,000 subscribers.
The Mechanical Licensing Collective Unveils New Toolkit for College Educators and Future Music Professionals
The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) announced the release of its brand-new Educator Toolkit, created to help college educators teach students – particularly those studying music and music business – about the changes to the administration of digital audio mechanical rights in the US that will begin taking effect in January 2021 as a result of the Music Modernization Act. With this free resource, The MLC hopes to connect with future music business professionals and aspiring songwriters at the outset of their respective careers. The Toolkit offers instructors a range of materials they can easily incorporate into their existing syllabi or use to create new course modules. Led by Professor Serona Elton, The MLC’s Head of Educational Partnerships, the Toolkit is part of The MLC’s broader educational mandate, which is intended to provide foundational knowledge of what The MLC does and why.
Streaming is Stalling: Can Music Keep Up in the Attention Economy?
Music streaming services have continued to add U.S. subscribers this year, according to MIDiA Research, growing by 11 million paying users from January to September, to 117.9 million. But in a potentially troubling sign for the recorded music business, the number of total streams has remained the same. For the past four months and counting, audio music streams have averaged 17.5 billion a week. That’s up slightly from the early March pre-pandemic peak, before the lockdown cut music listening down by 13% to a year low of less than 15 billion streams, as consumers stopped commuting and obsessed over the news. Streaming gradually rebounded, increasing 15% by the end of June — but has plateaued since. A number of factors could be affecting the growth, such as the increase in average gameplay hours, the spike in US daily active users on TikTok, and increased listening on podcasts.
Concert Industry Lost $30 Billion in 2020
The global live events industry lost more than $30 billion in 2020 due to the global pandemic, including $9.7 billion at the box office, according to the year-end report by live-entertainment industry trade publication Pollstar. At the top of the year, the industry was projected to hit a record-setting $12.2 billion at the box office in 2020, but instead incurred $9.7 billion in box office losses after the industry effectively shut down completely in March. The projected $30+ billion figure includes unreported events, ancillary revenues, including sponsorships, ticketing, concessions, merch, transportation, restaurants, hotels, and other economic activity tied to the live events, according to the report. This number is also derived from the 10.92% year-over-year growth rate tabulated in Q1, the last full quarter before the pandemic. The $9.7 billion in Pollstar box office losses represents an increase over the $8.9 billion projected in Q1 as losses grew substantially after the quarter’s end.
Mechanical Licensing Collective Picks More Tech Partners
The US Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) has announced four more tech partners for its “Data Quality Initiative” (DQI). It will be working with Blokur, Exactuals, Music Data Services, and TuneRegistry on its efforts to ensure data on songs, writers and publishers in its database is as accurate as possible. “They offer different tiers of service, from high-cost enterprise platforms to economical new software targeting self-administered songwriters and smaller publishers,” said Dae Bogan, head of third party partnerships at The MLC.
Spotify Cozies Up to Songwriters with New Hub
This week, Spotify has launched a new Songwriters Hub in its apps and web player designed to promote and highlight the creators behind some of the world’s biggest hits. The new centralized hub features Spotify’s Written By playlists – created to show off the work of some of the industry’s most popular songwriters — along with other popular songwriting playlists, as well as podcasts focused on songwriting and sections for featured songwriters and featured releases from those scribes. In February, the streaming service launched the Written By playlists and Songwriter Pages, which allows songwriters to share the music they’ve written on the platform and gives fans the ability to “dive deeper into the creators behind their favorite songs." The new hub is available today on Spotify’s apps and on its web player.
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