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Join us next week in the panel
presented by The California Copyright Conference

Investors are bringing a lot of money to the music publishing table – with catalog purchases, leasing of royalties, loans, etc. We also have many songwriters whose rights are reverting to themselves. Many investors and new owners struggle in the dynamic of understanding the process of a catalog transition and when to expect royalty money to flow from one administrator to a new one. These hurdles are often the same when any owner changes administrator. What are the steps post-signing papers on a catalog purchase? When should an owner think about getting an administrator? What should owners be looking for? How can an administrator best manage expectations? What are the challenges to transition for smaller administrators vs major publishers? What are the transition processes and timelines one should expect at each source–HFA, MLC, YouTube, sub-publishing, etc. And what do you do when it all goes sideways?

🗓️ Tuesday, November 14th, 2023
🕑 2:30pm – 4:00pm PST | Zoom Webinar Broadcast

Moderator: Rene Merideth | Co-Founder & COO, Exploration

Michelle Bayer | Owner, Shelly Bay Music
Miles Feinberg | Founder & President, Music Rights Group
Sindee Levin, Esq. | Law Offices Of Sindee Levin

Advance Reservation:
CCC Members $0 per person | Non-members $5 per person

Registration deadline is Tuesday, November 14, 2023, at 1:30pm PST

In this newsletter:

The musicFIRST Coalition has launched a new Dionne Warwick-fronted campaign to garner support for the American Music Fairness Act, which would introduce a royalty for the use of sound recordings by AM and FM radio stations in the US for the first time.

Will Page, former Spotify chief economist, has released his annual analysis of the global value of music copyright, revealing a record-breaking figure of $41.5 billion, a 14% increase from the previous year. The total comprises $26 billion from recorded music revenues, $11.4 million from collecting society revenues, and $4.1 million from 'publishers' direct' revenues.

A little over one month after a number of ASCAP songwriters urged legislative action on artificial intelligence, the performance rights organization (PRO) has forwarded nearly 60 pages’ worth of music-specific AI commentary and regulatory recommendations to the Copyright Office.

Now, the details...

Exploration Weekly - November 10, 2023
Compiled by Ana Berberana

Campaign Launches to Support Introduction of US Radio Royalties

US artist rights organization the musicFIRST Coalition has launched a new Music Fairness Action campaign. It aims to rally musicians and music fans to support the American Music Fairness Act, which would introduce - for the first time - a royalty from the broadcast of sound recordings on AM and FM radio stations in the US. The campaign is fronted by Dionne Warwick, who says in a statement: “Everyone deserves to be paid for their work. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. That’s a bedrock American value that most people in this country stand by. And that’s why artists across genres and generations - from Frank Sinatra to Common to Randy Travis, Becky G and so many others - have been speaking out in support of fair pay for AM/FM radio plays for decades”. US copyright law is unusual, compared to most countries in the world, in that it does not provide full performing rights for sound recordings. As a result, AM and FM radio stations do not need to secure a license to play recorded music (although they do for the songs), nor do they have to pay any royalties to artists and record labels for the music they play. “This injustice has gone on for too long”, Warwick continues. “I’ve been fighting this fight since the 80s and others were fighting long before me. It’s time to finally right this wrong. I urge my fellow music-makers and music lovers to join me in calling on Congress to pass the American Music Fairness Act”. The American Music Fairness Act was first put forward in Congress in 2021 and was passed by the House Judiciary Committee the following year. It was then reintroduced to Congress earlier this year. Co-Chair of the musicFIRST Coalition, former senator Mark Pryor, says of the new campaign: “The United States is the only democratic country in the world where artists are not paid when their music is played on AM/FM radio”.

Global Value of Music Copyright Grew 14% to $41.5bn in 2022

Author and former Spotify chief economist Will Page has published his annual analysis of the global value of music copyright. This is his report combining three sources of data – the IFPI’s Global Music Report, CISAC’s Global Collections Report and Music & Copyright’s estimates for music publishing – while factoring out duplicated revenues in the latter two. “As with prior years, I will begin by saying ‘this year we’ve got a really big number to report’ – and this year, for the first time ever, that number starts with a four,” wrote Page. That would be $41.5bn. This is up 14% year-on-year, with the total breaking down into $26bn of recorded music revenues, $11.4m of collecting society revenues, and $4.1m of ‘publishers’ direct’ revenues through those companies’ own deals. “The spoils of growth are shared evenly between labels and artists on one side, and songwriters, publishers and their CMOs on the other – both adding around $2.5bn each,” noted Page in his report. “The labels’ digital income growth shows signs of slowing down, especially in western markets,” he added. “Yet, in what feels like an episode of ‘tales of the unexpected,’ this slowdown is being offset by the resurgence in adjusted physical income which has exploded by over $1bn since 2020, thanks to accelerating demand for CDs in Asia and insatiable need for the ‘platters that matter’ in Europe and America.”

ASCAP Formally Weighs in on AI, Calling for Enhanced Copyright Office Guidance and Opposing ‘Any Compulsory Licensing Requirements’

The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) just recently submitted its remarks to the Copyright Office, which had in late August formally solicited feedback pertaining to the unprecedented technology. In particular, the Office is seeking insight on whether works created with AI can be copyrighted and, perhaps of more immediate significance, the best approach when dealing with AI models trained on protected media without authorization. Several lawsuits centering on the latter – or the seemingly prevalent practice of leading AI systems’ ingesting and then tailoring their outputs based upon IP sans creator or rightsholder permission – are already in full swing. And particularly in the music space, unapproved soundalike releases are continuing to make commercial waves. Towards the beginning of its Copyright Office comments, ASCAP reiterated the six artificial intelligence principles that its board had unanimously adopted earlier in 2023, including the prioritization of human creators and assuring credit and compensation for the use of protected works in AI. Needless to say, the principles also guided the remainder of the commentary, touching upon a variety of pertinent topics and ideas. “In accordance with these principles, voluntary collective licensing is the best way to harness the power of generative AI while preserving the livelihoods of creators,” ASCAP wrote, proceeding to call for the creation of “a federal right of publicity” and for AI developers to retain information on “all copyrighted material present” in their systems. Expanding upon the point, this clear-cut push for “a voluntary licensing scheme whereby the copyright holders can choose whether they wish their content to be used for AI training” may be the most noteworthy takeaway from ASCAP’s comments. Although public performance royalties (for ASCAP as well as Broadcast Music, Inc.) are guided by government-mandated rates, the PRO emphasized its opposition to any sort of compulsory licensing for AI. Of course, this sentiment resulted from the positions of member songwriters and publishers, who evidently believe voluntary licensing and assistance from AI-usage laws to be the keys to maximizing revenue.

Spotify Will Pay No Royalties on Tracks With Under 1000 Streams a Year

Spotify will not pay any royalties on tracks until they receive more than 1000 streams yearly, according to multiple sources. The new threshold, expected to go into effect early next year, is part of efforts by Spotify, other music streamers, and major labels to redistribute royalties from what UMG CEO Lucien Grainge calls “garbage” tracks to more active artists. 42% of the 158 million tracks on Spotify were played ten or fewer times last year, according to Billboard chart data provider Luminate. 67.1 million tracks were played ten or fewer times. 38 million tracks on Spotify were not played even once in 2022. Spotify’s Loud & Clear report said that in 2022, 62.5% of its 100 million tracks have not been played 1000 times since release, much less in a year. The 1000 streams threshold was tipped in a Consequences op-ed from Kristin Graziani, the president of music distribution platform Stem, and confirmed by MBW and Billboard. While some fear that the changes are unfair to emerging artists, Grazani embraces the change. “In addition to increasing payouts, we must plug these holes, or else the same bad actors will continue to profit at the expense of artists who are none the wiser,” says Grazani. These new policies will “have little to no negative impact on career artists; instead, it will make more money available to them by way of a larger royalty pool.” Spotify has said that the new model will shift $1 billion to ‘working artists’ over the next five years.

How to Watch the 2024 Grammy Nominations Announcement Livestream

Thirteen past Grammy winners, ranging from Amy Grant to Kim Petras, will help announce the 66th annual Grammy Award nominees in a livestream event on Nov. 10. The announcement will be accessible on live.Grammy.com and YouTube. Other Grammy winners onboard for the event include: Arooj Aftab, Vince Gill, Jimmy Jam, Jon Bon Jovi, Samara Joy, Muni Long, Cheryl Pawelski, Judith Sherman, St. Vincent, Jeff Tweedy and “Weird Al” Yankovic. They will be joined by CBS Mornings co-hosts Gayle King, Nate Burleson and Tony Dokoupil and Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. The nominations event will kick off with a special presentation announcing the nominees in the general field and select other categories. There will be two changes in general field categories this year. There will be just eight nominations, down from 10 the last two years, for album, record and song of the year, plus best new artist, which have always comprised the general field. Also, two additional categories are being bumped up to the general field for the first time: producer of the year, non-classical and songwriter of the year, non-classical. Video announcements of the nominees in the remaining categories will also be published on live.Grammy.com and YouTube while the event is underway. The full list of nominees will be published on Grammy.com immediately following the presentation. Here’s the timeline for when these events will occur on Nov. 10. (All times are approximate and subject to change.)

0:45 a.m. ET / 7:45 a.m. PT: Grammy nominations pre-show
11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT: Nominations livestream event
11:25 a.m. ET / 8:25 a.m. PT: Nominations livestream event ends; full nominations list posted on Grammy.com
11:25 a.m. ET / 8:25 a.m. PT: Grammy nominations wrap-up show

Random Ramblings

  • How rap: is breaking Belfast barriers, song by song.
  • The state of music criticism.
  • Artists with the most no. 1 songs on the Hot 100.
  • Taylor Swift makes history with top 6 songs, all from ‘1989 (Taylor’s Version),’ on Billboard Global 200 Chart.
  • Grateful Dead ties Elvis Presley & Frank Sinatra for Most Top 40 Albums Ever on Billboard 200 Chart.

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