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What is a Songwriter?

In copyright and licensing terms, the songwriter is distinguished from the artist. The songwriter is the person who creates the melodic, harmonic, and lyrical elements of a song, while the recording artist is simply the person who records it. The songwriter obtains a composition copyright upon the creation of their work, and the artist obtains a sound recording copyright upon the creation of their recording. Although writers and artists are often the same people, the two are separate terms in the music industry because of the existence of two different types of copyrights.
In this newsletter:

The U.S. Copyright Office has decided to extend the deadline for the submission of comments in its termination rights ruling on the statutory mechanical blanket license under the Music Modernization Act. Initial comments are now due by December 1, 2022.

NetEase Cloud Music reported a 22.5% year-over-year increase in revenue in the third quarter, attributing its growth to the continued rise in its paying user base. Revenue for the quarter reached approximately USD $331 million.

SoundCloud is offering 50% off its “Next Pro” plan, which includes unlimited uploads and releases starting at $12.50/month. The plan was previously known as “Pro Unlimited” and was renamed last month when SoundCloud rebranded its artist services platform.

Now, the details...

Exploration Weekly - November 25, 2022
Compiled by Heidi Seo

Copyright Office Extends Comment Period for Its Rulemaking on Termination Rights and the Music Modernization Act

The U.S. Copyright Office is extending the deadline for the submission of comments in its rulemaking regarding the applicability of the derivative works exception to termination rights under the Copyright Act to the statutory mechanical blanket license established under the Music Modernization Act. Initial comments are now due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on December 1, 2022. Reply comments are now due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on January 5, 2023.

NetEase Cloud Music Revenues Reach $331M in Q3, Up 22.5% YoY

NetEase Cloud Music, China’s second biggest music streaming provider, posted a 22.5% year-over-year jump in revenue in the third quarter, which the company attributed to the continued growth in its paying user base. Revenue in the three months ended September 30 reached approx. USD $331 million. The figures were disclosed by Cloud Music’s majority shareholder NetEase last week (November 17) as it reported its overall (unaudited) Q3 results. Cloud Music accounted for 9.7% of its parent company’s overall revenue during the quarter. NetEase’s Chief Financial Officer Charles Yang told analysts during an earnings call that Cloud Music’s revenue grew as the unit continued to expand its paying user base and optimize its pricing strategy.

SoundCloud Offers 50% Off Its “Next Pro” Plan, Which Includes Unlimited Uploads and Releases

SoundCloud is currently offering 50% off its ‘Next Pro’ plan. Next Pro, which usually starts at $12.50/month, was previously known as ‘Pro Unlimited’ and was renamed last month when SoundCloud rebranded its artist services platform as ‘SoundCloud for Artists’. That artist services platform was formerly known as ‘Repost’ which SoundCloud acquired in May 2019 for around $15 million. In addition to Next Pro, SoundCloud’s subscription plans include: Next (free), formerly known as SoundCloud Basic. And, Next Plus (Starting at $2.50/month)‍, which was previously called Repost.

Brands Survey Hints at Recession Silver Lining for Ad-Supported Music

The Guardian reported on a survey of 59 of the biggest advertisers in the UK about their plans for 2023, and found that 67% are planning to make their deepest budget cuts to TV ads next year, while nearly 40% are planning to cut offline media spend overall. Silver lining? “A third of companies surveyed said they intended to increase spend on formats such as paid search and social channels, as well as digital formats such as podcasts and music streaming, and digital screens,” noted the Guardian. One survey in one country, but it may be reflective of a wider trend, which is why Spotify, YouTube, Amazon and other services offering ad-supported music will be pushing hard with their pitches in the coming months. The concern for the music industry, however, will be whether any (theoretical) boost for ad-supported music revenues can outweigh any (also theoretical, for now) hit to paid subscriptions.

Anghami Cuts 22% of Staff Despite Strong Revenue Growth

Anghami cut 22% of its staff despite solid revenue growth — a “sustained focus on profitability” that required “tough measures,” including the 22% headcount reduction and a 19% decrease in cloud computing costs despite a 15% increase in music traffic. North African and Middle Eastern music streaming service Anghami has published its Q3 financial results, showing 29% revenue growth year-on-year. The company also highlighted that its paid subscription revenues increased by 27% since the previous quarter. Despite these numbers, Anghami reduced 22% of its staff last quarter. “Given the impact of challenging macroeconomic conditions, we had to take some cost disciplinary measures to improve our bottom-line performance,” says CEO Eddy Maroun.

Random Ramblings

  • Defining resilience in music ecosystems.
  • A UK Music report reveals updated stats on industry diversity.
  • Wizkid dominates the top four spots of Billboard's Hot Trending Songs chart with his new album "More Love, Less Ego".
  • How technology has changed the way we appreciate music.
  • True Colors Festival 2022: A global concert celebrating inclusion, diversity and difference in the performing arts.

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