A new job ad spotted by Music Business Worldwide indicates that the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) is hiring a new Chief Copyright Royalty Judge to fill up the three-judge panel that conducts proceedings to determine songwriter streaming mechanical royalty rates between 2023 and 2027. Some qualifications include being an attorney in good standing with at least seven years’ legal experience and having at least five years in adjudication, arbitration, or court trials.

In an open letter published by YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki to creators, Wojcicki writes that the number of YouTube channels around the world making more than $10,000 a year is up 40% year over year. She also adds that YouTube Shorts has now hit the milestone of 5 trillion all-time views, and Music and Premium subscribers have hit 50 million.

In the first fiscal quarter of 2022, Apple services has reported $19.5 billion in revenue with Apple as a whole raking in $123.9 billion in sales, beating Wall Street analysts’ expectations of $118.3 billion in revenue, according to Yahoo Finance. The Apple services category is the second top revenue driver and includes Apple TV+, Apple Music, the App Store, and iCloud.

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Compiled by Heidi Seo

Exploration Weekly - January 28, 2022

Three Judges Decide What Spotify, Apple, and YouTube Music Pay Songwriters in the US. One of Those Roles is Now Up for Grabs.

The CRB is currently in the midst of proceedings to determine songwriter streaming royalty rates for the five years between 2023 and 2027. According to a new job ad spotted by MBW, the CRB is currently hiring for a Chief Copyright Royalty Judge behind the scenes to fill up the three judges that conduct those proceedings. In the US, the mechanical royalty rate that music streaming services including Spotify and Apple Music pay songwriters, is set by the Copyright Royalty Board. Based in Washington DC, this person will need to be an attorney in good standing with at least seven years’ legal experience and must have at least five years in adjudication, arbitration, or court trials. This person will succeed Chief Judge Jesse Feder who stepped down from the position – which he had held since 2019 – in November last year.

Number of YouTube Channels Making More Than $10,000 a Year Up 40% YoY

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has published an open letter to the platform’s creators outlining its “priorities for 2022”. She writes that the number of YouTube channels around the world making more than $10,000 a year is up 40% year over year, but doesn’t specify how many channels are earning that sum annually. Wojcicki also cites a series of reports from Oxford Economics that show the impact of the creator economy on nations’ economies. “In 2020, as people around the world adapted to changing circumstances around the pandemic, YouTube’s creative ecosystem supported more than 800,000 jobs in 2020 in the United States, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and the EU combined,” writes Wojcicki. Discussing YouTube’s TikTok rival Shorts, Wojcicki notes that the short-form video tool has now hit the milestone of 5 trillion all-time views. Other 2021 milestones cited by Wojcicki include YouTube hitting 50 million Music and Premium subscribers, (including trialers) and the news in June that YouTube says it paid more than $4 billion to the music industry over the previous 12 months.

Apple Services Brings In $19.5 Billion Amid Total Earnings Blowout

Apple services reported $19.5 billion in revenue as the tech giant reported a total earnings win, raking in $123.9 billion in sales during the first fiscal quarter of 2022. Wall Street analysts had expected the tech giant to make $118.3 billion in revenue, according to Yahoo Finance, but Apple ended 2021 with an even higher performance, in part thanks to the holiday season. iPhone sales accounted for a large portion of Apple’s sales, bringing in a record $71.6 billion in revenue. The Apple services category, which was the second top revenue driver, includes Apple TV+, Apple Music, the App Store and iCloud. During the company’s earnings calls, Apple CFO Luca Maestri said Apple services had a total of 785 million paying subscribers, an increase from last quarter’s 745 million. Last quarter, Apple said it made $83.4 billion in revenue, with product sales making up $65 billion of that amount, again driven mostly by the iPhone. Apple services accounted for roughly $18.3 billion of the company’s total revenue.

UK’s CMA Officially Launches Its Music Streaming Market Study

UK competition regulator the CMA has officially launched its music streaming market study. “The nature of competition at different levels of the value chain, including the extent to which music companies and music streaming services may have market power,” is the first bullet point in its to-do list. “The extent to which the publishing arms of recorded music companies strengthen any market power of such music companies,” comes next, followed by “Possible barriers to entry and expansion which may be faced by smaller and newer music companies and music streaming services, particularly those seeking to introduce disruptive business models or services.” The CMA is also planning to examine “the range of music streaming business models, including ad-funded music streaming, premium subscriptions, and user-uploaded content platforms such as YouTube and how they compete with one another”. An update will be published within six months, while the final report will come out “no later than 26 January 2023”.

Spotify Unveils Guide to Help Artists Reach More Listeners

Spotify for Artists has unveiled a new educational website called Made to Be Found designed to help all artists on Spotify gain a greater understanding of how users discover new music on the service by detailing the platform’s three key discovery pathways: editorial curation, personalized algorithmic recommendations and fan-led streaming. Spotify notes that one-third of all new artist discoveries on the platform come from personalized algorithmic recommendations. Made to Be Found includes information on the factors that go into these recommendations, including time of day, tempo, genre and individual users’ listening habits over time. The streaming service is additionally deepening its personalized streaming insights for artists with the beta feature “Source of Streams,” an update to the “Engagement” tab on Spotify for Artists that allows artists to view a day-by-day breakdown of how users are discovering their music.

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