“One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.”
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Department of Justice held a public workshop regarding the federal consent decrees that govern ASCAP and BMI. Stakeholders from all sides were given the opportunity to offer commentary as to whether the decrees should be altered, terminated, replaced, or simply left alone.
YouTube’s ad revenue fell to $3.8 billion in the second quarter of this year, down from Q1’s $4 billion, but up from 2019’s Q2, which brought in $3.6 billion. Alphabet and Google CFO Ruth Porat explained the year-over-year improvement was driven by “ongoing substantial growth in direct response ads”, offset by a “continued decline in brand advertising”.
Last week, The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) partnered with Vistex, Inc. to help them successfully enhance Vistex’s Music Maestro software package to enable Music Maestro users to participate in The MLC’s Data Quality Initiative (DQI), a streamlined way for music publishers, administrators, and ex-US CMOs to compare their data with The MLC’s data and correct any discrepancies.
Learn something new about the music industry from our brand new weekly “Music Industry - 5 Mins or Less” video series! These short bites are designed to help everyone understand the basics of the music industry and how it all fits together. Our second video topic is on the ISRC. If you are a music creator/owner/administrator - it is HOW YOU GET PAID! Please feel free to also visit our website regarding this topic for more information!
In this newsletter:
- DOJ Workshop on ASCAP & BMI Consent Decrees Lays Out Key Issues with Heavy-Hitter Speakers
- YouTube Revenue Falls to $3.8 Billion as Pandemic Hits Ad Business
- Record of the Day: The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) Announces Roll Out of Its Data Quality Initiative to Vistex, Inc. Customers
- Triller Sues TikTok for Patent Infringement
- Spotify Subscriber Count Grew by 8 Million in Q2 - But Advertising Revenues Fell 21% Year-on-Year
- Apple Services Business Grows Double Digits, Helps Boost Quarterly Revenue
- Yellowcard Ends Copyright Lawsuit Against Juice WRLD
Now, the details...
Compiled by Heidi Seo
Exploration Weekly - July 31, 2020
DOJ Workshop on ASCAP & BMI Consent Decrees Lays Out Key Issues with Heavy-Hitter Speakers
The Department of Justice held a public workshop on Tuesday and Wednesday regarding the federal consent decrees that govern ASCAP and BMI. Assistant attorney general for the antitrust division Makan Delrahim laid out the main focus for the two-day hearings and panel discussions: competition. The ASCAP and BMI consent decrees were initially put in place in 1941, and this public workshop was set up so that stakeholders from all sides could offer commentary as to whether the decrees should be altered, terminated, replaced, or simply left alone. Across three sessions, representatives from various stakeholder organizations discussed different types of licenses on offer from the various PROs, how they affect industries like television and radio beyond just the songwriters, composers, and publishers. They also explored whether the changes to the two decrees would affect competition at the expense of writers and publishers. Among those present were top executives from ASCAP and BMI, as well as the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), Songwriters of North America (SoNA) and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB).
YouTube Revenue Falls to $3.8 Billion as Pandemic Hits Ad Business
Advertising revenue for Google-owned YouTube fell to $3.8 billion in the second quarter of this year, down from Q1, when it brought in just over $4 billion in ad revenue. The company’s ad revenue was still up from Q2 of 2019, when it brought in $3.6 billion, highlighting the rapid growth for the free video platform despite global circumstances impacting advertising sales and consumer demand for goods and services. According to Alphabet and Google CFO Ruth Porat, YouTube’s year-over-year improvement was driven by “ongoing substantial growth in direct response” ads, offset by a “continued decline in brand advertising,” though brand ads began to pick up toward the end of the quarter. Alphabet revealed YouTube’s ad revenue for the first time in February 2020, disclosing that the video platform collected $15.1 billion in ad revenue in 2019, up from $11.1 billion in 2018. The company also disclosed in February that its subscription offerings, which include YouTube TV and YouTube Music, had a $3 billion annual run rate. Overall, Alphabet's revenue in Q2 was $38.3 billion, down from $41.1 billion last quarter and from $38.9 billion a year ago.
Record of the Day: The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) Announces Roll Out of Its Data Quality Initiative to Vistex, Inc. Customers
The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) announced last week that it has partnered with Vistex, Inc. to help them successfully enhance Vistex’s Music Maestro software package to enable Music Maestro users to participate in The MLC’s Data Quality Initiative (DQI). The DQI provides a streamlined way for music publishers, administrators, and ex-US collective management organizations (CMOS) to compare their musical works’ data with The MLC’s data and receive reports highlighting the discrepancies between the two sets of data so they can easily identify and correct those discrepancies.
Triller Sues TikTok for Patent Infringement
US-based video sharing app Triller has sued Chinese-owned rival TikTok for patent infringement. The suit names both ByteDance and TikTok and alleges that they have infringed U.S. Patent No. 9,691,429 titled, “Systems and methods for creating music videos synchronized with an audio track”. The complaint states that TikTok infringed on its “Green Screen Video” effect feature, which “allows users to shoot multiple video takes synchronized to an audio track”. The 19-page legal document was filed in Texas on July 29. Sources also suggest that Triller is raising between $200 million and $300 million to fuel its expansion, just as it starts locking in deals to transfer over major TikTok influencers to its platform.
Spotify Subscriber Count Grew by 8 Million in Q2 - But Advertising Revenues Fell 21% Year-on-Year
Spotify recently published its financial results for Q2 2020, revealing that the streaming platform counted 138 million Premium subscribers globally at the close of the quarter (ended June 30). That was up by 8 million subscribers on the 130 million SPOT counted at the end of the prior quarter (Q1 2020), and up by 30 million (+27%) year-on-year. Spotify’s Premium revenue hit €1.758bn in Q2, up €256 million on the equivalent figure from the same quarter in 2019. Furthermore, the company’s total global Monthly Active User (MAU) count at the end of Q2 reached 299 million, up 67 million year-on-year. On the other hand, SPOT’s ad-supported revenues in Q2 2020 (€131 million) fell 21% from the previous year. Those results meant that advertising revenues contributed just 6.9% of Spotify’s total revenues in Q2 2020, with Premium revenue making up 93.1%.
Apple Services Business Grows Double Digits, Helps Boost Quarterly Revenue
Apple announced Thursday that the division behind Apple Music, Apple TV+, and other software offerings grew its net sales to $13.2 billion during the three-month period from April to June. That is up nearly 15% compared with the same period in 2019. Services is still less than a third of the size of Apple’s products division, which brought in $46.5 billion during the fiscal third quarter. Apple additionally had revenue of $59.7 billion and earnings of $2.61 per share. The iPhone is still the largest revenue generator for Apple, bringing in $26.4 billion during the period. Services, which also encompasses the App Store and iCloud, is the second largest. The company has been focused on growing that business as it seeks to become less reliant on device sales.
Yellowcard Ends Copyright Lawsuit Against Juice WRLD
The federal copyright infringement case against late rapper Juice WRLD (aka Jarad Higgins) was dismissed by the band Yellowcard over his 2018 hit “Lucid Dreams”. It was first filed last October alleging that Juice WRLD lifted “melodic elements” of Yellowcard’s 2006 song “Holly Wood Died” for “Lucid Dreams” without permission. The band asked the court to voluntarily dismiss the entire $15 million lawsuit. Yellowcard's attorney Richard Busch said the band decided not to move forward with the case at this time, but still retains the right to refile at a later date.
- Songwriters deserve freedom.
- Click here for SoundExchange’s Digital Radio Report for the second quarter of 2020.
- How AI is shaping the future of the music industry.
- Drake outranks Madonna's US Billboard Chart record for most top singles.
- A timeline of the artists with the most top 10s on Billboard Hot 100.
- Taylor Swift's 8th album “folklore” breaks Spotify and Apple Music streaming records.
- Pentatonix reimagines The Cranberries' “Dreams” in a new video.
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