“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.”
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According to advocacy organizations Songwriters of North America and Nashville Songwriters Association International, songwriters and “gig economy” workers in the music industry will be eligible for grants and loans under the new $2 trillion stimulus bill passed by the Senate this week in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
As a result of the ongoing crisis, short form video sharing app TikTok saw an 18% week-on-week increase in downloads in the US last week (March 16-22). Gross US revenue in the same week was also up at $1.1 million, an increase of 34% from the previous week’s gross revenue of $822,000.
YouTube is also reducing bandwidth usage globally by delivering videos in standard definition (480p or less) by default in order to ease internet traffic and ward off potential congestion as more and more people spend time at home browsing the site. Options for viewing in higher definition will still be available. The edict is expected to last for at least a month.
In this newsletter:
- Songwriters, Self-Employed Music Workers Eligible for Relief in Federal Stimulus Bill
- Coronavirus Quarantine Appears to be Driving a Global TikTok Download Boom
- YouTube Reduces Default Streaming Quality Globally in Light of Congestion Concerns
- SoundCloud Go+ Rolled Out in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden
- Spotify South Korea Launch Could Be Imminent (Report)
- Lizzo Asks Judge to 100% Dismiss Producers’ “Truth Hurts” Ownership Claims
Now, the details...
Compiled by Heidi Seo
Exploration Weekly - March 27, 2020
Songwriters, Self-Employed Music Workers Eligible for Relief in Federal Stimulus Bill
Songwriters as well as other “gig economy” workers in the music industry will be eligible for grants and loans under the $2 trillion stimulus bill passed by the Senate in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the advocacy organizations Songwriters of North America and Nashville Songwriters Association International announced this week. The House is expected to confirm a counterpart bill. The $2 trillion stimulus package seeks to pour money into the economy in an effort to preserve millions of endangered jobs and businesses. It would direct payments of $1,200 to most American adults and $500 to children. It would steer $350 billion toward small businesses in an effort to prevent layoffs and push billions more toward hospitals and unemployment insurance, and it would create a $500 billion program for businesses, states and localities.
Coronavirus Quarantine Appears to be Driving a Global TikTok Download Boom
Short form video sharing app TikTok saw an 18% week-on-week increase in downloads in the United States last week (March 16-22), according to Music Business Worldwide. For that week, according to new estimates provided by Sensor Tower, TikTok was downloaded 2 million times in the US, compared to 1.7 million the prior week (March 9-15). Gross US revenue (user spending) for the week commencing March 16 was also up at $1.1 million, an increase of 34% from the previous week’s gross revenue of $822,000. Worldwide, the company’s global downloads counted 84.8 million, up 5% compared to February 1-23. Global gross revenue was also up by 10% to $46.4 million compared to $42 million for the same 23-day period in February.
YouTube Reduces Default Streaming Quality Globally in Light of Congestion Concerns
YouTube is taking steps to reduce bandwidth usage globally as more and more people spend time at home browsing the site. Started this past Tuesday, the platform delivered videos in standard definition (480p or less) by default in order to ease internet traffic and ward off potential congestion, Bloomberg reported. The edict will last for at least a month. The option to view videos in higher definition (720p and above) will still be available, but users will need to make the manual adjustments within the settings wheel on a per-video basis. The video site instituted a similar policy in the UK and across the European Union last week.
SoundCloud Go+ Rolled Out in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden
Premium subscription plan, SoundCloud Go+, has now been launched in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. Features of the plan include offline sync, no advertising, and high-quality audio streaming, plus access to SoundCloud’s full catalog. SoundCloud’s Premier distribution feature launched in open beta in February 2019. Now, SoundCloud Go+ and SoundCloud’s free, ad-supported tier are now available in 19 countries including the US, UK, Ireland, France, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. The platform is offering a free, 30-day trial of the new premium plan in the four new markets after which a monthly subscription fee applies.
Spotify South Korea Launch Could Be Imminent (Report)
Spotify is reportedly close to launching its service in South Korea, according to a report published in The Korea Herald on March 24. News broke out when the company set up an office in Seoul at a WeWork building in the Daechi-dong area. South Korea would become Spotify’s 80th active market, and a launch in the country would follow various rumors about the company’s potential roll out there. The Korea Herald’s sources added that locking down licensing deals with Korean ‘labels and copyright collectives’ remains a key challenge. According to Spotify, K-pop music has been streamed more than 134 billion minutes on the platform. The Korea Herald also reports that South Korea’s streaming market is estimated to be worth $800 million this year.
Lizzo Asks Judge to 100% Dismiss Producers’ “Truth Hurts” Ownership Claims
Lizzo has requested that a California federal judge dismiss “opportunistic and legally bankrupt” copyright counterclaims in a dispute over her hit “Truth Hurts”. The artist first filed a claim in October asking the court for a declaration that Justin Raisen, Jeremiah Raisen, and Justin “Yves” Rothman have no ownership rights in the song. The trio filed its own countersuit alleging Lizzo’s hit was the result of a 2017 songwriting session for an unreleased demo called “Healthy” that never fully panned out, but key elements of which were used in her chart-topping song. Now, Lizzo is asking the court to dismiss their request for a declaration that they jointly authored and jointly own the song and a series of related claims.
- YouTube’s latest hub "StayHome #WithMe" gathers livestream videos.
- The singers behind the best Disney songs.
- When predictable rap music is great.
- JoJo performs her songs in the Billboard Live At-Home concert.
- Billboard Hot 100’s top 100 songs of the week.
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