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A YouTube Guide for the Music Business

YouTube is enormous! The network spans all corners of the earth, is generating healthy revenues, has more people listening to music on it than all other music services combined...and it’s growing exponentially!

Given the scale and multitude of relationships that exist between rightsholders, data distributors, collection organizations, and creators it is obviously very complex. This unique mixture creates incredible opportunities and challenges for all.

To take advantage of the full power of YouTube, one needs a strong foundational understanding of how the music business and YouTube work in addition to the small, yet important, details.

That is why we wrote this guide - to empower one with the building blocks to stay informed.

In this newsletter:

The European Music Managers Alliance (EMMA) and YouTube Music are expanding their collaboration to benefit over 2,000 music managers in Europe.

Latin music has become a major success story in the recording industry, with notable artists like Bad Bunny and Karol G contributing to its momentum.

BMG has acquired the recorded catalog of French artist Alain Chamfort, marking its second catalog acquisition in France in 2023. The deal includes 13 albums, featuring notable works like "Poses" and "Tendres Fièvres," as well as hit songs such as "Manureva" and "La Fièvre Dans Le Sang."

Now, the details...

Exploration Weekly - December 22, 2023
Compiled by Ana Berberana

The European Music Managers Alliance Deepens Partnership With YouTube Music

The European Music Managers Alliance (EMMA) and YouTube Music are expanding their existing collaboration, a move set to benefit over 2,000 music managers across Europe. Building upon EMMA’s partnership with YouTube Music on its pan-European mentoring program, launched in 2019, the enhanced partnership will support EMMA’s efforts in providing professional development services, expert-led training and network-building opportunities for managers throughout the continent. Additionally, the collaboration will facilitate the development of research projects aimed at equipping policymakers with deeper insights into supporting Europe’s diverse music industry, EMMA said. “In a globalized music economy, the role of the manager is increasingly important, and yet frequently quite siloed. This is why national organizations and pan-European networks are so vital – enabling these entrepreneurial individuals to come together to develop new skills, share learnings and professionalize their work,” said Jess Partridge, Executive Director, EMMA. “Our partnership with YouTube Music is absolutely vital to this work. I am delighted they continue to recognize the importance of a healthy and vibrant management community, supporting EMMA in nurturing a more diverse and sustainable ecosystem for all creative talent.” This collaboration comes amid YouTube‘s broader commitment to supporting music managers, including its long-standing partnership with the UK’s Music Managers Forum (MMF). In 2018, YouTube Music and MMF launched the Accelerator Programme for Music Managers (APMM), tipped as “the first ever independent funding and professional development initiative designed solely for artist, songwriter and producer managers.”

The Number of Latin Music Listeners on Spotify Worldwide Soared 986% From 2014 to 2023

From Bad Bunny to Peso Pluma, from Iñigo Quintero to Karol G, Latin music has been one of the recording industry’s biggest breakout success stories of the past few years. A large part of its momentum is coming from the US recorded music market, the world’s largest, where Latin music has seen several incredible years. In 2022, it surpassed a billion dollars in US recorded music revenue for the first time, raking in $1.09 billion, a 23.8% YoY increase, and taking a nearly 8% share of the music streaming market, according to data from the RIAA. The momentum carried on into 2023, with Latin music revenues jumping 15% YoY in the US in H1 2023, to $627 million. Latin’s share of overall US recorded music revenues hit a record high of 7.5% in this period, the RIAA reported. What’s more, Latin music fans appear to offer more of an opportunity for monetization than fans focused on other types of music. In a report released earlier this year, US market monitor Luminate found that superfans of Latin music spend on average 30% more on music consumption than other superfans, and 120% more than an average non-superfan. Compared to other superfans, Latin music die-hards were 21% more likely to have purchased t-shirts, stickers or other merch from musicians in the prior year. The incredible success of this segment of the music world is attracting attention from all over the world, not least from South Korea, where K-pop giant HYBE has jumped into the ring. Last month, HYBE acquired Latin label Exile Music, giving it the foundation it needs to launch Mexico-headquartered HYBE Latin America. All of which is not to suggest that Latin music has appeared on the scene out of nowhere; indeed, it’s been a part of the global music environment for decades (think Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine, or Enrique Iglesias), but its proliferation and rising popularity in recent years is unprecedented.

BMG Acquires Alain Chamfort’s Recorded Music Catalog

This marks the company’s second catalog acquisition in France this year, following the acquisition of Martin Solveig’s recorded catalog in October 2023. In addition to this deal, Chamfort has chosen BMG for his future recordings as well. The acquisition includes the majority of Chamfort’s recorded catalog, comprising 13 albums and including the studio albums Poses, Amour Année Zéro, Tendres Fièvres and Secrets Glacés. It also includes some of the singer’s biggest hits, including “Manureva,” “La Fièvre Dans Le Sang,” and “Géant.” “My music has found a new home with BMG, and I’m excited for the next chapter in the common hope that my songs will continue to resonate and connect with audiences,” Alain Chamfort said about the deal. “Acquiring Alain Chamfort’s catalog is a significant milestone for BMG, reflecting our commitment to preserving and promoting musical legacies in France and beyond,” added Sylvain Gazaignes, BMG Managing Director France. In January 2024, Alain Chamfort and Sébastien Tellier will release a 4-track EP via BMG entitled Alain Chamfort produit par Sébastien Tellier. That EP will be followed by a new studio album, L’Impermanence, to be released in March 2024. L’Impermanence will be the cap on Alain’s career, spanning fifty years. BMG also has plans to reissue the great albums of Chamfort’s career.

Music Services Protest at French Government’s ‘Streaming Tax’

The French government’s plans to provide funding for the country’s Centre National de la Musique (CNM) through a levy on music-streaming services is becoming quite the controversy. The DSPs are rumbling about the plans to such an extent that even fierce foes Apple and Spotify came together (together with Deezer, Meta, YouTube and TikTok) to protest about the plans, which were approved by France’s Senate in November. Spotify’s boss in France, Antoine Monin, has been at the forefront of the criticism, telling France Info that the tax is “vraiment un coup dur porté au secteur de la musique, à l’innovation et aux plateformes indépendantes européennes comme Spotify ou Deezer” (“truly a blow to the music sector, to innovation and to independent European platforms like Spotify or Deezer). Monin also described the plans as “une monumentale erreur stratégique” (no translation necessary) and issued a not-even-veiled warning about its impact. “Honnêtement, Spotify aura les moyens d’absorber cette taxe, mais Spotify désinvestira la France et investira sur d’autres marchés. La France n’encourage pas l’innovation et l’investissement,” said Monin (“Honestly, Spotify will be able to absorb this tax, but Spotify will [also] dis-invest in France and invest in other markets. France does not encourage innovation and investment.”) Does that ring a bell? Spotify recently threatened to pull out of Uruguay due to the planned introduction of new ‘equitable remuneration’ measures where it was not clear if labels or streaming services would foot the bill. It abandoned the pullout after the Uruguayan government clarified the measures in its favor. France is too big a market for such a threat: hence the warning to invest elsewhere instead. Spotify and its fellow DSPs had announced their own voluntary agreement with music bodies last week to fund the CNM to the tune of €14m in 2025 and more in subsequent years, as an alternative to the government’s plan.

Hipgnosis Chair Reveals 'Failures in Financial Reporting and Controls' Including $4m Contract Error

The year may almost be over but there’s another twist in the Hipgnosis story in 2023. Following the report that the songs fund’s six-month financial results would be delayed amid uncertainty over the valuation, those figures have now been published. According to the portfolio independent valuer, Citrin Cooperman, the fair value of the portfolio decreased by 6.4% to $2.62 billion at September 30, 2023, compared to the valuation of $2.8bn six months earlier. The portfolio valuer applied an 8.5% discount rate. But the board recommended that investors use the latest results including operative NAV with a “higher degree of caution and less certainty than might otherwise be attached to it as an accurate reflection of the fair value of the company's assets”. Dividends have been suspended for at least the remainder of the financial year. In the interim six-month results up to September 30, operative NAV per share decreased by 9.2% to $1.7392, as a result of the reduction in the fair value of the portfolio. Gross revenue from continuing operations for the period was $63.2 million, compared to $86.4m a year earlier. Net revenue from continuing operations fell to $54.0m (from $76.8m a year ago) primarily driven by lower anticipated future retroactive payments amounting to $11.9m from CRB III royalties ruling. The 9.2% decline in operative NAV was in spite of the positive music market and like-for-like income growth of the company's assets, according to the statement. The fair value of Hipgnosis Songs Fund decreased overall even though there was a positive impact of $24.3m including the result of changes in subscription pricing of streaming services.

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