Epic Games has acquired Bandcamp, although terms of the deal were not disclosed. According to the video-game developer, the two “share a mission of building the most artist-friendly platform that enables creators to keep the majority of their hard-earned money.” Bandcamp will continue to be led by CEO and co-founder Ethan Diamond.
In the US, ASCAP has hit a new record for annual collections in 2021, reaching $1.34 billion. The PRO paid out $1.25 billion to more than 850,000 songwriter, composer and publisher members from last year’s collections.
Effective as of March 4, YouTube data will be collected from logged-in users and contribute to all streaming charts released by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). This extension, says ARIA CEO Annabelle Herd, is “helping us to depict an even broader picture of Australia’s music consumption week to week.”
In this newsletter:
- Epic Games Acquires Bandcamp as “Fortnite” Maker Expands Into Music
- ASCAP Collected Record $1.34 Billion in 2021 Despite COVID-19 Pandemic
- ARIA Charts to Incorporate YouTube Streaming Data
- TikTok’s Upping Its Video Length to 10 Minutes. What Could That Mean For Creators?
- Germany’s Record Business Generated $2 Billion for Second Straight Year in 2021
- Dua Lipa Faces Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Over “Levitating”
Now, the details...
Compiled by Heidi Seo
Exploration Weekly - March 4, 2022
Epic Games Acquires Bandcamp as “Fortnite” Maker Expands Into Music
Video-game developer Epic Games has acquired Bandcamp, the online music store and community geared around independent musicians. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. “Fair and open platforms are critical to the future of the creator economy,” Epic Games said in announcing the pact. “Epic and Bandcamp share a mission of building the most artist-friendly platform that enables creators to keep the majority of their hard-earned money.” According to Bandcamp, under its revenue model, artists receive a net average of 82% of every sale. Under Epic Games’ ownership, Bandcamp will operate as a standalone marketplace and music community, and it will continue to be led by CEO and co-founder Ethan Diamond. The platform claims it has paid nearly $1 billion to artists and labels to date.
ASCAP Collected Record $1.34 Billion in 2021 Despite COVID-19 Pandemic
ASCAP set a new record for annual collections in the US in 2021. The PRO’s revenues were $1.34 billion last year, including more than $1 billion in domestic collections for the first time in its history. ASCAP paid out $1.25 billion to more than 850,000 songwriter, composer and publisher members from last year’s collections. On the other hand, ASCAP said its revenue from foreign collecting societies fell by 9.7% in 2021 to $323.5 million “due largely to business closures and the lack of vaccinations”. However, the organization’s payouts for international distributions still rose by 5.9%: it cited “technological and distribution process efficiencies and timing” for that.
ARIA Charts to Incorporate YouTube Streaming Data
Streams of official music content on YouTube will now be factored into the ARIA Charts, with effect from March 4. YouTube data will be collected from logged-in users and contribute to all charts that involve streaming, according to the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), which publishes a suite of national music sales and consumption rankings. Previously, YouTube has provided data to assist in the preparation of our ARIA’s Streaming Audio Visual Tracks chart, notes the trade body’s CEO Annabelle Herd, but “this development brings their data into play across a much greater range of charts alongside our other streaming partners including Apple Music and Spotify.” The extension of that partnership, she continues, is “helping us to depict an even broader picture of Australia’s music consumption week to week.”
TikTok’s Upping Its Video Length to 10 Minutes. What Could That Mean For Creators?
TikTok is expanding its max video length from three minutes to ten. The ByteDance-owned app launched in 2016 with a maximum length of 15 seconds. It later expanded that limit to 60 seconds, and then, in July 2021, to three minutes. TikTok’s been testing ten-minute uploads with some users since August 2021. Today, it confirmed it plans to start rolling them out to all users. For those unfamiliar with the difference between monetization on TikTok and YouTube, here’s the gist: YouTube runs ads on creators’ content, so pays them 55% of revenue earned by the ad views their videos generate. TikTok, though, doesn’t run ads on videos. It runs ads between them. That means individual creators can’t be credited for generating specific numbers of ad views. Instead of paying creators based on ad views, TikTok divvies up its $200 million-a-year creator fund based on video view count.
Germany’s Record Business Generated $2 Billion for Second Straight Year in 2021
Germany’s record business revenues topped $2 billion (on a retail basis) for the second year in a row in 2021, according to new figures published by German Music Industry Association (BVMI) on March 3. BVMI reports that the German market’s revenues from physical music sales and streaming generated a total of 1.96 billion euros (approximately $2.2bn), an increase of 10% year-over-year compared to 2020. The largest share (76.4%) of the market’s recorded music revenues came from digital music, which generated revenues of €1.5 billion ($1.6bn) in 2021, up 17.7% versus the prior year. BVMI notes that digital will soon account for four-fifths of the recorded music market in Germany, which it adds “has long been a reality in the Scandinavian countries in particular”. Germany also generated 165 billion music streams in 2021, which was almost a fifth more than in 2020.
Dua Lipa Faces Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Over “Levitating”
Five members of an indie group claim that their work was used without permission to create Dua Lipa’s “Levitating”, submitting the complaint to a California federal court this week, naming Dua Lipa, Warner Records, Clarence Coffee Jr., Stephen Kozmeniuk, Sarah Hudson, and Bosco Kante as defendants. The plaintiffs are members of a 12-year-old reggae band called Artikal Sound System. They maintain that the defendants “listened to and copied” one of their songs, “Live Your Life,” both “before and during the time when they were writing ‘Levitating.’” Artikal’s members say that they penned and released “Live Your Life” in 2017, and “given the degree of similarity, it is highly unlikely that ‘Levitating’ was created independently from ‘Live Your Life.’”
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