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In this newsletter:

Performing rights society Global Music Rights (GMR) recently settled two copyright infringement lawsuits with terrestrial radio companies. The company also settled another lawsuit with the Radio Music Licensing Committee (RMLC) last year.

According to a Sandvine report, data usage from video sites increased by 24% in 2022 YoY, accounting for 65% of all internet traffic. Google and Netflix were the biggest video sites on the list.

Music licensing company PPL paid out over $300 million to a record 165,000 performers and recording rights holders in 2022.

Now, the details...

Exploration Weekly - January 27, 2023
Compiled by Heidi Seo

Irving Azoff’s PRO, Global Music Rights, Settles Two Copyright Infringement Lawsuits in the U.S.

Global Music Rights (GMR), a performing rights society founded by industry veteran Irving Azoff, settled a copyright infringement lawsuit it filed against terrestrial radio companies Red Wolf Broadcasting Corp. and One Putt Broadcasting. GMR sued three US radio companies, including the two named above nearly four months ago, accusing them of failing to secure licenses covering its songs. Last year, GMR settled a long-running legal dispute with the Radio Music Licensing Committee (RMLC) after suing the latter in 2016 over what it described as the unfair payment of songwriters.

In 2022, 65% of All Internet Traffic Came From Video Sites

In 2022, Sandvine’s Global Internet Phenomena Report reinforced an ongoing trend: Data usage from video sites increased by 24% year-over-year, and video now accounts for 65% of all internet traffic. The breakdown of that internet usage reveals six Big Tech companies — Facebook, Amazon, Google, Apple, Netflix, and Microsoft — that claim almost half of all traffic. Among the leading sextet, Google and Netflix eat up the most bandwidth.

PPL Paid Over $300 Million to 165,000 Performers and Recording Rights Holders in 2022

UK-based music licensing company PPL announced that in 2022, the company paid out USD $303.6 million to 165,000 performers and recording rights holders — a more than 7% increase from 2021. Additionally, this is a 12.2% increase from 147,000 performers and rights holders in 2021, either as direct members of PPL or indirectly through other collective management organizations (CMOs). This feat marks the highest number of performers and recording rights holders ever paid by PPL in a calendar year and the second-highest total of monies paid out by PPL in a calendar year behind 2020.

Amazon Music Unlimited Prices to Increase for U.S. and U.K. Subscribers

According to Amazon’s customer service pages in the US and UK, subscribers to both Amazon Music Unlimited individual and student plans will begin paying more starting Feb. 21. In the U.S., Amazon Music Unlimited will increase from $9.99 to $10.99 for individual subscribers and climb from $4.99 to $5.99 for subscribers to the student plan. Likewise, U.K. prices will increase from 9.99 pounds to 10.99 pounds for individual subscribers and from 4.99 pounds to 5.99 pounds for student subscribers.

What Comes Next in the Music Streaming Model Makeover

The independent music community has been rallying for change to the streaming payment model for years. Now, major labels are joining the chorus. Why? The pro-rata model has long benefited bigger record labels, but their cut of the pie is now diminishing due to a number of factors: The growth of independent music, fragmentation of consumption, localization of music scenes, and the vast amount of music hitting streaming services. Looming over all of this is the potential streaming slowdown. With nearly everyone in agreement that the current streaming model no longer works, it is time to figure out what comes next.

Random Ramblings

  • Emerging market music cultures are shaping the global music industry.
  • Bossa Nova: The history behind Brazil’s quiet revolution.
  • The best subreddits for the DIY musician in 2023.
  • What this year’s Oscars showdown between Tár and Elvis tells us about the state of music movies.
  • What do we mean by ‘artist-centric’ music streaming models?

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