Welcome to the vibrant celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, a time when we come together to honor the rich tapestry of Hispanic and Latino culture that has woven its way into the very heart of America! From September 15th to October 15th, we pay tribute to the countless contributions, traditions, and stories that have shaped our nation.

In the spirit of this celebration, we'd like to extend a special shout-out to Maria Lozano, the dedicated and dynamic Head of the Latin Music Department. Maria's tireless efforts and commitment have played a pivotal role in promoting and preserving the cultural heritage and artistic expressions of the Latin music community. Her passion and leadership exemplify the spirit of National Hispanic Heritage Month, as she continues to champion the voices and talents that make Latin music an integral part of our cultural mosaic.

Join us in recognizing Maria Lozano and countless others who enrich our lives through their unwavering dedication to preserving and sharing the beauty of Hispanic and Latino heritage during this inspiring month of celebration.

In this newsletter:

The International Confederation of Music Publishers, the global trade organization representing the music publishing industry, has launched the ICMP Anti-Piracy Platform in partnership with piracy tracking startup MUSO, aiming to counter what they call “the pervasive issue of Illegal musical content online”.

The Spanish music industry grew almost 12% during 2023’s opening half, when streaming accounted for nearly 87% of revenue, according to newly released data.

D.I.Y. digital music distributor DistroKid has acquired the leading music website and commerce platform, Bandzoogle which powers over 60,000 musician websites and commission-free online stores.

Now, the details...

Exploration Weekly - September 15, 2023
Compiled by Ana Berberana

ICMP to Launch Anti-Piracy Platform for Music Publishers in Partnership With MUSO

The International Confederation of Music Publishers (ICMP), the global trade organization representing the music publishing industry, has launched the ICMP Anti-Piracy Platform (APP) in partnership with piracy tracking startup MUSO. The platform aims to counter what they call “the pervasive issue of Illegal musical content online”. The news comes a year after London-based MUSO received a £3.2 million ($3.9m) investment from UK-based Puma Private Equity. MUSO’s services are used by the likes of Amazon Studios, National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), NOS, Lionsgate, MNRK (formally eOne Music), Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe, and more. Via the new ‘ICMP APP’, the org aims to minimize the unlawful use of musical works online for ICMP member companies. The platform will use MUSO Protect, an AI-automated content protection service. The system identifies and issues ‘takedown’ notices against infringing content, with many of these notices in Europe now classified as ‘stay down’ notices in line with Article 17 of the EU Copyright Directive. Following the removal, the APP will provide users with a dashboard featuring reports on successful removals. Additionally, MUSO and ICMP will further team up on compiling piracy data, bolstering the trade body’s efforts with governments and authorities worldwide.

Spain’s Recorded Music Market Grew 11.53% During H1 2023

Productores de Música de España (Promusicae) reached out to DMN this morning with Spain’s H1 2023 recorded music industry stats. According to the appropriate resource, the European nation of about 48 million generated €214.3 million (currently $229.46 million) in recorded revenue during Q1 and Q2, up about 11.53% from H1 2022. Behind the H1 2023 sum, Promusicae pointed to €186.17 million/$199.34 million in streaming revenue (up 13.26% YoY), including €156.97 million/$168.07 million from audio streams (up 15.54% YoY) and the remaining €29.20 million/$31.27 million or so from video streaming (up 2.4% YoY). Predictably, given these figures and longstanding trends, downloads (€1.52 million/$1.63 million, down 8.05% YoY) and mobile offerings including ringtones (€899,000/$962,716, down 20.88% YoY) slipped during the six-month period, per the Madrid-based organization. Shifting to the physical side, Promusicae identified revenue of €25.73 million/$27.55 million (reflecting 2.4% YoY growth), which resulted largely from a 6.32% YoY sales spike for vinyl and its €14.46 million/$15.48 million H1 2023 contribution to the Spanish music industry. CD sales came out to €11.04 million/$11.82 million (down 1.32% YoY), the breakdown shows. Rounding out the physical category, the entity acknowledged €96,000 ($102,804) in music-video sales, besides €145,000 ($155,270) in revenue from other sources. In a statement, Promusicae president Antonio Guisasola touted the showing and took the opportunity to call for authorities “to decide once and for all to support the Spanish recording industry.”

DistroKid Has Acquired Bandzoogle

D.I.Y. digital music distributor DistroKid has acquired the leading music website and commerce platform, Bandzoogle. Founded in 2003, Bandzoogle powers over 60,000 musician websites and commission-free online stores. Founded in 2013, DistroKid distributes 45 million tracks for 2 million artists, which by some estimates is 30-40% of all new music releases globally. While non-DistroKid artists can still use Bandzoogle, with the acquisition, distributed artists can now power digital, physical, and on-demand merch and music sales from within the DistroKid ecosystem. No financial details of the deal between the two privately held companies were shared, but Hypebot has confirmed that, for now at least, Bandzoogle will continue to operate as a standalone company. Bandzoogle’s status is important because while both companies are known for empowering artists in ways that are accessible and affordable, their approaches differ. Though still a self-service platform, Bandzoogle is renowned for its live 7-day-a-week customer service and ongoing efforts to educate artists led by Chief Relationship Officer Dave Cool. DistroKid has customer service, but given its massive scale, it touts a “largely automated backend.” “After 20 years of helping artists build effective websites and sell over $100M in commission-free music, merch, and tickets, this is an exciting new chapter for Bandzoogle,” said Bandzoogle CEO Stacey Bedford. “DistroKid has always put artists first, just like we have, so we’re thrilled to join forces to continue to empower artists.”

IMPALA Welcomes Newest Member, Bulgaria’s Association of Independent Music Publishers and Producers

ANMIP, the Association of Independent Music Publishers and Producers in Bulgaria, has joined IMPALA, the association for independent music businesses across Europe. IMPALA welcomed ANMIP’s participation in its AGM and board meeting last week in Vienna at the WAVES conference as they brainstormed future priorities for both organizations. ANMIP was founded with twelve members and board director Ruth Koleva earlier this year. Its first order of business was to align with sister organizations across Europe by joining IMPALA, and Ruth is already working closely with ANMIP’s European counterparts across the continent. IMPALA board members Kees van Weijen (STOMP, NL) and Dario Draštata (RUNDA, ex-YU) are also members of the ANMIP advisory board. ANMIP will also join the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) through IMPALA. “The core of IMPALA’s work has always been to level the playing field for independents across Europe, which also includes taking an active role in strengthening and connecting our members across Central and Eastern Europe,” commented Kees van Weijen, CEO of STOMP and Executive Board Member of IMPALA. “We are thrilled to see the recorded growth in the region and are excited about the upcoming period, with ANMIP being a very welcome member in our pan-European community.” “Becoming a part of a European network of independent music companies is a tremendous opportunity for ANMIP Bulgaria. It enables our members to exchange knowledge and expertise with other companies, fostering an environment of collaboration and growth,” adds Ruth Koleva, Board Director of ANMIP. “Our foremost objectives for the near future encompass fortifying the independent music community in Bulgaria, expanding our association, and foraging connections across Europe to create a vibrant and interconnected music ecosystem that benefits both our members and the partners of our association.” “Our members are delighted to welcome ANMIP with Ruth participating in our executive board. Developing the Central and Eastern European market is one of IMPALA’s priorities,” concludes Helen Smith, IMPALA Executive Chair.

Stability AI launches music-generating AI tool

AI company Stability AI - best known for its image generation AI tools - yesterday announced the launch of Stable Audio, its first commercial product for music and sound generation. Stability has been working on AI relating to music for some time, having previously partnered with Peter Gabriel on an animation competition using his music, as well as developing the open source Harmonai.org project via Stability Labs. The commercially available Stable Audio has been trained with music and metadata from production music library AudioSparx and is being very much spun as a tool for music-makers, both hobbyists and professional musicians. Stability AI CEO Emad Mostaque says: "As the only independent, open and multimodal generative AI company, we are THRILLED to use our expertise to develop a product in support of music creators. Our hope is that Stable Audio will empower music enthusiasts and creative professionals to generate new content with the help of AI, and we look forward to the endless innovations it will inspire”. A free version of Stable Audio can be used to generate tracks of up to 20 seconds based on descriptive text prompts. Meanwhile, an $11.99 a month subscription allows users to generate 500 tracks of up to 90 seconds each month. Stability AI says that Stable Audio can generate a 90 second track in less than a second and is running on NVIDIA’s A100 GPU, one of the specialised processors used for running AI. This means that a fully utilised GPU could be turning out as many as 86400 generations in a 24 hour period. With A100s available in the cloud for around $1 an hour, this means the “compute cost” of 500 generations is $0.15 or less. However, it’s more likely that Stability owns its own A100s - which cost around $7000 to buy outright - meaning the true compute cost is probably lower. Of course, the compute cost is only part of the equation, and does not account for the upfront and ongoing costs of developing and training the model behind Stable Audio. Further hyping up its new product, the company adds: "Stable Audio is ideal for musicians seeking to create samples to use in their own music, but the opportunities for creators are limitless".

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