Do I Need To Report My Royalties on My Taxes?

With tax season upon us, you may be wondering if you should report the money you earned through royalties on your taxes. The short answer is -- Yes, any money you have earned through royalties over ten dollars should be reported on your taxes. As a songwriter, you may need to report royalties earned from your publisher or administrator and PRO. As a musician, producer, or artist, you may need to report royalties earned from your record label, record distributor, and sound exchange. As a songwriter and artist, you may need to report royalties earned from your PRO, publisher, and record label. It depends on how you are earning royalties and how you have decided to enter the industry -- whether that be as an artist with a major label, as a songwriter with a publisher and PRO, as an artist signed with an independent label with control over publishing, as well as many other combinations. Read our guide to find out more.

In this newsletter:

US-based Latin music revenues reached an unprecedented $1.1 billion in 2022 with a 6.9% market share, according to a new report from the RIAA.

A new study published by non-profit initiative Fix the Mix confirmed a dismal lack of women and non-binary representation across all genres.

Italy’s competition watchdog is launching an investigation into Facebook parent Meta’s handling of licensing negotiations with the Italian Society of Authors and Publishers.

Now, the details...

Exploration Weekly - April 14, 2023
Compiled by Ana Berberana

US-Based Latin Music Revenues Top an Unprecedented $1.1 Billion in 2022

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) reported that Latin music revenues in the US flourished at an exceptional rate in 2022, with a 24% increase that totaled an unprecedented $1.1 billion. The annual review also highlights a 6.9% market share — an all-time high for the genre. Streaming remains the primary vehicle driving Latin music revenues at $1.06 billion (97%). Paid subscriptions tallied 71% of streaming revenues at $758 million. In contrast, ad-supported on-demand streams like YouTube, Vevo, and the free version of Spotify marked a second year of double-digit growth at 24%. Meanwhile, revenues from digital and customized services like Pandora, SiriusXM, and Internet radio decreased by 5%. Permanent downloads also fell by 15%. Vinyl accounted for slightly less than 1% of Latin music, but the format still grew significantly at $9.1 million — mirroring the decade-plus resurgence which has amplified total US revenues. There is evident demand across the US for Latin music. The RIAA’s recent report reflects Latin artists and their labels’ sustained knack for connecting fans through the universal language of music.

Women & Non-Binary People Make Up ‘Pitifully Low’ Percentage of Producers and Engineers in Recording Studios

The authors of a new report that paints a dismal portrait of gender diversity in recording studios are calling on major labels to step up their efforts to hire more women producers and engineers. Published by Fix the Mix — an initiative launched in 2022 by nonprofit We Are Moving the Needle and official music credits database Jaxsta — the first annual report, created in conjunction with Middle Tennessee State University and Howard University and released Tuesday (April 11), found that women and non-binary people are drastically underrepresented in audio producing and engineering roles in recording studios. Analyzing 1,128 songs from 2022, the report (Lost In The Mix: An Analysis of Credited Technical Professionals in the Music Industry Highlighting Women and Non-Binary Producers and Engineers Across DSP Playlists, Genres, Awards, and Record Certifications) found that only 16 of the 240 credited producers and engineers (6.7%) on the top 10 most-streamed tracks of 2022 across five major digital service providers (Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube and TikTok) were women and non-binary people. The levels of representation varied across genres. Among the top 50 songs across 14 genres examined in the report, metal had the lowest percentage of women and non-binary people credited in key technical roles at 0.0%, with rap and Christian & gospel coming in at 0.7% and 0.8%, respectively. On the other end of the spectrum, electronic stands out for its relatively high representation of women and non-binary people in producer roles, accounting for 17.6% of all producer credits on the top 50 songs of 2022, while folk & Americana was close behind at 16.4%. “While this research notes the genres that have the best and worst gender representations, it is important to note that every genre needs improvement in representation of women and non-binary people,” said report co-author Beverly Keel, dean of Middle Tennessee State University’s College of Media and Entertainment, co-founder of Change the Conversation and co-founder of Nashville Music Equality. “It is difficult to fathom that representation remains so pitifully low in 2023. In any other industry, these low percentages of the genres that have the best gender representation would be an embarrassment, so I hope these ‘high achievers’ are not resting on their laurels.”

META Faces Competition Probe In Italy After Pulling Music By Italian Songwriters From Its Platforms

The Italian Competition Authority or AGCM on Wednesday (April 5) said Meta “could have unduly interrupted the negotiations for licensing the use, on its platforms, of musical rights thus abusing SIAE’s economic dependence”. SIAE is the main collecting society for tens of thousands of songwriters in Italy. The regulator’s move comes just weeks after Meta failed to renew a deal with SIAE to license the use of the society’s repertoire on its platforms. SIAE said it rejected a “take it or leave it” economic offer by Meta that lacked “any transparent and shared evaluation of the actual value of the repertoire”. The society also said Meta threatened to remove the content if its offer was not accepted. SIAE claimed it told Meta that it was “[impossible] to accept the offer” as the social media giant “never shared the fundamental information necessary for a fair negotiation”. SIAE says it didn’t accept this offer, and Meta – which has apparently had no active license for SIAE repertoire since January 1, 2023 – “suddenly and unilaterally” started to remove its content. Italy’s antitrust regulator said Meta could have “unduly interrupted” the talks for renewing the expired contract with SIAE and could have also denied SIAE all the information needed to carry out negotiations that are in line with Italian laws. “Meta could have exploited its bargaining advantages by requesting SIAE to accept an unfair economic offer without providing to SIAE the relevant information to assess the economic fairness of the offer,” AGCM said. The regulator says that it aims to investigate if Meta prevented the use of all musical content of songwriters represented by SIAE, stressing that the company’s alleged “abuse of economic dependence… could have a significant impact on competition in the affected markets and cause great harm to consumers.”

Numerous European music organizations among new backers of Human Artistry Campaign

The Human Artistry Campaign – which launched at South By Southwest last month, putting the spotlight on issues around generative AI – has announced another stack of organizations that are now backing the initiative. The campaign follows the recent spike in interest in creative or generative AI technologies – i.e. AI tools that can generate original content by crunching a load of data linked to existing content – which was in turn caused by the hype around certain generative AI platforms, not least ChatGPT. With those technologies getting ever more sophisticated, long-standing questions around the licensing of data mining, the copyright status of AI-generated works and how transparent people and companies should be when such technologies are employed are becoming more urgent. The Human Artistry Campaign – led by a consortium of US music industry groups, though also involving organizations that go beyond music and the US – has been set up to lobby on all those issues on behalf of creators and copyright owners. It launched with seven core principles, which acknowledge the positive impact generative AI technologies will have, but also set out the concerns around copyright and transparency, and the potential negative impact the rapid evolution of those AI tools could have on creators and the creative industries. Newly signed up to back the campaign are organizations representing music-makers and/or music copyright owners in Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK.

Music streaming has ‘outsized impact’ on U.S. economy, says DiMA study

The Digital Media Association (DiMA) has released a study that looks at the economic impact of music streaming on the U.S. economy, including the creation of 92,000 jobs. The DMiA serves as a trade organization for the biggest music streamers: Amazon, Apple Music, Google/YouTube, Pandora, and Spotify. Conducted by Secretariat Economists, “An Economic Analysis on the Impact of Digital Music Streaming” does not look at the impact that streaming has on musicians and songwriters but rather its effect on the broader U.S. economy. “This study offers new insights on the success of digital streaming, for not only the music industry but the U.S. economy and workers across many different occupations,” said DiMA CEO Garrett Levin. “While streaming is frequently recognized for its contributions to recorded music revenues and its innovations in delivering music to fans, it is less frequently recognized as a catalyst for broader economic growth and over 92,000 U.S. jobs.”

Random Ramblings

  • Streaming services urged to clamp down on AI-generated music.
  • The future of podcasts is growing beyond the screen.
  • SZA breaks female No. 1 record on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart with ‘Kill Bill’.
  • How music industry professionals find fulfillment in education.
  • A brief history of dance producers going symphonic.

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