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According to reports in Rolling Stone and Music Business Worldwide, Apple Music has recently launched a $50 million advance royalty fund for indie labels to ensure that artists are getting paid during the coronavirus pandemic. Those labels that earn at least $10,000 in quarterly Apple Music earnings will qualify for the royalty advances, and they must have a direct Apple Music distribution deal.
Spotify’s self-serve ad platform, Ad Studio, launched in 2017, is now available in Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US. Counting 22 total markets globally, the service allows advertisers to submit a script and turn it into an audio ad within 48 hours. Other features like geo-targeting tools and various calls to action will also be included. The number of ads created on the platform has almost doubled during the period between the end of 2018 and the end of 2019.
A new report published by Counterpoint Research suggests that the number of music streaming subscriptions globally will exceed 450 million by the end of 2020, which would be more than a 25% year-on-year increase. By the end of 2019, global music streaming subscriptions grew 32% year-on-year to reach 358 million subscribers.
In this newsletter:
- Apple Music Launches $50 Million Advance Royalty Fund for Independent Labels
- Spotify’s Self-Service Ad Studio Tool Expands Globally
- Music Streaming Subscriptions Forecast to Top 450 Million by the End of 2020 (Report)
- Coronavirus Listener Data: Music Streams & Digital Downloads See Gains as “Escape” Markets Emerge
- Post Malone Countersues Musician in Dispute Over Credit for Hit, “Circles”
- Judge Tosses Copyright Suit Involving Josh Groban Song “You Raise Me Up”
Now, the details...
Compiled by Heidi Seo
Exploration Weekly - April 10, 2020
Apple Music Launches $50 Million Advance Royalty Fund for Independent Labels
Apple Music has launched a $50 million advance royalty fund to help indie labels ensure that their artists are paid amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to reports in Rolling Stone and Music Business Worldwide. A letter sent to the labels and cited by Rolling Stone states that independent labels that earn at least $10,000 in quarterly Apple Music earnings will qualify for the royalty advances. To qualify, the indie labels are required to have a direct Apple Music distribution deal. “These are difficult times for the music industry globally,” the letter states. “Apple has a deep, decades-long history with music, and we are proud to be in close partnership with the best labels and artists in the world. We want to help.”
Spotify’s Self-Service Ad Studio Tool Expands Globally
Ad Studio, Spotify’s self-serve ad platform, was launched in 2017, and now is available in Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US. Its global reach now counts 22 markets, including New Zealand and a number of countries in Europe, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific. The service allows advertisers to submit a script and it will be turned into an audio ad within 48 hours. The company has added better geo-targeting tools for advertisers, and 13 different calls to action, like “share,” get coupon,” and “shop now”. Monthly advertisers using the tool between the end of 2018 and the end of 2019 has grown by 68%, and the number of ads created on the platform almost doubled in that time.
Music Streaming Subscriptions Forecast to Top 450 Million by the End of 2020 (Report)
According to a new report published by Counterpoint Research, the number of music streaming subscriptions globally will be predicted to exceed 450 million by the end of 2020, which would be more than a 25% year-on-year increase. By the end of 2019, specifically, global music streaming subscriptions grew 32% YoY to reach 358 million subscribers. The research also suggests that Spotify topped 2019 with a 31% share of the music streaming sector’s total revenue and a 35% share of total paid subscriptions. Apple Music was second with a 24% share of total revenues in the industry and a 19% share of the total paid subscriptions. Amazon Music also ended 2019 with a 15% share of subscriptions in 2019 compared to 10% in 2018, with YouTube Music ending the year with a 6% market share.
Coronavirus Listener Data: Music Streams & Digital Downloads See Gains as “Escape” Markets Emerge
Streams grew 2% to 24.8 billion for the week ended April 2 after two weeks of declines in streaming. For the year to date, overall streams were up 18.9% to 316.9 billion, versus 266.6 billion in the corresponding period of 2019. Video streams accelerated, now up 27.1% for the year to 114 billion streams. So far this year, video streams have outperformed audio, in percentage growth for eight of the 13 weeks in the MRC Data/Nielsen year, with last week showing 3.2% growth to 10.09 billion streams. In terms of overall audio streams for the year, the number was up 14.7% to 202.85 billion, versus 176.8 billion for the year earlier period.
Post Malone Countersues Musician in Dispute Over Credit for Hit, “Circles”
Musician Tyler Armes is suing Post Malone, producer Adam Feeney (aka Frank Dukes), and Universal Music Group to be credited as a co-writer and co-producer on his No. 1 single, “Circles,” from his album, Hollywood’s Bleeding. The complaint was filed on Tuesday in a California Federal Court (April 7). According to Armes, he was invited to participate in a jam session with Malone and Feeney in August 2018. The song was allegedly written during this session, and Armes stated he is being refused credit or a share of profits. Post Malone subsequently filed a counterclaim in a court in New York on Tuesday stating that “Armes did not author any music or lyrics used in the Circles composition at the August 8, 2018 session, and because Armes was not even present for any of the subsequent sessions for the Circles Composition, it is incontrovertible that Armes made no such contribution to the Circles Composition.” Malone has asked for a trial by jury. Armes was initially offered a 5% share of the song’s publishing royalties, according to the claim. However, he was refused by the defendants after he requested to be credited as a co-writer and co-producer of the song.
Judge Tosses Copyright Suit Involving Josh Groban Song “You Raise Me Up”
A federal judge recently threw out a suit claiming that the 2003 Josh Groban song “You Raise Me Up” was based on an Icelandic song from 1977 called “Soknudur”. Icelandic singer-songwriter and plaintiff, Johann Helgason, hired Judith Finell, the expert musicologist who helped the family of Marvin Gaye win the “Blurred Lines” copyright case against Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke. However, the ruling by US District Judge Andre Birotte stated that Finell’s findings in the “Soknudur” case were unreliable. “The Finell Reports fail to describe reliable principles and methodology, fail to apply such principles and methodology to the facts, and fail to properly apply the extrinsic test, rendering the Reports unreliable, unhelpful, and inadmissible,” Birotte ruled. Finell declined to comment.
- Artists and institutions forge a global movement to support frontline healthcare workers and the WHO. The global digital broadcast will be curated in collaboration with Lady Gaga. Watch her speak at the WHO coronavirus briefing here.
- How rappers and recording studios are coping with the pandemic.
- Bill Withers supercharged Hip-Hop’s crossover appeal.
- How slowed + reverb remixes became the melancholy heart of YouTube music.
- Twenty One Pilots drops a new video of their quarantine-inspired track, “Level of Concern”.
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