Music and entertainment data analytics company P-MRC Data has rebranded as Luminate. It will be pulling the same dataset encompassing music sales, consumption, and consumer engagement, and will continue to power Billboard’s music charts.

A federal appeals court recently ruled in favor of Katy Perry in the “Dark Horse” copyright infringement lawsuit against rapper Marcus Gray (aka Flame). The initial jury verdict in 2019 finding Perry liable was overturned once again last week after its first time in 2020 when a judge ruled that the eight-note “ostinato” Perry allegedly copied lacked the “quantum of originality” to warrant copyright protection.

According to trade body BPI, UK record industry revenues grew by 12.8% in 2021, driven mostly by streaming, the UK record industry’s biggest revenue generator. Premium streaming revenues were up 13% and income from ad-funded video platforms like YouTube were up 22.6%.

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Compiled by Heidi Seo

Exploration Weekly - March 18, 2022

P-MRC Data Rebrands as Luminate

Music and entertainment data and analytics company P-MRC Data is rebranding as Luminate, it was announced on March 16. As Luminate, the company will offer the same dataset encompassing music sales, consumption and consumer engagement, along with production metadata on the film and TV business, while continuing to create or incorporate additional fully validated data sources. Luminate powers Billboard‘s music charts and counts virtually every top-tier entertainment company as a client.

Katy Perry Wins Appeal in “Dark Horse” Copyright Suit

A federal appeals court ruled in Katy Perry’s favor in the “Dark Horse” copyright lawsuit against Christian rapper Marcus Gray. Gray, whose stage name is Flame, first sued Perry in 2014, claiming her hit “Dark Horse” was substantially similar to his song “Joyful Noise.” In 2019, a Los Angeles jury found Perry liable for infringement, but the verdict was overturned a year later when a judge ruled that the eight-note “ostinato” Perry allegedly copied lacked the “quantum of originality” to warrant copyright protection. Gray appealed the decision in October 2020, writing in a brief about the incriminating similarity of timbre between the songs, and arguing against the musicologists’ use of databases of melodies to determine instances of similarities in previous works. On March 10, 2022, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the District Court’s overturning the initial jury verdict.

UK Record Industry Revenues Grew 12.8% in 2021

UK record industry revenues grew by 12.8% in 2021 to £1.26 billion according to new figures from trade body BPI. The ongoing streaming boom was behind much of the growth, while vinyl, CD sales, sync, broadcast and public performance all recovered to one degree or another from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the streaming domain, the UK record industry’s cut of subscription sales remains by far the biggest revenue generator. Premium streaming revenues were up 13% to £734.5 million. Income from ad-funded video platforms like YouTube were up 22.6% to £53.7 million. In terms of physical products, the vinyl revival continues at quite a pace, with the revenues from vinyl sales in 2021 up 34% year-on-year to £115.9 million. Though CD revenues are still slightly ahead at £117.2 million.

France’s Recorded Music Industry Topped $1 Billion in 2021

Recorded music revenues in France, the world’s fifth largest music market, topped $1 billion (€861 million) in 2021, representing 14.3% year-on-year growth and marking the fifth consecutive annual increase for the market. That’s according to results published on March 15 by French trade body SNEP, which include total revenues for physical and digital sales, plus streaming, neighboring rights and sync. France’s double digit growth in 2021 eclipsed the 0.1% increase seen by the market in 2020 when the market generated €781 million ($891m). According to SNEP’s End of Year report, streaming made up 97% of total digital revenues in 2021, generating €492 million ($581.5m). SNEP also reports that the total volume of streams in France in 2021 reached 93.5 billion, up from 85 billion in 2020.

Video Streaming Subscriptions Grew to 1.3 Billion in 2021

According to the latest report from industry body the Motion Picture Association (MPA), there were 1.3 billion online video subscriptions at the end of 2021, up 14% year-on-year. For comparison, there were 443 million users of paid music streaming subscriptions in 2020, according to the IFPI. These two figures illustrate the way people are more likely to use two or more paid video streaming services – not least because they don’t all have the same catalog of TV shows and films – than they are paid music streaming services.

IFPI Opens Southeast Asia Regional Office in Singapore

IFPI, which represents the recording industry worldwide, has opened a new Southeast Asia regional office in Singapore. Simon Seow has been appointed to the newly created role of IFPI Regional Director, Southeast Asia. Seow will lead IFPI’s work in the region to promote recorded music, expand its commercial uses and campaign for the rights of record producers, says IFPI. The move is a result of a decision by IFPI and its member record companies to restructure IFPI’s Asian operations, in an effort to more closely reflect the current needs of the recording industry. According to the organization’s Global Music Report, recorded music industry revenues for the Asia region as a whole grew 9.5% in 2020, up to US $63.4 million, driven primarily by growth in music streaming.

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