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What is a Tour Manager?

Managers are some of the most important individuals within an artist's team. When an artist begins touring, they will often hire someone to help with putting the tour together. A tour manager is this individual. Tour managers provide help to the artist’s tour in many different ways.

Our guide is for anyone who wants to learn more about touring managers as well as what to look for in a tour manager, how much do tour managers cost, where do you find tour managers, and famous tour managers within the music industry.

If you would like to learn more about our copyright administration services to find you unclaimed royalties, please visit our website.

In this newsletter:

In 2023, PPL paid a record-breaking £279.6 million to 165,000 performers and recording rights-holders, marking a 14.3% increase from the previous year.

New Mountain Capital has completed the acquisition of BMI, with the undisclosed deal set to result in a $100 million payout to affiliates, including songwriters and publishers.

Mdundo.com, the Africa-focused music streaming platform, achieved a significant milestone by reaching 30.8 million monthly active users (MAUs) by the end of 2023, indicating a 16% increase from June 30, 2023.

Now, the details...

Exploration Weekly - February 9, 2024
Compiled by Ana Berberana

PPL Payments to Performers and Rights-Holders Reached Record Total in 2023

PPL paid out £279.6 million to 165,000 performers and recording rights-holders in 2023. It marks an increase of £34.9 million (14.3%) on the previous year, and is the highest annual total ever paid out in PPL’s 90-year history. PPL licenses the use of recorded music in the UK and collects neighboring rights royalties on behalf of performers and recording rights-holders internationally. The headline number also includes a payment of £7.7 million by VPL – PPL’s sister company, which licenses music videos when they are played in public or broadcast on TV – an increase of £1.6 million year-on-year. PPL cited the continued recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic – as more businesses re-opened in the UK and globally – as a key factor in achieving the unparalleled payments total. The company’s growing network of international agreements with other collective management organizations (CMOs), which helps royalty money to flow quickly around the world, was also a strong contributor. Peter Leathem OBE, CEO of PPL, said: “2023 was a record year for PPL and all our members, with a total of £279.6 million paid out. We understand these payments are critical for many and we pride ourselves on our ability to deliver them consistently and on time. As neighboring rights continue to develop around the world, we see a huge opportunity ahead to grow our market share and maximize revenues for performers and recording rights-holders.”

BMI Sale to New Mountain Capital Is Now Complete

New Mountain Capital has closed its acquisition of BMI and while the price has not been disclosed, the deal will eventually lead to a $100 million payout from the proceeds to affiliates — songwriters and publishers — of the performance rights organization. “Our partnership with New Mountain charts an incredibly exciting new course for BMI and our songwriters, composers and publishers,” BMI president and CEO Mike O’Neill said in a statement. “New Mountain shares our vision to build value for our affiliates and invest in their future success. With their support, advanced level of innovation and resources, we are now in the best possible position to accelerate our growth plan and explore new opportunities to benefit our creative community.” O’Neill will remain at the helm under the new ownership. The $100 million allocation is expected to be made this spring, the company said. While not a distribution of royalties, the allocation will be in keeping with BMI’s distribution methodologies, which are based on performance levels over a set period of time. New Mountain Capital is a New York-based investment firm with $45 billion in assets under management. “We are thrilled to officially begin our partnership with BMI,” New Mountain managing director Pete Masucci said. “We believe in BMI’s mission and the music creators they represent, and we are looking forward to helping BMI build on their momentum to deliver maximum value to their affiliates.”

Africa-Focused Music Streaming Service Mdundo Hit 30.8M Monthly Active Users

Africa-focused music streaming platform Mdundo.com has hit a significant milestone, reaching 30.8 million monthly active users (MAUs) by the end of 2023. This marks a 16% increase from June 30, 2023, when the company’s MAU stood at 26.6 million, and puts the company well on track to achieve its goal of 50 million MAUs by 2025, the company said on Wednesday (February 7). “The milestone is in-line with our 2025 goal of reaching 50 million monthly active users and driving value per user through premium telco products,” Mdundo, listed on the Danish stock exchange, said in its fiscal half-year report. While overall revenue for the first half of fiscal year 2023/24 (1H 2023/24) declined 12% YoY to DKK 5.7 million (USD $823,000 at current exchange rates), a key driver of growth lies in the company’s subscription service. Subscription revenue surged 48% YoY to DKK 3.1 million ($448,000) compared to DKK 2.1 million in the same period last year, now accounting for a dominant 55% of total income. This shift, from zero paid service revenue in 2019/2020, highlights a strategy of partnering with telecommunication providers and offering premium features. Despite the positive developments in subscriptions, advertising revenue saw a 41% YoY dip to DKK 2.5 million in 1H 2023/24. Mdundo attributed this decline to a delayed and underperforming reseller agreement. However, the company remains confident in its advertising product’s potential and expects solid growth in this area moving forward.

Music Reports Acquires Licensing & Data Platform Blokur

Independent music rights admin platform Music Reports has announced the acquisition of music licensing and data platform Blokur. The deal will leverage the strengths of both entities to provide a more robust set of services to a wider array of clients. Music Reports provides a comprehensive suite of services for all musical composition rights types, including mechanical, public performance, and sync rights in over 200 territories worldwide. With a particularly strong foothold in music publishing rights administration, Music Reports has distinguished itself from its peers by its Songdex music rights registry and solutions to rights challenges across streaming and beyond. Blokur has brought a suite of services and music metadata matching technology to market, highly complementary to Music Reports’ offerings, with a team of accomplished rights experts and technologists. “To meet the needs of Music Reports’ rapidly growing list of top-tier customers, we are continually improving and scaling our global solutions for music rights,” says Jeremy Verba, Music Rights CEO. “Blokur will help Music Reports accelerate our matching, registrations, and reporting to enhance our industry-leading platform and surpass our customers’ expectations. By integrating Blokur’s technology, Music Reports will also introduce powerful new tools for the rightsholder community,” adds Michael Shanley, VP and GM of Audio Services at Music Reports.

Spotify Hits 236M Paying Subs, Loss Narrows Despite Charges for Layoffs

Audio streaming giant Spotify posted better-than-expected subscriber gains as part of its fourth-quarter and full-year 2023 earnings report on Tuesday. It also reported a narrowed fourth-quarter operating loss despite charges for layoffs related to its efforts to push toward sustainable profitability, with its bottom line helped by price increases, cost reductions and growth in its advertising business. And Spotify CEO Daniel Ek on a morning call told investors to expect more cost-cutting in 2024 as the music streaming platform continued to pursue a more disciplined approach to future growth and profitability. The company ended 2023 with 236 million paying premium subscribers, up from 226 million as of the end of September and compared with its forecast that it would reach 235 million in the latest period. “Fourth-quarter net additions of 10 million contributed to a record full year of net additions of 31 million,” the firm highlighted. Stockholm-headquartered Spotify also reported that it hit 602 million monthly active users (MAUs) as of the end of 2023, up from 574 million at the end of the third quarter. The company had previously estimated it would end the latest period with 601 million MAUs. “Net additions of 28 million represented the second-largest fourth-quarter net addition performance in our history,” the company said on Tuesday. Ek told analysts during a morning conference call that the music streaming giant would continue to cut costs, which may include additional job cuts in 2024, after a recent restructuring and a stepped-up focus on profitability. In Dec. 2023, Spotify cut 17 percent of the company’s global workforce as the streaming platform continues to focus on “monetization and efficiency,” Ek recalled on a morning call.

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