“If you wanna speak like the gods, your ear must be open as the sky.”

Curtis Tyrone Jones

Virtual experience platform Roblox recently signed a deal with Sony Music Entertainment this week, and is reportedly in talks with other record labels as well. The company has grown dramatically in recent years, reporting 43 million daily active visitors in May. The NMPA filed a lawsuit against Roblox last month for allegedly enabling piracy when users uploaded copyrighted music and shared them within Roblox experiences.

According to a recent announcement, the IFPI’s Sub-Saharan Africa office will be administering the International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) data system for the continent, except for South Africa, where it is already managed by another entity. The office will also be holding virtual seminars this month to teach musicians how to use it.

LyricFind has signed a licensing agreement with Abramus Digital, which is part of Brazilian collecting society Abramus, and represents more than 80,000 songwriters and publishers. Brazil is the fifth-largest territory in terms of business for the lyrics-focused company.

Tune into our third installment of the Exploration Update below, a weekly video by Exploration co-founder and CEO Aaron Davis explaining notable updates - or what we call "brags" - as we dive into how Exploration accomplishes specific tasks and milestones to improve our operations and ultimately better serve our clients.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us anytime at hello@exploration.io!

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Compiled by Heidi Seo

Exploration Weekly - July 9, 2021

Roblox Signs Music Partnership with Sony

Virtual world-building platform Roblox has signed a deal with Sony Music Entertainment. A Roblox spokesperson says the company is in talks with other record labels as well. Roblox has grown dramatically in recent years, particularly with young users. The platform — a system for creating games and other virtual experiences for either profit or personal entertainment — reported 43 million daily active visitors in May. Lots of these experiences incorporate music, including through an official Roblox “boombox” item. The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) sued the company last month for allegedly enabling piracy, accusing Roblox of profiting when users upload copyrighted songs and share them within Roblox experiences. In today’s announcement, the platform emphasizes that “Roblox respects the rights of all creators and uses advanced technology to screen all uploaded music. Roblox has no tolerance for repeat offenders and quickly responds to all submitted DMCA requests.”

IFPI to Administer ISRC Data System for African Musicians

There is currently an intense focus on building music industry structures across Africa to support musicians and local managers and labels. The IFPI announced that its Sub-Saharan Africa office will be administering the International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) data system for the continent (bar South Africa, where it’s already managed by another entity), and will be holding virtual seminars this month to teach musicians how to use it. Data of all kinds is a priority for the IFPI in Africa, as its licensing and policy lead for Sub-Saharan Africa, Adipo Otieno, explained at the Midem Africa conference last week. “Data is something that is also very critical, and for us we look at it in terms of getting reliable, accurate data which can enable stakeholders in the industry to plan,” said Otieno.

LyricFind Expands Its Brazilian Business with Abramus Deal

Brazil is already an important market for LyricFind: in fact, it’s the fifth-largest territory in terms of business for the lyrics-focused company. Now it’s hoping to build on that with its latest deal: a licensing agreement with Abramus Digital, which is part of collecting society Abramus. It represents more than 80,000 songwriters and publishers, and LyricFind SVP of international publishing Robert Singerman said the deal will considerably increase the database of lyrics that LyricFind has to work with. “We’re expanding access to Brazilian lyrics, going way beyond the hits into amazing lyrics from writers and artists of all styles and at all stages of their careers,” he said. The company has plans to translate a number of these lyrics for use outside Brazil, too.

TikTok is Parking Its Tanks on YouTube’s Lawn... As Report Says Its Users are More Engaged Than Its Rival’s

According to analytics firm App Annie, as of May 2021, TikTok surpassed YouTube in both US and the UK for average time spent per user, per month on Android. The report further noted that US-based TikTok users on Android devices spent an average of 24.5 hours a month on the platform. That’s compared to 22 hours per user, per month on YouTube. In the UK, TikTok’s lead is more comfortable: Its users in Britain were spending 26 hours a month on the platform in May this year, while UK YouTube users were spending just 16 per month. YouTube is still holding onto a 2.5x lead over TikTok in both Korea and Japan on Android, in terms of average time spent per user, as of May 2021. Across 2020 as a whole, the average US-based YouTube user spent 23.1 hours per month on the platform, and the average US-based TikTok user spent an average of 21.5 hours per month. App Annie estimates that TikTok will reach 1.2 billion monthly active users in 2021 on both Android and iPhone. YouTube reported in June that it paid out over $4 billion to the music industry in the last 12 months.

Indian Rapper Badshah Was The World’s No. 1 Songwriter on YouTube Last Year, Says New Report

A new chart released by music rights data platform Blokur shows the biggest songwriters of last year on YouTube. Blokur’s songwriter charts take into account factors such as the success of songs on various streaming charts, as well as the percentage of each song that each songwriter is credited with writing. The top global songwriter last year on YouTube is Indian rapper Badshah, whose own channel on YouTube has over 2 million subscribers and has attracted over 261 million views. Badshah’s most popular videos on YouTube have been released via Sony Music India’s channel, via hits like She Move It Like (432m views) and Genda Phool (832m views). A second Blokur chart reveals the list of most successful songwriters on YouTube in 2020 – but only those who didn’t also feature as an artist. It is led by S.Thaman, aka Ghantasala Sai Srinivas, a music composer and playback singer who predominantly works in Telugu and Tamil cinema. The world’s No. 1 songwriter across multiple streaming platforms last year – including YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music – was Tones and I (aka Toni Watson), according to Blokur’s data. The most successful writer in 2020 specifically on Spotify, says Blokur, was Finneas O’Connell.

K-Pop Propels YouTube to Streaming Dominance in Korea, Study Finds

The powerful appeal of K-Pop is a major contributor to YouTube taking up position as the dominant streaming video platform in South Korea, a new study has found. Netflix, which has also invested heavily in Korean film and TV, is the leading subscription video service in the country. South Koreans streamed 169 billion minutes of online video in the second quarter of 2021, according to a quarterly report from consultancy Media Partners Asia, which leans on the company’s AMPD Research Platform. YouTube accounted for 81% of minuted consumption, compared with 13% for all subscription-VOD platforms combined. Live streaming and gaming accounted for 4%, while TikTok took up 2%. “YouTube and Netflix have a strong lead in AVOD and SVOD segments respectively, while local SVODs led by Wavve, Tving and Coupang Play are gaining consumption,” said Media Partners Asia’s executive director Vivek Couto.

Random Ramblings

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