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In this newsletter:

Five Asian collection societies and SESAC Music Group have entered into what they call a “historic collaboration for the music industry in Asia”.

Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) has expanded into Paraguay and South India and now spans 36 trade associations in 40 territories.

The German recorded music industry grew 6.6% in the first half of 2023 to €1.06bn, after a 6.1% increase for the full year of 2022.

Now, the details...

Exploration Weekly - July 21, 2023
Compiled by Ana Berberana

SESAC Partners With Five Southeast Asian Collection Societies to Form Multi-Territorial Digital Licensing Hub

Five Asian collection societies and SESAC Music Group have entered into what they call a “historic collaboration for the music industry in Asia”. The group of societies have formed The Asian Alliance Music Rights Organization (AAMRO), a music rights hub established to manage music licensing and royalty distribution of the combined repertories of FILSCAP (Philippines), WAMI (Indonesia), MACP (Malaysia), MCT (Thailand), and VCPMC (Vietnam). This initiative will be headquartered in Liechtenstein, which the group of societies say is a strategic location to oversee multi-territorial digital licensing and royalty distribution for the communication and making available of the combined repertoire throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East. AAMRO will be supported and administered by MINT Digital Services, the alliance between SESAC, and the Swiss collective management organization, SUISA. The members of AAMRO shared in a joint statement “We firmly believe in the power of music to transcend borders and connect people from different cultures. They added: “This collaboration opens up new avenues for our talented Asian music authors to reach a global audience and ensures that they receive fair compensation for the usage of their works outside of Asia. By leveraging this collaboration, we are committed to unlocking the full potential of Asian music authors and showcasing the rich diversity of our musical heritage to audiences worldwide. “We are excited about this new chapter and look forward to working closely with AAMRO, MINT Digital Services, and our fellow Asian affiliated societies to drive positive change and promote the interests of our valued music authors.”

Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) Expands Into Paraguay and South India

Worldwide Independent Network (WIN), the international body representing the independent recorded music sector, has welcomed new members from Asociatión de la Música Independiente del Paraguay (AMI Paraguay) and the South India Music Companies Association (SIMCA). Established earlier this year, AMI Paraguay is the country’s first independent music trade association, representing 13 local music companies and expanding WIN’s reach in Latin America’s thriving music market. WIN was involved in its creation, visiting Asunción as part of the first installment of the Southern Cone Independent’s Forum (FICS) in November following months of work with local stakeholders. Representing an independent music scene notable for its captivating blend of traditional and contemporary influences, AMI Paraguay joins fellow Latin American WIN members ASIAr (Argentina), ABMI (Brazil), and IMICHILE (Chile). “FICS 2022 focused on associativism, and we continue to see results to this day,” says Lucas Toriño, President of AMI Paraguay. “We are very happy to have had the participation of companies, associations, government bodies, and colleagues from our industry who share our goal of working towards a united Paraguayan music industry and helping it to resonate even more globally. Many thanks to the WIN team and the colleagues from IMICHILE, ASIAr, and UFi who supported us with their experience and constant guidance in the creation of AMI Paraguay.” “For the Latin American region, it is very important for independents to be associated and communicate. We have seen how year after year the work of WIN’s Latam Network has been key to this, with milestones such as the creation of the Latin American Independent Music Observatory (OLMI),” adds Oliver Knust, Director of Chilemúsica and WIN board member. “We hope that new trade associations will continue to form and that the regional alliance will strengthen the independent recording ecosystem so that new music can continue to emerge and represent the diversity of the territories.” SIMCA represents the interests of over 60% of the South Indian music market, with 78 member businesses. Founded in 1996, SIMCA brings a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities specific to the region’s complex ecosystem, characterized by its vastness, diversity, and varied cultural landscapes. A critical expansion of WIN’s global reach, SIMCA’s new membership comes on the heels of the broader Indian recorded music market growing by 48% year-on-year, reaching $318.6 million in 2022, according to data from IFPI. SIMCA joins Asian WIN members IMCJ (Japan) and LIAK (South Korea), which, together with AIR (Australia) and IMNZ (New Zealand), lead the APAC Alliance working group across the Asia-Pacific region.

German recorded music sector grew 6.6% in first half of 2023

The German recorded music industry grew 6.6% in the first half of 2023 to €1.06bn, after a 6.1% increase for the full year of 2022. That’s according to the latest figures from labels body BVMI. Streaming is now very much the driver of this market, accounting for 75.7% of the revenues. However, CDs, vinyl, DVDs and singles still account for 18% of sales. Speaking to Music Ally for an upcoming country profile, BVMI boss Dr. Florian Drücke said that there were more than 17 million paid music-streaming accounts in Germany in March 2023, up from 16 million in December 2021. But, as he noted, “Nearly a third of the German population were using a premium streaming account so we still have room for growth here.” In his official comments on the half-year figures, Drücke also hit out at what he sees as a “current unbalanced debate about the streaming market”. That’s a defense of the BVMI’s label members. “Artists are free to choose whether and, if so, which partnership and services they use. The collaborations between labels and artists are correspondingly modular and highly individual in the case of a collaboration,” he said. “At the same time, our member companies are the ones who pay the advances, which in the vast majority of cases are not recovered.”

Music industry organizations call on EU institutions to back transparency obligations in new AI Act

A coalition of organizations representing creators and copyright owners have called on all the institutions of the European Union to back data and transparency provisions that were added to the EU Artificial Intelligence Act by the European Parliament. Those provisions, the organizations said yesterday, are “a first step in the right direction” when it comes to effectively regulating companies that are developing generative AI platforms, and therefore “we call on the European institutions to support these provisions”. The EU AI Act is now in the very final stages of negotiation and, once passed, will introduce a number of new regulations in relation to artificial intelligence across the European Union. Generative AI models – which can generate text, images, audio and video – weren’t originally covered by the act, but – with those technologies becoming such a big talking point in the last year – the final version agreed by the European Parliament does provide some regulation in that domain. Generative AI models are ‘trained’ by being exposed to existing content. The music industry – and the wider copyright industries – insist that where copyright-protected works are used for that training, an AI company must seek consent from and negotiate a license with the relevant copyright owners. Not all AI companies agree, but the copyright industries are busy seeking clarity from lawmakers that their view on this is correct. Assuming it is, the next challenge for copyright owners is working out what content has been used to train any one AI. To that end, the copyright industries are also calling for AI companies to have certain transparency obligations, so that it’s clear what data has been used in the training process. This will allow copyright owners to identify whether any rights have been infringed, and could also help with the development of future licensing models. Some transparency obligations are included in the version of the EU AI Act agreed by the European Parliament. A final version of the act is now being negotiated by the Parliament, the EU Council and the European Commission. And the copyright owners are keen to ensure that the transparency obligations in the Parliament’s version are in the final draft. Music industry organizations like GESAC, ICMP, IFPI, IMPALA and IMPF joined groups representing film, photography, newspapers, magazines, books and journals in making that call yesterday.

Twitter Officially Debuts Program to Share Ad Revenue With ‘All Eligible’ Creators

The Elon Musk-owned social-media platform only recently announced the program’s formal debut, after first outlining the revenue-sharing initiative closer to 2023’s beginning. Separate from subscriptions and the associated income, Creator Ads Revenue Sharing will ultimately “be available in all the countries where Stripe supports payouts.” At present, though, the service has identified “an initial group who will be invited to accept payment” – with certain of these individuals having already penned tweets about the seemingly substantial paychecks at hand. Meanwhile, Twitter has set its sights on “rolling out the program more broadly later this month,” when “all eligible creators will be able to apply.” Needless to say, a number of music industry acts could be poised to collect serious compensation (especially relative to the pay attributable to other leading platforms) from Creator Ads Revenue Sharing, which determines payouts based on “how many ads were shown to other verified users,” Musk clarified. “Only verified users count, as it is otherwise trivial to game the system with bots,” added the Tesla founder. To be sure, Taylor Swift has penned more than a few tweets with north of 50 million impressions and 20,000 replies apiece, and posts from all manner of K-pop artists appear to be racking up impressive stats of their own. Of course, much-viewed tweets needn’t be constructive or positive, and if eligible for and enrolled in the program, Ticketmaster France alone would presumably receive a sizable check owing to the abundance of responses it’s continuing to receive from allegedly shortchanged Swifties. Twitter’s guide to the program notes that Twitter Blue subscribers and Verified Organizations, businesses among them, alike are eligible for enrollment, provided they have generated at least five million tweet impressions during each of the preceding three months.

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