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What is a Promoter?

This guide was written to give readers an idea of what a promoter is and how they contribute to the live music industry. As an artist live performances are one of the most important aspects of your career. An article from TorrentFreak lists touring and live performances as the highest-earning revenue stream for musicians. This is why working with a skilled and connected promoter can be very beneficial for artists and venue owners.

As an artist, it’s important to understand the types of promoters that you will be working with in the industry. Some promoters are working to promote you and your brand and other promoters are working to promote your live performances and appearances. Both types of promoters can greatly benefit your career so it’s important to know the basic things that they should do and offer you.

In this newsletter:

SoundExchange, a long-standing organization handling royalties for non-interactive digital services, recently disclosed a Q4 2023 distribution total of $250 million.

BMG, the largest global music company outside the major three, is intensifying its focus on U.S. operations with increased investment and key promotions under CEO Thomas Coesfeld.

CISAC President Björn Ulvaeus met with Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo to discuss the impact AI will have on the creative economy and the need for smart regulation to safeguard creators’ rights.

Now, the details...

Exploration Weekly - January 26, 2024
Compiled by Ana Berberana

SoundExchange Discloses $1 Billion in 2023 Royalty Distributions — Up 4.3% Year Over Year

The more than two-decade-old entity, which collects and distributes royalties for the use of recordings on non-interactive digital services, just recently announced its Q4 2023 distribution total. According to SoundExchange, it paid out $250 million during 2023’s final three months, against $257 million for Q3, $269 million for Q2 (when the non-profit’s cumulative distributions surpassed $10 billion), and $229 million for the year’s opening quarter. That comes out to $1.005 billion on the year, reflecting the initially mentioned 4.3 percent boost (presumably calculated with the unrounded sums) from 2022’s $959 million. But the latter, it should be noted, marked a 3.4 percent year-over-year (YoY) slip and failed to reach 2018’s $953 million. In its brief announcement message concerning the 2023 figure, SoundExchange didn’t identify total collections for the year; the 2022 sum came in at $1.017 billion, the organization indicated in its more comprehensive annual report this past summer.

BMG ‘Doubles Down’ on U.S. Music Operations

BMG, the largest global music company outside the three majors, has announced it is “doubling down” on its U.S. operations via increased investment and a pair of major promotions directed by Thomas Coesfeld (pictured above), who became CEO last July. BMG Nashville President Jon Loba will become president of Frontline Recordings, North America, and Thomas Scherer, previously head of publishing and recordings in Los Angeles and New York will become head of global recorded catalog, while retaining North American responsibilities for publishing, North America. Along with CFO Joe Gillen, they will comprise BMG’s North American leadership. Coesfeld said, “We are making good on our promise to double down on our U.S. operation with a distinctive new approach: An integrated frontline operation spanning the whole of North America plus a global catalog business steered from Los Angeles. BMG is stepping up. This is an integral part of our new strategy to deliver for artists and songwriters and go for growth.”

CISAC President Björn Ulvaeus Seeks Greater AI Protections with Belgian Prime Minister

The CISAC President and ABBA founder called for sustained support for copyright and the protection of creators by the European Union as Belgium takes the six-month presidency of the EU. Belgium will be overseeing discussions to finalize the text of the EU AI act. Ulvaeus urged the establishment of proper transparency principles in the EU AI Act and to require AI operators to adhere to copyright regulations. “The way we respond to AI and its relationship with copyright will have an enormous impact on European culture and our creative economy,” Ulvaeus told European lawmakers. “At a time when legislation is planned in many jurisdictions across the world, this is a moment when I hope Europe will show its leadership in protecting creators and the creative industries. Rules that require transparency from AI operators are a vital element of this.” Joining Ulvaeus at the meeting were CISAC Director-General Gadi Oron and Sabam CEO Steven De Keyser. They also sought sustained support for copyright and the value of the creative economy. Both Sabam and CISAC are collective management societies working in Belgium and internationally, alongside other member societies and GESAC in Europe to support creators who are struggling to build careers in the streaming market. The International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) is the world’s leading network of authors’ societies. It has 225 member societies spread across 116 countries, representing over five million creators from those regions. Those represented are in music, audiovisual, drama, literature, and visual arts.

Apple Music to Pay Artists Up to 10% Higher Royalties for Music Available in Spatial Audio

Starting this month, music available in Spatial Audio on Apple Music will receive a greater share of royalties from the platform. In an update sent to its label partners on Monday (January 22), and seen by MBW, Apple Music confirmed that Spatial-available content will receive a royalty rate up to 10% higher than content not available in Spatial. According to Apple Music’s update to its label partners, starting with the January 2024 month-end royalty payments, “pro-rata shares for Spatial Available plays will be calculated using a factor of 1.1 while Non-Spatial Available plays will continue to use a factor of 1”. The news follows a report from Bloomberg in December that Apple Music was planning “to give added weighting to streams of songs” mixed in Dolby Atmos. Apple Music said on Monday (January 2022) that the upcoming “change is not only meant to reward higher quality content, but also to ensure that artists are being compensated for the time and investment they put into mixing in Spatial”. The platform also said that it is seeing “wide adoption of Spatial from the biggest hitmakers worldwide” with 80% of the songs to reach Apple Music’s Global Daily Top 100 in the past year available in Spatial.

PPL Announces Deal With Indian Performer Society, Capitalizing on Changes to Collective Licensing in India

UK collecting society PPL has announced a deal with India’s performer society ISAMRA, which capitalizes on changes that occurred within the Indian record industry's collective licensing system last year. The agreement will benefit Indian performers whose music is played in the UK, and British performers whose recordings are used in India. Previously the flow of money between the UK and Indian collective licensing systems only benefited labels. "This partnership with ISAMRA is an important moment for the rights of performers in India”, says Laurence Oxenbury, Director Of International at PPL. “The UK is a significant consumer of Indian repertoire and money has already been paid from PPL in the UK to ISAMRA, benefiting hundreds of performers who did not historically have an entitlement to revenue". India is a massive growth market for the record industry, with the recent ‘Year-End Music Report’ from Luminate revealing an 80% surge in streaming consumption. There are also significant opportunities for growth in broadcast and public performance revenues - sometimes called neighboring rights revenues - as the Indian industry gets better at enforcing and managing these rights through the collective licensing system. These revenues are usually shared between labels and performers, including session musicians. An alliance last year between ISAMRA and India’s record label trade group IMI helped to clarify the rights of Indian performers when it comes to neighboring rights revenues. It also facilitated a collaboration between ISAMRA and the country’s record label collecting society, which is called PPL India (but is not affiliated with PPL in the UK). As a result, up to 25% of the money collected by PPL India from the performance of recordings in the country will now go to ISAMRA for payment to performers.

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