SoundExchange’s royalties dispute with US television service Music Choice has been decided that the case will be referred to the Copyright Royalties Board (CRB) for further investigation, rather than being heard in Federal court. SoundExchange launched the lawsuit to recover underpaid royalties in April 2019.

YouTube creators now have the ability to appeal video monetization decisions on the Studio mobile app, a feature previously only available on desktop devices. To do so, they will have to navigate to ‘Content’, tap the yellow ‘$‘ icon, and then select ‘Request Review’.

Independent publishers grew their share of the global music publishing market from 27% in 2019 to 28% in 2020, states a report by the industry body IMPF. This suggests that indies have around $1.92 billion of the estimated $6.8 billion global publishing market in 2020.

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Exploration Weekly - December 24, 2021

SoundExchange Royalties Dispute with Music Choice to be Referred to Copyright Royalty Board

On Monday (December 20), US performance rights organization SoundExchange secured a legal victory in a royalties battle with US television service Music Choice. The court decided that the case will be referred to the Copyright Royalties Board (CRB), rather than being heard in Federal court. SoundExchange launched a lawsuit against Music Choice to recover underpaid royalties in April 2019, following an audit of Music Choice’s royalty statements. At the time, SoundExchange claimed that “Music Choice systematically underreported its Gross Proceeds”, leading to underpayment to SoundExchange for statutory royalties related to its business establishment service (BES). Music Choice relies on a statutory license to obtain the rights to use sound recordings in its BES. Currently, the basic royalty rate for a BES, decided by the CRB, is “12.5% of [the] Licensee’s ‘Gross Proceeds’” derived from the use in such service of musical programs that are attributable to copyrighted recordings.”

YouTube Creators Can Now Appeal Monetization Decisions From Mobile

YouTube has announced several updates to its creator-facing Studio app, including the ability to appeal video monetization decisions on mobile — a feature previously only available on desktop devices. To do so within the Studio app, creators can navigate to ‘Content’, tap the yellow ‘$‘ icon, and then select ‘Request Review’. In terms of revenues, creators will also be able to see these metrics in the currency of their choosing. These figures were previously only available in U.S. dollars, YouTube said.

Indies Accounted for 28% of 2020 Publishing Market Says IMPF

Independent firms have increased their share of the global music publishing market from 27% in 2019 to 28% in 2020 according to their industry body IMPF. Based on the estimated €6bn ($6.8bn) size of the global publishing market, that suggests around €1.68bn ($1.92bn) for independent publishers in 2020. However, the IMPF has tried to show that these companies have a greater ‘market impact’ measured using the top charts of streaming services like Spotify’s Top 50. “Data provided by BMAT6 shows that in key markets Canada and Germany indie publishers control shares on 36% of the tracks in the charts, in France this percentage goes up to 52%, in the UK 40% and in the US 32%,” claimed the report. “In Brazil and Japan this percentage is even higher with respectively 56% and 76% of control shares for indie publishers.”

Music Service Boomplay and Merlin Expand Licensing Deal to 47 Countries Across Africa

African music streaming service Boomplay and independent label agency Merlin have agreed to an expansion of their licensing agreement. The new deal will extend the availability of Merlin members’ music catalog to 47 additional countries in Africa. In 2019, Merlin signed a licensing deal covering 11 countries with Boomplay, which now has over 60 million Monthly Active Users and hosts a catalog of over 65 million tracks. The platform also claims to house the most extensive catalog of African content globally. One of the first music streaming players in Africa, Boomplay launched in 2015 and surpassed 100 million app downloads on Google Play in December 2020.

YouTube Expands Its $100 Million Shorts Fund to 70 Additional Countries

YouTube is expanding its Shorts Fund to 70 additional countries. Beginning this month, creators in countries including Pakistan, Ireland, and Peru will be eligible to receive monthly bonuses — ranging from $100 to $10,000 — for creating Shorts. While Shorts monetization is still evolving, YouTube announced the $100 million Fund in May in the U.S. and India. The Fund rewards creators — whether or not they are members of YouTube’s Partner Program — for Shorts that drive the most engagement and views, much in the same vein as TikTok’s Creator Fund or Snapchat’s Spotlight monetization paradigm.


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