During Spotify’s 2022 Investor Day event, the company released statistics and forecasts around its podcasting business. According to CFO Paul Vogel, there were negative gross margins in podcasts during 2021 and 2022, but expects to achieve potential gross margins of 40%-50% within the next five years.

Mariah Carey has been hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit for her song “All I Want for Christmas is You” by artist Vince Vance in Louisiana district court. Vance is requesting damages in “an amount not less than” $20 million as well as costs of his legal action and attorney’s fees.

According to a report by research firm Dataxis, annual music streaming revenues in the entire continent of Africa will grow from $92.9 million in 2021 to $314.5 million by 2026. The IFPI also has stated that the Sub-Saharan Africa region was up by 9.6% year-on-year in 2021.

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Exploration Weekly - June 10, 2022

Spotify Sees Podcasts Operating Losses Peaking in 2022, Says It Monetizes Only 14% of Listening Time Currently

Spotify disclosed some key financial metrics of its podcast business for the first time at its 2022 Investor Day event this week. The company outlined its long-term strategy and financial prospects, suggesting that podcasts may eventually have higher margins than its core music biz. In 2021, Spotify’s podcast business generated nearly €200 million in revenue, according to CFO Paul Vogel — up 300% year over year. About 30% of Spotify’s user base, or more than 125 million monthly users, listened to podcasts in the first quarter of 2022, representing 7% of total listening hours on the platform in the period. Vogel added, however, that there will be negative gross margins in 2022, stating that Spotify monetized only 14% of podcast listening in Q1. The company believes podcasts can achieve potential gross margins of 40%-50% within the next five years. And it expects to exceed 1 billion users worldwide by 2030, execs said.

Mariah Carey Accused of Stealing “All I Want for Christmas is You” in $20M Lawsuit

Mariah Carey is being sued for $20 million by a Mississippi artist Vince Vance who claims the singer stole the holiday song “All I Want for Christmas is You” from him and denied him his rightful profits from the song. In the complaint filed in Louisiana district court, Vince Vance says Carey and her “All I Want” co-writer Walter Afanasieff willfully infringed his copyright of the song. Afanasieff and Sony Music, which released “All I Want for Christmas is You” on Columbia Records, are named as co-defendants in the suit, along with Sony Corp. of America. Vance is asking for damages in “an amount not less than” $20 million as well as costs of his legal action and attorney’s fees. Representatives for Carey and Sony Music did not immediately respond to Billboard’s request for comment.

Report: Africa’s Music Streaming Market to be $314.6M by 2026

According to the IFPI, Sub-Saharan Africa generated $70.1m of revenues from recorded music in 2021 – one of the first times there has been an ‘official’ industry figure for the region. That was up by 9.6% year-on-year. Research firm Dataxis has predicted that for the entire continent of Africa, annual music streaming revenues will grow from $92.9m in 2021 to $314.6m by 2026, while warning that internet penetration rates will be the main ceiling on this growth. “Streaming cannot go faster than infrastructure,” as the company put it.

After Raising $200M and Buying Up Rights in Asia, Korea’s Beyond Music Wants “To Conquer the Global Music IP Market”

Seoul-based Beyond Music has been splashing cash in the music rights market in Asia, and says that it now wants “to conquer the global music IP market”. Beyond Music claims to be Asia’s largest single music IP asset management company, with current operating assets of approximately 300 billion South Korea Won (USD $200m). The firm says it expects to have 1 trillion South Korea Won ($800m) worth of assets under management by the end of this year. In May last year, Beyond Music acquired Korea-based KNC Music, in what it claims was “the largest single music IP portfolio acquisition in the history [of the domestic Korean music market]”, for 46.6 billion South Korea Won ($36.8m). The firm’s latest acquisition was also confirmed this week, buying what it says is the “entire volume of music neighboring copyrights” owned by South Korean record label and management firm Interpark Music. Beyond Music says that it has “accumulated” over 25,000 domestic and foreign music copyrights since launching last year.

H.E.R. Faces Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Over “Could’ve Been”

H.E.R. is facing a copyright infringement lawsuit over an alleged unlicensed sample in her song, “Could’ve Been.” The complaint filed in Manhattan federal court claims that the song illegally uses a 1990 acapella track from the gospel group Take 6, alleging that the song uses “substantial original segments” from their “Come Unto Me” song without permission. H.E.R. was sued for copyright infringement last year as well by the musician Andre Sims for $3 million. The lawsuit came after music producer DJ Camper talked about some of the inspiration and admitted to using Sims’ “Endless Minds” composition for the song.

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