“The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.”

Maya Angelou

The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC), which is mandated by the Music Modernization Act (MMA), is set to launch in January 2021. On July 9, two initiatives were announced on The MLC website: the Data Quality Initiative (DQI) and the Music Data Organization Form. These tools are intended to help self-administered songwriters, music publishers, administrators, and CMOs organize their metadata before The MLC Portal roll-out. The Harry Fox Agency (HFA) is also allowing rights holders to opt in to The MLC Portal by pre-populating their information into The MLC database.

To read our complete guide on how The MLC works and what to expect, click here.

This week, YouTube launched an expanded artist analytics hub called Analytics for Artists, which is incorporated into YouTube Studio and is available for all official artist channels. It provides real-time statistics for videos and allows artists the ability to see details on a song’s combined performance across all videos in which it appears on the platform.

Spotify is expected to launch its streaming service in its 80th territory, Russia, via a partnership with Russian telco MTS. A year and half ago, Spotify launched in India. According to its last quarterly earnings call at the end of April, the company reported 130 million paid subscribers and 286 million total global users.

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Compiled by Heidi Seo

Exploration Weekly - July 10, 2020

The MLC Announces Tools to Help Self-Administered Songwriters and Publishers “Play Their Part”

The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) is announcing two initiatives: the Data Quality Initiative (DQI) for music publishers, administrators, and CMOs and the Music Data Organization Form for songwriters. The DQI will streamline how musical works’ data will be compared against The MLC’s data. Reports will be provided to participants highlighting the discrepancies and improving the quality of The MLC’s data. The Music Data Organization Form will help self-administered songwriters, composers, and lyricists organize their musical works’ data ahead of The MLC’s roll-out of The MLC Portal. The first version of its user portal is expected to launch later this quarter.

YouTube Rolls Out Expanded Artist Analytics Hub

On Tuesday July 7, YouTube rolled out an analytics hub for creators on its platform, which provides expanded real-time statistics for videos and allows artists the ability to see details on a song’s combined performance across all the videos in which it appears on the platform. The new hub, called Analytics for Artists, is incorporated into YouTube Studio and is available for all official artist channels. Performance metrics are shown for music on channels beyond the artist’s own uploads, such as fan-made videos and videos for songs on which an artist is featured or for which they collaborated, in addition to grouping them by song and filtering by device type, gender, age, and more demographics.

Spotify Set to Launch in Russia

Spotify will launch in Russia, the streaming service’s 80th territory, home to nearly 100 million smartphones. Per Music Business Worldwide, Spotify is expected to partner with Russian telco MTS for its launch. Spotify declined to comment. The news comes a year and a half after launching in India. The company reported 130 million paid subscribers and 286 million total global users, according to its last quarterly earnings call at the end of April. Its stock reached an all-time high - at $267.48 per share - two weeks ago, boosted by an upgrade from Goldman Sachs, which raised its price target from $205 to $280. The company singled out its recent podcast acquisitions and new advertising technology that has increased its revenue and subscribers.

Music Streaming and Sales Rebound - Will Concerts Follow Suit? Five Key Insights from New Nielsen Music/MRC Data COVID-19 Report

According to the fifth installment of Nielsen Music/MRC Data’s survey series COVID-19: Tracking the Impact on the Entertainment Landscape, consumers are increasingly interested in returning to live events in the near future - and music sales have picked up significantly as stores reopen. Audio and video streaming also have rebounded following a significant dip at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests, which took priority in the national conversation and led millions of Americans to take to the streets. Data was collected June 10-14 from a representative sample of 1,050 US consumers ages 13 and up.

YouTube Lowering Minimum Video Length for Mid-Roll Ads from 10 to 8 Minutes

In an email shared to creators this week, YouTube announced a few changes to the way that it serves mid-roll ads in a bid to make more videos eligible for mid-rolls and ramp up monetization prospects. Right now, only videos longer than 10 minutes are eligible for mid-rolls, which appear in the midst of videos as a commercial break of sorts. However, starting later this month, YouTube is changing that minimum threshold to eight-minute videos. The company also announced that it is also turning on mid-roll ads by default for all eligible videos when the change goes live. Any future uploads from monetizing channels will also have mid-roll ads turned on by default. The change is to go into effect by July 29.

Report: Amazon Music Subscriptions Grew by 104% in Last Year

According to research firm Counterpoint Research, by the end of March, there were 394 million music subscriptions globally, representing year-on-year growth of 35%. Of that estimate, Spotify accounted for 33% of subscriptions and 30% of subscription revenues at the end of Q1 2020, followed by Apple Music (21% of subscriptions and 25% of revenue). Amazon, however, showed the biggest growth, with Counterpoint claiming that its subscriptions more than doubled (104%) year-on-year, while its share of revenues was 12%, ahead of YouTube Music (9%) and Pandora (5%).

Random Ramblings

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