“One bulb at a time. There was no other way to do it. No shortcuts--simply loving the slow process of planting. Loving the work as it unfolded. Loving an achievement that grew slowly and bloomed for only three weeks each year.”
Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards, The Daffodill Principle
The MLC announced its first-ever monthly mechanical royalty distribution this week, coming from the use of musical works by US digital service providers during January 2021. Total royalties amounted to more than $53 million for all usage data when calculated at the applicable statutory rates. The MLC was then able to match approximately 80% of the royalties reported to musical works registered in its public database.
Apple is planning to roll out a podcast subscription service in May, allowing creators to set prices and offer perks to subscribers like ad-free episodes, early sneak peeks, and additional or exclusive content.
The Canadian government announced this week that its latest budget allocates $70 million (~USD $56 million) for the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Canada Music Fund to inject emergency funding into the country’s depleted music economy. Around $50 million (~USD $40 million) will go to the live music sector, which has lost 92% of its revenues during the pandemic, according to the Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA).
Click below to learn more about the HFA Affiliate Program in our “Music Industry - 5 Mins or Less” video series, featuring our very own co-founder and COO Rene Merideth!
In this newsletter:
- The Mechanical Licensing Collective Completes First Royalty Distribution
- Apple Rolls Out Podcast Subscriptions
- Canadian Government to Spend $56 Million This Year to Boost Music Economy
- Apple Music Says Per-Stream Royalty Rate is Double What Spotify Pays
- MRC Data Publishes Music Reports on Spain and France
- Spotify and Apple Go Head-to-Head in US Senate App Store Hearing
Now, the details...
Compiled by Heidi Seo
Exploration Weekly - April 23, 2021
The Mechanical Licensing Collective Completes First Royalty Distribution
The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) has announced the completion of its first-ever monthly distribution of mechanical royalties. The organization’s distribution included royalties from the use of musical works by U.S. digital service providers (DSPs) during January 2021. It did not include any historical unmatched royalties. The distribution process started in February when DSPs began reporting their streaming and download usage data for January 2021 to The MLC. The royalty pool for all usage data reported to The MLC totaled more than $53 million when calculated at the applicable statutory rates. The MLC was then able to match approximately 80% of the royalties reported to musical works registered in its public database. Once the matching work was completed, The MLC established which uses were covered by voluntary licenses between the DSPs and copyright owners and thus needed to be carved out of each DSP’s blanket license. After carving out the matched uses covered by voluntary licenses, The MLC determined that the remaining amount of mechanical royalties owed by DSPs to the MLC totaled more than $40 million, which The MLC successfully collected. Those royalties were then included in the monthly distribution process.
Apple Rolls Out Podcast Subscriptions
Apple, which helped popularize the podcast format (including its name, which was in part derived from the iPod), is making another major play in the audio space, rolling out a podcast subscription service. The service, which will launch in May, will have prices set by creators, who will be able to offer perks to subscribers like ad-free episodes, early sneak peeks, and additional or exclusive content. The company is also releasing a totally redesigned Apple Podcasts app, which will include channels and groups of shows curated by podcast creators.
Canadian Government to Spend $56 Million This Year to Boost Music Economy
After a year of unprecedented struggle, the Canadian government is pledging to inject badly needed emergency funding into the country’s depleted music economy. The government said this week that its latest budget allocates $70 million (about USD $56 million) for the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Canada Music Fund — $50 million (USD $40 million) of which is targeted for the ailing live music sector. The three-year funding allocation — which in 2021-22 will represent $50 million in emergency funding, nearly twice the $26 million the government contributed to the fund in 2018-2019 — comes as Canada’s live music businesses have lost 92% of their revenues during the pandemic, according to a study conducted last fall by the Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA). The association estimates that about 90 music or music-reliant venues have shuttered.
Apple Music Says Per-Stream Royalty Rate is Double What Spotify Pays
Apple Music pays music rights holders a penny per stream on average, the streaming service revealed in a letter to artists, labels and publishers on April 16, as first reported by The Wall Street Journal. The payouts come out of monthly subscription revenue from users. While the exact payout varies by subscription plan and country, the company said in the letter that it averaged a penny per stream for individual paid plans in 2020. The figure does not take family plans into account. A penny per stream is roughly double Spotify's average rate of around one-third to one-half of a penny per stream. Both services pay rights-holders -- like record labels and publishers -- based on the share of total streams that their artists bring in, after which those rights-holders pay artists based on their agreements. Spotify has 155 million paying subscribers out of 345 million total active users. Meanwhile, Apple last reported more than 60 million Apple Music subscribers in June 2019.
MRC Data Publishes Music Reports on Spain and France
Research firm MRC Data has just released ‘360’ reports on Spain and France, exploring music trends in those countries. In Spain, it found that 86% of the general population engages with music, and that 52% of music listeners are using streaming services – up 6% year-on-year. 11% of music listeners are currently paying for a streaming subscription, but 32% say they are likely to subscribe to a streaming service in the next six months. As for France, 75% of the general population there engages in music, with 73% of those listeners using a free streaming service, and 10% paying for a subscription. The reports also offer some livestreaming stats. 35% of Spanish people and 33% of French people have watched at least one music livestream in the last year, and of those viewers, 27% and 34% respectively have paid to watch a livestream.
Spotify and Apple Go Head-to-Head in US Senate App Store Hearing
Spotify is at the forefront of the criticism of Apple’s App Store ecosystem, and yesterday that saw the two companies go head to head in a hearing convened by the US Senate’s subcommittee on competition policy, antitrust, and consumer rights. Spotify’s head of global affairs and chief legal officer Horacio Gutierrez and Apple’s chief compliance officer and VP of corporate law Kyle Andeer gave evidence, alongside representatives from Google, Tile, Tinder’s parent company Match Group, and the Consumer Federation of America. Gutierrez ran through Spotify’s allegations that Apple has “aggressively used its App store policies to handicap Spotify in numerous ways…” Apple, of course, takes a different view of these matters. “We’re proud of the store we’ve built, the experiences it has provided for customers, and the opportunities it has created for developers…” said Andeer.
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