“Keep in mind that imagination is at the heart of all innovation. Crush or constrain it and the fun will vanish.”
TikTok revealed in a new lawsuit against President Trump’s administration that globally, it grew from 54.8 million monthly active users in January 2018 to 271.2 million by the end of that year, and then 507.6 million by the end of 2019. As of July 2020, TikTok had 689.2 million monthly active users worldwide. In the US, the app counted 91.9 million in July, nearly 13.3% of TikTok’s global total.
SESAC recently struck a new licensing deal with the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC), setting the rates payable by most of the commercial terrestrial radio stations in the US to publicly perform works in the SESAC repertory. Rates and terms include a blanket license fee of 0.2557% of net revenue and an All-Talk rate of 0.0575% of revenue. This agreement applies to stations’ over-the-air broadcasts, simulcast streams, and HD signals.
The option for advertisers to sponsor the Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify has now expanded to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Nine countries, to be exact: Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Switzerland, and Turkey. This option was only tested in North America and Latin America, as well as the UK, previously.
We would also really appreciate your participation in our 10-minute Survey to the Music Industry and Survey to Consumers of Music released last week, which will be a part of our Music Industry Report - 2020 in partnership with the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. Thank you so much for your consideration!
And lastly, our next video of the weekly “Music Industry - 5 Mins or Less” video series is now live - this time about the MLC! Click here to watch the video, or visit our website regarding this topic for more information.
In this newsletter:
- TikTok’s Trump Lawsuit Reveals It Has 689 Million Users Worldwide
- SESAC Inks Licensing Deal with Radio Music License Committee
- Spotify Expands Discover Weekly Sponsorship to EMEA Countries
- Kendrick Lamar Accused of Song-Theft Over “Loyalty”
- Despite Pandemic, Germany’s Recorded Music Revenues Grew 4.8% to $856 Million in the First Half of 2020
Now, the details...
Compiled by Heidi Seo
Exploration Weekly - August 28, 2020
TikTok’s Trump Lawsuit Reveals It Has 689 Million Users Worldwide
In TikTok’s latest lawsuit against President Trump’s administration, TikTok revealed its numbers, stating that globally, the video company grew from 54.8 million monthly active users in January 2018 to 271.2 million by the end of that year, and then 507.6 million by the end of 2019. As of July 2020, TikTok had 689.2 million monthly active users worldwide. Over that same timescale, the US userbase has grown from 11.3 million monthly active users to 91.9 million, meaning that in July, the country accounted for nearly 13.3% of TikTok’s global total. The filing also includes a figure for August, revealing that the app has passed the 100 million monthly active users milestone in the US.
SESAC Inks Licensing Deal with Radio Music License Committee
A new licensing deal has been struck between SESAC and the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC). The agreement sets the rates payable by the majority of America’s commercial terrestrial radio stations to publicly perform works in the SESAC repertory, effective January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2022. These rates and terms roll forward from the prior license, which themselves were the product of an arbitration the parties conducted. This includes a blanket license fee of 0.2557% of net revenue and an All-Talk rate of 0.0575% of revenue. As before, this agreement applies to stations’ over-the-air broadcasts, simulcast streams, and HD signals. The RMLC represents more than 10,000 commercial radio stations in the US and SESAC represents more than 1 million songs and some 30,000 songwriters, composers, and music publisher affiliates.
Spotify Expands Discover Weekly Sponsorship to EMEA Countries
The option for advertisers to sponsor the Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify has only been tested in North America and Latin America, as well as the UK. Now, it’s crossing the seas to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Nine countries, to be specific: Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Switzerland, and Turkey. Spotify’s regional sales boss Rak Patel said that the tests so far have “had great feedback from brands that have seized the opportunity to engage with a hyper-captivated audience”. The sponsorships only happen on Spotify’s free tier, but not for paying subscribers’ Discover Weekly playlists.
Kendrick Lamar Accused of Song-Theft Over “Loyalty”
Rapper Kendrick Lamar has been sued by musician Terrance Hayes for ripping off one of his songs on the 2017 Grammy-winning Rihanna-featuring track “Loyalty”. Hayes’ 2011 song was also called “Loyalty,” and according to the lawsuit, Lamar used the song, copying “substantial qualitative and quantitative portions” of the earlier work with “substantially similar note combinations and structures, melodies, themes, rhythm, and kick and snare patterns”. The lawsuit continues to state that Lamar and his creative team also slowed down Hayes’ original composition “through a synthesiser” and then “combined it with another sample to disguise the copying”. Hayes has previously collaborated with producer Josef Leimberg, who in turn collaborated with musician and producer Terrace Martin during recording sessions for Lamar’s 2015 album “To Pimp A Butterfly”. And Martin was then also involved in the production of Lamar’s “Loyalty”. A response awaits from Lamar’s team.
Despite Pandemic, Germany’s Recorded Music Revenues Grew 4.8% to $856 Million in the First Half of 2020
Germany’s industry-wide recorded music revenues rose 4.8% year-on-year in the first six months of 2020, up to €783.7 million ($856 million), which was largely driven by audio streaming. The industry revenues are reported by the BVMI on a retail basis - covering the money handed over by German consumers for streaming services, downloads, and physical music, in addition to advertising income from digital services. In the six months to end of June, audio streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music generated approximately €514.9 million ($562 million) in Germany, which the BVMI says was up 20.7% year-on-year. This audio streaming haul made up 65.7% of Germany’s total recorded music retail revenues in the period. The second biggest contributor in Germany’s industry in the six months was CD sales, with 20% of all recorded music revenues. The country is the world’s fourth biggest recorded music market (after the US, Japan, and the UK).
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