Twitch announced a new deal with the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) this week for future collaborations and improvements on the gaming experience and songwriter exposure. Twitch additionally released a new process for music rights holders to report certain uses of their music in their streams.

The Ivors Academy and Music Rights Awareness announced at the Ivor Novello Awards that they are teaming up on a new initiative called Credits Due to make sure all songs are tagged with the creator identifiers and role codes that services need to pay composers. Creators are now also able to register metadata on Sessions software that plugs into various music production tools.

The UK Government responded to a recent music streaming economics report, calling for a market study on the economic impact of the three major labels as well as for the introduction of a right to equitable digital music remuneration.

In this 10th and final episode of our series, Aaron talks about our beloved late colleague and dear friend, Donnadelle Manguiat. She was Exploration’s Director of Mechanical Licensing, interfacing with organizations like HFA and MRI. She will always be remembered for the positive experiences she created for others around her.

We love you, Donna.

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Compiled by Heidi Seo

Exploration Weekly - September 24, 2021

Twitch Strikes Deal With Music Publishers

The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and Amazon-owned live streaming platform Twitch have announced an agreement, which, according to the NMPA, will allow for “future collaborations to bring new facets to both the gaming experience and songwriter exposure”. Additionally, Twitch has created a new process that participating music rights holders can opt into to report certain uses of their music, to address when creators inadvertently or incidentally use music in their streams. The news of the deal between the NMPA and Twitch comes two months after Twitch said it was ‘disappointed’ with the music publishing industry after being hit with 1,000 copyright infringement claims.

Ivors and Music Rights Awareness Launch “Credits Due” Initiative to Help Composers Get Paid

This week, the Ivors Academy and Music Rights Awareness announced at the Ivor Novello Awards that they are teaming up on a new initiative called Credits Due to make sure all songs are tagged with the metadata that services need to pay composers. "Most musicians don't think about it when they're in the studio," ABBA frontman and songwriter Björn Ulvaeus tells Billboard. But paying composers accurately requires creator identifiers and role codes (IPI, IPN, ISNI), a musical work identifier (ISWC) and a recording identifier (ISRC). Without these codes, it can be difficult for streaming services and other entities to separate recordings and songs from others that share the same name, and to pay the appropriate creators. The absence of these codes on many compositions is one reason why services have had to delay payments, or even hold them. Recently, creators are now able to register codes on Sessions software that plugs into various music production tools.

UK Government Calls for Further Research Into Music Streaming Sector; Keeps Options Open

The U.K. Government’s response to the recent report into the economics of music streaming has finally arrived. After a long-running investigation, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport’s Parliamentary Committee delivered a damning report in July, demanding a “complete reset” of the sector. But, while describing the report as “a key moment for the music industry,” it’s clear that the Government has not yet been persuaded that such radical action is necessary. The Committee referred the case for a market study on the economic impact of the “market dominance” of the three major labels to the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA). The crucial call for the introduction of a right to equitable digital music remuneration – which would boost artists’ share of earnings, at the expense of labels — was deemed worthy of further investigation, with the Government pledging to “work to better understand issues of fairness in creator and performer remuneration.” Further research will also take place into areas as varied as contract reform; securing a larger share of the pie for songwriters; royalty transparency; industry metadata standards; and the influence of streaming algorithms.

The MLC Teams Up with Partner Organizations on Spanish-Language Initiative for Hispanic Heritage Month

The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) is commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month in September with a new initiative – “El MLC en Español” – that is designed to engage both current and prospective Spanish-speaking Members of The MLC and officially kick off the availability of Spanish-language resources to those individuals and groups. Developed by Dae Bogan, The MLC’s Head of Third-Party Partnerships, “El MLC en Español” is the result of a collaboration with several organizations, including Take Creative Control [Latin], Protege Tu Música TV, LLC (Protect Your Music TV, LLC), Songwriters of North America (SONA) and others. Headlining the new assets to be unveiled during “El MLC en Español” is a Spanish-language landing page on The MLC website and a Spanish-language “explainer” video that broadly introduces viewers to the concept of digital audio mechanical royalties and the existence of The MLC. Additionally, The MLC will make available a new Spanish-language toolkit developed for organizations that represent Latin music creators. There will be two upcoming webinars, presented by The MLC and SONA, on Tuesday, September 28 and Thursday, September 30.

Universal Music Group Stock Jumps in Market Debut

Universal Music Group’s shares jumped in their stock market debut on Amsterdam’s Euronext exchange on Tuesday. As of 9:10 AM Amsterdam time, the stock was trading at 25.74 euros ($30.19), giving the company a market capitalization of 46.67 billion euros ($54.7 billion), after opening at 25.25 euros ($29.61) and going as high as 25.775 euros. Late Monday, the stock’s reference price had been set at 18.50 euros ($21.70) per share, signaling a market value of around 39 billion euros. Compared to that reference price, the stock was up 39 percent shortly after 9 AM local time. The stock closed at 25.10 euros ($29.43), bringing the company’s market value to 45.51 billion euros ($53.35 billion).

ByteDance Tipped to Launch Music Streaming App Feile in China

According to news site 36kr, ByteDance is working on a streaming service “tentatively named Feile, and internally referred to as Luna”. It could launch later this year and currently, Alex Zhu, ByteDance’s VP of products and strategy, is reportedly a leading role for its release. ByteDance already has experience of developing and launching a new music streaming service with Resso, which soft-launched in India and Indonesia at the end of 2019, before an official launch in India in March 2020.

The Weeknd Accused of Plagiarizing 2018 Song “Call Out My Name”

Abel Tesfaye, also known as The Weeknd, has been accused of ripping off an electro house duo for his track “Call Out My Name”. Suniel Fox and Henry Strange, who make up the group Epikker, are now suing Tesfaye and his credited “Call Out My Name” co-writers Frank Dukes and Nicolas Jaar, their publishers and Universal Music Group for copyright infringement due to the song's similarities to their own song “Vibeking.” According to the lawsuit, the two tracks have the same time signature and similar tempos. The “Vibeking” writing duo also claims that even though the songs have different key signatures, they have otherwise identical hook melodies based on their scale degrees. The “Vibeking” writers claimed that they never received any license or agreement from The Weeknd’s team to authorize use of the song. “Call Out My Name” has amassed at least $1.06 million in publishing royalties in the US alone from streaming, sales, and airplay, Billboard estimates based on data from MRC Data.

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