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YouTube is introducing 15-second audio ads and the ability for advertisers to make buys across dynamic music lineups, including the Top 100 charts by country and collections of channels in popular genres like Latin and K-pop. Marketers will also be able to buy ads targeted by moods or interests like fitness or relaxation/meditation. The move is expected to boost ad revenue it generates from music on the platform.
Wixen Music Publishing has hit short-form video-sharing app Triller with a $50 million copyright infringement lawsuit on more than 1,000 songs. The federal complaint further claims that Triller has been “willfully infringing” its musical compositions by allowing its users to include them in videos without authorization or compensation.
According to a new study conducted by Oxford Economics, the music sector supports two million jobs and contributes €81.9 billion ($97 billion) gross value added annually to the GDPs of the 27 European Union member countries and the U.K. Using data from 2018, the study further noted that the sector also played a vital role in generating tax revenues, supporting €31 billion ($36.7 billion) in tax receipts in the EU and U.K. in 2018.
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In this newsletter:
- YouTube Launches Audio Ads and Ad-Targetable Music Lineups, Taking Aim at Spotify
- Wixen Music Publishing Hits Triller with $50 Million Copyright Lawsuit
- Music Supports Two Million Jobs, Contributes $97 Billion Annually to European Economy, Study Finds
- Apple Halves Its App Store Commission for Small Developers
- Over 2 Billion YouTube Users are Now Playing Music Videos Every Month
- SoundCloud Launches Profile Verification “To Help Well-Known Artists Stand Out”
Now, the details...
Compiled by Heidi Seo
Exploration Weekly - November 20, 2020
YouTube Launches Audio Ads and Ad-Targetable Music Lineups, Taking Aim at Spotify
YouTube is launching 15-second audio ads, the first format designed to reach YouTube users who listen to music or podcasts ambiently. The company is also introducing the ability for advertisers to make buys across dynamic music lineups, including the Top 100 charts by country and collections of channels in popular genres such as Latin, K-pop, country, rap and hip-hop. Marketers also can buy ads targeted by moods or interests like fitness or relaxation/meditation. YouTube expects the moves to boost ad revenue it generates from music on the platform, which includes over 70 million official tracks plus remixes, live performances, covers and other music content. And it stands to put YouTube in more head-to-head competition with Spotify, which has been selling audio-only ads and offering targeting by music genres for years.
Wixen Music Publishing Hits Triller with $50 Million Copyright Lawsuit
Wixen Music Publishing is suing short-form video-sharing app Triller for $50 million alleging copyright infringement on more than 1,000 songs. Wixen claims that Triller has been “willfully infringing” its musical compositions by allowing its users to include them in videos without authorization or compensation, according to the 15-page federal complaint filed in the U.S. Central District of California Western Division on Tuesday. Triller’s app allows users to create and share short videos that typically include music. Wixen, who administers more than 50,000 songs written and owned by its more than 2,000 clients, alleges that many of their compositions are being used in the app without the proper licenses. The publishing company is demanding a jury trial and seeking the maximum statutory relief it says it is entitled to of $150,000 per work infringed, for the sum of at least $50.4 million. In January 2018, Wixen filed a $1.6 billion lawsuit against Spotify ahead of the company's initial public offering, alleging the use of tens of thousands of songs without a license and compensation. In December 2018, that lawsuit was privately settled.
Music Supports Two Million Jobs, Contributes $97 Billion Annually to European Economy, Study Finds
According to a new study, titled “The Economic Impact of Music in Europe,” commissioned by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and conducted by Oxford Economics, the music sector supports two million jobs and contributes €81.9 billion ($97 billion) gross value added annually to the GDPs of the 27 European Union member countries and the U.K. It also exported €9.7 billion ($11.5 billion) worth of goods and services to countries outside the EU and the U.K., of which record companies, music publishers, and audio streaming services generated almost half. The study used data from 2018 and further noted that the music sector also played a vital role in generating tax revenues, supporting €31 billion ($36.7 billion) in tax receipts in the EU and U.K. in 2018. This was equivalent to 19.4% of the entire EU budget in the same year.
Apple Halves Its App Store Commission for Small Developers
Apple has announced that it will be reducing its App Store Commission. Its 30% cut will now be reduced to 15% for any developer or small business with annual revenues of less than $1 million. The new scheme will launch on January 1, with Apple pitching it as meaning “small developers and aspiring entrepreneurs will have more resources to invest in and grow their businesses in the App Store ecosystem”. Both Epic Games and Spotify have shared unimpressed views on Apple’s move. “A calculated move by Apple to divide app creators and preserve their monopoly on stores and payments, again breaking the promise of treating all developers equally,” said Epic boss Tim Sweeney. Despite the crusade against Apple, it’s also true that the new scheme could be a good thing for smaller music startups exploring user-paid business models.
Over 2 Billion YouTube Users are Now Playing Music Videos Every Month
YouTube’s Global Head of Music, Lyor Cohen, confirmed via a blog post on November 17 that more than 2 billion logged-in YouTube users are now playing music on the platform each month. To put that into context, it’s more than six times the 320 million Monthly Active Users (MAUs) who pressed play on a track on Spotify in Q3. Furthermore, YouTube also revealed this week: “More than 50% of logged-in viewers who consume music content in a day consume more than 10 minutes of music content (as of June 2020).” This suggests that said logged-in viewers are consuming more than one track via YouTube during their listening/viewing sessions. On the same day, research company Midia provided some more color on this score in a new report, estimating that YouTube generated some $2.2 billion in music rights holder royalties from its ad business in 2019. “Despite losing overall share of revenue [in 2019], music retains its role as the leading source of YouTube revenue, remaining the largest single source of ad revenue since 2017, strongly ahead of gaming at $2.6 billion. Music-related videos also represented 32% of all views in 2019.”
SoundCloud Launches Profile Verification “To Help Well-Known Artists Stand Out”
SoundCloud is rolling out profile verification on its platform. Official blue checkmarks will now start showing up in search and on profiles of verified creators. The platform has already “blue-checked” eight of its top-performing artists on November 17, including Billie Eilish, Wiz Khalifa and Trippie Redd, all of whom SoundCloud says have been on the platform since day one of their careers. In a blog post announcing the feature, SoundCloud writes that “we’re doing this to help well-known artists stand out and maintain their authenticity, and to help listeners identify these artists more easily”. Orange Pro star badges will also now be displayed exclusively on the profiles of SoundCloud’s Pro subscribers.
- YouTube at two billion: Still much more music opportunity to be had.
- How music rehabilitates the ageing brain and body.
- The state of streaming music with Garrett Levin of Digital Media Association.
- Kylie Minogue becomes first woman to top UK album chart across five decades.
- How Metallica outgrew the limitations of thrash.
- Justin Bieber performs "Lonely" and "Holy" at the 2020 E! People’s Choice Awards.
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