According to a recent Midia Research study, streaming subscriptions grew by 26.4% worldwide in Q2 2021. Additionally, although Spotify had the highest market share among streaming services with 31%, YouTube Music showed the highest growth in the West by more than 50% during the 2020-to-2021 Q2 period.

The CRB is expected to have new proposed streaming royalty rates by the end of this year, which will determine how much digital music services like Apple Music and Google must pay songwriters and music publishers for their work through 2027. The proposed rates for 2018 to 2022 are currently still under review by copyright judges after being overturned by the federal appeals court in August 2020.

YouTube is considering adding “smart downloads” to its hub, where it will detect when users are connected to wi-fi and use that connection to download up to 20 recommended videos per week to their device. This feature is already available to Premium YouTube Music subscribers.

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Compiled by Heidi Seo

Exploration Weekly - January 21, 2022

Streaming Music Subscriptions Grew 26% in 2021, With YouTube Music as Fastest Growing DSP in the West

A Midia Research study shows that worldwide streaming subscriptions grew by 26.4% in the second quarter of 2021, with 521.3 million subscribers at the end of that period, an increase of 109.5 million from the year before. Spotify continued to have by far the highest market share among streaming services, with its 31% slice of the pie being more than double the 15% claimed by the nearest runner-up, Apple Music. But Mark Mulligan cautioned, “the erosion of its share is steady and persistent”. Midia points to the momentum of YouTube Music, which still has a modest share — just 8% of the market — but which grew by more than 50% during the 2020-to-2021 Q2 period. “YouTube Music was the only Western DSP to increase global market share during this period,” Mulligan writes.

Politico: The Streaming Royalty Wars Return

The Copyright Royalty Board is set to decide the rates that digital music services like Apple Music and Google must pay songwriters and music publishers for their work through 2027. The CRB determines the rates for five-year periods if the groups can’t reach agreement on their own. Although streaming subscriptions have boomed, the amount of money the streaming services must pay to provide that music remains at the same level from 2017 amid litigation over the royalty rates. The proposed rates for 2018 to 2022 will likely amount to somewhere between 10% and 15.1% of a streaming service’s revenue. The board had set a rate for 2018 through 2022 that significantly increased the money that digital services would pay, but a federal appeals court overturned that in August 2020. Since then, the copyright judges have been working to come up with a new rate that accords with the court decision. In the meantime, the board has also started its proceedings for 2023 to 2027. Music publishers have proposed an even larger rate increase, amounting to 20% of streaming service revenue. The board is expected to have a proposed rate by the end of this year.

YouTube Wants to Auto-Download Videos For You

YouTube is considering carrying a popular YouTube Music feature over to the main app. The latest addition to the platform’s hub, where it lets Premium members sign up to test experimental features, is “smart downloads.” This feature detects when users are connected to wi-fi and uses that connection to download up to 20 recommended videos per week to their device. The idea is to create a kind of automatic backup so users will still have content to watch if they happen to lose internet and/or cell service. As 9to5Google points out, smart downloads are very similar to a feature already available to Premium YouTube Music subscribers. The Music version of the feature automatically downloads songs based on users’ previous listening histories. Offerings in the /new hub are usually available to all Premium users, but for now, the smart downloads test is only available to some users in Europe, and only available on Android phones.

Jimi Hendrix Estate Preemptively Sues Estates of Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell Over Copyright Infringement Notice

The Jimi Hendrix estate is preemptively suing the estates of the late Jimi Hendrix Experience bandmates over a new infringement claim concerning the act’s recordings. Experience Hendrix and Authentic Hendrix – which were founded by Hendrix’s father and possess the namesake artist’s “copyrights and trademark rights” – just recently joined Sony Music Entertainment in filing the complaint in a New York federal court. Jimi Hendrix Experience members Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell allegedly “filed and asserted claims” regarding the royalties from their group’s recordings in 1973 and 1974, and the suing parties claim that this represented the defendants as “the recent assignees of ‘all rights of copyright and all other rights’ from each of Mitchell’s and Redding’s estates”. The plaintiffs are asking the court to pay their legal fees and issue a restraining order barring the defendant estates “from claiming any rights of ownership or intellectual property rights” pertaining to the Jimi Hendrix Experience recordings.

Data Suggests YouTube Music is Rising Fast in South Korea

According to The Korea Times, reporting on new data from research firm Mobile Index, YouTube Music has grown from a 1.7% share of the South Korean music streaming market in 2019 to 19.22% by the end of 2021. That means YouTube Music has overtaken services like Flo (with its 13.31% share according to the research) and Vibe (4.08%) and is pretty much neck-and-neck with the second biggest service, Genie (19.24%). The biggest DSP, Melon, is still some way ahead with a 37.28% market share. However, that has fallen from nearly 50% in 2018 according to the story, which adds that YouTube Music’s monthly active users grew from around 630,000 at the start of 2021 to 1.26m by the start of December. South Korea was the sixth largest recorded music market in 2020 according to the IFPI, and was ranked seventh for streaming. Within those figures, it was notable that revenue from video streams had rocketed by 202.4%, although at $40.2m that was still just 9.6% of the overall streaming pie in South Korea.

Brazil Now Has Around 18 Million Music Streaming Subscribers

Brazil has 64 million monthly active users of audio platforms and around 18 million music streaming subscribers, according to the Brazilian Association of Independent Music (ABMI), as the country’s digital music business continues to go from strength to strength. In 2020, Brazil retained its crown as Latin America’s largest recorded music market, with revenues up 24.5% year-on-year according to the IFPI. Carlos Mills, president of the ABMI, told Music Ally that Spotify has around 60% of music streaming subscribers in Brazil, followed by Amazon Music. “Amazon’s integration with Twitch seems to give them a good competitive advantage in the live scene, this is something to be seen in the next months,” he said.

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