So let’s get to this week’s main news, from another use of AI for the music field to streaming platforms’ numbers, what’s up in the industry?
#1. Apple Music Classical is up and running!
Apple has just launched its classical music only streaming platform. It’s been two years since the announcement, but now Apple Music Classical is officially available for free to all Apple Music subscribers. The platform features a library of over five million tracks, with thousands of exclusive albums, original artwork and about 700 expertly curated playlists, among other things.
An interesting advantage of the platform is certainly the complete and accurate metadata, as pointed out by violinist Hilary Hann. The Classical music focus is designed in a way to create a unique experience and put more value on this genre, which has always been a struggle to fit into music streaming platforms models.
#2. What’s Childish Gambino’s latest win?
The accusations and trials concerning copyright are always thorny. But, fortunately for Childish Gambino, the outcome wasn’t so bad.
Indeed, a federal judge officially dismissed a lawsuit on alleged copyright infringement filed against his 2018 song "This Is America", which has reached approximately 546 million streams just on Spotify.
Back in 2021, Donald Glover, a.k.a. Childish Gambino, was denounced by Emelike Nwosuocha AKA Kidd Wes, an American Musician. He claimed to have created and published online a song titled "Made In America" in 2016, and to have recorded its work with the Copyright Office in May 2017.
However, among the reasons why the case was rejected, only one is actually linked to copyright itself: “The Court finds that Nwosuocha’s copyright claim fails as a matter of law because Nwosuocha does not possess a copyright registration for the musical composition of” his above-mentioned 2016 track.”
#3. What are this week’s TikTok challenges around the world?
Nope, we’re not talking about trends on TikTok, but what the platform has been facing in terms of backlash this week! TikTok, will be banned in France on all government devices, for reasons related to security and data protection. The ban comes after the ones already imposed in the US, UK and Canada.
Moreover, on the other side of the world, in Australia, the platform owned by Bytedance, has recorded a drop in users and usage. This is caused by the music limit now available on TikTok in the country (something we already talked about in our latest weekly roundups by the way!). This was probably a move to increase his negotiating power in agreements with majors, but didn’t really pay out.
It is now clear that the platform wants to establish itself more and more in the music industry. Among other things, it has also launched the distribution service, Soundon.
In this context of risk and uncertainty, there is also good news for the platform. TikTok was chosen as the official entertainment partner for Eurovision 2023, for the second year in a row. Last year, TikTok’s Eurovision live streams attracted 5.8 million viewers, so the media coverage certainly offered an excellent opportunity to access younger viewers.
The platform therefore goes ahead despite the risks of bans and serious problems with the law in some countries, but still remains an indispensable and valuable platform in the music industry.
#4. AI-powered soundscape is the future of music
There is so much to discover about AI. For some of us, it still looks like this black box that might go too far in creation. But it might actually surprise you to consider how much AI could have another place in the music industry.
In all likelihood, AI will pave the way to new formats and adaptation mediums to access music. In fact, Endel, a German AI-powered sound wellness company, has patented a technology tracking a user’s daily movements, heart rate and other factors and then feeding these data to an AI to generate real custom soundscapes able to adapt to our state in real time. Endel has also recently signed an agreement to produce wellness playlists for Amazon Music.
This is only one example of how AI can be used to change our relationship with music and sounds. So maybe there’s more issues to be dealt with regarding the streams through which music will get to us.
#5. BPI’s latest data on streaming’s diversity
In the UK, record labels have recently faced strong criticism of the music streaming business. To defend itself from accusations the BPI stressed that a strong point of streaming today is diversity. In fact, today, more and more artists are achieving success thanks to streaming, as never before. BPI also declared:“More than 2,000 artists generated more than 10m audio streams in the UK in 2022, while more than 200 had more than 100m”.