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All kinds of remunerations from Streaming - WR #169
Weekly Roundups
July 7, 2023

All kinds of remunerations from Streaming - WR #169

How have the major platforms evolved in the last week? Has there been any kind of change on that front? Turns out, just a few tweaks, that may be interesting to notice.

#1. Spotify & Apple’s feud goes further

As you surely know by now, Apple has been defending itself against some antitrust claims in the EU. To sum it up: the company estimated having changed enough of their rules on the App Store to create a fairer balance between interests and app developers. Well it may need a little more work. Spotify insists that Apple's rules hinder its ability to inform users about deals and promotions, supporting the EU's investigation. Apple could face fines if found guilty.

Now things got a little worse this week as Spotify stopped accepting Apple's billing service on the App Store, affecting existing subscribers. They can thus choose alternative payment methods or switch to the free version. This pressure move was designed to highlight the practices of the iOS environment, hurting Spotify’s model.

#2. The Rolling Stones’ copyright infringement lawsuit

The Rolling Stones have filed a 'Motion to Dismiss' the copyright infringement lawsuit brought by Spanish songwriter Sergio Garcia Fernandez. The band's legal filing argues for dismissal based on improper venue, failure to state a claim, and lack of personal jurisdiction over a European rights management company.

While Fernandez had claimed that elements from his songs were present in The Rolling Stones' track "Living in a Ghost Town", the band's attorneys state that Fernandez's complaint lacks sufficient evidence and that the court does not have jurisdiction over the defendants. They also argue that the case should be dismissed or transferred to a court in Europe, where the defendants have a presence.

#3. Streaming prices rise trend

The streaming market continues to grow, at least in terms of subscriber numbers. Spotify leads the US music subscription market with 44.4 million paying subscribers, while Apple Music follows with 32.6 million subscribers.

These figures were revealed during the National Music Publishers Association meeting, where it was highlighted that both Apple Music and Amazon Music experienced subscriber growth despite raising prices. This brings up questions about the undervaluation of music in terms of pricing. It also suggests that price increases may not deter subscribers. Increasing prices could potentially be a first step in valuing the work of artists and professionals without losing subscribers.

In this landscape, Tidal joins Apple Music, Deezer, and Amazon Music in raising its individual subscription price to $10.99 per month. It is reported that Spotify is preparing to introduce a more expensive premium tier called Supremium. Tidal's price increase for its HiFi plan will be effective from August 1st. Spotify is expected to adjust its prices and potentially introduce Supremium, offering access to Spotify HiFi and complimentary audiobooks.

#4. PPL Sets Record with £98 Million Distribution to Rights Holders

PPL has made its largest-ever quarterly payment to performers and recording rights holders, distributing a total of £98 million. This is a 37% increase compared to the previous year's distribution in June 2022, reflecting a growth in revenue across all areas of UK licensing as the music industry recovers from the impact of Covid. The distribution includes income from music video licensing and benefits over 121,000 individuals.

PPL's success is attributed to its investment in technology and operations, with advancements in metadata management and data exchange. Additionally, PPL highlights the significant growth in classical music, with more than £5 million distributed to classical performers and rights holders in 2022, a rise of over 50% since 2017.

The company's strong financial performance follows its record-breaking revenue in 2022, further solidifying its position as a key player in the music industry. Christine Geissmar, PPL's Chief Operating Officer, emphasizes the importance of fair compensation for creators and acknowledges the contributions of the music industry in achieving global financial success and cultural impact.

#5. SoundCloud Expands SoundCloud for Artists

SoundCloud has teamed up with Squarespace, Adobe, Discord, and Rap Plug to offer new benefits to its artists as part of SoundCloud for Artists program. SoundCloud is providing exclusive offers and discounts from renowned brands in the music industry, in an effort to create a variety of features for their subscribers.

Tracy Chan, SoundCloud's Chief Content Officer, recognizes the challenges faced by artists in managing their careers beyond creating music. For them, the partnerships with other creator-focused companies aim to make artist management easier and offer a comprehensive benefits package.

The ongoing development of SoundCloud for Artists includes new features like direct-to-fans messaging, and partnerships for Member Benefits. SoundCloud continues to innovate and provide opportunities for artists to succeed in the ever-evolving music landscape.

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