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Data insights and legislations - WR #189
Weekly Roundups
November 24, 2023

Data insights and legislations - WR #189

Data insights are not only for business decisions, but also for better understanding of our field. The music industry is still battling some legislation regarding tech, all while needing datasets to train the right innovations for the industry. Let’s dive in!

#1. Luminate share new data on TikTok’s impact on the music industry

TikTok's commissioned report by Luminate underscores the platform's positive impact on the music industry. The findings reveal that TikTok users are more likely to use paid streaming services, spend more on music products, and have a higher propensity for music discovery compared to other short-form video platforms. In the U.S., 62% of TikTok users pay for streaming services, and 38% attend live music events. The report also notes a 70% higher likelihood of music discovery on TikTok in the U.S. and highlights users' stronger preference for international music.

#2. Anthropic's AI is facing more pushback

Music publishers ABKCO, Concord and Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) have filed a lawsuit against AI company Anthropic, alleging widespread infringement of copyrighted song lyrics via its chatbot Claude. The publishers are seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent Anthropic from using their works during the legal proceedings. They claim that Anthropic is engaging in blatant and widespread copyright infringement by harvesting and ingesting large quantities of text from the internet to train its AI models, causing irreparable harm to songwriters and music publishers. The lawsuit, which could set a precedent for AI companies using copyrighted song lyrics, seeks substantial damages. 

Anthropic is accused of having total control over the input and output data of its AI models, and of intentionally reproducing, distributing and displaying copyrighted works without authorization. This case highlights the growing legal challenges associated with the use of AI-generated content and its impact on intellectual property rights in the music industry.

#3. UMG signs licensing deal with Sewasew in Ethiopia 

Universal strengthens its presence in Africa through a groundbreaking licensing agreement with Sewasew Multimedia, an Ethiopian music and entertainment company. The agreement enables Sewasew to license and promote UMG's extensive music catalog in Ethiopia, offering local consumers access to a wide range of music from UMG's international labels and African divisions. This partnership aims to foster the growth of the Ethiopian music industry and facilitate global exposure for local artists. 

Sewasew Multimedia, a streaming platform launching in October 2022, has already signed over 100 artists, including influential figures on the Ethiopian music scene. This development follows UMG's licensing agreement with African music service Mdundo in July 2022 and the creation of Virgin Music Label & Artist Services in Africa to support independent artists in the region.

#4. Spotify has a deal with Google AI

Spotify and Google are strengthening their collaboration, with the US streaming platform leveraging Google's AI offerings to improve key aspects of its service. The partnership aims to improve content discovery and personalized recommendations by using large language models (LLMs) to better understand Spotify's content library. In addition, AI will be used to analyze the listening habits of spoken content, in order to provide new and interesting recommendations. In addition, the agreement includes plans to use the technology to improve security and identify potentially dangerous content, although precise details have not yet been disclosed.  

#5. UK government music creators' criticism of AI roundtable

The UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport recently held a roundtable discussion with industry leaders, including executives from Warner Music Group, Getty Images and the Publishers Association, to address the risks and opportunities presented by AI in the creative sector. However, the Council of Music Makers (CMM), which represents musicians, criticized the government's approach, claiming that the roundtable was unbalanced, giving three seats to the heads of the major record companies and just one to a representative of all creators in the various media. 

CMM expressed concern at the lack of commitment on the part of rights-holding companies to address the challenges and opportunities presented by AI, and to obtain explicit consent before using an artist's music to drive AI models. This incident highlights the ongoing tension between rights holders and musicians in the music industry regarding AI and its impact on intellectual property rights.

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