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Is Tech all that good for music? - WR #156
Weekly Roundups
April 7, 2023

Is Tech all that good for music? - WR #156

Looking at this week, some innovative tools can raise the question, but we assure you that Tech can be so powerful to optimize your time that it’s worth it to sort out the right parts, necessary to your business. Luckily, we’re here to help!

#1. The latest online and offline moves of Spotify 

Spotify has put a stop, for now, to its live audio App experience. After the success of live audio apps like Clubhouse, this new business had attracted various companies. Among these was Spotify, who had purchased the Betty Lab’s Locker Room app in 2021, renaming it Spotify Live.

Some features of the ex Spotify’s live audio app will be integrated into its main platform, which will become another step towards becoming more of a social network rather than content provider for its users.

Although Spotify continues to expand offline, in the live music business. The company will feature a series of R&B First Nights concerts in the United States, which will focus on emerging R&B artists.

However, some Spotify’s competitors continue to move and expand their business in the field of live audio. For instance, Amazon’s video streaming service. The company announced 'Monumental', a new live music streaming show which will see the participation of Ellie Goulding for its first episode.

#2. Is there a gap between Spotify and artists' needs?

It looks like the streaming platform added a new metric in the Spotify Artist Dashboard. "Active audience" analyzes the behavior of listeners who have actively streamed an artist’s music over the past 28 days. In addition to quantifying these active listeners, Spotify for Artists ranks them in super, moderate and light ones.

However, currently, these data are purely informative and do not allow any action to artists. Without a doubt, it is a first step in enhancing listeners and artists' value, but will Spotify take future concrete actions better than this in the interest of listeners and artists?

#3. Is it time to slow down with AI?

This might sound crazy, but the key players in the field of AI are asking to slow our rolls.

Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, and others have in fact signed an open letter, to "immediately pause for at least six months the formation of artificial intelligence systems more powerful than GPT-4". All this is because of "deep risks to society and humanity." (according to them of course). The open letter points out that recent advances in AI, since the release of OpenAI GPT-4, have led to a "run out of control" to develop and deploy AI models that can be difficult to predict or control. And that’s not not wrong.

Meanwhile, music has had some strong solutions coming in. In fact, AI-powered music making app, Moises, has passed the milestone of 30 million registered users on its platform. The company firmly claims (that the AI tools can enrich the creative process in all its phases and above all) that "The future of AI and musical creation is about symbiosis, not competition”.

#4. Will songwriters get their owed $800 Million Mechanical Royalties soon?

More and more authors and singers are waiting for the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) to finalize its decision and unblock nearly a billion dollars of compensation in due royalties.

Last July, the CRB had issued a determination for the Phonorecords III (covering 2018-2022) proceeding, up 43.8% on-demand mechanical streaming royalty rates for songwriters and publishers in the United States. Now, North American songwriters (SONA), as well as the Black Music Action Coalition and the Music Artists Coalition, have recently asked the Copyright Royalty Board to make official the Phonorecords III ruling, which came after years of opposition from Spotify, Amazon, and others.

#5. German record companies' legal action against YouTube-DL

IFPI, and BVMI, the music body recorded in Germany, have taken legal action to stop YouTube-DL, the streaming-ripping software. Stream ripping is one of the most widespread forms of online music copyright infringement.

YouTube-Dl allows users to download content directly from YouTube, thereby bypassing YouTube’s technical protection measures applied to protect licensed streaming content from unauthorized downloads. However, the individual behind this software will be obliged to stop by request of the Hamburg regional court.

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