Music has always been at the forefront of change in the industry, and lately, there has been some proof of that, if we ever needed it. From legal precedents being set to the implication of music platforms in various fields, here’s our latest weekly roundup!
#1. The legal battle between Sonos and Google has come to an end
You may have heard about the patent dispute between Sonos and Google. Just as a reminder, Sonos had claimed that Google infringed upon smart speaker technology relating to customizable multi-room audio playback systems.
Well, this week, a federal judge has overturned the $32.5 million verdict previously awarded to Sonos in May. The judge found that the patents in question are "unenforceable", stating that Sonos had delayed the prosecution of these patents, making them unenforceable.
This week's legal outcome raises questions about patent enforcement and protection in the technology and audio industry. Indeed, the decision underscores the complexity and challenges involved in patent litigation, particularly in cases with lengthy timelines and intricate legal arguments.
#2. Spotify unveiled its audiobooks and it’s already raising questions
Spotify's recent audiobook rollout is raising concerns in the literary world. The Society of Authors is troubled by the claims that "all major book publishers" have sealed deals with Spotify without involving authors, potentially impacting their income. This move directly competes with traditional audiobook sales, prompting calls for transparency, fair payment models, and safeguards against unauthorized use of literary works.
Meanwhile, Wall Street analysts are closely examining Spotify's audiobook initiative and its implications. They see it as a means to boost user engagement and conversion, with some experts predicting higher gross margins compared to Spotify's music business. These developments have ignited discussions on how Spotify's foray into audiobooks may reshape the audiobook industry.
#3. Half of the Top 20 on Spotify is owned by Majors
Spotify's Top 20 chart provides an insightful look into the evolving landscape of music ownership, and it’s a good one. Independent artists and smaller music companies are gaining greater ownership of recording copyrights. Among the Top 20 songs, nearly half of them are fully independently owned. This change reflects a more collaborative approach where some independent artists license their music to major labels for varying durations.
The independent music scene, particularly Latin American artists, is making a considerable impact on the global music charts. Even well-established artists like Taylor Swift have embraced ownership of their master recordings. This dynamic illustrates the changing landscape of the music industry, with independent artists and labels playing an increasingly influential role.
#4. AI is here for the music industry, not the other way around
As everyone is talking about generative AI (genAI) in music, the existential debate about whether machines could replace human artists has surfaced. Markus Schwarzer, CEO of Cyanite, shares seven reasons why genAI won't spell the end of human creativity in music. You’ll find out all about it in Music Week!
Instead of viewing genAI as a threat, Schwarzer suggests that the music industry should focus on curation and searchability, harnessing AI to deliver real-time, personalized music recommendations for enhanced music discovery and user engagement. And that’s exactly what Reprtoir is looking to do with them! (More on that very soon)
#5. A quick glance at the Indian music ecosystem
The Indian music ecosystem is a rich tapestry that intertwines ancient folk and classical traditions with modern developments. Recent years have seen the rise of a digital music economy with independent artists using social media and innovative distribution methods. These artists are also exploring ancient folk songs and regional languages, appealing to a global audience.
However, despite these advancements, many independent Indian artists struggle to make a living from music. Challenges include the need for better music publishing, access to data, and collaborative knowledge-sharing. Get a full overview of the matter right here!