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Music Contracts and Collaborations - WR #199
Weekly Roundups
February 2, 2024

Music Contracts and Collaborations - WR #199

Oof, this week has been quite eventful for the music industry! Hard to miss; Universal and TikTok are in a feud and many other music industry giants are making waves of their own. Let’s dive in:

#1. Generative AI music market to be worth $3 billion by 2028

A new study commissioned by CMOs in Europe predicts that the global market for generative AI in music will exceed $3 billion by 2028, a tenfold increase on 2023. The study, carried out by Goldmedia, points to significant concerns among composers and music rights holders about the impact of AI on artists' revenues. They highlight a potential 27% revenue shortfall for music creators by 2028, in the absence of a system to compensate for human-created contributions. Based on interviews and surveys with music industry professionals, the report reveals that AI is widely used in music creation, particularly in the fields of Electronic music and Hip-Hop.

Survey participants stress the importance of transparency, control and fair compensation for copyright holders when AI is used to form models or generate music. Goldmedia calls for effective regulations and transparency requirements to protect the rights and interests of music creators in the evolving landscape of AI-generated music.

#2. TikTok and UMG are over (at the moment)

Universal Music Group withdrew their catalog from TikTok on February 1. This decision follows the breakdown of licensing negotiations between the two parties, and will result in the removal of around 3 million tracks of recorded music and around 4 million songs represented by UMG.

The pitfall is due to Universal's insistence to TikTok on issues such as artist remuneration, protection against AI-generated content and user online safety. Universal criticized TikTok's decision, accusing it of prioritizing greed over the interests of artists and songwriters. In return, the platform argued that TikTok is not a music streaming platform and should not be licensed as such, given that its users cannot listen to songs in their entirety.

This got Universal worried about how TikTok manages content generated by AI, and accuses the platform of diluting the royalty pool for human artists. Producer and artist Metro Boomin notably expressed his support for Universal's decision, going as far as suggesting that "the TikTok era of music is over".

#3. Misogyny in the music industry 

Recently, a UK parliamentary committee published a scathing report entitled "Misogyny in Music", which highlights the widespread misogyny and discrimination faced by women in the music industry. Despite progress in gender parity, the report describes the industry as a "boys' club" where sexual harassment and abuse are commonplace, and where victims are often faced with disbelief or retaliation. Testimonies, including that of singer-songwriter Rebecca Ferguson, reveal instances of serious retaliation against those who report harassment.

The report therefore calls for greater accountability and protection for victims, recommending measures such as licensing regimes for industry professionals and the extension of legal protections for self-employed workers. In particular, Silvia Montello, Chief Executive of the Association of Independent Music, stressed the need for systemic change to promote the success and credibility of women in the sector.

#4. Believe takes takes another step in one of today's biggest markets: India

India saw a surge in on-demand music streaming in 2023, outstripping all other countries with an increase of almost half a trillion listens. If this trend continues in 2024, India could rival the USA as the world's largest music streaming country.

Believe has acquired a major catalog from India's White Hill Music, described as the "Punjabi giant". The deal, which is the result of a long-term partnership, includes songs by top North Indian artists, as well as control of WHM's YouTube channel, which boasts 23.4 million subscribers.

Present in India since 2013, the distribution company has been contributing to the digitization of WHM's catalog since 2017. This acquisition aligns with its strategy to strengthen its position in the Indian music market and promote Punjabi music, a genre with a significant market share in India and global popularity.

#5. TuneCore and Amazon Music works for independent artists

TuneCore has collaborated with Amazon Music UK to offer 12 independent artists free studio time at Metropolis Studios, a renowned recording facility in Europe. Each month, one TuneCore artist from the selected dozen will benefit from two full days in Metropolis Studios' Studio X, equipped with high-quality audio equipment.

This initiative aims to provide emerging musicians with access to first-rate recording resources, enabling them to create professional recordings and advance their careers. TuneCore and Amazon’s partnership demonstrates a deep commitment to supporting independent artists and nurturing the next generation of talent in the music industry.

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