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Music industry did not take a break during the holidays! - WR #195
Weekly Roundups
January 5, 2024

Music industry did not take a break during the holidays! - WR #195

From Spotify’s usual estimation on royalties to new tech being even more present in our regular platforms, let's take a look at what's happening this festive season. 

#1. How much does Spotify pay per stream ? 

Spotify is making changes to its royalty system in response to criticism of unequal payments to artists. The company attributes these problems to three factors: artificial streams, "bad actors" who use sound recordings to manipulate the system, and small payments that don't reach artists. To remedy this, Spotify will charge labels and distributors per track when artificial streaming is detected, and restructure eligibility for monetization.

From 2024, tracks will need to have reached at least 1,000 streams in the last 12 months to generate registered royalties. This change aims to increase payments to artists who rely more heavily on streaming revenues, and to eliminate small payments that often go unnoticed.

In total, the adjustments are expected to redirect tens of millions of dollars a year, or $40 million in total, to artists who rely on streaming revenues. 

As these initiatives roll out, Spotify is committed to keeping the public informed, and invites those interested in specific details to visit its Loud & Clear website for more information on evolving royalty policies.

#2. Metallica invests in artist-to-fan

Medallion, a direct-to-consumer platform that enables artists to connect with their fans, has secured $13.7 million in Series A funding. Led by former Songkick CEO Matt Jones, the funding will support Medallion's ambitious technical roadmap. Medallion's white-label platform, launched in 2022, enables artists to create online communities offering exclusive experiences and products. Several artists use Medallion, including My Morning Jacket, Sigur Ros, Santigold, Tycho, Greta Van Fleet, as well as investors Mt. Joy and Jungle. This investment marks Metallica's third significant venture in 2023.

#3. New songs by Microsoft's AI chatbot

Copilot, Microsoft's AI-powered chatbot, has teamed up with Suno, a generative AI music app, enabling users to compose songs using text prompts. Users can enter queries such as "Create a pop song about family adventures", and Suno transforms these ideas into complete songs with lyrics, instruments and sung vocals. This collaboration aims to make music creation accessible to everyone, whatever their musical background. 

Suno also enables users to share AI-generated songs on social media. 

However, despite the growing trend towards AI-generated music creation, ethical and legal challenges persist, particularly with regard to consent and artist remuneration. Suno does not disclose its sources of AI training data, but claims to block certain prompts and prevent users from downloading existing song lyrics for replay.

#4. Universal and Tencent renew their partnership

Tencent Music Entertainment Group and Universal Music Group have officially renewed their strategic licensing agreement. This multi-year collaboration ensures continued access to UMG's extensive music catalog for platforms like QQ Music, Kugou Music, Kuwo Music, and WeSing. More interestingly, the deal extends to features such as music streaming in Dolby Atmos and HD formats, promising an even better user experience.

#5. TikTok's launched their first Live concert

TikTok's first live concert, "TikTok In The Mix", held at Sloan Park in Mesa, Arizona, on December 10, 2023, attracted over 33.5 million unique viewers during the original broadcast and three subsequent reruns. The five-hour event featured headliners such as Cardi B, Niall Horan, Anitta, Charlie Puth, Offset and Peso Pluma, as well as special performances by Reneé Rapp and emerging artists from TikTok's Elevate program. 

The show, which sold out with an audience of 17,000, set a record for the largest live event on TikTok, attracting 9.6 million viewers during the live broadcast. TikTok plans to continue exploring live music events, and its global head of music business development, Ole Obermann, said that "TikTok In The Mix" would be the first of many if successful. The platform has strengthened its presence in the music industry, notably by concluding a ticketing partnership with Ticketmaster and launching artist accounts for musicians.

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