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New tech and old trends - WR #150
Weekly Roundups
February 24, 2023

New tech and old trends - WR #150

This week has been a pretty interesting one considering the split between main innovations regarding AI and recurrent trends such as TikTok or catalog investment. So let’s dive into yet another week!

#1. AI and music rights, the Far West

When we talk about AI in music, there are two teams. Those who see AI as a threat to creativity and those who instead try to ride the wave of change to the fullest, not to drown. In any case, AI is here and the only thing we can do is accept the changes and face them. Recently, the need to work at a distance has also increased in the music industry" and AI allows collaboration in bot form.

Lately, David Guetta, the well-known French DJ house, has faced some backlash. All this because he posted a video where he plays a rave success, with an AI-generated Eminem rap-a-like. " AI is the future of music" the DJ said. His intention was  just to open the discussion. And he definitely did it!

Against criticism, he compared AI to any other instrument and argued that AI is no different from past musical revolutions such as the electric guitar:  "There would probably be no rock'n'roll without the electric guitar,". But what does Eminem think about it? Specifically, what does he think about his rights? There is currently no legislation on this subject.

Interestingly, the French producer joked on Twitter that he will obviously not release the track commercially. But, clearly, it’s time to settle on music rights linked to AI.

#2. TikTok, splitting opinions again

The evolution of TikTok in Europe is sensational and the numbers speak for themselves: they reached more than 150 monthly active users across Europe. Compared to other major platforms such as Apple or Alphabet, it’s getting closer and closer. The platform is a gold mine in terms of work; in fact 5000 new jobs have been created in 10 European countries.

Last year, Snoop Dogg acquired Death Row and its recording catalog. He then proceeded to remove the Death Row catalog from streaming platforms. Now, the catalog is exclusively available on TikTok. Clearly, Snoop Dog likes to go big. And so what better platform than TikTok? He wanted to: "mark the label’s first official online release, and the first ever catalog reissue to release exclusively through SoundOn".

However, there are serious problems regarding TikTok personal data management’s issue. So much so that TikTok has been banned in both houses of Congress and by more than 20 state governments in the US. Other federal legislators are even calling for an absolute ban and others are calling for "severe structural restrictions between the US operations of TikTok and its Chinese parent company."

#3. Encouraging results on streaming by DiMA

According to the American Digital Media Association (DiMA), streamers spend an average of $387 a year on music compared to $242 non streamers. Besides, about 72% of streamers listen to music every day compared to 49% of non-streamers. DiMA releases annually its '’Streaming Forward: Fan Engagement Report 2023”, which is a very useful and positive source of statistics on music streaming services.

According to most interviewees, a strong aspect of streaming is to make music more accessible to everyone anywhere on the planet. And this data can help better understand audiences' behavior.

#4. The potential recovery of music catalog deals

Music catalogs deals have been slowing down recently, raising doubts for the music industry professionals regarding the durability of the business of investing in music. Fear not, apparently, it’s still going strong.

Sure the sales have grown to be less impressive, but it’s a pretty normal thing when it comes to a market being regulated and stepping into a steady pace. Also, it feels like the main funds are gearing up for 2023 anyway, with Hipgnosis, Primary Wave and others, raising money. So brace yourselves, we’re not done!

#5. Could Napster be a trendsetter (again)?

Napster has always been a precursor. Right now, they seem keen to step into Web3 with the acquisition of Mint Songs, an NFT marketplace.

To go even further, Jon Vlassopulos, current CEO of Napster, stated: “The combination of Napster’s ongoing innovation that powers the platform currently alongside IP technology and Mint Songs' expertise will help drive Web3 innovation for the music industry.

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