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Tracks at the center of music business - WR #24
Weekly roundups
July 3, 2020

Tracks at the center of music business - WR #24

Here we go again! Music business seems to be picking up and few operations are getting back on tracks around here in Europe. For this week, we took a look at a few major actors taking advantage of strategies based on tracks only, and how the business is evolving around them. Whether it’s extending the user experience with lyrics or new ways to release new tracks, songs are at the center of attention. So let’s dive in!

#1. TikTok is making its way through music industry

After having numerous difficulties to strike deals with labels and majors, TikTok finally got its first deal by acquiring Prince’s full catalog rights. A bit surprising when we think about how careful the artist was when it came to putting music online (he took his discography off of Spotify and Apple Music). But the Prince estate allowed the platform to use all content. This means that any of TikTok user will be able to dance on a Prince track.

Developing a business model regarding the music industry is a big step in TikTok’s strategy. This deal could be the proof of concept and unlock the situation for the platform, still seen with a lot of defiance by the main actors in music.

That being said, TikTok is not completely clean in rights management. And the news is coming at the same time as India banning almost 50 apps from the territory, including TikTok. Which is a hard hit since India is their main main market. You can find out more about it here!

#2. Real-time lyrics on tracks on streaming

Speaking of rights, again, another platform has been dealing with licenses. Lyrics appearing in real time on your music streaming service is a recurrent topic for music professionals. This week, Spotify announced the launch of real-time lyrics on 26 markets (mainly in South America and Asia). Adding lyrics to tracks has always been a brain teaser in terms of rights and licenses. Apple had teamed up with Genius, for lyrics as well as verified videos 2 years ago. This launch is a big step taken by Spotify, to catch up the topic.

#3. The song economy, revisited

Thinking “track by track” is pretty much the main trend to follow. MIDiA Research have been working on how the “song economy” has been taking up space. Interestingly enough, even though albums are still considered as the completion of a project, songs are now the center of marketing strategies and data analysis. Some of the examples quoted in the articles are helpful to understand how the business is built on tracks. An interesting read to prepare your next moves for releases and new strategies online!

#4. New ways to create tracks online

On another note, music creation and release strategy have a new interesting example to look at. We talked about new ways to create and release music in our last article. Well, few new things came out this week! Mike Shinoda, member of Linkin Park, just released a new album, created on Twitch.

The process was pretty straightforward: fans could tune in every day to help with composition of every tracks, to build the album just now released. A good way to engage on the platform and release music to an already existing audience!

#5. How are artists getting paid from streaming?

Finally, speaking of releases and artistic creation, difficult not to talk about revenues. An article from Pitchfork gives a good overview of the main issue with streaming for artists revenue, and the solutions we could consider. We know your activities as record companies and music publishing are no strangers to these processes, but a good perspective can always help to make informed decisions in music business!

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