Here we go for a new Weekly Roundup! We have been talking a lot about the changes occurring on platforms in the music space. But how about using them to drive change? That seems to be the trend this week.
#1. Microsoft facing copyright infringement lawsuit
Let’s dive right in with Microsoft at hands with copyright. The owner of OpenAI and Github is facing a class action lawsuit. Allegedly, their AI-based coding tool, Copilot, is copying code without giving credit or mentioning their authors.
From their end, Microsoft claims that the lack of concrete information makes the allegation too weak to be sustainable, considering that they are only using open source code. Indeed, the plaintiffs are anonymous copyright holders, who are stating that their work was reproduced without notifying or attributing the work to their creators.
#2. TikTok stepping into the audio market
We talked about a potential streaming service launched by TikTok, but it appears that podcasts may also be on the roadmap. One can only wonder: how is TikTok going to match audio and video discovery?
Because yes, today TikTok is the main platform on video consumption, participating in music discovery. But how two distinctive kinds of content are going to coexist is the next step. User experience will be key here, but the goal seems pretty simple to grasp: it is all about gathering content in only one space, to create a wider offer.
But it also will involve some changes on the creators’ side. Since we’re already on a niche audience, and not on mainstream celebrities, this kind of platform would push that trend even further. It would indeed divide the reach even more, bringing in a new content strategy.
So are the voices of TikTok going to accompany us in our daily lives? We’ll see about that, for now let’s keep an eye open.
#3. Universal Music Group partners with TIDAL on “artist-centric” models
Michael Nash, Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer at UMG, stated: "As the digital landscape continues to evolve, it has become increasingly clear that the innovation of the music streaming economic model must ensure a vibrant and sustainable future”. We can only agree, so what’s next?
Universal Music Group announced last Tuesday their partnership with TIDAL to build a potential alternative streaming payout model. This is supposed to be an "artist-centric" model, directly proportional to the streams an artist collects.
TIDAL, the American streaming platform, describing itself as the first Streaming Service run by Artists, added: "This partnership will allow us to rethink how we can sustainably improve the distribution of royalties to the breadth of artists on our platform”. We’ll see how this new model will perform, but it is still a step in the right direction for royalties management!
#4. Some of the most controversial forecasts for 2023
One month in 2023, what could possibly go wrong? Let’s have some fun with 2023 predictions. Maybe not every strategy deployed by mainstream music platforms will work, but will TikTok’s streaming service tank? Will songs be the main focus and not artists anymore, due to too much content available? Will listeners' disinterest in new music grow to a problematic point? Place your bets!
#5. Will Spotify become the home of 50 million artists by 2030?
Music streaming isn’t only about music anymore. No, it’s also about all kinds of content, evolving around the audio market. So, Spotify’s ambition is to host and give all the necessary solutions to 50 million artists by 2030.
A goal that may seem far-fetched, but since companies such as Bandlab made the jump (and succeeded), maybe we'll have some interesting movement this year?