Digital, Streaming & Subscription
Last week, the WSJ link reported that Pandora will be introducing new ad services this week that will rely solely on political targeting. According to the WSJ, Pandora’s new ad service will “enable candidates and political organizations to target the majority of its 73 million active monthly Pandora listeners based on its sense of their political leanings.”
So why is this important for musicians? Hypebot’s Clyde Smith put it simply
-If streaming music is an increasing share of music revenue; and,
-If streaming music is increasingly monetized by advertising;
-Then rights holders will find themselves increasingly dependent on ad revenue for income.
Steam, the online gaming arm of Valve, has added music to it’s platform. This is big news when you realize steam’s userbase is 65M with up to 6 to 7 million users on its gaming platform at any given time.
For now, Steam Music allows users to play their music within their gaming console, which is of course nice for gamers. However, bigger potential for music will be when – Steam adds in-player music sales and/or streaming. Beats, Rdio, Deezer and Spotify all want to scale quickly, and a deal with Steam could accomplish that almost overnight.
Steam has a history of listening to user feedback, and connecting with Spotify or another music streamer is one of their top requests. “Steam currently offers a number of game soundtracks for sale. Your feedback will help guide where we take things next,” the company wrote it’s users. Check out Steam’s community discussion groups here.
Last Wednesday, hackers acquired personal information about some of the popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter’s users, including phone numbers, mailing addresses, user names, email addresses and encrypted passwords.
Law enforcement officers were first informed the site’s security was breached Wednesday and the following day Kickstarter issued an apology to its users which CEO Yancey Stickler stated: “No credit card data of any kind was accessed by hackers. There is no evidence of unauthorized activity of any kind on all but two Kickstarter user accounts..We’re incredibly sorry that this happened. We set a very high bar for how we serve our community, and this incident is frustrating and upsetting.”
Last year, music intelligence platform The Echo Nest stated this year global expansion was a top priority and they’ve been delivering so far on their promise as in the last few months, with an aggressive series of partnership announcements.
Last Tuesday, they continued to deliver as they’ve added Japanese internet provided NTT Plala to the list. This is The Echo Nest’s biggest partnship to date in the world’s second biggest music market.
Now, NTT Plala’s “Hikari-TV” will now include radio stations and playlists powered by The Echo Nest.
Legal & Royalties
Comcast Corp. has locked in a deal to buy Time Warner Cable Inc. for an estimated $45.2B, this will combine the nation’s top two cable TV companies to likely become the dominant force in creating and delivering entertainment.
One of top reasons for the deal is that Comcast and Time Warner Cable do not serve overlapping markets, thus their combination won’t reduce competition for consumers. However in several of the two companies strongholds such as Chicago, New York, LA and Dallas, the combined Comcast/Time Warner Cable will face competition from rivals AT&T and Verizon which are both growing quickly – ending 2013 with 5.5M and 5.3M paying TV subscribers respectively.
Record label Tuff City has commenced copyright litigation against Vivendi and Universal Music Group regarding Frank Ocean’s 2012 song ‘Super Rich Kids.’ ‘Super Rich Kids’ features a sample of Mary J Blige’s ‘Real Love,’ which Tuff City own 3.15 percent, as ‘Real Love’ itself features a sample of Tuff City artist the Honeydrippers’ ‘Impeach the President. ’ Tuff City are claiming that this 3.15 percent stake is un-cleared.
The European Court of Justice has ruled that links to freely available copyrighted content alone, does not constitute an infringement of European copyright law.
Labels & Publishing Deals
Glassnote Records, who already are responsible for selling almost 40% of the world’s music is about to get bigger through a deal with the independent label behind Mumford & Sons.
Glassnote has struck a global distribution agreement with Universal for its music, starting March 1. The deal is a blow to Sony Music Entertainment, which had handled Glassnote through its Red distribution unit.
Sony/ATV Publishing has concluded an agreement with BMI to administer licensing and royalty collection of their catalog. Read more on the Sony/ATV Publishing deal with BMI.
Chuck D has been announced the official Record Store Day Ambassador for 2014!
Following the “great Jack White,” Chuck D states:
“With the masses, neck bent into their smartphones, let all of us music lovers GPS our way into a reality that is the Record Store.”
Record Store Day takes place the third Saturday of April – this year it will be April 19, 2014.
Hear more about these topics from the people creating the news at New Music Seminar June 8-10, 2014 in NYC, register today!
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