Your weekly guide to music business news
…and everything else you may have missed this weekend that matters in music.
Streaming and Subscription
Sony’s Music Unlimited subscription service has integrated with concert listing app Bandsintown. Now, users can preview music free from artists with concert listings on the platform during a free 30-day trial. This partnership is unfortunate for the large number of local and small artists who use Bandsintown’s platform as many don’t have music available as part of Sony’s service. As a result, users will be unable to preview such band’s music despite upcoming shows listed on the app. Song previews will be limited to 30 seconds following the free trial, and Sony hopes to see increased numbers of users convert to paid subscribers as a result..
Recently over 200 artists have been selling merchandise via their Spotify profiles, the new feature which rolled out over recent weeks is a result of the streaming service’s new partnership with TopSpin. As of today (12:01 AM to be exact), it’s now open to anyone – anyone can start selling merchandise on Spotify ranging from vinyls, deluxe box-sets to posters. Spotify is using Topspin’s ArtistLink tool, which means artists don’t have to use that company’s own stores to sell – instead artists can link to whatever store they’re already using.
The best part? Neither Spotify nor TopSpin will be taking a cut of any of the revenues from merchandise sold on the streaming platform.
Legal and Royalties
Exciting news! SoundExchange announced they will now move to a monthly payment schedule for artists and labels beginning this month, compared to the previous quarterly payment schedule. Are you registered with SoundExchange? If not, you could be missing out on money owed to you and more revenue in the future – read more here.
Pandora’s pending acquisition of South Dakota radio station KXMZ, has hit a hurdle with the FCC denying the application to transfer the station’s broadcasting license.
There has been a partial settlement in the dispute over Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” Marvin Gaye’s family not only took action against Robin Thicke for allegedly replicating Gaye’s ‘Got to Give It Up’ but also alleged that publisher Sony/ATV they had failed to protect Gaye’s catalogue. The former has been privately settled between Gaye’s family and Sony/ATV.
Labels and Publishing Deals
Neon Gold Records (known for signings like Haim, St. Lucia, Haerts, Magic Man & more) became a new brand under Atlantic Records on January 10. This Tuesday, Neon Gold will issue as its 50th release the debut EP from boy-girl duo ASTR. Though the new release is separate from Neon Gold’s new Atlantic relationship, ASTR happens to be the first management signing to Lyor Cohen’s new venture 300. Cohen is set to discuss for the first time details of 300, in a keynote interview conducted by New Music Seminar’s Tom Silverman at midem 2014.
Universal Publishing announced the launch of new online service for sync market, making it easier for music supervisors working for film, TV, gaming, or ad producers to navigate the music major’s song catalogs. Universal Music Publishing claims the its new sync platform has particularly good curated content and search tools, and is particularly cutting-edge. The Publishing platform’s main goal? A repsonsive, intuitive system that empowers creatives to accomplish to primary goals – read more here.
Beats Music Launches tomorrow! The highly anticipated subscription service features an all-star team including: Ian Rogers (former TopSpin CEO, Yahoo! GM), NIN’s frontman Trent Reznor, Jimmy Iovine, Dr. Dre, Luke Wood and more.
Do you think the new service will live up to the hype? If anyone can curate a fully satisfying musical experience from beginning to end, I think this team may be it.
If you could add one more person to Beats notable team of executives to make the perfect music streaming service – who would you choose? Comment below and let us know!