[Editor Charlie sez: Isn’t this what Google is being fined billions for in Europe? Why does Google need to invest $550 million in the parent company of Ten Cent, the Spotify investor that bailed Spotify out of its idiotic convertible debt?]
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Google will invest $550 million in Chinese e-commerce powerhouse JD.com, part of the U.S. internet giant’s efforts to expand its presence in fast-growing Asian markets and battle rivals including Amazon.com.
The two companies described the investment as one piece of a broader partnership that will include the promotion of JD.com products on Google’s shopping service. This could help JD.com expand beyond its base in China and Southeast Asia and establish a meaningful presence in U.S. and European markets.
Read the post on Reuters
[This is a must read post on the growing revolt against Spotify as the first known example of Orwell’s versificator. As Chris Rizik notes, Spotify and its ilk are hardly saviors of music, more like destroyers of music and any popular culture that is more than a foot wide and an inch deep and a few years old. There’s a reason why 10% of the music accounts for 90% of the revenue–and I think it’s more like 5% acccounts for 95%.]
Two events happened recently that caught my attention:
- Lil Pump, a 17 year old Miami rapper, signed an $8 million recording deal with Warner Bros.
- Around the same time, one of the leading modern soul singers in the US celebrated on social media the one millionth stream of her latest song on Spotify. Her financial haul on it? Likely around $3,000.
Though these two stories appeared unrelated, they are instructive of the strange new world of music streaming payments, and the inherent bias against soul, jazz, classical and other genres of music aimed at adult listeners….
And while there has been a lot of press about how streaming initially reduced the overall payments to record companies and artists (which has since turned around), what hasn’t been addressed as much is how streaming has changed which artists get paid. And, without a doubt, streaming has stacked the deck toward hip-hop, pop, and other genres whose listeners are teenagers and twenty-somethings.
Read the post on Hypebot
Music Business Worldwide reports in a fairly detailed article that Apple is launching a music publishing division–crucially based in both London and the US run by Elena Segal (recently of my old alma mater, Mitchell Silberberg). This doesn’t necessarily mean that Apple will be competing with publishers to acquire catalogs or for songwriter talent–but it could get interesting.
via Five Reasons Why Apple Could Succeed as a Music Publisher — Music Tech Solutions
[Editor Charlie sez: Spoiler alert–it’s both. Another inciteful post from David Newhoff on the very Googlely ACCESS Act.]
Last week, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) suddenly—and I do mean suddenly—introduced a bill in the Senate that many of the usual copyright-haters are applauding as an “alternative” to the CLASSICS Act. It’s hard to decide whether Wyden and whatever narrow constituency he’s serving are using this bill as a political stunt aimed at killing CLASSICS, or if they’re really arrogant enough to believe this bill would not become the legal briar patch the authors of CLASSICS worked hard to avoid for the time being. In fact, just dropping this bill in the Senate’s lap at the eleventh hour has the potential to upset the entire, multi-stakeholder-negotiated Music Modernization Act omnibus package—the one in which digital platforms like Spotify have a stake—and which passed the full House with a vote of 415-0.
Despite all that, Wyden unilaterally chose to disregard the many years invested by his colleagues in the House Judiciary Committee, the volumes of testimony and negotiations, and the 2011 recommendations of the Copyright Office, to introduce a counter-proposal called the ACCESS to Recordings Act. The acronym stands for the Accessibility for Curators, Creators, Educators, Scholars, and Society. Seriously? I know legislation can get a bit agitprop in its nomenclature, but ACCESS? The curators, creators, educators, scholars, and society have access! We’re awash in access! What we need is fairness in the commercial markets for the artists whose works we access all the time.
Read the post on Illusion of More
The music world continues to be exceedingly vulnerable, and there are looming questions that desperately need to be addressed. Most important: How can artists distribute and sell their work in a digital economy beholden to ruthlessly commercial and centralized interests?
Enter Spotify, a platform that is definitely not the answer.
Read the post on The Baffler
[Editor Charlie sez: The $43.4 million fund ordered by the Court is a downpayment on the $112.55 million settlement with the class. Noteably, the members of that class do not include National Music Publishers Association members (96% of their members who settled for $30 million, apparently mostly the big guns but terms are confidential) or the Wixen objectors.]
The court has approved the settlement of combined class action lawsuits originally brought against Spotify for copyright infringement by musicians David Lowery and Melissa Ferrick. The settlement guarantees an artist compensation of $43.4million plus future royalties. The full settlement totals $112.55 million, including legal fees.
The ruling came despite objections of major music publisher Wixen and several songwriters and publishers who argued that the settlement was too small.
“The court heard a lot of testimony and did the best it could under the circumstances,” attorney and artist advocate Christian Castle tells Hypebot. “It’s still far and away the most money anyone has gotten so far from Spotify’s gross and willful infringement of song copyrights. Next time maybe they’ll pay more attention to the little guy.”
Read the post on Hypebot
Read the Court’s Order and Final Judgement
SoundExchange’s new Music Data Exchange (MDX) is a promising idea that gets at the real problem with mass infringement of songs by digital services. It also gives some hope of actually reducing the “pending and unmatched” (or “black box” in the vernacular) at the source–before the songs are infringed.
via @hypebot: @SoundExchange Launches Music Data Exchange To Connect Label, Publisher Metadata — Music Tech Solutions