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Justice Department Won’t Alter Music Industry Royalty Rules - The New York Times

The Justice Department dealt a blow to the music industry this week when it declined to change the longstanding regulatory agreements that govern Ascap and BMI, two of the industry's oldest and largest clearinghouses for royalties.

The two agencies have argued that modifying their consent decrees, which have been in place since 1941 and have not been updated in more than a decade, was urgently needed to adapt to the new world of online music, and the agencies' petitions followed several years of conflict and litigation with Pandora Media over royalty rates.

Music publishers, along with stars including Burt Bacharach, have warned that the streaming era has led to a precipitous decline in songwriters' income, with the consent decrees partly to blame.

Lionsgate is buying Starz for $4.4 billion | The Verge

Lionsgate announced this morning that it will buy the Starz network for $4.4 billion in cash and stock, reports Deadline. The deal unites the biggest mini-major studio in the country with the second biggest cable network on television, and could mean big things going forward as the merged companies compete with the likes of Netflix and HBO.

"The combination of Lionsgate and Starz brings significant scale to our portfolio of content and distribution assets and will enable us to compete successfully in today's rapidly evolving global entertainment marketplace," Lionsgate Chairman Mark Rachesky said in the official release.

All Def Digital, cofounded by Russell Simmons, raises $10 million in Series B funding | TechCrunch

All Def Digital (ADD), a three-year-old, L.A.-based web video platform and media company that was cofounded by hip hop impresario Russell Simmons, has raised $10 million in Series B funding led by Third Wave Digital Partners.

Other investors in the round include WPP Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and earlier investors Nu Horizons, Greycroft Partners, eVentures and Advancit Capital.

The company has now raised $18 million altogether.

Google’s Justice Department to Interfere with a Century of Private Contracts | MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

...I'm still trying to figure where this ridiculous idea came from, but it definitely didn't come from any music publisher. The DOJ would evidently like us to believe that it hit them like Paul on the road to Damascus. We'll see what the record actually shows about this, but the only one that will be helped by this "interpretation" is anyone who wants to destroy PROs and blanket licensing.

Spotify says Apple wants ‘to squash competition in music’


While both services have been growing their number of subscribers rapidly over the last year, Spotify remains angry about Apple's 30% cut of in-app subscriptions on iOS, and its rules barring companies from promoting cheaper options for users who sign up directly on their websites.

Spotify's global head of comms and public policy Jonathan Prince didn't hold back in his latest comments yesterday.

"Apple has long used its control of iOS to squash competition in music, driving up the prices of its competitors, inappropriately forbidding us from telling our customers about lower prices, and giving itself unfair advantages across its platform through everything from the lock screen to Siri," Prince told Recode.

Elizabeth Warren says Apple, Amazon and Google are trying to ‘lock out’ the competition - Recode

Google, Apple and Amazon aren't just giant tech companies. They're giant tech companies that use their size to "snuff out competition."

That's the charge levied by Elizabeth Warren in a speech the Massachusetts senator delivered today in Washington.

Warren singled out three of tech's biggest players in a speech about the perils of "consolidation and concentration" throughout the economy. It comes the day after Hillary Clinton, Warren's recent stage-mate, laid out a "technology agenda" that seemed designed to please Silicon Valley.

Messaging app LINE sets price range for possible July IPO, poised to raise over $1 billion | TechCrunch

LINE Corp., makers of a messaging app that's gone mainstream in Japan, Thailand and Taiwan, has set a price range for an initial public offering on the Tokyo and New York Stock exchanges in July. Its shares would be priced between 2,700 and 3,700 yen, or about $26.50-$31.50 per share.

As The Wall Street Journal reported earlier today, at those prices, LINE's IPO could raise up to 112 billion yen, or $1.09 billion, making it one of the largest technology listings so far in 2016.

Brooklyn Brewery launches label venture with The Graveltones | Complete Music Update

Well, we all know bands selling beer has become a thing in recent years, so why not beer brands selling music? The Brooklyn Brewery has announced a new label venture which will see it release music recorded at live shows it stages in the UK involving independent acts.The first is a limited release from The Graveltones recorded at a gig at London's The Lexington last October. The performance was captured and pressed straight to vinyl. Explains the band's Jimmy O: "We wanted to do it in an old school kinda way, really raw and truthful to the show, no studio wizardry and all that stuff – just hit record and print. Brooklyn was thinking the same thing so it was all pretty instant".

Why Apple Is Talks To Buy Tidal - Recode

Apple is in "exploratory talks" to acquire Tidal, the streaming music service run by Jay-Z, the Wall Street Journal reports. Recode has confirmed that the companies are discussing a deal.

The fact that Tidal, which has been shopping itself for some time, is now talking to a buyer with incredibly deep pockets — and a streaming service — is not a surprise. (An Apple rep declined to comment.)

Why might Apple buy Tidal? How much would it pay?

One thing seems certain: This is a different situation from when Tim Cook, Eddy Cue and companypaid $3 billion for Beats two years ago. Then, it was acquiring several executives, including Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, plus the Beats Music team and a hardware business that was selling lots of expensive headphones.

Lawyer who led song-theft lawsuit against Led Zeppelin suspended | Complete Music Update
The lawyer who led the plagiarism case against Led Zeppelin has been suspended from practicing law for three months in relation to his conduct during another copyright infringement lawsuit.

Before scoring over one hundred sustained objections against his statements in court during the 'Stairway To Heaven' song-theft trial last month, attorney Francis Malofiy was previously accused of misconduct over allegations that he tricked a defendant into signing an affidavit as part of copyright battle around Usher's 'Bad Girl'.

A Message from Beth Matthews to ASCAP Members

Dear ASCAP Member,

Yesterday, ASCAP and BMI met jointly with the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division to hear the government's proposal regarding our respective consent decrees. As you may have read, the DOJ is recommending no updates to the consent decrees at this time and, instead, the DOJ believes that the consent decrees currently require that ASCAP and BMI license all songs in our respective repertories on a 100% basis, ending the long-standing industry practice of fractional share licensing.

Read more... Signs Its First Major Label Deal with Warner Music | Billboard

The lip-synch app, which has experienced phenomenal growth, signs its first major label partner.

Social video sharing app, which allows users to create and upload 15-second videos of them dancing and singing along to songs, has been steadily gaining traction with teens since its launch less than two years ago -- and now it's attracting the attention of the major labels. Warner Music Group is the first to sign a deal with the app to allow its music to be licensed for the platform, the company has confirmed to Billboard. Sources say Sony Music is also in talks, and quickly approaching, a deal. Requests for comment from Sony Music were not returned by press time.

Quick Take: Brexit And The UK Media And Tech Sectors | MIDiA Research

The UK referendum on membership of the European Union has resulted in a vote to leave. There could be countless implications for the UK media and sectors but smaller companies such as independent labels, independent production companies and tech start ups look set to be hardest hit.

We Are Entering The Unknown

Fundamentally the Brexit vote ushers in a period of the unknown. These are uncharted territories, not least because how things shake out depends on how leaders of continental European markets want them to shake out. The transition will be a lot smoother if the prevailing attitude is one of wanting to minimize regional disruption than if they want to give the UK a bloody nose. Both scenarios are strong possibilities. Whatever the outcome, it is likely that trading with EU countries will be less straightforward for UK companies than it is now. Which will at the very least result in a higher administrative burden. For big companies like commercial TV companies and major record labels this will be an additional cost that can be shouldered. But for smaller companies the administrative burden – and potential trading levies – could become an unsurmountable barrier to trading in Europe.

Midem 2016 Tech Review: Blockchain, startups & streaming lead debate - midemblog

Midem has long been a show where music and technology meet, and 2016 was no exception.Pandora executives in particular were out in force, talking up the company's plans for expansion both globally, and into on-demand music alongside its current personal-radio service.

"We stream more hours of music a month than YouTube streams hours of video," said CEOTim Westergren in his keynote, before explaining how Pandora is approaching its global expansion. "We've taken the entire globe and rank-ordered every country based on dozens and dozens of factors on where we'd go next. You can probably guess the next ten, but we'd like this to be everywhere," he said.

Pandora may have had unharmonious relationships with some musicians and rightsholders in the past, but the company's key message at Midem was its desire to be a friend to the industry now.

Breaking News: ‘MusicRow’ Awards Winners Revealed : MusicRow

MusicRow presented its 28th annual subscriber-voted MusicRow Awards on Wednesday (June 29) during a private ceremony hosted by BMI and sponsored by Anderson Benson.

Winners included producer Dave Cobb, songwriters Lori McKenna and Maren Morris, and the band Old Dominion. Nine studio musicians were also honored.

Song of the Year was presented to McKenna for her solo-penned "Humble and Kind," recorded byTim McGraw for Big Machine Records. She shared the award with the song's publisher, Universal Music Publishing Group Nashville.

AEG Live And Snapchat Ink Deal for 'Live Stories' | Billboard

AEG Live, the world's second largest promoter and producer of many of the most successful festivals in the world, has cut a multi-year agreement with Snapchat whereby the hugely popular social media site will cover AEG Live-affiliated festivals via Snapchat Live Stories.

Among the first festivals to be featured are the Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio, Calif., New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Panorama in New York, Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, Ala., and FYF Fest in Los Angeles.

Department Of Justice Ruling Upsets Music Publishing Industry : MusicRow

The Nashville music publishing community responded with disappointment, shock and surprise when the Department of Justice unexpectedly introduced a 100 percent licensing model involving PROs.

The decision on 100 percent licensing means that a song co-written by an ASCAP songwriter and a BMI songwriter would be available to license with approval from just one PRO. It also means that if a songwriter owns only a portion of the song, he or she can license the full song, as long as that songwriter ensures the other credited writers are getting paid. Under the current system, known as fractionalized licensing, each copyright owner in the song takes care of licensing their portion.

Meanwhile the ruling declined requests from major publishing companies to have a right to negotiate licensing rates with digital music providers like Pandora and Spotify. The original consent decree was enacted in 1941, and pertained specifically to ASCAP and BMI, but the music industry has lobbied for the last two or three years to modernize the law. Their requests were all denied in the ruling.

Musicpreneur - A Fabulous Book About Music Marketing - Cyber PR Music

Aaron Bethune started Play It Loud Music in 2006, dedicating his career to supporting musicians in this ever-changing industry. He recently published an incredible book called Musicpreneur: The Creative Approach to Making Money in Music. Written for working musicians, and absolutely packed with practical tips on every aspect of the industry, it is now used as a textbook at several universities and music institutions worldwide.

Aaron poured his years of experience into this book, and consequentially it is a masterpiece of accumulated information. That (and the fact that he interviewed me for it ;D) is why I'm featuring it as the first installment in a new blog series – #MusicBizBooks!

Pandora Announces Earnings Call

Event to be Audio Webcast Live on the Pandora Investor Relations Website

OAKLAND, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun. 30, 2016-- Pandora (NYSE:P), the go-to music source for fans and artists, today announced that its second quarter 2016 financial results will be released on Thursday, July 21, 2016, after the close of the market. The company will host a conference call at 2:00 PM (PT) / 5:00 PM (ET) to discuss the quarterly financial results with the investment community.

A live audio webcast of the event will be available on the Pandora Investor Relations website at

Festival travel booking site Festicket raises $6.3M Series B | TechCrunch

Festicket, the UK startup that lets you book a wide range of music festival experiences, has closed $6.3 million in Series B funding. Lepe Partners led the round, with participation fromexisting investors Wellington Partners, PROfounders, and Playfair Capital.

Noteworthy, the London-based company has also picked up Arthur Kosten (ex-CMO of and Jean-Charles Carré (the business partner and manager of DJ David Guetta) as backers.

Video app Chosen doubles down on music video creation with access to 20M songs | TechCrunch

Started over a year ago by the ex-CEO of Beats Music, Chosen is a video creation app with a competitive element. Users create short clips on their phones, and can view others while swiping left or right to up vote or down vote the clip.

Originally, the videos were designed to be short clips of users showcasing their musical abilities – playing the guitar, singing, or even yodeling. The voting system would surface stars while hiding amateurs, acting like a crowdsourced American Idol.

But, as with most app startups, it didn't quite take off – at least not in the way the company envisioned.

Facebook puts friends above publishers in “News Feed Values” and ranking change | TechCrunch

Ater the conservative trends fiasco, Facebook is pushing itself to a new standard of transparency. The company is publishing a formal "News Feed Values" document that details how it decides what shows up in your feed — a common question amongst users.

Those core values are that friends and family come first, that the feed should inform and entertain, that Facebook is a platform for all ideas, that authentic communication beats spam, that you have the controls to hide or highlight what you want, and that Facebook will keep iterating to improve the experience.

90% White Hudson Valley Elects “Progressive” That Organized Mass Copyright Infringement Against MLK Estate | The Trichordist

Whether you are shouting "tax the rich" into a megaphone or urging mass copyright infringement against he MLK estate it's still important to wear your pearls!

"Progressive" Zephyr Teachout the democratic primary victor in NY-19 Congressional district is director of an organization that urged and continues to urge mass copyright infringement directed at the MLK estate. Only in a 90% white district in upstate NY could someone like this be considered a "progressive."

We have been covering this story here at the Trichordist for over a month. We have tweeted her links. We have emailed the Zephyr Teachout campaign. Other organizations including the local American Federation of Musicians have tried to get her to respond on this and other copyright issues. No response.

As of 11:04 pm June 28th the webpage urging mass copyright infringement is still live. We can only conclude that Teachout has "dug in" and she sees nothing wrong with this. Really? That's where she's gonna take a stand? Is that what it means to be a progressive now days? No thanks.

YouTube executive tells music industry to ‘embrace ads’


That, perhaps unsurprisingly, is the view of YouTube's chief product officer Neal Mohan, expressed in the company's latest public response to the criticism it's been fielding from rightsholders.

"The consensus surrounding the music industry seems to be that its glory days are over. First beset by piracy and now unsettled by digital distribution, few people believe the industry can return to the heights it reached when it earned nearly $39 billion a year," wrote Mohan in a Billboard op-ed.

"But I believe the industry's future is actually brighter than ever, if it's willing to embrace something that's made the internet a profitable place for millions of companies and content creators: ads… I believe ads offer the music industry the chance to set new revenue records within a decade."

A New Apple Patent Could Block Fans From Taping At Shows : The Record : NPR

Sick of getting your view blocked at live shows by people holding up their phones? Apple was granted a patent yesterday for technology that can disable those cameras — at least in specific places.

The system mapped out in this patent would use infrared emitters to temporarily deactivate the photo and video capabilities on devices like mobile phones, laptops, stand-alone video or still cameras or any other "electronic device with an image sensor." Venues, or those in charge of a given space, could post an infrared emitter to temporarily, and remotely, disable those recording functions on devices within the emission range.

Appeals Court Asks If Sound Recording Rights Can Be Divested Like Magic Tricks - Hollywood Reporter

It's the 11th Circuit's turn to wade into the legal fight over the performance of pre-1972 songs.

The ongoing legal controversy raging over pre-1972 sound recordings continues to produce mind-bending judicial opinions, and now the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals is weighing in with its own.

In 2013, Flo & Eddie of The Turtles filed several lawsuits against SiriusXM across the country seeking to protect "Happy Together" and other hits under state laws. Under their theory, if they had common law copyrights, that would mean they should be compensated for the public performance despite decades where everyone assumed that radio play rendered no such pay.

Kobalt’s AWAL announces alliance with Music Glue | Complete Music Update
The Kobalt digital distribution service AWAL has announced a new alliance with direct-to-fan platform Music Glue, with the two companies saying that they will both now "explore ways in which they can continue adding value to artists they work with by building out supplemental services for clients".

Which presumably means offering each other's services to their respective customers – AWAL being all about getting content into digital platforms, while Music Glue provides tools for selling digital content, merchandise and tickets direct.

Department Of Justice To Deny Consent Decree Amendment | Billboard

The U.S. Department of Justice struck a major blow Wednesday to U.S. music publishers and performing rights organizations.

A nearly two-year process to amend the consent decree so that music publishers would have the right to withdraw digital licensing from the blanket licenses offered by ASCAP and BMI -- the two performing rights organizations operating under a DOJ consent decree since 1941 -- has ended with no changes to the consent degree, much to the chagrin of major publishers like Sony/ATV, Universal Music Publishing Group and BMG.

Indian and Turkish music channels ride high on YouTube chart


Indian channel T-Series, which gathers Bollywood music videos and film trailers, was the second biggest YouTube channel (by views) in May with 572.3m views, while Turkish channel netd müzik was fourth with 523m views that month.

They were joined in the top 10 by Justin Bieber's Vevo channel, with 440.2m views.

The success of T-Series and netd müzik is no surprise to anyone who follows the monthly chart on online-video industry site Tubefilter, which is based on data from analytics firm OpenSlate.

Both channels are long-term regulars in the upper reaches of the chart, with steadily-growing view counts. In the first five months of 2016 so far, T-Series generated 2.55bn video views, while netd müzik had 2.38bn.

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