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ASCAP eclipses $1 billion in revenue

For the second year in a row, performance rights organization ASCAP eclipsed $1 billion in revenue collections for songs played on the radio, in bars or performed live at music venues.
The nonprofit organization brought in $1.014 billion in worldwide revenue in 2015, according to its annual financial numbers made public on Thursday. Of that total, ASCAP distributed $867.4 million to its songwriters and music publishers.

Domestic performance music licensing revenue reached a record $716.8 million, a $61 million increase over 2014. ASCAP's top executives hailed the numbers as good news, but they cautioned that the record revenue numbers should not overshadow the need to update the country's music copyright laws.
The key metric of domestic revenue distribution rose 6.2 percent to $573.5 million.

Songkick: We Always Followed the Fan Club Rules - Amplify

Two weeks after a former Crowdsurge employee declared that he knowingly and repeatedly violated Ticketmaster's fan club policy, attorneys for Songkick (which merged with Crowdsurge last year) are back in court arguing that they never broke TM's rules.

A lengthy filing yesterday included sworn statements from music managers like Richard Jones (Pixies, Bjork and PJ Harvey), Randy Nichols (Underoath, Bayside and Beach Slang) and I.M.P.'s Donna Westmoreland (9:30 Club) claiming that Ticketmaster regularly changed the rules regarding how it allocates tickets for artist presales and fan clubs. The filing also included an equally lengthy declaration from several Songkick executives who refuted the claims of Stephen Mead, a former Crowdsurge employee who left the company in 2012 and eventually joined Ticketmaster. In his previous testimony, Mead claimed officials at Crowdsurge repeatedly went out of their way to break fan club rules.

The Only Bright Spot For Apple's Earnings Was Apple Music - Forbes

As reported yesterday, for the first time in 13 years, Apple AAPL -6.22% broke their streak of quarterly revenue growth. The revenue decline is being attributed to slowing iPhone sales and overall macro economic trends (i.e. China). In an otherwise gloomy report, there was a surprising bright spot: Apple Music subscriptions have surpassed the 13 million mark, up from the 11 million announced two months ago.

Join the Creative Cash Flow Challenge - It's Free! - Bob Baker

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Here's a heads-up about something new I think you'll love that starts on Saturday, April 30. And there's no cost to participate.

The Creative Cash Flow Challenge is a 14-day program designed to help you generate more money from your music, writing, art, performance, craft, or other form of creativity.

Go to this page right now to join for free:

http://www.bob-baker.com/creative-challenge.html

How a Chatbot Helped This Vinyl Records Startup Make $1 Million in 8 Months | Adweek

Chatbots already have a little bit of a bad name. Early reviews for the ones onFacebook Messenger have beenrough due to apparent malfunctions, andMicrosoft's Tay has been an utter disaster, at least on a couple of occasions.

But a startup called ReplyYes, which offers a text-to-buy system for retailers, provides a glimpse into the potential of automated messaging. Interestingly, the company has a pair of e-commerce ventures. One sells vinyl records, the other graphic novels.

The vinyl store, called The Edit, has sold $1 million worth of records since it debuted eight months ago. David Cotter, CEO of ReplyYes and former Amazon.com general manager, attributes much of the site's success to his chatbot technology, which leans on an algorithm that recommends records based on purchase behavior and other interest-level signals. Yet, there's also a human element.

Music Publishing and Licensing Experts Join Forces to Help Songwriters, Composers, Performing Artists, Producers Make More Money

Music Publishing and licensing experts including representatives from BMI, Broadcast Music Inc, Audio Network Inc., Warner Music, AMC Broadcasting and Dream Lawyers Entertainment Attorneys have been summoned to join forces to help current and aspiring Songwriters, Composers, Performing Artists, and Producers make more money. They will converge at the MusicCONVERG™ Summit on May 7, 2016 from 9:00AM-4:00PM at the Business Resource Center's Midtown location in the Paramount Plaza, 1633 Broadway, New York.


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U.S. Labels Switzerland an Internet Piracy Haven - TorrentFreak

The Office of the United States Trade Representative has published its annual Special 301 Report calling out other nations for failing to live up to U.S. IP enforcement standards. This year European ally Switzerland has been placed on the Watch List for protecting file-sharers and playing host to many pirate sites.

Every year the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) publishes its Special 301 Report highlighting countries that aren't doing enough to protect U.S. intellectual property rights.

What Will Happen to Prince's Estate? His Former Lawyer Has Some Ideas | Pitchfork

On Tuesday, Prince's sister, Tyka Nelson, filed court documents saying the music icon died without leaving a will. The legal paperwork raised questions about the fate of Prince's estate, which includes his famous "vault" of never-before-heard music. Along with Nelson, Prince's only surviving full sibling, the filing also named five half-sibling as heirs. As The New York Times reports, half-siblings are the same as full siblings under Minnesota law, so the stage may be set for an extended bummer of a family feud.

The uncertainty around Prince's business affairs after his death last week at age 57 is all the more remarkable considering his career wasmarked by constant battles for creative (and financial) control. What's at stake is no small sum: Forbes Magazine's last annual estimate of Prince's annual pre-tax earnings, in 2005, was $49.7 million. And he has sold more than 650,000 albums and 2.8 million tracks in the U.S. alone since his passing, according to Nielsen data cited by the Times.

Record Store Day Spurs 131 Percent Gain in Vinyl Album Sales in U.S. | Billboard

Record Store Day (April 17) releases swarm the Tastemakers Albums, Vinyl Albums and Hot Singles Sales charts as the annual independent music retailer celebration brings a bevy of unique, limited-edition and vinyl titles to the lists.

In the U.S., indie retailers sold 30 percent of all physical albums and singles in the week ending April 21 (749,000 out of 2.5 million), according to Nielsen Music. To compare, the sector accounted for 14 percent in the previous week (281,000 out of 2.1 million).

Users average 50 minutes per day on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram | TechCrunch

Facebook's "family of apps" strategy is a wild success. While some might have expected it to roll Instagram into Facebook and leave chat in its main app, keeping Instagram independent and splitting off Messenger into a companion app has helped it solidify itself as more than just a ubiquitous utility, but as a downright addiction.

Today on the Q1 2016 earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg said, "Today, people around the world spend on average more than 50 minutes a day using Facebook, Instagram and Messenger…and that doesn't count WhatsApp." That's amongst people who use any of those apps globally, Facebook clarified for me.

Music-streaming playlist strategy for 2016... and beyond | Music Ally

THE FINAL SESSION AT AIM'S MUSIC CONNECTED CONFERENCE COVERED STREAMING PLAYLIST STRATEGIES, WITH AN EXPERT PANEL.

They included Adam Cardew of Absolute Label Services; David Emery of Kobalt Label Services; Sammy Andrews of Entertainment Intelligence; Justin Barker of Slice Music; Zac Vibert of !K7 Artist & Label Services. It was moderated by Tim Ingham of Music Business Worldwide.

Vibert talked about there being a lot more to a campaign than just being on "flagship playlists" on streaming services, even though securing placement is a priority for labels.

How to do it though? Barker gave some of his tips for targeting influential playlists. "There's a definitive distinction between playlists on the platform: one being pitchable, and one being not pitchable," he said.

Comcast is reportedly planning to buy DreamWorks for more than $3 billion | The Verge

Amazon Prime Music is now available to stream on Sonos.

The retail giant's music service joins competitors including Spotify, Apple Music, SoundCloud, Google Play Music and Deezer, which are all already supported on the hardware.

"Prime Music has been very well received by UK customers, so we're delighted to continue to add features and offer customers the opportunity to stream Prime Music through Sonos from today," said Steve Bernstein, director, digital music, Amazon EU.

Amazon Prime Music appears on Sonos | Music Week

Amazon Prime Music is now available to stream on Sonos.

The retail giant's music service joins competitors including Spotify, Apple Music, SoundCloud, Google Play Music and Deezer, which are all already supported on the hardware.

"Prime Music has been very well received by UK customers, so we're delighted to continue to add features and offer customers the opportunity to stream Prime Music through Sonos from today," said Steve Bernstein, director, digital music, Amazon EU.

YouTube: 'No other platform gives as much money back to creators' | Music | The Guardian

Lately, there's been a chorus of music label representatives and artists accusing YouTube of mistreating musicians. As the music industry shifts from a business that mainly sold albums and singles to one that earns money from subscriptions and ads, there are bound to be disagreements.

But many of the arguments don't do justice to the partnership YouTube has built with artists and labels, and the fans who support them. So let's attempt to cut through the noise.

First, let's start with where we agree. Music matters. Musicians and songwriters matter. They deserve to be compensated fairly. We believe this deeply and have partnered with the music industry for years to ensure it happens on our platform.

Ticketfly Lures 2 Prized New York Clubs Away From Ticketmaster - The New York Times

In the live-music business, the most visible kind of competition is over who books the big stars. But behind the scenes, there is a never-ending contest over ticketing, with promoters, venues and technology companies making deals for the sales as well as the customer data that comes with them.

Last year, Pandora Media paid $450 million for Ticketfly, an online ticketing service that competes with Ticketmaster to sign up clubs and theaters and has deals with 1,200 clients, including promoters and venues. Now Ticketfly has reached a deal to be the exclusive ticketing provider for the Bowery Ballroom and the Mercury Lounge, two of the most beloved clubs in New York. Both organizations, which were longtime Ticketmaster clients, announced on Thursday that they would switch to Ticketfly on Sunday.

The deal is partly of symbolic importance for Ticketfly. The Bowery Ballroom — which Rolling Stone has called the best club in the country — has an estimated annual attendance of only about 130,000, and the Mercury Lounge just 80,000, according to a marketing document from the Bowery Presents, a promoter that is affiliated with the clubs but does not own them.

Big music data: streaming youth, YouTube v Spotify and more

BIG DATA ISN'T A NEW MUSIC-INDUSTRY TREND. LABELS, MANAGERS AND ARTISTS HAVE BEEN AWASH IN DATA SINCE THE EARLY DAYS OF THE DIGITAL MUSIC ERA.

It's true that the emergence of streaming has intensified all this: millions of lines of data on streams and social signals, which musicians and their teams have to make sense of. A pair of sessions at AIM's Music Connected conference today in London explored what it all means.

Chris Carey of Media Insight Consulting kicked off with a session exploring how the music industry can use data well, rather than being overwhelmed by it.

"Data doesn't always have all the answers," said Carey, noting that Leicester City are currently one win away from winning the Premier League, despite 5,000-to-1 odds at the start of the season.

Facebook Proposes Stock Split and Non-Voting Shares | Re/code

When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he wanted to give away all of his Facebook shares, we wondered how he would do that and still control the company he founded.

Now we know!

Facebook is proposing a new three-for-one stock split in order to create a new class of non-voting shares, the company announced in a filing Wednesday. That would split the stock three ways, giving Facebook shareholders two additional, non-voting shares for each single share they already hold.

Apple Music UK subscriptions growth outpacing Spotify - sources (Updated) | Music Week

This morning, Apple Music revealed it had passed 13 millionsubscribers to its streaming service, closing the gap on market leader Spotify, which says it has more than 30 million. Now Music Week can reveal Apple is also gaining ground on its rival in the UK market.

Neither Apple or Spotify have ever broken out subscriber numbers for the UK, but recorded music sources have told Music Week that, in January, Apple Music had 679,000 paid subscribers in the UK, compared to Spotify's 1.53m. Those sources also shed light on their respective current growth rates, disclosing that Apple was at 376,000 in October, when Spotify was at 1.49m.

Apple Music May Be Outpacing Download Revenues | Billboard

Deep inside the question-and-answer period of Tuesday's Apple earnings call, its Chief Financial Officer, Luca Maestri, said something of importance to the music industry: Apple's music revenue has hit a bottom and reached "an inflection point" after declining for "a number" of quarters. Without singling out Apple Music, Maestri's comment almost certainly suggests the subscription service's growth is overcoming declines in download revenue.

Tuesday's overall report was gloomy. Apple reported a 9-percent decline (at constant currency) revenue due to "ongoing macroeconomic headwinds in much of the world," said CEO Tim Cook but mainly a sharp slowdown in iPhone sales. The shortfall prompted an emphasis on the value of the revenue potential in Apple's 1 billion installed base, a shift in messaging clearly meant to cover up the disappointing quarter. In investor and public relations, companies lead with the positive and bury the negative.

Steal This Show S01E09: Fairtrade For Music - Can The Blockchain Fix Copyright? - TorrentFreak

Today we bring you the next episode of the Steal This Show podcast, discussing the latest file-sharing and copyright news. In this special episode we talk with Benji Rogers of the direct-to-fan music platform Pledge Music.

This special episode of STEAL THIS SHOW features Benji Rogers of the direct-to-fan music platform, PledgeMusic.

As we find out, Benji's an independent musician who founded his platform to offer artists a unique way to engage their fans and super fans, resulting in chart topping albums worldwide.

In 2013, Benji was recognized on Billboard's 40 Under 40 Power Players list and in 2014 at the MUSEXPO International Music Awards, he won Digital Executive of the Year.

Making Money With Music - Monetizing Tips For Musicians - Cyber PR Music

Making money in the music industry is hard. But it is entirely possible, with the right strategies. A few years ago, I asked 12 of my favorite people to share their advice on how to monetize music. The most popular posts in that series was written by my dear friend and client Julie Flanders, band member and songwriter for October Project. Her advice was so good, that I asked Julie to decided to update the post.

Julie understands the mindset you need to succeed because she's worked in all sides of the business. She was a major label AND an indie DIY artist, and she now coaches creative entrepreneurs on how to increase their income, and change their overall mindset for lasting and healthy success. Julie helped me grown my own business and she is incredibly gifted at helping creative people move mountians.

I hope you learn as much from Julie as I have

The future of music: VR, blockchain... and Radiohead making Minecraft videos?

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR THE MUSIC INDUSTRY AND ITS ARTISTS? A PANEL AT AIM'S MUSIC CONNECTED CONFERENCE IN LONDON THIS AFTERNOON DISCUSSED EXACTLY THAT.

The panel comprised Bas Grasmayer of Music X Tech X Future; Mark Mulligan of Midia Research; Benji Rogers of PledgeMusic; Steven Hancock of Melody VR; and Phil Hutcheon of Dice. The moderator was Music Ally's own Paul Brindley.

The introduction saw Hutcheon talking about his ticketing app, saying that 35% of all Londoners with a smartphone are using Dice, which is currently mainly focusing on London but "are three or four weeks away from launching everywhere in the UK".

Apple's Numbers - Lefsetz Letter

He not busy being born is busy dying.

So said Bob Dylan, in "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)," a fountain of wisdom on "Bringing It All Back Home," a transition from politics to inner truth, from folk to rock, this was the LP before "Highway 61 Revisited," when Dylan became a household name with "Like A Rolling Stone."

But that's what Dylan was, a man who kept rolling, kept changing, kept exploring, who was not married to the past and cared not a whit for naysayers.

Kind of like Steve Jobs.

And as long as Jobs was at the helm of Apple the company burgeoned.

But those days are through. To expect the Cupertino company to continue to triumph is to expect the Doors to succeed without Jim Morrison.

Apple Music up to 13m subscribers nine months after launch

Analysts were spooked by the company missing their revenue and earnings estimates, as well as by an anticipated year-on-year decline in sales of iPhones. But on the music side, there was some good news for Apple: the latest milestone for its Apple Music streaming service.

"Apple Music continues to grow in popularity, with over 13 million paying subscribers today," CEO Tim Cook told analysts in the company's earnings call last night. "We feel really great about the early success of Apple's first subscription business, and our music revenue has now hit an inflection point after many quarters of decline."

If all those 13 million subscribers were paying $9.99 a month, Apple Music would be bringing in $129.9m a month, but with some paying $14.99 for its family plan, the actual revenues will be higher.

SFX Seeks Bankruptcy Judge's Permission To Settle Sexual Assault Case - Amplify

Attorneys for SFX are asking a judge overseeing their bankruptcy hearing to allow them to settle an ugly sexual assault case. Hoping to get the case behind them, lawyers for SFX are arguing that the evidence in the case proves SFX's negligence and asks the judge to allow the victim be paid from the event's $1 million insurance policy.

The case dates back to March 2014 and involves a 19-year-old female who says she was sexually assaulted inside an ambulance that was supposed to be transporting her to the hospital following a head injury at Ultimate Music Experience at the Schlitterbahn waterslide park on South Padre Island in Texas. According to the victim, one of the paramedics in the ambulance sexually assaulted her on the way to the hospital. She is now suing SFX, the water park, the ambulance company and six other entities connected to the incident.

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