Image6.gif (10472 bytes)                     MUSIC NEWS


Merlin Has Paid Out $1 BILLION To Indie Labels
Posted: August 28, 2017
(Hypebot) – Merlin, the global digital music rights agency for 20,000 indie labels and distributors from 53 countries, has announced its billionth dollar in distributions, since launching in May of 2008. With all of its payments coming from music streaming, this milestone points to a promising future for independent music companies.

Since signing its first commercial partnership in September 2008 as launch partner to Spotify, Merlin has now licensed more than 20 digital music services - including Deezer, Google Play, iHeartRadio, SoundCloud, YouTube Red, Pandora, Vevo and KKBOX.

Now $1 billion in payments later, Merlin is often referred to as the “virtual fourth major.” In April of this year, Merlin announced a renewed multi-year global licence with Spotify.

Merlin's membership represents 12% of the digital recorded music market, including Beggars Group, Secretly Group, Domino, Sub Pop, Epitaph, Anti Records, Entertainment One, Redeye Worldwide, Kobalt Music Recordings, [PIAS], Merge, Warp, INgrooves, Mad Decent, Naxos and Curb Records.

"this billion dollars in revenues comes only from the new-generation services"

“It makes me immensely proud to reach this landmark. Like all the best independent labels, Merlin is run with passion, as a lean and efficient operation – albeit with an extensive and profound global responsibility," Merlin CEO Charles Caldas said in a statement. “Even more inspiring is that this billion dollars in revenues comes only from the new-generation services that have launched since we did. In a market still in its early stages of evolution, the more significant growth is arguably yet to come.”

Streaming and revenue stats:

• The transition to a streaming market

In June 2017, 64% of Merlin members report that streaming services accounted for over half their digital revenues - up from 46% in 2016, and 34% in 2015.

• International growth

Audio streaming has clearly opened new global markets for independent labels. 42% of Merlin members report that overseas usage accounts for a majority of their digital revenue, while Merlin’s revenues from Brazil have now overtaken those from France.

• Consistent revenue increases

In June 2017, Merlin announced 2015-2016 distributions to members of $353m - up 52% from 2014-2015.

As reported by and courtesy of © 2001-2017 Gen-Den Corporation. All rights reserved.
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An Updated Look At Neighboring Rights
Posted: August 29, 2017
(Hypebot) – Here we dive back in to look further at 'neighboring rights', a form of rights holding which entitles allows monies to be distributed to artists and sound recording holders when one of their works is either broadcast publicly or streamed.

Guest post by Justin M. Jacobson, Esq. on the TuneCore Blog

Featured artists, session musicians and master sound recording owners, typically record labels, are entitled to an additional royalty stream that artists and sound recording owners within the United States are currently not receiving. This additional revenue stream is referred to as “neighboring rights” royalties. In recent years, this revenue stream has become a valuable source of additional income for non-U.S. citizen performers. It is reported that neighboring rights generates over $2 billion per year.

It is well established within the music industry that there are two copyrights in music, the underlying musical composition (“PA”) and the sound recording (“SR”). The underlying musical composition is usually exploited by a music publishing company and songwriters. They receive public performance royalties from a Performing Rights Organization, such as ASCAP, BMI or SESAC in the U.S. The sound recording is typically owned by a record label, which receives their rights from the featured vocalist on the track.

“Neighboring rights” are monies distributed to musicians and master sound recording owners when a work is publicly broadcast or streamed. The concept of “neighboring rights” is derived from Copyright law and has been applied to many countries through the signing of the 1961 Rome Convention. The Rome Convention treaty was enacted to provide featured performers and session musicians with an additional revenue stream when their works are publicly performed.

To receive “neighboring rights” royalties, the Rome Convention treaty mandates that a featured performer, studio musician and master sound recording owner must be a permanent resident of one of the signatory countries. Some signatory countries include Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Japan, Greece, France, Hungary, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain and Poland.

In Rome Convention signatory countries, neighboring rights collection societies, similar to United States’ ASCAP and BMI, collect and distribute “neighboring rights” royalties to their members. Since collection societies vary in different countries, a musician must register the individual master recordings with each collection society in all of the countries that their track is receiving airplay in to receive full payment.

For example, the performing rights organization that distributes neighboring rights royalties in the United Kingdom is PPL; in Germany, it is GVL; in Spain, it is AIE; and, in Canada, it is The Recording Artists’ Collecting Society (RACS), which is a division of The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA).

As discussed earlier, the United States is not a signatory to the Rome Convention treaty. Since the U.S. is a non-signatory country, U.S. citizen musicians do not receive any neighboring rights royalties. This is due to a concept called “reciprocity,” which means that because the United States does not pay neighboring rights royalties to non-U.S. citizens, those countries refuse to pay neighboring rights royalties to U.S. citizens.

This has put U.S. musicians, especially those who are solely featured vocalists and studio session players, such as many of today’s pop stars, in a bind by limiting most of their income to only record (which have steadily declined) and touring sales.

There are various reasons why the U.S. did not become an initial signatory to the Rome Convention treaty. One suggested justification is that radio station lobbyists fear that terrestrial radio stations would then have to pay additional license fees, essentially doubling its current fees. This additional expense may could result in a severe strain on their already dwindling business. The broadcasters are a significant lobby. Others counter this argument by saying that radio stations are predominantly kept in business by the music they play and without the master sound recording copyright owners, featured artists, and session musicians’ creations, the radio station would have nothing to air.

Although American law does not currently recognize neighboring rights for a terrestrial broadcast such as traditional radio stations, the “Digital Performance Rights in Sound Recordings Act of 1995” was established in an attempt to compensate featured vocalists for the digital public performance of their work. This Act allows U.S. musicians and master rights owners to collect royalties on digital performances of their work through satellite radio and Internet platforms.

This includes royalties paid by music streaming platforms such as Pandora and Spotify as well as satellite and Internet radio stations, such as Sirius XM. These royalties are collected and distributed through the licensing organization, SoundExchange. While American musicians can now collect digital performance royalties with the passage of this act, they still cannot collect royalties on terrestrial broadcast platforms. This means that U.S. musicians, who are only featured vocalists, still only receive half of the potential revenue streams available to them that other non-American vocalists do.

As recently as 2017, legislation called the “Fair Play, Fair Pay Act” has been discussed before the U.S. Congress with the intention of remedying the issue of neighboring rights. However, to date, no progress has occurred and it seems that no immediate movement is on the horizon. The lack of this income stream has widespread effects on U.S. musician’s earnings. In fact, according to Niels Teves, Co-CEO of Fintage House, the inclusion of neighboring rights could potentially “double the size of [the U.S.] annual market,” an industry severely in need of a monetary infusion.

Neighboring Rights are untapped revenue streams for many featured musicians and master sound recording owners. Unfortunately, most of this revenue is left unclaimed due to a lack of reciprocity between signatory and non-signatory countries. In order to help accelerate the music business’ recovery, copyright owners should attempt to apply additional pressure on the U.S. Congress to enact the “Fair Play, Fair Pay Act” or some variation of it. This would hopefully give musicians and sound recording owners their due royalties and compensation guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.

[Editors Note: This is a guest blog written by Justin M. Jacobson, Esq. Justin is an entertainment and media attorney for The Jacobson Firm, P.C. in New York City. In 2012, we published an article titled “Neighboring Rights: What They Are & Why They Matter”. This newest installment includes a current exploration of today’s neighboring rights, including which countries currently provide them and which don’t. It also explores recent United States’ legislation that has been discussed in an effort to extend “neighboring rights” to U.S. Citizens; as well as a discussion on the current financial impact these royalties have on the world-wide music business. It expands on the existing material while reinforcing the information it provides.]

As reported by and courtesy of © 2001-2017 Gen-Den Corporation. All rights reserved.
CelebrityAccessSM and Gen-DenSM are service marks of Gen-Den Corporation.


Taylor Swift Breaks One Day Streaming Record With New Single
Posted: August 28, 2017
(CelebrityAccess) -- Spotify reports that Taylor Swift's brand new single "Look What You Made Me Do" broke single day streaming records when it debuted on Spotify, with the track being played 8 million times in its first day.

Swift returned her material to Spotify in June and has since seen almost 50 million streams.



MBW has rifled through the list of the most popular Spotify artists in terms of global monthly listeners.

Check out the Top 25 from today (Dec 1) below, with a symbol showing how each act's daily audience has grown or shrunk.

  1. The Weekend - 36.07m monthly listeners (+583k)
  2. Drake - 35.96m monthly listeners (-)
  3. The Chainsmokers - 35.12m monthly listeners (-)
  4. Sia - 30.59m monthly listeners (-)
  5. Major Lazer - 28.84m monthly listeners (-)
  6. Calvin Harris - 28.49m monthly listeners (-)
  7. Maroon 5 - 28.25m monthly listeners (+30k)
  8. DJ Snake - 28.18m monthly listeners (-)
  9. Ariana Grande - 27.95m monthly listeners (+18k)
  10. Bruno Mars - 27.19m monthly listeners (+110k)
  11. Rihanna - 25.3m monthly listeners (+8.5k)
  12. Coldplay - 25.06m monthly listeners (-)
  13. Shawn Mendes - 24.41m monthly listeners (-)
  14. Bebe Rexha - 23.08m monthly listeners (-)
  15. Twenty One Pilots - 22.29m monthly listeners (-)
  16. Rae Sremmurd - 21.37m monthly listeners (+380k)
  17. Martin Garrix - 21.04m monthly listeners (-)
  18. Kanye West - 20.06m monthly listeners (+29k)
  19. Adele - 19.90 monthly listeners (+51k)
  20. Justin Bieber - 19.41m monthly listeners (+93k)
  21. Wiz Khalifa - 19.13m monthly listeners
  22. Justin Timberlake - 18.88m monthly listeners (-)
  23. Imagine Dragons - 18.47m monthly listeners (-)
  24. Zara Larsson - 18.45m monthly listeners (-)
  25. Jonas Blue - 18.31m monthly listeners (-)

The Weeknd's new album, Starboy, was released via Universal's Republic on Friday (Nov 25).

By Tuesday (Nov 29), Spotify had confirmed that he had broken the record for the most streams in a day from a single artist.

The company didn't give a stat, but it must have been in excess of 36m - the figure Justin Bieber racked up on November 13 last year to claim the record.

The Weeknd's triumph is being trumpeted as a test case of what can happen when artists work with Spotify to push their blockbuster new material - as opposed to signing exclusive windowed release deals elsewhere.

On the flip side, it's quite the vindication for Sir Lucian Grainge's recent attempt to outlaw streaming exclusives amongst his top artists and labels.

Monte Lipman, Chairman & Co-Founder, Republic Records said, “Spotify’s continued support of The Weeknd has now reached historic proportions and also reinforces the tremendous growth of global streaming."

Spotify's Global Head of Creator Services, Troy Carter, said: "We're proud to have partnered with The Weeknd, his management and Republic Records on a phenomenal album. We look forward to breaking even more records together in the near future."

Spotify has previously suggested that its average per stream payout to music rights-holders sits between $0.006 and $0.0084.

If that's still true, it means The Weeknd is currently generating somewhere around $250,000 a day on the service.

Not that Drake will be too devastated: his One Dance is less than 30m plays away from becoming the first track to ever hit a billion spins on Spotify.

By the same financial calculation, that means One Dance has generated somewhere close to $7m so far...

$250,000. U.S. is equal to over $340,000. Canadian Dollars per day.

As reported by and courtesy of  Music Business Worldwide


How Streaming Is Changing The Sound Of Pop Music
Posted: November 22, 2016
 – As the industry shifts further towards streaming and away from a retail and download based economy, not only is the way in which we consume music changing, but so is the music itself, particularly when it comes to pop music.

Guest post by Jason Moss on the TuneCore Blog
[Editors Note: This is a guest blog written by Jason Moss. Jason is an LA-based mixer, producer and engineer. His clients include Sabrina Carpenter, Madilyn Bailey, GIVERS and Dylan Owen. Check out his mixing tips at Behind The Speakers.]

Last year, the U.S. music industry made more money from streaming than CDs or digital downloads.

The times, they are a-changin’.

In case you haven’t noticed, the way we consume music is shifting. You’ve likely read about how this is impacting artists. But no one’s talking about how it will impact the sound of pop music.

Streaming won’t just change the way pop music is consumed, but also the way it’s created. This shouldn’t be surprising. In fact, there’s always been a relationship between music, medium, and distribution. For proof, look to the past.

In the 60’s, Motown built records for radio. Short song lengths allowed for the regular interjection of ads, and long intros gave DJs the freedom to talk over tracks. In the 1980’s, the dawn of the CD gave way to longer-form content. The average album’s length increased from 40 minutes to well over an hour. And since it was no longer important to maintain the integrity of vinyl grooves , records started sporting wider low ends and louder levels. (Is it any surprise that hip hop emerged as a dominant genre during this time?) In the 2000’s, Apple’s decision to unbundle the album and offer single-track downloads on iTunes shifted the trajectory of the music industry once again. After an album-oriented trend that lasted decades, singles once again became the primary focus.

Throughout the history of the music business, the goal was always the same: get people to purchase records. Once that purchase was made, it didn’t matter whether the record was played or not.

The traditional pop music-making process evolved to serve these intentions. Infectious, hook-heavy records were crafted to drive listeners to the checkout aisle. The biggest hits seemed inescapable for a month or two, but often disappeared as quickly as they emerged. But as far as the music industry was concerned, this was irrelevant. As long as people bought the CD or downloaded the song, we were happy.

But streaming has completely changed the game. For the first time, financial success is no longer based on one-time sales, but on ongoing streams. The more a track is played, the bigger the payout. The implications of this shift are massive.

On streaming platforms, flash-in-the-pan tracks that burn bright and fade fast are less lucrative than ever. The most profitable pop songs instead burrow their way into the hearts of listeners, inspiring millions of streams for years to come. Success is no longer about the hit, but the replay.

This shift introduces a powerful new incentive to foster deeper, longer-lasting relationships with listeners. While tracks will still need to be hook-laden enough to inspire an immediate connection, they must also be worth listening to hundreds, if not thousands of times.

What will this mean for the pop hits of the future? We can only guess. As terrestrial radio continues to become less relevant, song structures and arrangements will likely become more fluid. New, innovative mediums may even emerge. Who says a recording has to present the same experience with every play? What if tracks evolved over time? What if, after one hundred plays, a bonus verse emerged? As play count becomes a dominant metric for measuring the success of tracks, ideas like these are fair game.

One thing’s for sure—as streaming continues to emerge as the dominant platform for music consumption, the sound of pop music will change. Will you change with it?

  as reported by and courtesy of



SOCAN Enters Mechanical Rights Business with Purchase of Audiam

July 21st, 2016
SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste

SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste

In a move that some are speculating could put performing rights organization SOCAN in competition with the Canadian Mechanical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) over the collection of mechanical royalties, SOCAN has purchased 100 per cent of the New York-based tech company Audiam, empowering SOCAN to expand into the business of licensing digital services and royalty payment for songwriters, composers, and music publishers.

With Audiam, SOCAN says it now has a comprehensive database, and metadata of all compositions and commercially-released digital sound recordings, and the technology and business understanding to match and connect the two, issue licenses and get rights-holders paid.

The problem of licensing and payments recently came to a head again in the form of several class-action lawsuits by rights holders against music streaming companies, mostly notably Spotify. The streaming service recently reached a settlement with the National Music Publishers’ Association, a U.S. organization, that will see Spotify pay around $20 million to publishers for dispute over licensing and unpaid royalties.

With the Audiam acquisition, SOCAN has expanded into collection of royalties for reproductions of music (“mechanicals”), licensing and royalty distribution in the U.S. and Canada. Audiam enables music creators and music publishers to be paid accurately, while removing liability, infringement and data issues for streaming music services and YouTube. Audiam provides one-stop licensing and collecting in North America.

“In 2013 Audiam shook up the music royalties system by identifying and correcting serious gaps in the digital music rights value chain, particularly with music used in YouTube videos, by correctly matching data to the rights-holder,” says SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. “By acquiring Audiam, SOCAN steps even further ahead with our vision to lead the global transformation of music rights with substantial new tools for our more than 135,000 member songwriters, composers, and music publishers, dramatically expanding our ability to ensure that creators are properly and fairly compensated.”

“SOCAN is not only the most technologically advanced, efficient, and transparent music rights organization on the planet, but its board of directors and executive team are singularly focused on assuring that composers and publishers are licensed, and that rights-holders are paid for the use of their music,” says Jeff Price, founder and CEO of Audiam. “Adding SOCAN’s resources and knowledge to Audiam allows us to finally fix the global industry problems, remove liability for services, and get rights-holders paid.”

Audiam was founded in 2013 by TuneCore founder and former CEO Jeff Price. Audiam’s innovative technology and business processes identify the use of music and correct data on digital services such as Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Google Play, and others, and get rights-holders paid, greatly expanding and enhancing the capabilities of SOCAN.

The acquisition was made final in June, and Audiam will remain a separate organization under its current name for the foreseeable future. Jeff Price will remain Audiam’s CEO and will work closely with SOCAN group CEO Eric Baptiste and his team.

Audiam brings to SOCAN one of the world’s most complete databases of sound recording and underlying song/composition metadata, as well as sophisticated audit and auto-match technology, to proactively find works that are not licensed and royalties that have not been paid.

Because part of SOCAN’s vision, according to the organization, is to lead the global transformation of music rights, the company is investing in new services for its members that says are essential in today’s globalized digital environment.

SOCAN will instantly leverage Audiam’s identification technology and services to more accurately pay members’ performing rights royalties on YouTube and other digital platforms, expanding service offerings to songwriters, composers, and music publishing members.

SOCAN plans to integrate Audiam’s other business lines, such as North American licensing and administration of mechanical income from digital services, including Spotify, Google Play, and Apple, as well as leverage Audiam’s proven track record to identify and recover pre-existing mechanical royalties that typically have remained unpaid.

Audiam’s services will be available immediately to all SOCAN members.

For a full list of services offered, click here.

The acquisition was completed in June 2016, the terms of which are undisclosed.

On May 12, 2016, SOCAN announced its purchase of Seattle-based MediaNet, a pioneer business-to-business music technology provider offering 360-degree music rights administration to SOCAN members. The combination of SOCAN’s existing capabilities and services with Audiam and MediaNet further extends the company’s leadership position among the world’s music rights organizations.

as reported by and courtesy of



Millions Of Musicians Affected As MySpace, Tumblr, LinkedIn Hacked, Sensitive Data For Sale Online
Posted: June 1, 2016
(Hypebot) – Most musicians have forgotten that they ever had a MySpace account, much less remember the password. Millions more use Tumblr as a blogging platform and LinkedIn for business contacts. Now, hundreds of millions of hacked account details from all three are being advertised for sale online.

Sensitive data from hundreds of millions of MySpace and Tumblr accounts is being sold online, according to multiple security experts. These breaches follow close on the heals of a recent massive LinkedIn hack.

The MySpace and Tumblr breaches may be months or years old. But the data has just gone up for sale, alongside info from LinkedIn. Experts suggest that it may be more than a coincidence. "There's been some catalyst that has brought these breaches to light and to see them all fit this mould and appear in such a short period of time, I can't help but wonder if they're perhaps related, according to online security expert Troy Hunt. "Even if these events don't all correlate to the same source and we're merely looking at coincidental timing of releases, how many more are there in the 'mega' category that are simply sitting there in the clutches of various unknown parties?"

MySpace Responds

"As part of the major site re-launch in the summer of 2013, Myspace took significant steps to strengthen account security. The compromised data is related to the period before those measures were implemented," Myspace wrote in a blog post. "We are currently utilizing advanced protocols including double salted hashes (random data that is used as an additional input to a one-way function that "hashes" a password or passphrase) to store passwords."

What To Do

Users are being urged to change their passwords on all three sites. Despite the breach, you may not want to delete your MySpae account entirely. Time Inc recently bought the site and is planning a relaunch.
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Playboy Throws Its Hat Into The Streaming Music Ring
Posted: June 2, 2016
(Hypebot) – Why shouldn't everyone launch a streaming music service? Now that it's eliminated full nudity from its magazine, Playboy is looking for new ways to extend its brand. Today, they launched the Playboy Music app, which is, sadly, pretty much what you'd expect from Hef & Company.

Playboy has launched a music app.

"This exciting new platform for music discovery combines breathtaking model videos with exclusive live music performances, and brings to life a new expression of Playboy's stylish, sexy and seductive attitude," gushes the press release. Alongside other models, Playboy's 2016 Playmate of the Year, Eugena Washington, will be featured prominently in the new app "with an exclusive video and pictorial gallery that can't be found anywhere else."

Powered, the app will offer new music and model pairings each month for subscribers willing to pay 99 cents per a month.

"Playboy Music celebrates the diversity of female sexiness with a curated playlist of songs framed within beautifully crafted videos," says Jeff LaPenna, Creative Director of the Playboy Music app at "But the models are more than just sexy — they are the focal point of a narrative that connects beauty with music in a way that men will enjoy and women will find empowering."

Above article courtesy of encore.celebrityaccess .com


Spotify Reported To Be Launching In Japan In July
Posted: June 1, 2016
TOKYO (CelebrityAccess) -- After months of speculation, Spotify finally appears to be gearing up for a launch in Japan.

According to ITU News, record label sources have indicated that the streaming music service is preparing for a launch in July. The company has been on a hiring spree for its offices in Tokyo since at least January of this year and its launch there has been widely anticipated.

While boasting an advanced infrastructure, Japan has been notoriously difficult ground for streaming music to crack, with consumers strongly prefering physical media over streamed music. Revenue from physical has remained remarkably stable in Japan recent years, only slipping by two percent in 2015, according to Recording Industry Association of Japan.

Other Japanese streaming music services such as Line Music, a joint venture between popular texting service Line and Sony Music; and AWA, the streaming service for Japan's second largest label Avex Group Holdings follow the paid subscription model, but have struggled after they failed to convert early free trials to paying subscribers.

Apple Music has found more success, converting a higher percentage of trial period users to paying subscribers but primarily appealing to an older demographic who have developed a taste for western music and have access to credit cards. - Staff Writers

Above article courtesy of encore.celebrityaccess .com



UK Anti-Terrorism Official Says Country On High Alert For Festival Season
Posted: June 1, 2016
LONDON (CelebrityAccess) -- As the UK gears up for a busy festival season, one of the UK's highest ranking anti-terrorism officers said that the country will be on "high alert" for potential terror attacks.

In a recent interview, deputy assistant police commissioner Neil Basu, who oversees the UK's protective security told the Sunday Times, that music festivals were "right at the top of the agenda", noting that they provided a security challenge over fixed venues due to their size and the fact that their "perimeters are much larger".

"These people are perfectly happy to target civilians with the maximum terror impact. Crowded places were always a concern for us, but now they are right at the top of the agenda," Basu told the Times. "The threat has become more difficult, because it's now potentially any time any place, anywhere."

Basu was careful to note that the government had received no specific information regarding threats against a festival.

Basu also called for stricter security measures at smaller venues, such as the Bataclan Theatre in Paris as he sees them as a particularly tempting target for would-be attackers. - Staff Writers

Above article courtesy of encore.celebrityaccess .com