Welcome to Music Business Worldwide’s weekly round-up – where we make sure you caught the five biggest stories to hit our headlines over the past seven days. MBW’s round-up is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximise their income and reduce their touring costs.
This week brought news of a new copyright infringement lawsuit filed against an ISP in the US by a group of music companies including BMG, Universal Music and Concord Music Group.
The internet service provider is Altice USA, which owns the Optimum broadband and cable brand. Altice says it has more than 5 million customers in 21 US states.
The lawsuit claims that Altice “knowingly contributed to and earned substantial profits from, copyright infringement committed by thousands of its subscribers”.
It adds: “The infringement that Altice has abided, profited from, and materially contributed to has injured Plaintiffs, their recording artists and songwriters, and others whose livelihoods depend on the proper licensing of music”.
MBW also reported this week that Sony Music-owned Ultra Records is suing Patrick Moxey’s 18-year-old independent publishing company.
The lawsuit centers around Moxey’s continued use of the ‘Ultra’ name for his independent publishing company, Ultra International Music Publishing, LLC, which was first incorporated in the US in August 2004.
Also this week, MENA-focused Spotify rival, Anghami claimed that it will soon become the first platform to host over 200,000 songs generated by Artificial Intelligence.
Anghami has partnered with a generative music platform called Mubert, which says it allows users to create “unique soundtracks” for various uses such as social media, presentations or films using one million samples from over 4,000 musicians.
The partnership between the two companies is based around an in-app activation to create so-called “musical football cheers”. According to Mohammed Ogaily, VP Product at Anghami, the service has already “generated over 170,000 songs, based on three sets of lyrics, three talents, and 2,000 tracks generated by AI”.
Elsewhere, Litmus Music acquired Keith Urban’s master recordings catalog, while Midia Research estimated that there were 616.2 million subscribers to music streaming services at the end of H1 2022.
Here’s what happened this week…
1) MUSIC COMPANIES HIT INTERNET SERVICE OPERATOR ALTICE USA WITH $1BN COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT LAWSUIT
Internet service operator Altice, which owns the Optimum broadband and cable brand, has become the latest US IP to be hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit alleging multiple incidents of music piracy.
Claimed to be one of the “largest connectivity providers in the US”, internet provider Altice USA has more than 5 million customers in 2021 states.
The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday (December 14) in Texas by a number of rightsholders, including BMG, as well as Universal Music, Capitol Records and Concord Music Group.
They’re suing Optimum’s owner over “millions” of alleged infringements of “thousands” of their songs…
2) A YEAR AGO, PATRICK MOXEY SOLD ULTRA RECORDS TO SONY MUSIC. NOW THE LABEL IS SUING HIS PUBLISHING COMPANY.
In December 2021, Sony Music fully acquired Ultra Records from Patrick Moxey. Now, Sony-owned Ultra Records is suing Moxey’s 18-year-old independent publishing company.
The lawsuit, obtained by MBW, was filed in the US by Ultra Records LLC (an entity fully owned by Sony Music) last month.
It centers around Moxey’s continued use of the ‘Ultra’ name for his independent publishing company, Ultra International Music Publishing, LLC, which was first incorporated in the US in August 2004…
3) ANOTHER MUSIC STREAMING SERVICE IS MAKING ITS OWN AI-GENERATED SONGS – AND IT’S ON COURSE TO CREATE OVER 200,000 OF THEM.
How would major music rightsholders react if the companies behind platforms like Spotify, TikTok or YouTube started creating hundreds of thousands of songs via AI technology – and then hosted and promoted these tracks on their services?
It’s a question that’s looking more and more like it might one day require an answer.
Last month, MBW reported that Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) – the owner of China’s largest music streaming platforms – had created and released over 1,000 tracks containing vocals created by its own AI tech that mimics the human voice.
One of these tracks, according to TME, has even surpassed 100 million streams.
On Thursday (December 15), we learned that Tencent isn’t the only significant music streaming provider that’s started creating stacks of songs created by artificial intelligence.
MENA-focused Spotify rival, Anghami, is now taking the concept to a whole other level – claiming that it will soon become the first platform to host over 200,000 songs generated by AI…
4) KEITH URBAN SELLS RECORDINGS CATALOG TO $500M-BACKED LITMUS MUSIC
Litmus Music has acquired Keith Urban’s master recordings catalog.
The deal includes ten multi-platinum, platinum or gold-certified studio albums and a greatest hits compilation. Among the catalog’s highlights are 24 No.1 songs and 36 consecutive Top 5s.
Launched in August, New York-based Litmus was co-founded by Hank Forsyth and Dan McCarroll in partnership with Carlyle Global Credit, which initially committed $500 million in both equity and debt…
5) MUSIC NOW HAS OVER 616 MILLION PAYING STREAMING SUBSCRIBERS GLOBALLY
There were 616.2 million subscribers to music streaming services at the end of H1 2022, according to new estimates from Midia Research.
That was up 17.6% – or by 92.3 million – on the 523.9 million global subscribers that Midia counted at the same half-year point of 2021.
And although that YoY subs growth margin (+92.3m) slowed compared to the same increase in the prior year (H1 2020 to H1 2021, +109.5m), it perhaps didn’t decelerate quite as much as many feared… especially amid this year’s wider macroeconomic pressures.
One reason for that, suggests Midia, is China: In Q4 2021, the research firm estimates, Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) overtook Amazon Music to become the third-largest DSP globally.
In Q2 2022, says Midia, TME had 82.7 million subscribers, representing a 13.4% global market share…
MBW’s Weekly Round-Up is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximise their income and reduce their touring costs.Music Business Worldwide