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.
Songwriters scored a major victory in the US seven days ago.
Back in January 2018, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) ruled that US songwriter/publisher royalty rates for on-demand streaming (and other uses) were to rise from 10.5% to 15.1% between 2018 and 2022.
But on July 1, the CRB maintained its decision to increase the headline rate paid to songwriters in the US to 15.1%.
Also this week, France-born Spotify rival Deezer made its stock market debut on the Euronext Paris, after combining its business with I2PO, a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) based in France.
Deezer became 2022’s latest music streaming service to go public via a SPAC merger, following MENA-focused Anghami‘s IPO on the NASDAQ in New York.
Meanwhile, the Financial Times reported this week that TikTok has scrapped the expansion of its TikTok Shop feature into Europe and the US.
Launched in the UK in December 2021, TikTok Shop lets creators sell products directly on TikTok through in-feed videos and live streams. Last year, in an interview with MBW, TikTok’s Global Head of Music Ole Obermann discussed plans for e-commerce features for artists within its app.
MBW reached out to TikTok to clarify whether the claims reported by the FT would have any impact on TikTok’s music-related e-commerce plans outlined by Obermann.
Elsewhere, music veteran Irv Gotti sold a stake in his Murder Inc. master recordings to Iconoclast as part of a $300 million deal, while Universal Music Group struck a licensing deal with African music service Mdundo.
Here’s what happened this week…
1) SONGWRITERS, REJOICE: SPOTIFY APPEAL FAILS TO STOP COMPOSERS GETTING IMPROVED 15.1% STREAMING ROYALTY RATE IN THE US
The saga is over.
On July 1, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) maintained its decision to increase the headline rate paid to songwriters in the United States from on-demand streaming services between the years 2018 and 2022.
To refresh your memory: In January 2018, songwriters enjoyed a major victory when the CRB ruled that songwriter/publisher royalty rates for streaming and other mechanical uses were to rise significantly in the US.
That ruling centered on an increase in the overall percentage of streaming services’ US revenues that legally have to be paid by the likes of Spotify to songwriters.
The CRB decided to move that percentage figure up from 10.5% to 15.1% across the five years between 2018 and 2022. It was the largest rate increase in the history of the CRB.
However, Spotify and other companies, including Amazon and Google/Alphabet – but NOT Apple – subsequently launched a legal appeal against the new rates, arguing that they were unjustified.
Now, the CRB has made its final decision – and the 15.1% rate is going nowhere…
Spotify rival Deezer is officially a publicly-listed company.
The music streaming service made its stock market debut in its home country of France on the Euronext Paris on Tuesday (July 5), after combining its business with I2PO, a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) based in France.
The company’s public listing comes seven years after the plug was pulled on its previous attempt at an IPO.
Deezer becomes this year’s latest music streaming service to become a publicly listed company via a SPAC merger, following MENA-focused Anghami’s recent IPO on the NASDAQ in New York…
Last year, in an interview with MBW, TikTok’s Global Head of Music Ole Obermann discussed plans for e-commerce features for artists within its app.
He noted that TikTok “recently did a few tests in the US where we worked with big-name artists to enable them to sell physical products off of their TikTok accounts”.
Obermann cited artists including Lizzo and Billie Eilish as being involved in those tests, telling MBW at the time that, “the numbers were massive” adding: “It blew us away”.
An article published by the Financial Times this week left major questions hanging over the future of those e-commerce plans for artists on the platform…
4) MUSIC VETERAN IRV GOTTI SELLS STAKE IN MURDER INC. MASTER RECORDINGS TO ICONOCLAST AS PART OF $300M DEAL
Veteran music executive and producer Irv Gotti (Irving Lorenzo), the founder of rap label Murder Inc, has sold a stake in his master recordings to Olivier Chastan’s acquisition vehicle, Iconoclast.
The music exec has announced that the deal is worth $300 million, and according to a media release, “sees him sell his 50% ownership stake of his masters, with additional funding for various film and television projects”….
African music service Mdundo, which listed on the Danish stock exchange (the Nasdaq First North Growth Market) in September 2020, has struck a licensing deal with Universal Music Group (UMG).
UMG says that its new deal covers key African territories.
Mdundo reports to have 17 million active monthly users across Africa, which means the service has added 10 million since February 2021…
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