From TikTok’s music patent to BMI scrapping sale plans… it’s MBW’s Weekly Round-Up

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.

It’s been another quiet summer week in the music industry – but with just enough action to keep our interest piqued.

For one thing, MBW discovered this week that TikTok had successfully won a US patent for ‘Music Station’ tech that “will enable users to easily acquire, listen to and manage music on portable wireless computing devices”.

In addition, we spotted that TikTok is hiring for positions to work within its ‘TikTok Music’ team in the United States.

Could a standalone TikTok Music app – separate and/or merged with Bytedance’s Resso – be on the way?

Elsewhere in the news this week, it was reported that BMI, the US-based collection and licensing society giant, had quietly scrapped plans for a sale after receiving underwhelming offers in the marketplace.

Bloomberg reported that BMI was looking to attract bids of USD $1.5 billion or above.

Elsewhere, Beggars Group published some impressive financials for 2021, bolstered by the fact that full control of recording rights to Adele albums returned to the company in the US that same year.

Plus, Swizz Beatz and Timbaland launched a $28 million lawsuit against Triller, the short-form video app that acquired the duo’s Verzuz in 2021.

Here’s what happened in the past few days…

1) TikTok owns a patent for a music service – and it’s hiring for ‘TikTok Music’ staff

MBW has unearthed an old US patent filed by Singapore-based TikTok Pte. Ltd in May 2018, and granted in January 2021, for a “Method of enabling digital music content to be downloaded to and used on a portable wireless computing device”.

The company claims that its invention is a “mature, reliable and convenient solution which will enable users to easily acquire, listen to and manage music on portable wireless computing devices”.

The filing claims further that “this invention,” called the ‘Music Station’, has the promise of being genuinely transformative of the way people acquire and listen to digital music”. (MBW)

2) BMI scraps plans for sale following underwhelming offers

BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) has pulled the plug on a planned multi-billion dollar company sale, saying the transaction “is no longer an avenue we are considering,” Bloomberg News reported.

Sources familiar with the matter said interested parties like private equity firms and technology providers tabled offers for the company but some backed out, while other offers did not meet BMI’s requirements. (MBW)

3) Beggars Group profits jumped 55% in 2021 – as rights to Adele’s first 3 albums reverted to XL in the US

Now we know how UK-headquartered Beggars Group performed as a business in 2021: According to a fresh filing on UK Companies House, Beggars Group generated GBP £79.98 million last year, up by  29.7% YoY.

That figure includes Beggars’ share of various joint venture businesses including XL Recordings, Matador and Rough Trade, in each of which Beggars owns 50%. (MBW)

4) Swizz Beatz and Timbaland sue Triller for $28 million

TikTok rival Triller is being sued by superstar producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz.

The pair are demanding $28 million in missing payments related to Triller’s acquisition of their song battle brand Verzuz, which Triller acquired in early 2021. (MBW)

5) Kobalt to launch NFT collection

Kobalt is expanding into the NFT business, revealing plans to release a ‘music lyric NFT’ collection called An Electro Revival.

In doing so, Kobalt says it will become the “first global music publisher to release a set of fully licensed direct-to-fan NFTs”.

In a media statement, Derek Cournoyer, Kobalt’s VP, Global Digital Partnerships, said that “after licensing many NFTs for various projects”, the company now wants “to dive deeper into this emerging market and experiment alongside our clients”. (MBW)

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