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.
If you want to know how healthy the music rights business is today, know this:
Universal Music Group generated more than $1 million in revenue every hour in the first quarter of this year.
Vivendi published UMG’s Q1 results this week, revealing that the music company generated $2.2 billion across recorded music, publishing, and other income streams.
Vivendi also revealed that it expects UMG will be going public in Amsterdam in “the fall” of 2021.
Meanwhile, a letter sent this week to the British government, co-signed by the likes of Paul McCartney, Led Zeppelin, Sting, Chris Martin and Stevie Nicks, has called for artists to be paid differently from “lean back” streaming plays in the UK.
The past five days have also seen Sony Music praise Apple‘s new Podcasts Subscriptions, while Songtradr acquired Pretzel, a platform that provides DMCA-proof music for Twitch and YouTube livestreamers.
Here’s a recap of what happened…
Universal Music Group’s Q1 results are out, courtesy of its majority-parent, Vivendi – which yesterday (April 22) said it expects UMG will be going public in Amsterdam in “the fall” of 2021.
For now, let’s stick with the first three months of this year… another impressive period for UMG and its CEO and Chairman, Sir Lucian Grainge.
According to Vivendi’s results, Universal Music Group’s total revenues – including recorded music, publishing and other income streams – hit €1.81bn ($2.20bn) in Q1, up 9.4% year-on-year.
Just because we know MBW readers dig these stats: That $2.20bn quarterly turnover was equivalent to $24.5m a day, or… yep… just over $1m an hour, across the expanse of Q1.
2) Why are Paul McCartney, Led Zeppelin, Sting, Chris Martin and Stevie Nicks demanding the UK government ‘fixes streaming’?
As you’re probably aware, a UK Parliamentary Inquiry is currently looking into the economics of music streaming in Britain.
One of the proposals they’re chewing over is whether algorithmic plays on the likes of Spotify (i.e. plays that have been chosen for you, as opposed to those on which you’ve pressed play) should be treated under the same rules as “equitable remuneration” on radio in the UK. Ergo: Whether 50% of the money generated by these “lean-back” plays should go direct to artists, no matter how unrecouped they might be over in Record Label Land.
Unsurprisingly, record labels aren’t too keen on this idea – and artists are very keen on this idea.
So here’s the big news this week: the stature of the artists calling for the UK government to enforce “equitable remuneration” on streaming services just went blockbuster.
Apple Music caused furore last Friday (April 16) when it made some proud claims about its payouts to artists and songwriters – and, by association, some potentially damning claims about Spotify‘s equivalent distributions.
Those claims all appeared in an email newsletter sent by Apple to the industry and artist community. This newsletter has now been obtained by MBW and is re-published below.
Apple doesn’t explicitly mention Spotify at all in the letter, although you wouldn’t guess it from the subsequent media coverage.
That’s especially true of certain headlines connected to the following assertion from Apple: “Our average per play rate is $0.01.”
Spotify, which has been pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into podcasting over the past few years, sent out a user survey in November indicating that it was mulling the launch of a standalone podcast subscription service.
Apple just beat Spotify to it. This week, the tech giant unveiled Apple Podcasts Subscriptions, which it describes as “a global marketplace for listeners to discover premium subscriptions offered by their favorite creators alongside millions of free shows on Apple Podcasts”.
Apple’s official release announcing the news includes quotes from executives of various media and entertainment brands hailing the launch of the new service.
Some of those companies include Tenderfoot TV, Pushkin Industries, Radiotopia from PRX, QCODE, NPR, the Los Angeles Times and The Athletic.
Dennis Kooker, President of Global Digital Business and US Sales at Sony Music Entertainment, is amongst them.
Who will be the fastest-growing music company of 2021? Don’t count out Songtradr.
In the past six months alone, the Los Angeles-headquartered company – which dubs itself “the world’s largest B2B music licensing marketplace” – has acquired the likes of music and sound design firm Song Zu (in a multi-million dollar deal), as well as UK-based sync licensing business Cuesongs.
In addition, Songtradr, which raised $30 million in a Series C round last summer, recently launched a new brand-facing division, Vinyl By Songtradr, under the leadership of ex-UMG exec Mike Tunnicliffe, and ex-Coca Cola exec Joe Belliotti.
This week brought more big news from Songtradr, via an acquisition that takes it into a rapidly-expanding area of the modern music business.
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.Music Business Worldwide