Business News CMU Digest

CMU Digest 12.03.23: Spotify, recorded music stats, Live Nation, BBC, Jesus And Mary Chain

By | Published on Sunday 12 March 2023

The key stories from the last week in the music business…

Spotify published a stack of stats and unveiled a number of new product features at its second ever Stream On event. The big innovation was the long anticipated new TikTok-esque feed via which users will be able navigate content on the platform, and artists and other creators will be able to push what they are doing to existing and potential fans. New marketing tools for artists like Countdown Pages and Spotify Clips were also presented, as was the previously announced AI DJ tool. In terms of stats, boss Daniel Ek said Spotify now hosts content from more than ten million creators who have access to half a billion listeners in 194 countries. Plus, Spotify claimed, more creators are making more money via the platform than ever before, in fact: “The number of artists generating $1 millions plus, as well as those generating $10,000+, has more than doubled over the past five years”. [READ MORE]

Recorded music market stats for 2022 were published in the US and UK. According to the RIAA, wholesale recorded music revenues in the US – the biggest recorded music market in the world – were up 5% last year to $10 billion. Streaming continued to power the growth, with streaming services now generating 84% of total revenues. Premium streaming services generate the most cash, accounting for nearly two-thirds of total income. Physical revenues also increased in 2022 – by 4% – thanks to the ongoing vinyl revival. According to the BPI, the UK market saw growth of 4.7% to £1.32 billion. Again, streams were behind most of that, with streaming revenues up 6.3% to £885 million. The vinyl revival also continued in the UK, though not enough to stop physical revenues overall slipping 10.5%. [US STATS] [UK STATS]

A plethora of music companies backed Live Nation’s Fair Ticketing Act. The live giant has proposed that US law-makers introduce a number of new laws regulating the ticketing business in America, although mainly secondary ticketing rather than primary ticketing. Critics – especially touts and platforms in the secondary market – have claimed that Live Nation is calling for new secondary ticketing rules to be introduced in order to distract law-makers from issues that have been raised about the primary ticketing market generally and Live Nation’s Ticketmaster specifically. However, various booking agencies, management companies and industry organisations all confirmed they were backing Live Nation’s proposals this week, including CAA, WME, UTA, Wasserman, Vector and Red Light. [READ MORE]

The UK’s Musicians’ Union hit out at plans announced by the BBC to streamline its in-house choir and orchestras. The down-sizing was confirmed as part of a big plan to overhaul the broadcaster’s classical music output. There will be cuts within the BBC’s England-based orchestras, with about 20% of the current salaried positions set to go. Meanwhile the BBC Singers choir will be phased out entirely. MU General Secretary Naomi Pohl said: The BBC performing groups are vital to the BBC in our view. They are busy, they perform a wide range of roles across numerous high-profile programmes and events, and they also contribute to music education. The hundreds of singers and musicians they employ will be very concerned about their futures today and we will support them and stand with them to push back against these proposals”. [READ MORE]

The Jesus And Mary Chain settled a legal dispute with Warner Music over the termination right in US copyright law. The band’s Jim Reid and William Reid sued in 2021 stating that the major was refusing to acknowledge termination notices that they had issued under US copyright rules. The termination right allows creators to reclaim copyrights they previously assigned to business partners after 35 years. The Reids were trying to reclaim the rights in recordings that they released with Warner Music UK in the 1980s. That said, some record labels have argued that the termination right doesn’t actually apply to record deals, while both labels and music publishers have claimed that the right also doesn’t apply to any deals signed outside the US. The Reids’ litigation would have tested both of those arguments in court, but with the case settled that now won’t happen. [READ MORE]

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