I. Music & Tech
Youtube Music Relations
Youtube has made a number strategic moves in an effort to address many of the harsh criticisms from the music industry. The most recent being a motion to directly support artists themselves by funding the creation of original music-video content. However, it seems in addition to standard terms of the content creation the video giant stipulated that artists could not “disparage” the platform. While disparagement clauses or not uncommon in content creation agreements, it definitely makes for a significantly less organic relationship. Between supporting artists and bringing on renowned music Executive, Lyor Cohen as the “Head of Global Music” there is definitely more to come as Youtube continues to their attempts to strengthen their position in the music space. Read more here.
Instagram in a GIPHY (Actually GIPHY in IG)
At the end of January, Instagram finally launched their long awaited integration of GIPHY. While this is just the beginning, the initial roll out comes in the form of hundreds of thousands moving stickers that can be overlaid on images and videos. In addition to this latest upgrade, it was announced that in due time users will be able to upload photos and videos of any size. Read more about the updates here.
Apple Music for Artists
Following the lead of Spotify’s artist centric efforts, Apple recently launched a service tailored specifically to the needs of music creators as well. Initially the Apple Music feature will consist of a metric rich dashboard delivering insights in regards to consumption trends and info on fans. In the future however, Apple plans on transitioning into a mobile App dedicated solely to enhancing the artist experience. Read more here.
Apple’s Home Speaker
With the sounds of K Dot and Big Boi of Outkast, last month Apple released their first set of ads for the launch of their home speaker system. In typical fashion the hardware extraordinaire seems to have designed a beautiful product. The question is going to come when accessing the efficacy of their voice recognition technology and seeing how they perform in the already competitive landscape. Check the latest report here.
Mechanical Rates for Songwriters
On behalf of the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), the National Music Publisher’s Association recently negotiated a 43.8% increase in the royalty rate from 10.5% to 15.1%. The agreement was negotiated with the the “major” Streaming platforms, and while this is the greatest increase in the history of the CRB, there is still a ways to go in comparison to the rate of label compensation. Right now for every $3.82 the labels are compensated, songwriters are compensated $1.00. Read more here.
As the digital music terrain continues to evolve and become more competitive, Pandora is being forced to make necessary adjustments. At the end of January, the streaming pioneer announced that it would be cutting 5% of its workforce by the end of Q1 2018. The cuts are directly related to a shift in focus and efforts toward more programmatic ads. Additionally, Pandora is going to continue to make push into “non-music” content. Read more about their plans here.