Thursday, October 18, 2018

SoundCloud Partners with Native Instruments, Serato, Virtual DJ, DEX3, Mixvibes and Hercules | Music Business Worldwide

SoundCloud has partnered with six DJ software companies, Native Instruments, Serato, Virtual DJ, DEX3, Mixvibes and Hercules.

The partnerships will allow SoundCloud creators to stream and mix music on the platform’s catalog using a SoundCloud Go+ subscription and the DJ application of their choice.

The integrations will begin rolling out in 2019.

To support the integrations, SoundCloud announced via a blog post that it’s added high quality audio streaming to SoundCloud Go+, its premium tier.

All content uploaded to SoundCloud in a high bitrate or lossless format will be available to stream in high quality at AAC 256 kbps.

Subscribers can opt-in to high quality streaming by going to their SoundCloud settings under “streaming quality.”

“Until recently, digital workflows for DJs were limited to downloads and physical media, but streaming workflows are the future,” said Kerry Trainor, Chief Executive Officer, SoundCloud.

“SoundCloud is committed to empowering creators with the best tools and resources to grow their careers, which is why we are excited to partner with these leading companies to help DJs take their workflow to the next level.

“Through these partnership, DJs will have the largest, most diverse streaming music catalog ever assembled instantly accessible within the tools they use everyday.”

“Until recently, digital workflows for DJs were limited to downloads and physical media, but streaming workflows are the future.”

Kerry Trainor, SoundCloud

Pedram Faghfouri, Director of Products, Traktor added: “Native Instruments and SoundCloud share a vision to inspire and empower music lovers and creators so we’re excited to work on this milestone integration.

“The news means more users will be able to seamlessly go from inspiration to creation, whether a first time DJ, hobbyist or professional. User feedback and collaboration is central to the development of all of new Traktor products and services and streaming has been a hot topic across our audiences.

“With over 500,000 Traktor users and new hardware and software released today, we’re pleased to continue pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with digital DJing and look forward to sharing more on this integration early next year.”

SoundCloud recently announced that it is expanding its direct monetization program, SoundCloud Premier, to hundreds of thousands of users.Music Business Worldwide


SiriusXM makes home entertainment move with Amazon Echo partnership | Music Business Worldwide

SiriusXM wants in on the home entertainment market.

When it acquired Pandora in September, it said in its press release that Pandora’s “powerful music platform would help it expand its presence beyond vehicles into the home and other mobile areas”.

In its first big move into the smart speaker sector following that acqusition, it’s partnered with the market leader, Amazon.

SiriusXM has partnered with Amazon as part of what it calls its ‘Bring Us Home’ campaign, which aims to popularize its programming beyond its established base of more than 110 million vehicles.

As part of the partnership, Amazon Echo users get their first three months of SiriusXM programming free when they subscribe to a new SiriusXM Premier Streaming or SiriusXM All Access subscription.

Additionally, anyone that subscribes to a new SiriusXM All Access or SiriusXM Premier Streaming subscription will get an Amazon’s Echo Dot for free, (although a minimum six-month service is required).

Existing SiriusXM subscribers who upgrade from a SiriusXM Select to a SiriusXM All Access package will also be eligible for a free Echo Dot.

“Amazon is an unquestioned leader in delivering the products people want to their homes.”

Jim Meyer, SiriusXM

“Music and radio have always been central to the Alexa experience and how customers engage with her every single day,” said Jeff Kunins, Vice President, Alexa Entertainment at Amazon.

“We’re excited to work with SiriusXM to offer customers even more ways to discover and listen to the content they love – including news, comedy, live sports, music and more from SiriusXM.”

Jim Meyer, Chief Executive Officer, SiriusXM, added: “The products that SiriusXM and Amazon offer, and that consumers love, truly go hand in hand.

“Amazon is an unquestioned leader in delivering the products people want to their homes, and the extraordinary popularity of their Echo devices, and excitement for its latest Echo Dot, are the latest examples of that.

“As a leader in audio entertainment, SiriusXM’s unparalleled bundle of programming makes listening through those devices more enjoyable. With an Echo device, the SiriusXM streaming service is easier than ever to use in the home.

“This marks the beginning of a collaboration between our two companies that will empower us both to serve new and existing customers better as we bundle our products and offer exceptional value for their purchase.”Music Business Worldwide


Music's $20M A Month Man: Spotify's Daniel Ek Shows Tim Westergren How It’s Done | hypebot

1The industry gave a collective gasp of horror when founder Tim Westergren was pulling down $1,000,000 by selling of Pandora stock while simultaneously fighting artists with royalty loopholes. Chris Castle writes that Spotify's Daniel Ek is leaving Westergren in the financial dust with a monthly windfall of $20 million.


Guest post by Chris Castle from Music Technology Policy

Remember when we were all appalled that Pandora founder Tim Westergren was making $1,000,000 a month from selling Pandora stock while he was behind fighting songwriters in rate court for ASCAP and BMI royalties and stiffing artists with the Internet Radio Fairness Act and refusing to pay pre-72 artists?  And then there was the 13 bathroom house in Marin.  It was all a bit hard to stomach.

According to Jem Aswad in Variety, Daniel Ek is putting Westergren in the rear view mirror for sheer excess.  Based on SEC filings made available to a Swedish publication (probably SEC Form 4):

….Ek sold 336,213 shares $61.7 million worth of stock between July and September, and late last month signaled his intent to sell another $69.9 million sold in July–September for a total of $61.7 million.

2So a little over $20 million a month, and it appears that when added to the shares he already sold and will sell, Ek should gross more than all the songwriter class action settlements combined.

“Daniel will sell a small share of Spotify shares in the next nine months as part of his long-term financial strategy. This sale of shares will constitute a minimal part of his holding in the company,” Spotify rep Sofie Grant told the [Swedish] paper. Ek and Lorentzon declined comment.

Of course, it remains to be seen how Spotify does with the several individual infringement lawsuits in Nashville and the Wixen Music Publishing lawsuit in Los Angeles. (Spotify recently lost a motion to dismiss against Bluewater Music represented by attorney Richard Busch, see Order Denying Motion To Dismiss For Lack Of Standing And Failure To State A Claim, Sept. 29, 2018, Bluewater Music Services Corporation, Inc. v. Spotify USA Inc.,  Case No. 3:17-cv-01051 (D.C. W.D. Tenn.) (2017), which also happens to be a great lesson in copyright law by the judge.)

So – Mr. Ek could spend his money on building an effective licensing operation, but….nah….Sounds like Mr. Ek is a man in need of yet another safe harbor, right?


Accused Pirate Can’t Escape Liability By Pointing at a Family Member Without Detail | TorrentFreak

More than eight years ago, German citizen Michael Strotzer was the subscriber of an Internet connection from where an audiobook was made available on a peer-to-peer network.

The copyright holder, Germany company Bastei Lübbe AG, was not pleased and demanded that he stop the infringing activity.

This later escalated to a full-blown lawsuit in which the publisher demanded damages. Strotzer, however, denied that he had personally shared the work. While his network was secure, he noted that his parents, who lived at the same address, had access to his network.

The defendant, however, did not provide any further details as to where and when his parents used his connection.

The court initially dismissed the action against Strotzer on the grounds that the copyright infringement could not be directly attributed to him, since his parents could also have shared the audiobook.

In response, Bastei Lübbe filed an appeal with the Regional Court of First Instance in Munich. Here it eventually hit a roadblock.

Strotzer denied that he shared the pirated content. At the same time, German law protects the fundamental right to protection of family life, which means that he didn’t have to provide detailed information on other family members.

Faced with this dilemma, the Munich court referred the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) for guidance, which came in today.

Siding in large part with an earlier opinion from EU Advocate General Szpunar, the CJEU ruled that the right to protection of family life doesn’t shield Internet subscribers from liability.

“The Court considers that a fair balance must be struck between the various fundamental rights, namely the right to an effective remedy and the right to intellectual property, on the one hand, and the right to respect for private and family life, on the other.

“There is no such fair balance where almost absolute protection is guaranteed for the family members of the owner of an internet connection, through which copyright infringements were committed by means of file-sharing,” the CJEU adds.

The CJEU notes that if a defendant can’t be required to provide evidence on which member of the household carried out the infringement, the fundamental rights of copyright holders are at stake.

That said, it remains up to national courts to determine whether there are other options through which the true pirate can be identified.

The case now goes back to the Munich court. Based on the CJEU’s decision and the comments that were made previously, there is a high possibility that Strotzer will be held liable. Unless there is other evidence pointing to the real infringer, of course.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.


Ticketmaster acquires blockchain ticketing company Upgraded | Music Business Worldwide

Ticketmaster has acquired blockchain technology company Upgraded.

The startup uses blockchain technology combined with encrypted barcodes to prevent fraud often associated with paper or pdf-based tickets.

According to Upgraded, the solution can be implemented without requiring a venue to replace existing access control hardware.

The Upgraded team and technology fit into Ticketmaster’s live event products such as Presence, Verified Fan and Blink Identity, a facial recognition tool.

Presence, a venue access control and fan engagement platform has been implemented in more than 175 venues across North America and is now driving league-wide digital ticketing at scale with the NFL.

Verified Fan is a direct to fan pre-registration platform that has supported more than 100 music tours to date.

“Ticketmaster is constantly exploring emerging technologies, and there aren’t many that have the unique possibilities of blockchain.”

Justin Burleigh, Ticketmaster

“Ticketmaster is the unquestioned leader in live event ticketing and is the perfect platform for us to bring the unique promise of blockchain to millions of fans,” said Sandy Khaund, Founder and CEO of Upgraded.

“Upgraded leverages Blockchain to maximize trust for ticket holders, give control and flexibility to content owners, and data to teams and performers. We’re proud of what we’ve built and are looking forward to working with the incredible team at Ticketmaster to help us scale.”

Justin Burleigh, Chief Product Officer at Ticketmaster, North America, added: “Ticketmaster is constantly exploring emerging technologies, and there aren’t many that have the unique possibilities of blockchain.

“We’re excited to have Upgraded join the team as we continue to focus on providing the world’s leading identity-based ticketing platform to fans, artists, and our clients. We think blockchain and Upgraded will continue our progress to improve ticketing and create a safer and more seamless experience.”Music Business Worldwide


Spotify + DistroKid On Road To A Two Sided Marketplace | hypebot

image from musicindustryblog.files.wordpress.comWith news that Spotify had invested in DistroKid and offer it as a distribution conduit to other music services, came speculation as to the music streamer's greater motives.  MIDiA analyst Mark Mulligan sees the move as part of Spotify’s strategy to work way up music's value chain by "a) removing some of the distribution component and b) entering into direct relationships with artists."  But how will the record labels react?


By Mark Mulligan of MIDiA and the Music Industry blog

Spotify has taken a minority stake in DistroKid. In itself, it may be a slightly left field but relatively insignificant move, except that it is in fact one small but important step on a much bigger journey. Back in September, Spotify announced that it was enabling artists to upload their music directly to Spotify, simultaneously aggravating record labels, distributors, DIY platforms and Soundcloud all in one fell swoop. This raised an intriguing possibility of a ‘coalition of the willing’ forming against Spotify from slighted partners and competitors. But that’s another blog post. Right now, though, DistroKid’s role in this performance is as an enabler for Spotify in its path to becoming a next generation label / creating a two-sided marketplace (delete as appropriate depending on how all this affects your business).

Bringing efficiencies into the supply chain

Spotify’s DistroKid deal will enable Spotify’s direct artists to “seamlessly distribute their music to other platforms through DistroKid”.So, instead of putting all their streaming eggs in one basket, Spotify’s direct artists now get to stream their music on Apple, Amazon, Deezer and the rest too. What wasn’t made clear in the announcement is whether Spotify will have visibility of the streaming data from those other platforms and / or whether the revenue will be recognised as Spotify revenue and then distributed to its artists. If these statements were to be the case, then Spotify’s competitors would be feeding it data and revenue…

UPDATE: A Spotify spokesperson clarified that “Spotify has no rights to see data from other digital service providers and DistroKid will not share confidential information.”

Why this relatively small announcement matters, is that it is another piece of Spotify’s strategy of shifting its way up the value chain by a) removing some of the distribution component and b) entering into direct relationships with artists. It’s what west coast tech firms call ‘bring efficiencies into the supply chain’. If it all works, Spotify will get more margin, artists will get more margin, but middle players (labels, distributors etc.) will get squeezed.

Treading a subtler path

This is how Spotify can edge quietly towards becoming a record label without going nuclear from the get go. It is a strategy we predicted by in April ahead of Spotify’s DPO:

“As much as the whole world appears to be saying Spotify needs to do a Netflix (and it probably does) it just can’t, not yet at least. In TV, rights are so fragmented that Netflix can have Disney and Fox pull their content and it’d still be a fast growing business. If UMG pulled its content from Spotify, the latter would be dead in the water. So, Spotify will take a subtler path to ‘doing a Netflix’, first by ‘doing a Soundcloud’ i.e. becoming a direct platform for artists and then switching on monetisation etc.”.

The challenge for Spotify is whether it can execute on the strategy quickly enough to excite investors (and thus drive up the share price), but slowly enough to keep record labels on board…so that when they realise where things are heading then it is too late for them to do anything about it.



YouTube, Eventbrite Partner For Direct Concert Ticketing | hypebot

Youtube_logoYouTube and Eventbrite have partnered to expand direct concert ticketing on the video platform. Combined with its existing Ticketmaster partnership, YouTube now says it covers more than 70% of the US ticketing market.

Starting today, fans watching videos on YouTube Official Artist Channels will see Eventbrite listings for live music performances in the U.S. below each video. A  “Tickets” button enables purchase directly from Eventbrite. Eventbrite_wordmark_orange

Big Potential Upside For Artists

With more than 1 billion monthly users, YouTube’s global audience is a major destination for music discovery. 26% of Millenials and 44% of teens say they already discover live music events on YouTube, according to Nielsen. 

So today's partnership should offer a boost to d.i.y. and independent artists and venues who use Eventbrite for ticketing. Live events continue to be a major source of revenue for artists, as much as 65% -85%.