New issue of Music & Copyright

The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.

Music streaming services go for growth, but the focus varies
Music streaming services are growing apace. Spotify remains the global market leader, although both Amazon Music Unlimited and YouTube Music have expanded quickly over the past few years, and Apple Music continues on its steady course. Interestingly, Spotify and Amazon Music Unlimited are going head-to-head on podcasting and spending millions in the process. YouTube Music is clearly bent on subscriber acquisition above all, while Apple Music’s focus remains on providing a premium service. As all providers seek more sign-ups, expect to see differentiation on pricing as market segmentation becomes increasingly important. Also, there’s opportunity for these companies—although likely not for Spotify—in the burgeoning livestreaming space, and both Amazon Music Unlimited and YouTube have clear advantage here.

Canadian rock band Nickelback hits back at Rockstar plagiarism claims
Canadian rock band Nickelback has hit back against accusations that the band’s multimillion-selling track Rockstar borrowed from an earlier work by lesser-known group Snowblind Revival. Last year, Kirk Johnston, guitarist and songwriter for Snowblind Revival, filed a lawsuit at a Texas district court against Nickelback and the band’s record company and music publisher, claiming Rockstar had plagiarized his track, Rock Star. Nickelback members and the companies filed a motion to dismiss the claim, but in August a judge submitted a report and recommendations to the court stating that there was enough evidence to continue with the case. Nickelback and the companies subsequently responded with a new filing, detailing objections to the recommendations, along with a request to dismiss Johnston’s plagiarism claims.

FIMI reports massive bounce back for Italian recorded-music trade sales
New figures published by the Italian recorded-music trade group FIMI for the first half of this year show recorded-music trade sales in the country registered the biggest year-on-year rise on record. While sales in the corresponding period of last year were negatively affected by access and distribution problems as a result of government measures to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the latest results are nothing short of extraordinary. Although audio subscriptions increased at a faster rate in the last six months than in the prior year period, it was the performance of the different physical formats that was the standout result. Sales of vinyl almost trebled year-on-year, and even though income from CDs was up, vinyl became the biggest physical format revenue source for the first time in more than 30 years.

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