The latest issue of Music & Copyright is now available for subscribers to download. Here are some of the highlights.
Spotify agrees to settle US copyright-infringement claims
Spotify is settling a legal claim made by a group of authors that accused the streaming service of reproducing and distributing sound recordings without the necessary license. At the end of 2015, the artist David Lowery filed a class-action copyright lawsuit at the Central District Court of California, claiming $150m in damages because the service had failed to identify or locate the owners of certain compositions for payment that it has distributed, and had not issued a notice of intent to employ a compulsory license. This was followed a month or so later by a second lawsuit filed at the same court by artist Melissa Ferrick claiming the same copyright infringements but with a damages claim of $200m. The settlement will see Spotify create a fund to compensate class members for the service’s past streaming and hosting of tracks. Spotify will also assist class members to determine which of their music works have been streamed by the service and compensate the authors for any ongoing use.
Digital takes the domestic lead for Swedish authors and publishers
Swedish authors’ society STIM has reported record financials, with total collections and distributions to its members topping the previous year’s high. Collections from online and new media services were again the standout revenue source. Although the growth rate has slowed, digital is now the biggest source of domestic royalty receipts for Swedish authors and publishers. The previous leader was broadcasting, and a slight overall slip in collections from radio aided digital’s rise to the top spot. Collections from overseas remained the biggest income source for STIM’s author and publisher members despite last year’s slight dip in foreign earnings. Royalties from festivals and live music concerts reversed two consecutive years of decline and grew sharply. Collections from hotels also registered notable growth, along with music in the workplace.
Brands look to place music at the center of the evolving marketing mix
Brands have been quick to associate themselves with music-oriented social media networks as part of a push to communicate with young audiences. Video social networking platform Musical.ly has emerged as a favorite for a number of brands looking to market their product to younger demographics. Brands are also looking to create retail ambiences based on more tailored playlists. However, there are risks involved in leaning heavily on influencer marketing associated with social platforms. Also, despite the increased brand-associated marketing engagement, music companies and brands need to work harder on using music to get closer, and to provide something more engaging and useful than a mere lifestyle soundtrack.
Indonesia country report
In addition to the usual set of music industry statistics and news briefs, the latest issue of Music & Copyright includes a detailed Indonesia music industry report. For many years, Indonesia has been considered a music market in the midst of development but one that offers great potential. The marketplace for creative content has suffered over the years from widespread piracy, with unauthorized CD albums on sale for a fraction of the price of legitimate copies. More recently, digital piracy has grown in line with internet access. Indonesia is no different than several other Asian territories in that unlicensed content is widely available. But, unlike most other countries in the region, it has made notable progress with regards to protection of intellectual property rights.
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