Newsletter - August 2017

   ASCAP and BMI Team Up to Launch

Musical Works Database

ASCAP and BMI, the two largest performing rights organizations in the U.S., are working together on a single database of musical works in an effort to bolster transparency in the tangled-up world of licensing, it was announced on Wednesday. The joint database, expected to launch in late 2018 on ASCAP's and BMI's web sites, will feature aggregated data from both organizations with the goal of making it easier to find out whether another PRO has a share of a musical work.

Work on the database started a year ago, with a team of copyright and tech experts scrutinizing data from each org for errors regarding registrations, share splits, ownership disputes and complications related to international works. The joint database will have much of the same information already available on the PROs' existing sites -- ASCAP's Ace Repertory and BMI's Repertoire Search -- including song and composition titles, performing artist info, aggregated shares broken down by societies, unique identifiers like the International Standard Work Codes and IP names and numbers.

Both PROs see an aggregated database as a necessary step toward bringing more clarity around ownership data -- as well as a worthy excuse to set aside their usual competitive nature.

"ASCAP and BMI are proactively and voluntarily moving the entire industry a step forward to more accurate, reliable and user-friendly data," said ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews in a statement accompanying the announcement. "We believe in a free market with more industry cooperation and alignment on data issues. Together, ASCAP and BMI have the most expertise in building and managing complex copyright ownership databases. With our combined experience, we are best positioned to make faster headway in creating a robust, cost effective market solution to meet the needs of the licensing marketplace."

BMI president and CEO Mike O'Neill called the proposed database an "important solution," adding, "We have always advocated for data transparency and supported the need for a user-friendly and comprehensive solution that would benefit music users and music creators alike. While BMI and ASCAP remain fierce competitors in all other regards, we recognize that our combined expertise allows us to create the best solution for our members and the marketplace. We’re excited by our momentum and the promise of what this database can become in the future."

Phase one of the searchable, constantly-updated database will rollout in the fourth quarter of 2018 and include the majority of ASCAP and BMI registered songs. Future phases will improve upon the interactivity of the site and may include the addition of other databases -- a possible nod to the nation's other leading PRO, SESAC.

Until the joint database is completed, ASCAP's and BMI's respective sites will continue to operate as usual.

News of the database has already caught the attention of lawmakers in Washington. Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), an outspoken advocate for songwriters and publishers, called it a "substantive step forward in helping modernize the music industry. ASCAP and BMI are working together to better serve songwriters, publishers, licensees, and the entire music community through a free-market solution that leverages industry expertise and efficiencies."

Read more:


Louis Tomlinson's 'Back to You' Gives all Five 1D Members No. 1s on Billboard + Twitter Top Tracks chart

Louis Tomlinson blasts in at No. 1 on the Billboard + Twitter Top Tracks chart (dated Aug. 5) with “Back to You,” featuring Bebe Rexha and Digital Farm Animals, after the song’s July 21 release. The rollout also included the tune’s social music video, which has raced to more than 13.8 million global plays on YouTube in its first week. 

With the song’s coronation, Tomlinson becomes the fifth and final member of One Direction to top the chart as a soloist. Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Harry Styles each reached No. 1 once, with “This Town,” “Strip That Down” and “Sign of the Times,” respectively, while Zayn has clocked ve leading titles: “Pillowtalk” (two weeks at No. 1), “It’s You” (two weeks), “Like I Would” (two weeks), “Befour” (one week) and as a featured act on Snakehips’ “Cruel” (one week). The new single and video helped fuel Tomlinson’s Twitter mentions to 608,000 for the week ending July 23, according to Next Big Sound, a 21 percent surge over the previous frame. On the Social 50 chart (where those Twitter mentions are factored into his ranking), he moves 11-8.  

Source: Billboard



Sia Leaves Sony Deal to Sign Worldwide Agreement with Warner's Atlantic

Sia has signed a worldwide deal with Warner Music’s Atlantic Records which brings to an end her relationship with Sony.

The star owns her own label, Monkey Puzzle, and has licensed recent albums including 1000 Forms Of Fear (2014) and last year’s This Is Acting (pictured) through Sony worldwide outside Australia.

In Sia’s home territory of Oz, these records have been distributed via Inertia.

Now, starting with an upcoming Christmas album co-created with fellow songwriter Greg Kurstin, Sia’s future albums will be released globally via Monkey Puzzle/Atlantic.

If you wanted a clue as to why Sia has decided to plump for Atlantic, you might find one in the fact that her management team at Crush Management entered into a partnership with Warner last year for their own label, FutureCrush Music.

“Sia is a once-in-a-generation artist. Her extraordinary gifts as a singer and songwriter, her revolutionary approach to the art of performing, her groundbreaking videos – everything she does comes from a deep wellspring of inspiration and imagination,” stated Atlantic Records Chairman/CEO Craig Kallman and Atlantic Records Chairman/COO Julie Greenwald in a joint statement.

“Sia is that rare artist who has formed her own singular, boundless musical universe. We are so happy to welcome her into the Atlantic family and to be joining Sia on her amazing musical journey.”

Sia’s massive single “Cheap Thrills” was a multi-format global radio hit last year, and ended 2016 as Spotify’s fifth most-streamed track worldwide.

This Is Acting went platinum in multiple territories including the US, the UK and France.

In addition to her success as an artist, Sia has written global smashes for/with the likes of Beyoncé, Kanye West, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, and many more.

Read More:  MusicBusinessWorldwide


Video of the Week:

    Pentatonix “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Click Here to View

Quote of the Week:

We're Musicians.  We make music for a living.  It's that simple.  Nothing else matters.
Eddie Van Halen 

Newsletter - July 2017


The music industry has had a gloomy outlook for more than a decade. Years ago MP3 players and iTunes all but destroyed the traditional album, and more recently even permanent digital downloads began to see a dip in sales, down as much as 13% in 2013-2014.  But, in 2016, things are beginning to look up.


This rise in the music industry’s revenue is actually thanks to the same digital music phenomenon that contributed to the damage in the first place. Digital sales – such as music streaming services and track downloads – now account for 45% of total global music revenue, compared to 39% for physical sales. This uptick in revenue puts the total industry revenue in 2015 at $15 billion, a 3.2% increase – the highest year-to-year growth in almost 20 years, according to a report out by IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry).  All of the above is good news for the industry, but what exactly does this mean for the artists? How can an artist profit from the rapidly evolving ways that fans consume music? Below we’ll explain some of the more significant changes the industry has witnessed to help you understand how to navigate the new music landscape and reap the most benefits.

Read more:



Through the first six months of 2017, Spotify and Apple Music have grown their combined total U.S. streams by 60%. When this week ends, the two leading streaming services will have delivered about 160 billion individual song streams, compared with 100 billion through the same period last year.

That's over 105m album equivalents (SEA), or an increase of 40 million. With total album sales down by 18m YTD and track sales down by 94m (9.4 million TEA), streaming has given the industry a YTD increase of more than 12m SEA.

Source: HitsDailyDouble


Facebook now has 2 billion monthly users…
and Responsibility.


In a post on the official Facebook blog, founder Mark Zuckerberg shared a note celebrating the milestone with a personal thank you to Facebook users.

Facebook has also shared a number of key metrics with users along with the announcement, including 1.13 trillion Likes since its 2009 launch (note that this is actually probably higher, since the official press document contained a note accidentally left in from an editor about rolling back the number because of info shared previously with Businessweek, 140.3 billion friend connections, 219 billion photos uploaded, 17 billion location-tagged posts and 62.6 million songs played some 22 billion times.

Median user age is around 22 for new users who joined in the week leading up to this milestone, and the top five countries supporting that growth in the same week were Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico and The U.S. Those numbers and that geographical breakdown are roughly the same as they were when Facebook hit 500 million monthly active users, and generally new users are younger than they were when Facebook crossed the 100 million mark.

Read More:

Video of the Week:

    Liam Gallagher “Wall of Glass”

Quote of the Week:

I think maybe people see bands and musicians as some sort of superhero unrealistic sport that happens in another dimension where it's not real people and not real emotions. So, I grew up listening to Beatles records on my floor. That's how I learned how to play guitar. If it weren't for them, I wouldn't be a musician.     -  Dave Grohl

Vinyl Production Is About to Get a Whole Lot Easier for Artists…

Vinyl Production Is About to Get a Whole Lot Easier for Artists…

Besides streaming, vinyl is the only other recording format that is growing.  It’s also the only lucrative for most artists, though production costs and heavy delays are now a serious reality.  As the unexpected surge in record buying keeps intensifying, old-line production facilities are getting overwhelmed. Artists, in turn, sometimes have to wait 6 months or more for a standard production run to complete.  At best, they’re running out of inventory at shows and online, though at worst, they can’t come close to meeting the demand. But if there’s so much demand, where are the new factories?  Part of the problem is that vinyl production plants require lots of capital, though investors are uncertain whether vinyl is simply a fad.  Theoretically, vinyl demand could keep multiplying over the next ten years, but what if it doesn’t? It’s a classic Catch 22, though now, some of those issues appear to be abating as LPs and 45s enter their tenth straight year of gains.  One company putting a shovel to the ground is Dallas-based Hand Drawn Records, which is planning to start construction on an automatic pressing facility this fall.  Hand Drawn claims this is the ‘world’s first automated pressing plant’ in 30 years, and hopes to simplify the ordering and turnaround process entirely.  “We want to encourage more artists to consider pressing vinyl, but without all the hassle,” said Hand Drawn founder Dustin Blocker. “Musicians want to focus on playing their instruments and connecting with fans, not learning all the nuances of the vinyl record manufacturing process.” Meanwhile, LPs themselves are starting to improve in other ways, with ‘high definition vinyl’ technology already receiving patent protections. That future format not only promises a far greater experience for fans, but a faster and more modern production process than the 60s- and 70s-era production equipment that characterizes record manufacturing today.

1 Percent Of YouTube Channels Get 93 Percent Of The Views

1 Percent Of YouTube Channels Get 93 Percent Of The Views

The numbers in total are staggering. To date, there are roughly 2 billion total videos on YouTube that have been watched a total of 39 trillion times, totaling 196 trillion minutes (or 400 million years) of time spent, according to Bernstein Research. What might be most interesting is that out of billions of videos, viewership tends to be intensely concentrated on the top 1% of YouTube channels, and they’ve accounted for 93% of all the platform’s views since its inception. That means that nearly 3 trillion views went to everyone else, and that’s still a huge number, just in case you’re worrying about getting run over by top creators. Remember that a trillion is 1,000 billion, and a billion is 1,000 millions, which puts that figure a little more into perspective. In other words, there are still plenty of views to go around when it comes to artists and bands.