|THURSDAY 7 NOVEMBER 2019||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: The streaming boom is fuelling growth in the songs business as well as the record industry according to the latest stats pack from CISAC, the global grouping of song right collecting societies. Although digital still only counts for 19.1% of the money collected by those societies worldwide, partly because of how streaming cash is shared out between the rights, and partly because of the complexities of digital licensing... [READ MORE]|
Streaming fuels growth in the songs business, though digital still only a fifth of collecting society revenues
The music data aggregated by CISAC through its network of societies each year provides an overview of all the scenarios in which song rights are licensed through the collective licensing system. Total music collections for 2018 were 8.49 billion euros, a 1.8% increase on 2017. Royalties collected from digital services were up 29.6% to 1.62 billion euros. Over the last five years digital income recorded by CISAC has increased a massive 185%.
But, despite digital income booming, and fuelling the overall growth, significantly more money is still collected from more traditional licensees, in particular broadcasters and the live sector. This despite there being a slight decline in broadcast collections which CISAC puts down to the slow shift of advertising budgets from TV and radio to digital, societies often having revenue share arrangements with key broadcast licensees.
But TV and radio income is nevertheless the biggest revenue stream overall accounting for 38.8% of total collections, while live and background music accounts for 30.3%.
One of the key reasons why digital makes up about a fifth of CISAC collections - while digital services accounted for 59% of recorded music revenues in 2018 - is the way monies from digital services are shared out across the music industry.
With downloads and streams much more is allocated to the recordings than the songs. Whereas when recordings are broadcast or played in a public space, monies are usually more equally split (if anything, songs get more). And with live music, where no recordings are used, only the songwriters and music publishers earn royalties.
Although it's also important to note that with Anglo-American repertoire, many music publishers now license digital services directly rather than via the collective licensing system.
And while some of the money paid under those deals (specifically the digital income allocated to the performing rights or at least the writer's share of that allocation) will still flow through the collecting societies - and therefore feature in CISAC data - not all digital income is counted.
In terms of regional trends, the US still sees by far the highest collections for songwriters and publishers, followed by France, Japan, Germany and the UK. Europe still accounts for more than half of total collections, though there is impressive growth in some key emerging markets, especially in Asia.
Beyond the stats, CISAC uses its latest report to again talk about the value gap, or what it has more often referred to as the 'transfer of value' caused by the pesky copyright safe harbour. There has, of course, been a big development in that domain since the last CISAC report with the passing of the European Copyright Directive and the safe harbour reform contained in article seventeen, which increases the liabilities of user-upload platforms.
CISAC boss Gadi Oron unsurprisingly welcomes this development in the report, noting: "The directive confirms what rightsholders have known for years: that safe harbours are a 20th century solution to a 21st century problem. A necessary aid to protect start-ups from liability in the 1990s, but obsolete and unfair for use by the global tech giants of today".
However, even though the directive has been passed, work remains, both in Europe and beyond. The report states: "If 2019 was about securing the directive's adoption in the EU, 2020 will be about the critical campaign for correct implementation, as well as the opportunities Europe's action presents for legislators globally. The EU directive is not a simple legal template for other markets, but it lays down principles with important global implications. These affect discussions and reviews including in the US, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and China".
On the wider trends in the songs business summarised in the new report, Oron adds: "This report provides many reasons for optimism about our sector. Digital revenues show an impressive increase, have nearly tripled in the last five years and have enormous potential for further growth. More markets are seeing digital income taking the top position of all revenue streams, which is an extremely positive sign. In a landscape of fragmenting income sources, the role of authors' societies in generating monetary value for millions of creators has never been more vital".
Meanwhile, CISAC President Jean-Michel Jarre directly connected the report with the safe harbour reforms in Europe, stating: "Digital is our future and revenues to creators are rising fast, but there is a dark side to digital, and it is caused by a fundamental flaw in the legal environment that continues to devalue creators and their works. That is why the European Copyright Directive is so momentous for creators everywhere. The directive has sent an amazing, positive signal around the world, building a fairer balance between creators and the tech platforms".
Live Nation owns "hugely concerning" proportion of the UK festival market, says AIF
The study shows that just under 30% of the UK festival market is controlled by the global live giants Live Nation and AEG. Live Nation takes the largest share with 22.8%, although this is down from 25.3% in 2018.
AEG's share, meanwhile, is 6.2%, which actually puts it into third place overall in the list of festival owners. Just ahead - and a new entry on that list - is the James Barton-led Superstruct, with 6.5%. That company has grown rapidly after taking over a number of events previously owned by Global, which departed the festival market earlier this year.
Collectively, AIF members now account for 19.5% of the market - up on last year - with the remaining 49.5% made up of events not owned by one of the major companies or affiliated with AIF.
"Despite some significant shifts in the UK festival market over the past year, the dominance of Live Nation remains hugely concerning", says AIF CEO Paul Reed. "It's our intention to carry out this competition health check for our sector annually to track the industry and in order to keep attention on this important issue".
"AIF is a growing community now representing almost 20% of festivals over 5000 capacity in the UK, and the independent sector is in a strong place despite the encroaching and unrelenting dominance of the major companies and the restrictions that can arise from this", he continues.
"However", he concludes, "we repeat our warning: Allowing a single company to dominate festivals, and the live music sector in general through vertical integration results in a stranglehold that stifles competition throughout the sector".
The research was launched at AIF's Festival Congress yesterday, which continues in Sheffield today.
Deezer releases AI tool to split tracks into individual parts
The streaming service is talking Spleeter up as a research tool, rather than an attempt to re-ignite the mash-up scene, and stresses that it should only be used on tracks where a researcher or remixer has the permission of any relevant copyright owners.
In a blog post discussing the tool, Deezer's Head Of R&D Manuel Moussallam said the company was releasing the technology to benefit those involved in what is often called 'music information retrieval', the process of retrieving information from music for various different purposes. Moussallam hopes the MIR community will get some benefit from having access to "a state-of-the-art source separation algorithm".
At full capacity he says that Spleeter is able to process tracks at 100 times real-time, making it "a good option to process large datasets". It is able to split tracks into two parts (vocals and other sounds), four parts (vocals, bass, drums and others sounds), or five parts (vocals, bass, drums, piano and other sounds).
As for why the company has decided to make the software publicly available, Moussallam explains: "One of the hard limitations faced by MIR researchers is the lack of publicly available datasets due to copyright issues. Here at Deezer, we have access to a fairly large catalogue that we've been leveraging to build Spleeter. Since we cannot share this data, turning it into an accessible tool is a way for us to make our research reproducible by everyone".
"On a more ethical standpoint", he adds, "we feel there should not be an unfair competition between researchers based on their access to copyrighted material or lack thereof. [And] last but not least, training this kind of model requires a lot of time and energy. By doing it once and sharing the result, we hope to save others some trouble and resources".
If you fancy having a crack at it yourself, you can start ripping apart tracks by downloading Spleeter here. While respecting everyone's copyrights, obviously.
Mel C releases new solo single, High Heels
"'High Heels' was inspired by the time I spent with my gorgeous friends at Sink The Pink", she says. "From the first moment I set foot in their fantastic club, I was blown away by the warmth and inclusivity of the atmosphere that had been created. It was a place where anyone could be themselves, whomever they were, while feeling completely relaxed about being so".
She adds: "'High Heels' is also a frivolous riot of a song, encapsulating an amazing night out and everything that goes into getting yourself ready for it!"
The Spice Girl co-wrote the track with Rae Morris and Fryars, and it was produced by Alex Metric. Watch the video here.
Grace Jones to curate Southbank Centre's Meltdown festival
"I am honoured to be curating next year's Meltdown festival", says Jones. "Year after year, the festival continues to spread its colourful wings, allowing its curators to bring together an array of diverse talent not seen anywhere else. It's about time I was asked to curate Meltdown darling, don't you think?"
Bengi Ünsal, Head Of Contemporary Music at Southbank Centre, adds: "Meltdown offers an unparalleled window into the minds of the greatest musical influencers of our age. There's no denying it: Grace Jones is unlike anybody else".
"She was the first artist who made me feel that I could express myself, be whatever I wanted to be, and not be afraid of what the world might say", Ünsal adds. "She is one of the few living artists who can truly be described as iconic, with a relentlessly individualistic vision. I am truly honoured that she will share it with us for Meltdown 2020".
Jones is the 27th artist to curate Meltdown, joining a list of alumni that includes David Bowie, Yoko Ono, Patti Smith, Nick Cave, Lee Scratch Perry, MIA, Robert Smith and this year's curator Nile Rodgers, among others.
Independent festivals awarded at Independent Festival Awards
Among the winners was Deer Shed's Megan Evans, who won the inaugural Backstage Hero award, meaning the festival took away 25% of the prizes available. That's two of them by the way. There were eight awards. No, you're overcomplicating this.
"The Independent Festival Awards was a fantastic celebration", says AIF CEO Paul Reed. "The awards ceremony felt like it had stepped up a gear with a new host, new categories and outstanding production that enhanced the overall independent festival feel of the evening".
He adds: "Congratulations to all of the winners and nominees, all of whom reiterate that the independent festival sector remains at the forefront of innovation and creativity. We'll continue pushing forward into 2020".
Here then are all the winners:
Unique Festival Arena: The Street at Beat-Herder
Tori Amos has announced that she will release a memoir titled 'Resistance' on 5 May next year. The book will be heavily political and offer "compassionate guidance and actionable advice" for those "determined to steer the world back in the right direction".
Beck has released new single 'Dark Places', the latest track from his upcoming 'Hyperspace' album.
Hudson Mowhake and Lunice have released another new track in their TNGHT guise. Here's 'First Body'. Their new EP, 'II', is out next week.
Liturgy have announced that they will release a new album, titled 'HAQQ', as well as their soundtrack to frontman Hunter Hunt-Hendrix's opera 'Origin Of The Alimonies', next year. From the latter, this is 'Apparition Of The Eternal Church'.
Actor Joe Pesci is still singing. The proof is his new album 'Still Singing', his first LP for more than 20 years. His work rate is really picking up though - there was a 30 year gap between his first and second albums. Anyway, the new record is out on 29 Nov, and here's first single 'Baby Girl', which sees him collaborate with late jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and endlessly awful Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine.
Yorkston/Thorne/Khan - that's James Yorkston, Jon Thorne and Suhail Yusuf Khan - have announced that they will release their third album together, 'Navarasa: Nine Emotions', on 24 Jan. From it, this is 'Westlin Winds'.
Stella Donnelly has released the video for 'Season's Greetings' from her 'Beware Of The Dogs' album. "From the moment I wrote 'Season's Greetings', I could visualise a video concept for it", she says. "I wanted to try and exaggerate the sometimes-nuanced atmosphere of a blisteringly hot, Australian Christmas lunch".
Tallsaint has released new single 'Model Effect'. The song is about "how you can take a first look at somebody and be instantly fascinated and engrossed by them", she says.
GIGS & TOURS
The Levellers have announced UK tour dates in February, March, April, May, November and December next year. Because you might as well make your whole diary available at once, eh? Tickets go on sale on Friday.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
TI discusses annual check-ups on his daughter's virginity
Appearing on the 'Ladies Like Us' podcast, the rapper was asked if he spoke to his children about sex. He answered by talking about his daughter Deyjah, saying: "I think that most kids in hindsight, looking back, they always thank their parents for not allowing them to damage themselves as much as they could have. Deyjah's eighteen, just graduated high school now and she's attending her first year of college, figuring it out for herself. And yes, not only have we had 'the conversation', we have yearly trips to the gynaecologist to check her hymen".
Expanding on what, exactly, that means, he goes on: "Right after the birthday ... usually, like, the day after the party [when] she's enjoying her gifts, I put a sticky note on the door: 'Gyno. Tomorrow. 9.30'".
"So we'll go and sit down and the doctor will come and talk and the doctor's maintaining a high level of professionalism", he adds. "He's like, 'You know sir, I have to, in order to share information' - I'm like, 'Deyjah they want you to sign this so we can share information. Is there anything you wouldn't want me to know? Oh, OK. See doc, no problem'".
Sure, no problem. Why would that be a problem? Of course, the hymen can be broken through activities other than sex, but TI's thought of that. He's apparently made sure that the annual test remains accurate by stopping his daughter from doing any of those things. "I say, 'Look doc, she don't ride no horses, she don't ride no bike, she don't play no sports. Just check the hymen please and give me back my results expeditiously'".
So there you go. This, let us not forget, is the rapper who appeared on 'Blurred Lines'. And now, like him, we know way more than we should about his daughter.