When Spotify launched in the US back in July, we were pretty stoked about the service’s flexibility, response and depth of features. We’ve spent a few months with it, and, as a consumer product, it is still very impressive. Now that we’re past the infatuation phase, it’s time to take a closer look at the relationship between Spotify and musicians, particularly independents. For those just tuning in, Spotify is a streaming on-demand music service that has an ad-supported free version, as well as a premium, ad-free subscription option. Unlike say, Pandora, Spotify lets you choose which specific songs you want to hear and create playlists. This means that on-demand services like Spotify (and MOG, Rhapsody and Rdio) have to pay a different license than radio-like services.
Conference season is definitely upon us! As excited as we are about the upcoming Future of Music Policy Summit (Oct. 3-4, Georgetown University, Washington, DC), we wanted to tell you about another East Coast happening we’re looking forward to: the IMSTAFESTA in NYC. Read on for more details about this FREE event. read more
It’s hard to believe we’re getting so close to the 2011 Future of Music Policy Summit (Oct. 3-4, Georgetown University, Washington, DC). If you aren’t alrady registered, don’t wait — space fills up fast, and we’d love to have you be a part of the conversation.
One of the greatest promises of the digital revolution is that it would remove many of the barriers to instant listening gratification. For example: having to purchase a physical product from a retail establishment with limited shelf space, or waiting for a song you liked to come on the radio. To a large degree, that’s been accomplished — at no other point in history has it been easier to access vast catalogs of music online. The tension, however, has always been in finding business models that make sense for both creators and consumers. Today’s marketplace has a number of innovative, fully licensed music services, which is definitely encouraging. read more
Ticketmaster (now part of Live Nation Entertainment) popped up in the news over the weekend for comments made by the CEONathan Hubbard on the inaugural “This Week in Music” podcast. The new series, hosted by FMC Advisory Board member and TopspinCEOIan Rogers, offers in-depth coverage of developments in the music industry alongside album reviews and related industry news. The Hubbard interview is notable for the frankness exhibited by the CEO, something that often seems lacking in discussions about ticketing and the fan experience.
The interests of EMI’s publishing arm may not necessarily be those of the songwriters it represents. As it is now, ASCAP takes a fee from payments it collects, then distributes the rest of the money equally between songwriter and publisher. Casey Rae-Hunter, of the nonprofit advocacy group Future of Music Coalition, says the big music publishers don’t have the same obligations to songwriters that ASCAP does to those same people, its members.
“What is EMI’s responsibility to the songwriters who are part of their publishing empire, and can we trust that this company is going to honor the 50-50 split that songwriters have worked out and honored over the years?” Hunter asks.
[This post is by FMC legal intern Adam Holofcener]
Ready for your head to explode? Let’s talk copyright termination of transfer!
This is a topic that is incredibly complex but super-important to ensuring that musicians and other creators are able to regain control of their copyrights that they “transferred” to another entity (think labels and publishers) after a certain amount of time. Congress set the period after which these copyrights revert back to their authors, in the 1976 Copyright Act. Unfortunately, the law also includes some unintended head-scratchers. read more
Pandora went public to plenty of press nationwide. Meanwhile the local Bay Area press hyped the music discovery service’s impact on the economic development in Oakland. TechDirt’s Mike Masnick asked why no one else seemed to be talking about misleading reports about Pandora’s profitability. read more