Music Modernization Act passed unanimously by the US House of Representatives
In what is being hailed as a historic day for music creators, the Music Modernization Act passed the House on April 25, paving the way for improved royalty payments to songwriters, artists and creators in the digital era. The bill, HR 5477, passed unanimously with 415 votes. The bill is overwhelmingly supported by the music industry, and has bipartisan support in the house.
It seeks to ensure improvements in four specific areas:
- Improve a dysfunctional mechanical licensing system “that seems to generate more paperwork and attorneys’ fees than royalties.”
- Ensure royalty protection for pre-1972 performances
- Provide a statutory right to recognition for adjunct creators, including producers, sound engineers, and mixers
- Lack of a unified rate standard for music royalties
- Congress to establish the equivalent of a SoundExchange for songwriters to track credits and distribute royalties when digital services use their work
The MMA combines four separate legislative initiatives into a single bill that will update how music rates are set and how songwriters and artists are paid.
Source – Variety.com
George Harrison Estate launches record label for Indian classical music
The estate of George Harrison has launched a new record label, HariSongs, which will focus on Indian classical and world music. The label was launched in partnership with Craft Recordings and will cull releases from the Harrison family archives, including the former Beatle’s collaborations with some of the most famous Indian musicians.
The label’s first two projects will be reissues of two recently out-of-print records: Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan’s In Concert 1972 and Shankar’s collaboration with Harrison, Chants of India. Both albums are available to stream and download from April 27th.
Chants of India originally arrived in 1997 via Angel Records. Harrison produced the album, which Shankar recorded in Madras, India and Henley-on-Thames in the United Kingdom. The project found Shankar drawing inspiration from sacred Sanskrit texts, including the Vedas and Upanishads. The audio for this reissue was sourced and remastered from the original digital master tapes.
Source – Rollingstone.com
ABBA to release new music after a gap of 35 years
Swedish pop group ABBA is returning with its first new music since 1982. ABBA has earned more than $2 billion during its career. Here is how it stands to gain this time.
ABBA has recorded two new songs, its first in 35 years, and plans a TV special and a digital project to recreate the four members performing as ‘ABBAtars.’ It is enough to inspire countless headlines today about “Money, Money, Money” – and “Mamma Mia,” here we go again – referencing some of ABBA’s best-known songs, along with “Dancing Queen,” “Take A Chance On Me” and “The Winner Takes It All.”
Source – Forbes.com
Global record industry, streaming revenues show stagnant growth
Annual trade revenues (i.e. those coming back to labels and artists) hit a ten-year high of $17.3bn, according to the IFPI’s new Global Music Report – a jump of $1.3bn year-on-year. This also signifies a no growth over last year’s figure.
When you look back to 2016, the industry also grew $1.3bn year-on-year.
Yep: in terms of the annual jump from one calendar 12 months to the next, we’ve hit a sticking point.
According to the IFPI report, wholesale global streaming sales last year – combined across free, premium, video and audio – were up $1.9bn to $6.6bn.
Once again, that was the very same growth figure seen in 2016, when streaming revenues reached $4.7bn.
Source – Musicbusinessworldwide.com
Universal Music Group and Empire sign new distribution deal
For the latest blockbuster business deal, Empire Distribution, the San Francisco-based indie music hub has reached a non-exclusive, multi-year deal with Universal Music Group. The newly inked partnership is yet another clear indication of the music industry’s ever-changing parameters.
“In a rapidly changing landscape, we turned water and oil into cream and coffee,” Empire founder Ghazi Shami said. “The unique blend of size and strength (Universal Music Group) combined with speed and ingenuity (EMPIRE) will be a force in the industry.”
With the new agreement, Empire joins Caroline and Priority in UMG’s accessible stable of independent music distributors that are on the wave of burgeoning talent.
Source – HipHopDX