Updated: Dec 14, 2019
The biggest headlines in music business news this week were the passage of the Music Modernization Act (MMA), Sirius XM’s buy out of Pandora, and Spotify opening it’s doors directly to music creators.
Music Modernization Act (MMA)
While the MMA promises to make getting paid easier for songwriters, it also provides a much needed protection for pre-1972 sound recording copyrights, ensuring that Smokey Robinson and similar era recording artists are paid for the use of their iconic music.
The MMA has come under fire for giving too big of concessions to Internet streaming giants, to most it represents a compromise, and hope that things will be getting better from here on out.
For Songpreneurs, it represents a welcome first step, and gives us confidence that more people will be paying careful attention to the plight of creative laborers in the digital age of commerce.
The Music Modernization Act has now passed both the House and Senate in Congress, and awaits the President’s signature to become law.
Sirius XM and Pandora
As for the other headlines, Sirius XM was recently under fire for criticizing part of the Music Modernization Act, as supporters tried to secure as many votes as possible for the legislation.
Almost as soon as the bill passed the Senate, Sirius XM’s most recent acquisition of Pandora stock was made public. Sources claim the merger will create the “world’s largest audio entertainment company.” [see press release here]
We will see what happens here.
As for the Spotify headline of the week, the opening of the service directly to music creators seems to follow a trend of the streaming company to pass over previous alliances in favor of new ones.
This is a change from the policy of most music retailers (such as Apple / iTunes, Amazon, etc.) that require music creators to distribute their music to the service through a third party (such as DistroKid, CD Baby, TuneCore.)
Sources site both benefits and drawbacks to this arrangement, including beefing up subscriber and catalog numbers, and potentially encouraging unintentional infringement if artists upload others’ songs without proper licensing permissions.
To learn more about this, check out the article in Forbes here >>
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