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Quick Hits: Two takes on recent licensing lawsuits; Instagram and music; Chris Price interview

Brief news items and worthy reads from around the web:

One take on the licensing lawsuits…: We’ve been watching several lawsuits unfold, mostly stemming from David Lowery and Yesh Music, over the royalties paid by streaming services. A blunt article in TechDirt questioned the role of the Harry Fox Agency in those legal cases. “All of the lawsuits have been against the various music services, but without being privy to the contracts between HFA and the music services themselves, I’d be shocked if they didn’t include some sort of indemnity clauses, basically saying that if music isn’t licensed because of HFA’s own failures to do its job that any liability falls back on HFA,” the post read.

…and a second opinion: Mark Mulligan of Midia Research also chimed in on the current legal actions. His take was different, pointing to a lack of transparency and accuracy as a major reason for the flurry of lawsuits. “The streaming services themselves clearly need to improve their own systems and they are indeed working on them,” he said. “But that is a sticking plaster, no more. An independent, comprehensive rights database is required.”

Instagram, home of music superfans: Nielsen is back again with more intriguing music data. The company’s latest report examines the role of Instagram for music fans and musicians. People on the social network spend 42% more on music-related purchases during the year, and spend more hours listening than the average person.

Chris Price questions data deluge: Chris Price, head of music for Radio 1/Radio 1Xtra, gave an interview to The Guardian about programming and revitalizing the UK’s music radio. “We’re kind of drowning in data, whether it’s Shazam tags or YouTube views, and the irony is that it almost leads to less certainty about what’s going on in the market than more,” he said. “The best and only response is a return to the two things that are never going to let you down: your ears and your heart.”

Anna Washenko

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