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YouTube and Universal Music Group reach licensing deal; Sony may be next

YouTube has signed a new licensing deal with Universal Music Group. UMG did say that the deal would lead to “growing compensation” for its artists, but neither company has disclosed details. “We’re thrilled to strengthen our partnership with Universal Music Group,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said. Continue Reading

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Spotlight on China: How long will Tencent stay in control?

China is in position to be the next center of international music deals, according to a profile in the Financial Times (paywall). The publication cited data from iResearch claiming that China could see its paid online music market grow 59% this year, reaching about 3 billion renminbi ($455 million). Tencent was responsible for 78% of the Chinese market in 2016, and that dominance has allowed the conglomerate to secure licensing and copyright deals with several of the larger western music businesses. Continue Reading

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Apple seeking lower revenue share payouts to labels

Apple is reportedly looking to renegotiate its deals with record labels in a move that could reduce the share of revenue it needs to pay out to those industry players. Unnamed sources told Bloomberg that the talks cover both Apple Music and iTunes. The current deals are slated to expire in June, but could be extended if new terms are not reached, according to the sources. Continue Reading

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Warner inks YouTube deal despite “difficult circumstances”

Warner Music Group has signed a global licensing deal with YouTube, but the major label still reportedly expressed reservations about working with the video platform. CEO Steve Cooper has reportedly shared an internal memo with WMG that said the YouTube deal was signed “under very difficult circumstances.” Continue Reading

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Rumor Fact(ory): Spotify nearing major label deals with some surprising propositions

Financial Times is the source of the latest Spotify speculation, reporting that the streaming service is close to final licensing deals with the major labels. The core of those arrangements, is that Spotify would pay a lower royalty fee to the labels, but in exchange would temporarily gate major album releases for paying customers. Continue Reading

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MIDiA Research: Streaming drives global music market of $16.1B in 2016

MIDiA Research is always a source of interesting data and analysis for the music industry, and its assessment of the global recorded music revenue in 2016 is no exception. In two recent blog posts, the company explored both the overall performance of the music industry and the shares of that performance secured by each of the major labels. Continue Reading