Digital distribution companies criticize the UMG/Deezer royalty breakthrough

The new royalty attribution method recently deployed by Universal Music Group and streaming music platform Deezer seeks to make royalty calculation more fair. But the change is not universally applauded. Two digital distribution companies Believe and TuneCore, whose customers are mainly indie musicians, calls the system “reverse Robin Hood.” Continue Reading

Industry first: UMG changes royalty terms with Deezer — to favor artists

In an unprecedented shift in how streaming music royalties are assessed, Universal Music Group (UMG) has reached agreement with Paris-based global streaming service Deezer. It is an artist-centric model which scales payouts upward in an attempt to reward musicians who are most favored by fans. Click for the details. Continue Reading


Major labels sue Internet Archive over pre-1972 recordings

Universal Music Group (UMG), Capitol Records, Sony Music Entertainment, and Arista Music have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the Internet Archive. The heart of this confrontation is a branded section of the Internet Archive’s Great 78 Project, a streaming database of 400,000 streaming, downloadable, and shareable recordings. Click through for the whole story. Continue Reading

Tech luminary Ty Roberts exits UMG after one year

We learn from Billboard that Ty Roberts, Chief Technology Officer of Universal Music Group (UMG) has left the company after a little more than a year. Ty Roberts’ sideways career move from Gracenote to Universal was seen by many as a significant signal that the music industry could, to some extent, reinvent itself as a technology industry — or at least a tech-flriendly, tech-fluent one. Continue Reading