Original article by Nina Ulloa Thursday, April 24, 2014 http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2014/04/24/itunes800m
Here’s some good news for Apple…
In the latest earnings call, CEO Tim Cook announced
that Apple has nearly 800 million iTunes accounts. In June of
2013, iTunes had about 575 million accounts. That’s a growth rate of
roughly 40 percent in one year on a very mature product.
However, iTunes doesn’t let users merge old accounts with current ones. Cook
didn’t say how many of these accounts are actually active.
Tim Cook did point out that most of these
800 million accounts have credit card information attached, which is
both impressive and frightening.
After the call, Apple stock elevated more than 8
percent in after-hours trading.
When Nina Ulloa isn’t writing for DMN she’s
usually reviewing music or at a show. Follow her on Twitter.
Original article by Nina Ulloa Thursday, April 24, 2014
You may have noticed that SoundCloud has removed
their dropbox feature. This enabled anyone with a SoundCloud account to accept
track submissions and also allowed users to submit tracks to their favorite
artists and labels.
Here’s SoundCloud’s reasoning for removing the
“We are disabling this feature because it was
broken — meaning that private shares were not being sent to everyone properly,
and private tracks were often getting lost or not appearing in the Stream. We
also got a lot of feedback from our community about people abusing this feature,
and sending tracks to people who were not interested in receiving them. This
placed tracks on Streams that could not be removed and caused a lot of
Labels like Diplo’s Mad Decent used to
accept tracks through the SoundCloud dropbox. Mad Decent has since switched to
e-mail submissions. Accepting e-mail submissions is a lot less convenient,
so what should you do?
One option is to accept tracks in a message. This
option is ideal for sharing private tracks between users. Messaging fills up
the inbox and leads to a lot of annoying notifications, so if you want to accept
a large amount of tracks via SoundCloud you should probably try something
Original article Thursday, April 10, 2014 by Ari Herstand http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2014/04/10/amazons-streaming-contract-entirely-unacceptable
After speaking with the president of one of the
largest independent publishing companies in the world, who has 20+ years of
experience in the field (who wants to remain anonymous because of NDA
agreements), his takeaway from Amazon’s Music Publishing Rights Agreement was
“this is entirely unacceptable.”
Digital Music News published the contract in full
earlier this week.
This publisher who I spoke to, let’s call him Joe Pub, explained that Amazon
is trying to bypass Section 115 of the US Copyright Act
and define its own royalty rates.
Amazon is trying to bypass US Copyright law and define its own royalty
Section 115 of the US Copyright Act is the rate, set by the government, that
defines the mechanical royalty rates. Most people know that the statutory
mechanical royalty rate is currently 9.1 cents per
download or physical “phonorecord” under 5 minutes (and then 1.75 cents per
minute thereafter), but few know what the rate is per stream. That’s because the
streaming rate is based upon the streaming service’s number of subscribers and
users. More subscribers to the service equals higher mechanical royalty
For the record, Spotify, Beats and the other streaming services all follow
Section 115 of the US Copyright Act and follow the defined mechanical royalty
You can read what the (government-set) streaming mechanical royalty rates
Once a publisher signs off on this agreement, Amazon can set their own rates
AND CHANGE THEM AT ANY TIME without renegotiating with the publisher. Amazon is
trying to pull an iTunes-esque user agreement with publishing rights. Big no
Joe Pub told me that he has been staring at the contract on his desk for the
past two weeks “grumbling about it.” He doesn’t think any of his other
independent publisher friends are going to sign this either.
Amazon also included a clause that forbids the publisher from removing their
songs from Amazon if they keep them up on any of the other streaming services
(like Spotify, Google Play or Beats).
Meaning, Amazon could say “actually remember that 21% we promised you for
mechanical royalties – naw we meant 2.1%. Take it or leave it! But if you leave,
you MUST leave ALL the other streaming services as well. Or we’ll sue you.”
If a publisher removes their catalog from Amazon, but leaves it up on the
other streaming services, Amazon could theoretically sue this publisher for as
much as they want. BUT the publisher may only sue Amazon for a maximum of
Yup! Amazon snuck in a Limitation of Liability clause of $50,000.
And from what I hear, the distribution/label agreement is just as shady.
Don’t expect Amazon to launch their streaming service any time soon. And if they
do, it most likely will not contain the catalogs of most independent publishers,
labels and artists.
Thanks, but no thanks, Amazon.
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