👋 THE KNOWLEDGE: Get a weekly mix of the best news, analysis, and insider tips from across Music Ally's services. (Plus all the weird links and unusual music we find online each week.) It's FREE, fun*, and every Friday.

*actual levels of fun may vary

Posted inNews

Apple suggests shakeup for songwriter streaming revenues

What if music-streaming services in the US paid a statutory rate of $0.00091 per stream in songwriting royalties, regardless of whether the stream came from a paying or free user?

That’s one of the suggestions filed as part of the US Copyright Royalty Board’s consultation on streaming rates for the 2018-2022 period, which is in its early stages. The source of the suggestion is newsworthy though: Apple.

Posted inNews

How sustainable is music in the streaming age? (#SonarPlusD)

“If you talk about what creators want today, especially young creators, they don’t talk about wanting to achieve platinum record sales, or platinum level streams.”

Allen Bargfrede, associate professor at the Berklee College of Music and director of Berklee’s Rethink Music initiative, was talking at the Sónar+D conference in Barcelona this week, in a panel on sustainability for creators in the digital age.

“They talk about wanting exposure. Exposure on YouTube and millions of views… They want people to know who they are,” said Bargfrede, offering a different perspective on the music industry’s current tension with YouTube.

Posted inNews

Sixx:AM attack YouTube again over artist payments

Flush with the press headlines achieved by their criticism of YouTube a few weeks ago, rock band Sixx:AM have returned to the artist-royalties fray.

Nikki Sixx and his bandmates have published an open latter calling on Alphabet boss Larry Page to “do the right thing”, claiming that YouTube’s chief business officer Robert Kyncl recently “met with independent artist representatives and asked them to help pause this protest in return for action”.

Posted inNews

As Kobalt app launches, CEO talks streams, YouTube and rivals

Kobalt’s publishing royalties? There’s now an app for that.

The company’s new app for its clients has been released today on Apple’s iOS devices, with an Android version to follow soon.

Artists and songwriters will be able to see real-time data on the income being generated by individual songs, providing a quick way to check the data from Kobalt’s existing web portal.

The app will crunch analytics by quarter, right type and territory, pulling in data from Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Pandora and other sources, as well as tracking sync deals “from pitch to payment”.

Posted inNews

YouTube hits back at ‘noise’ around its music payouts

It’s been a bruising month for YouTube as labels, music industry bodies and artists have attacked Google’s video service over its payouts for music streams, and the safe-harbour legislation that they see as protecting it.

YouTube has been responding with statements over the course of the month, but now its head of international music partnerships Christophe Muller has penned a guest column for the Guardian setting out the company’s case.

Key points include a defence of YouTube’s Content ID system: “Only 0.5% of all music claims are issued manually; we handle the remaining 99.5% with 99.7% accuracy. And today, fan-uploaded content accounts for roughly 50% of the music industry’s revenue from YouTube,” wrote Muller.

Posted inNews

Nikki Sixx joins the YouTube pile-on over payouts

Mötley Crüe co-founder Nikki Sixx is the latest musician to speak out about YouTube royalties, alongside his current band Sixx:A.M.’s frontman James Michael.

“YouTube is paying out about a sixth of what Spotify and Apple pay artists,” Sixx told the Guardian, on the eve of a tour that the band intend to use to encourage fellow artists to join a campaign for safe-harbour legislation reform.

Posted inNews

New Lowery v Spotify filing seeks more details of NMPA deal

The class-action lawsuit against Spotify filed by musician David Lowery has taken another twist.

A new filing on behalf of Lowery and his co-plaintiffs is seeking more details of the streaming service’s proposed publishing-royalties settlement with the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA).

The filing requests that “all communications between Defendant Spotify USA Inc. (‘Spotify’) (and those in concert with Spotify) and putative class members concerning a settlement with Spotify be produced for review by Plaintiffs and this Court”.

Posted inNews

Metallica manager calls YouTube ‘the devil’

Music industry bodies like the IFPI, RIAA and BPI have been criticising YouTube regularly, but they stop short of comparing it to Satan.

We’ll leave it to Metallica’s manager Peter Mensch to charge gleefully over that line. “YouTube, they’re the devil. We don’t get paid at all,” Mensch told a new BBC documentary on the music business. “If someone doesn’t do something about YouTube, we’re screwed. It’s over. Someone turn off the lights.”