👋 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

David Lowery talks lawsuits, licensing and free streaming

“Maybe it was naive of us, but we thought we would solve this problem for everybody – and that services, investors in those services and even the entire music industry might welcome that solution…”

David Lowery is feeling positive, three months after he flung the cat into the music-streaming pigeons with his role as the example plaintiff in a proposed class-action lawsuit against Spotify over its publishing licensing.

Posted inNews

NMPA and Spotify strike $30m mechanicals settlement

Spotify has taken a step closer to resolving its mechanical-royalties problems in the US, via an anticipated agreement with the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA).

As expected, the settlement will involve publishers claiming royalties for their tracks on Spotify where the publishing information was previously unmatched, with an additional “large bonus compensation fund” for publishers.

Posted inNews

Melissa Ferrick to Spotify: Why haven’t you paid us already?’

Artist Melissa Ferrick has been talking to Billboard about her class-action lawsuit against Spotify over mechanical licensing.

“It’s not that I don’t think it’s a cool way to listen to music, they’re just not legally obtaining the licenses they need for streaming,” said Ferrick.

“My reaction is: Why haven’t you paid us already? They’ve infringed on 127 of my copyrights. This infringe-now-and-pay-later cannot become the norm. I’m not going to print beautiful copies of art, hang them in a gallery, charge $20 admission and save some of it until a lawyer who represents the artists shows up.”

Posted inNews

Settlement may be in sight for US publishing royalties row

Right up front, the caveat here is that the disputes around mechanical royalties payments from streaming services may defy an attempt to reach a settlement that makes all parties happy.

So while the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) may well be on the verge of brokering a deal with Spotify that could in turn help its rivals sort out their publishing-licensing problems, that may not be the final word.

Posted inNews

David Lowery Spotify takedowns spark new disagreement

US Spotify users can’t stream music by David Lowery’s two bands, Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, after the service removed them as part of its legal dispute with the musician over publishing royalties.

However, the details of the removal are already being argued over. “We have had a letter from David Lowery’s lawyers asking that we take down all of David Lowery’s catalogue,” claimed Spotify’s Steve Savoca in an email to Universal Music execs about the takedown that has since leaked.

Posted inNews

MMF boss calls for UMG to match Sony/WMG windfall promises

The new chief executive of the Music Managers Forum (MMF) is ruffling some feathers from the start: by demanding that Universal Music match rivals Sony Music and Warner Music’s promises to share any windfalls from a Spotify IPO or sale with artists.

“We will continue to have a dialogue with them and urge them to follow suit, but there hasn’t been a response so far,” Annabella Coldrick told Billboard.

Posted inNews

Recording Academy boss Portnow criticises streaming at Grammys

Recording Academy president Neil Portnow took aim at “business practices that don’t pay music creators fairly” in his speech at the Grammy Awards last night.

“When you stream a song, all the people that created that music collectively get paid a small fraction of a penny. Isn’t a song worth more than a penny? Listen, we all love convenience, and we support technologies like streaming which connect us to that music,” said Portnow, as part of his speech.

Posted inNews

Katy Perry partners with Spotify to woo artists pre-Grammys

Katy Perry is fronting an event called ‘An Evening to Celebrate the Creators’ this weekend, co-hosted by Sia, Missy Elliott and Greg Kurstin.

The sponsor: Spotify, as its latest effort to win artists round to the benefits of streaming.

“You have to be a creator — it’s artists, producers and songwriters,” Perry told the New York Times: even managers and publicists aren’t invited.

“I actually went to Spotify to get informed on the world of streaming. Two years ago, it was like, ‘Streaming, streaming, streaming!’ And I was like, what is streaming and what does it mean for me?” said Perry.

Posted inNews

Labels will share Spotify windfall with artists – but how?

Sony and Warner have both confirmed this month that if and when Spotify goes public, they will share the rewards from their equity stakes in the company with artists.

Indie licensing agency Merlin had previously said the same. Amid the praise for these policies, the International Music Managers Forum has highlighted a relevant question: how on earth will the loot be shared out?