Copyright Royalty Board Approves Increases in Mechanical Rates


Good news for songwriters of all stripes: this month,the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) approved a series of graduated increases in mechanical royalty rates. What’s being referred to as the single largest jump in mechanical royalties in history, rates are scheduled to increase 43.8% over the course of 2018 through 2022.

The decision comes in the resolution of an original trial taking place last year, filed by the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) and the Nashville Songwriters Association (NSAI) against Google, Amazon, Spotify, Apple and Pandora. NMPA CEO & President David Israelite said of the decision, “We are thrilled the CRB raised rates for songwriters by 43.8% – the biggest rate increase granted in CRB history. Crucially, the decision also allows songwriters to benefit from deals done by record labels in the free market.”

Still kinda new to the music publishing game? You can read more about how your songs earn royalties here. An important takeaway from this major ruling for the average independent songwriter is that when your songs are downloaded, bought in-store, or streamed, there’s a mechanical royalty attached to that action. Even as TuneCore would help you collect the streaming revenue owed to you across platforms like Apple Music and Spotify, songwriters must be registered with a publisher/administrator to collect the other half of that revenue, which is the mechanical royalty. With rates increased per stream, that is more money in the songwriter and publishers pockets!

If you’re interested in learning more about registering your compositions with TuneCore for music publishing administration, learn more here.

YouTube Expands Red to New Markets, Updates Official Artist Channels


This month we learned that YouTube plans to expand its YouTube Red paid subscription music service into international territories outside of the U.S. Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl says that their newest licensing agreement with Universal Music and their talks with performance rights societies in places like France have played a role in this expansion.

Said Kyncl, “All this work now allows us to launch YouTube Red around the world. We have no launch date for France, but this service will be launched this year on dozens of markets in 2018.”

In other YouTube news, less than a year after the video and music streaming giant launched “Official Artist Channels”, they announced in January the ‘mandatory consolidation of all an artist’s subscribers’ under these channels. The point of this appears to be to more or less ‘clean up’ the landscape in ways that should benefit both artists and subscribers (fans).

Moving forward, if a music fan is subscribed to an ‘unofficial’ YouTube artist channel, their subscription will automatically be shifted over to that of the “Official Artist Channel”. Subscriptions to the aforementioned unofficial channels will expire and become inactive.

For artists, having fans available and subscribed in one official place that they can manage could be beneficial for reach and engagement. It will allow them to take advantage of some of YouTube’s engagement features like Community Posts, Ticketing and Mobile Live. Check out the video below for more info:

iHeartRadio Reaches 110 Million Users, Announces Updates


More good news for all of our TuneCore Artists who distribute their new releases to iHeartRadio – the streaming platform has announced a 10 million-user jump since March of 2017, surpassing 110 million in total. This is in addition to the 250 million users that use the service for streaming broadcast radio stations throughout 150 U.S. markets (850 stations all in all).

iHeartRadio announced this during January’s Consumer Electronic Show. In addition to boasting about their increased user figures, the company also introduced new or updated features across the 200+ unique platforms its streaming service is available on, including “bot for Facebook Messenger (pictured above); Bixby from Samsung; Jibo,  a social robot for the home; Garmin’s new GPS running watch, the Forerunner 645 Music; Roku; and new automotive updates with General Motors and Ford.”

Like with any digital partner that TuneCore distributes content to, we’re tipping our caps to iHeartRadio and look forward to more growth and positive updates that impact their users and our artist community.

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