Amazon Music Unlimited Expands to 28 Countries
Back when TuneCore got started, Amazon was one of the first stores we helped independent artists get their music into. It was a different digital landscape back then, but over the next decade Amazon would evolve in pretty miraculous ways – bringing us to the age of in-home smart technology.
Amazon’s Alexa smart speakers have made it easy for music fans to get access to instant streaming music from its Music Unlimited service. This month, Amazon announced that both Alexa and Music Unlimited would be available in an additional 28 countries! A wider rollout throughout Europe and South America is sure to please hungry listeners looking for a new layer of convenience.
Steve Boom, VP of Amazon Music said, “Music is such an incredible global connector, and with Amazon Music Unlimited we’ve been able to give listeners access to an extensive catalog with the added experience of using their own voice to hear music in so many ways with Alexa.”
We’re always reminding independent artists that in addition to getting their releases onto popular platforms in their respective countries, by distributing to those additional platforms in territories they know less about, they’re opening up the doors to discovery for new fans. We’re always ready to celebrate new development from our store partners like Amazon Music, especially when it means new opportunities for TuneCore Artists to be heard.
YouTube “Remix” Music Service – Potential March ‘18 Launch
We all know at this point that YouTube is a major destination for music fans – from music videos to Art Tracks to exclusive user-generated content, it’s become an undeniable force in the industry. (No wonder TuneCore helps you get your releases on there AND collect potential revenue from sound recording use on others channels!)
Of course, YouTube’s road to becoming a streaming destination has been rocky in terms of how fans consume and pay for subscriptions (if they choose to). Between YouTube Red and Music Key, all signs point to YouTube consumers being less likely to sign up for a subscription service. With so much to offer users in the way of content, it’s not entirely unsurprising that when it comes to music, YouTube appeals to more ‘passive’ listeners who are willing to sit through some ads and use an app that also allows them to watch videos.
YouTube’s latest rumored offering, known internally as “Remix”, appears to take on more of a model that’d be similar to Spotify or Apple Music. While like any other streamer these days they’ll have to navigate negotiations with the majors, there’s certainly no reason not to be optimistic about Remix if you’re an independent artist. As Music 3.0’s Bobby Owsinski put it:
“The best part about a Remix launch for artists, labels, songwriters and publishers will be the fact that there’s another deep-pocketed entity in the game with hopefully more marketing muscle than Google’s previous efforts. Nothing bad about another potential revenue stream.”
While it’s not an official announcement, Bloomberg reported that the new paid service could come as soon as March 2018.
Practice of Fractional Licensing For PRO’s Upheld in U.S. Appeals Court
In what’s being heralded as a “massive victory” for songwriters and publishers, it was announced this month that the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals will uphold a 2016 decision allowing for the practice of fractional licensing.
ASCAP and BMI, the two leading performing rights organizations in the U.S., joined forces to challenge the U.S. Department of Justice, which was seeking to end the practice of fractional licensing. Without fractional licensing, songwriters and copyright holders are forced to adhere to ‘100% licensing’, without the ability to split up royalties – both PRO’s believed that the DOJ’s mandate would “cause unnecessary chaos in the marketplace and place unfair financial burdens and creative constraints on songwriters and composers”.
The 100% licensing requirement was an update made by the DOJ, creating legal and logistical obstacles for creators. While both PRO’s believe this to be a ‘2-year distraction’ that resulted from their original goal of updating the standing consent decree that they considered to be outdated.
Given the benefits to those songwriters, composers and publishers associated with either or both of the two PROs, ASCAP and BMI received unwavering support from members and the music industry overall during this period of uncertainty.
Songwriters who have signed up and registered compositions via TuneCore Publishing Administration can rest easy when it comes to the continuation of fractional licensing.