Welcome to Music Business Worldwide’s weekly round-up – where we make sure you caught the five biggest stories to hit our headlines over the past seven days. MBW’s round-up is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximise their income and reduce their touring costs.
Three big stories involving lawsuits hit our pages over the past seven days.
On Wednesday (August 16), SoundExchange announced that it’s suing SiriusXM, claiming that the satellite streaming service “wrongfully withheld more than $150 million in unpaid royalties over the past several years”.
Meanwhile, on Monday (August 14), Elon Musk’s X filed a motion to dismiss a $250 million-plus copyright lawsuit filed against the social media platform by music publishers earlier this year.
And on Friday (August 11), record labels sued the Internet Archive, alleging “massive ongoing violation” of music copyrights on the online library’s ‘Great 78 Project’.
Also this week, we reported on the sale of audio technology company Avid, which has been acquired by private equity firm, Symphony Technology Group (STG).
Avid, which also operates a DIY music distribution service called AvidPlay, is being sold in an all-cash transaction worth $1.4 billion.
Elsewhere, Tencent Music Entertainment reported that hit 99.4 million subscribers in Q2, while K-pop star Jungkook surpassed BTS’s monthly listener tally on Spotify.
Here are five of this week’s biggest stories…
1) ELON MUSK’S X FILES MOTION TO DISMISS MUSIC PUBLISHERS’ $250M+ COPYRIGHT LAWSUIT; NMPA SAYS PLATFORM HAS ‘CONSISTENTLY FAILED’ TO STOP ‘RAMPANT PIRACY’ ON ITS PLATFORM
Elon Musk-owned social media service X (formerly known as Twitter) was hit with a multi-million-dollar copyright lawsuit in June.
The entities behind the litigation included prominent independent music publishers, as well as Sony Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group and Warner Chappell Music.
The suit, which named Musk’s X Corp as the sole defendant, alleged “rampant infringement of copyrighted music” on the platform, seeking over $250 million in damages.
Music publishers argued in the complaint that, “while numerous Twitter competitors respect the need for proper licenses and agreements for the use of musical compositions on their platforms, Twitter does not, and instead breeds massive copyright infringement that harms music creators.”
Now, two months on from the launch of that litigation, X / Twitter has filed a motion asking the court to dismiss the complaint “in its entirety…”
2) SOUNDEXCHANGE SUES SIRIUSXM OVER ALLEGED $150M IN UNPAID ROYALTIES OWED TO ARTISTS AND RIGHTSHOLDERS
US performance rights organization SoundExchange has launched a lawsuit against SiriusXM to recover what it claims are “substantial unpaid royalties and late fees owed under the Copyright Act” for the use of sound recordings on the satellite streaming service.
SoundExchange says that it estimates that SiriusXM has “wrongfully withheld more than $150 million in unpaid royalties over the past several years”.
In a complaint filed with the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on Wednesday (August 16), SoundExchange alleged that SiriusXM “has exploited the creative efforts of recording artists without paying legally mandated compensation….”
3) PRIVATE EQUITY’S LOVE OF MUSIC TECH CONTINUES, AS STG ACQUIRES PRO TOOLS MAKER AVID FOR $1.4BN
One of the world’s most prominent makers of professional music-making software is being acquired in a deal worth $1.4 billion.
Avid Technology, the developer of video and audio editing tools, including the well-known Pro Tools DAW, has agreed to be acquired by private equity firm Symphony Technology Group (STG) in an all-cash transaction worth around USD $1.4 billion, including debt.
The deal is expected to close during Q4 2023, subject to Avid stockholder approval and regulatory approvals…
4) TENCENT MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT REACHED 99.4M PAYING SUBSCRIBERS IN Q2, AS MUSIC REVENUES JUMPED 47.6%
Tencent Music Entertainment (TME), China’s largest operator of music streaming services, has reported yet another massive jump in paying subscribers and paying-subscriber revenue.
The Shenzhen-headquartered company, which operates music services QQ Music, Kugo and Kuwou, came within a hair of 100 million paying subscribers in Q2 2023, the company said in its latest earnings report, released on Tuesday (August 15).
Specifically, the company reported 99.4 million subscribers for the quarter ended June 30. That represents an increase of 20.2% from the same quarter a year earlier, when the company reported 82.7 million paid subscribers…
5) JUNGKOOK NOW HAS 35.5M+ MONTHLY LISTENERS ON SPOTIFY – OVER HALF A MILLION MORE THAN BTS.
Jungkook is a solo superstar. At the time of writing, according to stats available publicly on Spotify, the HYBE-signed K-Pop artist has 35,578,104 monthly listeners on the music streaming platform.
BTS, the megastar K-Pop group of which Jungkook is a member, has 34,981,739 monthly Spotify listeners, which means that he has officially overtaken his own band’s monthly listener count on the platform, by 596,365 monthly listeners, according to our calculations…
MBW’s Weekly Round-Up is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximise their income and reduce their touring costs.
Music Business Worldwide