Would ‘100 Percent Licensing’ Unshackle the Market for Music, or Make it Worse?

As we’ve covered in recent months here at the R Street Institute, the U.S. Justice Department is in the midst of its review (and possible modification) of the agreements (called “consent decrees”) that govern the operation of the nation’s two leading performance rights organizations (PROs).

These groups – the American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) – are responsible for collecting and distributing royalties from the performance of musical compositions under copyright.

The agreements place restrictions – originating from antitrust concerns, on the one hand, and fear of heavy-handed regulation, on the other – on the two entities’ operations, through which the vast majority of our nation’s musical works are licensed. While no one would describe this system as an inherently good or logical one, it’s important to weigh how any modifications would affect the tenuous balance currently in place.

Source: R Street

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Paramount Pictures Puts Hundreds of Full Movies on YouTube for Free

As the music business continues to question the value coming back to rights-holders from YouTube, the movie industry just made a historic pact with the Google-owned giant.

Paramount Pictures has launched a new channel on YouTube that allows users to watch hundreds of licensed movies, in full, for free.

As you might expect, there aren’t too many classics within the trove.

Why has Paramount – a subsidiary of MTV owner Viacom – taken this step? No doubt to capture some advertising revenue from an assortment of films which would otherwise go unwatched.

Source: Music Business Worldwide

We Can Work It Out: How Brands Can Master Music Rights

If a picture paints a thousand words, then a well-placed soundtrack can bring those visuals to life and create a lasting emotional connection.

Think of the use of The Velvet Underground’s malevolent Venus in Furs in a Dunlop TV spot for tyres. At the other end of the musical spectrum, soft and gentle cover versions by Lily Allen and Aurora are likely to become forever synonymous with Christmas, gifts and John Lewis.

However, if music appears to be an easy win for advertisers, this overlooks the complexities of what goes on beneath the surface, where the music rights business can often jeopardise the creative ambitions of even the best marketers.

Many brand teams fall in love with one song, for example, and are held to ransom on commercial terms. That or a they’re forced to accept restrictive licences that lack the permissions needed for the rollout of their global campaign.

From my experience brokering deals for brands, this disconnect is frequently the result of poor planning and leaving the licensing process to the last minute. However, it need not be a nightmare.

Source: The Guardian

Imagem Allies with Chinese Distributor, as New Online Content Rules Loom in China

Independent music publisher Imagem has signed a deal with Chinese digital distribution firm R2G, which will see the distributor handle the licensing of the publisher’s repertoire in the Chinese market. Imagem is the latest music firm to ally with a Chinese partner in a bid to access royalties now being paid by various digital music set-ups in the country.

Source: Complete Music Update

Yelp Agrees to License Its Data to Sprinklr, All the Better for Marketers to Understand Their Consumers

Yelp SprinklrLogohas agreed to license data and reviews to Sprinklr, a company that helps marketers track what consumers say about them on digital platforms.

Marketers such as McDonald’s or Olive Garden, for example, use Sprinklr to see what customers are saying about them in a variety of venues, such as YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, WeChat and more, all on a location basis. Other Sprinklr clients include Microsoft, Samsung, Nike and Havas.

The addition of Yelp’s extensive data should deepen the offering to marketers, ideally helping them understand what customers like and why they come back in a more precise way.

Source: AdAge