Obama signed legislation banning ticket bots. Also, the global music copyright business grew by $1 billion this past year. And ASCAP partnered with Nielsen to offer better data tracking for artists.
New Obama Legislation Signed Banning Ticket Bots
President Obama signed the Better Online Ticket Sales Act (the BOTS Act) this past week, which made using bots to purchase a large number of tickets for scalping purposes illegal.
Pitchfork reported, the new legislation was designed to let fans have more opportunity to purchase tickets at face value when they first go up for sale online. A statement from the White House Press Secretary read that the act “prohibits the circumvention of control measures used by the Internet ticket sellers to ensure equitable consumer access to tickets for certain events.”
Ticket bot software has in the past allowed scalpers to purchase tickets in bulk before fans can get them. Scalpers can sell these tickets at inflated prices on StubHub and other second-party ticketing sites.
Ticketmaster said, “On behalf of artists, venues, teams and especially fans, Ticketmaster is pleased that the BOTS Act is now a federal law … Ticketmaster worked closely with legislators to develop the BOTS Act and we believe its passage is a critical step in raising awareness and regulating the unauthorized use of Bots.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill in November that made the use of ticket bots in New York a Class A misdemeanor. The battle for a nationwide law increased in early December when the Senate and the House passed the BOTs Act and sent it through to President Obama.
The Global Music Copyright Business Up by $1 Billion in a Year
The global music copyright business grew $1 billion in the past year, according to Music Business Wordwide. The revenues generated by music copyright in 2015 were $24.3 billion, up from $23.43 billion in 2014, according to Spotify Director o Economics Will Page.
The IFPI guessed that the recorded music business’ annual revenues for the past few years were approximately $15 billion, a number which they predicted will rise to $16 billion in 2016.
Page talked to Music Business Worldwide in 2015 and put the first-ever number on the entire music copyright industry, which is recorded music, plus revenues generated by publishing and authors rights.
Page’s figure of $24.3 billion is a combination of IFPI’s findings plus global publishing/composer collection revenue stats from CISAC. He came up with the final number by adding these two sets of data, then removing “double counting” on mechanical royalties. “Double counting” is an overlap that occurs because companies pay through mechanicals to publishers after collecting cash from retailers on physical formats and download in the U.S. market.
Page also looked at MIDIA Consulting’s model that covers directly licensed publishing revenues that are not included in CISAC’s annual report (sync, etc.). The figure is made more complex by the Pan-European Licensing (PEL) revenues and SESAC’s purchase of U.S. mechanicals house the Harry Fox Agency.
There are some particularly notable numbers in Page’s findings. Page explained that once mechanical royalties pay-through is removed from IFPI data for 2015, “wholesale global recorded music revenues in the year stood at $13.98 billion.”
CISAC societies paid $8.26 billion in 2015, and publishers generated $2.14 billion in outside society income.
This means that “publishing” made $10.4 billion in revenues in 2015, with labels earning $13.98 billion.
Page clarified, “Publishing, therefore contributed 42.7 percent to music copyrights bottom line in 2015, with labels on 57.3 percent – the same percentage split seen in 2014.”
Page also looked even further down to see which areas of both sides of the music copyright business contributed most significantly in 2015.
More figures and details can be seen in the interview at the end of the linked article.
ASCAP Partnering with Nielsen on New Meta Data Solution
PRO ASCAP said it will be partnering with Nielsen to offer additional and clearer data to artists like Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and the 600,000 other songwriters, composers and publishers on its roster.
Billboard reported that the agreement is long term and will let ASCAP access data that will “increase transparency and efficiency” for the artists it represents.
Fans and “casual listeners” will not likely see this data, but artists, publishers and managers can use it to improve their business opportunities. ASCAP memebrs will now be able to access additional radio airplay data from the U.S. as well as metadata and codes for sound recordings and new reporting abilities developed by ASCAP’s Digital Product and Data team, based on Nielsen’s measurements.
ASCAP’s CEO, Elizabeth Matthews announced, “As the market leader in consumer, music and audio measurement, Nielsen’s data will bring additional frequency and breadth to ASCAP’s reporting, enabling ASCAP’s members to have a 360-degree view of the performance landscape for their music, while enabling faster and more accurate reporting and tracking across all platforms … The deal also sets the stage for us to provide our members with new business intelligence tools with predictive analysis components.”
One of the goals of the partnership is to decrease the “data divide” that has made it difficult for publishers and songwriters to track song plays and get all their deserved royalties. The new partnership is also designed to fix the problem of incomplete or “unmatched” metadata. ASCAP can now match its members’ copyright information to the metadata and unique codes offered by Nielsen.
Nielsen Entertainment president Howard Appelbaum stated, “Nielsen is excited to work with ASCAP to provide its songwriter and publisher members with more efficient and effective business tools … This agreement brings together two world class organizations that excel at using data to increase transparency within the music sector, including music creators.”