• market 7 of 7

Music Business News, June 20, 2017

Royalty Exchange secured millions in funding. Also, Apple Music created a $99 per year subscription plan. And a new classical music streaming site launched with fine-tuned meta data.


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Royalty Exchange Moving Ahead with $6.4 Million


Online music rights marketplace Royalty Exchange secured $6.4 million to help it grow, reported Music Business Worldwide.


The U.S.-based organization helps artists and creators raise money by selling assets such as mechanical, performing and sync rights through online auctions while giving them full control over their copyrights.


In 2017 thus far, artists have earned more than $3.8 million by using the Royalty Exchange platform.


As an example, a series of song rights attached to Sesame Street brought $580,000 in through the platform.


Along with new funding, Royalty Exchange added three top music executives to its roster: Jeff King (COO, SOCAN); Bill Silva (Bill Silva Presents and Bill Silvan Management); Travis Hill (Carnival Music co-founder and songwriter who has worked with Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw and Dixie Chicks).


Matthew Smith, CEO of Royalty Exchange explained, “We’ve experienced significant growth over the last year. But we’ve only scratched the surface.”


Smith said that often many artists only have two options to grow their businesses: to sign away rights; to rely solely on internal cash flow.


He added, “Royalty Exchange adds a whole new option for rightsholders, and we do it by bringing competition and transparency.”


Royalty Exchange set a fundraising goal of $3 million, but managed to get $6 million. The funds will be used to hire employees and invest in new technology. The company is currently filling business development, marketing and artist/label relations positions.


Smith stated, “We’re honored to have Jeff, Bill and Travis join as advisors … Their involvement will add critical momentum to our efforts to democratize this space.”


Apple Music Offering Discounted Annual Subscription Plan


Apple added an annual subscription package for $99.


According to Tech Crunch, the monthly rate is $9.99, and the setting for the annual subscription option is buried in people’s phones.


Those who are not already Apple Music subscribers can only subscribe to a monthly plan. However, existing subscribers can change their membership settings and switch to an annual plan.


Prior to this settings change, Apple Music subscribers could buy a $99 Apple Music gift card for $99 and buy a full year of access. There was previously no way to access this discounted rate without this card.


The impending redesign of the app store may change users’ Apple Music options.


Primephonic Helping Categorize Streaming Classical Music


Classical music streaming service Primephonic launched on June 14, reported CNet.


The platform’s catalogue consists of more than 100,000 classical music tracks in 16-bit (CD quality) FLAC format and is $14.99 per month after a 30-day free trial.


Experts indicated that classical music was in need of its own streaming service because of the complexity of its metadata. Spotify, Tidal and other platforms organize their catalogues by titles and artists, but classical works have additional variables: the performer; the composer; the orchestra; the date of recording; the larger work it is a part of; etc.


Primephonic has a sophisticated organization system that puts these complex details as tags on files so that users can more easily find the exact recordings they seek.


The platform relies on a team of experts: six musicologists and students of classical music that precisely categorize each piece of music uploaded into the catalogue. This very meticulous process of curation of metadata allows users to find exact recordings more easily than they can on other streaming services.


The experts also tie together works that might otherwise be separate across an average streaming platform’s system, such as individual sections of the same work showing up as separate tracks or being attached to different names because of differing translations, etc. For instance, Richard Wagner’s opera Der Ring des Nibelungen might also be known as the Ring Cycle, but Primephonic can join them together into the same work.


The very specific metadata allows for features that Spotify and Tidal cannot offer. As an example, a user can hear a single track, find the larger work it is attached to and then add that whole work to a playlist to make it into a whole bundle.


Primephonic also pays out royalties based on seconds streamed rather than the number of times a track is played, because classical works are longer than pop songs. If royalties were paid out to performers and arrangers of classical pieces solely on number of streams, hour-plus-long symphonies would earn the same payment as a three- minute Taylor Swift song.


Primephonic features work from major labels Sony Classical and Warner Classics as well as Naxos, Harmonia Mundi and 2L. More tracks will be added during the summer, with an iOS app coming in late 2017.

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