Welcome to Music Business Worldwide’s weekly roundup – where we make sure you’ve caught the five biggest stories that have made headlines over the past seven days. The MBW Roundup is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximize their income and lower their touring costs.
Twitter and the music industry have a long and difficult relationship.
After years of criticism for allegedly turning a blind eye to violating music on the platform, this week a group of 17 music publishers filed a lawsuit against Twitter seeking more than $250 million in damages. .
The publishers claim that “Twitter fuels its business with countless infringing copies of musical compositions, violating the exclusive rights of publishers and others under copyright law…”
Meanwhile, a number of music distributors, along with streaming platforms like Spotify and Amazon Music, have launched a global task force “aiming to root out streaming fraud”.
Elsewhere, researchers at Facebook parent company Meta have developed an AI music text generator called MusicGen, while a new sports and entertainment-focused SPAC has valued its IPO at $100 million.
Also this week, MBW uncovered exclusive facts about the buying and selling of megastar Taylor Swift’s catalog.
Here’s what happened this week…
1) MUSIC PUBLISHERS SUE TWITTER FOR OVER $250M ALLEGING ‘CREEPING MUSIC COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT’
Twitter has been hit with a multimillion-dollar lawsuit in the state of Tennessee alleging “widespread infringement of copyrighted music” on its platform.
The 17 entities behind the litigation include prominent independent music publishers, as well as Sony Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group and Warner Chappell Music.
Their suit seeks more than $250 million in damages for “hundreds of thousands” of alleged infringements at approximately 1,700 works.
2) RELIVE THE TAYLOR SWIFT CATALOG SALES SAGA (AND FOLLOW THE MONEY…)
Four years ago this month, a major music industry story was bubbling up in Nashville.
Scott Borchetta, founder of indie country powerhouse Big Machine Label Group (BMLG), had put his company up for sale.
Representatives of Borchetta and BMLG had met with several potential suitors, including the three major record labels – Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group.
The crown jewel of BMLG’s catalog at the time is now a matter of infamy in the music world: the master rights to the first six albums of global pop megastar Taylor Swift.
Universal, according to reports at the time, was close to acquiring the label from Big Machine.
Yet according to The music industry around the world According to sources familiar with the finalized deal, only one party – Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings – was willing to significantly improve on the $300 million price tag Borchetta was seeking for his business…”
3) META JUST RELEASED AN AI MUSIC GENERATOR THAT WAS TRAINED ON 20,000 HOURS OF LICENSED MUSIC
Researchers at Facebook parent company Meta have developed an AI-based music text generator called MusicGen.
The language model, described by Meta’s Fundamental AI Research (FAIR) team as “a simple, controllable model for music generation”, can take textual prompts like, for example, “upbeat acoustic folk” or “track pop dance music with catchy melodies”. ” and turn them into new 12-second music videos.
The model, released as open source over the weekend, can also use melodic prompts to generate new music. You can see a demo here.
Meta says he used 20,000 hours of licensed music to form MusicGen, which included 10,000 “high quality” licensed music tracks, and as reported by TechCrunch, 390,000 instrument tracks alone from ShutterStock and Pond5. …
4) BELIEVE, EMPIRE, SPOTIFY, AMAZON MUSIC AND MORE TEAM UP TO FORM GLOBAL TASK FORCE ‘TO ERADICATE STREAMING FRAUD’
A number of other music companies ranging from distributors to other streaming platforms like Spotify and Amazon Music have come together in what they call “an unprecedented alliance” to form “Music Fights Fraud”, described as a global task force “aiming to root out streaming fraud”. ”.
Founding members include music companies CD Baby and its parent company Downtown, TuneCore and its parent company Believe, DistroKid, UnitedMasters, Symphonic, EMPIRE and Vydia as well as digital service providers Spotify and Amazon Music.
According to the press release announcing the new initiative, “Music Fights Fraud” represents “the first time that all corners of the music industry have aligned in a united front to fight music streaming fraud… “
5) ESH ACQUISITION CORP, FOCUSED ON ENTERTAINMENT AND SPORTS, PRICES $100M IPO
A new sports and entertainment-focused special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) whose management team includes a former Disney executive has priced its U.S. IPO at $100 million.
Shares of ESH Acquisition Corp debuted on NASDAQ on Wednesday (June 14) under the symbol ESHA.U, after offering 10 million shares at a price of $10 per share.
ESH wants to merge with a company in the music and entertainment, sports or hospitality sectors…