Overnight news from around the world: Friday, August 26

Overnight news from around the world: Friday, August 26

MMF backs ban on streaming exclusives

The Music Managers Forum has reiterated its stance against streaming exclusives in the wake of Universal's reported ban. MMF CEO Annabella Coldrick (pictured) said: "It has been reported Universal music has now taken a stance against exclusive deals with individual streaming services. Whilst it's always incumbent on managers to make the best decision for their artists, MMF has long held a position against windowing. We believe that preventing fans from listening to their favourite artists can cause confusion, damage confidence in streaming services and increase piracy. Along with ERA, we wish for fans to be able to consume music legally and we hope the rest of the industry will follow suit to grow the market as a whole." The Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) had earlier issued a statement in support of Universal’s reported ban on exclusives, despite the fact that Universal has yet to comment on the speculation.

Spotify subs up to 39m

Spotify's global head of creator services Troy Carter has revealed the streaming service now has more than 39 million paid subscribers (up from 30m in March), whereas Apple Music announced 15 million subscribers in June. That means Spotify - which is planning to go public in the second half of 2017, according to Bloomberg Businessweek - is adding subscribers faster than ever. Atom Factory founder/CEO Carter also declared that "exclusives are bad for artists, bad for consumers and bad for the whole industry". (Billboard)

UMG's streaming revenues offset decline in download and physical sales

The half-year financial results of Universal Music Group’s (UMG) parent company Vivendi show that streaming revenues – up 63.4% - more than offset the decline in both digital download and physical sales”. UMG's earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation were €177 million, a 3.7% rise year-over-year. Total earnings were €2.3 billion, up 1.6% on a constant currency basis. The company’s top albums in the period were by Drake, Rihanna and Ariana Grande. (Billboard)

Island Records boss hails 'great year' for the label

Island Records president Darcus Beese has hailed 2016 as a great year for the company, having been revealed as the winner of the all new MUSEXPO Europe European Executive of the Year Award. 2016 has been something of a landmark year so far for Island. The company recently enjoyed a 19-week stay at the top of the singles charts with tracks from Mike Posner and Drake, with the latter’s One Dance falling one week short of Bryan Adam’s record-breaking 16-week stint with (Everything I Do) I Do It For You. Posner’s I Took A Pill In Ibiza racked up sales of 1,232,407, while One Dance’s 15-week run at the top resulted in sales of 1,506,641. It has also registered a run of four No.1 albums from PJ Harvey, Drake, Ariana Grande and Catfish And The Bottlemen. “It’s been a great year for us, a year where we have dominated the singles chart including an unbroken 19-week run at No.1 with Mike Posner and Drake and a run of four No.1 albums from PJ Harvey, Drake, Ariana Grande and Catfish And The Bottlemen," said Beese. (Music Week)

Songkick announces $15m funding round

Artist ticketing and concert discovery platform Songkick has announced a $15 million (£11.4m) additional round of funding by Len Blavatnik's Access Industries. Songkick, which has also confirmed the expansion of its West Coast office, has bolstered its leadership ranks with the hiring of new VP of product, Lydia Goldberg and new VP of design, Lee Martin. (Music Week)

A2IM joins Warner and Universal in mechanical rates settlement

US indie labels group A2IM has filed comments before the Copyright Royalty Judges in Washington, DC in support of the proposed mechanical rates filing previously submitted by copyright owners and licensees. The procedure, known as Section 115, Subpart A Royalty Rates Settlement for Making and Distributing Phonorecords, aims at establishing the mechanical rates for compositions when used for physical downloads, permanent digital downloads, and ringtones for the  2018-2022 rate period. In a previous filing, copyright owners (National Music Publishers Association, Church Music Publishers Association, Nashville Songwriters Association International, Harry Fox Agency, and Songwriters of North America) and music licensees (Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group) informed the judges of a settlement between the two parties. The settlement proposed that the  royalty rates and terms for the previous period be continued for the rate period at issue in the proceeding. (Music Week)

Kings Of Leon confirm new album

Kings Of Leon’s seventh studio album WALLS will be released on October 14 through Columbia Records. The release comes three years after the band’s Grammy-nominated album Mechanical Bull.

Global Underground celebrates TWENTY anniversary

Global Underground has announced details of its upcoming anniversary TWENTY, celebrating two decades of the pioneering independent dance music label. TWENTY will see the release of a special CD album on October 28 ( a photographic exhibition – including unseen images from the GU archives - at Edwin Jeans Exhibition Space in Brick Lane, London from October 28 - November 10 and the biggest Global Underground event ever at Amsterdam’s Q Factory on during Amsterdam Dance Event on October 20 with James Lavelle, Darren Emerson, Eelke Kleijn, Habischman. It will be followed by a party hosted by The Gallery at London’s Ministry of Sound on October 28 with special guests to be announced.

BPI announces latest round of free masterclasses

BPI Member Services has announced details concerning the latest round of its training masterclasses, and is planning to introduce its first online webinars during this round of free events. The masterclasses are free to all BPI member companies. However, the first webinar on September 29, a campaign ‘surgery’ by Future Trends, is open to non-members. The classes will be hosted at the BPI’s Westminster offices, County Hall, Riverside building (1.30pm–5.30pm) - webinars will be available online. (Music Week)

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