@bettemidler : @Spotify and @Pandora have made it impossible for songwriters to earn a living: three months streaming on Pandora, 4,175,149 plays=$114.11.

The truth is self evident.

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https://twitter.com/BetteMidler/status/452200886970769408

London Police Attempt to cut off illegal websites’ advertising revenue | BBC

What we find so interesting about this is that the digital music services that report to be friends of musicians are not taking a strong public position against Ad funded Piracy and supporting these measures.

Spotify, Pandora and the like are affected by the downward economic pressure created by Ad Funded Piracy that diminishes both the amount consumers are willing to spend on subscription fees and the amount that can be charged for legitimate advertising on legitimate services.

Why aren’t Spotify and Pandora more publicly engaged in the fight against Ad Funded Piracy as it certainly is a large contributing factor as to why these businesses remain unprofitable.

Websites offering illegal copyrighted material could see their advertising revenue cut under a new initiative.

Police have created an online database of websites “verified” as being illegal.

It is hoped that firms that handle advertising will use the resource to make sure they do not serve advertising on those sites, cutting off revenue.

Top piracy sites generate millions of pounds thanks to advertising.

One estimate, from the Digital Citizens Alliance – a group backed by rights holders – suggested that piracy websites worldwide generated $227m (£137m) from advertising revenue each year.

Even smaller sites commanded revenues into the hundreds of thousands, the group said.

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE BBC:
http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26788800

The Tyranny of Legality | The Cynical Musician

Music piracy is a subject that has been talked to death over the past decade. So much, in fact, that it seems scarce conceivable that we could say anything more of interest on the subject.

The fundamental point I’d like you to take away from this is: it’s a lot more important to keep a watchful eye on ostensibly legal services – recall that both Pandora and (perhaps to a lesser extent) YouTube are legit – than to agonize over overt piracy.

That pirate services should be hunted to as close to extinction as is feasible goes without saying, but we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that nobody deserves a medal for going legit. It’s what you’re f-ing supposed to do.

READ THE FULL POST AT THE CYNICAL MUSICIAN:
http://thecynicalmusician.com/2014/01/the-tyranny-of-legality/

How You’re Murdering the Music Industry. | unEARTH Music Hub

Oddly, few people are talking about how much money they are actually making through Spotify, but it’s estimated that the average play is worth an abysmal $0.005. That’s half a cent…if you’re getting anything at all. An artist needs to rack up 200 plays to make $1. How are we letting this happen?! Is the general population truly oblivious to the tremendous effort and cost involved in making music?

Surprise! Songs don’t just pop out of artists like perfectly polished Easter eggs. These creative humans have dedicated a large amount of their time, money and soul to create a tangible piece of art for your listening pleasure. Studio time is expensive! Rehearsal space is expensive! Gas is expensive! Instruments are expensive! Craft beer is expensive!!! Strike that last one.

But seriously guys, when you buy music, you’re not just paying for a song, you’re supporting the artist and the process.

READ THE FULL STORY AT unEARTH MUSIC Hub:
http://unearthmusichub.com/articles/streaming-music/

Pandora Suit May Upend Century-Old Royalty Plan | NY Times

After federal antitrust investigations, both groups agreed to government supervision in 1941.

This system has hummed along for decades. But with the rise of Internet radio, publishers have complained that the rules are antiquated and unfair. They point to the disparity in the way Pandora compensates the two sides of the music business: Last year, Pandora paid 49 percent of its revenue, or about $313 million, to record companies, but only 4 percent, or about $26 million, to publishers.

“It’s a godawful system that just doesn’t work,” said Martin N. Bandier, the chairman of Sony/ATV, the world’s largest music publisher.

The wider music world has been galvanized by the issue of low royalties from fast-growing streaming companies.

For songwriters, Ascap and BMI have also been among the most reliable institutions in the music industry, and few want to see them go. But Rick Carnes, a Nashville songwriter and president of the Songwriters Guild of America, said that while these organizations had served him and his colleagues well, the Justice Department agreements that govern them were outdated and must be changed.

“This is a horse-and-buggy consent decree in a digital environment,” Mr. Carnes said. “There’s no way that works now.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE NEW YORK TIMES:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/14/business/media/pandora-suit-may-upend-century-old-royalty-plan.html?

7 royalty cheques that’ll make you lose your faith in the music industry | AUX

How little does the music industry pay artists? Shockingly little. Spotify, the dominant streaming music source in the U.S., is leaking money. They reportedly dole out 70 per cent of their revenue to royalties, and while that number seems high, consider this: each song stream pays an artist between one-sixth and one-eight of a cent. One source claimed that, on streaming music services, an artist requires nearly 50,000 plays to receive the revenue earned from one album sale. Ouch.

Indeed, things are getting dire. And here are seven examples of how bad things can get.

READ THE FULL STORY AT AUX:
http://m.aux.tv/news/100455-7-royalty-cheques-that-ll-make-you-lose-your-faith-in-the-music-industry

Blake Morgan Launches irespectmusic.org and #irespectmusic hashtag

Musician and artists rights advocate Blake Morgan has launched a new website, http://irespectmusic.org/ and the hashtag #irespectmusic

Blake is known not only for his music as a solo artist, and for the label he runs, ECR Music Group but also for his inspiring editorials on HuffPo:

Art and Music Are Professions Worth Fighting for

Pandora Needs to Do Right By Artists

We’re looking forward to seeing what he’s been up too…

BlakeIRespectMusic

RELATED:

Tim Westergren Emails Underscore Tension Between Pandora, Artists

Google, Advertising, Money and Piracy. A History of Wrongdoing Exposed.

Over 50 Major Brands Supporting Music Piracy, It’s Big Business!

FCC Shelves Pandora’s Bid For South Dakota Radio Station | Billboard

In a setback to its music licensing plans, Pandora has received word from the FCC that for the time being it is no longer processing its application to transfer ownership of the broadcasting license for KXMZ, the Rapid City, South Dakota radio station it acquired last June. Pandora had hoped to take advantage of the lower rates that internet streaming services owned by terrestrial radio stations enjoy.

READ THE FULL STORY AT BILLBOARD:
http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/legal-and-management/5869791/fcc-shelves-pandoras-bid-for-south-dakota-radio

While Artists are Bitching About Spotify Royalties… Google, YouTube and Grooveshark are in the Getaway Car…

While artists bitch about low payments from Spotify royalties,  YouTube,  Grooveshark and The Pirate Bay pay artists less or even nothing.  The reason Spotify pays so little is because it’s forced to compete with illegally operating, unlicensed sites who pay nothing at all. Artists need to focus on the big picture.

Spotify has become the symbol of inequity for artists in the digital age, and we’re not saying artists are wrong to focus on the Spotify royalty payments as an example of this inequity. We’ve written our own criticisms of Music Streaming Math and our doubts that Spotify could ever actually scale to be a sustainable business for both artists and labels.

Whatever the criticisms we may have of Spotify it is important to note that they are legal and licensed with secured rights.

The truth is that Spotify is only a symptom of a much larger disease.  The actual cause of the inequity is mass scale, enterprise level, corporate sanctioned piracy for profit. Ad Funded Piracy is the primary mechanism by which the work of artists and musicians has been devalued to fractions of cent and here’s how it works.

Imagine creating a business where you could profit by attracting every fan of every musician and band.

Imagine not requiring any licenses or permission from any of the musicians and bands.

Imagine selling advertising based on not only the overall popularity of the musicians and bands, but also from providing free streaming and/or downloads to the music of the musicians and bands.

Imagine not having to pay musicians and bands and keeping all of the advertising (and/or subscription/access fee) money.

GOOGLE:

One of the most accessible points of piracy starts at Google search and they can absolutely do more to assist legal and licensed businesses that pay artists. Digital Music News recently reported that “Google Receives Its 100 Millionth Piracy Notice. Nothing Changes…” As we’ve seen with Google’s swift retribution to Rap Genius, search can very effective to discourage or remove bad actors from the legitimate marketplace (When it is in Google’s business interest to do so!). Google is also tracking over 200,000 known domains engaged in active piracy. This seems like an easy problem to solve.

Not only did a series of research studies by the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab identify Google as one of the primary companies feeding advertising to pirate sites, but there is actually a longer darker history of Google assisting illegally operating business online.

Artists don’t get paid anything from pirate sites profiting from advertising revenue. This is the big one, those who pay nothing at all but distribute the most music at the highest volumes.

YOUTUBE:

YouTube is a company that was intentionally founded and designed to profit by ripping off artists, musicians and creators. These practices are well known from court documents published by sources such as Daily Finance.

It appears that much of the music on YouTube may still be generating profit for YouTube but not so much for musicians. East Bay Ray of the Dead Kennedy’s details the state of things here on NPR.

Even when YouTube is paying, they are paying half as much (or less) than Spotify on a per play basis.

GROOVESHARK:

We’d love to hear from artists (musicians and songwriters) who actually have their music legally licensed on Grooveshark. And, for those who do, we’d love to see what some of those royalty statements look like. We can’t imagine that Grooveshark is paying better than Spotify and that’s only for those artists who may actually have a valid license from Grooveshark.

As of this writing Grooveshark is still embattled in a number of lawsuits, which at one time included every major label. Essentially Grooveshark designed their business to be like an audio and music only version of YouTube. We detailed their practices in the post “Grooveshark, Notice and Shakedown”.

We don’t know how much money Grooveshark is making, but it’s enough to put the companies founders on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List… It seems that it is the (new boss) gatekeepers controlling the money and once again it is the artists themselves getting screwed.

PANDORA:

As of this writing Pandora has abandoned it’s ill conceived attempt at legislation that would have reduced artists royalties by 85%. But let us not forget that the arguments used by Pandora for attempting that move were also motivated by the downward economic pressure placed on artists whereby the majority of music consumption is happening with no compensation at all due to various forms of Ad Funded Piracy.

Welcome to the Exploitation Economy.

We suggest that artists focus on the disease that is creating the symptoms of businesses like Spotify.

RELATED:

Google, Advertising, Money and Piracy. A History of Wrongdoing Exposed.

Lou Reed and Dead Kennedys Go Public Against Ad Funded Piracy with Facebook Posts


Pandora loses BMI court battle over music licensing | Circa

Pandora has spent more than a year in legal battles with music publishers over exactly what songs the online radio service has access to.

A federal judge in New York has ruled that Broadcast Music Inc., a performance rights organization, may allow its members to prevent their music from being licensed to Pandora. The Dec. 18 decision means that Pandora may soon lose access to music from publishers like Universal and BMG.

READ THE FULL POST AT CIRCA:
http://cir.ca/news/pandoras-music-licensing-battles