Music Business Roundup: PLAYS Search Engine, Spotify Content, & More

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Each week on Songwriter U, Songspace recaps the top stories in the world of music business. Here’s everything you need to know from the week ending on August 14th.

PLAYS Search Engine Launches
The digital performing rights organization SoundExchange has launched a new feature called the PLAYS search engine. Figuring out where your money is coming from and if you’re getting accurate royalties can be extremely difficult, so by tracking your works through PLAYS you will be able to see information about your works that was previously unavailable. This can be very helpful in situations where another party is claiming your royalties, as you can see who is claiming them and then file a complaint accordingly.
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Spotify Tests Out Premium-Only Content
Spotify has been a long time advocate of their free tier in their music service, but they might be hopping on the premium content train. Tidal has paid service only content, while Apple Music offers exclusive content and their free trial only lasts three months. Spotify tested out the idea of limiting content to paid subscribers with Muse’s new song “The Globalist.” The premium only content could become a regular feature in 2016.
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Vevo In Talks With Warner
The YouTube giant Vevo is in talks with the last of the three majors they haven’t yet partnered with: Warner Music Group. UMG and Sony were a part of the original partnership when Vevo was created, but WMG opted to start their own channel and negotiate their own rates with YouTube. Securing Warner as a partner would give Vevo even more opportunities to start creating original content, which is said to be their next big step.
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More YouTube Accounts Terminated
As artists and writers become more away of how many illegal YouTube videos are uploaded with their content, they are using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to take down the accounts. The amount of YouTube videos with unlicensed songs is extremely high, and so are the view counts for them – meaning rights holders are losing out on potential streaming income.
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Michelle Phan & Ultra Records Settle
Along the same lines as the previous article, YouTube star Michelle Phan was sued last year for allegedly using unlicensed songs from the Ultra Records catalog. Phan argued that she came to an agreement with the label in 2009 to use the works in exchange for promotion of the songs, and therefore counter-sued the label. The legal battle has apparently come to an end, with both sides reaching an agreement.
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