Music Business Roundup: Release Day Change, Apple Patent Lawsuit, and More

Taylor Swift IFPI

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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 February 27th.

Release Day Changed to Friday
In an effort to simplify the system and combat piracy, the IFPI has announced all new records will be released on Fridays now instead of the normal Tuesday (US) and Monday (UK) for example.  Though organizations like the Department of Record Stores pushed for a Tuesday release day, the IFPI said a part of its reasoning for Friday is that it is when internet traffic is highest.
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Apple to Pay $530 Million For Patent Lawsuit
Texas based Smartflash LLC recently won a lawsuit against Apple, claiming that the company violated three patents Smartflash had for software similar to that of iTunes. Apple said that Smartflash was abusing the patent system, seeing as they don’t have any employees or products of their own. The $530 million the jury decided on was far less than the $852 million Smartflash was asking for, saying they were entitled to a percentage of all Apple product sales.
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YouTube Is Unprofitable
Despite a record year for revenues – tallying $4 billion in 2014 – according to a new report in the Wall Street Journal, YouTube had trouble breaking even last year. A main problem the site faces is that many users don’t use directly to watch videos. They find videos embeded in other websites, causing YouTube to not make much money and search for other ways to engage viewers.
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Net Neutrality Win Benefits Music Industry
This week the FCC decided to adopt net neutrality rules, essentially making sure the internet remains open and your internet provider cannot choose to increase rates for faster internet or load certain pages at different rates.  For the music industry this decision was well received, as it means that major label artists and indie artists alike can continue to provide content on the internet in an open playing field.
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The Digital World Is “Flat”
A Billboard article looks at the global music marketplace, identifying eight different countries and what streaming and CD sales have looked like recently. Generally speaking, despite the increase in streaming revenue, it was not enough to help music revenue overall – with the countries averaging a 1.1% loss in total revenue.
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