From winning songwriters’ streaming royalty rates to Deezer’s IPO… this is MBW’s weekly roundup…

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 Centtripwhich helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximize their income and lower their touring costs.


The songwriters scored a major victory in the United States seven days ago.

In January 2018, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) ruled that US songwriter/publisher royalty rates for on-demand streaming (and other uses) should be increased from 10.5% to 15.1% between 2018 and 2022.

You may recall, however, that Spotify, Amazon and Google/Alphabet subsequently launched legal challenges against the new tariffs.

But on July 1, the CRB stood by its decision to increase the overall rate paid to songwriters in the United States to 15.1%.

Also this week, Spotify’s French rival Deezer made its stock market debut on Euronext Paris, having merged its business with I2PO, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) based in France.

Deezer has become the latest music streaming service of 2022 to go public via a SPAC merger, following the IPO of MENA-focused Anghami on NASDAQ in New York.

During this time, the FinancialTimes reported this week that TikTok dropped the expansion of its TikTok Shop feature in Europe and the United States.

Launched in the UK in December 2021, TikTok Shop allows creators to sell products directly on TikTok via embedded videos and live streams. Last year, in an interview with MBW, TikTok’s global head of music, Ole Obermann, discussed plans for e-commerce features for artists within its app.

MBW has contacted TikTok to clarify whether the allegations reported by the FT would impact TikTok’s music-related e-commerce plans described by Obermann.

Elsewhere, music veteran Irv Gotti has sold a stake in his master recordings from Murder Inc. to Iconoclast in a $300 million deal, while Universal Music Group has reached a licensing deal with the African music service Mdundo.

Here’s what happened this week…


1) Songwriters, rejoice: Spotify’s appeal fails to stop songwriters from getting a 15.1% improvement in the US streaming royalty rate.

The saga is over.

On July 1, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) upheld its decision to increase the overall fee paid to songwriters in the United States from on-demand streaming services between the years 2018 and 2022.

To refresh your memory: In January 2018, songwriters scored a major victory when the CRB ruled that songwriter/publisher royalty rates for streaming and other mechanical uses should increase significantly to United States.

The move centered on an increase in the overall percentage of US streaming service revenue that must legally be paid by Spotify to songwriters.

The CRB decided to increase this percentage from 10.5% to 15.1% over five years between 2018 and 2022. This was the largest rate increase in the history of the CRB.

However, Spotify and other companies including Amazon and Google/Alphabet – but NOT Apple – later launched a legal challenge against the new tariffs, arguing they were unjustified.

Now the CRB has made its final decision – and the 15.1% rate is going nowhere…


2) DEEZER GOES PUBLIC: SPOTIFY RIVAL IS IPO ON EURONEXT PARIS

Spotify rival Deezer is officially a publicly traded company.

The music streaming service made its stock market debut in its home country of France on Euronext Paris on Tuesday (July 5) after merging its business with I2PO, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) based in France.

The company’s IPO comes seven years after it pulled the plug on its previous IPO attempt.

Deezer becomes the latest music streaming service this year to go public via a SPAC merger, following the recent IPO of MENA-focused Anghami on NASDAQ in New York…


3) TIKTOK: MUSIC E-COMMERCE PLANS WILL NOT BE AFFECTED BY TIKTOK STORE AVAILABILITY

Last year, in an interview with MBW, TikTok’s global head of music, Ole Obermann, discussed plans for e-commerce features for artists within its app.

He noted that TikTok “has recently done some testing in the US where we’ve been working with big-name artists to allow them to sell physical products from their TikTok accounts.”

Obermann cited artists such as Lizzo and Billie Eilish as being involved in these tests, telling MBW at the time that “the numbers were huge” adding, “It blew our minds.”

An article published by the Financial Times this week left big questions hanging over the future of these e-commerce plans for artists on the platform…


Photo credit: Giorgio Trovato

4) MUSIC VETERAN IRV GOTTI SELLS STAKE IN MURDER INC. MASTER RECORDINGS AT ICONOCLAS AS PART OF $300M DEAL

Music executive and veteran producer Irv Gotti (Irving Lorenzo), the founder of rap label Murder Inc, has sold a stake in his master recordings to Olivier Chastan’s acquisition vehicle, Iconoclast.

The music executive announced the deal was worth $300 million and, according to a press release, “sees him selling his 50% stake in his masters, with additional funding for various film and television projects”….


5) UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP SIGNS A LICENSE AGREEMENT WITH AFRICAN MUSIC SERVICE MDUNDO

African music service Mdundo, which listed on the Danish stock exchange (the Nasdaq First North Growth Market) in September 2020, has entered into a licensing agreement with Universal Music Group (UMG).

UMG says its new deal covers key African territories.

Mdundo reports having 17 million active monthly users across Africa, meaning the service has added 10 million since February 2021…


MBW’s Weekly Roundup is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximize revenue and lower touring costs.

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