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Welcome to Music Business Worldwide’s weekly round-up – where we make sure you caught the five biggest stories to hit our headlines over the past seven days. MBW’s round-up is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximize their income and reduce their touring costs.


We reported this week that from Q1 2024, 1,000 streams will be the minimum yearly play-count volume that each track on Spotify has to hit in order to start generating royalties.

As we first reported last month, Spotify believes that this move will de-monetize a portion of tracks that previously absorbed 0.5% of the service’s ‘Streamshare’ (i.e. ‘pro-rata’-based) royalty pool.

Spotify has told industry players that it expects the new 1,000-play minimum annual threshold will reallocate tens of millions of dollars per year from that 0.5% to the other 99.5% of the royalty pool.

Also this week, we reported that Taylor Swift’s blockbuster rerecording of 1989 (Taylor’s Version) attracted 1,329% more streams than the original version of 1989 in the US last week.

Elsewhere, according to MBW’s calculations based on Sony Group Corp’s calendar Q3 2023 (fiscal Q2 2023) results, Sony’s global music rights operation – across recorded music and music publishing – generated USD $2.330 billion in the three months to end of September 2023.

Plus, music funding platform beatBread has launched advances of up to $3 million for songwriters, while private equity firm STG completed its $1.4 billion acquisition of music tech firm Avid.

Here’s what happened this week…


Photo Credit: photo_gonzo/Shutterstock

1) CONFIRMED: FROM NEXT YEAR, TRACKS ON SPOTIFY WILL HAVE TO BE PLAYED 1,000 TIMES BEFORE THEY START EARNING MONEY

Last month Music Business Worldwide broke the news that major changes were coming to Spotify’s royalty model in Q1 2024.

The most controversial of those changes? A new minimum annual threshold for streams before any track starts generating royalties on the service.

At the time of our report, we couldn’t confirm a precise number for this minimum threshold. Now we can: It’s 1,000 plays.

The news was first nodded to by a guest post from the President of the distribution platform Stem, Kristin Graziani, published on Thursday (November 2).

MBW has subsequently confirmed with sources close to conversations between Spotify and music rightsholders that 1,000 streams will indeed be the minimum yearly play-count volume that each track on the service has to hit in order to start generating royalties from Q1 2024.

We’ve also re-confirmed Spotify’s behind-the-scenes line on this to record labels and distributors right now: That the move is “designed to [demonetize] a population of tracks that today, on average, earn less than five cents per month”.

Five cents in recorded music royalties on Spotify in the US today can be generated by around 200 plays…


Credit: Press

2) SONY GENERATED $2.33BN FROM RECORDED MUSIC AND PUBLISHING IN CALENDAR Q3, UP 8.3% YOY

Sony’s global music rights operation – across recorded music and music publishing – generated USD $2.330 billion in the three months to end of September 2023.

That’s according to MBW’s calculations based on Sony Group Corp’s calendar Q3 2023 (fiscal Q2 2023) results, as announced by the Japanese firm yesterday (November 9).

The $2.330 billion figure was up 8.3% year-on-year (vs. calendar Q3 2022) at US dollar-converted constant currency.

In monetary terms, Sony’s overall music rights operation (recorded music plus music publishing) generated approximately $177.8 million more in calendar Q3 2023 than in the prior-year quarter…


Spencer LeBoff beatBread
Image courtesy of beatBread

3) MUSIC FUNDING PLATFORM BEATBREAD LAUNCHES ADVANCES OF UP TO $3M FOR SONGWRITERS, HIRES BMG’S SPENCER LEBOFF

Since its launch in 2020, music funding platform beatBread has been offering artists, indie labels and distributors advances on their catalog and as-yet-unreleased music.

Now, the Utah-headquartered firm is expanding its services to songwriters via a new Songwriting Advance Division.

Songwriters will now be eligible for advances of up to USD $3 million against the publishing rights on their catalog or catalog plus future songs, beatBread announced on Thursday (November 9)…


4) PRIVATE EQUITY FIRM STG CLOSES ACQUISITION OF MUSIC TECH FIRM AVID IN $1.4BN CASH DEAL

It’s a done deal. Avid Technology has officially been acquired by an affiliate of private equity firm Symphony Technology Group (STG) in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $1.4 billion.

Avid is the maker of popular music production software Pro Tools, which is widely used in the recording industry. The company claims on its website that every record nominated for Record of the Year at the 2022 Grammys was made with the help of Pro Tools.

Avid also operates a DIY music distribution service called AvidPlay Music Distribution, which distributes music to over 150 platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Tidal…


Credit: Press

5) TAYLOR SWIFT’S 1989 (TAYLOR’S VERSION) ATTRACTED 1,329% MORE STREAMS THAN THE ORIGINAL VERSION OF 1989 IN THE US LAST WEEK

Taylor Swift just cemented her status as the biggest artist on earth right now with a re-recorded Taylor’s Version release of her classic 1989.

As you might expect, it did rather well in its opening week.

According to data from US market monitor Luminate, 1989 (Taylor’s Version) ‘sold’ the ‘equivalent’ of 1.653 million copies in the US in its first chart week (to end of Thursday, November 2) after being released on Friday, October 27.

That 1.653 million number is based on a weighting formula from Luminate which pulls together streams and ‘real’ sales into an ‘equivalent’ figure….


MBW’s Weekly Round-Up is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximise their income and reduce their touring costs.

 Music Business Worldwide

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