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From Universal’s $ 2.46bn in Q1 to the record labels and publishers’ major settlement: It’s MBW’s Weekly Round-Up

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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.


This week, groups representing songwriters, music publishers and record labels in the United States reached a settlement over the mechanical royalty rate paid to songwriters for sales of physical music, as well as downloads.

Since 2006, the mechanical rate paid to publishers / songwriters for music purchased on a physical disc (or a download) has been set at 9.1 cents per track.

The settlement this week proposes a 32% increase to that current royalty rate, to 12 cents per track.

It also provides that these songwriter royalties will increase automatically each year of the rate period in connection with the Consumer Price Index (ie the rate of inflation).

The settlement will now be considered by the Copyright Royalty Board.

Also this week, Universal Music Group published its financial results for Q1 2022 (the three months to end of March).

Across all of its divisions (including recorded music, publishing and more), UMG posted revenues of € 2.199 billion ($ 2.46bn). That was up by 16.5% YoY at constant currency, driven by growth across all revenue segments.

Streaming was UMG’s biggest revenue driver in Q1 2022, with the company’s recorded music streaming revenues growing 14.6% YoY at constant currency to € 1.209 billion ($ 1.35bn).

Concert giant Live Nation also published its Q1 2022 financial results this week, reporting quarterly revenues of $ 1.8 billion across all divisions, including concerts, ticketing and advertising & sponsorship. Live Nation says this was its “best first quarter ever”.

Elsewhere, SoundCloud acquired AI-powered music company Musiio, while UnitedMasters launched its own beat marketplace called Beat Exchange.

Here’s what happened this week…


Credit: Sasun Bughdaryan

1) RECORD LABELS AND PUBLISHERS INK MAJOR SETTLEMENT, MOVING FROM 9.1 CENTS TO 12 CENTS PER TRACK FOR US MECHANICAL ROYALTIES ON PHYSICAL SALES

Last month, MBW told you about an epic negotiation going on in the United States over certain types of mechanical royalty rates paid to songwriters for sales of physical music, as well as downloads.

This week, we learned that the groups representing songwriters, music publishers and record labels have now reached an agreement to settle that rate negotiation.

The important background information to this story is that since 2006, the mechanical rate paid to publishers / songwriters for music purchased on a physical disc (or a download) has been set at 9.1 cents per track.

This week’s settlement proposes a 32% increase to that current royalty rate, to 12 cents per track…


2) UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP REVENUES HIT $ 2.46BN IN Q1 2022

Universal Music Group has published its financial results for Q1 2022.

Across all of its divisions (including recorded music, publishing and more) the world’s biggest music rightsholder posted revenues in the three months to end of March of € 2.199 billion ($ 2.46bn).

That was up by 16.5% YoY at constant currency, driven by growth across all revenue segments….


3) SOUNDCLOUD ACQUIRES AI MUSIC COMPANY MUSIIO

SoundCloud has acquired Musiio, a Singapore-based Artificial Intelligence music curation company founded in 2018.

The news was first reported by TechCrunch, which reports that SoundCloud plans to use Musiio’s technology to boost its own music discovery capabilities.

Co-founded by Hazel Savage, who has previously worked at the likes of Shazam, Pandora and Universal Music, the company claims to have built AI that can “listen” to music at scale.


4) LIVE NATION REVENUES SOAR TO $ 1.8BN IN Q1 2022, AS COMPANY DELIVERS ‘BEST FIRST QUARTER EVER’

Live Nation has published its financial results for Q1 2022 (ended March 31), and within the filing, the company reports quarterly revenues of $ 1.8 billion across all divisions, including concerts, ticketing and advertising & sponsorship.

That overall revenue figure was up on the $ 290.6 million the company posted in Q1 2021, when the wider concert business was still operating on a reduced number of shows due to the pandemic.

In a letter to investors, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino notes that, “artists are back on the road and fan demand has never been stronger”…


5) UNITEDMASTERS, VALUED AT $ 550M, JUST LAUNCHED ITS OWN BEAT MARKETPLACE

UnitedMasters has announced a new platform for buying and selling beats called Beat Exchange.

Via this platform, UnitedMasters artists now have access to buy or license beats from both emerging and established producers like 3x Grammy Award-winning producer Hit-Boy (Nas, Drake, Beyonce) ́, Turbo (Gunna, Travis Scott, Lil Baby), and Sham “Sak Pase” Joseph (Kodak Black, Rihanna, SAINt Jhn).

UnitedMasters says that its new offering is designed to “simplify browsing for beats when looking for specific sounds (genre, mood, instrument, etc.) and drive discovery through editorial playlists that highlight both emerging and established producers”…


MBW’s Weekly 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.

Music Business Worldwide

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