Hilton Hotels the latest major company sued for not licensing music

You’d think the people running one of the biggest hospitality companies in the world would understand simple licenses… It seems not.

Hilton Worldwide are facing a lawsuit after the unlicensed use of music in videos published to their YouTube and Facebook channels. BMG Production Music are behind the lawsuit saying that they warned Hilton they were using music they hadn’t licensed yet they continued to infringe.

BMG Production Music are in the business of creating music specifically for the use in media, for example: a hotel advert. Their New York lawsuit claims that the massive hospitality and hotel company Hilton used several of BMG’s productions without licensing. They were warned and yet continued to use unlicensed music.

The videos in question were posted to Hilton’s YouTube channel and Facebook page as promotions for the company. The videos featured background music from BMG’s almost 250,000 track library which they claim spans “all musical genre”. They report 20 infringing videos from Hilton.

BMG’s complaint reads: “Despite being notified that they were using BMG’s Copyrighted Music and/or Unregistered Music without authorization or license, and despite months of exchanges of correspondence with TuneSat, the Defendants ultimately began willfully and intentionally ignoring TuneSat’s correspondence and continued to use the Copyright Music and Unregistered Music without authorization or license from BMG.”

It’s the latest story to come out of what seems to be a recurring theme; big companies using music without the correct licenses. You’d think companies on the scale of Hilton would have enough money and business-sense to understand that licensing is a legal obligation. So does it come down to a lack of respect for music? Do these companies not see music as having a legitimate legal standing?

Like a few months ago when the biking company Peloton used music from major artists, allegedly without licensing the use of it. In both cases the companies were made aware of the infringement and continued. It seems strangely hard for companies to get around the fact that if you’re profiting from the use of music, the people behind the music either need a cut or to give permission.

BMG are looking for compensation in the way of actual damages ($600,000 estimated) or for $150,000 per infringed piece of content. How many company’s need to lose a major amount of money in a lawsuit before this “mistake” stops happening?

AEG and Lyft are joining forces at a gig near you

Lyft won’t leave you stranded with no way home outside concerts as they join AEG Presents across the US to get people where they want to go.

Lyft are bringing ride-sharing, bikes and scooters to AEG Presents concerts across the US. The transport company have partnered up with the live music purveyors to offer a streamlined and seamless way for fans to get to and from gigs.

Lyft are now the exclusive rideshare, bike, and scooter partner of 16 AEG Presents “owned or operated music assets” throughout 8 US markets. The partnership is the first of its kind for AEG Presents and offers a safe way to travel and save money for attendees. Lyft will create designated drop-off and pick-up spots for Lyft cars, bikes, and scooters at venues where attendees can meet.

Lyft’s chief business officer, David Baga said: “Lyft continues to provide cities with more transportation options, including bikes and scooters, and AEG is an ideal partner to ensure music fans have the best experience from arriving for the opening act to leaving after their favourite band’s encore.”

AEG Global Partnerships’ managing director, Andrew Klein added: “AEG Presents is proud to have a best in class partner like Lyft who shares in our commitment to consistently providing our respective customers with exceptional experiences. We’re constantly looking for innovative ways to leverage technology, and this partnership allows us to add value with easy-to-use transportation solutions that enhance the fan experience across some of our biggest venues and live events.”

Lyft will become the exclusive rideshare, bike and scooter partner of 1STBANK Center, Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre, the Mission Ballroom and Global Dance Festival (Denver, CO), EXPRESS LIVE! and the Basement (Columbus, OH), Forest Hills Stadium (Queens, NY), The Joy Theater (New Orleans, LA), Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall and Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival (Los Angeles, CA). The Theatre at Grand Prairie (Dallas-Fort Worth, TX), Stage AE (Pittsburgh, PA), Marymoor Park Concerts, The Showbox, The Showbox SoDo and Bumbershoot, an AEG Presents festival (Seattle, WA). At select venues, “Lyft Spots” will be rolling out over the next few months.

Amazon’s Prime Day this year will feature a Taylor Swift headlined concert

Amazon’s Prime Day is going to be much more than a bunch of great deals this year with a star-studded concert streaming to 100+ million people.

Prime Day is Amazon’s yearly celebration of, well a subscription service that they offer. But this year the festivities are expanding beyond the digital shop floor and taking to the stage for a real event.

This year the event is being drawn out over 2 days and will feature a live-stream concert with Taylor Swift headlining. Other chart-topping artists will perform like Dua Lipa, SZA, and Becky G. The concert will be live-streamed out and available to all of Amazon’s 100+ million Prime subscribers.

Amazon Music’s vice president, Steve Boom said: “We can’t wait to celebrate Prime Day with an extraordinary night of unforgettable performances, for members around the globe. Prime Day brings members the best of both entertainment and shopping. To celebrate, we’ve curated a lineup across multiple genres with performances from artists our customers love.”

The live stream will start on Prime Video today at 9 P.M. EST. Amazon will also use the stream to advertise from an array of their upcoming video projects including: The Boys – a superhero drama, Carnival Row – featuring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevigne, Undone – from the creator of Bojack Horseman, and much more.

Tidal have introduced credits for the behind the scenes crew in music

So many people are involved in making music and so few people know who is behind the magic – but don’t worry, Tidal are on the case.

Producers, session musicians, guest vocalists, and more. The people behind the music you love that you rarely hear about. Before music streaming they would at least have a credit in the liner notes of a record or CD. Nowadays it’s a lot harder to see all the personnel bringing tracks together.

Early last year Spotify introduced a section for every track that shows credits for the performer, songwriters and the producers. Now Tidal are taking liner notes digital by adding credits for everyone they can in songs and albums.

Tidal’s new interactive Credits highlight the songwriters, producers, engineers, band members and studio musicians, background vocalists and programmers. It gives listeners a chance to see who worked on the music they love behind the scenes and also makes it simple to see what else they’ve worked on.

Tidal’s Credits section will be split up into four categories:

  • Songwriter: This includes credits those with roles for crafting a song such as composer, lyricist, author.
  • Production: Includes producer, coproducer, mastering engineer, mixing engineer, recording engineer, arranger, and programmer — roles that supports the production of a track.
  • Musician: Features those who contributed on some level to a song’s instrumentals and vocals.
  • Misc: This includes other roles not directly contributing to a track’s creation, such as art direction, art work, A&R, etc.

Japan’s Line Music gets a free tier, music videos and more this year

It’s going to be a massive year for Line Music as they launch a new freemium tier and bring music videos to their popular service.

Japanese music streaming service Line Music are celebrating their fourth anniversary with some major new additions to their platform. They’re opening up their service to even more users and launching new features that will enhance their music discovery and listening experience in brand new ways.

First up Line Music are offering new ways to listen to their gigantic, 50 million song library. They are planning to launch a freemium tier this year so users can sign up for free and listen to anything from their catalogue.

Rather than working like Spotify which intersperses ads between tracks, there will be a brief waiting period after listening to a track to listen before users can listen to it again. They hope this introduces people to the service but promotes upgrading for a better experience.

When it comes to content, music videos will be introduced to the platform. When listening to music on Line the option to watch the music video for the track will appear on songs with videos available to play.

Line Music are joining the game of intelligent music recommendations with a new AI. With the launch of a new interface Line are adding a radio function that plays a stream of music based on what’s popular and what the user has been listening to and likes. The new UI will also introduce the option to switch the theme between light and dark.

They also promise that in the future they want to strengthen their artificial intelligence and how it is used to introduce a playlist migration function and voice searches.

Line Music have over 11 million monthly active users after launching just 4 years ago. They’ve surpassed 32 million total downloads and boast an incredible library of more than 54 million tracks. They have secured themselves as a leading music service in Japan, and one of the biggest streamers in the world.

Rolling Stone’s daily music charts take Billboard head on

Billboard have a new competitor in tallying up the most popular music as Rolling Stone launch their all new music charts.

As one of the most famed music publications around the world, Rolling Stone are in a good position to make a mark with their 5 all-new music charts. The magazine’s charts have been in the works for a while and now, 2 months later than expected, they’re live and ready to watch.

There’s no shortage of music charts out there, the most popular being the iconic Billboard charts. Rolling Stone are hoping that they can set themselves apart from any competitors by embracing how much music streaming has changed the industry.

Rolling Stone boast that their charts will be different, offering “an interactive set of music charts that update on a daily basis and offer an impartial, in-depth and in-the-moment view of the biggest songs, albums and artists in music.”

The publication are putting an emphasis on the imoprtance of real-time metrics in our new digital age where everything moves quickly. Criticising the weekly schedules of others, Rolling Stone proclaim: “We offer deeper, more granular insights into music than what’s ever been available to the public – and focus on the metrics most reflective of current listening habits as well.”

Rolling Stone have now launched their 5 charts. Find out the nitty gritty of the music they’ll be tracking for you in all 5 of their new charts:

THE ROLLING STONE TOP 100 SONGS

The Rolling Stone 100 keeps track of the most popular songs in the United States each week, counting track streams across the major music-streaming providers as well as digital and physical purchases. It does not count passive listening, such as plays on terrestrial or digital radio. This chart is updated daily and finalized each week with an official version of the seven-day period ending on the previous Thursday.

THE ROLLING STONE TOP 200 ALBUMS

The Rolling Stone 200 logs the most popular albums today. The chart ranks consumption using physical and digital album sales, song sales and audio streams. This chart is updated daily and finalized on Monday each week with a default display of the final tally from the prior week.

THE ROLLING STONE ARTISTS 500

The Rolling Stone Artists 500 offers a look at the most in-demand artists of the week by audio streams — a metric representative of the most popular way the American audience listens to music these days. This artist chart does not include passive listening in its measurement. The chart is updated daily and finalized each week with an official snapshot of the prior week.

THE ROLLING STONE TRENDING 25

The Rolling Stone Trending 25 ranks new songs that are seeing the greatest gains in popularity each week, measured by percentage growth in audio streams. Rather than tallying the most popular songs by total consumption, the Trending chart offers a truly in-the-moment view of music by highlighting tracks picking up the most momentum, week over week. This chart only includes songs released in recent years and excludes tracks already high on the Songs chart. Data populates on a daily basis, and the chart is finalized with an official snapshot once a week.

THE ROLLING STONE BREAKTHROUGH 25

The Rolling Stone Breakthrough 25 highlights rising artists who are appearing on the charts for the very first time, offering a preview of the biggest stars of tomorrow. It measures audience demand by audio streams — the most reflective metric of today’s music landscape — and does not include passive listening. Only artists who have not appeared in the Artist 500 chart before are eligible. This chart, which is similar to the Trending 25 but measures fast-rising artists rather than songs, updates with new data on a daily basis; official versions of the chart are finalized at the end of each month.

Spotify have a new app for faster, simpler music streaming

The new Spotify Lite app will make the world-class streaming service available when your connection is limited.

Spotify and other services have put entire world’s of music into our pockets, breaking the limits of physical music in availability. But without a strong internet connection that access is gone. Spotify’s new app will keep you connected when data is limited and your phone is old.

Spotify Lite is a smaller, faster version of the Spotify app. Listeners can use it to search Spotify’s giant library of digital music but in a simpler app. With less excess in the design the app runs smoother and takes less data to load up all of the content displayed on the normal Spotify app.

This means that when your connection is limited, or you don’t want to use all of your data streaming music, you can still use Spotify. You can set a data limit too, so you never run over on your connection.

The simpler design is also made to run better on older devices with less power for a smooth experience regardless of what you’re playing on. The Lite app will only take up 10MB of storage on your phone so it’s easy to download and barely leaves a mark.

Spotify’s senior product manager, Kalle Persson said: “Spotify Lite was built from the ground up based on user feedback form around the world, allowing millions more to enjoy the world’s best music experience – especially in areas with limited bandwidth and phone storage.”

You can download both the main Spotify app and Spotify Lite alongside each other to use based on the experience you want at the time.

Spotify Lite is available in 36 markets now on Android devices from the Google Play store.

Spotify Lite is available in Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Colombia, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Uruguay, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Oman, Jordan, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, South Africa, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, India.

Spotify Free Direct Distribution

Spotify recently announced that they would stop offering direct distribution through their platform. However, they mentioned that they would lean into the great work provide by their digital distribution partners – like RouteNote.

RouteNote is one of the worlds leading digital music distributors and we help artists from every country in the world to get their music live in stores and streaming services around the world – including Spotify.

Best of all we do this for Free.

Take a look at RouteNote and feel free to sign up for a Free account today.

Classical music could be the next big thing for music streaming

A new report suggests that the next genre to take off on music streaming services is classical music, with a boom in popularity.

Midia Research recently published the results of a survey that looked at 8,000 adult music consumers from the US, UK, Germany and 5 more countries. Their report suggests that ‘streaming’s next genre’ is going to be a surge in popularity of classical music.

There are many reasons this could be: older users starting to adopt music streaming more, an increase in the use of classical music as a study aid, or it could also be in party down to funding. The survey was undertaken by Midia Research at the request of classical music streaming service, Idagio.

In fairness to them the funding was no secret and Midia are a reputable source of consumer data. Their report shows that classical music’s recorded revenues were worth $385 million globally in 2018 and 37% of that came from music streaming. The streaming revenue for classical music increased by $141 million to 46% last year showing that it has some serious growth to come.

The report states: “This research points to a fruitful and prosperous future for audiences, artists and for classical music as a genre, showing that 35% of music consumers are classical music fans. Classical music is the fourth most popular music genre and has more fans than R&B or hip hop.”

The consulting lead at Midia Research, Keith Jopling said: “As music finds itself migrating from our smartphones and headphones back into living rooms and cars, with the onset of new streaming platforms such as voice, classical music has the opportunity to find bigger audiences, reaching both its loyal aficionado listeners and its much broader potential audience of enthusiasts around the world.”

You can read the full report here.

Apple Music Announces 60 Million Subscribers – Up from 50 Million in April (Predicted 90 Million Subscribers End of 2019)

Eddy Cue recently announced that Apple Music had reach 60 million subscribers.

This 60 million subscriber number is closing in on Spotify who recently announced that have gone over 100 million subscribers.

It seems like Apple is becoming more open about announcing milestones for Apple Music as they announced cross 50 million back in April.