From The Weeknd’s Universal Deal to Spotify’s Q1 Results: That’s 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. MBW’s Roundup is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximize revenue and lower touring costs.


This week, Spotify revealed that it grew its global subscriber base by 2 millions quarter on quarter, 182 million in the first quarter of 2022.

It is from 180 million subscribers that the company had at the end of 2021.

SPOT achieved this net subscriber growth despite its previously announced loss of 1.5 million subscribers in Russia in the first quarter.

Spotify‘s Global Monthly Active Users (MAU) Hit 422 million at the end of the quarter, up 16 million quarter on quarter.

Looking at Spotify’s financial performance in the first quarter of 2022, the company recorded revenue of €2.661 billion ($2.98 billion)up 19% year-on-year at constant currencies.

Also this week, Universal Music Group (UMG) entered into an extensive, long-term partnership with The Weeknd.

As part of the deal, Universal Music Publishing Group will administer The Weeknd’s songwriting catalog and all of his future works. The deal also builds on The Weeknd’s relationship with UMG’s Republic Records, which has been its partner since 2012.

Elsewhere, SoundCloud this week revealed a series of updated stats about its Fan-Powered Royalties (FPR) system.

These stats include the fact that 135,000 independent artists are now paid through FPR, representing a 30% growth in the volume of artists who have signed up to monetize their music through FPR on the platform since its launch in early 2021.

SoundCloud also claims that, on average, independent artists now earn 60% more from fan-powered royalties than they would have if they had followed the traditional pro-rating model.

Additionally, Tencent Music Entertainment launched a new distribution service, while BMG acquired a 50% stake in the songwriting interests of Bobby Gillespie, Andrew Innes and the late Robert Young of Primal Scream.

Here’s what happened this week…


1) NO NETFLIX PROBLEMS HERE: SPOTIFY ADDED 2M NET SUBSCRIBERS IN Q1 – DESPITE CUTTING 1.5M SUBSCRIBERS IN RUSSIA

Following Netflix’s fragile Q1 2022 results, all eyes were on Spotify today (April 27) for its equivalent tax announcement… and perhaps its biggest test yet in front of investors as a company. public.

Well, Daniel Ek’s company exceeded expectations in various metrics in the three months to the end of March, including subscribers and monthly active users (MAUs).

The big news: Spotify’s global subscribers grew by 2 million quarter-over-quarter in Q1 2022, to 182 million subscribers worldwide. That’s up from the 180 million subscribers the company had at the end of 2021…


2) THE WEEKND SIGNS A PUBLISHING PACT WITH UNIVERSAL – AND IT ALSO THROWS NEW RECORDS AND MERCHANDISE INTO THE PACKAGE

Universal Music Group (UMG) has entered into what it calls an expansive, long-term partnership with superstar recording artist, The Weeknd.

UMG says that as part of the deal, Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) will administer The Weeknd’s songwriting catalog and all of his future works, “as part of a new, long-term agreement, at the expiry of his existing appointment”.

For many years, The Weeknd’s publishing rights were administered by Kobalt, but that deal is now set to expire at an unspecified date in the future.

The far-reaching deal announced yesterday (April 28) also builds on the relationship between The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye) and UMG’s Republic Records, which has been its label partner since 2012 and which UMG says will remain its label partner. for the future. recorded musical releases…


3) 135,000 ARTISTS ARE NOW PAID THROUGH SOUNDCLOUD’S FAN-POWERED ROYALTY PLATFORM

In April 2021, SoundCloud launched its first “Fan-Powered Royalties” platform – its own brand of user-centric streaming payment model.

This method of monetization sees the royalties from each individual subscriber’s monthly payment split only among the artists they listen to.

This contrasts with the more typical model of “big pot” or “prorated” streaming royalties – adopted by companies like Spotify – which sees all royalty revenue paid/generated by users centralized by one service, before be shared based on artist market share across a platform.

It’s been a year now since SoundCloud fan-powered royalties were made available to independent artists who upload/monetize their music directly through SoundCloud. This week (April 26), SoundCloud revealed a series of updated statistics on the progress of its payment system…


4) AFTER TIKTOK AND SOUNDCLOUD, TENCENT MUSIC IS NOW ALSO A DISTRIBUTOR

Over the past couple of years, music streaming services have tended to become agnostic music distributors.

It arguably started with SoundCloud in 2019, when it launched a distribution feature that allowed artists to distribute their music to a range of rival streaming services. The following year, she launched a marketing and distribution platform for “serious artists who want to take their career to the next level”.

And last month, viral video app TikTok, owned by ByteDance, launched its own music promotion and distribution platform, called SoundOn.

Today, Tencent Music Entertainment, owner of the largest music streaming services in China, has become one of the industry’s newest global music distributors…


5) BMG ACQUIRES THE RIGHTS TO PRIMAL SCREAM SONG

BMG has acquired a 50% stake in the song interests of Bobby Gillespie, Andrew Innes and the late Robert Young of legendary Scottish rock band Primal Scream, along with their neighboring rights.

It includes the writers’ parts in songs such as Movin’ On Up, Loaded, Rocks and Come Together and covers all of their 11 albums from Sonic Flower Groove (1987) to Chaosmosis (2016).

The deal follows BMG’s recent acquisition of the rights to artists including Mick Fleetwood, Tina Turner, ZZ Top and Mötley Crüe…


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.The music industry around the world

Victor L. Jones