Spotify is no stranger to facing lawsuits accusing it of offering unlicensed songs, but the latest could prove to be very costly. Hollywood Reporter has learned that Wixen Music Publishing, which manages the song composition rights for artists ranging from Neil Young to Zach de la Rocha, has sued Spotify for copyright damages of at least $1.6 billion. Wixen claims that the streaming service is using tens of thousands of songs without proper licenses and the compensation to match. The plaintiff had already objected to proposed $43 million settlement in another case in May, so this wasn’t coming entirely out of the blue.
The boats are coming for Disney’s movies, ready to evacuate them from Netflix’s disputed shore. The studio’s deal with the streaming service expires next year; in 2019 everything that smells even faintly of mouse will move to a new redoubt. Disney and Pixar movies will supply the pipeline for a new Disney-owned streaming platform, a company rep said during an earnings announcement. (CEO Bob Iger also said he wasn’t sure if the Star Wars and Marvel movies would be on the same new service or somewhere else entirely.)
SoundCloud co-founder and CEO Alex Ljung assured listeners and artists that the company was in control of its “independent future” and on a path to “profitability” after laying off 173 staffers last week. In a subsequent report forum TechCrunch, however, the situation is supposedly much more dire. Eventually, news of SoundCloud’s current (alleged) status even prompted a response from Chance the Rapper.
Kanye West has been one of Tidal’s biggest champions: he joined the company the moment Jay-Z relaunched its service, and The Life of Pablowas one of the streaming music service’s largest (if temporary) exclusives. However, it appears that the relationship has… soured. TMZ sources claim that Kanye has left the company over a payment squabble involving both Life of Pablo and music videos. It’s reportedly a messy dispute, and certainly not what Tidal wanted in an already tumultuous period for the business.
Prince removed his music from every streaming service except Tidal in July 2015, but the artist’s catalog returns this Sunday. Spotify and HeartRadio have confirmed the return of works like 1999, Purple Rain and Diamonds and Pearls. You can see all the albums that Spotify will offer right here. Engadget has learned that Amazon Music will also offer the tunes and BBC reports Prince’s music will be available on Apple Music and Napster as well. However, there’s still no word from Google or SoundCloud as to whether their services will offer the artitst’s discography.
It’s official: streaming has bumped off digital sales to become the number one way that Americans consume music.
A DECADE AFTER their inception, podcasts are hitting the mainstream. You can argue about why (everyone does), butthe numbers don’t lie. At this point, podcasts are a bit like the Internet in the 90’s: Growing so fast that regular people are interested and even the die-hards can’t keep up. Apps like Overcast and PocketCasts are great for people who know where to look, but everyone else really, really needs a discovery tool. A search engine. And don’t look now, but here comes Google.