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Spotify partners with Bandsintown

Spotify is partnering with live event discovery platform Bandsintown to help boost concert and festival discovery.

The link-up will see Bandsintown event listings directly integrated into Spotify – driving better engagement and potentially stronger sales for their live events worldwide.

Bandsintown and Spotify say they are teaming up to bridge the gap and ensure every artist gets their deserved spotlight, with Spotify having increased impressions for live events across its platform by 10x in the last 12 months alone.

“Bandsintown is on a mission to help artists get discovered and sell out shows”

“Bandsintown is on a mission to help artists get discovered and sell out shows,” says Fabrice Sergent, co-founder and managing partner of Bandsintown. “With Spotify on board, we are bringing artists and fans closer in a world where every show counts, and every fan matters.”

The free Bandsintown for Artists platform gives artists full control of their event listings, providing a more complete and accurate pipeline of data to Spotify. By linking their Spotify profiles and publishing their shows on Bandsintown, artists can instantly amplify their reach through Spotify’s live event listings on the platform, including across artist pages, the dedicated Live Events Feed, and the Now Playing View.

“Our partnership with Bandsintown reinforces our commitment to help artists connect with and monetise their fanbases,” adds Jon Ostrow, associate director, growth & discovery, live events at Spotify. “With more concert listings and data directly sourced from artists, this integration gives artists more control to update their tour schedules on Spotify and ultimately improves the fan experience of discovering and purchasing tickets,”

 


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Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour film is coming to streaming

Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour concert film is arriving on Disney + globally on 15 March, with five additional songs.

The streaming service will make available ‘Taylor’s Version’ of the film, which includes the performance of ‘Cardigan’ and four acoustic songs that were cut out of the theatrical release.

In January, The Eras Tour concert film became the highest-grossing concert/documentary film in box office history with more than US$261.6 million earned globally.

The new record sees The Eras Tour usurp Michael Jackson’s This Is It, which opened in 2009 and grossed $261.2m at the global box office.

In January, The Eras Tour concert film became the highest-grossing concert/documentary film in box office history

Upon the film’s release in October 2023, The Eras Tour made $92.8m in North America and $30.7m internationally for a cumulative total of $123.5m, making it the biggest opening weekend of all time for a concert film.

Earlier this week, Swift announced at the Grammy Awards that she is set to release a new album, titled The Tortured Poets Department, in April.

The record will mark her 11th studio album and follows her 2022 record Midnights, and more recently the singer’s re-recordings of Speak Now and 1989.

Elsewhere at the Grammy Awards, the superstar was awarded Album Of The Year for Midnights, marking her fourth win in the category. With the win, Swift is now the all-time leader in Album Of The Year wins, setting a new record.

 


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Spotify pulls out of French festivals over tax row

Spotify has announced it is withdrawing its financial support from two French festivals in response to a new tax imposed on streaming services in the country.

The so-called “streaming tax”, which comes into effect in 2024, was announced by president Emmanuel Macron’s government following “several months of consultation”, and will require subscription streaming platforms to make a contribution of 1.2% of their turnover in France.

The tax will directly finance France’s National Music Center (CNM), which was created in 2020 to support the wider music industry. Platforms that turnover less than €20 million a year will be exempt.

As a result of the proposal, Spotify says it will no longer support the Francofolies de La Rochelle and the Printemps de Bourges festivals from next year onwards.

“Following the announcement of the implementation of a tax on music streaming in France, we regret to announce that Spotify France will stop supporting the Francofolies de la Rochelle and the Printemps de Bourges, from 2024, financially and through activations on the ground,” says Spotify France MD Antoine Monin on X.

The CNM is currently funded by a 3.5% levy on ticket sales for shows, a contribution from the state to cover operating costs, and support from rights management organisations.

Monin says the Swedish streaming giant, which campaigned for a voluntary contribution instead of the tax, will focus its attention on emerging artist initiatives the Chantier and the iNOUïs, adding: “Other announcements will follow in 2024.”

“France does not encourage innovation and investment”

The announcement of the streaming tax, which is intended to generate €15 million next year, was welcomed by groups including French live association Prodiss, whose director Malika Séguineau described it as “the only device which allows the CNM to be provided with sustainable and balanced financing”.

“We are delighted that the government has taken this decision, supported by deputies and senators,” added Séguineau. “After long months of consultation and discussions, we must now look to the future, with a fully operational CNM from 2024 serving the ambition for the music industry.”

However, the move was criticised in a joint statement by giants Apple, Deezer, Meta, Spotify, YouTube and TikTok, which claimed they had reached an agreement to raise a voluntary contribution of more than €14m in 2025.

A Spotify spokesperson slammed the proposed tax as an “inequitable, unjust and disproportionate measure”, with Monin warning the firm would “disinvest in France and will invest in other markets”.

“France does not encourage innovation and investment,” he told Franceinfo. “France will no longer be a priority for Spotify.”

France is the world’s sixth largest recorded music market according to the IFPI, generating €920m in recorded music revenue in 2022.

 


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Prodiss backs French ‘streaming tax’ proposals

French live association Prodiss has welcomed the introduction of a new tax on music streaming services in France to support the wider sector.

The move, which comes into effect in 2024, has been announced by the government following “several months of consultation”. It will directly finance the National Music Center (CNM), which was created in 2020 to help the music industry’s various stakeholders, including labels, publishers, venues and promoters.

“The tax contribution of subscription streaming platforms and free content sharing platforms will be 1.2% of their turnover in France,” reads a press release from the Ministry of Culture. “Platforms with a turnover of less than €20 million will not be subject to this new contribution, which is expected to bring in €15 million in 2024.”

According to Tous Les Festivals, the CNM is currently funded by a 3.5% levy on ticket sales for shows, a contribution from the state to cover operating costs, and support from rights management organisations.

Prodiss director Malika Séguineau has backed the move, saying it is “the only device which allows the CNM to be provided with sustainable and balanced financing”.

“We are delighted that the government has taken this decision, supported by deputies and senators,” says Séguineau. “After long months of consultation and discussions, we must now look to the future, with a fully operational CNM from 2024 serving the ambition for the music industry.”

“France will no longer be a priority for Spotify”

However, the announcement has been criticised in a joint statement by giants Apple, Deezer, Meta, Spotify, YouTube and TikTok, which claim they have reached an agreement to raise a voluntary contribution of more than €14m in 2025.

According to the IFPI, France is the world’s sixth largest recorded music market, generating €920m in recorded music revenue in 2022.

“We take note of the government’s decision, which does not take into account the efforts made by many platforms including Spotify,” a Spotify spokesperson tells AFP, via Euronews. “This is a real blow to innovation, and to the growth prospects of recorded music in France. We are evaluating the follow-up to be given to the implementation of this inequitable, unjust and disproportionate measure.”

In addition, Spotify France CEO Antoine Monin describes the tax as “a monumental strategic error which goes against the issues of economic, cultural and European technology”, and warns the firm will “disinvest in France and will invest in other markets”.

“France does not encourage innovation and investment,” he tells Franceinfo. “France will no longer be a priority for Spotify.”

 


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Ticketek secures Spotify partnership

TEG-owned ticketing, data and analytics firm Ticketek has become a ticketing partner for Spotify’s Live Events Feed in Australia.

The link-up will provide users of the streaming service with direct access to the latest Ticketek events through Spotify’s platform, in an effort to enhance the convenience and accessibility of live event discovery when using the app.

“Ticketek is thrilled to be joining forces with Spotify on this partnership,” says Ticketek MD Cameron Hoy. “Both organisations are global leading technology and data driven businesses that exist to connect fans with their favourite artists.

“With this partnership, Ticketek and Spotify will fuel artist discovery and bring fans one step closer to their favourite artists”

“With this partnership, Ticketek and Spotify will fuel artist discovery and bring fans one step closer to their favourite artists, creating a seamless ticket purchase experience. At Ticketek we believe nothing beats the live experience and this alignment will ensure Australian music fans have every opportunity to see their favourite artist when they are touring locally.”

Fans will be presented with personalised recommendations for upcoming shows based upon their unique profile.

“Spotify is very excited to be adding Ticketek to its Live Events Feed in Australia, in order to continue growing the company’s global strategy of diving headfirst into concert discoverability,” adds Rene Volker, Spotify senior director of live events.

 


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Anghami acquires concerts firm Spotlight Events

Anghami, the largest music streaming service in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), has acquired Dubai-based event management company Spotlight Events.

Aiming to unlock synergies and opportunities between the physical and digital worlds, the partnership will see Spotlight Events become Lebanon-based Anghami’s concerts arm, including for offline activities and activations.

Anghami’s technology will provide access to exclusive concerts through its live video streaming capabilities, as well as via creating immersive experiences through AR and VR. Fans will be offered exclusive access to private concerts, VIP lounges, meet and greets and backstage access, in addition to attending concerts either offline or streamed through their devices. Traditional and virtual concerts will be accessible either through tickets or sponsored by brands.

“Our vision is to expand from music streaming to a fully integrated entertainment platform”

“Our vision is to expand from music streaming to a fully integrated entertainment platform that meets our goal of building our own unique category that no other provider can compete with,” says Eddy Maroun, Anghami co-founder and CEO.

“This partnership will allow us to deliver unique experiences to our users while giving artists a stage to perform and reach their fans physically and virtually. Spotlight and Anghami Lab are among a number of initiatives we plan to develop as new business extensions to accelerate our growth and improve our margins while widening the gap with our competitors.”

Launched in 2005, Spotlight is headquartered in Dubai and has six affiliate offices in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco.

“Maher [Khawkhaji, Spotlight founder/CEO] has built a great business on solid economics and has proven that live concerts and events are a scalable and profitable business,” adds Maroun.

“Our offline expertise, complemented by Anghami’s reach, data and technical capabilities, is the perfect recipe for success”

Spotlight Events has recently confirmed its programme of upcoming concerts and events in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Paris, Cairo and Riyadh, including seven-concert festival Beat the Heat, organised in collaboration with the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing – Dubai (DTCM).

Six concerts are planned for the rest of the year in Abu Dhabi and will be announced at a later date. The schedule also includes a live concert by Wael Kfoury in Paris. Spotlight will also be executing all of Anghami’s events, including Amr Diab Live.

“Anghami is the largest music platform in the MENA region with an incredible number of users and a unique network of partnerships that, once connected to Spotlight, will open doors to amazing opportunities,” says Khawkhaji. “Our offline expertise, complemented by Anghami’s reach, data and technical capabilities, is the perfect recipe for success.

“We look forward to being part of this dynamic team and unleashing the incredible potential to bring the best to music fans, artists and brands and take entertainment to the next level.”

The announcement follows Anghami’s recent IPO on Nasdaq as the first Arab tech company to list on the US stock market.

Last year, the company announced plans to open music venues in Dubai, Riyadh and several other Middle Eastern cities, as well as in the UK and North America.

 


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Deezer to livestream sold-out stadium concert

French streaming service Deezer is to host a global in-app and web livestream of Jul’s hometown stadium show on Saturday (4 June).

The sold-out 60,000-cap concert will be broadcast from Marseille Orange Vélodrome Stadium from 9pm in “the first large-scale livestream of its kind” on the platform.

The event will take place the day after the French rapper – consistently the most-streamed artist on Deezer – releases his new album Extraterrestre.

“Jul is a superstar, not only in France and his hometown of Marseille, but around the world,” says Nigel Harding, Deezer’s VP of artist relations. “We’re thrilled to be part of bringing this unique experience to an international fanbase.

“This livestream is the first of its kind for Deezer, but there will be many more to come”

“This livestream is the first of its kind for Deezer, but there will be many more to come as we continue to explore ways of bringing artists and fans together.”

The gig will be livestreamed in its entirety in HD quality on the Deezer app and on Deezer.com.

Jul has regularly collaborated with the streaming platform in the past, including on two exclusive shows leading up to the 2020 release of the album 13’Organisé.

 


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Criticism over Sir Lucian Grainge’s 2021 earnings

Music industry bodies, artists and MPs have hit out after it was reported that Universal Music Group (UMG) boss Sir Lucian Grainge’s 2021 earnings will exceed what all UK songwriters combined made from streams and sales of their music in 2019.

One-off cash bonuses totalling £123 million following UMG’s flotation on the stock market in September and the sale of an additional 10% stake in the company to China’s Tencent could see Grainge’s pay packet top £150m this year, according to the Guardian.

In comparison, government body the Intellectual Property Office calculated that UK composers and lyricists earned £150m in 2019 from streaming, downloads and sales.

Crispin Hunt, chair of songwriters’ association The Ivors Academy, slams the “imbalance” in remuneration as “just plain wrong”.

“Nobody’s against success being rewarded, but not if that success is at the expense of those who create the value,” says the former Longpigs frontman. “This is evidence of a business which is completely out of control. For songwriters who are struggling to make a living, there’s only one word for it – obscene.”

There is no other industry anywhere in the world that would tolerate this gross unfairness

Gomez musician Tom Gray, founder of the #BrokenRecord campaign, tweets: “To earn the same amount as the CEO of Universal this year, a solo artist on a standard contract would require 180,000,000,000 streams,” tweets musician Tom Gray, founder of the #BrokenRecord campaign. “That’s right, 180 billion! And people think it isn’t a #BrokenRecord industry.”

Musicians’ Union general Horace Trubridge adds: “To the best of my knowledge Sir Lucian has never played or written as much as a note of music. No one buys his records or queues for his gigs, yet he enjoys rewards and riches beyond the wildest dreams of even our most popular artists and writers.

“There is no other industry anywhere in the world that would tolerate this gross unfairness and it has to stop now.”

Grainge has not commented on criticism of his pay.

Earlier this year, the UK government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) called for a “complete reset” of the market in its report into the economics of music streaming, following a wide-ranging inquiry.

It concluded that “comprehensive reform of legislation and further regulation is needed, not only to redress the balance for songwriters, performers and composers, but to tackle fundamental problems within the recorded music industry”.

Conservative MP Esther McVey says: “It’s shocking that record label owners are earning more out of artists’ works than the artists themselves”. Labour MP Jo Stevens, shadow secretary of state for DCMS, adds: “Artists get a pitiful amount while streaming sites and record companies cash in.”

Labour MP Kevin Brennan’s Copyright (Rights And Remuneration Of Musicians etc) Bill, which seeks to “create a new right to fair remuneration for musicians when their work is played on streaming platforms” will receive its second reading in parliament on 3 December.

 


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Iceland Airwaves announces streaming festival

The team behind Iceland Airwaves has announced a two-day streaming festival, Live from Reykjavík, taking place on 13–14 November.

The brand’s flagship festival was due to take place in Iceland’s capital this November but was postponed until next year due to the pandemic.

Instead, the festival will assemble some of the country’s most established artists including Of Monsters and Men, Ólafur Arnalds, Ásgeir, Daði Freyr and Júníus Meyvant, for performances in iconic Airwaves venues such as Iðnó, Gamla Bío and Art Museum Reykjavík.

“We wanted to find a way to shine a spotlight on the vast talent of the music scene here in Iceland, as well as support the larger industry and show some innovation,” says festival director Ísleifur Þórhallsson.

“To have all these artists in Iceland at the same time is a ‘lighting strikes once’ moment and we wanted to seize it”

“To have all these artists in Iceland at the same time is a ‘lighting strikes once’ moment, and we wanted to seize it with both hands.”

Performances will be broadcast domestically on TV, radio and online; streamed in the UK and Europe from 19:30 pm GMT, and then across optimised time zones on Nov 13 and 14.

Tickets range from £15 for a standalone show to £30 for a one-day pass and £40 for a two-day pass.

Iceland Airwaves has moved to 3–6 November 2021.

 


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Spotify debuts virtual concert listings

Spotify has announced it will start integrating virtual concert listings into its music streaming platform.

In a Spotify for Artists blog post yesterday (15 September), the streaming giant said it has partnered with Songkick and Ticketmaster to introduce virtual event listings for individual artist profiles, as well as its main concerts page.

“With many tours postponed until 2021, the necessity for these virtual events is set to continue, and we want to make it easy for Spotify listeners to learn about virtual events for the artists they love, as well as artists they’re discovering for the very first time,” reads the post. “In light of this, we’ve leveraged our partnership[s] with Songkick – the livestream concert discovery app – and Ticketmaster to make it happen.”

“We want to make it easy for Spotify listeners to learn about virtual events”

The announcement confirms earlier rumours that Spotify was working on a virtual event discovery feature to build on its existing concert listings.

Artists are encouraged to list future livestreams through concert discovery platform Songkick, as they will populate artist pages automatically. “Select” Ticketmaster events will also be automatically listed.

Spotify will also mail users recommendations for virtual concerts, which can be staged on any platform – including Twitch, Instagram Live and YouTube – as long as they are listed through Songkick or Ticketmaster.

 


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