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In The Know: SoStereo's Weekly Music Summary February 8, 2019

SoStereo's weekly music news summary with Spotify making big moves and songwriters potentially getting a big pay raise.
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Spotify Hits 96 Million Paid Subscribers, Revenue Hits $1.7 Billion:

Spotify announced its Q4 results this week and had some strong numbers. Its paid subscribers grew 36% to 96 million, while it also claims to have 207 million monthly active users, which is up 30% from a year ago. This is the first time it recorded an operating profit and net income at €94 million and €442 million respectively. Its revenues grew to $1.7 billion, just short of analyst’s expectations at $1.71 billion. Spotify is now in 78 countries after pushing into the Middle East and will look to add more this year.

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Streaming Companies Have 30 Days To Appeal 44% Increase In Songwriter Royalties From On-Demand Streaming:

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The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) this week ruled that streaming companies have 30 days to appeal a 44% increase in songwriter royalties from on demand-streaming over the next five years. The figure was created in a ruling in 2017 and has been winding through various boards and courts until now when it seems like it will go into effect. National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) David Israelite said Apple won’t block the move and has warned Spotify not to stand in its way. "The digital music companies now have 30 days to decide whether to appeal that ruling, and in effect declare war against songwriters. Apple has announced it will not appeal. The others won’t say,” he wrote on Facebook (via Music Business Worldwide.)

Spotify Buys Podcasting Companies Gimlet & Anchor:

In a big move to expand its offerings, Spotify timed up its Q4 with two large acquisitions. The streaming company paid big to acquire podcast companies Gimlet Media and Anchor. The deal with Gimlet is reportedly close to $200 million. Spotify in an announcement says that it anticipates that more than 20% of its listening will eventually be to non-music. It claims to be the second largest podcast platform now, so it is betting big on the podcast boom. 

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See past In The Know's here.

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