In The Know: SoStereo's Weekly Music News Summary March 1, 2019

SoStereo's weekly music news summary with Spotify launching in India amidst legal troubles and more.
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Pandora Launches New Marketing Tool Pandora Stories:

Pandora Stories allows artists to build playlists and mixtapes combined with their own commentary or that of a collaborator. With this they can offer deeper insight into their music or some other aspect of their career relating to the music. The music and storytelling are intertwined. According to TechCrunch, Pandora believes this will be adopted by not just musicians, but also actors, filmmakers, athletes, celebs, authors, podcasters and thought leaders because they can access Pandora's entire catalog to make playlists and then offer their own commentary.

Spotify Launches In India:

Spotify has launched in India amidst a tense legal battle with Warner Music. The company announced across its socials yesterday its big move into India that would be a massive win for the company, opening it up to the biggest potential market in the world. Warner Music was denied an emergency injunction in court to stop the move. Spotify says it has exclusive features for the region like multi-language music recommendations in Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu. It also features music from popular Bollywood, Tollywood, Kollywood, and Punjabi actors according to Music Business Worldwide.

Warner and Spotify couldn’t come to terms on a license on the country and India’s opaque and difficult to navigate laws made it hard to create one. As reported by The Verge, Spotify used an amendment 31D to the Copyright Act of 1957, which allows more leverage by companies to claim they are a “broadcaster” and thus get blanket licenses. Spotify claimed that and has moved forward with the move into India with a negotiated license with Warner.

War Between Australian Festivals & The NSW Government Heating Up:

The New South Wales Government in Australia has been trying to find a way to prevent deaths at festivals. Their favorite tactic has been a zero tolerance policy, but to date that has not seemed to work. The government has listed 14 festivals as high risk and seven of them are preparing to sue the government saying the listing was “misguided and unwarranted.”

In a statement via The Music Network, they continue, “there has been zero transparency or justification as to why what started off as a proposed industry-wide legislation has now been reduced to a list of 14 festivals who have now publicly been labelled as ‘High Risk’ by the government.”

The government justifies their new license as a way to “support music festival operators, particularly those who are dealing with the evolving challenge of illegal drug use at their festivals, to help ensure we don’t see a repeat of the five festival deaths in 2018.” Some may side with the government as good harm prevention and some may side with the festivals that will see this as a way to eliminating the festivals and driving the activity underground. 

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