HomeBusinessEd Sheeran's Copyright Triumph and Songtradr's Bandcamp Acquisition: MBW's Weekly Round-Up in...

Ed Sheeran’s Copyright Triumph and Songtradr’s Bandcamp Acquisition: MBW’s Weekly Round-Up in Brief

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The direct-to-fan platform Bandcamp has been sold by Epic Games, the maker of popular video game Fortnite, to Los Angeles-based music licensing company Songtradr. The acquisition aims to support Bandcamp’s growth within a music-first company and enable Songtradr to expand its capabilities in supporting the artist community. Songtradr plans to continue operating Bandcamp as a marketplace and music community with an “artist-first revenue share” model. This news comes 18 months after Epic Games acquired Bandcamp.

In other music industry news, Warner Music Group CEO Robert Kyncl discussed artificial intelligence (AI) and the reasons why traditional music labels continue to exist and succeed in the current music ecosystem during a Q&A session at the Code Conference in California. Kyncl, who previously worked at YouTube, has been focusing on AI’s impact on the music industry and advocating for price hikes at streaming services. He offered a rational and level-headed explanation for labels’ relevance and thriving presence.

The estate of Ed Townsend, co-writer of Marvin Gaye’s hit song “Let’s Get It On,” has officially ended its court battle with Ed Sheeran over claims that Sheeran’s song “Thinking Out Loud” copied Gaye’s iconic R&B track. A federal court in Manhattan ruled in favor of Sheeran in May, rejecting the Townsend estate’s allegations. The estate had filed an appeal with the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, but later withdrew it “with prejudice,” meaning the case cannot be refiled.

Furthermore, Latin music generated $627 million in gross revenues in the US in the first half of 2023, marking a 14.8% year-over-year growth, according to the Recording Industry Association of America’s Mid-Year 2023 Latin Music Report. Latin music’s share of overall US recorded music revenues also reached a new high of 7.5% in the first half of 2023, up from 7.1% in the same period the previous year. Lastly, the rock band Jet, known for their hit song “Are You Gonna Be My Girl,” struck a “landmark” catalog deal with BMG, granting BMG the rights to the recordings and artist’s royalty stream for Jet’s first two albums in Australia and New Zealand. Warner Music Group will retain ownership of these albums in the rest of the world.

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