Music Publishing News Roundup 7.14.15: Apple Music • LyricFind Partners With R2G • Jay Z Lawsuit
Apple Music has reached 11 million subscribers within the first 4 weeks of its launch, currently making it the 6th largest music streaming service. It is important to note that these are all still free users, and they account for only 2% of the 500 million iPhone users.
It is also currently underperforming iTunes Radio, which had reached 11 million users within the first week of the launch of iOS 7. Apple Music is still in its early stages, though, so there is still time to see if “Apple’s vision of curation and its reach […] can expand the market for paid streaming from tens of millions to a hundred million or more.”
LyricFind has entered into a partnership with R2G, “China’s leading digital music distribution company." The deal makes it so that R2G will now represent LyricFind in China for both “business development and publisher relations,” and that LyricFind’s catalogue of lyrics in English will be accessible to millions of consumers in China. LyricFind CEO Darryl Ballantyne states that this deal “will also hugely benefit our existing partners like Pandora, Amazon, Deezer, Shazam, Microsoft, HTC and more than 100 others from an even larger, fully licensed international music catalogue.”
After 7 years, the lawsuit regarding the use of a sample in Jay Z’s “Big Pimpin’” is finally set to go to trial. When Timbaland had made the beat for the song 16 years ago, he sampled a work he had thought to have been in the public domain. After the song’s release, “a foreign subsidiary of EMI identified the sample as coming from the Baligh Hamdy composition ‘Khosara, Khosara.’” Timbaland then paid $100,000 to EMI for the rights to sample the song. However, in 2007, Osama Ahmed Fahmy, the nephew of Hamdy, filed a lawsuit targeting Jay Z, Timbaland, and several other parties for the exploitation of the song, claiming that it violated “moral rights” of authors and their heirs that exist under Egyptian law. The trial is set for October 13th.