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Kobalt pulls 700K tracks from Facebook, Instagram: McCartney, Beck, Weeknd, Foo Fighters, more

Kobalt has pulled 700,000 tracks off Facebook and Instagram in the US after the music publisher was unable to negotiate a new contract, according to multiple sources.

Kobalt is one of the world’s top 5 music publishers and administers songs by many major artists, including Paul McCartney, Beck, the Weeknd, Foo Fighters, Childish Gambino, Finneas, the Chicks, Dierks Bentley, and many others.

An email to songwriters obtained by MBW explained why Kobalt pulled all of its tracks down:

“Over the course of several months, we’ve worked diligently and in good faith to come to an agreement covering a new license for Kobalt’s repertoire. Unfortunately, fundamental differences remained that we were not able to resolve in your best interests, and as a result Kobalt’s repertoire is in the process of being removed from Meta’s services, including Facebook and Instagram, in the United States.

We’ve always stood for songwriters first, and we’re proud to continue to do so. We remain fully committed to reaching an agreement with Meta.”

UPDATE: Facebook shifts to ad revenue sharing for music payments

Epidemic Sound lawsuit and $400 million lost revenue

Last week Epidemic Sound, a company that provides flat-fee royalty-free music to creators on YouTube, TikTok, and other social platforms, sued Facebook and Instagram parent Meta for $142 million, saying it hosts 94% of its 35,000 song catalog without licenses.

A recent Goldman Sachs report estimated that Facebook contributed 29% of all ’emerging platform’ advertising revenues paid to the record industry in 2021. That could mean as much as $400 million in lost music industry revenue if more music publishers pull their music off Meta properties.

MORE: Facebook, Instagram hit with a massive music copyright lawsuit

Bruce Houghton is Founder and Editor of Hypebot and MusicThinkTank and serves as a Senior Advisor to Bandsintown which acquired both publications in 2019. He is the Founder and President of the Skyline Artists Agency and a professor for the Berklee College Of Music.

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