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From YouTube’s 80m Music and Premium subs to Meta’s 11,000 layoffs… it’s MBW’s Weekly Round-Up


Welcome to Music Business Worldwide’s weekly round-up – where we make sure you caught the five biggest stories to hit our headlines over the past seven days. MBW’s round-up is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximise their income and reduce their touring costs.


YouTube revealed this week that it’s added 30 million paid YouTube Music and Premium subscribers in the past 13 months.

The platform’s subscriber tally, which now stands at over 80 million paying subs (including triallists), means that it has added around 2.3 million subscribers every month since September 2021.

That 80m+ subs tally was the second big stat to be reported by YouTube in the space of just two months. In September, the platform announced that it had paid music rightsholders over $6 billion in the 12 months to end of June 2022 – a $2 billion increase from the $4 billion contribution to music rightsholders that YouTube said it paid out in the prior-year period (the 12 months to end of June 2021).

Writing in a blog post this week, YouTube’s Global Head of Music Lyor Cohen pinned YouTube’s growth on its so-called ‘”twin engine of revenue – subscriptions and ads,” which he added “is the real deal”.

He also reiterated the platform’s ambition of becoming the number one contributor of revenue to the music industry.

Elsewhere this week, Facebook parent company Meta announced that it’s making 11,000 layoffs.

Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained that in an effort “to become more capital efficient”, the firm has diverted its resources to “a smaller number of high priority growth areas” including Meta’s AI discovery engine, its ads and business platforms, and what Zuckerberg says is the company’s “long-term vision for the metaverse”.

Also, the three major music companies are reportedly in the process of negotiating new deals with video-sharing platform TikTok, and they’re pushing for a share of advertising revenues on the platform, according to a Bloomberg report.

Meanwhile, Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk, in an interview at the Baron Investment Conference on Friday (November 4), said that he’s considering introducing long-form videos on Twitter and allowing creators to monetize their content.

Plus, we announced all the winners from The A&R Awards, MBW’s UK-focused annual awards ceremony in association with Abbey Road Studios, which took place Tuesday evening (November 8) in central London.

Here’s what happened this week…


1) YOUTUBE MUSIC AND PREMIUM SURPASS 80M PAID SUBSCRIBERS

YouTube has surpassed the milestone of 80 million paid YouTube Music and Premium subscribers worldwide.

(YouTube Music is available as a standalone subscription platform, or bundled into a YouTube Premium subscription.)

That subscriber figure, which YouTube says includes triallists, marks a 30 million (or 60%), increase on the last subscriber figure to be publicly announced for YouTube Music, which was 50 million, just 13 months ago…


2) LABELS ASK TIKTOK FOR SHARE OF AD REVENUE IN NEW DEAL TALKS (REPORT)

Last month, MBW noted that the music industry could be headed for a tussle with TikTok over royalties.

We also asked if TikTok should follow Meta and commit to paying a fixed proportion of its advertising revenues to music industry rightsholders.

According to a new Bloomberg report, the three majors, Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group, are currently negotiating new deals with TikTok, and they’re asking for a share of advertising revenues generated on the platform.


3) ELON MUSK SAYS TWITTER WILL SOON ‘SHARE REVENUE WITH CONTENT CREATORS’. WILL THAT INCLUDE MUSIC?

Significant change is afoot at social media giant Twitter.

Within a week of closing his $44 billion acquisition of the company, Elon Musk has started implementing a major overhaul at the platform.

Musk, on October 27, completed his go-private takeover of Twitter. He then proceeded to make sweeping changes at the company including widespread layoffs and the official announcement of a new subscription service called Twitter Blue, which will cost $7.99 monthly, for a verification checkmark and other features.

Looking at Twitter’s upcoming changes through a music industry lens, one of the most interesting updates of all is the news that Musk plans to offer monetization to “content creators” via a new (as-of-yet unspecified) revenue-sharing model…


4) MARK ZUCKERBERG MAKES 11,000 LAYOFFS AT META

Facebook parent company Meta is cutting around 13% of its global workforce.

The reduction in staff, which totals 11,000 layoffs, was announced by founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a letter published on Wednesday (November 9). He added that the tech giant will be “cutting discretionary spending and extending our hiring freeze through Q1”.

Writing to employees, Zuckerberg called the action “some of the most difficult changes we’ve made in Meta’s history”.

Said Zuckerberg: ” “I want to take accountability for these decisions and for how we got here. I know this is tough for everyone, and I’m especially sorry to those impacted….”


5) THE A&R AWARDS 2022: ALL THE WINNERS

Well, that was a bit special.

The A&R Awards, MBW’s UK-focused annual awards ceremony in association with Abbey Road Studios, took place Tuesday evening (November 8) in central London.

As we announced earlier this week, the A&R Icon Award – recognizing a career’s work that has forever changed the face of the music business – was collected by legendary Island Records founder, Chris Blackwell.

Blackwell, 85, was introduced on stage by YouTube’s Global Head of Music, Lyor Cohen. A heartfelt and reverential video message to Blackwell from Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman & CEO of Universal Music Group, was played to a hushed room.

You can see a full list of winners from Tuesday night’s awards through here…


MBW’s Weekly Round-Up is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximise their income and reduce their touring costs.

Music Business Worldwide



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