Spotify, Apple Battle Songwriter Royalties


The drama heated up in January 2018, when the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board decided to boost the royalty rate that Spotify, Apple Music, and similar streamers must pay songwriters and publishers. Flash forward to last week, when Spotify, Google, Pandora, and Amazon revealed they were each planning to appeal that ruling. The National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) blasted the move, claiming that Spotify and Amazon had chosen to “sue songwriters.”

Perhaps fueled by this incendiary wording—which a NMPA spokesperson tells Pitchfork is “shorthand for the technical legal process of them appealing”—backlash against the streaming services quickly spread among songwriters and industry figures. This week, Spotify responded to the criticism with a blog post noting the complexity of the situation.

Apple is not taking part in the appeals. As such, the NMPA and other industry figures were quick to praise Apple as pro-artist. That said, if the appeals succeed, Apple could conceivably have its cake and eat it too, enjoying the benefit of lower rates without the ire of coming out in favor of them. Apple’s vast phone business and huge cash reserves also mean it’s more insulated from higher costs of doing business than Spotify would be.

It’s a mess.

Samsung Galaxy Wireless Earbuds Review

The Verge reporting:

The Galaxy Buds are the most forgettable true wireless earbuds I’ve yet tried. I put them in, and they’re so light that I can forget I’m wearing them. That can also be said of the AirPods, except any nearby reflective surface will remind me of their presence on my head.

In my testing, I tried using the Galaxy Buds with a Pixel 3 XL, and that pairing quickly devolved into a nightmare. I was assaulted with a barrage of connection drop-offs and disconnects while casually walking down the street with the phone in my pocket. No other pair of wireless headphones has given me this much of a headache, but Google’s had its own woes with Bluetooth in the past, so let’s call that an unfortunate combination.

Samsung just does’t care about fine details.

The Black Keys Release First New Song in Five Years


The Black Keys have released a new song called “Lo/Hi.” It is the band’s first new music in five years. Check it out below.

The Black Keys’ last studio LP was 2014’s Turn Blue. In the time since that release, vocalist Dan Auerbach has dropped a solo LP called Waiting on a Song. Drummer Patrick Carney recently produced Calvin Johnson’s album A Wonderful Beast.

Spoiler alert: it’s good.

Listen below:

Arctic Monkeys’ New Album Won’t Take Five Years, talking to Matt Helders:

MF: Will it be another five years before we see another Arctic Monkeys record?

MH: I don’t think so. I think that break was based on various circumstances and that was sort of what we needed at the time. But it’s not a pattern we’re going to get used to as a band. We like being in the studio. We’re keen on making albums.

MF: Do you have any other interesting projects on the boil at the moment or is your focus purely upon the Arctic Monkeys?

MH: I haven’t really got anything that’s in the workings. This is occupying my time now. I’ve just had a bit of a break obviously but that was to recoup, be a normal person for a bit. But yeah, Arctic Monkeys is the focus at the moment.