The Billboard Canada FYI Bulletin: Streaming Fraud Detection, Newfoundland's '90s Underground
Also in this week's roundup of industry news: Mayday for FACTOR, Jeff Parry's Rock the Nation flies again, and it's farewell to Canadian Musician.
Vancouver-based Beatdapp has become the leading streaming fraud detection company in the music industry today after successfully raising C22M in growth financing and a newly announced partnerships with SoundExchange, Napster and a "strategic collaboration" with Universal Music Group.
Last year, the company analyzed more than two trillion streams and twenty trillion data points for its five core categories of customers: DSPs, music labels, collection societies, creator tool services, and music distributors.
Beatdapp asserts that as much as 10% of global streams are fraudulent, with the result that as much as US$1B in royalties end up in fraudsters' pockets. Latest statistics suggest more than 100,000 tracks are uploaded every day. These are on top of the 100M tracks Spotify hosted in 2023, with over 30M added annually at the current rate of uploading.
– Anyone with a stick in the Canadian music industry needs to act immediately by writing the government to support FACTOR which is facing the possibility of significant cuts to its core funding.
The Canadian Music Industry Assoc. is spearheading the call to act.
President and CEO Andrew Cash notes that in the last federal election, a promise was made that “a re-elected Liberal government will ensure better and stable funding for the music sector by increasing the annual contribution to the Canada Music Fund to $50 million by 2024-2025."
In an email to its membership, Cash writes:
"Let your voice be heard by sending an email to the Ministers of Canadian Heritage and Finance as well as your local Liberal MP if that is applicable. Use this action page to quickly urge them to be Music Champions and keep their promise to their local music communities by increasing the budget to the Canada Music Fund. So far, over 2000 of you have sent letters! That’s awesome. Now, let’s get that number up to 3000!
This is really important for the music sector. Important for Canadian culture and for the economy. With a current budget of approximately $25 million annually, the Canada Music Fund (CMF) is a key part of what funds FACTOR’s ground-breaking investments in competitive music projects. Over the last five years, FACTOR has supported 6500 artists. The other major part of FACTOR’s annual budget comes from contributions from private radio broadcasters–contributions which are dwindling rapidly. For example, in 2020, FACTOR received $16 million in radio contributions. In 2024-25 those contributions could go as low as $2 million. That promised increase in the funding to the CMF, if honoured in the 2024 federal budget, will be coming in the nick of time.
Unless it doesn’t."
– Almost 10 years after Calgary impresario Jeff Parry disastrously miscalculated in launching the musical retrospective OH CANADA What A Feeling, he’s re-tooled and renamed the retrospective Rock the Nation. It’s back on stage in his hometown’s Studio Bell (in the National Music Centre) every Saturday and Sunday from Jan. 27 to April 28. The new edition draws on a jukebox of hits made famous by acts such as Paul Anka, the Guess Who, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Maestro Fresh Wes, k.d. lang, Avril Lavigne, Shania Twain, Drake and The Weeknd.
Meantime, daughter Anna has left her position as senior partnership manager at London’s 20K capacity O2 Arena to join her father’s Annerin Prod’s, heading up international business development out of the U.K. Over the years, Annerin has produced two shows that have made it to Broadway/West End, and promoted tours in 30 different countries.
– Jim Norris and Maureen Jack, partners in Norris Whitney Comm’s, have shuttered their fleet of publications that included Canadian Musician, Canadian Music Trade, Professional Sound and Professional Lighting & Production, and its mail order business, Music Books Plus.
Norris explains that Entertainment Marketer provides digital marketing services, including email marketing, social media promotion, website ads and newsletter ads, whereas Entertainment Spotlight operates websites and related newsletters and updates - Canadian Music Spotlight, Music Retail Spotlight, Pro Audio Spotlight and Pro Lighting Spotlight
Perhaps best known for Canadian Musician, Norris, a former musician, launched the gloss mag in 1979, making it one of the longest-running Canadian music publications at 45 years.
– Multi-platinum Canadian music producer and songwriter Rob Wells has his own podcast series, and Music Publishers Canada CEO Margaret McGuffin is the focus of his most recent one.
– In the early 1990s, the sounds of grunge rock reached Newfoundland and Labrador. What resulted was an explosion of independent music. St. John’s CBC video producer Mark Cumby captures the moment in a new documentary that can be viewed below.
– Fergus Hambleton is back playing dates with a revised edition of the Sattalites, the mainstream reggae band he put together in the early ‘80s that went on to become a fixture at the Bamboo, Patti Habib and Richard O’Brien’s ultra-cool Toronto Queen St. West club before the district was gentrified. Last week, the band released “Never Givin’ Up On Love,” a lazily nonchalant romance with backup singers, horns, bass and drums wrapped around Hambleton’s warm voice.
– 100 Ballads is a new website that traces 100 pop songs of the era from seventeenth-century England. Andy Watts of the folk group the Carnival Band recruited 22 musicians to record the lot, which can be listened to for free. Rory Carroll has more on this curio in The Guardian.