Royalty Distributions ‘Hit Dramatically’ for April-June Quarter, APRA Warns

Royalty payments to creators across Australia have been “hit dramatically” due to the health crisis, and will contract by double-digits, APRA has warned.

COVID-19 and the current recession will impact distributions for the April-June quarter, which will be reflected in the November royalty payment, the PRO confirms in a statement. Though digital continued to grow, taking some of the brunt, the royalty payment due in mid-November will be down 11% compared to the same quarter last year.

APRA makes quarterly royalty distributions each year from its domestic license fees.

The pandemic and its aftershocks have been felt across APRA’s activities. The organization has let go almost 20% of its staff in the quarter, which frees-up the burden of salaries, the largest part of its expenses.

In a breakdown of its revenue streams, APRA noted:
– Digital (including Spotify, YouTube, Facebook and Netflix). Net distributable revenue (NDR) increased by 27% compared to the same quarter last year. Digital makes up just over 50% of the total June quarter royalty distribution.

- Commercial TV. Royalties decreased by 20% compared to the same quarter last year, due largely to several factors: a recently revised commercial TV license scheme, a reduction in TV advertising revenue, and a “large reduction” in revenue from background music, played in retail, hotels, fitness and other venues which were shuttered during the period.

- Subscription TV: Royalty distributions are largely unchanged.

- Commercial Radio: Royalties declined by 57% versus the same quarter last year due to a pullback from advertising revenue and from background music licenses.

- Concerts/Events: A 24% decline in concert royalty payments compared to the same period last year.

- Cinema and Nightclubs: Royalty distribution from cinema reduced by 76% and nightclubs by 82%.

The results aren’t unexpected.

Last month, APRA AMCOS reported a downgraded financial year and a small decline in royalty distributions, due to the effects of COVID-19 and last summer’s bushfire season, with public performance income the hardest hit.

“With restrictions remaining on live music, concerts and touring,” reads a statement issued with publication of its Year In Review, “music royalties are expected to take a more substantial hit in 2020-21.”


‘The Voice’ Contestant Lain Roy Triggers Tears With ‘Someone You Loved’ Performance: Watch

Lewis Capaldi’s No. 1 hit “Someone You Loved” is the type of song that can bring tears to the eyes.

When Lain Roy performed it Monday night (Nov. 2) during Blind Auditions on The Voice, he very nearly set off the waterworks.

Early on, coaches Gwen Stefani and John Legend turned simultaneously for the Colorado native. Roy’s mom got emotional as she watched on, and by the end she was wiping tears away.

“That was so good,” applauded Stefani. “I’m freaking out right now,” the 22-year-old hopeful admitted.

The son of a former touring musician, Roy recounted how, in his younger days, he performed Legend’s “All of Me” at his high school talent show.

With two superstars keen to coach him, Roy had a tough choice to make. He went with Gwen.

Watch the performance on NBC below.

Watch This Incredible Mother-Daughter Trio on ‘The Voice’ Get an Instant Four-Chair Turn

When Mia of mother-daughter trio Worth the Wait sang the opening line of Linda Ronstadt’s “When Will I Be Loved” on Monday night’s (Nov. 2) episode of The Voice, Gwen Stefani immediately turned her chair around, and her jaw subsequently dropped.

But when Jacie and “Mama T” chimed in for an angelic harmony, Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend also turned for an instant four-chair turn. “This is my situation,” Stefani jumped in quickly to try to convince the trio to join her team. “I’m sitting back there and I hear one voice, and I turned around and I don’t know if you saw my face, literally in shock. Then all of a sudden, you guys came in and it was like magic, and I love that it’s mom and daughters. That’s so crazy cool.”

She went on to note that she started No Doubt with her brother Eric, so she “knows the family thing as well,” and casually mentioned her Country Airplay No. 1 to appease the country group.

But Stefani wasn’t done. She took aim at her now-fiancé Shelton, who she claimed was “burnt out” after 19 seasons on the show and even pulled up a video message from legendary country star Trace Adkins to prove her “support from the country community.”

Shelton was ready to take the heat, though. “I have one spot left on my team, and I’ve been sitting her waiting for what that’s going to be,” he started, before cheekily adding, “It’s been worth the wait, right?”

Despite Stefani’s best efforts, Worth the Wait chose Shelton as their coach. See their full audition below.


Ariana Grande on Track For U.K. Chart Double

Ariana Grande is heading for a rare chart double in the U.K. Though Sam Smith is well placed to spoil the party.

Grande leads the midweek albums chart with Positions (Republic Records) and its title track is No. 1 on the midweek singles survey, according to the OCC.

Just 577 chart sales separate Positions and Smith’s latest Love Goes (Capitol), in what is shaping is one of the year’s biggest chart battles.

Positions is the most streamed album of the week so far, the OCC reports, and if it wins the race, it’ll become Grande’s fourth consecutive U.K. No. 1 album following Dangerous Woman (2016), Sweetener (2018), and Thank U, Next (2019).

Smith’s previous two albums In The Lonely Hour (2014) and The Thrill Of It All (2017) both debuted at the summit.

Coming in at No. 3 on the Official U.K. Albums Chart Update is Cliff Richard’s 41st studio album Music… The Air That I Breathe (East West/Rhino). It’s the best-selling album in the first half of the week, and Breathe should become the veteran singer’s 46th Top 10 album.

Meanwhile, Bruce Springsteen’s latest album Letter to You (Columbia) dips 1-4, while The Style Council’s career retrospective Long Hot Summers (Polydor/UMC) starts at No. 5.

Also new to the Top 10 at the halfway stage are releases from Bring Me The Horizon (Post Human: Survival Horror at No. 6 via RCA), Amy MacDonald (The Human Demands at No. 7 via Infectious Music), Black Stone Cherry (The Human Condition at No. 8 via Mascot), M Huncho & Nafe Smallz (DNA at No. 9 via Hunchozone) and Dizzee Rascal (E3 AF at No. 10 via Dirtee Stank).

Just outside the Top 10 is David Bowie’s live album Ouvrez Le Chien (No. 11 via Parlophone), a reissue of U2’s 2000 set All That You Can’t Leave (at No. 13 via Island UMC) and Made in Lagos from Nigerian-born Afrobeats artist Wizkid (No. 15 via RCA/Starboy).

The Official U.K. Singles and Albums Charts are published late Friday, local time.

Elton John Co-Signs Stunning, Must-See One-Man Duet of ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’

Sure, Elton John and Kiki Dee’s “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” is traditionally performed as a duet, but costume designer and make-up artist Darrell Thorne took social distancing to the next level when he made the collaboration into a one-man show.

He shared a viral video on Instagram, in which he’s seen with half of his face and body dressed as John and the other half as Dee, separated by a mirror down’ the center of his face, creating an illusion of two full individuals. He sings the entire song, shaking his head side-to-side to portray each singer.

“Me, myself, and aye,” he captioned the impressive clip. “Just over here tryin’ to be a power couple all by myself. Don’t go breakin’ my heart!”

In fact, the video won the heart of the icon himself, who shared the video to his Instagram Story on Monday (Nov. 2) with a “Fabulous” sticker as a stamp of approval.

See Thorne’s full “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” performance here.

Matt Stell Scores His Second Country Airplay No. 1 With ‘Everywhere But On’

Matt Stell notches his second straight career-opening No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart, as “Everywhere But On” leaps from No. 5 to No. 1 in its 47th week on the list (dated Nov. 7).

The song from Stell, who was born and raised in Arkansas, reigns with a 21% gain to 31.7 million audience impressions in the week ending Nov. 1, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

The hop marks the greatest to the pinnacle since Scotty McCreery’s “In Between” flew 7-1 on June 27.

“I’ve always wanted to make music I love that hopefully means something to people,” Stell tells Billboard of the song, which he wrote with Lance Miller and Paul Sikes and produced with Ash Bowers. “‘Everywhere But On’ is one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written, so watching it climb the charts has been a dream come true. The fact that I get to share it with a team of badass talented people who are passionate about this record makes it even better.”

The song is the second single from Stell’s same-named EP, which peaked at No. 32 in November 2019. Lead single and Stell’s introductory hit “Prayed for You” led Country Airplay for two weeks in October 2019.

Bittersweet Connection Between New Radicals’ Gregg Alexander & Joe Biden Leads to New Get-Out-the-Vote Ad

As the Nov. 3 election nears, the Coda Campaign released a new online ad Monday (Nov. 2) featuring voters gleefully showing off their ballots and their “I Voted” stickers as New Radicals’ 1998 pop classic “You Get What You Give” plays.

Over the last two weeks, the get-out-the vote campaign, spearheaded by entrepreneur and former entertainment attorney Fred Goldring, has released spots featuring music from Linda Ronstadt, Billy Joel, Dawes and others.

But this is the first ad that has a clear connection between the New Radicals’ Gregg Alexander, who co-wrote the tune with Rick Nowels, and presidential candidate Joe Biden — and it’s a bittersweet one.

As Biden wrote in Promise Me, Dad, his 2017 book about his relationship with his son, Beau, who died from a brain tumor in 2015, the former vice president would often accompany his son to his chemotherapy treatments every other Friday. “We would always go out for breakfast afterwards, sometimes just walk the city or go get his hair cut,” Biden writes. “I will forever treasure our time together — the many conversations we had about life. During breakfast, he would often make me listen to what I thought was his theme song, ‘You Get What You Give’ by the New Radicals. Even though Beau never stopped fighting and his will to live was stronger than most — I think he knew that this day might come. The words to the song are: ‘This whole damn world could fall apart/ You’ll be OK, follow your heart.’”

Alexander tells Billboard he didn’t know about the passage in the book — or that the song’s lyrics had been recited at Beau Biden’s funeral — until a friend alerted him.

“It was only after Joe’s book came out and a friend said ‘Ya gotta read this!’ did I come to learn of Joe and his son playing the record together on the last breakfast they’d had as father and son before Beau succumbed to cancer,” Alexander says. “In the music business it’s easy to get hardened to life, but when I read that I kinda started crying in 30 seconds because it sounded like Beau tapped into the song’s true meaning and used it as a fight song to never give up or let go in the face of adversity, [which is] the song’s real message despite the bells and whistles. That’s what the song’s about even more so now than when I wrote it 23 years ago.”

Goldring, who was Alexander’s attorney for 17 years, brought the artist into Democratic circles. “Fred’s the one that dragged me to Oprah [Winfrey]’s house in 2008 to meet Obama, who’d been using New Rads to warm up his crowds. That was a thrill to see Oprah, Babyface and Stevie [Wonder] bopping along to the beat,” he says. Goldring and Alexander also paired up for “Forward,” a song for Obama’s 2012 campaign, featuring Herbie Hancock, Ne-Yo and Johnny Rzeznik.

“When Fred asked me a while ago how I felt about his Coda Campaign making a get-out-the-vote video with ‘You Get What You Give,’ I, of course, said yes,” Alexander continues. “Fred and I are equally passionate about politics and global justice for the disenfranchised.”

For Alexander, the song’s latest usage is just one more chapter in the unpredictable life of “You Get What You Give.” “Lord knows when you write a song, you never know where it’ll go or who’s gonna connect with it, which is also the magic of why it’s an exciting medium despite all life’s distractions on phones or TV or computers,” he says. “But learning that the song’s been embraced by heroes like Obama, Biden and his son, or even artists I looked up to as kid like Joni Mitchell or Bono, is part of the wider mystery of music — how it connects to people from different eras or backgrounds, which inspires us as songwriters to still keep trying to write the best song we can.”