We are excited to officially launch a new microsite, musicfuels.com. We all know that music dominates social media, right? But when you start to break it down and look at the most followed accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram on a daily basis – with their tens of millions of followers – the dominance of music and musicians is truly startling.
Our new site is updated daily. The technological tool behind musicfuels.com checks the top accounts of those three social media platforms and updates the follower numbers. It’s designed to be a living, breathing dynamic resource for everyone who cares about music. And each day, you’ll find that the overwhelming majority of most followed accounts are those of artists.
It’s probably obvious why we chose the term #musicfuels. Music – and the record labels that help musicians find and grow their audience -- is the fuel for so much of online conversation and pop culture. We’ve often said how musicians drive social media (see here, here, and here for examples). That fact is especially true during music awards shows. For example, this year’s Grammys in February saw more than 13 million tweets about the broadcast during monitoring hours, according to Nielsen. And August’s MTV VMA Awards logged more than 21 million tweets. In fact, according to Nielsen Social, the VMAs was the most tweeted-about non-sporting event in the nearly four years it’s been keeping track of social media.
Music also plays a defining role in our culture. Just look at some of the most popular or buzzed about TV shows – HBO’s upcoming ‘Vinyl’ set to premiere in January 2016, FOX’s always hot ‘Empire,’ ABC’s ‘Nashville’ continues to impress in the ratings, and NBC’s ‘The Voice’ are just a few music-focused shows that viewers tune into time and time again, creating plenty of fodder for the social media ‘water cooler.’
There are many reasons WHY musicians are often the most popular figures on social media. It’s partly because music speaks to us in a personal, evocative and human way, more so than any other art form. It is that connection to the music – and the performer giving it life – that draws fans in. The research firm MusicWatch recently confirmed this, finding that connecting through music and artists had the highest importance to users’ social media experience. Clearly, artists are tastemakers and cultural drivers.
#Musicfuels many things in our society. Our new site is one way to demonstrate that. We hope you like it as much as we do. Check it out, tell your friends, and of course, keep on following your favorite artists!
Chairman & CEO, RIAA
A quick update in our ongoing copyright infringement case against MP3Skull: we have now filed, on behalf of the major record companies, a motion seeking damages and relief.
How did we get to this point? A refresher: in April, we sued MP3Skull, a website devoted to encouraging and facilitating the massive, brazen and egregious theft of millions of copyrighted recordings. The site’s sole purpose is to generate profit from that theft of music, and it makes no pretense about what it does or why it does it. Virtually any commercial recording is available for free to download through the site and the most popular artists and songs (“Top Downloads”) are invariably chart-topping hits. Here’s just one illustration:
Furthermore, the site provides users with “tips” via social media on how to search for and find music on the site that has been specifically removed because the copyright owner has requested that the music be taken down:
Since 2011, various copyright owners have sent piracy notices on more than 3 million illegal files available through the site. MP3Skull has routinely been among the top recipients of such notices over the past four years.
MP3Skull has been provided ample notice and opportunity to respond to our original filing. After never once hearing from the site to contest our case, the court declared MP3Skull to be in default.
We now must seek injunctive and other relief to give effect to the court’s order. The relief we seek is reasonable, well-established, narrowly-constructed and absolutely essential. It will be carefully considered by the court and any affected party will be afforded proper due process.
We have submitted our recommended list of “notorious markets” to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) as part of its annual request for information on overseas sites and services. We remain grateful for the diligent work of USTR. This very productive exercise helps shine a spotlight on the global sites and services that allow illegal activity to flourish and deprive creators of the ability to earn a living.