SSR: The WGA Strike may be ending, Unity update, Xbox Leaks, AI talk, & more! Week of 2023-09-25
Hey, I’m Joe Chris and welcome to the screen scoring round up where I cover the most important industry news from the week as quickly as I can. I’m still developing this podcast and any thoughts or feedback would be super helpful! In addition, please check out the blog post on ScoringTech.Net as there is a TON more articles on there, as well as all of the sources for the audio companion here. The blog really covers a lot more stories than what I cover in audio, and is worth adding to your RSS feed to stay up to date with our industry news.
Anyway lots of big news this week!
Continuing the major news from last week, the WGA and Studios met Wednesday and continued to negotiate until late last night where a tenative deal has been made. No details have been released yet, but the WGA heralds it as “an exceptional deal with meaningful gains and protections for every level of our membership”. Whatever the deal may be, it has to now be ratified by the members of the WGA, and it is believed that this deal may put pressure on the studios & SAG-AFTRA to reach a similar deal soon as the two unions have been operating in lockstep and striking for similar demands throughout the duration of this strike.
Unity backtracked on its controversial changes, instead now allowing games to utilize the terms of service that the game engine uses in the release version of the game. If the developer chooses to update the game engine in a future update of the game itself, then it may be subject to the fee structure outlined in the new terms of service. But wait, there’s more! Among other changes, the new pricing structure has been revised to raise the minimal threshold in purchases for this to take affect, and no game making less than a million in sales in a trailing 12 month period will be subject to fees. Developers will have the choice to pay either a flat percentage or a calculated amount based on the number of new people engaging with their game each month.
In other major news this week, the XBOX leaks have been causing quite a stir in the media with cold hard facts about what was released and wild clickbait speculation based on a few e-mails from CEO of Microsoft Gaming, Phil Spencer. Some of Spencer’s emails talk about how it would be a career defining moment if his company were to acquire Nintendo under his watch, which many news outlets spun into stories about how Microsoft was actively trying to do so. After the difficulties of acquiring Activision (and not to mention how protective the Japanese government is of Nintendo), realistically these stories in the media were hardly thought through beyond wild speculation. Though, the Xbox leaks did provide some insight into possible xbox accessories and devices that may or may not have been in development at some point including a one handed controller & an official keyboard and gaming mouse set. Spencer remarks that “so much has changed” since the creation of these emails and that Microsoft gaming will share their plans when they are ready.
AI was also a major talking point this week as multiple companies put out AI services including Waves releasing an AI mastering service, YouTube offering new generative AI features for creatives, and tik tok debuts new push to automatically label AI generated videos .In addition, Disney director Gareth Edwards admitted to attempting to use an AI-generated Hans Zimmer track before ultimately hiring the big Zim himself. Edwards is quoted saying the AI generated a “7 out of 10” track “But the reason you go into Hans Zimmer is for a 10 out of 10”
Some other stories this week include Pro Tools Sketch being released – Avid's take on Ableton’s nonlinear workflow. This year’s superbowl is being headlined by Usher, & New York is convening the first industry council to address facing live performances.
That’s all for this week’s Screen Scoring round up. Be sure to subscribe and check out the ScoringTech.Net blog post for more articles of things going on in the screen scoring and music industries!
New York Convenes First Industry Council to Address Challenges Facing Live Performances
Microsoft leak confirms Phil Spencer wanted to buy Nintendo and Valve
Xbox Leak Reveals Potential One-Hand Controller, Mobile Controller, More
Xbox's Phil Spencer Acknowledges Massive Court Document Leak: 'So Much Has Changed'
Phil Spencer Addresses Massive Xbox Leak In New Statement
HDQTRZ online AI Audio Mastering services
A Disney director tried—and failed—to use an AI Hans Zimmer to create a soundtrack
TikTok Debuts New Artificial Intelligence Content Tags — And Preps Automatic Labeling — Amid Continued AI Growth
MIDI Innovation Awards 2023: Winners announced
Waves Audio Introduces Online Mastering Service
Katy Perry sells music rights to Litmus Music in $220m+ deal
Marvel's Avengers is on sale for $4 before it's scrubbed from storefronts forever
Music Industry Hits All-Time Recording Revenue High: $8.4 Billion in First Half of 2023
Switch 2 will be "closer" to PS4 and Xbox One specs according to Activision emails
Warner Music Group launches new creative hub in Berlin
Tribeca Festival Sets 2024 Dates, Calls For Submissions
$200m-backed Multimedia Music acquires music library of Hollywood film company Millennium Media
‘Hit Man’: Netflix Buys Richard Linkater’s Assassin Dramedy
Oscars: Ukraine Picks ’20 Days in Mariupol’ Doc for International Feature Category
Waves launches AI-powered mastering tool, Waves Online Mastering
Hollywood Writers Take Studios’ ‘Best and Final Offer’ Phrasing to the Woodshed: ‘I Was Putting Our Best and Final Child to Bed’
Usher to Headline Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show
An open letter to our community
Unity to Roll Back Some Key Aspects of Runtime Fee Policy
YouTube Shorts to gain a generative AI feature called Dream Screen
YouTube to add AI creator tools to find music for videos, add dubs
YouTube debuts a new app, YouTube Create, for editing videos, adding effects and more
What Content Creators Can Learn About Sound Design From Modern Hollywood Productions
AVID Announces Pro Tools Sketch
Montclair Film Festival Sets ‘Dream Scenario’ and ‘Eileen’ as Opening and Closing Night Films (Exclusive)
George R.R. Martin Among 17 Authors Suing OpenAI for Copyright Infringement
This new drawing-based synthesizer makes sequencing easier than ever
Live Concerts Will Experience ‘Funflation in Full Force’ Bank of America Projects
Spotify unveils tool for artists to pay to promote music on home screen
Universal introduces new ‘music-centric’ wellness app Sollos, strikes partnership with Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global
Selena Gomez Talks the Future of AI in Music, Why She Will Never Watch Her Documentary Again
Nickelodeon Animation Editors Ratify New Contract That Hikes Pay, Benefits
Xbox’s Phil Spencer Delivers Cutting, Correct Remarks About AAA Games In Leaked Email
Phil Spencer is right: AAA games are in big trouble
Hollywood studios put ‘best and final’ deal forward. WGA strike nears an ending
Writers Guild Reaches Tentative Agreement With Studios and Streamers, Union Says
How video games are creating a new generation of classical music fans
The Videogame Industry is Larger Than Film and TV Combined, Why Aren’t They Paying Musicians Fairly?
The big idea: could we use music like medicine?
Federal Lawmaker Introduces Revamped ‘Protect Working Musicians Act,’ Proposing Indie Collective-Negotiation Rights for Streaming and Generative AI
US and UK see new efforts to ensure AI doesn’t harm musicians
Top Songwriters and Composers Urge Congress to Protect the Rights of American Music Creators During ASCAP “Stand with Songwriters” Advocacy Day on September 21
PRS for Music reveals first results of member survey on AI
Stable Audio: Fast Timing-Conditioned Latent Audio Diffusion
Submit your Written and Composed Work to the Richard Rodgers Awards
Submit Your Media, Music & Theater Work to The NYC Women's Fund