CMU Digest

CMU Digest 01.07.19: SGAE, Universal Music, Ticketmaster, Apple, Kanye West

By | Published on Monday 1 July 2019

SGAE logo

The key stories from the last week in the music business…

The General Assembly of controversial Spanish collecting society SGAE failed to pass a set of proposed reforms. 62.78% voted in favour, but a two thirds majority was required. The reforms were designed to overcome concerns about bad governance and corrupt royalty distribution, and aimed to placate both the Spanish government and global collecting society grouping CISAC. The latter has expelled SGAE from its membership pending reforms, while Spain’s culture minister has been pursuing legal action to try to force the society into action. [READ MORE]

Universal Music continued to deal with the fallout of a New York Times report about the extent of damage caused by a 2008 fire at its LA archive facility. The newspaper published a follow on article that listed over 800 artists that it reckoned could have lost master tapes in the blaze. Meanwhile a lawsuit was filed involving some of the acts mentioned in the earlier report, which criticised Universal both for failing to keep its artists’ master tapes safe and for allegedly covering up the scale of the fire ten years ago. [READ MORE]

Ticketmaster in Canada agreed to pay CAN$4.5 million to settle an action pursued by the country’s Competition Bureau. The regulator accused the ticketing giant of misleading consumers by failing to declare all of its fees upfront, instead adding the extra costs to the consumer at the end of the ticket sale transaction. Although conceding that it had agreed to the settlement in relation to past activity, Ticketmaster said it was now leading the way in the Canadian market with more transparent pricing. [READ MORE]

Apple said that it received commissions on just 680,000 of Spotify’s 100 million premium subscribers. The stat was in the tech giant’s response to a competition complaint Spotify filed with the European Commission. Apple is seeking to play down the significance of the 15-30% commission it charges on some in-app purchase on Apple devices. Spotify no longer allows sign-ups through its apps to avoid those charges, though says that Apple’s accompanying app store rules mean that makes it hard to communicate to customers how they now subscribe to premium. [READ MORE]

Kanye West asked a New York court to dismiss an EMI countersuit filed against him. West sued Sony/ATV’s EMI Music Publishing earlier this year seeking to get out of his long-running publishing contract. The rapper went legal in California, while EMI countersued in New York, arguing that West’s contract said any disputes must be fought in the latter state. The location of the litigation is crucial because West is heavily relying on Californian state law in his bid to bail on his EMI deal. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• DEAG acquired a majority stake in two Swiss live firms [INFO]
• BMG Production Music partnered with the Sounds Of Red Bull [INFO]
• Universal Latin renewed its deal with Luis Fonsi [INFO]
• Universal Music Publishing signed Idris Elba [INFO]
• Pulse signed James Blake [INFO]
• Warner Chappell signed Monique Lawz [INFO]
• Kobalt signed Hayley Kiyoko [INFO]

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