CMU Digest

CMU Digest 02.03.20: Peloton, Touts, Ticketfly, RIAA, Bertelsmann

By | Published on Monday 2 March 2020


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

Fitness firm Peloton settled its copyright legal battle with a consortium of American independent music publishers. Fourteen music firms sued after Peloton included songs in its workout videos without securing the right licences. The fitness company hit back with accusations of anti-competitive behaviour against the National Music Publishers Association, but its countersuit was dismissed in January. Peloton said last week that it would now work with the NMPA to hone its music licensing model. [READ MORE]

The two British ticket touts found guilty of fraud last month were jailed for a total of six-and-half years. Peter Hunter and David Smith – who ran an industrial-level ticket resale operation as Ticket Wiz and BZZ – were among the touts investigated by National Trading Standards. Anti-touting campaigners hope that the sentences will deter others from running resale operations that flout consumer rights laws. They also called for further investigation of Viagogo and StubHub, which allegedly rely heavily on touts like Hunter and Smith for the tickets on their platforms. [READ MORE]

It emerged that the FBI has begun criminal proceedings against the man accused of hacking the Ticketfly website in 2018. That hack exposed personal details of 27 million Ticketfly customers and took the whole site down for several days. A hacker with the ID IsHaKdZ told Vice’s Motherboard at the time that he’d warned the Eventbrite-owned ticketing company that its data was accessible, offering to tell them how in return for one bitcoin. Which is presumably why Moulay O Ishak is now facing criminal charges for “extortion in relation to damage to a protected computer”. [READ MORE]

It was confirmed that streaming accounted for nearly 80% of American recorded music revenues last year. The big stat came in a report from the Recording Industry Association Of America, which revealed that overall record industry revenues in the US were up 13% in 2019 to $11.1 billion. If all the different kinds of streaming and online radio services are combined, they account for just over 79% of that money. 10% came from physical product, 8% from downloads and 2% from sync. [READ MORE]

BMG parent company Bertelsmann announced a commitment to become ‘climate neutral’ by 2030. It says it will achieve this by cutting the carbon footprint of its operations and staff travel by 50% and then offsetting the remaining greenhouse gas emissions. Different units of the media and entertainment group will meet the target at different times, with the firm’s corporate HQ set to achieve climate neutrality within the year. [READ MORE]

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