CMU Digest

CMU Digest 10.04.17: Spotify, Warner, PROMOTE Act, agent of change, Vevo, fake tickets

By | Published on Monday 10 April 2017


The key stories from the last seven days in the music business…

Spotify announced that it had secured a new multi-year licensing deal with Universal Music under which the major will be able to window new releases off the streaming service’s freemium level for up to two weeks. It is also thought Universal agreed to a lower revenue share rate dependent on Spotify reaching certain growth targets, though the UK Music Managers Forum criticised the lack of transparency over the specifics of the deal, with Universal-signed artists again in the dark about how their music is being monetised. Spotify needs new licensing deals in place before its IPO, though reports last week suggested that the streaming firm might opt for a more unusual ‘direct listing’ – in which no new shares are issued – when registering with a stock exchange for the first time. [READ MORE]

Warner Music announced that the boss of its UK division, Max Lousada, would take on a worldwide role later this year. In his new post Lousada will oversee all of the mini-major’s record labels around the world, reporting into overall Warner Music CEO Stephen Cooper. He will retain his role in the UK and split his time between London and New York. It means that by the end of the year all three global major record companies will basically be under the command of British executives. [READ MORE]

A new proposal relating to US radio royalties, or a lack thereof, was presented in US Congress this week. The PROMOTE Act basically calls the American radio industry’s bluff. Broadcasters in the US oppose the Fair Play Fair Pay Act which would force them to pay royalties to artists and record labels – as well as songwriters and music publishers – for the first time. Radio stations say that artists and labels get free promo from airplay so shouldn’t get royalties too. Under the PROMOTE Act, artists could opt out of free promo and stop radio stations from playing their music. [READ MORE]

The House Of Lords gave its backing to a wider agent of change principle. A committee there was considering the rules around the licensing of live music, including how well the Live Music Act was performing. In its report it said its members backed the principle that developers putting new residential properties next to existing music venues should be obliged to pay for sound proofing and such like to ensure that the presence of new residents doesn’t cause licensing problems for the venue’s owners down the line. [READ MORE]

Vevo told brands that advertising with it was a way to have a presence on YouTube while being certain what content ads would appear alongside. The music video platform posted a blog in the wake of various brands pulling their ad spend from Google’s YouTube over concerns banners and pre-rolls might appear alongside content posted by political extremists. Vevo – in part owned by Sony Music and Universal Music – controls YouTube channels on behalf of both majors and many other labels, and directly sells ads that appear on those channels, but only those channels. [READ MORE]

The City Of London Police said that more than 1500 people clicked on links to a fake ticket site during a recent educational campaign. The police unit, Action Fraud Get Safe Online and the Society Of Ticket Agents And Retailers ran a number of fake ads promoting tickets to see Adele, Coldplay and Ed Sheeran, among others, in a bid to highlight the dangers of buying tickets from unapproved sellers, who may not have the tickets they are pretending to sell. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Warner sold distributor Zebraluation to its founders [INFO]
• Ole did a deal to represent Bell Media’s music assets [INFO]
• AEG bought New York’s Webster Hall venue [INFO]
• BBC Music announced a new partnership with The Great Escape [INFO]

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