CMU Digest

CMU Digest 11.05.20: IFPI, ERA, Spinrilla, Quincy Jones, Love Parade

By | Published on Monday 11 May 2020


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

Global record label trade group IFPI published its latest ‘Global Music Report’ confirming that total recorded music revenues in 2019 went up 8.2% to $20.2 billion. The streaming boom accounted for much of that growth, with monies coming in from the various streaming platforms up 22.9%. Paid-for streaming brings in three times more than free streaming. This year’s IFPI stats pack wasn’t launched with the usual fanfare as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Possibly because the shutdown of live music caused by the virus has reignited the debate over whether the labels should share more of their streaming money with their artists. [READ MORE]

The UK’s Entertainment Retailers Association published figures showing that streaming is growing rapidly among the over 55s. That age group accounted for more than a third of the new streaming subscriptions in 2019, with the number of UK consumers in that demographic paying to stream increasing 90% last year. Growth across all demographics was 18.5%. There are more 25-34 year olds paying to stream than in any other age groups, though growth in that demographic has started to slow. [READ MORE]

Spinrilla went back to court in its ongoing legal battle with the Recording Industry Association Of America. It accuses the American labels of not complying with US law when issuing copyright takedown notices against the the mixtape sharing platform. The RIAA wants the lawsuit to be dismissed, arguing that Spinrilla’s case is based entirely on one incorrect takedown request for a single track, adding that the allegation the RIAA knew that takedown was incorrect is “pure conjecture”. In its latest filing, Spinrilla insists that its case is strong enough to avoid dismissal, adding that the RIAA’s well known dislike of the takedown notice process – part of the copyright safe harbour – “doesn’t mean they can ignore or abuse” it. [READ MORE]

An appeals court knocked $6.9 million off the damages won by Quincy Jones in a legal battle with the Michael Jackson estate. Jones won $9.4 million in damages in 2017 over allegations the estate had underpaid him various royalties he was due from his producer work on three of Jackson’s albums. But the appeals court said that the judge in the original case was wrong to allow the jury to interpret two producer contracts from 1978 and 1985. The jury also got that interpretation wrong, meaning they awarded the producer $6.9 million more than they should have done. [READ MORE]

The criminal case against the organisers of the 2010 Love Parade festival in the German city of Duisburg was abandoned. 21 people died after panic among a crowd trying to access the festival resulted in a stampede. Organisers and city officials were prosecuted over allegations that bad planning and poor security led to the crowd-surge. The criminal case against most of those people was dropped last year, but three organisers still faced negligent manslaughter charges. However, with a statute of limitations meaning a conviction would be required by July – and with COVID-19 delaying the proceedings – it was decided to call off the case, despite relatives of the victims opposing that move. [READ MORE]

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