CMU Digest

CMU Digest 11.08.17: Hope & Glory, Warner Music, Festival Republic, Y-Not, Tidal, KickassTorrents

By | Published on Friday 11 August 2017

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

A new festival in Liverpool collapsed in a spectacular fashion after concerns over queues and overcrowding on day one resulted in day two being cancelled. Communications around the failing Hope & Glory festival were unusual, being minimal and somewhat flippant as the event fell apart, and then incredibly lengthy when an official statement was put out on Monday. That statement blamed a production manager and council officials for the festival’s issues, but was vague about ticket refunds. Though two key ticket agents have now started issuing refunds out of their own pockets. [READ MORE]

The latest financial update from Warner Music confirmed that the streaming boom is still benefiting the major labels. Digital income was up 30.2% in the last quarter and – despite a continued slide in CD income – that meant overall revenues were up 13.1%. Warner boss Stephen Cooper noted that that was the firm’s eighth consecutive quarter of growth. The boost is being driven by increasing revenues from premium streaming services. [READ MORE]

Festival Republic announced a new scheme designed to support the next generation of female musicians and record producers. The programme follows criticism of the male dominance of many festival line-ups – with the lack of female artists at Festival Republic’s Reading and Leeds festivals highlighted in particular online. The boss of the Live Nation festivals business, Melvin Benn, said the lack of gender balance was an industry wide problem, and that his company hoped to help address the issue by providing free studio time to up and coming female artists, who will also be guaranteed slots at relevant Live Nation festivals. [READ MORE]

Organisers of the Y Not festival announced that ticket-holders would get an automatic 50% refund after the final day of this year’s event was cancelled due to heavy rainfall causing health and safety concerns onsite. Promoters apologised that this year’s edition of the festival had not been without its issues, while explaining that unpredictable weather conditions caused a number of specific challenges despite measures being in place to deal with heavy rainfall. [READ MORE]

Tidal got itself a new CEO in the form of former Kobalt President Richard Sanders. He is the fourth CEO at the flagging streaming firm since Jay-Z bought the business in 2015. He will be charged with the task of turning round the firm’s fortunes by exploiting the opportunities provided by the investment made into the business by American tel co Sprint earlier this year. [READ MORE]

A US court said that the criminal action against KickassTorrents founder Artem Vaulin could proceed. Lawyers representing the former KAT chief argued that the criminal case against their client should be dismissed, because the most the one-time file-sharing site could be held liable for was secondary copyright infringement, which isn’t a criminal matter under US law. But the judge overseeing the matter said the US government’s case was strong enough to continue to court. Vaulin is currently in Poland fighting efforts to extradite him to the US. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Live Nation announced a Coldplay VR webcast venture with Samsung [INFO]
• Craig David unveiled a fashion range tie-up with Selfridges [INFO]
• Warner/Chappell announced a deal with Steve Aoki’s publishing company [INFO]
• Blue Raincoat signed Cigarets After Sex for management [INFO]
• Universal Music Publishing signed Per Gessle [INFO]
• Warner/Chappell signed Josh Record [INFO]

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