CMU Digest

CMU Digest 12.12.16: SoundCloud, Duran Duran, YouTube, bots ban, LiveStyle, GMR

By | Published on Monday 12 December 2016


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

Spotify ended talks to buy SoundCloud, according to sources cited by the Financial Times. There would be a logic to such a deal, it giving Spotify another large-scale marketing platform for its premium services, and helping assure SoundCloud’s long-term future. But word has it the two parties couldn’t agree on price, and Spotify worried an over-priced deal could hinder its own IPO plans. [READ MORE]

Duran Duran said they were “outraged and saddened” that the High Court in London had ruled they can’t reclaim the US rights in their early songs by using the reversion right in American copyright law. The court said the band’s original UK publishing contract didn’t provide for such reversion. Duran Duran said the ruling sets a dangerous precedent for British songwriters with publishing deals from the 1980s. [READ MORE]

YouTube announced it had paid over a billion dollars to the music rights industry in the last year, which it said proved ad-funded streams had an important role to play in the future of the music industry. But the IFPI said the sum was pretty modest compared to royalties paid by Spotify, given the scale of YouTube’s audience. Meanwhile the US National Music Publishers Association announced a deal with YouTube over unpaid mechanical and sync royalties. [READ MORE]

US Congress passed a ban on ticket tout bots. The new legislation was passed as a number of countries consider tighter regulation of the secondary ticketing market. The US-wide ban of the software used by some touts to access tickets off the primary market has now gone to President Obama for his approval. [READ MORE]

SFX emerged from its bankruptcy with a new name, LiveStyle. Former AEG Live boss Randy Phillips has been confirmed as the new CEO, and he said the rebrand was necessary because of the bad connotations within the industry associated with the SFX name, following its long-drawn out collapse in 2015. He reckons that with new ownership and stronger finances, LiveStyle can now succeed as a dance-music focused festivals business. [READ MORE]

Irving Azoff’s US performing rights organisation Global Music Rights accused the American radio industry of exploiting a monopoly. It sued the Radio Music License Committee, arguing it was stopping individual stations from negotiating licensing deals with GMR. The RMLC has already sued GMR in a case that will test whether a PRO as small as the one Azoff set up in 2014 should be subject to at least some of the restrictions put on other US collecting societies BMI, ASCAP and SESAC. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Live Nation bought a controlling stake in Australia’s Secret Sounds Group [INFO]
• Kilimanjaro Live and DEAG announced an alliance with Twickets [INFO]
• Universal Music Publishing signed songwriter Max Wolfgang [INFO]
• Warner/Chappell signed a publishing deal with Liam Gallager [INFO]
• Sony/ATV signed a publishing deal with Alan Walker [INFO]
• WME signed Childish Gambino for music bookings [INFO]

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