CMU Digest

CMU Digest 14.01.19: R Kelly, Michael Jackson, music venue business rates, Warner/Chappell, HMV

By | Published on Monday 14 January 2019

R Kelly

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

A number of high profile artists spoke out against R Kelly in the wake of a new US TV series documenting the plethora of allegations of sexual abuse made against the star. Although many of the allegations were not knew, and Kelly himself continues to deny all the accusations, there was a more proactive response from the music community than in the past. Chance The Rapper said he regretted working with Kelly in 2014 and 2015, while Lady Gaga had her 2013 collaboration with him taken off digital platforms. Sources said Kelly was considering legal action against those involved in the programme. [READ MORE]

The Michael Jackson estate hit out at a new documentary about allegations of sexual abuse against the late king of pop. Again, these are not new allegations. The two men featured in the film, who accuse the pop star of abusing them as children, have both previously filed lawsuits. The estate called the film, due to be premiered at Sundance film festival, “outrageous and pathetic”, while pointing out that both accusers had defended Jackson while he was still alive. But the two men’s lawyer defended his clients, stressing that previous legal action was dismissed on technicalities so that their allegations have never been properly heard in court. [READ MORE]

UK Music and the Music Venue Trust hit out at the government for excluding music venues from a new business rates relief scheme. It followed confirmation from the Treasury that, while restaurants and pubs will benefit from a business rates cut aimed at small businesses on the high street, music venues will not. The music industry trade groups argue that grassroots music venues as much as anyone need rates relief to stay in business. In a letter to Chancellor Philip Hammond they said the government’s policy on the relief scheme was basically telling venues that they had to “turn off the music” to qualify for help. [READ MORE]

Warner confirmed that Sony/ATV exec Guy Moot would be joining the company to head up its music publishing business Warner/Chappell. He replaces Jon Platt, who has moved on to become CEO of Sony/ATV, a job for which Moot was previously seen as a top contender. In his new role, Moot will work closely with Carianne Marshall, the former Songs exec who became Warner/Chappell COO last year. Some thought Marshall would get the top Warner publishing job. She will remain as COO while Moot becomes CEO, though both will have the secondary title of co-Chair. [READ MORE]

Speculation continued regarding the future of HMV, after the last big UK entertainment retailer fell into administration during the festive break. KPMG is leading on the administration and seeking a buyer for some or all of the business. Most people in the record industry and music retail agree that the loss of the HMV network of stores would be a considerable blow for the UK recorded music sector and would escalate the decline in physical product sales. Though, unlike when HMV was in administration in 2013, the potential negative impact is probably not sufficient for the majors to go the extra mile to keep the retailer in business. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• BTS announced a deal with toy maker Mattel [INFO]
• Channel 4 took complete ownership of The Box Plus Network [INFO]
• Downtown signed a publishing deal with Tori Amos [INFO]
• Warner/Chappell signed a publishing deal with Au/Ra [INFO]
• Primary Wave signed a publishing deal with DJ White Shadow [INFO]
• CTM extended its publishing deal with Scott Storch [INFO]
• Concord Music signed a new publishing deal with Steve Robson [INFO]

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