CMU Digest

CMU Digest 15.04.19: Spotify, Radiohead, Music Choice, Online Harms, Boomplay

By | Published on Monday 15 April 2019


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

The American songwriting community continued to put pressure on Spotify over its appeal of the US Copyright Royalty Board ruling on streaming rates. This time a long list of songwriters previously celebrated by Spotify via its Secret Genius Awards signed an open letter calling on the digital music firm to drop its opposition to the CRB ruling, which will increase the song share of streaming income from 10.5% to 15.1%. [READ MORE]

The coroner’s inquest into the death of Radiohead drum tech Scott Johnson made a number of recommendations about live industry processes and regulation. The inquest in Canada heard how various errors had been made before a scaffolding structure collapsed onto the open-air stage on which Radiohead were due to perform at a Toronto show in 2012. Johnson died in the incident. Reaching a conclusion of accidental death, the jury hearing the case backed proposals for new regulations that would force companies and people constructing temporary staging to be licensed. [READ MORE]

SoundExchange sued Music Choice over its B2B music products. The US collecting society said that, after auditing royalty statements from MC For Business, it is convinced the music services company employed dubious accounting to reduce its royalty obligations. It said that it hoped the legal action would “compel Music Choice to pay the royalties that are due to music creators and to change its practices moving forward”. [READ MORE]

The UK government published a white paper outlining proposals to tackle various ‘online harms’. The paper said that internet companies should have a duty of care to protect their users from those potential harms and ministers plan to set up a new regulator to ensure they meet that requirement. Although the white paper defines ‘online harms’ very widely, its definition doesn’t include piracy or copyright infringement, something record industry trade group BPI said was a missed opportunity. [READ MORE]

African streaming firm Boomplay confirmed it had raised another $20 million in finance. It is one of a number of companies trying to become the dominant player in the African digital music market, and the new investment should allow it to further grow its service. Meanwhile another streaming company based out of Nigera, uduX, announced a licensing deal with Universal Music. Boomplay already has deals with both Universal and Warner in place. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• eOne bought Audio Network [INFO]
• AEG bought into Frontier Touring [INFO]
• The Weeknd partnered with OverActive Media [INFO]
• Instrumental partnered with Coda [INFO]
• R&R Records partnered with Warner Bros [INFO]