CMU Digest

CMU Digest 15.12.17: Spotify, National Trading Standards, Shazam, EC, YouTube

By | Published on Friday 15 December 2017


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

Spotify announced a share swap with Tencent Music, a key player in the Chinese digital music market. Under the deal, Tencent Music and its parent company Tencent Holdings will take a minority stake in Spotify, while Spotify will take a minority stake in Tencent Music. Spotify founder Daniel Ek said “this transaction will allow both companies to benefit from the global growth of music streaming”. [READ MORE]

National Trading Standards in the UK raided four properties and made four arrests as part of an investigation into the secondary ticketing market. The government agency is investigating claims that some ticket touts are breaching consumer rights laws when they resell tickets for profit via websites like StubHub, Viagogo, Seatwave and Get Me In. The Competition And Markets Authority is concurrently investigating whether the sites themselves are breaching consumer protection rules. [READ MORE]

Apple announced it was buying Shazam. Rumours that the tech giant was about to acquire the music recognition app began to circulate late last week. The deal is reportedly worth $400 million, a significant sum, though a long way off the $1 billion price tag once attached to Shazam. It’s not clear exactly what Apple wants from the deal, though Shazam is already integrated with its Siri voice activated assistant. Whether the tech giant will want to continue operating a standalone Shazam app remains to be seen. [READ MORE]

Spotify and Deezer signed a letter to the European Commission urging EU law-makers to ensure a “level playing field” in the digital market. They expressed concern about certain tech giants – by which they mean Apple, Amazon and Google – exploiting their dominance in one part of the market – ie devices and app platforms – to gain dominance in another – ie content services, where the big three compete head-on with companies like Spotify and Deezer. The European Commission is currently considering rules for how app store owners deal with app makers. [READ MORE]

Chatter continued about YouTube launching a standalone premium music service next year, following rumours Warner Music had already signed up to said service last week. It would be YouTube’s second go at launching a paid-for music platform, it having previously abandoned its Music Key product after much testing. YouTube’s music chief Lyon Cohen was also confirmed as a keynote speaker at next year’s South By Southwest, which coincides with the rumoured launch date of the new service. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Kobalt bought Songs Music Publishing [INFO]
• Private equity outfit Onex acquired venue operator SMG [INFO]
• Sony Music’s InsideOutMusic signed Dream Theater [INFO]
• Sony/ATV extended its deal with Jamie Scott [INFO]
• Warner/Chappell signed Simian Mobile Disco [INFO]

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