Business News Week In Five

CMU Digest – 15 Feb 2013

By | Published on Friday 15 February 2013


The five biggest stories in the music business this week…

01: HMV confirmed its shops in Ireland would stay closed, after representatives for the flagging retailer’s administrators Deloitte failed to find a buyer for its loss-making Irish store network. The retail firm’s sixteen stores in Ireland closed shortly after the wider HMV Group went into administration last month. With nine of HMV UK’s ten shops in Northern Ireland also facing closure, only one HMV shop is likely to remain on the island of Ireland, in Belfast city centre. The retailer also laid off 60 more staff members at its HQ last Friday, including newish CEO Trevor Moore. Irish stores | HQ cuts

02: BMG acquired the Sanctuary catalogue from Universal Music. The mega-major pledged to sell the Sanctuary catalogue, which it acquired in 2007, as part of its agreement with European regulators regards the purchase of the EMI record labels business last year. It’s the second of the assets being sold by Universal as part of its EMI acquisition to have gone to BMG, which also acquired the original Mute catalogue. With much of the rest of the former EMI European business being sold having gone to Warner last week, deals remain to be done for EMI’s stake in the Now! franchise and Universal’s indie label services unit Co-operative, also due to be sold as part of Universal’s regulator deal. Sony was linked to a bid for the Now! stake this week. BMG dealSony deal

03: The UK’s competition regulator raised concerns regarding Global’s acquisition of the Real and Smooth stations, saying that the merger could have a negative impact on smaller advertisers in most regions of the UK (excluding London and the West Midlands). Global now has to decide how to respond to the Competition Commission’s initial report, and will likely have to propose selling off some of the Real and Smooth outposts to overcome concerns. Real and Smooth, previously owned by The Guardian’s radio company, are currently operating as an independent entity awaiting completion of the regulator investigation. CMU report | FT report

04: Jimmy Iovine revealed summer launch plans for Daisy, the all-new streaming service being developed by his company Beats. He also confirmed that the working title Daisy would be dropped, and the service – likely built on the back of MOG, which his company already owns – would operate simply as Beats. Speaking at an All Things D conference, he confirmed that the new service will try to compete in the crowded streaming music market place by bigging up its curation credentials. Which may or may not work. CMU report | All Things D report

05: Rough Trade launched a new digital subscription service in partnership with The Guardian. Based on a singles club model, subscribers will be sent six new MP3s to download a week, selected by the Guardian and Rough Trade teams. The £2.99 a week service is aimed at people eager to hear new music from various genres, and who trust the expertise of the combined Guardian and Rough Trade teams to select quality tunes. The new subscription set-up follows the relaunch of the Rough Trade retail business’ website last week. CMU report | Guardian report

At CMU we announced the first speakers for this year’s Great Escape convention, including Rough Trade co-owner Stephen Godfroy and Arts Council England CEO Alan Davey. We also chatted to the Flying Nun and Captured Tracks labels about their current reissue partnership, got a great playlist from Stornoway’s Jon Ouin, and reviewed the sillier of the artist/brand alliances that have been announced of late. Approved were Dream Tiger, Kurt Vile, Black Books and the ‘Taste Of Savage’ album.

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