CMU Digest

CMU Digest 19.01.17: Songkick, agent of change, MMF, Notorious Markets List, smart speakers

By | Published on Friday 19 January 2018


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

Songkick settled with Live Nation, bringing to an end a long running legal battle. The ticketing start-up originally sued the live music major on the grounds it was abusing its market dominance to stop artists from using Songkick’s pre-sale campaign services. Allegations of industrial espionage were later added. As the case went through the motions Songkick sold its gig recommendations app to Warner Music and shut down its ticket platform, but it insisted the lawsuit would continue. The case was due in court this month, but a settlement was announced late last week, reportedly worth $110 million. [READ MORE]

The UK government announced it would formally put the ‘agent of change’ principle into the National Planning Policy Framework, meaning that property developers putting new residential buildings next to existing music venues will be responsible for ensuring there are no future noise issues. The move follows a long campaign for such measures by the music community that culminated in John Spellar MP proposing a change to planning law in Parliament earlier this month. [READ MORE]

The Music Managers Forum launched its Transparency Index initiative. Part of the trade group’s Dissecting The Digital Dollar project with CMU Insights, MMF is encouraging managers to assess the labels and distributors they work with on how transparent they are about the use of their artists’ music by the streaming services. It follows the publication last year of ‘The Transparency Guide’, which identified 20 pieces of data and information managers need to fully understand and audit their artists’ streaming businesses. [READ MORE]

The US government published it annual Notorious Markets List, which encourages governments elsewhere in the world to tackle websites that enable copyright infringement. The report talked about the music industry’s current top piracy gripe of stream-ripping. It also expressed concerns about Russian social network vKontakte, despite it now having licensing deals with the music companies. The report noted that while the music industry was now working with the social media firm, the big American film studios still reckoned it was facilitating the rampant infringement of movies. [READ MORE]

A new report reckoned that nearly 40 million Americans now have a voice-activated speaker. That stat was based on a survey of just under 2000 American consumers late last year. Amazon’s Echo seems to have the edge when it comes to internet-connected voice-activated speaker units. Many reckon it’s these speakers, rather than smart phones, that will be at the centre of the next round of growth in the streaming music market. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Downtown and Songtrust allied with ICE [INFO]
• Concord Music fully acquired Razor & Tie [INFO]
• Universal Music Publishing expanded its partnership with Disney [INFO]
• Primary Wave took a majority stake in Chris Blackwell’s publishing company [INFO]

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