CMU Digest

CMU Digest 22.02.21: MLC, Vivendi, CISAC, Virgin Music, BPI

By | Published on Sunday 21 February 2021

Music Licensing Collective

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

The new mechanical rights collecting society in the US, the MLC, revealed that it had received $424,384,787 in previously unpaid mechanical royalties from 20 digital platforms. Created by the Music Modernization Act, the MLC will mean that – like in most other countries – there will now be a US society able to offer a ‘mop-up’ licence for streaming services via which royalties will be paid for any songs streamed that are not covered by another publisher or society deal. Previously streaming services in the US were meant to identify each song and its copyright owners, send them licensing paperwork, and pay them the statutory royalty rate set in law. That $424,384,787 in royalties was never paid tells us that process did not go well. [READ MORE]

Vivendi announced more details about its plans to spin-off Universal Music as a standalone publicly listed company. Having previously promised that a Universal Music IPO would occur in the next couple of years, Vivendi revealed plans to its investors to list a standalone UMG on the Euronext stock exchange in the Netherlands. The French conglom noted that one of the old major music companies that morphed into UMG was the Dutch firm Polygram. If the proposals are approved by shareholders the stock market listing should happen later this year. The plan is to return 60% of the share capital in the music major to Vivendi’s shareholders. [READ MORE]

Global collecting society grouping CISAC teamed up with US organisation Your Music Your Future to launch a global website about buyout deals. It’s based on a US-specific initiative launched in response to a trend in which broadcasters have started seeking complete ownership of any music they commission, so that they only have to pay a one-off commission fee. Traditionally a music-maker would retain the rights in that music – or at least the performing rights – meaning they are due additional payments everytime a programme is aired. The website explains how copyright law and collecting society rules around the world impact on buyout deals, while urging composers to be careful about what deals they sign up to. [READ MORE]

Universal Music announced that it is relaunching its artist and label services business under the Virgin Music brand. The major acquired the Virgin label brand via its acquisition of EMI in 2012 and used it for UK division Virgin EMI until last year. Virgin Music Label And Artist Services basically takes over and expands on Universal’s existing distribution and services units around the world, most of which have operated under the Caroline brand for a number of years now. That brand also came to Universal via its EMI purchase, having originally been a division of Virgin Records when it was an independent record label in the 1970s and 1980s. [READ MORE]

Record industry trade body BPI said UK recorded music exports could more than double in the next decade to more than a billion pounds a year. That’s based on projections for the continued growth of the global recorded music market and recent growth rates for British music exports. The trade body then called on the UK government to partner with the industry to achieve that doubling in exports, partly by continuing to fund the Music Export Growth Scheme, and partly by ensuring that all future trade deals with other countries make it easier for British artists to tour and enforce their copyrights in other markets. [READ MORE]

READ MORE ABOUT: | | | | |