Business News CMU Digest

CMU Digest 25.09.22: Festicket, UK Music, YouTube, RIAA, Warner Music

By | Published on Sunday 25 September 2022


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

Festicket formally entered administration. A filing with Companies House confirmed that ReSolve Advisory Limited had been appointed to oversee that process. It followed an earlier filing that confirmed that the ticketing firm’s board had “resolved on 29 Aug that the company should enter administration proceedings and that a Notice Of Intention To Appoint Administrators be filed”. Festicket specialised in selling travel packages around festivals and music events, and also owned the ticketing site Ticket Arena and ticketing tech provider Event Genius. A number of venues and promoters owed money by the company have expressed concerns that – while monies collected from the sale of their tickets should have been ring-fenced – that seemingly didn’t happen, meaning there’s a high chance they now won’t be paid. [READ MORE]

UK Music published its annual stats about the economic impact of the British music industry, confirming that the sector made a partial recovery in 2021 after the COVID-caused slump in 2020. However, while the industry’s gross value added was up 26% year-on-year to £4 billion, that’s still 31% down on the pre-pandemic GVA of £5.8 billion in 2019. UK Music said that the sector needed additional government support in order to get back to pre-pandemic levels. It welcomed the new energy price cap for businesses that will help venues, clubs, studios and other music companies which have been facing surging energy costs, or at least it will for the next six months. However, the trade group said further support was required, including a cut in VAT and business rates relief. But neither were included in the government’s emergency budget statement on Friday. [READ MORE]

YouTube launched a new service to make it easier for creators on the platform to use commercially released music in their videos. With Creator Music, video-makers will be able to choose from a catalogue of tracks, either paying an upfront free to include the music in their videos, or agreeing to share any future ad income generated by YouTube alongside their content with the relevant record label or music distributor. Currently, if a YouTube creator uses commercially released music in their videos, the label or distributor is very likely to claim all the ad income via the Content ID system. As a result, most creators – who want that ad income for themselves – will use production music, especially from companies that can offer one-stop-shop global licences like Epidemic Sound. [READ MORE]

The Recording Industry Association Of America confirmed that the US recorded music market continued to grow in the first half of 2022. Retail revenues were up 9% to $7.7 billion, while wholesale revenues rose by 8% to $4.9 billion. Much of the growth is still being fuelled by streaming and especially premium streaming. The number of paid subscribers in the US is now around 90 million, with premium subscription revenues up 10% to $5 billion so far this year, which is nearly two thirds of total retail revenues. Physical products still account for 10% of the total market thanks to the continuing vinyl revival, with revenues from vinyl albums up 22% to $570 million. While the continued growth is good news of course, the rate of growth has declined compared to 2021. [READ MORE]

Warner Music announced the appointment of departing YouTube exec Robert Kyncl as its new CEO. He takes over from Stephen Cooper, who announced in June that he would soon be leaving the major. There were rumours Kyncl might be interested in the Warner CEO job as soon as he confirmed last month that he was standing down as YouTube’s Chief Business Officer. That was partly because it was known that Len Blavatnik, Chair of Access Industries, the major’s biggest shareholder, was keen to bring in another CEO from outside the music industry, that tactic having worked well when he hired Cooper back in 2011. Confirming Kyncl’s appointment, Blavatnik said: “His command of technology to serve creativity will unlock new opportunities at scale for artists, songwriters and their teams”. Kyncl will actually start at Warner on 1 Jan next year. [READ MORE]

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