CMU Digest

CMU Digest 26.01.18: Spotify, YouTube, Little Mix, Kim Dotcom, Rainbow Venues

By | Published on Friday 26 January 2018


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

An investor in Spotify predicted that the streaming market will quadruple in size to $40 billion by 2025. David Fiszel of New York-based Honeycomb Asset Management made the prediction in a letter to his financial backers last year, but that note was made public this week via Business Insider. Of course, investors in Spotify need Wall Street to be optimistic about the future of streaming as the digital firm prepares to list on the New York Stock Exchange. Fiszel reckoned the currently loss-making streaming services would become hugely lucrative in the years ahead. He wrote: “Growth is open-ended and the ‘total addressable market’ is larger than investors expect”. [READ MORE]

YouTube announced it had become a registration agency for the International Standard Name Identifier system, and that it will be encouraging all creators on its platform – including musicians – to start using ISNI codes. These are codes used to identify individual creators in any creative discipline. Launch in 2011, the ISNI system aims to ensure creators with the same name can be distinguished. The music industry hasn’t really adopted ISNI as yet, instead using its own existing code systems for identifying artists (IPN) and songwriters (IPI). It remains to be seen if YouTube forcing ISNIs on everyone will result in the system being more widely adopted in the music community. [READ MORE]

A lawsuit in relation to a Little Mix show could test the obligations of concert promoters under the 2010 Equality Act. Promoter LHG Live is facing legal action from Sally Reynolds, the mother of a Little Mix fan, who is deaf and who accompanied her daughter to one of the group’s shows last year. She requested a British Sign Language interpreter for her and two friends, who are also deaf and who attended the show with their respective children. LHG Live was initially reluctant to provide a BSL interpreter at its expense, though under the threat of legal action it did. However, the interpreter was only provided for Little Mix’s set, not the support acts. Reynolds is now taking further action, arguing that under the Equality Act – which says companies must make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled customers are not at a disadvantage – LHG Live was obliged to provide a BSL interpreter for the whole show. [READ MORE]

Kim Dotcom announced he was suing the New Zealand government over his arrest in 2012 in relation to his former business MegaUpload. On the sixth anniversary of the US-led MegaUpload shutdown – which saw the file-transfer platform taken offline on copyright grounds – Dotcom repeated past allegations that NZ authorities broke their own rules when they helped the Americans target him and his business. To that end he is suing for the billions he reckons he lost as a result of their actions. The US is still trying to extradite Dotcom and his former MegaUpload colleagues so that they can face charges of copyright and other crimes in an American court. [READ MORE]

Rainbow Venues in Birmingham launched a fund-raising campaign to try and fight a decision last year to revoke its licence. The local authority took away the clubbing complex’s licence because of two drug-related deaths on its premises. The case echoes that of Fabric in London. As with Fabric, many have pointed out that Rainbow Venues operated best practice anti-drug policies, and that closing venues like this because of isolated incidents – however tragic those incidents may have been – isn’t an effective way to ensure the safety of clubbers. Rainbow Venues is raising money to fund its appeal against the council’s decision, and to ensure it and its suppliers can stay in business during the appeals process. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Childish Gambino allied with Sony Music’s RCA [INFO]
• Stormy allied with Warner’s Atlantic UK [INFO]
• Warner/Chappell signed Moss Kena [INFO]

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