CMU Digest

CMU Digest 26.06.17: Apple Music, SGAE, dancing baby, Telsa, RIAA

By | Published on Monday 26 June 2017

Apple Music

The key stories from the last seven days in the music business…

Bloomberg reported that Apple Music was seeking to push down its royalty commitments to the record labels. The tech giant is following Spotify’s lead in trying to reduce the cut of revenue it has to pay to the labels, partly because the big music publishers have increased their share, and partly because the market-leading streaming platforms need to tweak their business models as they attempt to become profitable. As with Spotify, the labels will want some data and marketing kick-backs in return for slimming down their cut of the digital pie. [READ MORE]

The offices of Spanish collecting society SGAE were raided by the police, who were investigating a scam where certain society members collude with Spanish TV execs to boost the royalties they receive. The TV execs also earn royalties from the scheme, which is known internally as ‘the wheel’. The new police investigation follows the previous raid on the SGAE HQ in 2011 that led to the organisation’s President resigning amidst allegations of fraud. [READ MORE]

The US Supreme Court declined to hear the long-running ‘dancing baby’ case, which tests whether ‘fair use’ must be considered by a copyright owner before issuing a takedown request under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It all relates to a dispute over a video posted to YouTube in which a baby danced to a Prince track. A lower court said fair use must be considered, but not particularly rigourously. Neither the baby video creator nor Prince’s music publisher – Universal Music Publishing – were happy with that ruling, which now stands. [READ MORE]

It was revealed that electric car maker Telsa has been talking to the record companies about licensing its own proprietary streaming service to integrate into the in-car entertainment system that it puts in its vehicles. Some commentators pointed out how expensive it can be setting up a streaming service anew and reckoned expanding on an existing alliance with Spotify in Europe would be an easier approach. [READ MORE]

The Recording Industry Association Of America asked that the value gap be discussed in any new talks about the North American Free Trade Agreement. The US government is considering overhauling its trade treaty with Canada and Mexico and has asked for input from American industries. The RIAA had various copyright issues it would like put on the agenda of any new trade talks, though safe harbour and the value gap seemed to top the priority list. [READ MORE]

We also published more session reports from this year’s CMU@TGE last week…
• A Recent History Of Getting High [READ]
• When Music Gets Synchronised – Deal Making [READ]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• 7digital finalised its acquisition of rival 24-7 [INFO]
• Royalty Exchange secured $6.4 million in new finance [INFO]
• Warner/Chappell signed XTC co-founder Andy Partridge [INFO]
• Syco Music signed Ina Wroldsen [INFO]
• R&S Records signed Blondes [INFO]

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