CMU Digest

CMU Digest 27.04.20: Tickemaster, UK radio, Taylor Swift, Sonos, Mixcloud

By | Published on Monday 27 April 2020


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

Ticketmaster was sued in the US over changes it made to its refund policy after the COVID-19 shutdown began. Ticket-buyer Derek Hanson says that when he bought tickets to COVID-impacted Rage Against The Machine shows the ticketing firm’s US website said automatic refunds would be available for cancellations and postponements, but that – post shutdown – it then changed those terms so that refunds on postponements could be subject to restrictions. Ticketmaster argues that its policies have not actually changed and that alterations to its website were to clarify its existing position: which is that refunds on postponements in the US are at the discretion of the promoter. It added that it expects most promoters to offer refunds on postponed shows once new dates have been confirmed. [READ MORE]

The UK radio industry called on government for more financial support to help it to survive the COVID-19 crisis. Trade groups for both the commercial and community radio sectors have said that many stations are facing big challenges. Radio listening has increased during the COVID-19 shutdown, but ad income has slumped, and community stations can’t run the fund-raising events and projects that they also rely on. Both RadioCentre and the Community Media Association point out that the government has helped the newspaper industry by buying up to £45 million in ad space to deliver COVID messaging and suggest that their members should likewise be supported through the purchase of ads by government departments. [READ MORE]

Taylor Swift accused her former label Big Machine of “shameless greed” for releasing a radio performance from 2008 as a new live album. It’s the latest bust up between Swift and her former record company, which – much to her annoyance – was acquired by Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings last year. In an Instagram post she said Big Machine was probably now exploiting its archive of her old recordings because Braun and his financial backers had “seen the latest balance sheets and realised that paying $330 million [for Big Machine] wasn’t exactly a wise choice and they need money”. [READ MORE]

Sonos announced it was moving into content curation and creation via a new service called Sonos Radio. The smart speaker maker has previously simply offered a platform via which other streaming services and broadcasters can connect to its devices. Sonos Radio will aggregate 60,000 radio stations from all over the world as well as offering its own station, broadcasting from New York, and a number of genre-specific and artist-curated music channels. Sonos insisted that its new content offering would complement those of the tech and media companies that already make apps available for its devices. [READ MORE]

Mixcloud announced the launch of live streaming functionality on its platform. It’s the first time the audio sharing platform has allowed live streaming and it also sees the company move into video content for the first time as well. It comes as the artist community embraces live streaming in a much more proactive way as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown. There has been much debate over how artists can monetise live performances online and also about the copyright and licensing implications of live streams. Mixcloud’s existing creator subscriptions service and music licences help tackle those challenges. [READ MORE]

READ MORE ABOUT: | | | | | |