CMU Digest

CMU Digest 28.01.19: Viagogo, PledgeMusic, iHeartMedia,, Pitchfork

By | Published on Monday 28 January 2019


The Competition & Markets Authority said it had “serious concerns” about Viagogo not complying with its demands that the ticket resale platform fall in line with UK consumer rights law by 18 Jan. Those demands were contained in a court order and the CMA said it would return to court if the requirements were not urgently met. For its part, Viagogo continues to insist it is in fact compliant with the law. [READ MORE]

PledgeMusic issued a statement after more artists spoke out about late payments. There were complaints last year of the direct-to-fan and crowd-sourcing platform repeatedly making late payments to artists which had used the service. Then in November the company said an executive rejig and financial revamp should fix the problems. But they did not. As more and more out-of-pocket artists went public with their complaints Pledge said it “deeply regret” the ongoing payment issues, that it was now talking to a number of “strategic partners” in a bid to address the firm’s problems and that it hoped to have an update within 60 days. [READ MORE]

Proposals to take US radio giant iHeartMedia out of bankruptcy were approved by the courts. iHeart has been struggling to service mega-debts, much of them run up during a leveraged buy-out of the firm in 2008. It entered bankruptcy last year. Under the now approved plan the firm’s outdoor advertising business will be spun off, leaving the iHeart company with the radio stations and its US-based streaming service. Boss man Bob Pittman said the restructuring that will take the company out of bankruptcy will allow it to “take advantage of the renaissance underway in audio”. [READ MORE]

A copyright case being pursued by the US record industry against two Russian stream-ripping sites was dismissed. The man behind and successfully argued that the US courts had no jurisdiction in the case, because the sites were based in Russia and the vast majority of users were outside America. The Recording Industry Association Of America had argued that a significant number of US-based people had nevertheless used the sites to rip permanent copies of streaming music and that their operator had a various points used American servers, domain registrars and advertising networks. [READ MORE]

The owner of music site Pitchfork announced plans to put paywalls up around all of its US-based websites at some point this year. Condé Naste already charges people to access some content on its New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Wired sites. An increasing number of newspapers and magazines are now trying to charge for content online. Though it will be interesting to see how any Pitchfork pay-wall works, as opinion is divided as to whether people can be persuaded to pay for music journalism online. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Universal’s Bravado bought Epic Rights [INFO]
• Cooking Vinyl Publishing signed Matty Benbrook [INFO]