CMU Digest

CMU Digest 28.11.16: Fabric, GMR, touts, T In The Park, Buma-Stemra, Amazon

By | Published on Monday 28 November 2016


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

Fabric negotiated a deal with Islington Council that will allow it to re-open without having to fight the local authority’s decision to revoke its licence through the courts. The London club committed to a string of new security and safety measures in order to regain its licence, and also issued a very conciliatory statement withdrawing past criticism of police and council officials. The decision will save both Fabric and the Council legal costs and should mean the club will open again in early 2017. [READ MORE]

The US radio industry took Irving Azoff’s Global Music Rights to court to test whether America’s newest and smallest performing rights organisation raises any monopoly concerns under US competition law. Although only the big US collecting societies BMI and ASCAP are regulated by the draconian consent decrees, smaller rival SESAC conceded to mediation on royalty rate setting in a bid to settle legal action with the Radio Music Licensing Committee. The same organisation has now sued GMR. [READ MORE]

Parliament’s Culture Select Committee confirmed it was proposing a bot-ban to be inserted into the in-progress Digital Economy Bill, despite a similar proposed amendment by Nigel Adams MP having already been withdrawn after government intervention. The select committee also raised other concerns about the secondary ticketing market in a letter to Culture Secretary Karen Bradley following last week’s special hearing on ticket touting, and requested that the HMRC investigate whether industrial-level touts are under-declaring income to the taxman. [READ MORE]

Organisers of T In The Park confirmed that the event will not take place in 2017.It follows a string of logistical issues at the Scottish festival since it was forced to relocate two years ago. Promoter DF is rumoured to be planning a different festival around the same weekend aimed at a slightly older audience and due to take place at Glasgow Green. [READ MORE]

Dutch collecting society Buma-Stemra said it was axing the controversial discounts and rebates it offered concert promoters in the country on the public performance licences they secure from the song rights organisation. The discounts have proven controversial, not least because many of the songwriters who lose out as a result of them were not aware of the rebate system. The society will still offer a more modest discount to more prolific promoters, though insists this scheme will be more transparent. The discounts impact songwriters beyond the Netherlands, because Buma collects from local promoters on behalf of other collecting societies too. [READ MORE]

A number of job ads spotted by Recode suggest Amazon has plans to ramp up its ticketing business. The web giant started selling tickets to theatre, music and comedy shows in the UK last year, but now seems set to expand into other European and Asian markets, and possibly the US too. It says it wants to “disrupt” the ticketing business, though will have to take on the big ticket agents who benefit from long relationships (and in the case of Ticketmaster common ownership) with many key concert promoters. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Live Nation took a majority stake in the Sweden Rock Festival [INFO]
• CD Baby bought [INFO]
• MusicToday found a buyer to take it out of bankruptcy [INFO]
• Proper announced new deals with Believe and Glitterbeat [INFO]
• Cooking Vinyl signed Nina Nesbitt [INFO]

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