CMU Digest

CMU Digest 29.04.19: Amazon, Notorious Markets, NoiseTrade, BBC, Spotify

By | Published on Monday 29 April 2019

Digital Music

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

Amazon and Google both added free music streaming options to their respective smart speaker set-ups. Amazon will now offer a free entry-level music package to anyone using an Alexa-powered device in the US. This free ad-funded option provides access to pre-programmed playlists and will sit on the web giant’s existing menu of music services, which offers differing catalogue and functionality at differing price points. Google will offer a similar free version of its YouTube Music audio service on devices that utilise its Google Assistant. [READ MORE]

The US government published its annual report on piracy around the world. Produced by the US Trade Representative, it lists countries and websites that department believes are having a negative impact on the intellectual property rights of American citizens and companies. The country list still includes Canada and Mexico, albeit on the slightly less extreme ‘watch list’. Meanwhile the roll call of bothersome piracy sites includes a number of stream-ripping services and unlicensed steaming platforms, plus old favourites like The Pirate Bay. [READ MORE]

The Paste Media Group bought fan data gathering platform NoiseTrade off PledgeMusic. As part of the deal the former will put sessions recorded for its Paste Magazine website and Daytrotter channel onto the NoiseTrade site, which offers free music in return for email addresses. Pledge bought NoiseTrade in 2016 when it was looking to expand the range of direct-to-fan services it could provide artists. The sale comes as the wider Pledge company also seeks a buyer in order to overcome widely publicised financial problems that have resulted in artist payments being halted. [READ MORE]

The BBC announced that it will appoint a new head of pop music. The new executive will oversee all of the Corporation’s pop radio stations as well as BBC Music and the broadcaster’s pop music TV programmes. It’s not the first time the Beeb has attempted to more closely align its music output by putting multiple radio stations and programmes under one division, though it’s not really worked in the past. However this attempt is slightly narrower by excluding classical music from the new role. Radio 1 boss Ben Cooper is favourite to get the new top pop job. [READ MORE]

Spotify committed to remove music from India’s oldest record label from its platform. Saregama went to court to complain after its recordings were included on Spotify’s Indian service when it launched in the country back in February. Saregama, which began life more than a century ago as the Indian division of EMI, said that although it had started deal negotiations with Spotify and had handed over its recordings as part of those talks, it never signed on the dotted line. The streaming firm didn’t seem in any mood to fight and confirmed it would remove the label’s content from its servers within ten days. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Downtown Music Publishing allied with Cowboys & Pirates [INFO]
• Superstruct bought several of Global’s festivals [INFO]
• Boiler Room announced a deal with South Bank Centre [INFO]
• Hipgnosis Songs Fund acquired the publishing catalogue of Starra [INFO]
• Kobalt signed Loud Luxury [INFO]
• Position Music signed Michael Franti [INFO]
• BMG signed The Allman Betts Band [INFO]
• Sony/ATV signed Mustard [INFO]
• Fierce Panda signed Desperate Journalist [INFO]

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