CMU Digest

CMU Digest 29.10.18: YouTube, Bestival, BBC, Spotify, IPO

By | Published on Monday 29 October 2018

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

YouTube’s CEO encouraged creators on the platform to speak out against article thirteen of the European Copyright Directive. The very final draft of the copyright reforming directive is now being negotiated. Article thirteen will alter the copyright safe harbour, increasing the liabilities of websites like YouTube. The music industry has lobbied hard for that reform and argues it will simply force user-upload content sites to pay royalties more in line with competitors like Spotify and Apple Music. But YouTube boss Susan Wojcicki wrote that the reform “threatens to shut down the ability of millions of people to upload content to platforms” like hers. [READ MORE]

Rob da Bank confirmed he had done a deal with Live Nation to retain control of the Bestival company. The entity behind the Bestival and Camp Bestival events had been forced into administration by a money lender. That lender had made an offer to buy the latter festival. But da Bank said that – via a new joint venture with Live Nation and SJM – he and wife Josie da Bank were now back in control of the business. This means Camp Bestival 2019 will now definitely go ahead. We await confirmation regarding the future of Bestival itself. [READ MORE]

OfCom said the BBC needed to do more to engage younger consumers. The media regulator published its first review of the BBC’s operations since expanding its regulatory role over the broadcaster last year. Although conceding that engaging younger people was a challenge for everyone because of shifts in content consumption, OfCom said that the BBC “is not currently doing enough, quickly enough, to reach young people” and that “it needs to take significant steps to address this issue, to ensure it delivers content that appeals in ways that suit and reflect young people’s viewing and listening habits”. [READ MORE]

Spotify took its playlist pitching tool out of beta. The tool allows any artist or label to pitch a new track to the streaming firm’s playlisting teams. The company said “over 10,000 artists have been added to Spotify editorial playlists for the first time” since the pitching tool was launched in beta form back in July. It’s one of a number of tools being added to Spotify For Artists to help DIY artists get ahead on the platform. [READ MORE]

The Intellectual Property Office announced it was considering simplifying the web-blocking process in the UK. Web-blocking is a preferred anti-piracy tactic of the music industry. Currently rights owners must seek injunctions in the courts that order internet service providers to block access to copyright infringing websites. However, in an anti-piracy update, the IPO said it was considering “the evidence for and potential impact of administrative site blocking – as opposed to requiring a high court injunction in every case”. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• BMG extended its alliance with GEMA on digital licensing [INFO]
• Century Media’s Inside Out Music label signed a new deal with Devin Townsend [INFO]

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