Business News Week In Five

CMU Digest – 29 Mar 2013

By | Published on Friday 29 March 2013

Copyright Hub

The five biggest stories in the music business this week…

01: The UK government confirmed that it was providing £150,000 to fund the first stage of development of the Copyright Hub, the information exchange that aims to make it easier for individuals and companies to licence copyright material. The Hub was initially proposed by Ian Hargreaves in his 2011 review of copyright law, with Richard Hooper outlining how the venture might work in a report last year. Backed by UK Music and collecting societies PPL and PRS, as well as reps from other content sectors, the initial government investment will be used to develop an online resource making it easier to navigate the copyright industries (throwing a spotlight on it all – hence the lightbulb on the Hub’s holding page I assume). CMU report | Billboard report

02: The German and American record industries confirmed that revenues were down in 2012, despite the slight rise in record sales worldwide. In Germany, where CD sales still account for 71% of revenue, income overall was down 3.2%, though the digital market, both download and streaming, is now starting to gain momentum in the country. In the US digital continued to boom, now accounting for 59% of revenue, and with streaming and subscription service income up 58%. Overall, though, the US record industry saw its recorded music revenue slip by 1%. CMU report

03: AEG’s deal to manage the Wembley Arena was referred to the Competition Commission. The live music giant quietly won the rights to run the North London venue late last year off rivals Live Nation. Competitors have raised objections to the deal, though, because AEG also operates the O2 Arena, meaning one company will control the capital’s two major live entertainment spaces. The Office Of Fair Trading reviewed the deal and this week said that there were sufficient concerns the deal “may substantially reduce competition in the live entertainment venue sector”. The Competition Commission should make a decision about the deal by September. CMU report | Guardian report

04: Blockbuster came out of administration and revealed ambitions in music. While there was no news on the future of HMV, which remains in administration despite insiders saying a deal to sell the flagging company to Hilco is imminent, it was confirmed restructuring specialists Gordon Brothers Europe had bought Blockbuster. The all new version of the video rental firm will operate about half of the former Blockbuster UK stores, with former HMV exec Gary Warren in charge. The company will put more of its rental business online where it can better compete with Netflix and LoveFilm, with increased shelf space in its shops for tech and music products. CMU report | Sky news report 

05: Spotify launched its first TV ad campaign in the US, an obvious bid by the streaming service to reach a mass mainstream audience. Few operators in the digital music space have staged their own TV ad campaigns, preferring instead cheaper below-the-line marketing methods. It remains to be seen if Spotify’s rather pretentious ad spots pay off. Meanwhile Spotify boss Daniel Ek denied his company had any imminent plans to launch a video-on-demand sister operation, after new rumours such a service was in development. Elsewhere in digital, Aussie radio firm Southern Cross Austereo launched a new streaming service in Australia called Songl with backing from Sony and Universal. Though the indie label community hit out because the new set up had failed to licence its catalogues. Spotify report | Songl report

On CMU this week Editor Andy Malt chatted to Susanne Sundfør and revisited some recent CMU Approveds in the form of a playlist, plus there was a brand new edition of the CMU Podcast. Newly approved were Anna Von Hausswolff, Fuzz and Dan Le Sac.

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