Business News Week In Five

CMU Digest – 5 Jul 2013

By | Published on Friday 5 July 2013


The five biggest stories in the music business this week…

01: Warner’s Parlophone acquisition was completed. The mini-major now owns the former EMI UK division, plus other catalogues and European units that were previously part of the British major. Warner, of course, picked up most of the EMI assets Universal Music was forced to sell by European regulators when it bought the UK major record company last year. The boss of Warner owners Access Industries, Len Blavatnick, said this week “this is a defining moment for Warner Music”. Music Week spotted that EMI’s former offices in Kensington, which have housed the Parlophone Label Group since the rest of EMI moved over to Universal’s HQ, were quickly rebranded with Warner logos once the deal was finalised. CMU reportMusic Week report

02: The Williams squabbled over “I am”. last week denied he was suing Pharrell Williams over the latter’s exploitation of the ‘I Am Other’ brand. However, lawyers for the Black Eyed Pea clarified this week that they were opposing Williams’ application for a trademark including the ‘I Am’ words, but by filing a complaint as part of the routine mark application process in the US, rather than via an actual lawsuit. Williams responded by suing for court clarification that he is OK to carry on using the ‘I Am Other’ name without violating any of his pop rival’s trademarks. CMU report | Sky News report

03: YouTube and Vevo renewed their partnership. It was no surprise that the two firms agreed to continue working together, the Google-owned video site needs Vevo’s vast music video catalogue, and the Sony/Universal-owned music video venture needs YouTube’s audience (even if it relies less on YouTube’s technology, now it has built its own platform and apps). But negotiations to renew the deal were long and drawn out, mainly because Vevo wanted better terms. As expected, as a sweetener Google made an investment into Vevo, to help fund further expansion and original content. CMU reportVariety report

04: The UK government announced it was funding an IP crime policing unit. The Intellectual Property Office will provide £2.5 million to the City Of London Police to fund a unit focused on combatting IP crimes, including online piracy. The boss of global record industry body IFPI, Frances Moore, said: “Creative industries such as music are a vital part of our economy, providing jobs and investment; copyright is the engine that makes these industries tick and that is what makes the work of this new intellectual property crime unit so valuable and important”. CMU report | The Lawyer report

05: SJM and Denis Desmond bought into Benicàssim. There had been speculation about the future of the Spanish festival, reacquired by Vince Power after his Music Festivals plc company went under last year, but still suffering from slow ticket sales, mainly as a result of Spain’s flagging economy. But with new investment from the UK and Irish promoters, the near and longer term future of the popular Spanish festival seems more assured. Vince Power will remain MD of the event. CMU report | NME report

In CMU this week we chatted to Ben Osborne about his celebrations of one hundred years of electronic music, Lescop provided us with a most marvellous playlist, and Eddy TM shared a very sad story, but one that also resulted in something very positive. Meanwhile the CMU team got very busy approving Lace Curtain, LA Witch, Arctus Questu and SoKo.

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