Business News Week In Five

CMU Digest – 9 Aug 2013

By | Published on Friday 9 August 2013

Sony Corp

The five biggest stories in the music business this week…

01: Sony Corp knocked back Daniel Loeb’s proposal to partially sell off the company’s entertainment division. Earlier this year, Loeb’s Third Point hedge fund became a significant shareholder in the Japanese entertainment and electronics conglom, and promptly began suggesting it sell off part of its entertainment business. The Sony top guard said it was giving the proposal serious consideration, but this week formally knocked back Loeb’s plan with a letter from CEO Kazuo Hirai. CMU reportKazuo Hirai’s letter

02: Grooveshark signed a licensing deal with EMI Music Publishing, meaning it now has one major music company deal in place. The Verge reported earlier this week that the streaming firm was close to settling its ongoing legal dispute with EMI Music Publishing and to signing a new licensing agreement. And yesterday that’s exactly what happened. Announcing the news, Grooveshark CEO Sam Tarantino said: “We’re excited with this. Grooveshark is taking the same steps YouTube did in its early evolution from a startup to becoming a core part of a content creator’s social distribution and marketing mix”. CMU report | The Verge report

03: Google launched its streaming service in the UK. Having launched in the US and Australia earlier this year, Google’s lengthily named streaming service Google Play All Access Music finally made it to the UK (along with Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain). It’ll set you back £9.99 per month, or £7.99 if you sign up by 15 Sep. CMU report | Music Ally report

04: Warner Music Group and Live Nation were both upbeat about their finances. Though Live Nation perhaps with more reason. The live firm said it had seen revenues 8.3% year-on-year in the last quarter. Warner Music Group, meanwhile, had seen revenues increase by 1.8% in the same period, but losses had almost doubled to $63 million. Live Nation reportWarner report

05: HMV confirmed it was moving back into its original store. The very first His Master’s Voice shop opened on Oxford Street in London in 1922, and remained in the same unit until 2000. Having given up the lease on its larger Oxford Street store near by to Sports Direct earlier this year, new HMV owner Hilco confirmed the return this week. CMU reportPhotos of the original shop

Also in CMU this week, we teamed up with our sister magazine ThreeWeeks on a series of Edinburgh Festival-themed features. Musician and Edinburgh Fringe veteran MJ Hibbett offered advice to bands making the trip to Scotland to perform, Song, By Toad boss and Edinburgh resident Matthew Young chatted about his local band showcase festival taking place this month and the Festival in general, plus the team at the Edinburgh International Festival compiled an very eclectic playlist for us.

In the Approved column this week, we went to Argentina to meet rock trio Las Kellies, before stopping in France to catch up with long lost French producer Jackson And His Computerband and alt-pop outfit Christine And The Queens, then back to London to flounce about with enigmatic duo Rainer.

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