CMU Digest

CMU Digest 01.10.18: Pandora, Ticketmaster, Ricky Nelson, Bestival, EMI

By | Published on Monday 1 October 2018


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

SiriusXM announced a deal to take complete ownership of Pandora. The American satellite radio business already owned a slice of the digital music firm following a deal last year, but has now agreed terms with the Pandora board to buy the company outright. That deal now needs shareholder approval. SiriusXM has long been tipped as a buyer for Pandora which, despite a massive user-base in the US, has struggled to make itself profitable. [READ MORE]

Ticketmaster in the US pushed back against criticism over its ongoing involvement in the secondary ticketing market. It followed an exposé in the Canadian media in which an employee of TradeDesk, a Ticketmaster platform used by touts, was seen being very blasé about his customers breaking rules on to access large quantities of tickets. Ticketmaster US admitted it had issues to address, but added that some reporting had misrepresented what TradeDesk is about. It also defending its ongoing involvement in the ticket resale market Stateside despite shutting down its secondary ticketing sites in Europe. [READ MORE]

Sony Music faced a new lawsuit over international deductions. This time it’s the estate of 1950s pop star Ricky Nelson suing the major over the common practice of record companies deducting monies as revenue flows between their regional subsidiaries before calculating an artist’s royalty. This practice has become all the more controversial with the shift to streaming, where a local subsidiary’s input is less significant, especially on catalogue. The estate wants its royalties lawsuit to be declared a class action that could involve thousands of other artists. [READ MORE]

The company behind the Bestival festivals admitted it was facing “financial challenges”. The statement followed news that a loan outfit called the Richmond Group, which had lent the music firm £1.6 million last year, had filed legal papers announcing its intent to try and push the Bestival business into administration. Bestival said it hoped it could find a new partner to help it overcome the current challenges. Richmond Group then announced it had made a £1.1 million offer to buy the Bestival Group and keep at least the Camp Bestival event going. [READ MORE]

Sony Corp formally alerted competition regulators in the European Commission to its intent to take complete ownership of the EMI Music Publishing songs catalogue. EC regulators now have a month to investigate the takeover bid, but could decide to open a fuller six month investigation. Pan-European indie label trade group IMPALA again voiced its opposition to the proposals. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• 7digital announced a deal with Universal Music [INFO]
• Billboard acquired Amplify [INFO]
• Universal Music expanded its deal with Elton John [INFO]
• Warner/Chappell signed a deal with the Joe Strummer estate [INFO]
• Warner/Chappell signed New Hope Club [INFO]
• Universal’s Decca Records and Vertigo Records signed The Teskey Brothers [INFO]
• Reservoir signed Destin Route [INFO]

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