CMU Digest

CMU Digest 03.12.18: Viagogo, touting caps, The Cellar, web-blocks, Record Union

By | Published on Monday 3 December 2018


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

The UK’s Competition & Markets Authority secured an injunction against Viagogo forcing it to comply with UK consumer rights law by mid-January. The controversial secondary ticketing website agreed to meet various demands made by the government agency, though the court order means there will be legal sanctions if it fails to do so. Those demands include ensuring sellers on its platform list seat numbers and make buyers aware that touted tickets may be cancelled. Viagogo will also have to improve the way it administers refunds under its guarantee programme, including committing to sort out past refunds that have gone unpaid. [READ MORE]

Australia’s Labor Party called for a 10% cap to be placed on ticket resale across the country. The proposal mirrors a law passed in New South Wales that says touts can only mark up tickets by 10% when reselling them to other parties. In return, the law would also ban promoters from cancelling touted tickets. Arguably such rules don’t really work on a state-by-state level, so the Labor Party said it would extend the 10% cap country-wide if it was in government. [READ MORE]

Oxford music venue The Cellar reached its £80,000 target in a crowd-funding campaign which will enable it to stay in business. Having last year fought off plans by its landlord to convert the basement it occupies into a retail unit, the popular venue faced closure again after new fire regulations cut its capacity from 150 to 60. The money donated through the crowd-funding campaign will pay for a new fire escape to be put in that will actually increase the venue’s capacity to 200. [READ MORE]

The Australian Parliament passed a new copyright amendment act that will beef up web-blocking in the country. It revises the anti-piracy web-blocking system that was introduced there back in 2015. It will make it easier for rights owners to block proxies that are set up to help people reach already blocked sites. It also extends web-blocking to sites whose ‘primary effect’ is copyright infringement – before the test was ‘primary purpose’. The tech sector in Australia criticised the reforms, especially the latter change. [READ MORE]

DIY music distributor Record Union called on the streaming services to tag independent music. It argued that the majors are too dominant in the streaming domain, adding that in a survey of 1000 independent music makers, 69% said that they felt the streaming services and their playlists tended to skew too much to the mainstream. The company said that by tagging independently released artists, the streaming services would help those music fans keen to support indie talent identify those acts. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Paradigm bought Nashville-based agency Dale Morris [INFO]
• BMG signed Matt Sheeran [INFO]
• Kobalt’s AWAL signed Gus Dapperton [INFO]
• Sony/ATV extended its deal with Joel Little [INFO]
• Paradigm signed Janet Jackson [INFO]