CMU Digest

CMU Digest 04.07.16: Tidal, consent decrees, Sony/ATV, Happy Birthday, Prince, Guvera

By | Published on Monday 11 July 2016


The key stories from the last seven days in the music business…

It was rumoured that Apple was in talks to buy Tidal. Sources told the Wall Street Journal that the IT giant was considering merging the Jay-Z-headed digital platform in with its own Apple Music streaming service, possibly impressed by the artist exclusives the rival streamer has scored. Though a Tidal spokesperson denied the rumour. [READ MORE]

It emerged that the US Department Of Justice plans to knock back requests made by the American music publishers to amend the consent decrees that regulate the performing rights organisations BMI and ASCAP, and will instead clarify that those regulations mean the American collective licensing system should be operating a 100% licensing approach, the one thing the music industry doesn’t want. Get the full lowdown in our CMU Trends report on the story below. [READ MORE]

The European Commission said a provisional ruling on Sony’s bid to take complete ownership of the Sony/ATV music publishing business should be made in early August. Sony announced in March that it was buying the Michael Jackson Estate out of the long-term joint venture, but Warner/Chappell and indie-label-repping IMPALA have objected to the deal in Europe on competition law grounds. [READ MORE]

A judge approved Warner/Chappell’s settlement on the ‘Happy Birthday’ litigation, basically confirming that the famous song is now public domain in the US. A documentary producer had sued the publisher over various claims that the song was out of copyright. The deal came after the judge hearing the case ruled that there was no evidence the copyright in the ‘Happy Birthday’ lyrics was ever assigned to the publisher Warner/Chappell acquired in the 1980s. [READ MORE]

Eleven people made a claim to being an heir of Prince in a hearing considering the estate of the late musician. Claimants include the singer’s sister, various step-siblings and other relations, and a man who claims to be Prince’s son. Prince left no will, so the court needs to ascertain legitimate heirs who will share in his wealth and control the musician’s legacy. [READ MORE]

Guvera put two of its subsidiaries into administration following the news that the Australian Securities Exchange was blocking its bid to float. The move followed a decision to cut the number of countries in which the streaming service operates in half. Many are now speculating as to whether the debt-laden start-up can survive in the wake of the aborted IPO. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Roc Nation allied with Warner/Chappell on a new Nashville-based division [INFO]
• Lip-sync app announced a deal with Warner Music [INFO]
• Kobalt’s AWAL announced an alliance with Music Glue [INFO]
• Uber announced a partnership with Pandora [INFO]
• LyricFind announced a deal with Google [INFO]
• Italian menswear brand Brioni announced a brand partnership with Metallica [INFO]
• Jenn Wasner announced deals with Partison Records and Reverend Guitars [INFO]
• Sony’s Columbia signed Barry Gibb [INFO]
• BMG signed a deal to represent Roger Waters’ Pink Floyd catalogue [INFO]
• Brooklyn Brewery’s new label venture announced a release with The Graveltones [INFO]
• Century Media signed Ice-T’s Body Count [INFO]

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