CMU Digest

CMU Digest 05.12.16: iHeartRadio, tout bans, Kobalt, IFPI, Flo & Eddie, Time Inc

By | Published on Monday 5 December 2016

iHeartRadio All Access

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

iHeartMedia put its subscription streaming set-up into beta and revealed that Napster will power the on-demand element of the service. iHeartRadio will now offer a five dollar a month enhanced version of its existing personalised radio service as well as the fully on-demand option for ten dollars a month. That mirrors rival Pandora’s ramped up subscription offer, though iHeart will also integrate programmes from its network of AM and FM radio stations into the mix. [READ MORE]

The Italian parliament gave its backing to an amendment to the country’s 2017 budget law that will outlaw ticket touting. Under the proposal only those approved by an event’s organiser would be allowed to sell tickets. It will be the most draconian regulation of ticket touting in the world with high fines for those who break the rules. Though the result of this weekend’s referendum on constitutional reform in the country and the resulting resignation of PM Matteo Renzi may now delay those new laws from coming into effect. [READ MORE]

Kobalt unveiled a new marketing tool in the form of a ‘pre-save’ button, which enables fans to request that a new album automatically appear in their personal Spotify library once it is released. It’s a rework of the pre-order concept for the streaming age. Kobalt put the pre-save button live as part of the marketing for the new Laura Marling album which it will help release next year. [READ MORE]

The IFPI put out its annual ‘Investing In Music’ report, insisting that record companies continue to invest most heavily in new music and new talent. The report says that labels invest about 27% of their revenues into “discovering, nurturing and promoting artists”, which equates to $4.5 billion a year. A&R spend is 16.9% which – if that is considered research and development – puts the record industry’s R&D spend as a proportion of income ahead of all other leading sectors. [READ MORE]

Flo & Eddie filed details of their settlement with Sirius XM over its use of pre-1972 recordings without paying royalties. The satellite broadcaster didn’t pay royalties on 1950s and 1960s tracks because of ambiguities over its obligations under US copyright law. The exact pay-out from the class action – which is in addition to a settlement with the majors – still depends on the outcome of court cases in Florida and New York, though could total $99 million, including payments for future use. [READ MORE]

Various businessmen linked to Warner Music past and present led a bid to buy magazine publisher Time Inc in the US. Current Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik, board member Ynon Kreiz and the record company’s former CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr made a joint bid for the media firm, but it was knocked back by its board. Time Inc was once in common ownership with Warner Music, before Bronfman Jr led a takeover that took the latter independent back in 2004. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• AT&T secured a Taylor Swift station for its new DirecTV Now service [INFO]
• Independent Venue Week confirmed Tim Burgess as its ambassador for 2017 [INFO]

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