CMU Digest

CMU Digest 07.07.17: SoundCloud, AEG, Tidal, BBC, Lil Wayne, Guvera

By | Published on Friday 7 July 2017


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

Soundcloud laid off about 40 percent of its workforce, which works out at 173 employees. The company is also shutting down its London office, focusing operations in Berlin and New York. The flagging digital firm said that the downsizing was required to “to ensure our path to long-term, independent success”. Rumours of a takeover of SoundCloud by another tech player continue to persist, with Deezer most recently tipped as a possible buyer. Look out for full report in today’s CMU Daily. [READ MORE]

Live giant AEG commented on its feud with US live company MSG, and also hit out at Live Nation over its intervention. MSG has seemingly been telling artists that if they want to play its flagship venue, New York’s Madison Square Garden, they must also play its LA base, The Forum, rather than AEG’s LA venue the Staples Center. AEG has hit back by saying that acts who play the Staples Center will be prioritised at its London venue The O2. In a statement, AEG said that it had been forced to act because of MSG’s practices, and then criticised Live Nation for staying quiet on the MSG/Forum linking, but complaining that the Staples/O2 linking was anti-competitive. [READ MORE]

It was reported that Kanye West had fallen out with Tidal, and was seeking to end his formal relationship with the Jay-Z-led streaming firm. Reports say that West reckons he is due about $3 million from Tidal. That relates to video production costs West says Tidal promised to cover and a cash bonus he reckons he is due for the subscribers the streaming firm secured on the back of him initially releasing his ‘The Life Of Pablo’ album exclusively on platform. The dispute could as yet go legal. [READ MORE]

The BBC issued a draft of its first ever Annual Plan, a new document that will now be published each year as part of the broadcaster’s new relationship with media regulator OfCom. It makes commitments about all of the BBC’s many TV and radio services, though specifically noted its mission to make Radio 1 a more distinct service, musically speaking, from comparable commercial stations. [READ MORE]

Lil Wayne added Universal Music as a defendant on his long-running legal dispute with his label Cash Money. Wayne claims he has been short changed on his JV imprint with Cash Money – Young Money – and especially in relation to its Drake releases. Universal distributes both Cash Money and Young Money records, and Wayne says deals between the major and Cash Money bosses were designed to deprive him of income. He previously tried to separately sue Universal, but that case was put on hold pending the outcome of the Cash Money lawsuit. [READ MORE]

One of the co-founders of Guvera seemingly blamed the other co-founder for the streaming firm’s collapse. Asked what he’d learned by the failure of Guvera, Claes Loberg said “to choose your capital partners wisely”. The financing of the streaming firm was led by the other founder, Darren Herft, and another company he is involved in, Amma Private Equity. The Australian regulator continues to look into how Amma raised money from grass roots investors. [READ MORE]

We also recently published more session reports from this year’s CMU@TGE…
• Will It Be Streams That Kill The Radio Star? [READ]
• Where’s My Fucking Money? The Transparency Problem [READ]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Ticketmaster partnered with Lisnr [INFO]
• Believe announced a distribution deal with Six Et Sept [INFO]
• Phrased Differently extended its deal with Nathan Duvall [INFO]
• Absolute confirmed it was working with Shane Filan on his next album [INFO]
• Deutsche Grammophon re-signed Max Richter [INFO]

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