CMU Digest

CMU Digest 08.05.17: Fyre Festival, Merlin, Prince, bots ban, Eminem

By | Published on Monday 8 May 2017

Fyre Festival

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

Ja Rule’s Fyre Festival collapsed spectacularly at the end of last month, with organisers cancelling the event just hours before it was officially supposed to begin. Based on a remote island in the Bahamas, it was billed as a luxury event with tickets costing up to $12,000. However, the site was not ready, transport links were lacking and the headliners cancelled at the last minute. What followed was ridicule, damning criticism from those whose advice had been ignored, and no less than three class action lawsuits from ticket-holders. [READ MORE]

The boss of indie label repping digital rights agency Merlin was scathing about the news that Sony’s The Orchard had acquired European independent music distributors Phonofile and Finetunes. Merlin’s Charles Caldas framed the acquisition as another “land-grab of independent rights” by a major record company via a “faux-indie imprint”. [READ MORE]

A federal judge extended the temporary injunction preventing the release of an unofficial Prince EP, though the late musician’s estate will need to post a $1 million bond to keep the ban in place. The Prince estate moved to block the six track release last month, saying that the producer behind the EP – Ian Boxhill – had breached a contract with Prince which stated that ownership of any recordings the two men collaborated on would stay with the musician. [READ MORE]

As the ticket tout bots ban became law in the UK, the live entertainment industry in Australia called on the government there to follow suit. The move would outlaw the software employed by some ticket touts to buy up large quantities of tickets off primary ticketing sites as soon as they go on sale. Australian senator Nick Xenophon recently proposed a country-wide bots ban, winning the support of opposition parties, but not the country’s government. Now trade body Live Performance Australia is calling on Australian ministers to back such proposals. [READ MORE]

Over in New Zealand, a song theft trial between Eminem and the country’s ruling National Party got underway. The National Party has always argued that it properly licensed the music that appeared in its 2014 television ad, a soundtrack that sounded rather like Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’. It’s actually a piece of production music called ‘Eminem-Esque’, though Eminem’s lawyers presented evidence that the politicians were aware that it was a little too ‘esque’ prior to broadcasting the advert. [READ MORE]

CMU Insights @ The Great Escape 2017
The programme was published for this year’s CMU Insights @ The Great Escape conference – four conferences in one, covering drugs, royalties, export and the music media. It all takes place 18-19 May.

• Here’s a speedy guide to the full CMU Insights conference schedule, with a quick look at each session and the various speakers appearing.

•  We also began publishing a series of articles looking at the top ten questions we’ll be answering during this year’s conference. First off, ‘where does all the streaming money go?’ and ‘how do you make money out of music media in 2017?’

• Speaking of the music media, we’re also surveying music journalists on the state of music journalism in 2017 and their interactions with artists, labels, promoters and PR people. We will present the findings at The Media Conference at TGE.

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Primary Wave took a stake in Rough Trade Publishing [INFO]
• Actor/musician Hailee Steinfled signed a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell [INFO]
• Becky Hill signed a new worldwide publishing deal with Sony/ATV [INFO]
• The Damned signed a record deal with Universal/Raw Power JV Search & Destroy [INFO]

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