CMU Digest

CMU Digest 12.06.17: Pandora, Spotify, General Election, Sony Music, Apple

By | Published on Monday 12 June 2017


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

Satellite broadcaster Sirius XM bought a slice of US streaming firm Pandora in a deal worth $480 million. The arrangement sees Sirius control 16-19% of loss-making Pandora. Sirius had been mooted as a possible buyer for the streaming music business at various points, and Reuters said there had been recent talks about it taking complete ownership of the digital firm, but that those negotiations faltered over price-point. Then the ‘strategic investment’ arrangement was agreed. [READ MORE]

Taylor Swift’s catalogue is now streaming on Spotify, including on the streaming firm’s freemium level. Swift had previously said she would only make her music available to premium streamers, and Spotify doesn’t offer that flexibility. Spotify also announced a new programme to promote songwriters and music producers, likely a bid to placate those music creators who are not recording artists who generally see lower royalties from streaming. [READ MORE]

The UK music industry responded to last week’s General Election result, calling on the new government to honour commitments made to the creative industries during the campaign. For record industry trade group BPI the top priorities are copyright reform around safe harbour and possible tax breaks for record labels, while the Music Managers Forum also called for new secondary ticketing regulations to be enforced. [READ MORE]

Sony Music announced it was merging its distribution units around the world with The Orchard, the standalone distribution company it wholly owns. It followed the announcement of a similar move in the UK a week earlier. In the US, the major’s Red division will no longer offer distribution services – that work will go to The Orchard – but it will live on as a music marketing agency for artists and independent labels. [READ MORE]

Apple launched the HomePod, its competitor to Amazon’s Echo and the Google Home device. Music is a particularly important element of Apple’s voice-activated home gadget, which comes with a higher spec speaker than Amazon and Google’s rival products, and a higher price point too. The tech giant also announced that Apple Music now has 27 million paying subscribers. [READ MORE]

We also published more session reports from this year’s CMU@TGE last week…
• Making money from music media in the digital age [READ]
• New music media business models – Vice [READ]
• A Beginners Guide To Brexit [READ]
• Tackling Addiction In The Music Community – Jon Stewart [READ]
• Where’s My Fucking Money? How The Cash Flows – The Life Of A Song [READ]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Concord Bicycle acquired Imagem Music Group [INFO]
• Reservoir acquired Century Media’s publishing catalogues [INFO]
• Warner/Chappell allied with SACEM on some digital licensing [INFO]
• Korn signed to Velvet Hammer Management [INFO]

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