CMU Digest

CMU Digest 15.05.17: YouTube, Prince, Pandora, Fyre Festival, Amazon

By | Published on Monday 15 May 2017


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

Warner Music extended its deal with YouTube. A memo from the firm’s CEO to staff mainly highlighted the short length of the deal, as well as saying that YouTube’s continued exploitation of safe harbours meant that negotiations with the company couldn’t be done on a level playing field. Former Warner exec, now YouTube music boss, Lyor Cohen said in an interview that safe harbours had never come up in the most recent negotiations with the mini-major, which had been positive in tone. Meanwhile, YouTube published a report attempting to show that it doesn’t have a negative effect on the other streaming services, a conclusion trade bodies IFPI and BPI disputed. [READ MORE]

A legal filing seemingly confirmed rumours that Universal Music is seeking to cancel its $30 million deal to represent Prince’s recordings catalogue. The filing was made by Prince estate administrators Comercia Bank. The major accuses the estate’s former entertainment industry advisor L Londell McMillan of misrepresenting what recordings the deal would cover and when, many of the late musician’s most famous albums still being repped by Warner Music for now. McMillan has already denied the allegations. [READ MORE]

Pandora raised $150 million in new funding and announced that it is now considering selling itself to a new owner. This follows the streaming service reporting a $132 million loss in the first quarter of this year. The new cash injection comes from investment firm KKR, which gets in return an equivalent amount of preferred stock in the company. In addition, KKR’s Head Of Media & Communications Private Equity, Richard Sarnoff, will join the streaming firm’s board of directors. [READ MORE]

The fallout from Fyre Festival continued. By the end of last week, the doomed festival was facing six lawsuits from ticketholders, five of them requesting class action status. The company brought in to provide medical support at the event also filed a lawsuit, claiming that proper provisions for them to do their job had not been in place. It also now looks likely that former staff at the Fyre company could go legal, as they were recently told that while they would not be made redundant, they would also not be paid. [READ MORE]

Amazon continued to make moves in the live business by launching a new series of gigs under the name Prime Live Events. The series of UK shows will feature big name artists playing in intimate settings – starting later this month with Blondie at the Round Chapel in Hackney. Tickets will only be available to Amazon Prime members, with show footage then streamed on the Prime video service. Also this week, Amazon announced its new Echo digital personal assistant device. Now featuring a screen, among its new functions will be the ability to read the lyrics of songs you ask it to play via the firm’s Music UnLimited service. [READ MORE]

CMU Insights @ The Great Escape 2017
The programme for this year’s CMU Insights @ The Great Escape conference is online – four conferences in one, covering drugs, royalties, export and the music media. It all takes place this Thursday and Friday in Brighton.

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

•  This week we continued publishing a series of articles looking at the top ten questions we’ll be answering during this year’s conference. We asked: ‘What impact will Brexit have on music?’, ‘How do you get your music onto a journalist’s radar?’, ‘What are the pros and cons of direct licensing your performing rights in live?’, ‘How do you get paid when your music is synced?’, and ‘How do you successfully launch new acts in new markets?’

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Live Nation confirmed a new ten year deal with Jay-Z for his touring business [INFO]
• Pitbull moved from CAA to WME [INFO]
• Amanda Mair signed to Despotz [INFO]
• Satyricon signed to Napalm Records [INFO]
• Possessed signed to Nuclear Blast [INFO]

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