CMU Digest

CMU Digest 18.08.17: SoundCloud, Pandora, RIAA, Spinrilla, Cinram, Manchester Arena

By | Published on Friday 18 August 2017


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

SoundCloud confirmed it had raised $169.5 million in new finance and that a new CEO had been installed at the company. As expected, boutique bank The Raine Group and Singapore’s state investment fund Temasek are behind the new financing of the flagging streaming firm, which risked running out of cash later this year. Former Vimeo boss Kerry Trainor becomes CEO and is charged with the task of turning round the firm’s fortunes, which now rest on its ambitions in the subscription streaming space, where it faces tough competition from the likes of Spotify and Apple. [READ MORE]

Pandora announced that Roger Lynch, most recently at Sling TV, had been appointed its new CEO. He takes over from founder Tim Westergren, who departed as part of a big restructure back in June. The flagging US streaming firm has $480 million of Sirius XM investment to spend and the $200 million it got from selling Ticketfly. Lynch’s job is to use that money to grow Pandora’s core ad-sales business, while also signing up users to its paid-for plans Plus and Premium. [READ MORE]

Songwriter groups from around the world hit out at the Recording Industry Association Of America over its response to the US Copyright Office’s review of moral rights. The moral rights of creators have never been properly implemented in US copyright law, despite such rights being contained in the Berne Convention, of which America is a signatory. Creator groups hope that the Copyright Office review might lead to moves to fix that. But the RIAA has expressed concern that enshrining a songwriter’s moral right to attribution into the law might place new legal obligations on labels regarding the data they attach to their recordings. The songwriter groups say that the RIAA has exaggerated the possible ramifications, and shouldn’t be lobbying against its allies elsewhere in the music community. [READ MORE]

Spinrilla hit out the RIAA’s suggestion it hand over its source code. The mix-tape sharing app is being sued for copyright infringement by the major labels. In a recent submission to the court – which was published by Torrentfreak this week – Spinrilla revealed that the RIAA had asked for access to its source code in order to help build evidence for the case. The app maker said doing so would allow the labels to entirely replicate its platform, adding that “there is simply no justification for Spinrilla sharing its source code with plaintiffs”. [READ MORE]

Administrators for UK distribution firm Cinram confirmed they were looking for a buyer for the company, which fell into administration earlier this month, seemingly after losing a single key account – Universal Pictures – earlier in the summer. Cinram provides physical distribution services to the music, film and gaming sectors. The company is continuing to operate for now as the administrators look for possible buyers who might acquire the business as a going concern. [READ MORE]

It was announced that the Manchester Arena would reopen on 9 Sep, having been closed since the bomb attack there in May. The venue will reopen with a special benefit show headlined by Noel Gallagher in aid of a new fund to build a memorial to those who died during the terrorist attack. The trustees of the existing charitable fund to support those directly impacted by the bomb also confirmed that the families of those killed will be eligible to claim up to £250,000 each. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Because Group bought the old London Records catalogue [INFO]
• Fire Records acquired the Lemonheads recordings released by Atlantic Records [INFO]
• BMG allied with Black Box Music as part of its Canadian expansion [INFO]
• Ignition Records allied with FUGA [INFO]
• Sony/ATV renewed its deal with hit writer Ilsey Juber [INFO]
• Warner/Chappell announced a deal with Siobhan Fahey [INFO]

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