CMU Digest

CMU Digest 22.09.17: RIAA, UK Music, Spotify, Rolling Stone, New Order, Martin Garrix

By | Published on Friday 22 September 2017


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

New figures from the Recording Industry Association Of America confirmed that the recorded music market in the US continues to grow thanks to the streaming boom. Retail revenues in the first half of this year were up about 17% to $4 billion. Though the RIAA stressed once again that the return to growth was being hindered by copyright laws that mean some streaming platforms are much more lucrative for rights owners than others, with safe harbour and YouTube the key concern. [READ MORE]

UK Music said that the music industry contributed £4.4 billion to the British economy in 2016, up 6% from 2015. That ‘gross value added’ figure was contained in the cross-sector trade group’s annual ‘Measuring Music’ report. Music publishing and the live sector saw the biggest increases in their GVA figures, though the record industry was also up 5% thanks to the streaming boom. [READ MORE]

A US court rejected Spotify’s ‘motion for a more definite statement’ in its latest mechanical royalties legal battle in the US. The streaming firm claimed that the latest lawsuits on unpaid mechanicals didn’t sufficiently make their case, in particular they didn’t explain why the claimants thought mechanical royalties were even due. But the judge ruled that the lawsuits had enough substance to proceed. Though that doesn’t necessarily stop Spotify putting forward its controversial new argument that on-demand streams don’t actually exploit the mechanical rights within songs. [READ MORE]

It was revealed that Rolling Stone magazine is up for sale. The magazine’s publisher Wenner Media – which sold a 49% stake in the title to Singapore-based BandLab Technologies last year – said it was now considering “strategic options for its majority interest in Rolling Stone to best position the brand for future growth”. [READ MORE]

New Order announced that they had settled their legal dispute with former bassist Peter Hook. He sued in 2015 over the way the band had structured their business affairs since reforming without him in 2011. The rest of the group also had issues with the way Hook makes use of various New Order and Joy Division assets with his new band. But the current line-up of New Order this week said that both parties had now agreed to a “full and final settlement”. [READ MORE]

Producer Martin Garrix won a legal battle with his former label Spinnin Records. Garrix parted company with and then sued the Spinnin label and its sister management firm MusicAllstars in 2015. He claimed that his ex-manager Eelko Van Kooten – founder of both Spinnin Records and MusicAllstars – had had a conflict of interest when he signed his management client to his own record company. This week a Dutch court agreed. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• LiveXLive Media acquired Slacker Radio [INFO]
• SRD allied with IDOL on digital distribution [INFO]
• LAB Records allied with Warner’s ADA [INFO]
• Islington Assembly Hall allied with Dice [INFO]
• Warner/Chappell signed Andy Burrows [INFO]
• Sony/ATV extended its deal with Greg Kurstin [INFO]
• BMG signed The Prodigy [INFO]

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