CMU Digest

CMU Digest 24.04.17: Spotify, Prince, UK Music, BMG, Tunecore, Cash Money

By | Published on Monday 24 April 2017


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

Spotify announced a new multi-year licensing deal with indie label repping Merlin.
As with the streaming firm’s recently announced new arrangement with Universal Music, Merlin-allied labels will now be able to window new releases off the free Spotify service if they so wish for up to a fortnight. Spotify needs new deals in place with the rights owners before it moves to IPO – we now await new agreements with Sony and Warner. [READ MORE]

The Prince estate blocked the release of an unofficial EP of the late musician’s music.
Producer Ian Boxill, who collaborated with Prince around 2006-2008, planned to put out six tracks that the two men worked on. The estate said this breached Boxill’s contract with Prince and secured a court order blocking the EP’s release. Meanwhile there was speculation that Universal Music was unhappy with its $30 million deal to rep much of Prince’s recordings catalogue now that it realises the extent of the limitations the musician’s 2014 agreement with Warner puts on how and when it can exploit the hits. [READ MORE]

UK Music responded to the government’s industrial strategy green paper setting out five key priorities to ensure the British creative industries can prosper post-Brexit. Coming out just as Theresa May called a General Election, the lengthy document also doubles up as something of a manifesto for the cross-sector trade group as the political community goes into campaigning mode again. [READ MORE]

A US court sided with BMG in a legal battle with American internet firm Windstream. The ISP wanted the judge to confirm via declaratory judgement that it was protected by the copyright safe harbour. BMG countered that this wasn’t a matter for declaratory judgement, because the specifics of Windstream’s takedown systems for removing copyright infringing content would need to be assessed. The judge agreed. [READ MORE]

Tunecore announced an alliance with Lyric Financial which will see the digital distributor offer DIY artists in the US advances on future streaming income. Eligible artists will be able to fund production and marketing costs with the upfront cash. What can be advanced will depend on the performance of existing recordings on the digital platforms. [READ MORE]

Universal-allied label Cash Money was sued by the company that delivered it Drake. Aspire Music Group, which originally had both management and recording agreements with Drake, says it is due a third of all the profits generated by his first six albums, but has seen little of the cash to date. Aspire also accuses Cash Money of poor accounting and applying incorrect deductions to Drake income. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Warner-owned Neuland Concerts announced a management buyout [INFO]
• CAA announced a deal with CMC Capital Partners to launch a Chinese division [INFO]
• 7digital acquired the radio aggregating FlowRadio platform [INFO]
• Warner/Chappell signed Steel Banglez [INFO]

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