CMU Digest

CMU Digest 25.03.19: Live Music Report, Apple, BPI, Grande, Radio 3

By | Published on Monday 25 March 2019

Houses Of Parliament

The key stories from the last week in the music business…

The UK Parliament’s culture select committee hit out at Viagogo in a wide-ranging report on the live sector. MPs also called on government to extend business rates relief to small venues and provide guidance to local authorities to ensure licensing procedures don’t bias against urban genres. But they were most blunt when talking about Viagogo, the ticket resale firm that twice declined to answer the committee’s questions. Pending the Competition & Markets Authority’s latest legal action against the rogue company, MPs urged the public to steer clear of the ticketing website. Viagogo said it was “disappointed” about the select committee’s conclusions. [READ MORE]

Spotify and Apple continued to spar in public. Apple dismissed Spotify’s claims that it violates competition law to give its own streaming service an unfair advantage. The tech giant said that Spotify just didn’t want to pay its fair share for utilising Apple’s technology and platforms. Just like it doesn’t want to pay songwriter’s their fair share, Apple added, noting that – unlike Spotify – it is not appealing the recent royalty rate increase put in place for streaming services by the US Copyright Royalty Board. Spotify hit back, arguing that “monopolists” always deny wrongdoing. [READ MORE]

The BPI confirmed that trade revenues for the UK record industry were up 3.1% in 2018, thanks to the streaming boom. Subscription income from premium streaming services now accounts for 54% of UK recorded music revenues (though these figures do not include money collected via collecting society PPL). Further slumps in CD and download sales slowed down overall market growth. Meanwhile the record industry trade group was keen to point out that YouTube continues to pay in relatively low sums given the size of its user-base. [READ MORE]

A US judge ruled that American internet service provider Grande Communications could not claim safe harbour protection in a copyright infringement lawsuit being pursued by the record industry. Endorsing an earlier opinion given by a magistrate judge, the district court in Texas cited a precedent set in the BMG v Cox case. To that end, it ruled that, because Grande had a deliberately shoddy system for dealing with repeat infringers among its customer base, it can be held liable for those infringers’ infringement. [READ MORE]

The music community hit out at proposed schedule changes at BBC Radio 3, which will see some specialist music shows cut or cut back to save money. The loudest criticism focused on the decision to cut the ‘Late Junction’ programme back to one edition a week. A letter signed by 500 people working in the arts said that the changes would damage a “flourishing cultural ecosystem” and negatively impact on the careers of genre-defying musicians “as opportunities for their work to be experienced by the mainstream will be drastically reduced, at home and abroad”. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Polydor signed the Lighthouse Family [INFO]
• Cooking Vinyl signed Will Young [INFO]

READ MORE ABOUT: | | | | |