CMU Digest

CMU Digest 30.08.16: Streaming exclusives, Spotify, Fabric, safe harbours, Amazon, Pandora

By | Published on Tuesday 30 August 2016

Frank Ocean

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

There was much debate over streaming exclusives, following a widely reported memo at Universal Music which discouraged labels at the mega-major from locking new releases to specific digital platforms. It followed Apple Music’s latest high profile exclusivity deal with Frank Ocean, who also managed to ensure that the more important of his new records was not a Universal release as expected, possibly because of the money he made from the Apple deal. In the UK, both the Entertainment Retailers Association and Music Managers Forum welcomed Universal’s general move away from streaming exclusives, feeling such deals are anti-fan. [READ MORE]

Spotify confirmed it now had over 39 million paying users via an interview between new artist relations chief Troy Carter and Billboard. Former artist manager Carter said he hadn’t been hired to get Spotify a string of artist exclusives, but rather to persuade the music community that there are other better ways to form alliances with the streaming platform. [READ MORE]

A campaign was launched to rally support for London club Fabric, which faces losing its licence following two recent drug-related deaths at the venue. The club remains closed while its local council reviews its licence. Fabric co-founder Cameron Leslie said: “We are asking that the police work with us as they did for such a long time to tackle the challenges we all face head on”. [READ MORE]

A European Commission paper seen by Reuters discussed putting new obligations on user-upload platforms that benefit from the controversial safe harbours of copyright law, to both enter into licensing deals with rights owners and to provide said rights owners with rights management tools. Though it’s not clear if those proposals would help the music industry in its bid to force the hand of YouTube, given the video site already does both those things. [READ MORE]

It was reported that when Amazon launches its stand-alone streaming music services later this year, it will offer a half price version that will only work on its proprietary Echo speaker system. This would potentially open up subscription streaming to a more mainstream audience for whom ten dollars a month is simply too much, though device limitations might also be a big turn off for that same audience. [READ MORE]

Pandora could launch its in-development fully on-demand streaming service as soon as next month, according to the Wall Street Journal. The move will see Pandora offer Spotify-style streaming, in addition to its current personalised radio set-up. The company also hopes to expand its service into more territories, though a potential sticking point in its licensing negotiations with the labels is how the personalised radio bit is licensed outside the US, where Pandora has often relied on a compulsory licence that doesn’t exist in most other countries. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Believe bought French label Naive out of administration [INFO]
• Cloud 9 bought BMG’s stake in Phrased Differently [INFO]
• BMG bought a slice of BBC Worldwide’s music publishing catalogue [INFO]
• Brighton’s Juice 107.2 returned to local ownership [INFO]
• Warner Bros UK signed Liam Gallagher [INFO]
• Bucks Music Management signed Dan Weller and Artery Music [INFO]
• Absolute Label Services announced alliances with Carly Paoli, Parker, Jonathan Antoine and Gavin Greenaway [INFO]

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