CMU Digest

CMU Digest 24.10.16: Harry Shearer, Digital Economy Bill, streaming rates, Sony Music, Bob Geldof, Spotify

By | Published on Monday 24 October 2016

Harry Shearer

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

Harry Shearer filed a $125 million lawsuit against Universal Music owner Vivendi over royalties due to him from the movie ‘This Is Spinal Tap’, which is now controlled by the French conglom’s movie business StudioCanal. The actor accuses Vivendi and StudioCanal of underpaying royalties to the film’s four creators, who had a profit share arrangement with the original producer, as well as failing to properly report the movie’s revenues. Questions were also asked about internal accounting between StudioCanal and Universal, which controls the soundtrack to the film. [READ MORE]

Nigel Adams MP confirmed he was proposing an amendment to the Digital Economy Bill that would ban the use of so called bots by ticket touts which are employed to hoover up large quantities of tickets off primary sites to resell on the secondary market. The MP also asked Prime Minister Theresa May to back the proposal. For its part, secondary ticketing site StubHub stressed it supports a crackdown on bot usage, adding that primary sites should do more to stop bots accessing their platforms. [READ MORE]

New research from YouGov concluded that £10 a month was too expensive for streaming to go truly mainstream. The research, conducted for subscription technology company Zuora, reckoned 90% of UK consumers are yet to pay to stream music, and nearly half of them think the current price point is too high. There has been lots of talk in the music industry about what a mid-price streaming service might look like, given how good the key free services already are. [READ MORE]

Sony Music announced that Rob Stringer would take over as CEO at the major,with incumbent Doug Morris taking on the advisory role of Chairman. Stringer, who used to run Sony’s record company in the UK and currently heads up its Columbia division in the US, has long been mooted for the overall top job at Sony Corp’s recorded music business. [READ MORE]

Bob Geldof was sued by an ex-bandmate over the copyright in ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’. Although Geldof has always been credited as the sole writer of the Boomtown Rats’ biggest hit, the band’s former keyboardist Johnnie Fingers, aka John Moylett, has now claimed that he actually wrote a significant portion of the song. He alleges that at the time Geldof told him not to push for a slice of the copyright for the good of the band. Geldof denies Moylett’s version of events. [READ MORE]

The annual accounts for Spotify UK were filed, showing the company went into profit in the UK market last year, having made a loss in 2014. The vast majority of the firm’s income came from subscriptions, with ad revenue actually slipping slightly between 2014 and 2015, providing further proof that for Spotify the free ad-funded level remains a loss-leading marketing channel. Worldwide Spotify continues to post considerable losses. [READ MORE]

The big deals from the last seven days in the music business…
• Amazon did a streaming exclusivity deal with Garth Brooks [INFO]
• The Pacha Group sale was agreed [INFO]
• FUGA announced a deal with Tommy Boy Entertainment [INFO]
• Liam Payne signed to Universal’s Republic in the US [INFO]

READ MORE ABOUT: | | | | | | | | | |