The five biggest stories in the music business this week…
01: The HMV administration continued to go through the motions. While up to 50 parties have reportedly expressed an interest in acquiring HMV assets since the entertainment retailer was put into administration ten days ago, restructuring specialists Hilco is favourite to takeover much of the retail firm. It bought up most of HMV’s debts this week, basically giving it control of the business, while the Hilco bid to buy the retailer as a going concern is backed by the major music and DVD companies. Though Hilco is likely to only want about half of HMV’s stores, with Game and various fashion chains and supermarkets lining up to take over the remaining HMV shop units. Elsewhere, G-A-Y founder Jeremy Joseph announced he had bought HMV out of his company. The G-A-Y franchise, with its club brand, bars and Heaven venue, was the only bit of the former HMV Live division not sold in 2011. CMU reports
02: Sony bought into US EDM independent Ultra Music. A sign that the corporate end of the American music industry reckons there is still plenty of cash to be made from the recent rise of dance music Stateside, Sony Music invested in New York-based Ultra Music, while the founder of that label, Patrick Moxey, became Sony’s global President Of Electronic Music. CMU report | FT report
03: YouTube said ‘Gangnam Style’ had generated $8 million in ad revenues in six months. Google revealed the figure in a financial briefing this week. Psy’s web phenomenon has been watched 1.23 billion times on YouTube since being uploaded last summer. The $8 million in revenues from that many views suggests advertisers started paying a premium to appear alongside the novelty track once it gained global attention. It’s not clear how much of that $8 million will be passed to Psy and his label/publisher. Last year it was estimated the Korean singer and his business partners would make about that amount out of the track, though that estimate included download sales and sync deals as well as YouTube revenues. CMU report | Telegraph report
04: Live Nation announced Olympic Parks deal, as Barclaycard was confirmed as sponsor for AEG’s Hyde Park activity. Having ended its partnership with the Royal Parks last year, Live Nation will move its London-based festivals, including Wireless and Hard Rock Calling, east to the site of last year’s London games, as part of a deal with the London Legacy Development Corporation. Meanwhile AEG Live, which has taken over the Hyde Park franchise, announced that its activity there this summer will be called British Summer Time, will be sponsored by former Wireless backer Barclaycard, and will be headlined by Bon Jovi. Oh, and apparently they’ve sorted out the noise issues that dogged Live Nation’s activity in the park in recent years. Live Nation report | AEG report
05: Mega launched last weekend, though was criticised for its sluggishness and security issues. That said, the new file-transfer service from Kim Dotcom, launched a year after the US authorities shutdown his original business MegaUpload amidst piracy allegations, generated a lot of interest, and signed-up plenty of users. The slow running of the service was due to that large number of sign-ups, Dotcom said. Mega boasts that it automatically encrypts files uploaded to the service, providing security and privacy for users, and arguably protecting the new business from copyright infringement claims. Though tech experts said the auto-encrypted files were easily hackable, while lawyers were divided on whether user’s files being locked would reduce Mega’s responsibility for stopping infringement on its network. CMU report | Ars Technica report
On CMU this week, we chatted to Ritzy Bryan from The Joy Formidable, Flux Pavilion did us a playlist, and Eddy TM asked for your help. Approved were Seeräuber Jenny, Cult Of Luna, Parquet Courts and Kate Boy.