Business News Week In Five

The music business week in five – 30 Mar 2012

By | Published on Friday 30 March 2012

Chris Cooke

Hey there everybody, and welcome one and all to this Friday edition of your CMU Daily. Coming up, the five biggest stories of the week in music, but before that, if you haven’t already, do check out the latest Great Escape announcements that came out this week. The Temper Trap’s gallant return to TGE was among the 141 bands announced this week, and on the CMU-programmed convention side of things we confirmed we were teaming up with Arts Council England to throw the spotlight on DIY. Click those links to find out more, then check out the Week In Five.

01: Sony/ATV offered concessions to the EC competition regulator, as the initial investigation into its bid to buy EMI Music Publishing reached its conclusion. We don’t know what the concessions are, but the European Commission said it would need until 19 Apr to decide whether the offer allayed all fears about the acquisition, or whether a second longer inquiry was required. US regulators also continue to investigate the proposed deal, which would give Sony a sizable though not majority stake in by far the biggest music publishing catalogue in the world. CMU report | Washington Post report

02: Universal was shopping three catalogues of songs as its EMI bid went into a phase two investigation at the EC. The mega-major reportedly wants to sell three of its publishing catalogues to raise £200 million to go towards its bid to buy the EMI record companies. The move is not intended as a concession to competition regulators in the US or Europe though, Universal still certain it will get approval on both sides of the Atlantic without having to agree to remedies. The EC investigation entered into a three month second phase late last week, with pan-European indie label trade body welcoming the specific concerns the Commission noted about the proposed merger on beginning phase two. CMU report | FT report

03: IFPI figures showed record sales declined in 2011, but the slide is slowing down. Trade revenues for the worldwide record industry were down 3%, new figures from the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry showed, though the trade body noted that that was a “significant slowing in the fall of the market” as digital sales continue to grow, and other revenue streams like sync – declared by IFPI for the first time this year – help compensate the continued slump in CD sales. CMU reportBillboard report

04: Sonisphere UK was cancelled, leading to chatter about the state of the British festival market, ironically in the week when people were being optimistic about the record industry again. The metal fest confirmed it was not going ahead in the UK this year yesterday morning, after headliners Queen announced the cancellation the previous day. With some bands rumoured to be due their first fees from the festival this week, quite a few agents and managers were raging yesterday, while fans were disappointed that an event that has become much loved in its short lifetime won’t be occurring in Britain this year. CMU report | Rock Sound report

05: Richard Hooper published his first report on the Digital Copyright Exchange, one of the government’s grand ideas for making the licensing of content to the digital sector simpler. The music business welcomed Hooper’s admission that the British music industry was pretty good at licensing new and innovative digital platforms already, but also agreed with the government’s man that things could still be better, and said they looked forward to working with him on the next stage of his inquiry into exactly what a DCE would do and how it might work. CMU report | BBC report

And that is your lot for now – enjoy the sunshine while it lasts.

Chris Cooke
Business Editor, CMU