Business News Week In Five

The music business week in five – 9 Dec 2011

By | Published on Friday 9 December 2011

Chris Cooke

So, how the hell did it get to be almost halfway through December so quickly? There’s only one more of these Week In Five columns to go in 2012, and two weeks today we’ll be looking back at the whole year instead as we all break up for Christmas. And I haven’t even bought an advent calendar yet. Argh, so much to do. Better get on with all the Week In Five shenanigans extra quick then…

01: Edgar Bronfman Jr stepped down as Warner Music Chairman. The former CEO and key shareholder at the US music major will still have a seat on the board, but the announcement means Bronfman Jr will have little day to day influence over the music company he controlled from 2004 until earlier this year. New CEO Stephen Cooper was optimistic about the company’s future in a conference call with bond holders this week, despite revenues slipping in the last year, though rumours of a cost cutting restructure at the major continue to circulate. CMU reports | FT report

02: Ticketmaster US announced its class action credit plans. This relates to a class action lawsuit over delivery charges added to ticket sales in America over the last decade. Claimants argued that gig goers were misled into thinking delivery charges were just a cost of sale, when actually the ticketing giant made a profit on them. With things looking like they would go the claimants’ way in court, Ticketmaster reached a settlement earlier this year pledging to give anyone who paid misleading delivery charges $1.50 credits on up to seventeen future tickets. Although that multi-million dollar settlement is still to get final court approval, Tickemaster started contacting potentially affected customers about it this week. CMU report | Washington Post report

03: A scandal hit Dutch collecting society BUMA-STEMRA. Amusingly, it related to the unlicensed use of a piece of music by an anti-piracy organisation. Melchior Rietveldt wrote the piece, and turned to his collecting society for help when he discovered that the anti-piracy body he had written it for had used it on millions of DVDs, despite their contract not allowing for such a thing. But, Rietveldt claims, BUMA-STEMRA proved little help until one board member, Jochem Gerrits, got in touch. But he wanted a third of any royalties due on the track in return for offering his assistance. Gerrits demands for a kick back were recorded by a Dutch broadcaster, causing a bit of a scandal in the country’s music community. Gerrits claims his offers of help, and demands for a cut of the loot, have been misrepresented. CMU report | Torrentfreak report

04: 7Digital and Deezer announced expansions. The former had a seventh birthday party and announced a new partnership with Microsoft on the Windows phone and an expansion of operations in the US. The latter announced a plan for rapid growth worldwide, with confusing claims it would launch in more countries than exist on Planet Earth by next summer. 7Digital report | Deezer report

05: Radio 1 announced a specialist show rejig, the first major schedule change since Ben Cooper became Controller, and possibly a move to bring in some of that younger fresher blood people are always saying the Beeb’s youth station lacks. Skeam, Benga, Friction, Charlie Sloth and Toddla T are all in, while Judge Jules, Gilles Peterson, Fabio & Grooverider and Kissy Sell Out are all, well, out. CMU report | Guardian comment

And that’s your lot. Until the podcast, coming to an internet near you soon – sign up at

Chris Cooke
Business Editor, CMU