Friday 22 October 2010, 14:00 | By Chris Cooke
The music business week in five – Friday 22 Oct 2010
So, chocolate biscuit anyone? I fancy a Blue Riband. Apparently chocolate biscuits are an essential eat if you want to secure a multi-billion pound corporate takeover. Though it might result in said takeover going horribly wrong, costing you and your mates millions and leaving you saddled with a dead weight worth a billion pounds less than what you owe the bank. Well, that’s what I read somewhere. Perhaps I’ll stick with bananas. Meanwhile, here’s the music business week in five.
01: The Terra Firma v Citigroup trial kicked off in New York. Despite out of court talks, Terra Firma’s litigation against the bank which advised on and financed their 2007 takeover of EMI went ahead this week. The equity group claims the bank provided misleading advice that caused Terra Firma boss Guy Hands to bid too soon and too high for the music company. Meanwhile, Citigroup is trying to portray Hands as a bitter man who is looking for a scapegoat after his most ambitious acquisition to date went bad. So far it’s been Terra Firma staff giving testimonies. Neither side is expected to come out of the trial especially well. CMU reports | Economist review
02: Rupert Murdoch’s empire entered the Australian ticketing market. Foxtix says it will “shake up the ticket duopoly” that exists in Australia just now, where the market is dominated by the ubiquitous Ticketmaster and native firm Ticketek. On launch, Foxtix published a research report that said Australian consumers were frustrated with the way live event ticketing works, including inflated fees and unreliable websites. The new ticketing firm claim they’ll address those issues. There’s currently no indication as to whether Foxtix has ambitions to expand outside of Australia. CMU report
03: ITV re-signed ‘X-Factor’ and ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ through a new three year deal with Simon Cowell and his Syco company. There had been speculation that Cowell might put ‘X-Factor’ in the UK on hold to concentrate on the show’s launch Stateside, though realistically that was never that likely to happen. Under the new multi-million deal ‘X’ UK will remain in its autumn slot even though that will clash with the American version of the programme. Most likely, Cowell will only appear on the British programme in the final stages of the competition. CMU report | Guardian report
04: 7Digital announced lots of stuff, including a music service that will work on tablet computer devices being launched by Samsung and Toshiba to compete with the iPad, a new app to work on both Android phones and the iPhone, and plans to relaunch its main online download store later in the year so that it includes editorial from the BBC, gig listings from Songkick and some sort of artwork recognition tool. CMU report | C-Net report
05: The Radioplayer was unveiled at the Radio Festival in Manchester. This is the new online radio platform that will carry both BBC and commercial radio services. Hopefully it will make listening to commercial stations online less of a shit experience, and more like the vastly superior BBC iPlayer. Demoed at the radio industry’s big conference this week, Radioplayer is due to launch in December with 200 stations on board by February. CMU report | BBC report
And that’s your lot for this week. I hope to see some of you at the Music Mind Exchange event on music funding next Wednesday (www.musicmindexchange.com), and don’t forget the next CMU Training seasons kicks off next month, why not join us for a complete beginners guide to the world of music rights (www.theCMUwebsite.com/training)?
Business Editor, CMU