Having named the team spearheading its worldwide podcast strategy at the start of the month, Sony Music Entertainment has made another big podcast-related announcement. The company has made a strategic investment in podcast production house Neon Hum, forming a new creative partnership between the two companies to expand their development of original podcast content.
Warner Music Group and Providence Equity Partners today announced plans to invest in world-class recorded music and music publishing catalogs via a newly established platform, Tempo Music Investments, that has raised $650 million. The move is similar in some ways to the launch of Hipgnosis, which launched last year and has raised more than $800 million to acquire full or partial stakes in the catalogs of many songwriters who have enjoyed multiple global hits.
A federal judge in California has ordered Universal Music Group (UMG) to provide discovery evidence requested by litigating artists. The order is the latest development in a class action lawsuit filed by artists in response to the fire at the Universal Studios backlot in 2008.
GEMA said that its majority-acquisition of the company, for an undisclosed fee, strengthens its position in the growing digital market for music, podcasts and audio books. “By acquiring a stake in Zebralution, GEMA becomes one of the first collective management organisations in the world to secure commercial participation in a growth segment of the music market,” said a media release.
According to data revealed in local trade body’s SNEP’s half-year report, Deezer paid out 37.5% of all money generated by streaming in France for the three major record labels in the first six months of 2019. (Total streaming revenues for the French record industry in this period stood at €138.1m.)
Negotiations between the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) and the studios lasted over two years, but while the former did receive significant improvements in their contract with the latter, their members still will not be getting residuals for TV shows and movies that are streamed online.
The acquisitive company – which started trading on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in July 2018 – is committed to undertaking a semi-annual valuation of its song portfolio, conducted by an independent valuer. According to that independent valuer, Hipgnosis’ unaudited Operative Net Asset Value (‘Operative NAV’) was 108.46 pence per Ordinary Share on September 30, 2019.
Sosa Entertainment claims that it has not been paid full royalties associated with over 550 million streams on Spotify. The tracks associated with these streams, says the company, were removed by SPOT in a process which began “in or about” May 2017, and were chopped from the service “without advance notice [and] without ever telling [Sosa and PMR] why their songs were removed”.
Impala, the European trade collective that represents both independent labels and publishers, announced today that it is “gearing up” to oppose Tencent’s buyout of a 10% stake of Universal Music Group, with an option to add a further 10%. The organization is also concerned about “who might buy the additional UMG stakes that are up for grabs.”
The former CEO of PledgeMusic — the direct-to-fan music marketplace that filed for liquidation earlier this year, leaving thousands of musicians unpaid — has been accused of improper financial conduct by a member of the band Failure, one of the artists who are owed money by the company. The executive has denied the allegations and says he is exploring legal action.