Lamont Dozier was as important as any songwriter that has ever lived. As an industry, we are always focusing on the next thing, and sadly that comes with consequences: we sometimes fail to fully honour the wisdom and expertise that comes with having seen everything there is to see. The songwriters are the low men or women in the economic equation and they are still not – despite copyright board rulings, DCMS committees and CMA investigations – paid fairly and equitably.
Spotify’s latest expansion into the world of live music will see the streaming service selling tickets directly to fans, rather than just linking to external ticketing firms. For now, this is strictly a test rather than a full commercial launch. It kicks off tomorrow (10 August) with a small number of artists, with pre-sale tickets available to fans through Spotify’s app and a newly-launched tickets.spotify.com website.
As the government’s case against Penguin Random House’s acquisition of Simon & Schuster winds down, Macmillan CEO Don Weisberg and government economist Nicholas Hill laid out reasons why they are concerned about the impact of the proposed merger. Weisberg is the second-to-last CEO of the Big Five publishing companies to testify in the trial.
The videogame industry is seeing a sharp slowdown in growth as people are going out again after a pandemic-fueled spurt of spending on game software, hardware and accessories. Industry executives and analysts say the easing of the health crisis is a leading factor. They also pointed to rising prices for essential goods, the war in Ukraine and a dearth of new blockbusters as other causes for the deceleration.
In the age of streaming, where content access is near bottomless, how much content is enough? How long is that tail? And what do we do with the slightly older stuff no one is looking for or watching? Maybe the movie business can, once again, take a page from the music industry, where some artists have retaken control of their masters from labels 35 years after the original recording.
Five years almost to the day after it began, Hollywood’s evangelistic fervor for streaming has been extinguished this week by the “Batgirl” imbroglio. Warner Bros. Discovery’s decision to scrap the completed DC Comics film that was bound for HBO Max marks the boldest example of Old Media economic rigor being applied to contemporary content spending.
A week after a marathon hearing, magistrate judge Valerie Figueredo found no direct evidence of a conspiracy to fix e-book prices and eliminate retail competition, and recommended the case be tossed. At the July 27 hearing, lawyers for Amazon and the Big Five publishers insisted the suits were an ill-fated fishing expedition in the wake of the publishers’ 2012 price-fixing conspiracy with Apple.
Warner Bros. Discovery says it will merge HBO Max and Discovery+ into a single platform that is commercially and technologically viable. But the conglomerate looks like it will be playing catch-up in streaming markets outside the U.S. for many years to come. That’s a dreadful blunder for a group that contains the iconic pay-TV brand HBO, and had already started to roll out its own direct-to-consumer service HBO Max.
The U.S. wants to stop Penguin Random House from buying Simon & Schuster. The elephant in the room is Amazon. Book publishers want to become bigger and stronger partly to have more leverage over Amazon, by far the largest seller of books in the United States. One version of Penguin Random House’s strategy boils down to this: Our book publishing monopoly is the best defense against Amazon’s book selling monopoly.
Legendary author Stephen King testified on behalf of the government Tuesday in the antitrust trial that aims to block Penguin Random House from acquiring fellow publishing giant Simon & Schuster from Paramount Global. The prolific author testified against the $2.1 billion deal in Washington, D.C. federal court, supporting the government’s contention that the deal will hurt authors by limiting the market for new manuscripts.