CMU Digest 06.19.22: Performer ER, Sony Music, Bestival, Spotify, US Radio Music License Committee

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Business News CMU Digest

By Chris Cooke | Posted on Sunday, June 19, 2022

Key stories from the past week in the music business…

Belgium has introduced a right to fair remuneration for performers on streams. This means that musicians in the country will receive at least some of their streaming royalties directly, most likely through the collective licensing system, rather than through a label or distributor. Session musicians will also share this money. The new right was introduced when the country implemented the European Copyright Directive of 2019. This directive does not specifically talk about an ER right on streams, although it does state that states EU should ensure that performers receive “appropriate and proportionate remuneration” for the exploitation of their work. Germany also introduced a new ER right when implementing the directive, but only for streams on user-upload platforms, while in Belgium it will apply to all streaming services. . Although supported by many artist groups, ER over streaming revenue remains controversial within the music community, with critics claiming it negatively impacts labels’ ability to invest in new talent, and that artists who release through their own labels will be worse off financially. [READ MORE]

Sony Music has announced the appointment of a new CEO for its Australian division. Sony Music Australia has been without a CEO for a year following the sudden departure in June 2021 of longtime chief Denis Handlin. The sudden departure came as The Guardian published an article accusing Handlin of overseeing a toxic corporate culture, with former employees alleging sexual harassment, bullying behavior, alcohol abuse and unfair treatment of women. At work. Handlin himself has not been accused of harassment, but he has been heavily criticized for overseeing such a toxic work environment. By appointing a whole new management team, Sony hopes to put the scandal behind them and demonstrate that an entirely new approach is now being used at Sony Music Australia. This new CEO is Vanessa Picken, who previously worked at EMI Australia in the 2000s, before launching her own marketing agency and working for [PIAS] in LA in the 2010s. [READ MORE]

Bestival founder Rob Da Bank has welcomed a judgment from the London courts which ruled he had not personally guaranteed a loan to the former Bestival company. This company was placed in conservatorship in 2018 after several years of financial problems. Da Bank was able to partner with Live Nation and SJM to acquire the Bestival brand from this administration, to continue promoting the Camp Bestival event. However, a ticketing company which had previously advanced £1million to the now defunct company Bestival – and which still owed £650,000 – went after Da Bank and another former festival manager on the grounds that the two men had personally guaranteed this loan. . TicketLine said it was aware of Bestival’s financial situation when it advanced the money, so it insisted that the loan be personally guaranteed by the directors. However, Da Bank insisted that he had not been involved in the negotiations with TicketLine and had never committed to personally guaranteeing the loans. TicketLine filed a lawsuit, but the court sided with Da Bank, which said it was happy that “truth and justice prevailed and four years of grueling legal proceedings are behind us.” [READ MORE]

Spotify has launched a safety advisory board in a bid to overcome criticism of the streaming company’s handling of misleading and offensive content available on its platform. Although he insisted that the creation of the Council was not in response to any particular incident, it was the controversy earlier this year around the Joe Rogan Experience podcast – which is hosted exclusively on Spotify – that put the company’s systems to deal with problematic content in the projector. Other digital companies have also appointed groups of independent experts to consult on problematic content, including Facebook’s oversight board, although Spotify’s advisory board isn’t as strong. Spotify explained that “Council members will not make enforcement decisions regarding specific content or creators – however, their feedback will inform how we shape our high-level policies and internal processes.” [READ MORE]

US song rights management companies ASCAP and BMI have criticized the US radio industry for seeking a joint court hearing to review royalty rates. ASCAP and BMI are governed by so-called consent decrees which, among other things, state that if a licensee cannot agree on the royalties to be paid for the use of songs from either another company, it may bring the dispute before a tariff tribunal. procedure. Previously, there were specific judges to hear such proceedings, one for ASCAP and one for BMI. But following the Music Modernization Act 2018, one member of a team of judges is now randomly selected to oversee any litigation. With that in mind, the US Radio Music License Committee wants a single judge to be appointed to consider at a hearing its ongoing dispute with ASCAP and BMI over royalty rates. Both companies fear this is an attempt to pit them against each other in an audition, which will ultimately drive down the total royalties paid by radio stations to the music industry. To that end, they formally opposed the proposal for a joint hearing, insisting that was not the intent of the MMA reforms. [READ MORE]



LEARN MORE ABOUT: ASCAP | Bestival | BMI | EU Copyright Directive | ER performer | Radio Music Licensing Committee (RMLC) | Rob Da Bank | Sony Music | Spotify | Vanessa Picken


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