A week after the Grammy Awards celebrations, the music industry is hunkering down for what could be an intense yearlong fight over corporate consolidation.
The ownership landscape of the major music companies has shifted significantly in the last year. In May, the Warner Music Group was sold to Access Industries, a conglomerate controlled by the Russian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik, and in November Citigroup reached deals to split EMI — home to the catalogs of the Beatles, Coldplay and Katy Perry — between Sony and the Universal Music Group. read more
Last year, we reported on the Future of Music Coalition’s initiative to determine how musicians make money — especially jazz musicians. While not all of the data has been released, the FMC presented a few interesting early findings in a recent blog post…
It’s now EMI’s time to fret about the percentage of royalties that need to be handed over to music artists on digital downloads. On Monday, Capitol Records, a subsidiary of EMI, was sued by Kenny Rogers, who claims he’s entitled to 50 percent of net royalites from digital sales and ringtones.
Rogers is following the path of other artists who have recently gone to court against major record labels to object to underpayment from the digital distribution of music… read more
I noticed an interesting trend at the MusicTech Summit in San Francisco this week: A lot of the talk over lunch and during hallway conversations wasn’t about the next big thing, about fancy Spotify apps or sexy mashups. Instead, people were busy talking about CRMs, CMS platforms and e-commerce…
…Of course, an audience alone doesn’t guarantee that you can make a living, and new research from the Future of Music Coalition that was unveiled at the event showed that the majority of artists never see any money from services like Spotify. So is it really sustainable if every singer with a few thousand fans on YouTube wants to be a working musician? Rogers countered my question by asking: “Has it ever been sustainable?”
Yesterday, Japantown’s Hotel Kabuki filled up with hundreds of pale-faced tech nerds wearing blazers-and-jeans combos. These inventors and couriers of music technology spent the day arguing about the perks and pitfalls of various technologies at the 10th SF MusicTech Summit. Two highlights from the day approached the idea of music from opposing ends of the tech spectrum. read more
AT&T spared no expense in 2011 when it sought government approval of its $39 billion deal to acquire T-Mobile. The merger would have created a duopoly, leaving AT&T and Verizon in control of nearly 80 percent of the wireless market.
AT&T would then have been able to set higher prices, at a cost to people on modest incomes who depend on their cell phones to connect with work, family, and the details of modern life. read more