Earlier this month, Bloombergreported that streaming music host SoundCloud was close to finalizing licensing deals with the three major labels. The deals would reportedly grant each label an ownership stake in SoundCloud of 3-5 percent in exchange for their agreement not to sue over copyright infringement on SoundCloud. Meanwhile, a mini-controversy has erupted over Soundcloud’s implementation of its copyright enforcement procedures, making it important to separate fact from fiction.
The Senate Judiciary’s subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights will hold a hearing on Thursday afternoon to examine the planned merger of Universal Music Group and EMI.
[…]On Monday afternoon, the authors of the Public Knowledge-Consumer Federation paper will speak at a briefing on Capitol Hill to discuss the merger. Casey Rae Hunter, deputy director of the Future of Music Coalition, will join Public Knowledge’s Jodie Griffin and the Consumer Federation’s Mark Cooper. Chris Naoum, co-founder of Listen Local First, will moderate.
Chairman Kohl, Senator Lee and members of the committee, it is an honor to submit the following testimony for the record in such an important hearing.
My name is Casey Rae, and I am the Deputy Director for Future of Music Coalition (FMC), a national research, education and advocacy organization for musicians. I am also a recording artist, producer and small label owner. Each of these roles has provided me with valuable insight into how the independent music sector functions on a practical level, as well as how technology has impacted artists and songwriters in positive and less-than-positive ways. read more
[…]Universal’s deal would reduce the number of major record companies to three from four, and give the company — already the largest record group by revenue — a 40 percent share of the global recorded music market, according to most estimates.
Others in the music industry, including the Warner Music Group and independent organizations like the Future of Music Coalition, also oppose the Universal deal. But the deal has supporters, too, including some artist managers and American labor unions representing musicians and performers.
This post was authored by FMC policy intern Joseph Silver.
Pending approval by the Federal Trade Commission, the European Commission and other American and European antitrust regulators, the U.S-based record company Universal Music Group (UMG) intends to merge with the UK-based EMI Music Corporation to form one mega-label. Last November, UMG agreed to a $1.9 billion bid for EMI’s recorded music business. (A separate effort to acquire EMI’s profitable publishing division has been launched by Sony.) read more
What does the future hold for the major labels? Do they need to consolidate to remain competitive in the face of music piracy? Would the cost of music rise? Would they stymie growth and creation of streaming sites such as Pandora and Spotify?
Casey Rae, Deputy Director, Future of Music Coalition, an artists’ advocacy group.
C. Evan Stewart, attorney who practices antitrust law; Partner with Zuckerman, Spaeder law firm based in New York.
As the castles crumble, does it really matter if UMG merges with EMI, anyway? YES, according to groups like Impala and now the Future of Music Coalition, which are actively lobbying on both sides of the Atlantic against the tie-up. Meanwhile, the labels have formally submitted their request to the European Commission, which pegged March 23rd as an approval date. US submissions happened two months ago, according to details shared by Impala…
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
On February 15, 2012, Future of Music Coalition sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission voicing concerns about the propsed aquisition of EMI Music by Universal Music Group (UMG). In it, we describe how competition allows for more innovation and opportunities for artists, and that the sheer market power of a post-acquisition UMG would inhibit the growth of the legitimate digital music marketplace.
February 15, 2012
Mr. Richard Feinstein, Esq., Director
Mr. Norman Armstrong, Esq., Deputy Director
Office of Policy and Coordination
Bureau of Competition, H-374
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580