Business

From #MeToo to #WeTogether: Music Industry Attorneys Call for Action (Guest Op-Ed)

It is time to change the rules, not just by raising our voices in a chorus of condemnation, but by taking concrete action. The #MeToo movement has started a worldwide conversation, bringing awareness and contemplation to workplace protocol. It has been a deeply inspiring moment. At its essence, MeToo is an acknowledgment of a common experience. It started with women building community around past sexual harassment, assault and abuse and has morphed into a desire for corrective action and an open dialog on gender bias — and ultimately identity bias which extends far beyond the battle of the sexes. In talking to executives, artists, managers, agents, lawyers, producers, friends, neighbors and colleagues, it is clear that there is more consensus than there is controversy. The days of &#...

Dow Jones Industrial Average down 600 points

Stocks closed sharply lower Monday, pulling the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 600 points. Technology stocks led the broad market slide after a report that suggested Apple cut back orders significantly from a parts supplier rattled investors. Banks also took heavy losses. On Monday: The S&P 500 index dropped 54.79 points, or 2 percent, to 2,726.22. The Dow fell 602.12 points, or 2.3 percent, to 25,387.18. The Nasdaq composite slid 206.03 points, or 2.8 percent, to 7,200.87. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gave up 30.70 points, or 2 percent, to 1,518.79. For the year: The S&P 500 is up 52.61 points, or 2 percent. The Dow is up 667.96 points, or 2.7 percent. The Nasdaq is up 297.48 points, or 4.3 percent. The Russell 2000 is down 16.72 points, or 1.1 percent.

Nick Bell Out as Snapchat Head of Content: Read His Memo to Staff

Nick Bell is leaving Snapchat.  The company’s vp content sent a memo to staff on Monday announcing that he is departing from the company after five years running its media and entertainment efforts. “After nearly five years and a once in a lifetime ride, I have let Evan know that I am leaving Snap to take some time off to recharge before deciding on my next adventure,” he wrote in the memo. Bell joined the company during its early days to help build out the Discover platform where it posts professionally produced content from editorial partners and original shows from Hollywood producers. Under his leadership, Snapchat developed its vertical video format and closed ecosystem where it struck deals with media and entertainment companies to produce original content for its p...

Spotlight: People’s Choice Producers Den of Thieves on Building Awards Shows for a Viral Era

“Within the structure of an awards show, the presenters and awards will happen and hopefully those awards mean something… But it’s really about the in-between.” For more than a decade, Jesse Ignjatovic and Evan Prager‘s Den of Thieves production company has been the driving force behind some of music’s most iconic live TV moments, including the MTV VMAs, the iHeartRadio Music Awards and co-producing the Hand in Hand telethon that raised over $55 million for hurricane relief in 2017. Though they aren’t household names, the duo has helped keep awards shows exciting and relevant in the social media age as much as any performer, and their collaborative success dates back to a friendship that began more than two decades ago. Ignjatovic and Prager are no...

BMG Parent Bertelsmann Posts Highest 9-Month Revenue in a Decade

BMG parent company Bertelsmann has reported its highest nine-month revenue growth since 2007. The German mega-conglomerate said this week that, despite negative exchange rate effects, revenue for its companies increased by 2.4 percent year-over-year to €12.4 billion ($14 billion), up from €12.1 billion at the end of September last year. The company’s high-growth businesses, including BMG, RTL Group, Gruner + Jahr, Fremantle, Arvato and the Bertelsmann Education Group, recorded a 10-percent organic increase in revenues to €4.2 billion. Operating EBITDA remained high at €1.62 billion, down slightly from the previous year’s €1.64 billion.  Bertelsmann’s music subsidiary BMG was able to complete a number of publishing catalog purchases and signings, including an exclusive wor...

Another Keystone XL setback; environmental review ordered

Environmentalists cheered a federal court order that blocks a Trump administration permit for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, pending an environmental review. The pipeline would begin in Alberta and shuttle as much as 830,000 barrels a day of crude through a half dozen states to terminals on the Gulf Coast. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris put on hold the $8 billion project, ruling that the potential impact had not been considered as required by federal law. Environmentalists and Native American groups sued to stop the project, citing property rights and potential oil spills. Morris was appointed by President Barack Obama. Becky Mitchell, chairwoman of the Northern Plains Resource Council, a plaintiff in the case, said that the organization is thrilled with the ruling. TransC...

SiriusXM Parent Liberty Media Posts $2.3 Billion in Q3 Revenue

Liberty Media, the company that is controlled by billionaire mogul John Malone and houses such assets as satellite radio company SiriusXM Radio, the Atlanta Braves baseball club and the Formula One racing circuit, on Thursday reported higher third-quarter financials. Quarterly earnings came in at $268 million, up from $168million in the year-ago period. Operating income rose from $382 million to $531 million. SiriusXM recorded an 11 percent increase in operating profit to $466 million, while the company’s Liberty Braves Group’s operating profit of $45 million meant a swing from a year-ago loss of $9 million. Formula One swung to an operating profit of $39 million from a year-ago loss of $10 million. The company’s third-quarter revenue rose from less than $2.1 billion to $...

CISAC Reports Global Publishing Grew 6% to $9.4B in 2017, Smaller Regions Showing Greatest Gains

CISAC, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers, which collects data from 239 collection management organizations in 123 countries, reports that music publishing collections grew 6 percent to €8.336 billion ($9.4 billion) in 2017 from €7.863 million ($8.87 billion) in 2016. Member organizations help to secure the best remuneration for millions of creators around the globe, according to the CISAC leadership, as the fight carries on to get fair payments from large tech companies that enjoy massive traffic from user generated content using music but pay below par rates to right holders. “CISAC is at the heart of a battle for the future of over 4 million creators worldwide,” CISAC President Jean-Michel Jarre said in his introduction to the report. ̶...

Stocks gain after midterms as tech and health care rise

Stock and bond prices are climbing Wednesday morning after Democrats won control of the House of Representatives in the U.S. midterm elections, while Republicans kept a majority in the Senate. Big-name technology and consumer companies are making some of the largest gains. The outcome was largely what investors expected. While the potential for political gridlock in Washington increases, the market reaction has not been nearly as volatile as after other political events, such as the 2016 presidential vote. Historically markets have performed well after midterm elections and with split control of Congress. The S&P 500 index gained 34 points, or 1.3 percent, to 2,789 as of 11 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 265 points, or 1 percent, to 25,900. The Nasdaq composit...

MelodyVR CEO On Building a Global Music Business Out Of Virtual Reality

“What we’re trying to do is non-competitive with any other form of music. We don’t want people to stop streaming. We don’t want people to stop going to gigs.” “Before we started there was no VR music company. It just didn’t exist,” reflects Anthony Matchett, founder and CEO of MelodyVR. Four years later, the London-based business is now the owner of the world’s largest library of virtual reality music content, has licence agreements in place with all three majors and a number of independents (Big Machine, Roc Nation) and has worked with over 650 international artists, including Post Malone, Wiz Khalifa, Blake Shelton, Kiss, The Chainsmokers, Fall Out Boy, Imagine Dragons, Rag’n’Bone Man, The Who and Bloc Party. Recent partne...

Lenny Kravitz Is Back at CAA After 10 Months at UTA

Lenny Kravitz is back at CAA after a brief stint at UTA, returning to the talent agency where he spent the last decade and landed several major Hollywood roles. The move comes less than ten months after Kravitz parted ways with CAA in January for UTA, where he was repped by UTA Chairman Jim Berkus. While his reason for leaving UTA so soon after signing is unclear, Kravitz did enjoy success during his last decade at CAA, landing big roles in films like Precious, The Butler as well as The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Kravitz has recorded 11 studio albums that have sold more than 40 million copies worldwide and holds the record for the most Grammy wins in the “Best Male Rock Vocal Performance” category. Kravitz has 16 songs that charted on the Billboard Hot 100 and two th...

One Reason Music’s Hottest CDs Are Out of Stock: Manufacturing Has Moved to Mexico

During the last month, four hit titles issued by UMG have been swept off the shelves by fans and put on back order, or, in some cases, weren’t even in stores on their release dates. Newbury Comics head of purchasing Carl Mello says that his Northeast-based chain has been having a strange problem lately: It can’t keep in stock “those CD things that supposedly nobody wants anymore.” During the last month, four hit titles issued by Universal Music Group (UMG) — Eminem‘s Kamikaze, Lil Wayne‘s Tha Carter V, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper‘s A Star Is Born soundtrack and Greta Van Fleet‘s Anthem of the Peaceful Army — have been swept off the shelves by fans and put on back order, or, in some cases, weren’t even in stores on their rel...