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CMU Digest 05/29/22: Sony Music, Music Venue Trust, Festival Diversity, Travis Scott, BBC

Business News CMU Digest

By Chris Cooke | Posted on Sunday, May 29, 2022

Key stories from the past week in the music business…

Sony Music has announced that it is extending its commitment to pay royalties to unrecovered heritage artists. Last year, Sony became the first major to commit to paying royalties to heritage artists on pre-2000 recording deals that never recovered. This meant that these artists would actually receive their share of the money generated from their recordings into their bank accounts, rather than that money being used to repay past advances and other recoverable costs incurred by the label. Warner Music and Universal Music then followed Sony’s lead. This week, Sony said that commitment will now apply to any unrecovered artist who made their original deal over 20 years ago, meaning artists who made their deals before 2001 are already eligible, and a new group of unrecovered artists will become eligible to receive new royalties. every year. [READ MORE]

The Music Venue Trust has launched a new initiative which aims to buy properties currently let by popular venues across the UK. The organization said the fact that most sites do not own their properties “supports almost every other challenge” these sites face. To address this issue, MVT has launched a community-based charity called Music Venue Properties that will seek to raise funds from music fans and ethical investors and then use that money to purchase venue properties. Nine sites have been identified for a pilot project to prove that the concept works, six in England, one in Scotland and two in Wales. Those who invest in MVP will help secure the future of a network of grassroots football venues while receiving a 3% APR return on investment. [READ MORE]

A new BBC study has revealed that just 13% of headliners booked to play at the UK’s biggest festivals this summer are women. Nearly 75% of headliners are either male solo artists or all-male groups, while 12% are groups made up of a mix of male and female artists. This means that at the level of headliners, festival programs are not really more diversified than five years ago, despite various initiatives to promote diversity. That said, many festivals – especially those that have joined the PRS Foundation’s Keychange initiative – are now achieving greater gender diversity in their wider line-ups, with some already achieving Keychange’s ambition of a split 50/50 men/women. Some argue that – depending on the genre – at the headliner level, festivals don’t necessarily have a very diverse pool of artists to choose from at the moment – which explains the disappointing headliner statistics – but that all the recent diversity initiatives will hopefully change that in the years to come. [READ MORE]

It has emerged that Travis Scott has been added as a defendant in a negligence lawsuit following a stampede at the 2019 Rolling Loud festival in Miami. Festival-goer Marchelle Love filed her first legal action in relation to the festival in 2020, claiming she was injured in a stampede while Scott was performing her track. His original lawsuit primarily targeted those involved in running the festival and its security, but an amended complaint also argues that Scott himself acted negligently by “verbally and physically inciting the crowd to engage in a mosh pit and other dangerous activities”. The claims come as Scott battles hundreds of lawsuits in connection with the deadly crowd surge that occurred at the 2021 edition of his own festival, Astroworld in Houston. Representatives for Scott said Love’s allegations misrepresent what happened at the 2019 festival, and his revised legal complaint was a “blatant and cynical attempt to attack Travis.” [READ MORE]

BBC boss Tim Davie has outlined a grand plan to make the broadcaster “digital first”. Part of the plan is to future-proof the UK public service broadcaster as more consumers expect content to be available online and on-demand, but part of it is also to save money. the money after the UK government announced it was freezing licensing fees for two years, meaning the BBC’s core revenue stream will shrink in real terms. Under the plan, the BBC will start prioritizing its iPlayer platform and Sounds app over its more conventional linear TV and radio stations. It will also produce less original content overall and eventually make some of its channels online-only. In music, that means the BBC will be looking to further improve its Sounds app. Also, on the classical side, Davie admitted that the BBC will allocate less budget to its orchestras and other performing groups, hoping to fill the gaps through other funding. [READ MORE]

LEARN MORE ABOUT: BBC | Change of key | Music Venue Trust | Ride hard | Sony Music | Travis Scott