Welcome to the weekly Music Business Worldwide roundup, where we made sure you captured the top five stories to make our headlines over the past seven days. The MBW summary is supported by Centtrip, which helps more than 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximize their income and reduce their touring costs.
Who is about to own the largest music rights company on the planet?
That’s a question we can’t fully answer at this point, thanks to this week’s shenanigans in Vivendi’s attempt to sell 10% of Universal Music Group.
The US-based SPAC of course To buy 10% of UMG this summer, Pershing Square Tontine Holdings (PSTH), withdrew from that deal.
Instead, it passed its UMG share purchase agreement to a company with a similar name, Pershing Square Holdings Ltd (PSH), which is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
The crucial fact in this narrative: Vivendi confirmed this week that PSH can now do not buy 10% of UMG for $ 4 billion, as originally agreed with PSTH.
Instead, PSH could buy as little as 5% of Universal, leaving it to Vivendi to find other buyer to acquire the additional 5% stake that PSH leaves on the table.
Vivendi is committed to finding that additional buyer, if necessary, before September 21 … when 60% of UMG is scheduled to go public in Amsterdam.
Elsewhere this week, Warner Music Group swooped in for the assets of Doug Morris’s 12 Tone Music, which features Anderson. Paak among its catalog.
The fee for the deal was not disclosed, but considering that Sony Music just paid nine figures for Todd Moscowitz’s Alamo Records, it’s a safe bet that Morris made a penny.
Maybe the the majority What’s interesting about Warner’s asset purchase?
Apple is / was an investor in 12Tone, which means that a “traditional” player from the major record industry has just bought ownership of the music rights from a global tech leviathan.
For a long time in the music business, observers, including MBW, have pondered what could happen to record labels if tech giants start acquiring more and more profitable music rights outright.
Current evidence suggests that this trend is actually moving in the opposite direction, and not just because of the 12Tone story: industry whisperers tell MBW that Alphabet / Google no longer has interests in 300 Entertainment, the hit indie hit. New York-HQ. Directed by Kevin Liles. (Google was one of the first 300 funding sources, previously run by Lyor Cohen, now global director of YouTube Music.)
In recent days, Sony Music Publishing also announced, in a landmark move, that it will ignore unwanted balances for traditional songwriters who meet certain criteria, as CTS Eventim confirms that it is fighting Live Nation and co. expanding to Asia.
See below five of the biggest stories MBW reported this week …
1) THE SALE OF THE UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP OF 70% OF VIVENDI IS GETTING COMPLICATED …
At the close of last week, Vivendi’s plan to sell 70% of Universal Music Group seemed simple enough.
The French company planned, and still plans, to spin off 60% of UMG on the Amsterdam stock exchange in September (September 21, to be precise).
Additionally, Vivendi was going to sell 10% of UMG in a $ 4 billion transaction to Bill Ackman’s SPAC, US-based Pershing Square Tontine Holdings (PSTH).
All that changed this week, when Ackman announced that his SPAC would cancel its acquisition and transfer its share purchase agreement to Pershing Square Holdings Ltd.
That, however, is not the end of the matter …
2) WARNER MUSIC GROUP ACQUIRES ASSETS FROM DOUG MORRIS 12-TONE MUSIC
Warner Music Group (WMG) is acquiring the assets of 12Tone Music, the independent label founded in 2018 by veteran music executive Doug Morris.
Under this arrangement, Morris will continue to actively participate in the daily activities of 12 Tone Music and its artists.
Most recently distributed by ADA, Warner’s independent label and artist services arm, 12Tone’s catalog and roster includes artists such as Aftermath’s four-time Grammy winner Anderson .Paak, and the 88 Rising collective (featuring the world superstar Joji among his list).
3) NOW THE PUBLICATION OF SONY MUSIC DISCOUNTS THE UNRECOVERED BALANCES OF THE WRITERS OF THE ESTATE
Last month, in a move that won widespread applause, Sony Music announced that it was ignoring the unrecovered balances of a swath of heritage recording artists on its books.
The measure was launched through an initiative called “Artists Forward” which, according to the record company, focuses on “prioritizing transparency with creators in all aspects of their development.”
Now the main policy of that initiative, The Legacy Unrecouped Balance Program, is rolling out to songwriters, and Sony Music Publishing (SMP) today revealed that it will ignore unrecovered balances going forward for qualified songwriters.
4) CTS EVENTIM LAUNCHES EVENTIM LIVE ASIA IN PARTNERSHIP WITH EX-LIVE NATION EXEC JASON MILLER
The music industry shouldn’t sleep with the rapid growth of concert promoter and ticketing company CTS Eventim.
The Munich-based company posted € 1.44 billion in revenue in 2019, more than three times its turnover a decade earlier (2009: € 467 million).
Now, as the company seeks to recover from a pandemic year in 2020, it has made a major global move: the launch of Eventim Live Asia (ELA) in partnership with Jason Miller….
5) SONY MUSIC CLAIMS GYMSHARK FROM THE FITNESS BRAND WITH A VALUE OF $ 1BN FOR INFRINGING 297 ADS RECORDINGS
Sony Music Entertainment (SME) has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against UK-born sportswear brand Gymshark.
The fitness firm, founded by Ben Francis in 2012, was valued at roughly $ 1.3 billion in August last year after selling a 21% stake to US-based General Atlantic. Gymshark is currently expanding into the United States.
In a legal document filed in California on Thursday (July 15), Sony Music claims that Gymshark “has achieved its success by infringing on sound recordings and musical compositions belonging to several different content owners,” including SMEs, “on a large scale. “. …