Wednesday, 29 June 2016

UK Festivals warn against PRS rate rise, as Canada announces record live revenues in 2015

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has warned against any move by collection society PRS for Music to increase the fees paid by their members for UK concerts and events. PRS Tariff LP currently charges 3% under tariff LP to all concerts and festivals. A review of this tariff was launched last year and AIF are warning against the ‘catastrophic effect’ that a rise to the live tariff would have on grassroots events. The AIF are calling instead for a separate festival tariff that will take into account the unique nature of staging music festivals and the multi arts format of many events, as well as their role as incubators of new talent. Such a model already exists in Ireland with the ‘multi-venue’ Tariff MS.

In Canada, live performance royalties grew to a record high in 2015 in what the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), called “another remarkable year” for the collection society. According to SOCAN’s 2015 financial report  ‘general and concert revenue’ increased 4.9% to C$39.6 million last year (up from $37.7m in 2014), demonstrating the “continuing popularity for live music in Canada”.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Competition Authority to investigate 'big four' ticket re-sellers

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has opened a compliance review into the four largest secondary ticketing websites. The CMA is carrying out a review to see if the four sites – Viagogo, Ticketmaster-operated Seatwave and Get Me In! and eBay-owned StubHub are providing adequate information to consumers. It is asking anyone with relevant information about the platforms and their practices to get in touch by the July 12 deadline. Consumer group Which? recently monitored the four sites and concluded the rules outlined in the amended Consumer Rigts Act of ticket resales were not being followed. It follows 
Mumford & Sons manager Adam Tudhope call for anti-touting campaigners to keep up the pressure on the government following the Waterson report on secondary ticketing, warning its recommendations will be “meaningless” without political backing. Tudhope told Music Week “the status quo is intolerable”, and backed the economist’s nine “pragmatic and achievable” recommendations. “He’s not saying there should be new legislation, but rather that government should be making sure that existing consumer law is applied to this market, and that secondary sites should stop flouting the law”.

ATP goes into administration

ATP is closing down and going into administration, the company has announced. The company's Iceland festival, scheduled for July 1-3 and which had already seen a number of artiste cancellations, will no longer take place but its other UK shows will go ahead with new promoters: “It is with deep sadness we are announcing that ATP Festivals and live promotions are closing down," the firm said in statement on its website. "After months of speculation, our funding for Iceland has been pulled and we are no longer able to continue so will be closing down the entire live side of ATP festivals and live promotions with immediate effect and going into administration" adding  “ATP Iceland festival is no longer happening, but all our other UK shows will have new promoters appointed and tickets transferred (all purchased tickets remain valid with the new promoter). We will post details of the administrators and what to do for festival ticket refunds over the next week.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Better news for UK music industry

IQ reports that at least four new music venues will open in London in 2016, as the grassroots sector begins to rebound from recent troubles. DHP Family recently acquired ex-MAMA & Company venues The Borderline in Soho and The Garage in Highbury from Live Nation, while Steve Ball’s Columbo Group snapped up Camden’s The Jazz Cafe and The Barfly from the same company. The Jazz Cafe recently reopened, with The Barfly to be relaunched as The Camden Assembly in the coming months. 

And Music Week reports that more than one in three attendees at live music events in Britain last year were music tourists – an increase of 16% on 2014. A total of 10.4 million music tourists attended UK festivals and concerts in 2015, of which 767,000 were from overseas, reveals UK Music’s Wish You Were Here 2016 report, released today. Foreign concertgoers bought £38m worth of tickets and spent an average of £852 each (up 13% on 2014). The report also revealed that music tourists spent a total of £3.7 billion in 2015, with 39,034 full-time jobs reliant on the sector. It was also strong year for British live music in general, with 3.7m people attending a festival and 24m at least one concert


Former Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard, who joined Twitter as Head of Commerce in August 2013 and recently assumed the title of Interim Head of Media, is leaving the company. He'll be replaced by Ali Jafari, who will take over after Hubbard "transitions out" next month.

Live Nation Canada has made two internal hires, announcing that Erik Hoffman has become its new president in Toronto and John May been brought in as president of media and corporate partnerships.

Musician and entrepreneur Dave Stewart has joined the advisory board of B2B connections portal Music Gateway.

Paul Shaver has been appointed Head of Nielsen Music Canada, where he will oversee all commercial operations surrounding the measurement and insights of music for Nielsen in the Canadian market.

AEG Live Nashville has appointed music industry veteran Clay Schell as senior talent buyer. Schell will be based out of Atlanta, Georgia and will be responsible for buying shows for venues in the southeast.   

Lee Hazeldine has been appointed to the role of area manager for the North West of England for Show Sec. 

Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has hired music marketing and tour sponsorship executive Dave Aussenberg to help bolster the company’s growing Music Brand Partnership group. Aussenberg makes the move from Platinum Rye Entertainment, where he led the company’s New York music partnership division.  

MBW reports that Global Entertainment on both sides of the Atlantic has been cut back to skeletal staff, incurring heavy job losses. But MBW says that Paul Adam, longtime Global publishing boss in the UK, and Richard Palmese, promo expert and US music biz veteran, are still with the company.

Tom March and Ben Mortimer have been named as co-Presidents of the Polydor Records, taking over from Ferdy Unger-Hamilton – who is believed to be launching a JV with Sony in the coming months.

And Highly respected A&R exec Rich Castillo has been appointed Senior A&R Manager for Polydor Records in London.

Erika Alfredson has been promoted to Vice President of Marketing at Sony Music US imprint Columbia Records.

Sony Music UK has appointed Michael Smith as Executive Vice President. Smith has more than 25 years of experience of music and entertainment law.

Paulo Lima has been appointed as President of Universal Music Brazil. Digital expert Lima replaces José Eboli, who exits after 13 years with the major - having originally joined in 2003 as General Manager.

Universal Music Group (UMG) has hired Ziegler as Executive Vice President of Global Physical Operations. He was formerly with Sony DADC.

Warner Music Group (WMG) is launching its Elektra label in France, helmed by former Universal exec Julien Creuzard.

WMG has announced the promotion of John Esposito to Chairman & CEO of Warner Music Nashville (WMN). Esposito has been President & CEO of Warner Music Nashville since 2009, when the division was established to expand WMG’s presence in Music City.

Aton Ben-Horin has been promoted to to Global Vice President, A&R at WMG. In the newly created position, Ben-Horin will continue to provide A&R resources and creative support across WMG’s recorded music labels, including Atlantic and Warner Bros. Records, as well as its international affiliates.

Warner/Chappell Music Chairman & CEO Jon Platt has been elected to the ASCAP Board of Directors.

Francis Keeling is joining Spotify’s London office as VP, Global Head Of Licensing on June 1. He was formerly a senior digital executive with UMG.

Head of Digital at Three Six Zero Group, Tiffany Yu, has been promoted to VP, Digital Innovation at the global music management and entertainment company

And in another interesting move, music rights advocate Casey Rae is leaving behind his role as Future of Music Coalition CEO to join US satellite radio giant SiriusXM as Director of Music Licensing.

Business and technology exec Lonny Olinick has joined Kobalt as SVP, Strategic Business Development. Olinick previously held roles at Sony Music and BMG.

AEG Live has named Jorge Melendez as its Chief Financial Officer.

Entertainment and IP law specialists Scarinci Hollenbeck have announced that the legal team at Bienstock & Michael, LLC, a New York and New Jersey-based boutique intellectual property and entertainment law group, are joining the firm. Ronald S. Bienstock will co-chair Scarinci Hollenbeck's Intellectual Property, and Entertainment, Sports, & Media Law Groups. 

Pandora has appointed Adam Parness as Head of Publisher Licensing and Relations. Based in New York, Parness will join Pandora in July, moving over from his role as Principal Content Acquisition Manager at Amazon

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Sir Rod tops music industry awards in Queen's Birthday Honours

Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, and Rod Stewart, have both been knighted in the Queen's 2016 Birthday Honours. Simon Robey, Chair of the Royal Opera House and Aldeburgh Music, is also knighted. Other awards went to "forces sweetheart" Dame Vera Lynn  who joins the elite Companions of Honour in recognition of her services to entertainment and charity, and singer Ruby Turner who is made an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire). Trumpet soloist Alison Balsom, a three-time Classical Brit winner, is also awarded an OBE for services to music and the award also recognises her passion to promote music education. Classical pianist Paul Lewis receives a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire), as does Dr Brian Andrew, Chairman of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (for services to the arts, heritage and education). Composer and Conductor John McLeod receives a CBE for services to music and Universal’s Senior Director of HR in the UK, Morna Cook, received an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for services to the music industry and apprentices. City solicitor Ian Rosenblatt whose philanthropic activities include buying a local music shop to save it from closure has been awarded an OBE in the Birthday Honours list. His practice sponsors the Rosenblatt Recitals, London’s only world-class series of opera recitals. Former SSE Arena Belfast CEO Nicky Dunn is made an OBE and Remi Harris who had previously worked at UK Music and the Association of Independent Music, receives an MBE for services to the music industry.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

DHP expands with London venues

DHP Family has acquired London venues The Borderline and The Garage from Live Nation.
The Nottingham-based promoter and venue owner already has possession of The Borderline, in Soho with the deal to acquire The Garage, in Highbury, subject to completion but expected to “fall in place very shortly”.

DEAG back to black

After losing €17.8 million in 2015, Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG) is back in the black, posting earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of €300,000 in the first quarter of 2016 (Q1). Despite the promoter and ticketer’s return to profit, income is 85% less than last year’s EBIT of €2m, with revenue also down: €31.3m, compared to €38.9m in Q1 2015.

Live Nation postpone six shows after NY shooting

The New York Times reports in the wake of the fatal shooting of a  33-year-old man and injuries to three others proir to a TI show at Irving Plaza in Manhattan on May 25, Live Nation have postponed six shows, including concerts by Joey Badass, Mac Miller and Vince Staples. “In light of last week’s tragic events, we are acting with an over abundance of caution and coordinating a going-forward strategy with the New York Police Department that may also include a curfew,” said Live Nation spokesman Jim Yeager. “Because these discussions with the N.Y.P.D. are ongoing, we will be postponing a few of our upcoming shows at Irving Plaza and the Gramercy.”

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Lighting strikes Rock am Ring - again

At least 51 people were injured, eight seriously, when lightning struck the Rock am Ring festival in western Germany early on Saturday. Organisers of the festival, headlined by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Black Sabbath, said lightning hit at 00:30 local time. Police told German media two people had to be resuscitated. Central Europe has been hit by severe storms and rain over the past few weeks, leading to 11 deaths in Germany. The festival also suffered lightning strikes last year, when 33 people were taken to hospital.