CMU Digest: Keep Believing

Warner Music Group Declines Offer to Acquire Believe

Warner Music Group recently announced its decision to not move forward with a bid to acquire the French label and artist services company, Believe. This comes after Believe’s IPO in June 2021 on the Paris Euronext exchange faced challenges in share performance despite a history of growth. Believe’s founder and CEO, Denis Ladegaillerie, had orchestrated a consortium with long-term shareholder TCV and Swedish private equity giants EQT to privatize the company. The consortium, holding over 70% of the company’s equity and voting rights, seemed poised to secure the deal until Warner Music Group expressed interest in acquiring Believe at a higher price of €17 per share. The French financial markets regulator, AMF, intervened, granting Warner a fair shot at making a bid. Ultimately, Warner Music Group decided not to proceed with an offer due to financial constraints and regulatory hurdles, potentially paving the way for future collaborations in the music industry.

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Industry Concerns Raised Against TikTok

The US Artist Rights Alliance and IMPALA have raised concerns regarding TikTok’s impact on the music industry. Over 200 musicians signed a letter organized by the US Artist Rights Alliance, highlighting the need for AI companies to respect the rights of human creators. The letter specifically addressed worries about AI-generated music diminishing the work of songwriters and artists. IMPALA, a pan-European trade group for independent labels, echoed these concerns, emphasizing the importance of fair revenue distribution. Both organizations criticized TikTok for undervaluing music and called for a more equitable arrangement.

Spotify Plans Price Increase and Audiobook Integration

Reports indicate that Spotify is preparing to raise its premium subscription prices in key markets, including the UK and Australia. The streaming service’s move to increase prices aligns with its expansion into the audiobook market. Users may opt for a subscription tier excluding audiobooks to avoid the price hike, potentially signaling a shift towards separate royalties for audiobook content. Spotify’s strategy to diversify its offerings and revenue streams reflects a broader trend in the music streaming industry.

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Pharrell Williams Faces Trademark Dispute with Musical Collaborator

Pharrell Williams is entangled in a trademark battle with his long-time musical collaborator, Chad Hugo, over ownership of The Neptunes brand. Despite co-owning the brand and sharing revenues equally, Hugo alleges that Williams acted in bad faith by securing trademarks without consultation. This dispute underscores the complexities of intellectual property rights within music partnerships and the importance of transparent business practices.

Vivendi Sells See Tickets to CTS Eventim

Vivendi’s decision to sell its live music sector subsidiary, See Tickets, to CTS Eventim marks a strategic move to streamline its operations. The acquisition will bolster Eventim’s presence in the UK, positioning it as a key player in the ticketing industry. This transaction underscores the evolving landscape of live music and ticketing services, with companies seeking to consolidate their market positions.

In Case You Missed It:

– Shot Tower Capital’s critical assessment of Hipgnosis Song Management highlights issues of mismanagement and financial discrepancies.
– TikTok’s significant ad expenditure to oppose regulatory actions reflects the platform’s efforts to protect its business interests.
– Legal disputes between Napster and a photographer shed light on licensing complexities in the digital music ecosystem.
– George Carlin’s daughter advocates for stronger safeguards in the wake of settling a lawsuit over AI-generated comedy content.
– Kanye West faces allegations of misconduct and discriminatory behavior towards his staff, sparking legal action and public scrutiny.

And Finally… Harry Styles Walking Tours in Holmes Chapel

An exciting opportunity has emerged for individuals knowledgeable about Harry Styles and the village of Holmes Chapel. The Holmes Chapel Partnership is seeking a tour guide to lead Harry Styles-themed walking tours, offering an engaging experience for fans and local history enthusiasts. This initiative showcases the intersection of music fandom and community engagement, highlighting the cultural significance of artists in their hometowns.

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