MBW: Five Biggest Music Business Stories Of 2017
December 29, 2016 at 11:09 AM (PT)
LONDON-based MUSIC BUSINESS WORLDWIDE weighed in on what it believes will be the new year's biggest stories in the music industry here.
Citing the fact "all of them have the potential to significantly transform the industry," the publication has pointed out its top five:
1) Will PANDORA be sold? After losing its CEO, CFO and COO, as well as $253 million, the service is reportedly on the block, with SIRIUSXM among those kicking the tires. After a delay, first quarter will see a fully licensed $9.99 a month on-demand streaming service that has already been heavily critiqued.
2) Will SPOTIFY finally launch its IPO? If the company manages an $8 billion valuation, DANIEL EK will see a cool $825 million, while his co-founder MARTIN LORENTZON, who recently stepped down as Chairman, will net $1 billion. SPOTIFY, which posted a loss of $194m last financial year, is desperately trying to get the major labels to agree to a smaller revenue share than 55%. If not, that would leave the lane open for (pick one): APPLE, AMAZON or GOOGLE.
3) Meet the new boss: ROB STRINGER takes the CEO reins at SONY MUSIC in APRIL. The recent 100% acquisition of SONY/ATV MUSIC PUBLISHING gives it a shot as biggest music company on the planet, challenging the longtime reign of UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP. Now, who will replace him? MBW speculates he could look towards a BRITISH talent pool that includes SONY UK boss JASON ILEY, WARNER MUSIC U.K. boss MAX LOUSADA, VIRGIN/EMI chief TED COCKLE and CAPITOL RECORDS UK Pres. NICK RAPHAEL? Or will he look towards his "current, youthful" A&R team at COLUMBIA, including SVPs IMRAN MAJID, JUSTINJ ESHAK or maybe even CHAINSMOKERS mastermind ADAM ALPERT?
4) FACEBOOK in the music publishing companies' crosshairs, who are currently hammering the service with copyright takedown requests – at least in the U.K. Earlier this year, FACEBOOK agreed to hand media houses such as BUZZFEED, the NEW YORK TIMES and CNN, millions of dollars each to provide live video content to its platform. Is the music business next?
5) YOUTUBE continues to attract scrutiny. On DECEMBER 6th, YOUTUBE CBO ROBERT KYNCL claimed that the platform had paid out $1 billion to music rights-holders in the prior 12 months. The music industry keeps claiming that's not enough, wanting the service's safe harbor provisions -- which protect it from legal repercussions for copyright infringement – to be quashed by the EUROPEAN COMMISSION. GOOGLE spends an estimated $5 million on lobbying that this doesn't happen.