The latest rumblings, financings, and musings.
If you’re a rap geek of epic proportion, you know the name Half-a-Mil. But which up-and-bubbling platform is about to pull a modest, half-a-million dollar round? A coterie of billionaires are now gambling on this one; stay tuned…
And, see you down in Austin for SXSW 2014, right? Well, well… not according to this downright scandalous rumor related to the mega-festival’s potential 411 in 2014… pray share any nuggets of information to news@digitalmusicnews…
Which brings us to Canada, where the just-wrapped Canadian Music Week left a warm vibe in an otherwise blustery, frigid Toronto. CMW is sort of a less-cluttered, more sober version of SXSW, as badly as CMW wants to emulate Austin’s level of success. Anyway, if you’ve never been to CMW, you’re certainly missing a heavy dose of Canadian information and networking, but there’s also a fair amount of broader information on touring and songwriting, not to mention some highly-effective mentoring (and a lot of high-quality Americans running around). Which means you actually might… wait for it… get something done. Others spotted up north last week: Darryl Ballantyne (Lyricfind), Allie Shaw (Manic Monkee), Bernie Cho (DFSB Kollective), David Lowry, Bob Lefsetz, Heart, Metric, Bruce Morrison (Ticketfly), Dan Teree (Ticketfly), Vanessa Thomas (Nielsen), Karl Rogers (iRocke), Ted Cohen (TAG Strategic), Alexandra Patsavas (Chop Shop), Christian Castle… the list goes on.
Which brings us to Spotify Canada, or lack thereof. The bubbling chitter-chatter on this one is that Spotify is pulling, or in the process of pulling, its Canadian staff, based on licensing issues and delays.
Which brings us to yet-another Spotify rumor, this time surrounding Netflix. As in, will Spotify expand into on-demand video as well? Business Insider says yes, though that sounds like a fairly ambitious (and expensive) expansion…
And, the industry is still reacting, planning, and possibly litigating following a string of legal decisions and precedents this month. The first thuds came from the Supreme Court of these United States, which left one Jammie Thomas with a $222,000 bag by denying to hear a challenge on a seemingly-endless file-swapping battle. Separately, the Justices also ruled that the first sale doctrine extends to imports into the US (Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.), though it’s unclear what impact that decision will have (if any) on the ongoing MP3 resale war being spearheaded by ReDigi.
Then, there’s the blurry/bright line on inducement and infringing awareness, with Veoh and isoHunt falling on completely different fates. The defunct Veoh Networks got buried by all the litigation, but has now created a very serious setback for Universal Music Group by battling back against a UMG appeal and strengthening DMCA protections. That was hardly the fate for isoHunt, now crushed by Hollywood based on clear knowledge and encouragement (ie, inducement) of copyrighted materials. There were just too many ‘red flags’ surrounding knowledge and encouragement on infringing content, per the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Bad with names? Well here’s one to forget: Buzzmedia, which just changed its moniker to SpinMedia. The music blog portfolio is making the move after acquiring the stumbling SPIN.
And Concord Music Group has now been sold by its owner, Village Roadshow Entertainment Group. The buyer? Wood Creek Capital Management, with Variety pegging the price ‘north of $120 million‘.