Latest Industry: Google vs. Amazon, NZ vs. Viagogo, Cinq, BBC, Spotify, Live Nation, More…

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Google creeps up on Amazon in the global smart speaker market.

Strategy Analytics has found that Amazon shipped 4.8 million smart speakers in the second quarter of 2018.  The company now has a 41% market share.  Google shipped 3.2 million in the same period, giving it a 27.6% share.  With 800,000 smart speakers shipped, Alibaba has a 7% share.  Apple, meanwhile, shipped 700,000, giving it a 5.9% share.  Combined, Amazon and Google have a 69% share of the global smart speaker market, down from 90% in Q2 2017.

Left out of this equation is Spotify, whose lack of a speaker complement could become a serious liability in the future.

New Zealand takes on Viagogo.

The Commerce Commission in New Zealand will launch legal proceedings against beleaguered secondary ticketing platform Viagogo.  Regulators in several countries have criticized the Swiss company for selling costly tickets, even those it doesn’t have.

Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission took Viagogo to court last year.  In the UK, the Competition & Markets Authority has indicated it will also seek legal action against Viagogo.

BBC won’t appeal the Cliff Richard ruling.

The BBC has announced it won’t appeal a court ruling that found the broadcaster had violated the privacy rights of English singer Cliff Richards.  In 2014, the broadcaster had covered a police raid at his home over child sexual abuse allegations.  A court found the BBC’s sensationalist coverage damaged Richards’ reputation and ordered the broadcaster to pay £1.1 million ($1.3 million) in damages and legal costs.

Twitch goes after YouTube’s top stars with exclusive livestream deals.

Amazon has sought major YouTube stars and top media companies for its Twitch video platform, offering them exclusive live streaming deals.  Bloomberg reports Twitch wants to broaden its site beyond just video game live streams.  Offers include ad sales shares, subscription revenues, and lump payments.

Another post-label label: Janet Jackson taps Cinq Music

Janet Jackson’s career was initially blasted by the major label system. Now, a lot of different players are squeezing into the label game, and striking seriously big artist deals.  That includes Cinq Music, which will be handling the latest release from Jackson and her imprint, Rhythm Nation Records.  Cinq is an indie distributor, label and publisher, and division of GoDigital Media Group.

British town council accuses Wireless Festival of inciting anti-social behavior.

The Islington Council in London has published a report supporting calls for a review of Live Nation’s license in the city.  The report highlighted the impact of the Wireless Festival on Finsbury Park.  Namely, the council found the festival causes noise, traffic, parking problems, street cleaning, and anti-social behavior.

Extra Gum uses pre-roll ads on YouTube to showcase Australian artists.

Extra Gum has unveiled its ‘Support Acts’ program.  It aims to support 16 up-and-coming Australian musicians before YouTube videos from established groups, including Five Seconds of Summer, Alison Wonderland, The Rubens, and 360.  Headliners will feature the artists in pre-roll ads.

Daniel Ek shares Spotify’s next steps.

In an interview with Business Insider Nordic, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek outlined six strategies to move the company forward.

  1. R&D expansion.
  2. Expand the freemium model.
  3. Universal integration.
  4. Target radio-only listeners.
  5. Offer artists more monetization options and tools.
  6. Produce original content via singles and podcasts.

Don’t expect police to protect you at the Decibel Outdoor festival.

Amidst a disagreement between Police Union ACP, Holland’s largest police union, and the Dutch government over pay and working conditions, police officers won’t serve at the Decibel Outdoor festival this weekend.  Organizers expect over 70,000 people to attend the EDM festival between August 17th and 19th.

An ACP spokesperson said,

“We cannot keep up with the increase in the number of events, and our work [at festivals] is no longer in proportion to other tasks.  This year alone, there are nearly 1,000 festivals which, almost without exception, demand police deployment.  This places a huge strain on the force in the present circumstances.”

Live Nation acquires MCD Productions.

Denis Desmond and Caroline Downey, two veteran concert promoters, have sold a 50% stake in MCD Productions to Live Nation.  Live Nation-Gaiety, a joint venture between Live Nation and Desmond and Downey’s Gaiety Investments, has now fully acquired the concerts promotions company.

AEG promotes Simon Jones.

AEG Presents, AEG’s live music division, has promoted Simon Jones to the newly created role of Senior Vice President of Live Music International.  He’ll oversee international promoting operations for AEG Presents UK, expand international touring, and work closely with offices in the US, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.  Jones will report to AEG Presents London CEOs Steve Homer and Toby Leighton-Pope.

Justin Timberlake signs with Sunshine Sachs.

Per Variety, Justin Timberlake has ended his press representation with M2M Construction and publicist Sonia Muckle.  The singer has signed with Sunshine Sachs.  Shawn Sachs, Paula Witt, and Maggie Faircloth will handle publicity for Timberlake.  Witt’s clients include Janet Jackson and Aerosmith.  Faircloth represents Solange.

Hitco signs Dinah Jane.

Per Variety, Fifth Harmony’s Dinah Jane has signed a solo record deal with LA Reid’s label, Hitco.  She joins Outkast’s Big Boi and rappers Skinnyfromthe9 and Yella Beezy.

PRS poaches staff from Google/YouTube, Sky, and AEG, and announces a promotion.

PRS for Music has hired Sami Valkonen, Google and YouTube’s Director of International Publishing, and Claire Jarvis, Director of Music at Sky.

Valkonen will serve as Director of International Publishing.  Jarvis will serve as Director of Membership.  Barney Hooper, AEG’s former Director of Communications, will serve as Director of Communications and Marketing.

The organization has also promoted Rachael Naylor to the newly created role of Director of Operations and Distributions.

Universal Music Sweden appoints a new Head of International.

Jael Steinberg will serve as Universal Music Sweden’s Head of International.  She’ll oversee all market activity across the country for incoming global repertoire.  Based in Stockholm, Steinberg will report to Joakin Johansson, General Manager of Universal Music Sweden.

SMG names a new Director of Booking and Marketing at Intrust Bank Arena.

Christine Pileckas will serve as Director of Booking and Marketing for Intrust Bank Arena.  She had served as Director of Sales since 2012, and joined the company in 2010.  Pileckas will lead the marketing department for the Arena and assume booking responsibilities.  She’ll strengthen the Arena’s relationships with bookers and agents to increase the number of concerts and events.

Xzibit joins ICM Partners and launches two divisions at OBE.

Rapper/actor Alvin ‘Xzibit’ Jones has signed with ICM Partners.  In addition, he launched production and management divisions at Open Bar Entertainment (OBE), his music label.

Eric Skinner joins OBE and will serve in the film, television, and management division departments.  He’ll work with music industry veteran and COO Dontay Kidd.  Skinner previously served at ICM Partners and United Talent Agency.

Featured image by Steven Depolo (CC by 2.0)