The buyout deal between Sony and Bertelsmann in which the former company has acquired the latter’s 50 oer cent slice of Sony BMG was finally concluded today.
This deal means that Sony Corporation of America now completely owns Sony Music Entertainment as a subsidiary.
SMEI is comprised of premier music labels such as: Arista Records, Columbia Records, Epic Records, J Records, Jive Records, RCA Records, and Zomba. Key recording artists include Celine Dion, Alicia Keys, Yo-Yo Ma, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake, Usher and Jay Chou.
The world’s leading indie labels are furious with their perceived treatment at the hands of the formerly edgy start-up now News Corp. owned MySpace.
Indies are furious that MySpace’s new music service – a service in which major labels own a stake – won’t offer independents the same kind of level playing field. In essence, each time an independent label sells some music, the major labels each makes some money. That’s making the indies pretty mad.
MySpace Music launched without deals in place for the independent labels, though it does have some arrangement with leading music aggregator, The Orchard. Now the indies are speaking up – and, as reported on the BBC – are threatening to boycott MySpace. (Does this mean MySpace has become a place for major label bands? A&R departments may have to seek unsigned acts elsewhere….) Continue reading →
MySpace will launch its long-expected MySpace Music service in the US – and has secured music from all the majors, including the last minute addition of EMI – but failed to agree terms with the indie labels.
The hybrid ads-funded streaming and paid-for download business lets users build as many playlists as they want, each containing up to 100 songs which can be streamed at no cost.
MySpace users in the US will encounter a new page in their profiles called “My Music” where they will be able to create playlists. My Music will contain a default initial playlist called “My Profile Song History” that contains all the songs subscribers have added to their profiles until now. The music search engine has been improved so that users can search not only by artist name but also by song and album titles. Continue reading →
SanDisk has reached a deal with all four major labels in order to introduce SlotMusic, high-quality, DRM-free music in MP3 format on microSD cards.
The cards will soon be made available with pre-loaded, high quality, DRM-free MP3 music of top artists from EMI Music, Sony BMG, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group.
slotMusic cards enable consumers to simply insert the slotMusic card into their microSD-enabled mobile phone or MP3 player to hear the music without passwords, downloading or digital-rights management interfering with their personal use. Continue reading →
As part of the deal, Bertelsmann must take over “selected” European catalogues of music rights from Sony BMG, however, competing independent firms don’t believe this is enough.
Raising the question of what might happen if Apple Computer had acquired EMI, for example, Impala co-president Michel Lambot warned, “They’ve just let the world’s largest consumer electronics company merge with the second largest music company without any detailed investigation.”
Nokia this week announced the UK will be the first country in which it will launch the service, which offers Nokia 5310 XpressMusic handset customers free access to over 2.1 million tracks.
“In general, adoption of most mobile music services has so far been slow and disappointing,” Informa Telecoms & Media notes. “Nokia hopes to change this trend and therefore unlike most other music services, “Comes With Music” will allow users to keep and listen to all the downloaded music even after the one year subscription period ends. However, many media reports have raised concerns on the business model and whether Nokia will be able to make any profit from the service.” Continue reading →
As widely expected, Sony has agreed to acquire Bertelsmann’s 50 per cent stake in Sony BMG.
The music company, to be called Sony Music Entertainment, will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America. Sony and Bertelsmann originally created the Sony BMG joint venture in August 2004.
Sony BMG Music Entertainment lost $49 million on sales in its first fiscal quarter, the company confirmed yesterday. This contrasts with the same period last year, when the company had a new income of $21 million.
The company’s three best sellers this year have been Usher’s Here I Stand, Leona Lewis’ Spirit and Neil Diamond’s Home Before Dark. Continue reading →
Sony BMG Music Entertainment UKhas hired former Vodafone Director of Global Content Development, Graeme Ferguson, as the label’s Senior Vice President digital and strategic partnerships.
Ferguson joined Vodafone in August 2002 to lead the Content Development Team for Vodafone Global Products and Content Services. In his time he oversaw the launch of the Vodafone Live! portal, achieved several landmark sports deals and was also responsible for introducing other forms of rich-media content through Vodafone Live!, including full-track music from the majors, Europe’s first 3D games and the first-ever launch of made-for-mobile content developed with 20th Century Fox. Continue reading →