Published date: 2015-03-01
Sony Music artists picked up five Brit Awards last week, more than any other label. One Direction, Mark Ronson, Paloma Faith, Foo Fighters and Pharrell Williams all took home top honors. Awards are nice, but strong sales are better. One music executive tells On the Money that 2015 will at best be flat revenue-wise for the year, and fingers are crossed that overall music sales will see an uptick in the back half of 2016, when streaming dollars are expected to start moving the needle. Globally, Sony Music (which includes Sony Japan and music publisher Sony/ATV) will likely see sales rise 2 percent in fiscal 2014, to 520 billion yen, or $4.3 billion, according to the company s own forecast. Sony Music, under the watchful eye of CEO Doug Morris, rose 13.1 percent in the third quarter (3 percent in constant currency). Full-year numbers are still to come. On Friday, Universal Music Group reported disappointing full-year revenue despite having the benefit of the top three US albums of the year: Frozen, 1989 and In the Lonely Hour. Revenue was off 6.7 percent, or 5.6 percent when accounting for currency differences. Meanwhile, Universal s owner, Vivendi, based in France, has been amassing something of a war chest for a much-anticipated spending spree, according to European analysts. But will Universal Music be able to grow through acquisitions if regulators already view it as big enough? Separately, sources say to keep an eye on Live Nation if Robert Sillerman is able to take his firm SFX Entertainment private. Live Nation honcho Michael Rapino could have an interest in Sillerman s collection of various electronic dance music assets, but Wall Street will have a very big say in facilitating or blocking Sillerman s private dance party. Spotify boss Daniel Ek is looking to create a technology summit in Sweden sometime in early summer. Sources tell On the Money that Ek, who founded Spotify from his home in the sun-starved nation, is working with Ash Pournouri from At Night Management to reach out to a host of high-profile technology and music executives in Silicon Valley and have them mingle with some of Scandinavia s top tech movers. Daniel is trying to re-create South by Southwest meets Ted Talks in Sweden, said one source. It s not a Spotify thing. Ek has been phoning pals to gauge their interest. Meanwhile, the Spotify boss is in the midst of tough renegotiations. The streaming-music giant is in talks with Universal Music Group to renew its licensing agreement at a time when Apple is ramping up its efforts to win label exclusives for its own upcoming streaming service. Hey, bitcoin mavens, want to work on Wall Street? The biggest disrupter on the street Jamie Dimon is looking to hire a new product development product delivery manager-Associate/VP for JPMorgan. However, as the Wall Street Journal reports, the job description shows it s not your usual banking VP position. You care about disruption and have opinions on the future of banking, the payments system and how to improve upon our existing financial infrastructure. You have an opinion on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, it says. The Basic Instinct star was hauled into federal civil court in Manhattan for failing to show up at an anti-Chevron appearance in Ecuador to protest oil drilling in the rain forest. The actress backed out of gigs scheduled for April 2014, in which she was to be the latest in a parade of celebrities who ve condemned the company, according to Bloomberg, citing MCSquared, a US public relations firm that s suing the actress and her talent agency for $352,000. MCSquared alleges that the actress didn t return a $275,000 fee paid to her speaker reps in Boston. The firm said it also spent $77,420.09 to accommodate Stone s diva-like requests, including first-class airfare tickets and luxury hotel suites for herself and her three companions, along with hair and makeup services and personal guides. Other celebrities paid by MCSquared for appearances in Ecuador include Mia Farrow and Danny Glover. Last September, Farrow took to Twitter, in a post she s since deleted, to confirm that she d been paid a speaking fee for her visit to Ecuador. She added: I wouldn t have gone if I didn t believe in the cause.
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