A LOOK AT SONY'S STRATEGY, REVENUE AND PROFIT
-- The 360 deal is on a publicity tour. A week after Fast Company highlighted Warner Music Group’s adaptation to a changed music industry through multi-rights deals, the New York Times does the same with Sony Music Entertainment. The only really interesting thing in the article was revenue and profit from new initiatives given by unnamed sources: “…in the current fiscal year, businesses that did not exist when Mr. Schmidt-Holtz took over as chief executive in 2006 are expected to generate more than $300 million in revenue and more than $40 million in profit.” In its latest fiscal year, according to its latest earnings report, Sony Music had $5.6 billion of revenue and $393 million of operating income. Author Eric Pfanner says that $40 million of profit from new initiatives would be about one-quarter of Sony Music’s annual profit. That implies $160 million in annual profit, a figure Sony Corp. does not disclose. As a point of comparison, Warner Music Group had a net loss of $97 million revenue of $3.2 billion in the 12 months ending March 31.
The Times believes Sony may have gone further than its peers in moving beyond the traditional business. That may be true, although the financial impact of initiatives become more uncertain they further they move away from Sony’s core strengths. Syco, a venture with Simon Cowell, is singled out as one of Sony’s progressive moves. That certainly holds promise. Another example given is Sony’s quasi-consultant role in helping the government in the San Luis Province region of Argentina develop cultural activities in the region. It sounds like a nice experiment but nothing more at this stage.. (New York Times, Sony earnings report)
JONAS BROS. CANCELS STRING OF SHOWS
-- Continuing this summer’s trend of disappointing ticket sales, the Jonas Brothers have cancelled or postponed a slew of concerts. The press release did not single out which shows had been changed, but a simple query at Google News reveals the markets affected. Canceled shows have been reported in Vancouver, St. Paul, Orlando, Seattle (Auburn, WA), Atlanta, Raleigh, St. Louis, Charlotte, Milwaukee, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Wichita, Denver, Fresno, and Oakland (Concord, CA). Shows in Dallas, Phoenix, Houston, San Diego and Tampa have been rescheduled. On the other hand, the group has added a second show in Toronto. In addition, the band has added dates in Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil. (Google News, UPI)
'IDOL' DATES CUT
-- Painful summer continued: Additional “American Idol” dates in Toronto and Buffalo have been canceled. (USA Today)
HLC WINS $2 MILLION IN CROSBY SUIT
-- HLC Inc., the company that administers Bing Crosby’s rights won $2 million in royalties from CD sales from Universal Music Group. It was only a partial victory, however, because HLC did not secure the termination of the contract with Universal or ownership of his master recordings. Universal labels are reported to control 1,200 masters by Crosby. (Variety)
HMV OPENS DOWNLOAD STORE
-- HMV launched a download store for Canadian customers on Monday. It offers over five million tracks in MP3 format. One interesting feature is “My Downloads,” which allows a person to access tracks purchased using a different computer (such as an office computer), thus shifting the (Press release)
BATTLE OVER TICKET SELLERS 'TERMS OF SERVICE'
-- Is it illegal to break a ticket seller’s terms of service? And is protecting the ticket seller’s market control good for consumers? These questions were brought up by an amicus brief filed on Friday by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The brief sided with the operators of Wiseguys Tickets Inc., who were arrested for using automated programs to buy tickets from Ticketmaster and others for resale through their company. The prosecution, says the EFF, expands the scope of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act beyond Congress’s intentions by linking it to an original ticket vendor’s (OTV) terms of service. “Whatever the impropriety of cutting the line for goods offered to the general public, doing so is not a CFAA offense,” reads the brief. “Moreover, this Court should not presume that fans benefit from Ticketmaster and other OTVs’ control over the market.”
The four men charged in the case were reported to have made $25 million from getting tickets and selling them to brokers. “The public thought it had a fair shot at getting tickets to these events, but what the public didn't know was that the defendants had cheated them out of that opportunity,” a U.S. attorney said when the case was filed in March. (Press release, New York Daily News)
APPLE RECORDS PREPS 15 REMASTERS
Apple Corps Ltd. and EMI Music will release 15 newly re-mastered albums from the Apple Records catalog on Oct. 26. Most of the physical CDs will include bonus material and this is the first ever Apple Records releases to be available via digital download. Badfinger, Billy Preston, Mary Hopkin and James Taylor are among the artists set for re-release.
-- A review of “Fortune’s Fool,” a new book about Edgar Bronfman Jr. (New York Times)
-- MeCanto and Psonar both offer free online music lockers. (Digital Noise)
-- In an effort to help its artists get more gigs, SonicBids has introduced some no-cost gig listings through a partnership with Musician’s Friend. (Hypebot)
A LOOK AT SONY'S STRATEGY, REVENUE AND PROFIT