Business Matters is a daily column that offers insight, analysis and opinion on the day’s news.
— More on EMI‘s debt with Citi: The Financial Times reports Terra Firma has written down its investment in EMI by 90%. “Mr Hands wants to keep control of the company and is demanding a high price for any new money he puts in, arguing that Citi has tried and failed to find a better offer to inject fresh capital. EMI’s debt is due to be repaid in 2014. But Citi is rejecting any proposal that leaves it nursing big losses and Mr Hands owning all of the equity, and therefore all the potential upside, at EMI.” (Financial Times)
— Cable operator Comcast is said to be helping Ticketmaster and Live Nation with their merger and has met with the Justice Department. The company, which owns New Era Tickets, stands to gain ticketing software and clients that would be shed by the merged company in order to ease Justice Department concerns about competition in the ticketing market. Ticketmaster and Live Nation have been expected to make some type of concessions to win the approval of regulators. All news on the topic points to Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission worries about the merger’s potential impact on competition and, as a result, ticket prices. There has been little indication that regulators are equally concerned over the competitive implications of the vertical integration that would be created by the merger of a promotion/management giant and a ticketing giant. However, it would not be surprising if Ticketmaster and Live Nation needed to address that issue as well as the ticketing competition issue. (Bloomberg)
— “The War on File Sharing Hits Australia” is a good overview of the anti-piracy campaign down under. (ZDNet Australia)
— Bandcamp has added the ability to physical product through its simple-yet-effective artist pages. Artists have the ability to sell a digital-physical bundle that gives the buyer the immediate satisfaction of digital downloads. This is a great feature to an already great product. (Bandcamp blog, via Hypebot)
— John Taylor (Duran Duran) gave a speech at UCLA’s 40th Anniversary of the Internet conference. Readers may or may not agree with Taylor, but he has some interesting thoughts on technology’s impact on the quality of music and artists’ relationship with their fans. BBC News has a partial transcript. “I believe there’s immense power in restriction and holding back. When artists today are asked to Twitter their every thought, their every action, to record on video their every breath, their every performance, I believe they’re diluting their creative powers, their creative potency and the durability of their work.” (BBC News, via Digital Audio Insider)
— Wolfgang’s Vault has introduced a new level of membership. A $48 membership gets the buyer $50 worth of merchandise, a 30% discount on download, 10% off all merchandise, unlimited streaming from the site’s iPhone app (non-members get only ten hours per month) and other benefits. The site sells concert memorabilia as well as downloads of concert recordings. Visitors to the site can stream audio for free. It’s one of the more interesting business models to incorporate free music. (Digital Noise)
— Ten tips that every musician should apply to his/her career. Number 7: “Stop f*%^ng over posting on Facebook and other network sites.” (Music Think Tank)
Follow Billboard senior analyst Glenn Peoples on Twitter at twitter.com/billboardglenn.