Music Publishing News Weekly Roundup 5.30.14: Beats Apple, Billboard Twitter Chart, SESAC Wants Harry Fox
Apple has acquired Beats for $3 BIllion. After much negotiation, Beats Electronics and the new Beats Music Service was acquired for a purchase price of $2.6 Billion and roughly $400 Million to vest in time, a lower price than the $3.2 Billion earlier speculated. This is Apple’s largest acquisition to date and will generate millions for majority stake holders and co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Lovine as well as 14% stake holder, Universal Music Group. Apple CEO Tim Cook is quoted saying that part of the Beats team will move to Apple including the co-founders and their team who will report to Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services, Eddy Cue. With the decline of download sales from itunes, Beats Music Streaming Service could better help Apple merge into the growing streaming market.
Billboard’s Real-Time Twitter Chart has gone live. With the launch of their new “Trending 140” chart, Billboard will take advantage of the biggest platform in the US for discussing music. The chart will keep a live up to the minute ranking of songs in the US as well as weekly summaries. The songs are surveyed by measuring the amount of tweets that include links to music listening platforms (ex. Spotify, YouTube, Itunes), hashtags such as #nowplaying, and specific music words like "song", "track" or "music". To help launch, Billboard elected pop star Austin Mahone to showcase the chart. This launch follows the Billboards inclusion of data from streaming sites Spotify and YouTube being measured in their charts.
SESAC’s parent investor is looking to acquire The Harry Fox Agency for an estimated $30 to $40 Million. Rizvi Traverse, the private equity firm owner of SESAC, who reportedly paid $800 Million for 75% stake in the company last year is looking to purchase the US Mechanical Agency from the NMPA. With this potential acquisition, SESAC, the smallest of the three performing rights organizations in the US, would be able to provide mechanical and performance licenses in one. This would be helpful for specific on demand streaming services such as Spotify who require both.