The US Department of Justice has began a review of the BMI and ASCAP consent decrees. The DOJ has invited interested parties including Publishers, Composers, and Licensees to provide opinions and comments on how these consent decrees may be amended in favor of songwriters. This follows recent litigation between ASCAP and the digital music streaming service Pandora as well as the introduction of the Songwriter Equity Act in congress earlier this year. Both ASCAP and BMI have been heavily bound by government regulations since their inception and representatives from both parties have stated that the method in which songwriters are compensated today is outdated and needs to be changed to catch with advancements across the digital music marketplace.
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.