Independent music companies have made a pre-emptive strike to oppose Sony's attempt to gain sole control of EMI Music Publishing. IMPALA confirms today that it has lodged concerns with the European Commission about the transaction, which it describes as "seismic'.

Sony's move would increase its share of EMI to 100%, after confirmation that Sony has also bought out the shares of Michael Jackson's estate. That would almost double the number of songs it controls, from 2.16m to 4.21m compositions. Combine that with Sony Music's huge recordings catalogue and Sony would be the biggest and most formidable music company in the world.

When Sony became a shareholder in the consortium structure which acquired EMI Music Publishing in 2012, the European Commission said Sony would control too much music and insisted on divestments. It only approved the transaction on the basis that EMI would be run separately and would not be combined with Sony's own publishing or recording operations. This was reconfirmed in 2016, when the Commission allowed Sony to buy out the proportion of Sony/ATV that it did not already own.

This deal would remove those safeguards. Helen Smith, Executive Chair of IMPALA commented: "It cannot be overemphasised that this is completely different to an ordinary change from joint to sole control. It's like seeking to merge two majors. That would never be allowed and neither should this. Sony's latest financial results confirm that "EMI will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony."

One of the key areas of investigation will be the online market, where more concentration is likely to cause competition concerns. Sony's position as an indispensable trading partner for online services would be significantly reinforced. It would have immense bargaining power to leverage both publishing and recorded music markets, which it can now exercise without the constraint of its current consortium partners.

If permitted, this transaction would also harm collecting societies, songwriters and composers, and consumers who would face higher charges for music services.

"No music company globally would hold so much power. Sony would be able to dictate terms to online services, dominate playlists, control collecting societies and capture all key routes to market, at the expense of online services, competitors, authors, and consumers. This would be seismic." said Smith.

The European Commission will assess the proposed transaction once Sony submits its formal notification. Competitors and other market participants will receive detailed questionnaires to answer. The Commission will then decide whether the transaction would lead to a significant impediment to effective competition and if so, what it should do.

Helen Smith concluded: "Our view is that the transaction has to be blocked. EMI would have a better future as a stand-alone operation or combined with another smaller music company to make a more effective competitor to the majors. That would be the best outcome not only for competition but also for cultural diversity and consumer choice."

19 Oct 2020 | Press release

ADA’s global expansion continues with launch in Japan

Accomplished Exec And Digital Music Pioneer Kaz Aida To Run ADA In The World’s Second Largest Music Market   ADA, Warner Music’s global independent distribution division, is opening for business in Japan, the world’s second largest music market.  The local ADA team...more

19 Oct 2020 | Press release

Small Moves Records launches with first release featuring Jez Kerr, Denise Johnson and Sidone B Hand Halford

LISTEN / WATCH ‘VOICES ARE GOLDEN’ HERE   Today (19th October) a new independent record label is born. Small Moves Records, with its base in Manchester, is Jez Kerr (A Certain Ratio), Steve Brown (Higuera Records) and Trevor Johnson (Factory Records graphic...more

19 Oct 2020 | Press release

CD Baby Publishing Collections Now Exceed $10MM

The leader in independent musician services fosters true creative freedom by collecting every penny due creators, worldwide   CD Baby’s music publishing service, CD Baby Pro Publishing, has collected more than $10MM on behalf of its songwriters and performing artists....more

19 Oct 2020 | Press release

Sony/ATV Extends Worldwide Deal with Cass Lowe

Sony/ATV Music Publishing UK announced it has renewed its worldwide publishing agreement with Cass Lowe. Cass Lowe is an award winning, multi-platinum selling English songwriter, producer and musician well known for collaborating with top artists across genres, including Charli XCX,...more

19 Oct 2020 | Press release

Music Venue Trust Announce 89% Success Rate for Grassroots Music Venues Applying to Culture Recovery Fund

With both rounds of the UK government’s Cultural Recovery Fund now announced Music Venue Trust (MVT)  has announced an 89% success rate for grassroots music venue members of the Music  Venues Alliance (MVA) who applied for funding. 291 grassroots music venues...more

19 Oct 2020 | Press release, leader in livestream aggregation, announces V1 of livestreaming metadata standards

  The pandemic catapulted livestreaming from niche medium to essential resource. Viewers of all ages and backgrounds found an exciting new resource for entertainment and information. Talented creators leaped into a new way to engage fans and keep doing the things...more

19 Oct 2020 | Press release

Deezer debuts Songcatcher and Flow widgets for iOS 14

  When it comes to music, sometimes there's just no time to waste. You need your tunes served up quick and easy! So take control of your homepage on your iOS 14 with our new handy widgets that keep the beats...more

19 Oct 2020 | Press release

Sigur Ros call on Icelandic government to revoke “shameful” double jeopardy tax law

TAX EVASION CLAIMS “STRONGLY DENIED”   Band Slam Government’s Continued “Aggressive Pursuit” of over 100 Active Cases Despite Pausing New Prosecutions After Widespread Criticism  Sigur Ros, one of Iceland’s biggest cultural exports of recent decades, are calling on the Icelandic government to urgently...more

19 Oct 2020 | Press release

Kylie: Infinite Disco

STEP INTO KYLIE'S IMAGINATION    JOIN KYLIE ON A JOURNEY TO HER INFINITE DISCO, A PERFORMANCE SPECTACULAR STREAMED ACROSS THE GLOBE ON NOVEMBER 7   On November 7 Kylie will stream a ticketed performance across the globe, taking fans on a journey inside her imagination...more

17 Oct 2020 | Press release

Culture Recovery Fund - part 2

All the companies and organisiations in the Music category, along with a few relevant others in different categories. Somerset House Trust £850,000.00 SouthBank £52,191.00 78 Sackville St Ltd £85,000.00 AAJA Deptford £58,324.00 Alastair Hanson Ltd £160,000.00 Armonico Consort Limited £104,447.00 Atom Promotions £58,000.00 Barnet Education Arts Trust £300,000.00 Bath Forum Limited £242,775.00 Beardyman £50,000.00 Beechfair Ltd £252,324.00 Berkshire Maestros £783,746.00 Birmingham International Jazz Festival £50,540.00 Birmingham Music...more

17 Oct 2020 | Press release

Contemporary artists customise Fender guitars for auction to support the vital work of The Big Issue in time of crisis

  Gavin Turk, Vhils, Conrad Shawcross, Joe Rush, Lauren Baker and Goldie amongst artists that have added their unique touch to a set of Fender Stratocaster guitars Guitars and additional works of art will be available to bid on Wednesday 4th November Money raised...more

17 Oct 2020 | Press release

Anti Ticket Touting group awarded grant from Culture Recovery Fund

FEAT,  a non-profit created to combat ticketing touting in live performance, has been awarded £50,000 as part of the Government's £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure it has...more

17 Oct 2020 | Press release

Sony/ATV Nashville signs Nate Smith to worldwide deal

  Today, Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville announced it has signed breakout country singer, songwriter, and artist Nate Smith to a global publishing agreement.Nate Smith is a singer-songwriter originally from Paradise, California, known for his debut EP Reckless and the popular single “Wildfire,” which...more

17 Oct 2020 | Press release

588 more arts organisations saved by more than £76 million in latest culture recovery fund grants

588 cultural organisations across England to benefit from a share of more than £76 million This funding builds on the biggest tranche of money awarded from the Government's £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund announced on Monday, taking the total to £333...more

16 Oct 2020 | Press release

Lockdown livestream initiative ‘The Record Club’ from Official Charts, Record Store Day & National Album Day extends for new 12-month series

Revamped identity and new official partner unveiled - premium audio brand Bowers & Wilkins ‘The Record Club in association with Bowers & Wilkins’ kicks off with Future Islands discussing new album As Long As You Are Set reminder to watch episode 1 of...more

16 Oct 2020 | Press release

War Child’s HELP album back in shops after initial run of 2020 copies sold out on day of re-release

Limited edition vinyl was re-released last month to celebrate the album’s 25th anniversary   War Child have announced that the vinyl re-release of their landmark 1995 HELP album is back in shops as of today, after the initial run of 2020 vinyl...more

16 Oct 2020 | Press release

Defected launch new three-part virtual event: We Dance As One

Defected are bringing on board displaced or redundant professionals to work behind the scenes   Carl Cox, CamelPhat, Mike Dunn, Sam Divine and more billed for first virtual event WE DANCE AS ONE 1.0 CAMELPHAT / CARL COX / MIKE...more

15 Oct 2020 | Press release

Sony Music announces partnership with music and technology entrepreneur Rob Ronaldson

  Ronaldson to launch ‘Robots + Humans' imprint through Sony Music UK and Publishing Partnership with Sony/ATV Initial roster includes singer, songwriter, rapper and musician Powfu Sony Music today announced a new partnership with music and technology entrepreneur Rob Ronaldson, focused on...more

15 Oct 2020 | Press release

Warner Music Baltics opens office in Tallinn

First local signings are Estonia’s NOËP and Lithuania’s The Roop HMC Publishing To Also Expand Operations Warner Music Group is to strengthen its operations in the Baltics with the opening of an office in Tallinn, Estonia.  It’s the first time that Warner Music Baltics,...more

15 Oct 2020 | Press release

DCMS Committee to examine impact of streaming on future of the music industry

MPs will examine what economic impact music streaming is having on artists, record labels and the sustainability of the wider music industry. With streaming currently accounting for more than half of the global music industry's revenue, the inquiry will look at the business...more

15 Oct 2020 | Press release

Sony/ATV signs Frank Ski to worldwide deal

  Today, Sony/ATV Music Publishing announced it has signed celebrated songwriter, producer, DJ and radio and television personality Frank Ski to a global publishing deal. Frank Ski is known for his impressive music catalogue in Hip-Hop, Rap, Gospel, and Baltimore club-music, which...more

15 Oct 2020 | Press release

Amazon Music Releases “The First One” Podcast with DJ Khaled

Amazon Music announced today the premiere of “The First One,” a new podcast hosted by one of the most prolific hit makers of the 21st century, DJ Khaled. Developed by Amazon Music and the Springhill Company, the media conglomerate founded...more

15 Oct 2020 | Press release

Sony/ATV Nashville Signs Restless Road to Global Deal

  Today, Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville announced it has signed popular country music band Restless Road to a worldwide publishing agreement. Made up of three unique, complementary voices, Restless Road is a one-of-a-kind country trio consisting of Zach Beeken, Colton Pack, and...more

15 Oct 2020 | Press release

ERA Statement on DCMS Select Committee inquiry into Music Streaming

Following this morning’s announcement that the Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee is launching an inquiry into music streaming, Kim Bayley, CEO of the Entertainment Retailers Association, said “We welcome the decision of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee...more

15 Oct 2020 | Press release

Carl Cox announces VR concerts on TIDAL-backed Sensorium Galaxy

Carl Cox, one of the world’s leading figures in electronic music, will host a series of exclusive performances in Sensorium Galaxy — a social VR platform backed by former owner of Brooklyn Nets Mikhail Prokhorov and Jay-Z’s music streaming service...more

15 Oct 2020 | Press release

Iceland Airwaves' streaming fest: ‘Live From Reykjavik’, ft. Of Monsters And Men, Ólafur Arnalds, Ásgeir, Daði Freyr and more

From Iceland with love.Iceland’s foremost musicians band together for ‘Live From Reykjavík’, a new, streaming festival brought to you by the team behind Iceland Airwaves. Today, Of Monsters and Men, Ólafur Arnalds, Ásgeir, Daði Freyr, Júníus Meyvant and more are announced for two nights of incredible performances across Reykjavík on...more

15 Oct 2020 | Press release

UTA announces new partners

  Leading global talent and entertainment company United Talent Agency (UTA) today announced its largest partner class in its 30-year history – with 19 agents and executives across 14 divisions elevated into the partnership. The company’s last partner class was announced...more

15 Oct 2020 | Press release

Indian rap superstar Ikka signs with Mass Appeal India

Acclaimed rapper and songwriter partners with Mass Appeal to further evolve Indian Hip-Hop genre   Mass Appeal India will release IKKA’s lead single ‘Level Up’ featuring DIVINE, from his upcoming debut album ‘I,’ on 26th October 2020 “We started Mass Appeal India to give...more

15 Oct 2020 | Press release

Musicians' Union and The Ivors Academy welcome Government inquiry into music streaming

The Musicians’ Union (MU) and The Ivors Academy have warmly welcomed today’s announcement of a Government inquiry into streaming in the music industry and, in particular, the economic impact music streaming is having on artists and the sustainability of the...more

15 Oct 2020 | Press release

Oxide & Neutrino sign to New State

“You want to talk about Oxide & Neutrino? You need to talk about DIY culture…” UKF “Alex "Oxide" Rivers may be Britain's most original dance producer.” THE GUARDIAN “Dilemma" rediscovers the Kraftwerk principle: inflexibility can sometimes be funkier than suppleness…” SIMON REYNOLDS   Gold-album...more

19 Oct 2020

  • Second round of Culture Recovery Fund recipients announced (see News)

  • Discord over song royalties sours American trade talks (see News)

16 Oct 2020

  • MPs to examine the economic impact of streaming on the music industry (see News)

15 Oct 2020

  • Sony forms partnership with music and technology entrepreneur Rob Ronaldson (see Business)

  • Big Hit Entertainment IPO proves a success (see Business)

  • Spotify launches feature that allows music in podcasts (see Digital)

14 Oct 2020

  • L.A. Reid signs to Hipgnosis Songs Fund; appointed to Board (see Deals)

13 Oct 2020

  • Music venues gratefully receive share of Culture Recovery Fund (see News)

12 Oct 2020

  • Universal to build three music-based hotels in the US (see International)

  • Round Hill Music intends to purchase 120,000 songs from 40 catalogues (see Business)

  • Music names in Queen's birthday honours list (see News)

  • Details emerging of Culture Recovery Fund grants (see News)

09 Oct 2020

  • BMG eliminates 'unacceptable' royalty deduction (see Business)

08 Oct 2020

  • UK Music CEO Jamie Njoku-Goodwin calls for more industry support from government (see News)

  • peermusic acquires to form new neighbouring rights company (see Business)

07 Oct 2020

  • Continued fears for live sector as industry frustrated with lack of government support (see News)

  • Jillian Gerngross and Paul Firth promoted at Amazon Music (see Digital)

  • Guitar legend Eddie Van Halen dies at 65 (see News&Showbiz)

06 Oct 2020

  • Spotify: launches album and song charts; lyric search on mobile devices; Joe Rogan speaks out (see Digital)

  • House of Commons debate today to address Covid-hit music industry (see News)

  • US Supreme Court won't review Stairway to Heaven case (see News)