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It has recently been reported that Jon Platt, Chairman/CEO of Warner/Chappell Music, will be leaving before year's end.[caption id="attachment_201652" align="alignleft" width="273"] cr: Nadav Kander[/caption] Industry insiders expect Platt to helm Sony/ATV to succeed Martin Bandier, whose contract expires in April of 2019. Internal memos obtained by Variety comment on the departure. In the memos, Warner Music Chief Steve Cooper notes: 'As some of you have heard from JON PLATT, he will be leaving WARNER/CHAPPELL before the end of this calendar year. An announcement will be made in due course about where he’s headed... 'WARNER/CHAPPELL is a very different company than the one he joined in 2012, and he leaves it well positioned for continued growth and change... 'While we identify a new CEO, JON will work with COO CARIANNE MARSHALL and the senior management team to ensure a smooth transition. With the WARNER/CHAPPELL U.S. team’s upcoming move to our new L.A. HQ, we have a great opportunity to build on our strong momentum.' Expect future updates as details become more widely available.
[caption id="attachment_201251" align="alignnone" width="355"] Spotify Logo[/caption] While around 80 percent of the music business is controlled by three massive conglomerates Universal, Sony, and Warner, a new Spotify endeavor may disrupt business-as-usual in the music industry. Over the last year, Spotify has struck direct licensing deals with a small but increasing number of independent artists, providing these artists access to the major streaming platform and advantages in their Spotify playlist placement, all without label support. While these sorts of deals are currently modest, the major record labels are seeing it as a possible threat to their business model. Spotify has carefully declined to publicly state its talent roster, but insiders have noted that the emerging model involves Spotify's payment of advances to management firms representing unsigned artists. What Spotify offers in return is a larger financial cut (currently Spotify pays a record label around 52% of the revenue of each stream, and the label pays the artist somewhere between 15-50% of its return). Additionally, Spotify's current deals have not been exclusive, leaving artists free to license their songs elsewhere. Spotify's current contracts with larger labels directly prohibit it from becoming a label. As clarified by Daniel Ek, Spotify's chief executive, “licensing content does not make us a label, nor do we have any interest in becoming a label." The growing service still makes major labels nervous, and at a time where tensions between the major labels and Spotify have already been stressed with music labels reportedly viewing Spotify as an arrogant and unreliable partner. Music executives have noted that this tension may produce problems for Spotify in the near future, both as its contracts with labels expire over the next year and in its acquisition of the licenses needed to expand to India. The full implications of these deals have yet to be seen.