Sony Sells 17.2% of Spotify Shares, Netting Over $250 Million:
The big news in the music business this week has been Spotify’s listing on the New York Stock exchange. If all goes well, that should lead to some impressive windfalls for early investors and Sony is already cashing in. They sold 17.2% of their shares for a potential windfall of over $250 million. Sony did not disclose the exact terms of their sale. This will mean a windfall for their artists, though it isn’t known exactly the per share amount because it depends on how Sony valued the shares on its books before trading started according to Billboard.
Fallout From Facebook Data Scandal Continues:
The other major story in tech going on right now is Facebook’s potential improper sharing of data with third parties and what those third parties are doing with your data for targeting. On Monday, Facebook started notifying 87 million users whose data may have been compromised by data mining firm, Cambridge Analytica. Mark Zuckerberg will testify in front of congress next week as a FTC investigation gets under way into whether or not Facebook violated a 2011 consent degree on data sharing. Some advertisers have started to pull back some ads from the social network, but overall it still remains in strong financial health. With public trust failing, Facebook will need to right the ship now and it may take some with investigations that take months or even years to conclude.
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UK Music Business Shows Yawning Gender Equality Gap:
This week, all companies with over 250 employees had to report their gender pay gaps to the UK government’s Equalities Office. While the data is interesting across industry’s, the music business shows there is still a lot that needs to be done. The mean gender pay gaps at the majors are 29.8% (UMG); 22.7% (Sony) and 49% (WMG) – an average of 33.8% across the majors. Live Nation's pay gap is 46% on average and 31% for the median, which helps to factor in when there are few very well-paid male executives skewing results. According to Music Ally, the average median gender pay gap for all companies in the UK is 9.1% – based on full-time staff only. So this looks very bad for a business that is already grappling with #MeToo and #TimesUp. A lot more work needs to be done to bridge pay gaps in music.
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