Sony buys EMI Music Publishing for $2.3B -- but it still doesn’t own ‘Thriller’
Sony has announced a deal to acquire 90% of its publishing competitor EMI Music Publishing for $2.3B.
The agreement, still pending regulatory approvals, values EMI at $4.7B, according to The Guardian, and if it goes through, adds more than 2m songs to Sony’s already iconic catalogue.
We’re talking the rights to songs by -- drumroll please -- The Beatles, and Kanye West (don’t worry, they already had Beyonce).
Sony was already the biggest music publisher in the world
Now, if everything goes as planned, they’ll own the publishing rights to some 4.4m songs.
Sony signed the deal with EMI’s current majority stakeholder, the Abu Dhabi-based investment firm Mubadala, to buy all 60% of its holdings, giving the entertainment company close to a 90% stake in EMI (it owned 30% prior to the deal).
The other 10%?
It’s owned by the the King of Pop himself
Or, rather, his estate. NPR reports that, back in the ’80s, Paul McCartney told Michael Jackson he needed to own the publishing rights to hit songs if he wanted to make actual money in the biz.
See, music publishers own the rights to a song’s lyrics and composition, meaning anytime a song is played, royalties land in the publisher’s mailbox.
So in 1985, MJ bought ATV Publishing for a reported $47.5m (ironically, ATV owned more than 200 songs by the Beatles at the time). But, in the mid-’90s, Jackson was in debt, forcing him to sell half of ATV to Sony, forming a joint venture between Sony and the Jackson Estate, Sony/ATV.
The transaction is the first major move by Sony’s new CEO Kenichiro Yoshida, who on Monday said he plans to double down on the firm’s already massive entertainment division.
And part of that means focusing on the “IP of the entertainment industry” -- AKA, publishing rights.
Everybody wants to be the king
Google and Apple can’t brew up a mobile-pay platform as hot as the Starbucks app
Caffeine junkies have made Starbucks’ mobile payment platform more popular than competing Apple and Google products, reports eMarketer.
Anchored by loyalty programs, the mobile coffee-payment app is expected to command a larger market than competitors Google, Apple, and Samsung’s payment systems for at least the next 4 years.
Loyalty, loyalty, loyalty programs
Other mobile payment programs work at all kinds of stores, instead of just coffee-shops, but consumers still don’t use them because they don’t offer clear advantages to credit cards (which are still more widely accepted).
The Starbucks mobile app, on the other hand, offers a loyalty program built on “star rewards” that is chockfull-o’advantages -- such as free cups of coffee, wait-free pre-ordering, and birthday gifts.
Since Starbucks debuted mobile payments in 2011, it has amassed more customer cash than many banks -- $1.2B as of 2016. The coffee giant continues to add new ways to earn star rewards (like the Starbucks Rewards Visa Card) to maintain its mobile-payment mastery.
The only thing consumers crave more than coffee is consistency
The number of buzzed customers who habitually use Starbucks’ mobile payment app is expected to rise from 20.7m today to 29.8m by 2022, widening Starbucks’ lead over Apple.
Apple and Google products may be more habit-forming than Starbucks’ jitter juice, but if Apple Pay and Google Pay hope to win over consistent customers, they’ll need to sweeten the pot with something that actually benefits consumers.
Amazon under fire after giving its facial ‘Rekognition’ software to law enforcement
For the past several months, Amazon has given police in Florida and Oregon facial recognition tools for less than $12/month, according to documents obtained by a Northern California branch of the ACLU.
The previously undisclosed surveillance programs (which resemble programs across the globe) now face the wrath of civil rights advocates who fear the program will target vulnerable populations.
Introduced in 2016, Rekognition was billed as a tool for marketers to spot celebrities and weed out R-rated content. But, with the video surveillance market on its way to $62B in 5 years, Amazon couldn’t help but pitch the tech to law enforcement.
The 2 pilot programs have already nabbed bad guys in real-time using body-camera image databases. But critics believe the system endangers people “labeled suspicious by governments such as undocumented immigrants or black activists.”
“Amazon Rekognition is primed for abuse in the hands of governments,” warned the ACLU in a letter to Jeff Bezos signed by 41 civil rights groups.
‘Face it, every body(cam) is doing it’ -- Amazon
Amazon reps defended the e-commerce Goliath saying, “quality of life would be much worse” without controversial technology like Rekognition.
And, Amazon’s not the only company that’s watching. In the US, tech giants such as Palantir race competitors (including NEC and Verint) to sell facial recognition to police forces.
Meanwhile, in China, facial recognition is used widely by law enforcement -- earlier this month, Chinese police deployed facial-profiling technology to arrest a man in a crowd of 60k people at a concert.
The New York Stock Exchange president steps down, and now they’re making history
Yesterday morning, Thomas Farley stepped down as president of the NYSE after 4 years at the helm.
Farley has decided to move away from the raging bulls of the Big Board to serve as CEO of Far Point Acquisition Corp., a “blank-check” acquisition firm that filed to raise $400m to buy financial technology companies.
Now, the NYSE finally has its first female president
That’s right. 50 years after Muriel Siebert became the first woman on the NYSE floor, WSJ reports that they have promoted their COO Stacey Cunningham to president -- the first female leader in their 2 century history.
Cunningham became the COO in 2015 and managed the company’s cash equities markets, relationships, products, and NYSE governance services.
The promotion makes her the famous trading floor’s 67th president and means, along with Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman, women now run 2 of the world’s highest-profile stock exchanges.
To put that in perspective, the NYSE didn’t have a women’s restroom until 1987.
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Homeownership 301: Check your Debt-to-Income ratio
Time to check off the last box in the “Can I buy a home?” test.
Like an educational all-star team, Rocket Mortgage and The Hustle are back to break down the complexities of homeownership.
This lesson: debt-to-income ratio, buh-buh-baby.
A person’s debt-to-income ratio (AKA DTI) is a big deal when it comes to mortgages. In fact, a good DTI is essential if you want to be eligible for certain low down payment mortgages.
The magic mortgage number
DTI is a percentage that compares your monthly debt load to your monthly income. For example, if you have $2K/month in debt (auto loans, student loans, etc.) and make $6K/month in income, your DTI is 33%. A good DTI is anything less than 45%.
The measure is a lot like a credit score, but it helps mortgage lenders evaluate your ability to repay a mortgage.
Curious as to where you stand? With Rocket Mortgage, you get a lender on your side that helps you break down terms like DTI, and other complex mortgage mash, into terms we can all understand.
And while you may not be ready to sign for a penthouse downtown, you can at least get an idea of what you CAN afford.