I’ve been asked to critique the Super Bowl halftime. The first half of the game was dull. Peyton Manning played like brother Eli did in this stadium so often this year, which is the reason we missed the playoffs. …
Warner Music Group continues to sing a sad tune when it comes to its financial performance. It reported today that it had a net loss of $103M in the quarter that ended in September, 124% bigger than its loss in the same period last year, on revenues of $707M, down 6%. The financial report is mostly for bondholders; Russian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries bought the company in July for $3.3B. Still, it’s a dreary filing for the company, whose roster of hitmakers includes Bruno Mars, Cee Lo Green, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Jill Scott. Warner says that its recorded music revenues fell 8% to $571M. Although sales from digital distribution were up 6% to $194M, that was “more than offset by contracting demand” for CDs. Meanwhile, revenues at the music publishing operation fell 1% to $141M. Warner says that the quarter’s disappointing results were due to “a light release schedule”; weak sales in the U.S., Japan, and most of Europe; and rising interest payments on the debt Access took on to buy the music company.
Another year, another shameless plug for Twilight fan traffic. Below is a sneak peek behind the scenes of the Edward-Bella wedding in Summit Entertainment’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part I which releases November 18th. There’s endless promotion of the 2nd-to-last movie in this ridiculously lucrative vampires and werewolves franchise, including a concert tour and stars meet-and-greet. The soundtrack will be released on November 8th with the new single “It Will Rain” by Grammy Award-winning Bruno Mars. I personally am curious to see how badly director Bill Condon effed up this Part 1 filmed back-to-back with Part 2: the buzz is that this film is chaotic at best:
Meanwhile, Summit is kicking off a nationwide Red Carpet event and concert tour for the movie. Fans can see stars including Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, and Ashley Greene, as well as attend performances of several bands featured in the latest film. The soundtrack includes Christina Perri, Aqualung, Lucy Schwartz, and Sleeping at Last. The event schedule is:
There seems to be no stopping the acquisition tear by Bertelsmann’s BMG Rights Management: It appears to have outbid American Idol creator Simon Fuller to buy Bug — the quirky independent music publishing company whose library includes “What a Wonderful World,” “Fever” and “Happy Together.” Although the companies didn’t disclose the sale price, Reuters said Bug was expected to fetch about $300M. BMG has a lot on its plate: It’s said to still be in the running to buy EMI, the recorded music and publishing powerhouse that Citigroup is auctioning. Early this year it bought publishing rights for Carly Simon and administration rights to Notable Music (which includes musicals such as Sweet Charity and pop hits such as “Sunny”). But with Bug, BMG may have to grapple with a new lawsuit in California Superior Court from singer-songwriter Bruno Mars. He says that his publishing contract with Bug expired early this year when the company faied to renew it before a contractually set deadline. Private equity firm Kohlberg, Kravis & Roberts is a major investor in BMG. Here’s the release announcing the Bug deal: