EmptySaban on Skydeck
The new digital media investment arm of Haim Saban's Saban Capital Group has made its first investment into Skydeck — an online service that helps consumers keep track of their mobile phone calls and text messages — in a Series A financing. The companies aren't disclosing financial details, and a Saban spokeswoman declined comment. But sources said the capital injection amounts to $2.8 million. Skydeck will use the added capital to accelerate the rollout of its online service to mobile devices.
UKMUSIC in play
A new organization, UKMusic, has launched with the support of eight trade bodies from the U.K. music industry. UKMusic officially began work Thursday after British Music Rights — which represented the views of composers and songwriters to policymakers — ceased operations. The new organization will be headed by CEO Feargal Sharkey and chairman Andy Heath, both formerly of BRM.
Best Buy will be the exclusive retailer for Guns N' Roses' decade-plus-in-the-making new album "Chinese Democracy" before year's end, sources told Billboard. Some details of the deal are still being worked out, including the release date. The news brings a semblance of closure to the history of "Democracy," which Guns N' Roses has been working on since the mid-1990s. Since then, every original member of the group has left besides vocalist Axl Rose.
AT&T, DirecTV bundle up
After a brief interlude with Dish Network, AT&T will begin anew its marketing relationship with DirecTV. The parties said Friday that when AT&T's deal with Dish runs out on Jan. 31, the giant telephone company will offer bundles of the DirecTV service along with phone and broadband to its customers alongside AT&T's own TV service dubbed U-verse. DirecTV and AT&T had a long-standing relationship that soured in April when AT&T jumped ship to Dish.