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Universal Music Group Embraces AI “Soundscapes” With New Deal

Universal Music Group — the music label behind Sting, The Weeknd, Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande — has decided to embrace artificial intelligence, rather than only fight the new technology. UMG has signed a deal with sound wellness company Endel to enable its roster of artists to use proprietary AI technology to create mood music soundscapes […]

Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard Deal Faces Long Odds After U.K. Regulator Blocks Merger, Analysts Say

The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority has stunned Wall Street by issuing a ruling that blocks Microsoft’s proposed $68.7 billion merger with video game publisher Activision Blizzard on grounds the megadeal would enable the U.S. software giant to unduly dominate the nascent cloud gaming space. One thing’s certain, say media analysts: The U.S. tech giant’s […]

Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard Deal Blocked by U.K. Regulator

In a surprise move, Microsoft’s planned $68.7 billion acquisition of video game publisher Activision Blizzard has been prohibited by the British regulator, which earlier in the year warned that the mega-deal “could harm U.K. gamers” and “substantially reduce” competition. Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published its final findings well more than a year after […]

Studiocanal Revenue Falls As Gaming, Pay TV Drive Vivendi Earnings

Growth at pay TV unit Canal+ Group and advertising giant Havas and record revenue at Gameloft helped drive 2022 earnings at French media and telecommunications conglomerate Vivendi. The company posted revenue of 9.6 billion euros ($10.1 billion), 10.1 percent higher than in 2021, or up 5.1 percent when using constant currencies and focusing on the […]

Universal Music Group Chief Says Talks Are Underway With Streaming Giants Over Artist Pay

Universal Music Group has posted higher-fourth quarter revenues and adjusted earnings as the major label was lifted by the latest releases from Taylor Swift, Seventeen and Lil Baby. The music major, led by chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge, saw overall revenues rise 16.7 percent to 2.94 billion euros ($3.14 billion) as streaming and subscription revenues […]

Microsoft Acquisition of Activision Blizzard “Could Harm U.K. Gamers,” “Substantially Reduce” Competition, British Regulator Finds

Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of video game publisher Activision Blizzard “could harm U.K. gamers” and “substantially reduce” competition, a British regulator found in a provisional analysis unveiled on Wednesday. The mega-deal “raises concerns about cloud and console gaming” and “could result in higher prices, fewer choices or less innovation,” the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said. […]

Activision Blizzard Sees Record Net Bookings As Costs Weigh Down Balance Sheet

Activision Blizzard reported fourth-quarter net income of 403 million, or 52 cents per share, down from $564 million, or 72 cents per share in the year earlier period, and revenue of $2.3 billion, up from $2.2 billion in the year-earlier period.  The company saw its costs increase, after the gaming company agreed to pay the […]

Paul McCartney’s Life After Beatles Breakup to Be Focus of New Documentary From Oscar Winner Morgan Neville

Paul McCartney is getting the documentary treatment from Oscar-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville. Neville helped announce the news Saturday afternoon inside Milk Studios, host of Universal Music Group’s star-studded artist showcase, an annual Grammy weekend event presented by chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge that typically features a packed program of musical performances mixed with some breaking […]

Activision Blizzard to Pay $35M to Settle Workplace Charges

Video game company Activision Blizzard will pay $35 million to settle the charges about how the company disclosed employee complaints about the workplace and alleged violations of whistleblower protection rules, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) unveiled on Friday.  According to the SEC, between the 2018 and 2021, Activision Blizzard did not have proper procedures to […]

Latest Union Drive at Activision Blizzard Falters as Group Withdraws Election Petition

The latest unionization attempt at a subsidiary of video game giant Activision Blizzard has faltered, with organizers blaming a number of CEO-led meetings with diminishing support for the drive. The Communications Workers of America, the labor group behind two previous successful union drives at the company, announced on Tuesday that the group was withdrawing its […]

Activision Blizzard Beats Shareholder Suit

Activision Blizzard will not have to face a lawsuit from investors claiming the company lied to them by minimizing the impact of allegedly widespread sexual harassment and discrimination against female employees, a federal judge has ruled. U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson on Monday concluded that Activision Blizzard didn’t make false statements to shareholders about the […]

Universal Music CEO Takes Aim at Spotify, Apple: Artists Are “Undervalued” in Streaming

Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge said the business models for music streaming need to “evolve” to better reward artists — whether or not they are signed to a major label — and listeners. In a message to staff sent Wednesday, the executive took aim at the royalty model of streaming services like Apple Music […]