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ARSCLIST  June 2019

ARSCLIST June 2019

Subject:

Re: The Day the Music Burned

From:

Jeff Willens <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 18 Jun 2019 02:14:56 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (109 lines)

Alex, 
Hate to rain on your parade, but UMG will ignore, stall, and sideline ARSC forever as they are about to be crushed with artist lawsuits. Doesn’t hurt to try I guess. 

To be clear, the artists and labels affected by the fire were all MCA-associated labels. UMG ran 2 main tape vaults, for the east and west coast labels. East coast labels were all the PolyGram-associated labels (Island, Mercury, Verve, Def Jam, Casablanca, Motown, etc.) These were not affected. 

There is a published list of artists affected by the fire. I can state that there are many more not listed. I will not name them here. But my educated guess is that UMG knows EXACTLY what’s gone. 




On Mon, 17 Jun 2019 17:01:25 -0400, Alex McGehee <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Okay, folks. Great discussion. Thanks, Paul, especially for the last sentence of your latest post which seems to put a better focus on our current predicament. Thanks, Jeff Willens, for clarifying the Vivendi/UMG ownership. Thanks, James Perrett, for a good and realistic appraisal of where the transfer situation is at present.
>
>BUT START HERE: ARSC should have no problem taking on the role of David to this Vivendi Goliath. Where is any communication from our Executive Director? (This post is being forwarded to Nathan). Where is a response from our board chairman? Cary…? Any of the others? Can they email, Skype, whatever? Let’s get serious. Does anyone think our current response is in any way adequate? Time to push.
>
>Here are the results of my last two hours attempting to find just the reporting basics (as a former newshound and all that):
>
>1. Current valuations of UMG range from $33 billion to $50 billion. For the past year, Vivendi has been in active pursuit of a corporate entity to buy 50% control of UMG. Deutsche Bank currently values UMG as worth more than the company (Vivendi) that owns it!
>
>2. Potential UMG buyers include: China’s Tencent Music Entertainment; Google; Facebook; Amazon; Alibaba; Apple; and Liberty Media. Obviously, some of these media giants would potentially run into serious regulatory issues, conflict of interests, etc. in any UMG deal. As of the end of last month, China’s Tencent Music Entertainment was still actively in the purchase game.
>
>3. UMG’s February 2019 statement shows earnings were approx. $7.15 billion, a ten percent increase over 2017. Most of that is coming from streaming, the music industry’s giant cash cow.
>
>4. UMG seems to stretch the bounds of credulity (if that’s even possible these days) with its June 16th response to the recent NYT article on the 2008 NBC/Universal fire, stating that the article contains, “numerous inaccuracies, misleading statements, contradictions, and fundamental misunderstanding of the scope of the incident and affected assets.” Variety reporter Jem Aswad, in a story dated June 11, quotes UMG: “UMG invests more in music preservation and development of high-resolution audio products than anyone else in music.”
>
>5. Fabulous words UMG apparatchiks! Got it out the same day as the NYT’s story ran, BUT TEN YEARS PLUS, since your big burn, the only detailed inventory of the audio/video losses seems to be the one reported by NYT and that really doesn’t give anything like a full and true account. Jody Rosen’s NYT story cites confidential UMG documents from 2009 as putting this historic loss at “an estimated 500K song titles.” Does anyone think ten years after that figure was shared within UMG, some UMG/Vivendi honcho doesn’t know a lot more detail on what went up in smoke?
>
>6. Why doesn’t ARSC join with our small band of brother/sister non-profits in demanding a better account of the losses from Vivendi/UMG? This stuff may be property to them, but it is world heritage to the rest of us.
>
>7. Even a cursory look at Vivendi’s corporate social policy platform shows a company significantly sensitive to social and community pressures. ARSC is a community.
>
>8. Here are more than a few relevant contact points, mostly corporate control focused. UMG of course is headquartered in Santa Monica, CA. Lucian Grainge, as of today, remains UMG’s Chairman and CEO. He works out of the Santa Monica HQ:
>
>Universal Music Group 
>2220 Colorado Ave.
>Santa Monica, CA 90404
>[log in to unmask]
>Tel. (310) 865-4000
>
>UMG’s New York office contact info is:
>
>Universal Music Group
>New York Office
>1755 Broadway, 2nd floor,
>New York, NY 10019
>Tel. : (212) 572-7000
>
>Here are two principal UMG executives along with their contact information:
>
>Will Tanous
>Executive Vice President and Head of Global Communications
>Universal Music Group
>Tel. : (212) 331-2585
>
>Caryn Tomlinson
>Senior Vice President Corporate Communications
>Universal Music Group International
>Tel : +44 20 7471 5665
>
>9. How about a brief look at Vivendi’s corporate structure:
>
>Yannick Bolloré
>Chairman of the Supervisory Board
>Havas
>29/30, quai de Dion Bouton
>92800 Puteaux Cedex – France
>
>Here is the guy (a Vivendi employee) supposedly in charge of Vivendi’s “Corporate Social Responsibility”;
>
>Paulo Cardoso
>Employee Representative on the Supervisory Board; Chairman of the CSR Committee
>Vivendi
>42, avenue de Friedland
>75008 Paris – France
>
>Here are the ten esteemed members of Vivendi’s Shareholders Committee, along with the French towns they call home:
>
>Agnès Bongo, Paris.
>Julien Delpierre, Ivry-sur-Seine.
>Roland Dumas, Freyming Merlebach. 
>Laurent Dupuy, La Tour.
>Françoise  German, Versailles.
>Françoise  Guelle, Lyon.
>Bruno Lacoste, Arcachon.
>Anne-Lise Lanet, Tour.
>Nathalie Ollier, Marseille.
>Jean-Pierre Riou, Guérande (44).
>
>Here is the guy is in charge of the Shareholder Committee’s daily management:
>
>Solange Maulini, Director Press and Shareholders Relations. 
>[log in to unmask]
>
>Vivendi’s Executive Vice President, Communications, is the Shareholder Committee’s Secretary General. Here’s her contact info:
>
>Bernadette Massoutier
>Individual Shareholders Department Manager
>[log in to unmask]
>
>Is this all enough of a bone to start chewing on?
>
>Most sincerely,
>Alex McGehee
>Germantown, MD
>
>Sources for the above: Sudip Kar-Gupta, Reuters News (Apr. 15, 2019). Jem Aswad, Variety (June 11, 2019) and (May 23, 2019). Associated Press. Jody Rosen, NYT (June 11, 2019). Amy S. Wang, Rolling Stone Magazine (Jan. 8, 2019). Ed Christman, Billboard (May 31, 2019). Vivendi corporate communications via Vivendi’s website and Vivendi’s most recent shareholder’s report. Lucian Grainge’s email contact and phone no. comes from ceoemail.com
> 

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