Music Updates

Inside Track: UMG’s Potential US Investor, FTC Knocks Back Ticketmaster Probe

Asking around, one name keeps popping up: Liberty Media, the majority owner of satellite radio provider SiriusXM — itself owner of music streamer Pandora — and 33% of concert promoter Live Nation. Liberty also owns 5% of terrestrial broadcaster iHeartMedia and tried to buy 40% while iHeartMedia was in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. And despite concerns a larger stake would result in anticompetitive behavior, the Department of Justice approved Liberty’s request to increase its stake beyond 5% in July 2020. Liberty Media could take a piece of UMG and add intellectual property to a “full stack,” vertically-integrated media company. On paper at least, Universal could woo artists by offering exposure on Liberty-owned broadcasters and with concerts on Live Nation-run tours and festivals.

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