Recent Posts in industry

November 16, 2015


We just wrote about Beats Music shutting down and now here's more streaming music news: Pandora has acquired "key assets" from Rdio, including technology and intellectual property. Rdio, as the Verge reports, has filed for bankruptcy. In a press release:

The purchase price is $75 million in cash, subject to certain purchase price adjustments.

"We are defining the next chapter of Pandora's growth story," continued McAndrews. "Adding live music experiences through Ticketfly was a transformative step. Adding Rdio's impressive technology and talented people will fast-track new dimensions and enhancements to our service. I couldn't be more optimistic about Pandora's future and the future of music."

"The Rdio team built an acclaimed product and technology platform that has consistently led innovation in the young streaming industry. I'm pleased that many members of the Rdio team will continue to shape the future of streaming music, applying our tradition of great design and innovative engineering on an even larger stage with Pandora," said Anthony Bay, chief executive officer of Rdio.

The transaction is contingent upon Rdio seeking protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California. Upon approval of the proposed transaction by the bankruptcy court, Rdio will be winding down the Rdio-branded service in all markets. Pandora is not acquiring the operating business of Rdio, and is acquiring the technology and talent to accelerate its own business strategy. The transaction is subject to the approval of the Bankruptcy Court, which will supervise an auction for the assets of Rdio, as well as other customary closing conditions.

As referenced in the PR, Pandora also bought Ticketfly not too long ago.

Beats Music

Over the summer, Apple Music launched its streaming service, though it still held onto Beats Music, which it acquired in 2014. By the end of this month, Beats Music will be no more. The announcement reads:

Beats Music ends on November 30. Your subscription will be cancelled, but you can move your picks and preferences over to Apple Music right now.

All the pros that curated music for you are still crafting more amazing experiences. Plus, on Apple Music, you'll get even better recommendations based on music you already listen to and love, 24/7 global radio with Beats 1, exciting material from your favorite artist, and more.

As that announcement points out, the Beats 1 radio show will be unaffected. Ezra Koenig's newest episode on Beats 1 just came out, featuring Dev Hynes, Joe Mande and more.

October 13, 2015

Village VoiceVillage Voice

In other publishing turnover news, Voice Media has sold The Village Voice:

Voice Media Group announced Monday that it has sold its flagship title to a company controlled by investor Peter Barbey of the Reading Eagle Company, a family-owned business that says it has been publishing newspapers since 1796. The announcement was made jointly with Barbey's investment company, Black Walnut Holdings.

An acquisition price was not disclosed.

The sale caps months of speculation about the future of the Voice since Voice Media Group announced in January that it was looking for buyers of some of its alternative newsweeklies around the country, with the help of the mergers and acquisitions firm Dirks, Van Essen & Murray.

"We don't have any plans to do any more sales right now, but we're always happy to have a conversation or a serious discussion about any of our properties," Voice Media Group executive associate editor Andy Van De Voorde told POLITICO in a brief interview. - [Capital NY]

In 2005, The Village Voice was sold to New Times Media, owners of many similar alt-weeklies across the country, which was then renamed Voice Media Group in 2013. Voice Media Group will continue to sell national advertising for the Voice. For those who fondly remember the Voice from it's heyday, the acquisition may not be a bad thing. Mr. Barbery, who is from the 48th richest family in America, talked to the NY Times:
"I realize that The Voice has had a unique journalistic role in New York and the country as a whole," Mr. Barbey, 58, said. "That deserves to survive and prosper."

The paper, he said, was once an essential "voice of the arts and cultural community in New York." While he will not take over full control of the paper until February, Mr. Barbey said he would focus first on bolstering its arts coverage -- mainly by attracting top writers.

"Over the years it's been known as a place that made writers' reputations," Mr. Barbey said. "If you were a good writer, you wanted to write for The Voice."

"One of the biggest problems in media today is lack of attention to content," he said. "Many publications have stripped their content."

That will not happen under his watch, he said.

It will be interesting to see what happens next.

Pitchfork meanwhile was bought by Conde Nast.


Pitchfork was just acquired by publishing giant Condé Nast for an undisclosed sum. From the The New York Times:

Pitchfork is incredibly fortunate to have found in Condé Nast a team of people who share our commitment to editorial excellence," Ryan Schreiber, Pitchfork's founder and chief executive, said in a statement. "Their belief in what we do, combined with their additional expertise and resources, will allow us to extend our coverage of the artists and stories that shape the music landscape on every platform."

The site's influence has been growing in recent years, and it has developed a reputation for being able to bolster the careers of artists with a positive review.

In an email to its staff, Condé Nast's chief executive, Bob Sauerberg, said the deal "reinforces our commitment to building Condé Nast's premium digital network, focusing on distinctive editorial voices and engaging high-value millennial audiences."

Condé Nast say print mag The Pitchfork Review will continue too.

According to Wikipedia, Conde Nast also owns Vogue, W, Glamour, Allure, Self, GQ, Details, Golf Digest, Bon Appetit, Wired, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and more.

Meanwhile, the Village Voice just got a new owner too.

July 29, 2015


Rumored yesterday. Now 100% confirmed this morning via Billboard:

Financial details were not disclosed. Asked to clarify the deal, Windish tells Billboard, "It's a partnership." As a proven success in artist development with a robust roster of acts active at festivals and hard ticket shows, Windish Agency has long been believed to be ripe for acquisition, but, "it really has nothing to do about money with me," Windish says. "I don't have big plans to go on vacation or something. It's more about who do I want to pair up with that can help my clients and the people that work at my company get to places they've never been before and they want to be."

A force in the electronic and indie rock spaces, the Windish Agency was founded by Tom Windish, 42, in 2004, and boasts a roster of about 750 acts booked by about 30 agents, all of whom are expected to continue with Paradigm.

PREVIOUSLY: Paradigm bought Windish Agency

July 28, 2015

Pardigm Windish

Two huge companies that book many of our favorite bands may now be one bigger company. If you don't book shows, you may barely known these companies exist, but most touring bands who play festivals and popular venues have an agent booking their shows for them, and many of those agents work at Paradigm and Windish (others work at WME, CAA, Agency Group, Billions, Ground Control, High Road Touring, etc). Hit Daily Double first posted this rumor on 7/13:

In addition to an eclectic, 800-strong roster that includes superstar Lorde, Modern Rockers Alt-J, hip-hop player Killer Mike, multimedia rocker Andrew W.K., and a selection of buzzing/critically acclaimed acts such as Gallant, Wolf Alice, First Aid Kit, AlunaGeorge, BØRNS, CHVRCHES and In the Valley Below, the acquisition of the award-winning Windish would extend the reach of Sam Gores' Paradigm in the EDM world. Windish's EDM/DJ clients, overseen by Steve Goodgold, include Diplo, Aphex Twin, Jamie xx, Cut Chemist, A-Trak, Peanut Butter Wolf, Duke Dumont, Hot Chip, Cut Copy, J Rocc, Dimitri From Paris and dozens more.

Paradigm purchased EDM-focused AM Only, featuring Skrillex, David Guetta, Tiësto and other huge names, in 2012.

Stay tuned...

UPDATE: The "partnership" is officially announced.

July 16, 2015

Polaris Music Prize Shortlist

Canada's Polaris Prize has just announced it's 2015 Shortlist and these are the 10 records vying for it this year:

Viet Cong - S/T
Buffy Sainte-Marie - Power in the Blood
The New Pornographers - Brill Bruisers
Tobias Jesso Jr. - Goon
Drake - If You're Reading This It's Too Late
Jennifer Castle - Pink City
Caribou - Our Love
Braids - Deep in the Iris
BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah - Sour Soul
Alvvays - S/T
The winner will be announced on September 21 at a gala in Toronto. Who do you think will take home the $50,000 Prize?

July 6, 2015

the cover of this week's 'NME'...
NME goes free

In the face of decline print sales/subsciptions, long-running UK music weekly New Musical Express is entering a new era, becoming a free publication after 63 years. Editor Mike Williams announced the change on today, saying:

So what we're giving to you is a major brand transformation that will deliver on all of these things. A brilliant new free weekly magazine that will reach more than 300,000 people each week, a new look that will bring you closer to the stories that you care most about, some shiny new digital products which I'll be able to tell you more about very soon, plus more live events, new video series and more interaction with you guys on new social platforms...

...As I type this, some of the NME team are locked away in a dark basement in NME Towers working on even more ideas to make sure it's not only a brilliant magazine, but that it gives you everything you asked us for. I'm confident that it will.

The new free NME launches on September 18 in the UK.

June 22, 2015

Apple Music

Apple Music, the computer giant's new streaming service, is set to launch on June 30, beginning with a three-month free trail. That savings was originally being passed on to the artists/labels who would not get paid royalties for that 90-day period. This had folks up in arms -- from the Beggars Group to the Brian Jonestown Massacre's Anton Newcombe -- but when Taylor Swift announced over the weekend that she wouldn't be putting 1989 on Apple music, saying she found it to be "shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company" Apple finally changed their tune. Apple exec Eddy Cue tweeted late last night that "#AppleMusic will pay artist for streaming, even during customer's free trial period...We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple."

Some are arguing that Taylor Swift's letter and Apple Music's turnaround are all part of a well-timed PR campaign.

April 28, 2015

Live NAtion

Live Nation recently bought a piece of C3 which added U.S. festivals Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits to their portfolio. Now Live Nation got themselves Bonnaroo too!

Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV) and Bonnaroo's founding partners, Superfly and AC Entertainment, announced today the completion of a new partnership, through which Live Nation assumes a controlling interest in the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.

"The addition of Bonnaroo builds on Live Nation Entertainment's world leading festival portfolio of over 60 marquee festivals such as: Austin City Limits Music Festival, Lollapalooza, Reading, Leeds, T in the Park, Electric Daisy Carnival, Rock Werchter, and Watershed Music Festival to name a few," said Michael Rapino, Live Nation CEO and president. "We continue to expand the industry's most unparalleled and scalable festival platform all while driving strong revenue and growth for Live Nation on a global basis. Bonnaroo is another crown jewel in this festival channel strategy, one that appeals to both fans and artists in uniqueness and experience."

"We are strengthening our commitment to create the best possible experience at Bonnaroo," said Rick Farman, co-founder, Superfly. "Through this partnership with Live Nation, we're even more empowered to enhance the festival while preserving the integrity of the event that we've thoughtfully built over the past 14 years."

"Partnering with Live Nation is a milestone for Bonnaroo. It opens up tremendous opportunities for us to continue to evolve the Bonnaroo experience in an exciting, powerful way," said Ashley Capps, founder, AC Entertainment.

Additionally, Live Nation now also owns a share of the Bonnaroo property, Great Stage Park, also known as "the Farm." With Live Nation on board, significant investment in the site and enhancements to the festival experience are planned. Superfly and AC Entertainment will continue to plan and execute the day-to-day operations of the festival and signature Bonnaroo initiatives, such as sustainability efforts and involvement with the Manchester community. Bonnaroo's non-profit arm, the Bonnaroo Works Fund, will continue to be a priority.

Founded in 2002 in Manchester, Tennessee, Bonnaroo is globally recognized as an iconic cultural landmark of the festival scene, heralded for its peaceful vibes, flawless operations and once-in-a-lifetime musical collaborations.

Bonnaroo happens in June and recently announced the 2015 schedule.

Live Nation also recently announced some new Philly venues.