Recent Posts in industry

February 2, 2016

(photo via Lady Gaga's Facebook)
David Bowie Lady Gaga

The 2016 Grammy Awards are almost upon us and if you were wondering whether there would be a tribute to the late David Bowie, there will, and it's being performed by... Lady Gaga. Nile Rodgers, who produced Bowie's 1983 album Let's Dance, will be musical director of the "experiential" piece. From the press release:

Affording audiences a chance to experience Bowie's music once again, the tribute will be a multisensory testament to the icon's incredible artistry and a reflection of his limitless creativity.
Maybe the audience at the awards will get to experience senses beyond sound and vision. Taste? Smell? Lady Gaga was already scheduled to perform at the Grammys but the direction of what she was doing changed with the news of Bowie's death. Adds Grammys executive producer Ken Ehrlich:
We immediately spoke and agreed that she should be the one to honor David. She's perfect for it. So I reached out to Nile and, before long, we were on our way to creating what we believe will not only make a great GRAMMY Moment, but one befitting of David.
Also performing at the Grammys: Kendrick Lamar, the Weeknd, Adele, Ellie Goulding, Lionel Richie, and more. The 2016 Grammy Awards will air live on Monday, February 15 at 8 PM EST on CBS.

February 1, 2016

to pimp a butterfly platinum

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) today announced that they would now include streaming sales in the calculation of Gold and Platinum albums. Here's how it breaks down:

After a comprehensive analysis of a variety of factors - including streaming and download consumption patterns and historical impact on the program - and also consultation with a myriad of industry colleagues, the RIAA set the new Album Award formula of 1,500 on-demand audio and/or video song streams = 10 track sales = 1 album sale. Also effective today, RIAA's Digital Single Award ratio will be updated from 100 on-demand streams = 1 download to 150 on-demand streams = 1 download to reflect streaming's enormous growth in the two plus years since that ratio was set.
Seventeen albums were certified gold (500,000) or platinum (1 million) with the news, including Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly, Big Sean's Dark Sky Paradise, and Coldplay's Ghost Stories (all of which were all declared platinum). The entire list of albums is below...

Continue reading "streaming now counts toward gold & platinum LP certification"

December 16, 2015

by Bill Pearis

Rdio

Rdio, the streaming service that was recently acquired by Pandora, will be switching off December 22 at approximately 5 PM. They sent this email to subscribers:

Over the course of five years, Rdio has grown to become a global community of music lovers -- a place to discover, listen, and collect. We're proud to have built that community with you....

...We know you want to find a home for the music you've discovered and collected on Rdio, so we're providing ways for you to take it with you. Visit rdio.com/farewell and log in with your Rdio account for more information.

That farewell link allows users to export a list of everything they ever listened to through Rdio, as well as playlists and comments -- kinda cool. Apparently I listened to Brian Eno's Music for Airports a whole lot (while I slept). RIP, Rdio.

November 16, 2015

Rdio

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

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

Windish

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?

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