And the funding march continues into February. The latest grabbing fuel is TakeLessons, to the tune of a $4 million round led by Peak Triangle Ventures. The San Diego-based startup, which has raised $12 million to date, links professional musicians with students and has already paid $10 million to instructors.
More rumblings from inside the Universal Music Group empire. The first surrounds Parlophone, the for-sale (but for now, UMG-owned) label that’s rumored to be refusing to license Google Play for cloud-based access. Separately, Billboard is reporting that Universal Music Publishing Group is now officially notifying ASCAP and BMI of its intentions to self-licensing digital performances. Which likely means a copycat licensing negotiation with Pandora, fresh on the heels of Sony/ATV.
Can you monetize the live concert stream? StageIt is one startup making this happen for mostly smaller, private performances, though there may be a play on larger concerts as well. Enter Evntlive, a pre-launch concept designed to allow artists to monetize their streaming gigs through sponsorships and paid access. Launch is planned in a few months.
Which brings us to the IC Virtual Music Conference, a totally online event happening February 26-28th. Let’s see how the virtual handshake experiment pans out…
This one’s getting more hilarious by the second. After ripping off Jonathan Coulton (legally, it still seems), Fox is getting a little taste of viral blowback. Coulton’s just-released “Baby Got Back (In the Style of Glee),” a dig at Glee’s blatant lift of his earlier take, is receiving endless 5-star iTunes reviews. Glee’s version, on the other hand, is getting review-bombed by Coulton loyalists.
And, Super Bowl XLVII wrapped with a few big surprises, though few were musical. Alicia Keys belted out a commanding Star Spangled Banner while tickling a grand piano, and Beyonce delivered a highly-choreographed halftime performance (that didn’t look lip-synched, btw). And, of course, PSY appeared in the commercials with a “Gangnam Style” homage to… pistachios.
And, before I forget, an immensely gigantic thanks to everyone that approached me at Midem with kind words, and yes, love. And, not-so-kind words, especially if I could take something constructive away from it (but even if I couldn’t). Anyway, it’s a huge motivator to meet readers who have been with us for years, from all over the globe (some of whom even quote back articles, which is sublime). Anyway, I hope to blow you away this year with a few interesting announcements ahead, so stay tuned. /paul