What’s transpired over the past 24.
Bertelsmann is now assuming full control over music rights powerhouse BMG, though valuation estimates are all over the place. Reuters pegged the deal at 1.1 bilion euros ($1.43 billion), which includes debt, though other sources are pointing to something lower. The deal takes US-based private equity firm KKR, which carried a 51 percent share, out of the picture.
Developing: Phil Ramone has just been hospitalized in New York following an aortic aneurysm. The Hollywood Reporter first tipped the news; Ramone holds more than a dozen Grammys and has produced for a talent list that includes Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, and Tony Bennett. Ramone is 72; more details as they emerge.
And Morrissey‘s vegetarian rampage only gets better. The latest involves an abrupt cancellation on Jimmy Kimmel Live, based on Kimmel’s refusal to cancel guests from A&E’s Duck Dynasty. “While I respect his stance on this, I really do, there’s a very good reason why I didn’t dump the Duck Dynasty guys for Morrissey,” Kimmel riffed. “And that’s because they have guns.”
And, for those that enjoyed our recent coverage of tip-focused Copper, there’s another concept worth checking out: StreetJelly (at streetjelly.com). Like StageIt, the StreetJelly idea revolves around streamed performances from anywhere, with fans tipping from their laptops (or iPhone, or whatever).
And, the divestitures continue. As part of an EU-mandated weight loss program to avoid major label obesity, Universal Music Group has now sold its lucrative Now! series to Sony Music Entertainment. The long-running compilation series, which has been repackaging hits for decades, is getting sold to comply with merger-related stipulations surrounding the recent acquisition of EMI. The deal was confirmed by Universal Music Group International COO Max Hole, and valued at roughly 40 million euros ($52.5 million).
Another piece of Motown history is now gone. Richard Street wasn’t in the original lineup, but ultimately sang with the Temptations for twenty years. Street died Wednesday in Las Vegas after succumbing to complications related to a blood clot in his lung. He was 70.
In the ever-emerging short video space, Viddy has just upped the maximum length of its uploads to 30 seconds. That’s just one of several enhancements designed to better compete with Twitter’s Vine.
Sirius XM Radio built a business on the dashboard, and services like Pandora accelerated on drivetime mobility. So what does this mean for a player like Spotify? Let’s find out: Spotify is now pushing aggressively into the dashboard thanks to a deal with Ford. The integration into Ford’s growing Sync AppLink platform was announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, likely the start of a substantial auto-focused expansion.
And, French Montana is the latest rapper caught in a violent altercation. Montana’s tour bus came under fire in Philadelphia on Thursday night after a show; one person was killed and another injured. Montana wasn’t hit and may not have been the target.