What Else? Chevy+Grooveshark, YouTube v. Viacom, Madonna the Billionaire, Timberlake Conspiracies, ASCAP’s Board, Digital Music News…

The latest developments.  Last updated: Monday, 6:15 am PCT…

Has Chevrolet already nixed its dicey deal with Grooveshark?  Just last month, the carmaker was a flashy sponsor of Grooveshark’s mobile expansion, one designed to circumvent app blocks from Apple and Google, while poking longtime opponent Universal Music Group in the eye.  Perhaps Chevy is now opting to detour around this sticky turf battle: last week, the entire campaign vanished for unknown reasons, with currently zero trace of the advertising partnerships online.  But whether that is the result of a falling out is uncertain: just this morning, an executive at General Motors pointed to a deal limited to Canada only, with no participation from the US-based division.  That could be triggering ‘cross-border irregularities’; more as it develops…

All praise the almighty DMCA… YouTube is now pushing for another summary judgment against Viacom, based on the assessment that all content in question is protected by the Digital Milliennium Copyright Act.  “The safe harbor applies to all of Viacom’s claims of infringement in this case,” YouTube filed (thanks to attorney Ray Beckerman for the tip).

Is Madonna the latest entertainment billionaire?  The Mail Online is now minting Madonna as such, though the financial calculations are a tad fudgey.  The Mail counts concert and CD sales from the early 80s in the net worth calculation, though maybe ‘bazillionaire’ is the better descriptor.  “The 54-year-old has earned more than $300 million in the past 12 months, pushing her net worth above the $1 billion mark,” the Mail’s accounting experts assess.

Part of the credit also goes to Live Nation, which dropped $120 million on the superstar back in 2007 (as first reported by Digital Music News).  That deal, part of an ill-fated, money-losing and ultimately abandoned ‘Artist Nation’ expansion, seemed quite smart for Madonna in light of her longer-term touring receipts.

In other news, Madonna’s brother was last seen sleeping under a bridge in Michigan.

Which brings us to Justin Timberlake, whose latest album scored nearly a million units in first-week sales in the US.  But wait: did the album suck?  Tracks seemed to drone on and lacked that pop-catchy sizzle… and reviews were mixed, if that matters.  But a telling report in the Hollywood Reporter suggests that JT rush-released the ’20/20 Experience’ to satisfy a touring deadline imposed by Live Nation.  Timberlake was apparently fronted a ‘free’ $5 million, part of a broader $20 million deal by the touring giant, which created urgency around the album push.  The report also suggests that Timberlake no longer carries the starpower or audience to fill arenas, which led to the partnership with Jay-Z.

Elsewhere, ASCAP has just announced the makeup of its latest board, which will serve for two years starting April 1st.  The group, split between writers and publishers, will feature ASCAP president Paul Williams as Chairman, with songwriters and composers Marilyn Bergman, Richard Bellis, Bruce Broughton, George Duke, Dan Foliart, Wayland Holyfield, Valerie Simpson, Jimmy Webb, Doug Wood, and Stephen Paulus.  On the publisher side, elected Board members are Martin Bandier, Sony/ATV; Caroline Bienstock, Bienstock Publishing; Barry Coburn, Ten Ten Music; John L. Eastman, Edwin H. Morris & Co.; Zach Horowitz, Universal Music; Laurent Hubert, BMG Gold Songs; Dean Kay, Lichelle Music; Leeds Levy, Leeds Music; Matt Pincus, Songs Music Publishing; Irwin Z. Robinson, Cromwell Music; Cameron Strang, Warner Brothers Music; and James Kendrick, Schott Music Corporation/European American Music Corporation.

And, one more thing: we’re getting ready to expand our editorial team once again with a paid internship.  This is great for early-stage journalists who want to start getting published, and perfect for college attendees or recent grads (though everyone’s welcome to apply).  You definitely won’t get rich off this, but you will get paid.  Once hired, you’ll be responsible for monitoring all sorts of deals and developments throughout the day, staying on Twitter patrol, and even tackling a design task or two.  And, this isn’t a make-some-coffee type of internship, in case you were wondering.  We’re just starting to talk to candidates, so drop us a note at [email protected]

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