Right Now: Warner Music Meets Profitability, Bieber Robbed, iHeart vs. Pandora, MIDEM Moves, Boomin’ Tour Sponsorships, iRadio Stalls, Marley+Hyundai, SoundCloud USA, Soul Train 2014…

Imagine: ‘Warner Music Group‘ and ‘profitability‘ in the same sentence.  Well, it’s happening, right now: according to just-released financials, the oft-hemorrhaging WMG produced a modest $2 million profit during the latest quarter, a reversal from —$63 million last year.  Revenues rose 8 percent to $675 million.

Like they say, the money’s in concerts.  But how to minimize those pesky operational costs?  We bring you to one of the brashest, ballsiest heists in recent memory: according to reports now surfacing, an ‘Ocean 11’ style operation made off with $330,000 in cash at a recent Justin Bieber gig in Johannesburg.  The sophisticated operation, which may have occurred while Bieber was on stage, involved ropes, safe drilling, and other heist-fantastic accoutrements.  And yes, the thieves got away clean…

iHeartRadio has 30 million registered users; Pandora has more than 200 million.  So, is this even a competition?  Yes, according to the Clear Channel-owned iHeartRadio, which is pointing to meteoric, early-stage growth and a far bigger promotional platform.  Pandora’s been around, well, ‘forever‘ in internet time, while iHeart is just two years old.  And according to Clear Channel, iHeart Radio is ‘second only to Instagram as the fastest-growing digital service in internet history…’

No, MIDEM isn’t canning its Cannes location, but it is shifting its dates.  According to an email recently mailed, the struggling, South of France event will move to February 1-4, 2014, instead of its typical late-January slot.  The reason, according to organizers, is the Grammy Awards, which are slated for January 26th in Los Angeles.  Unclear is whether NAMM‘s annual mega-event (also in the LA area) played a role here; the ‘NAMM Show‘ happens January 24th-27th, 2014.

Beers, banks, and spirits: those are the largest sponsors of music festivals and tours, according to just-released data from IEG Research.  Specifically, North American sponsorships will move 5.4 percent to $1.28 billion, with festivals driving a significant portion of that growth.

Such is life when licensing the majors.  After reportedly inking a deal with Universal Music Group, Apple’s iRadio now appears stalled in discussions with Sony Music Entertainment.  The Financial Times notes that Sony is still balking at freshly-elevated terms, even though these rates appear on par with Pandora’s current rate structure.  Also hovering in this discussion is Warner Music Group, which could be the last to license.

Led Zeppelin apparently regret their game-smashing sponsorship deal with Cadillac; but then again, you need to be breathing to regret something.  Which brings us to the Estate of Bob Marley, which just inked a sponsorship deal with Hyundai.  The deal kicks off this month, with Hyundai kicking off ads featuring a ‘Three Little Birds’ remix.  And that’s just the first puff…

Elsewhere, SoundCloud has just tapped Pandora executive Dan Gerber to help open its New York office.  And, more importantly, help it figure out its brand strategy while courting advertisers along the way.  All Things D has a pretty interesting review of the expansion.

You’re probably too young to remember this, but…

Don Cornelius is RIP, and the show’s been off the air since ’06.  But Nick Cannon is apparently eyeing a revitalization purchase and re-airing of Soul Train.  Vibe.com reports a ‘multi-million dollar‘ repurchase plan…

More ahead!



6 Responses

  1. Visitor

    “Which brings us to one of the brashest, ballsiest heists in recent memory: according to reports now surfacing, an ‘Ocean 11’ style operation made off with $330,000 in cash at a Justin Bieber gig in Johannesburg.”

    That’s nothing compared to what (the same?) thieves steal from him online.

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