The Latest! TakeLessons, Parlophone, UMPG, EvntLive, Coulton, Super Bowl…

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

4 Responses

  1. Visitor

    Way to go, Parlophone!

    Parlophone’s refusal to join the service will be seen as a major blow to Google, which has been battling to persuade music companies it can be helpful to them.

    Google has been at loggerheads with many music companies over its approach to piracy, partly because it will not automatically demote links to websites which include potentially illegal links.


  2. Dacesita

    YEAH! Applied to TakeLessons last week. They e-mailed one of my references within 1hr. Will see how it goes!