Music Industry Update: Dre+Iovine Academy, Hologram Insanity Ahead, Google Questions, Sony Does Brazil, araabMUZIK Update, MP3tunes Back on Trial, Spotify…

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Here’s a vote for music industry collegiate education: Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre have now pledged $70 million to propel a four-year, arts and music industry program at USC.  But what to call it?

How about… the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation.  Ribbon-cutting happened Wednesday in Santa Monica, always the hive of music industry activity.

You can see right through this one.  The long-running hip-hop festival Rock the Bells is now picking up where Coachella 2012 left off, with Eazy-E and Ol’ Dirty Bastard holograms in the works.  Eazy-E will ‘perform’ with Bone Thugs n’ Harmony on “For the Love of Money,” while Ol’ Dirty will reunite with his Wu-Tang brethren.  The festival, which is stuffed with hip-hop stars old school and new, kicks off in September in San Bernadino, CA.

So we had to ask…

Will Google completely f*&K this one up, only to abandon it by 2014?  The new music subscription play, ie, Google Play Music All Access, already suffers from multi-syllabic naming issues.  But let’s see how this drives: we’re just getting our hands dirty on this; first impressions ahead.

So, what’s a Sony Music Unlimited?  Why, it’s a nascent music subscription service that seems to be getting utterly crushed by the heaviest noise floor in history.  Maybe this will help things: the darkhorse, low-lying service is now poking into Brazil, its 19th country.  No word on subscriber totals, though Sony seems to have the basics (20 million songs, multi-device support) well in hand.

And, more bad news for hip-hop/dubstep/MPC deejay araabMUZIK.  The beatmaker remains hospitalized after getting shot in Rhode Island.  Araab, who just released his third (amazing) album, has been forced to abandon a string of upcoming dates.  And undoubtedly, a lot of money as a result.

Also getting shot, stabbed and beaten, legally speaking, is Michael Robertson.

That’s the oft-antagonistic entrepreneur who scored quite the embarrassing victory against EMI in 2011.  Except, EMI has now successfully re-opened its case against Robertson’s now-defunct MP3Tunes locker play, arguing that a new precedent in Viacom vs. YouTube could yield an entirely different decision.  The aim, from EMI’s vantage point, is to overturn MP3Tunes’ once-solid safe harbor defense, and lower protections offered by the DMCA.

And, there’s more from Spotify: the latest app upgrade includes playcounts.

More ahead!

8 Responses

  1. Visitor

    “Google Play Music All Access, already suffers from multi-syllabic naming issues”

    The worst part is not the number of syllables (8).

    Think about Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band (9), The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby (13), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (8).

    No, the worst part is the lack of creativity, interest, soul, meaning, fun, poetry, music, kicks or hooks.

    This is a name that tells us:

    “Er, we didn’t really have the time to think of something. Anyway, we also have this other new mindblowing product…”

    • Paul Resnikoff

      Two ways to look at this one. There does seem to be a revenge aspect to this dogged pursuit of Michael Robertson over the years, and Robertson seems to like poking the bear. Revenge through litigation is something I’ve experienced first hand; it’s ugly and an abuse of resources and our rule of law (may the richest side win…)

      That said, there’s also an interest among the major labels (and larger media companies) to roll back DMCA loopholes as much as possible. UMG vs. Grooveshark in New York State is one such example; this would be another.

      • Casey

        I can’t see that EMI has more of a case now than they did. The only thing MP3Tunes really did was store music users were supposed to already own. I guess we will see.

  2. lifer

    Iovine/Young is NOT a music industry program. (Sigh!) #basic fact checking.

    • Paul Resnikoff


      And how shall we define ‘music business’ or ‘music industry’ these days, @lifer?

      Here we have Iovine+Dre outline a curriculum that includes ‘business innovation’ and ‘entrepreneurship,’ sounds like the best weaponry to have in this hyper-disrupted space…

      • lifer

        Nice try Paul. Similar to what young reporters or journalism students attempt to CYA when they’ve been snagged by editors for not double checking sources. The L.A.Times headline was misleading which is one way of catching reporters who cheat: the single source gets it wrong (a dead give away). Your question “how shall we define ‘music business’ or ‘music industry’ these days” is a good one but does not absolve you of sloppy fact checking.

        According to USC: It will offer a highly select group of students an integrated, four‑year course of study that will provide in-depth learning in, engineering and computer science, fine arts and graphic design, business and leadership models. Team-taught interdisciplinary courses will be developed and adapted specifically for the program.

        The Iovine and Young Academy will focus on four core curriculum areas: Arts and Entrepreneurship; Technology, Design and Marketability; Concept and Business Platforms; and Creating a Prototype.

        The problem for DMN though, is one that you have had before. Your headline is misleading as the actual story is that Iovine/Young’s USC program is to other “music industry” programs as Beats/Daisy is to other legacy label initiatives.

        Iovine said that the could not find people to hire, not for Interscope but for his side biz with Dre. It is about the next Facebopk not the next Interscope. You can argue that the next Interscope will be more like Facebook than Universal but we should prolly just move on.

  3. The Voice of Reason

    Holograms?? REALLY? Leave it to the Hip Hop community to come up with something as fucking stupid as this and line their pockets even more. And of course the kids will eat this garbage up…

    Jesus..just pathetic. PAYING to see a reflection? Come ON!