Latest Industry: R. Kelly, Alexa, Sonos, Coachella, David Bowie, MTV VMAs, UTA, More…

Music Industry Latest: R. Kelly, Alexa, Sonos, Coachella, David Bowie, MTV VMAs, UTA, More...

Can James Comey help the Wu-Tang Clan get their album back?

Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah and Method Man met James Comey backstage during a taping of the Late Show with Stephen Colbert yesterday evening.  Referring to Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, the duo posted an image of themselves with Comey on Instagram, stating that they’re working “on getting that album back from the feds.”  Beleaguered pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli was forced to give up the album to the Justice Department earlier this year.

Livestream Spotify’s 1Q 2018 financial results in May.

Spotify has announced that it will post its first quarter 2018 financial results and letter to shareholders on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018 after market close.  The company will hold a Q&A session to discuss the results at 5 pm Eastern Time.  It will also make a live webcast available at  Following the session, people can view the recording on the same website.

Don’t fret any longer, small content creators.  YouTube has clearly forgotten about you.

In a blog post, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has announced that the video platform will launch a pilot program with a small group of users to address demonetization concerns.  She acknowledged content creators’ frustrations, stating that the past two weeks have been “challenging.”  Wojcicki vowed that YouTube is “committed to communicate with you.”  Ignoring small-time creators, she proclaimed that “channels earning five figures annually grew more than 35 percent, while channels earning six figures annually grew more than 40 percent.”

The EU forces Facebook to address privacy controls.

As part of its deal with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Facebook will introduce new privacy controls on its platform starting May 25th.  The social media platform will ask each user to review their privacy choices.

It would’ve been 42 million, but honestly, some just forgot to tune in.

Up 75% over last year’s viewership, more than 41 million people logged in to livestream this year’s Coachella performances on YouTube.  458,000 viewed Beyonce’s set on Sunday evening, the highest audience yet for a Coachella performance stream.

UTA says “farewell” to Circle Talent Agency’s touring division.

United Talent Agency (UTA) has acquired leading EDM artist booking agency, Circle Talent Agency.  The move brings influential DJs, including Marshmello, Kaskade, Excision, and Illenium, into UTA’s global reach.  Circle co-founders Steve Gordon and Kevin Gimble became UTA’s heads of electronic music.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed.  Prior to the announcement, Billboard reports that UTA had laid off Circle’s touring division.  They were told to “gather their belongings by a lawyer and leave the building.”  Less than 10 employees were let go.

Reliving the Titanic.

YouTube star Mars Argo has sued fellow YouTube musician ThatPoppy for copyright infringement.  According to Argo, her ex-boyfriend, Titanic Sinclair, helped Poppy steal her identity on the popular video platform.  Poppy and Sinclairs now create videos mimicking her songs.  During their 5-year relationship, Argo and Sinclair created 92 popular videos, most with Argo singing.

Welcome back to New York, VMAs.

The MTV Video Music Awards will return to New York City this year.  It will air live from Radio City Music Hall on August 20th.  In a statement, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio praised the announcement.

New York City’s creative energy has always fueled those who live and work here.  This is where music, film, and art collide and where the Video Music Awards were born.  There is no better place to host the MTV VMAs than in New York City at one of the most iconic venues in the world.

A new label group.

Joseph Rojas, founding member of Dove-award winning Christian rock band Seventh Day Slumber, has formed the Nashville Label Group.  The new company will house dual imprints RockFest Records and Burtonwood Records.  RockFest Records features artists Seventh Day Slumber, Random Hero, Zahna, Amongst the Giants, and Persuaded.  Burtonwood’s roster includes Brooke Robertson and Nathan Sheridan.  New Day Christian Distribution will serve as the distributor for RockFest and Burtonwood, with Sony’s The Orchard facilitating digital distribution.

Feel the ‘Love.’

Popular Instagram personality and DJ Gianluca Vacchi has signed a record deal with Universal Music Latin Entertainment.  The Italian producer, who has over 11 million followers on Instagram, will debut his new single, ‘Love,’ this Friday.  The song will feature Colombian singer Sebastian Yatra, a 2017 Latin Grammy nominee for Best New Artist.

A knife, a mask, ammo, and some rope.

Police have released Julius Sandrock, Taylor Swift’s alleged stalker.  He was arrested on suspicion of stalking the singer’s home on Saturday.  Sandrock wore a mask and rubber gloves when police arrested him.  Authorities also found a knife, rope, and ammunition in his car.  Taylor Swift wasn’t at home during the incident.

Get them while they last.

As part of the David Bowie Is exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, the New York City Subway, in partnership with Spotify, has offered five limited-edition David Bowie MetroCards.  Only 250,000 MetroCards are randomly being distributed.

Can HAY colors justify a price hike?

Sonos has announced that it has partnered with Danish design brand HAY to produce red, yellow, and green smart speakers.  Dubbed the HAY Sonos Limited Edition Collection, the colors explore “the relationship between sound and color in the home.”  Pricing will start at $229, a $30 increase on its existing $199 smart speaker.

Moving on from Razor & Tie.

Razor & Tie co-founders have launched a new music venture, RT Industries.  The international record label will curate, develop, and market popular classic recordings.  The first seven artist catalogs to join RT Industries come from Warner Music Group’s divestment program and includes: Black Oak Arkansas, Sheena Easton, Fat Joe, Jesus Jones, Sugar Ray, Trapt, and The Vapors.  The acquisitions bring the full worldwide rights to all hit-singles from the artists over the past five decades.

“Alexa, take over the in-car audio market.”

Following the launch of a #JustAskAlexa TVC campaign, Amazon now wants to integrate Alexa with in-car infotainment systems via Echo speakers.  It first started test runs in India and several places around the globe.  Amazon reportedly plans to launch in-car Echo speakers later this year.

Even more claims against R. Kelly.

A woman claims that embattled R&B singer R. Kelly has intentionally infected her with an STD.  He had also “groomed” her to join his sex cult.  According to Lee Merritt, the woman’s lawyer, she was “the victim of several forms of criminal misconduct by Kelly, including, but not limited to, unlawful restraint, furnishing alcohol and illegal drugs to a minor, and aggravated assault (via the referenced intentional STD infection).”  The woman has prepared to file a civil lawsuit against the singer.

Platinum Arabic recordings.

Dubai-based record label Platinum Records and ADA, Warner’s independent distribution and services arm, have announced a worldwide partnership for physical and digital distribution. The deal became effective with the launch of Platinum Records’ Arabic catalog.

Featured image in the Public Domain.

One Response

  1. B2M

    R kelly is the prove of that justice is diffrent if you’re famous and rich.. 20 years ago he would spend his lifetime in jaill.. who is guilty? fans first.. stop making rapist minor famous..