Latest Industry: Facebook + Indies, Spotify, YouTube, Live Nation, Gaon Charts, Kanye West, Bono, More…

Facebook inks Merlin, INgrooves, [PIAS] + Beggars.

A lot has happened at Facebook since the social network inked massive deals with major label and publishers.  But Facebook looks like it’s trying to get back to business: earlier today, the Facebook Head of Music Business Development and Partnerships Tamara Hrivnak announced a round of licensing deals involving mega-consortium Merlin, INgrooves, [PIAS] and Beggars Group.  The deals, announced this morning (April 20th), are multi-territory and also include Instagram, Oculus and Messenger.  Here’s Facebook’s full announcement.

Introducing TIME 100’s Most Influential Songs, powered by Spotify.

In conjunction with Time’s 100 Most Influential list, Spotify has released a new playlist.  Dubbed TIME 100’s Most Inspiring Songs, the playlist features 35 songs people on Time’s list found the most inspiring.  Tracks include The Beatles’ ‘Blackbird – Remastered,’ Diana Ross’ ‘Be a Lion,’ and Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself,’ among others.

Face it.  YouTube just never really learns from its mistakes.

Despite YouTube’s pledge to police hate and extremist content on its video platform, CNN has found that ads from over 300 companies still run before videos promoting white nationalists, Nazis, pedophilia, conspiracy theories, and North Korean propaganda.  YouTube quickly spun the news.  Without providing specifics on how it will better police its platform, a company rep stated,

We have partnered with our advertisers to make significant changes to how we approach monetization on YouTube with stricter policies, better controls and greater transparency.

Should Live Nation have told investors about a government investigation into its business proceedings?

In a proposed class-action lawsuit filed in California, one investor has claimed that Live Nation failed to tell shareholders that it may have violated a consent decree with the Department of Justice.  Kathryn A. Poser wrote that the company’s stock fell 10% following a damning New York Times report.  The report outlined allegations of ‘strong-arm’ business tactics allegedly used by the ticketing giant.

Meet the new ‘King’ of Africa.

African digital music service, MTN Music+, has signed a historic deal with Sony Music Entertainment.  Subscribers can now stream over three million international song catalogs from artists including DJ Khaled, Travis Scott, French Montana and more.  MTN’s General Manager claims that the deal makes the service the “undisputed King of digital music streaming in Africa.”

Updating the Gaon Charts.

The Korea Music Content Industry Association has announced that the Gaon Chart will implement a new certification system for album and song sales.  Gaon Certification will apply to all works released and licensed in the country from January 1st.  Based off of data from Gaon Chart, the new certifications cover album sales, downloads, and streaming.

Because dogs deserve benefit concerts, too.

The Bier Stube, a bar and grill in Toledo, Ohio, will host a music event this weekend to benefit the Lucas County Canine Care & Control through the Friends of Lucas Country Dogs, a local support group.  The event features live music, a raffle, a silent auction, vendors, and a live sand sculpture.  It will also feature dogs that attendees can adopt.

Kanye West returns to social media.

Following a 11-month absence on Twitter, Kanye West has announced that he will release two new albums.  The first album will drop on June 1st and will feature seven songs.  The second, a collaborative effort with Kid Cudi, will launch on June 8th.

The contributions of independent musicians in the global music industry.

According to Midia Research, global recorded music revenue reached $17.4 billion last year in trade values, up from $16 billion in 2016.  Streaming revenue also grew to $7.4 billion, a 39% year-on-year increase.  Representing 29.7% of all revenue, Universal Music retained its market leadership position in 2017 with revenue of nearly $5.2 billion.  Warner Music enjoyed the biggest revenue growth rate and market shift, reaching slightly over $3.1 billion.  Independents delivered close to $4.8 billion, representing 27.6% of overall revenue.

Appointing a Head of Strategic Communications.

In a newly created role, Help Musicians UK has appointed Indy Vidyalankara as Head of Strategic Communications.  Vidyalankara started her music industry career at Columbia Records.  She had previously served as Director of Communications at Sony Music UK.  Vidyalankara also set up her own boutique PR business, Indypendent PR, in 2015.

Yet another city belongs solely to Live Nation.

The city council of Portland, Maine, has unanimously voted to rescind its contract with local promoter Waterfront Concerts.  Instead, Live Nation will book the summer concert series at the Maine State Pier.  The move came after Water Concerts owner Alex Gary pleaded guilty in a domestic violence case.  The Portland Press Herald noted that the vote is “largely symbolic,” as the company could subcontract concerts to Waterfront.

‘Mission Accomplished.’

The George W. Bush Presidential Center has presented U2 frontman Bono with a medal for Distinguished Leadership.  Former President George W. Bush presented the award to Bono on Thursday for his humanitarian work against poverty and preventable diseases including HIV/AIDS.  The center intends for the medal to be awarded annually to individuals “who change the world in some way.”

A Logic-al partnership.

Visionary Music Group has announced a new partnership with management company Mutual Friends.  The deal will expand its roster.  Artists working with Mutual Friends include Quinn XCII, Chelsea Cutler, Jeremy Zucker and ayokay.  Grammy-nominated rapper Logic and producer Jon Bellion work with Visionary Music Group.

Featured image by Pxhere (CC0)