Get your $20 concert tickets while they last.
Live Nation has announced that ‘National Concert Week’ will take place April 30th through May 8th. The promoter will offer exclusive $20 all-in tickets for music fans to celebrate the kickoff to the summer concert season. The deal will include over 1.5 million tickets to over 2,000 shows across Live Nation’s roster of summer tours. This includes Comedy, Country, Hip-Hop, Latin, Metal, Rock, Pop, and more.
Fans can get their hands on $20 all-in tickets starting Monday, April 30th at 8:00 am local time at ncw.livenation.com.
Spotify has started testing a feature that will filter out songs that have explicit lyrics. It has rolled out the feature on iOS devices. The new setting grays out explicit songs and prevents them from playing. Yet, according to some users, unlike Apple Music, the new feature lacks parental controls. Parents have also complained that Spotify doesn’t replace the songs with clean versions. In addition, the feature – only available to Premium users – doesn’t have a PIN code. So, anyone (especially younger users) can turn off the filter.
Streaming puts an end to the CD era.
For the first time, streaming music revenues have surpassed income from sales of physical formats. The IFPI found that revenue from subscription streaming music services surged over 41% last year to $6.6 billion. It now accounts for more than 38% of the total global market for recorded music. Physical format revenue – mainly CDs – fell 5.4% to $5.2 billion. It now accounts for just 30% of the total global market.
Viva, Latin music.
According to the RIAA, Latin music revenue grew 37% last year to $243 million. Primarily driven by streaming music platforms, the genre now accounts for 2.8% of the total $8.7 billion US music market. The genre’s streaming revenue grew 54% year-over-year, reaching a new record high of $204 million. Streaming accounted for 84% of the genre’s total revenue.
YouTube enters its teens.
Celebrating its 13th anniversary, YouTube has revealed a new report how machine learning technology has proven pivotal in taking down objectionable videos on its platform. According to the company, it took down over 8 million videos during the final quarter of 2017. Machines flagged more than 83% of now-deleted videos for review. The majority were spam and porn.
Stream Pandora while you get your game on.
Pandora Radio has rolled out a Pandora Premium app for the Xbox One. As with the Spotify app on the console, gamers can stream their favorite music while they play. This includes enjoying the service free with ads and limited skips, and the option to create playlists for paying subscribers.
Spotify’s got a revamped free version, with even more limited on-demand playback options.
At the Gramercy Theater in New York City, Spotify’s Chief R&D Officer Gustav Söderström announced a new free version of its mobile app. The refreshed free tier service will instantly recommend music to users. Users can also listen to their favorite songs on-demand. Yet, the tracks will have to appear on one of 15 personalized discovery playlists. This includes Daily Mix, Discover Weekly, Release Radar, and Today’s Top Hits. Spotify will also make recommendations based on existing user-made playlists, with even some songs pre-cached.
In addition, the mobile app will now include a data saver mode that aims to cut data consumption up to 75%. Advertisements will still run on Spotify’s free tier service.
No Shazam here.
The European Union has launched a formal investigation into Apple’s proposed acquisition of Shazam. Authorities remained concerned that the acquisition would harm consumer choice. Apple could also have an unfair advantage in accessing user data. EU authorities believe that the company could potentially “poach customers from rivals,” putting other services at a “competitive disadvantage.”
So, what do you with 30 old mixtapes featuring more than 900 songs? You upload them.
Rapper Lil B has uploaded over 30 old mixtapes to multiple streaming music services. Uploads include I’m Gay, Red Flame, Evil Flame, Evil Red Flame, Red Flame (Devil Music Edition), and more. In total, the 30 mixtapes have over 900 songs.
Release your music simultaneously around the world.
Distrokid has announced the introduction of ‘Synchronized Global Release.’ On the service, artists and labels and can now release music simultaneously in every country at the exact same time. Distrokid automatically calculates and offsets each country’s time zone. All users need to do is select the desired release date and what time they’d like their release to go live in NYC. Distrokid then takes care of the rest. The music distributor also allows users to pick any time, not just midnight.
The PMA expands its focus.
The Production Music Association (PMA) has announced that it will expand its focus to embrace “the many opportunities and challenges of the international marketplace.” With its new tagline, ‘Creating Global Value. Forward Together,’ it will hold its annual Production Music Conference on September 26th-28th at the Loews Hotel in Hollywood, California. PMA Chairman Adam Taylor made the announcement. He also welcomed three new members to the PMA Board of Directors: Michael Sammis, Global President of Universal Production Music, John Clifford, SVP Global Sales, Marketing & Repertoire for BMG Production Music, and Edwin Cox, President/Creative Director for West One Music.
Just say No to piracy.
Françoise Nyssen, France’s Minister of Culture, has called on authorities to implement a national pirate site blacklist in France to combat streaming piracy. She told reporters that the country must “act on the sites” by implementing “a blacklist which is constantly updated to keep them offline.” According to Nyssen, piracy is now “80% by streaming” in France.
Prince’s family sues a hospital and Walgreens for the late singer’s death.
Prince’s next of kin have filed a lawsuit against Trinity Medical Center, the hospital that treated the late singer for an opioid overdose. The family claims that Prince received “improper medical care” after the singer’s plane made an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois, days before his death. The next of kin have also filed a lawsuit against Walgreens. The pharmacy chain allegedly failed to “conduct the appropriate drug utilization review.”
Filling the vinyl records void that Hastings left behind.
KSM Music, a retail music store in Logan, Utah, will now sell records as well as repair record players. The move came following multiple consumer requests. The last store that sold records in the area, Hastings, closed in 2015. KSM Music launched its vinyl sales on National Record Store Day on April 21st.
New Prince music coming this September.
The entertainment advisor of Prince’s estate, Troy Carter, has announced that a new album will drop on September 28th. The album will contain previously unreleased material. In an interview with Variety, Carter confirmed that the material will be “time-specific” and will come out on Warner Bros.
Empowering women for careers in the music industry.
Live music ticketing discovery app Dice has announced the return of its annual Girls Music Day. This year, the event will take place on Saturday, April 28th. The fourth annual event aims to empower young women to strive for music careers through a series of workshops and panel discussions.
Recognizing local teachers for their dedication to music education.
The Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) has honored two North Hill School District teachers at its annual conference. Len Lavelle received a Citation of Excellence award for “lasting contributions in the area of teaching.” Chris Ballentine received the Outstanding Young Music Educator Award for his contribution to music education. In addition, Superintendent Patrick J. Mannarino received the Outstanding Superintendent Award for recognizing the importance of music and the arts in the school district’s curriculum.
A new deal with a Chinese sensation.
Universal Music Group has signed an international deal with Chinese superstar Kris Wu. Via a partnership with Universal Music China, UMG will release the singer’s work around the world, excluding Japan and Korea. In the US, UMG will work with Interscope Geffen A&M to release the singer’s work. In the UK, the label will release Wu’s work via Island Records.
A rap-like musical.ly app raises $1.6 million.
Mobile app Rapchat has announced that it has raised $1.6 million in funding from investors in Oakland and the Midwest. The app lets users pick a beat from a library, rap over it, and share it on its social network and sharing platform. Rapchat has ranked as a Top 50 music app on iOS and Android. It has also hit 100 million listens since launch. The company’s founders didn’t explain how they plan to use the money.
A new hire for iHeartMedia.
iHeartMedia has hired Justin Nesci for the newly created role of Executive Vice President of Advanced Audio and Data Revenue. He will be responsible for data-driven audio strategies for a range of the company’s platforms. This includes its SmartAudio platform, a programmatic ad tool for delivering targeted messages to listeners. Nesci joins iHeartMedia with more than two decades of experience in digital media revenue.
“Stay independent, or end up like The Orchard.”
At the AIM Music Connected conference in London, Paul Sanders, co-founder of Consolidated Independent, urged music companies and tech startups to remain independent. Citing Sony’s The Orchard as an early client of Consolidated Independent, he warned,
“As independents we’re usually small, and it’s very hard to get the concentration of expertise in one place to get the investment into the technology and the processes you need, to be an independent business in a world that is coalescing around what we call hyper-scale platforms. Without that expertise, and without access to that expertise, it is too easy to lose independence.”
Google doubles down on podcasts.
In an interview with Pacific Media co-founder Steve Pratt, Google laid out the basics of its long-awaited podcast strategy. The search giant aims to double its global podcast audience. Google aims to introduce play buttons inside search results for a podcast title. It will also include cloud tracking of starts and stops so that people can listen on different devices.
Smokin’ Grooves has returned.
Following a 16-year hiatus, Smokin’ Grooves will return. The hip-hop, R&B, and soul tour will make a comeback at Queens Mary Events Park in Long Beach, California on June 16th. The one-day Goldenvoice festival include Erykah Badu, Miguel and The Roots, Jhené Aiko, NxWorries (Anderson .Paak + Knxledge) and H.E.R. First created in 1996 to counterbalance Lollapalooza and the Warped Tour, the debut tour featured Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers, Cypress Hill, The Fugees, A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, The Roots and Michael Franti & Spearhead.
A new home for Wango Tango.
KIIS FM’s Wango Tango will be the first concert to take place at Los Angeles’ new Banc of California Stadium. iHeartMedia announced that Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, Meghan Trainor, 5 Seconds of Summer, NF, Miguel, Janelle Monáe and Marshmello will perform at the concert, set for Saturday, June 2nd. Twitter and AT&T will livestream the event.
An alarming gender gap at UK music festivals.
In a new study, Last.fm has compared the presence of male and female singers in major festival line-ups. It also analyzed major awards won and what genres music listeners prefer listening to. Last.fm found that people listen to 11% more male solo artists than females. In addition, Reading and Leeds has never had a female headliner. Creamfields has only had a 3% share of female headliners, and Wireless just 7%. The EMA and AMAs ranked ‘the most equal’ award ceremonies, with 10% more women than men winning EMAs, and no discernible gender difference in the AMAs.
Celebrating the rise of hip-hop with samples.
Last year, R&B and hip-hop surpassed rock to become the most popular music genre in the US. To celebrate, Producer Loops has ranked its most downloaded hip-hop sample packs of all time, creating videos to showcase them. You can also check out all of the site’s hip-hop samples.
UMPG and BMG win big at the ASCAP Pop Music Awards.
The ASCAP Pop Music Awards has named Universal Music Publisher Group (UMPG) ‘Publisher of the Year.’ The performance rights organization recognized the publisher for its role in hits including ‘Shape of You’ and ‘That’s What I Like.’ UMPG Chairman and CEO Jody Gerson accepted the award from ASCAP Chief Elizabeth Matthews. Independent Publisher of the Year went to BMG for its role in ‘Let Me Love You’ and ‘Despacito.’ Steve Mac, Starrah, and Drew Taggart took home Songwriter of the Year awards.
Will Facebook’s smart speaker also feature grievous privacy issues?
Facebook’s smart speakers will reportedly enter mass production in June. The social media platform, however, has cut order volumes by 20%. According to sources, product launch will likely be delayed to October. Facebook originally planned to unveil two smart speakers in May. It had to postpone the announcement following Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony in Congress.
Schoolhouse Rock rests in peace.
Bob Dorough, the man behind some of the most beloved tunes on the cartoon series Schoolhouse Rock, has passed away. He died at his home in Mt. Bethel, Pennsylvania. Dorough was 94.
A new deal for Body Type.
Sydney Quartet Body Type has signed a new deal with Inertia Music and Partisan Records. To celebrate, the group released their new single, ‘Arrow.’ Body Talk will also hit the road this week to support Australian singer and songwriter Alex Cameron at several shows in Brisbane, Sydney, Perth, and Melbourne.
Even more legal woes for Gibson.
Tronical, the exclusive licensor of auto-tuning, has announced that it has sued Gibson for $50 million. Gibson had marketed Tronical’s auto-tuning technology as Gibson G Force. Gibson introduced the feature in its 2015 range of guitars. Following mixed reviews, the guitar maker withdrew it from its 2018 line. The lawsuit has been pending before the Hamburg State Court since December 2017.
In a statement to MusicRadar, Tronical CEO and founder Chris Adams said,
“Tronical is claiming licensing fees to the amount of 23 million US dollars from the share in the profits agreed in the contract, and a further 27 million US dollars on the grounds of Gibson’s breach of contract of the exclusive research and development agreement with Tronical, which Gibson should have met by 2026.”
Featured image by Andrew King (CC by 2.0)