Latest Industry: Spotify, YouTube Remix, Apple, Alexa, Pitbull, Avicii, Viagogo, Vivendi, Bose, Deezer, More…

Music Industry Latest: Spotify, YouTube Remix, Apple, Alexa, Pitbull, Avicii, Viagogo, Vivendi, Bose, Deezer, More...
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Not what investors wanted to hear.

Yesterday, Spotify announced significant improvements to its free tier service, including on-demand song playback.  Now, investors have responded to the news.  Spotify’s stock went down 1.5% yesterday.  This morning, shares opened 0.54% lower than yesterday’s closing price.

Listen to your favorite music on Google Play Music YouTube Remix.

According to sources close to the company, Google will reportedly axe its Play Music service.  When the company finally launches YouTube Remix, users will “be forced off of Play Music by the end of 2018 and onto Remix.”  Seemingly confirming the news, a YouTube spokesperson issued the following statement.

We’ve previously announced the combination of the YouTube Music and Google Play product teams — music is very important to Google so it’s critical we have one offering that meets the needs of consumers and artists.  Nothing will change for users today and we’ll provide plenty of notice before any changes are made.

Apple takes a beating on Wall Street.

Following weak iPhone X and HomePod sales, Apple shares fell below $163.  Closing at $162.94, the company has now closed in “correction territory.”  According to CNBC, Wall Street remains “increasingly wary of the stock.”

Apple snags an Ed Sheeran documentary.

Apple has won the world screen rights to Ed Sheeran’s new documentary, Songwriter.  The Murray Cummings-directed documentary shows Sheeran as he finds the handle on writing and performing distinctive songs.  Apple will reportedly make it an event release that includes a theatrical component along with release on Apple’s multiple platforms.  The documentary premiered in Berlin and will make its North American debut in the Tribeca Film Festival.

Because your children need Alexa, too.

Starting May 9th, an over-the-air update will allow Amazon’s Echo speakers to enable the FreeTime setting.  The feature will lock down certain functions and add new controls.  The update will also turn Alexa into a “virtual nanny.”  Parents can set a bedtime, disable voice purchasing, filter explicit lyrics, and approve certain educational skills.  Alexa will also make child-friendly jokes and sing songs, praise children who play “please,” and help bored children.

‘Disrupting’ the music industry with a blockchain competition.

Armando “Pitbull” Perez has launched an international blockchain coding competition.  Aimed at “disrupting the current state of the music industry,” Smackathon will let global participants use Ethereum.  They’ll reportedly create innovative ideas to take on music’s biggest challenges, including royalty agreements and curated playlists.  The rapper will produce the event alongside the eMerge Americas conference, an annual two-day tech conference in Miami Beach.  With the competition, Pitbull hopes to “save the music industry.”

Not just music anymore for Britney Spears.

Via a partnership with Epic Rights, Britney Spears has launched a high-quality fashion and lifestyle line of products.  The products will reportedly reflect “her personal sense of style, lifestyle, artistry, and creativity.”

Viagogo going to court.

Authorities will likely take secondary ticketing firm Viagogo to court for breaching consumer protection laws.  This comes after a UK competition regulator said that the website had ignored its demands to make changes.  The Competition and Markets Authorities (CMA) said it was determined to ensure that the ticketing firm complied with the changes.  It also warned Viagogo that it has prepared to use “the full range of its powers to protect music fans.”

Celebrating all things K-Pop.

Korean broadcast network SBS has teamed with Cinedigm and JungoTV to launch HALLYPOP.  The digital-first entertainment network will launch this summer with a focus on K-Pop, Asian music, EDM, and pop culture.  HALLYPOP will target distribution on traditional cable and digital platforms.  The channel will launch with more than 600 hours of content, including popular Korean music, variety, and competition shows.

Fans push Avicii sales through the roof.

Avicii’s music sales in the US have increased 6000%.  A preliminary sales report from Nielsen Music registered over 25,000 purchased downloads of the DJ’s music the same day he passed.  Neil Jacobson, President of Geffen Records, also disclosed that Avicii had worked on new music prior to his unexpected death.

Listening to music before a major surgery will actually calm you down.

According to a new study, music can reduce the anxiety and pain of invasive surgery.  Published in the British Journal of Surgery, music interventions significantly decreased anxiety and pain compared with controls.  Speaking on the findings, Dr. Rosalie Kühlmann, the study’s lead author, wrote,

This result now makes it possible to create guidelines for the implementation of music interventions around surgical procedures.

A new Fleetwood Mac tour.

Fleetwood Mac has announced a 50+ date North American tour, kicking off in October.  Produced by Live Nation, the tour will feature Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Stevie Nicks, and Christine McVie, along with newcomers Mike Campbell and Neil Finn.  Fans can purchase tickets starting May 4th at 10 am local time.  The tour will end on April 5th in Philadephia.

Detour now belongs to Bose.

Audio equipment manufacturer Bose has announced the acquisition of Andrew Masson’s walking tour startup, Detour.  The app originally helped tourists and locals discover major cities through narrated walking tours.  The Detour team will manage the app and its content until May 31st.  After that time, the app will be removed from the App Store and Play Store.  It remains unclear when it will launch on the company’s augmented reality platform, Bose AR.

Meek Mill goes free.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has released rapper Meek Mill from prison on bail.  Following his release, Meek Mill and a friend, Philadelphia Sixers co-owner Michael Rubin, boarded a helicopter.  They attended the team’s fifth game of the NBA playoffs.

Honoring the artists and creators who helped revolutionize EDM.

Deezer has announced the launch of Trailblazers, a podcast celebrating legends of dance music.  Part of the Deezer Original Series, broadcaster Eddy Temple-Morris and Nick Halkes, a dance music label executive and manager, will present the new series.  The show will honor artists, DJs, and creators who helped transform EDM from an underground subculture to a global industry.

What exactly has Vivendi’s largest shareholder been up to?

French judicial police held former Vivendi chairman Vincent Bolloré for questioning.  Authorities believe that he may have used ad agency Havas to work on elections in West Africa.  French judges will examine whether Havas helped finance electoral campaigns of politicians in office that granted port concessions to his company, the Bolloré Groupe.  Managers at the company allegedly offered the ad agency’s services at massively discounted prices in 2010.  Havas declined to comment on the news.  The Bolloré Groupe “formally denies” that it did anything irregular.  Vincent Bolloré remains Vivendi’s largest shareholder.

Twitter turns a profit.

Twitter’s Q1 2018 financials have reportedly beat Wall Street expectations.  The popular social media platform reported profits of 16 cents per share on revenue of $665 million, including a profit of $61 million.  In addition, Twitter added 6 million new users, above Wall Street’s projected 5 million.  Revenue also grew 21% year-on-year.  Twitter plans to grow its workforce 10% to 15% this year.  The company also expects to remain profitable this year.

Kanye West kicks Scooter Braun to the curb.

Kanye West has parted ways with his manager, Scooter Braun.  The decision to dismiss Braun comes from West’s desire to “break away from the traditional music business.”  He reportedly plans to opt out of maintaining a relationship with a music manager or lawyer.

The largest live streaming network in music.

LiveXLive has announced a new partnership with AEG Presents to add two music festivals to its slate of live music programming.  The multiyear agreement grants LiveXLive the exclusive opportunity to record, film, and distribute the Global Dance Festival and Decadence NYE.  This includes live performances as well as audio and video on demand rights across LiveXLive’s digital platforms.  LiveXLive now live streams over 27 music festivals and more than 1,000 artists across all genres of music.

Featured image by Eva Rinaldi (CC by 2.0)