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Minor in Iranian Music at UCLA.

UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music has announced that starting Fall 2019, students can declare a minor in Iranian music.  The minor will offer ensemble classes in traditional Iranian instruments and singing.  Students can also take history and theory courses in the minor.  The Farhang Foundation, a group that promotes Iranian cultural education in US schools, funded the minor with a $1 million donation.

Warner Music Group boosts revenues, trims losses, and dumps a lot of Spotify shares.

Here’s the full financial report, plus comments from Warner CEO Stephen Cooper on why they’re selling Spotify shares.

“Please.  Spotify, please use my favorite cryptocurrency.  Please.”

Cryptocurrency lovers have begged the European streaming music service to add their favorite coins.  They’ve taken to Spotify’s Live Ideas page, adding over 3,200 votes to a post asking the company to add XVG as a payment option.  Others have asked the service to let users mine cryptocurrency to avoid ads altogether.  And, several want Spotify to create its own cryptocurrency exchange.

YouTube sells Vevo clips directly to advertisers.

As part of its licensing agreement last year, YouTube can now sell Vevo music video clips directly to advertisers.  The popular video platform confirmed the news at last week’s Brandcast pitch.  The company told advertisers that it has started selling the clips as part of its “Google Preferred” tier.  YouTube reportedly stated that it “puts its most valuable and most brand-safe content” on that tier.

YouTubers help students around the world cheat at school.

According to a new report, some YouTube stars have started pushing a cheating website to younger audiences.  EduBirdie, a Ukraine-based firm that lets students buy essays online, now appears in over 1,400 videos on 250 YouTube channels.  The videos total 700 million views.  YouTube stars, including Adam Selah, JMX, and Alpay B, would interrupt their videos to promote the service.  EduBirdie reportedly offered the popular YouTube stars hundreds of dollars for each advertisement.

Analyzing music preferences and political viewpoints in America.

TickPick, an online ticket marketplace, has released the results of a study exploring the relationship between music preferences and political viewpoints in the US.

Among the findings, The Beatles and Queen remained the most loved bands among Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.  Fans of Garth Brooks emerged as the least supportive of increased gun control.  They also remained adamant supporters of President Donald Trump.  Country music fans were also two times more likely to support the construction of a wall along the border.  And, 86% of Beyoncé fans felt that the government should place more restrictions when purchasing a gun.

Janet Jackson will receive an iconic award.

NBC and dick clark productions have announced that Janet Jackson will receive the Icon Award at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards.  At the event, she’ll also deliver her first televised performance in 9 years.

Tenacious D announce The Pick of Destiny sequel.

During the group’s performance at a music festival on Sunday, Jack Black announced the sequel to The Pick of Destiny.  Not much is known about the film, other than its release data this October.  The Pick of Destiny earned just $8.2 million in its theatrical run.  It remains a cult favorite among diehard Tenacious D fans.

Does Canadian Music Week underrepresent women?

Tiffany Ferguson, Executive Director of Women in Music Canada, has announced that she won’t participate in next week’s Canadian Music Week.  She would’ve participated in a panel discussion titled The Future is Female: Leading Women Tackle #MeToo, #TimesUp, and Equality in the Workplace.  In a statement, the organization stated that the panel didn’t align with its “values and goals.”  Women in Music Canada added that the panel doesn’t represent inclusivity and lacked “diverse voices.”

A free scholarship for an aspiring young music manager.

The Southern Institute of Technology in Mainz, New Zealand has teamed up with IGNITE, a free Auckland-based music and events program, to offer a scholarship for an aspiring young events music manager.  The 12-week 2018 IGNITE program gives 15-to-18-year-olds hands-on experience in music event management.  Participants learn about events and the music industry from industry mentors through seminars and workshops.  They’ll also work at shows.  At the end of the program, participants will put on their own shows.

ABC renews American Idol.  Plus, American Idol announces a summer tour.

ABC has renewed American Idol for its 16th season.  Judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan will return next season alongside host Ryan Seacrest.

American Idol has announced that it will take its show on the road with American Idol Live! 2018.  The tour will feature this season’s Top 7 finalists: Cade Foehner, Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Catie Turner, Gabby Barrett, Jurnee, Maddie Poppe and Michael J. Woodard.  Season 8 winner Kris Allen will also perform.  The 40+ city tour will kick off on Wednesday, July 11th in Redding, California.  American Idol Live! 2018 will wrap up on Sunday, September 16th in Washington, DC.  Fans can purchase tickets starting on Friday, May 11th at 10 am local time.

Even more allegations against R. Kelly.

Four more women have come forward with allegations of sexual assault and inappropriate behavior by R. Kelly.  BuzzFeed reports that two of the women have discussed their “mentally and physically abusive” relationships with the R&B star.  The same day the report hit the web, the Washington Post reported that six other women had come forward with similar allegations.  Two of the women claimed that in the early 2000s, Sony Music executives enabled and didn’t attempt to curtail R. Kelly’s behavior.

Reservoir acquires Hoagy Carmichael’s catalog.

New York-based indie music publisher Reservoir has announced the acquisition of a global stake in the catalog of late American songwriter Hoagy Carmichael.  The deal, conducted with Carmichael’s heirs, sees Reservoir adding nearly 500 of the songwriter’s titles to its multi-genre portfolio.  The catalog dates as far back as the 1920s.

Stream music from YouTube Music, but through another app, for free.

Apptacular Studio has announced the launch of its new iOS app, Song Squad.  The app, developed by 18-year-old founder and CEO Zachary Jensen, allows users to create and stream music together directly from YouTube.  Through the app, you can create a library of songs and playlists for free.  The legality of the app, and whether it complies with YouTube’s privacy policies, remains questionable.

Featured image by Allgamenab (Public Domain)