Latest Industry: Pandora+AdsWizz, BTS, Sting, Warner Classics, Peex, Labour Live Festival, More…

Pandora has completed its acquisition of AdsWizz.

Pandora has closed its acquisition of digital audio ad technology AdsWizz.  The $145 million deal, first announced in March, had an interesting stipulation.  The digital radio service would pay at least 50% in cash.  Pandora has confirmed that it paid $66.3 million in cash along with 9.9 million shares in common stock.

A different kind of pay-to-play.

Current, an incentivized blockchain-based multimedia ecosystem, has created a digital utility token dubbed CRNC.  The platform rewards users for streaming their favorite music from Spotify, SoundCloud, YouTube, and other services.  Users interact with the Current platform through a mobile or web application.  The token reduces the cost of subscribing to premium content providers.  Current has over 200,000 users.

BTS makes Kpop history.

Korean boy band BTS has debuted atop the Billboard 200 albums chart with Love Yourself: Tear.  This marks the first No. 1 for the seven-member group, and the first K-Pop album to reach No. 1 in the US.  Released through Big Hit Entertainment, Love Yourself: Tear debuted with 135,000 equivalent album units in the US for the week ending May 24th.  According to Nielsen Music, 100,000 units were in traditional album sales.

The San Francisco Symphony signs with Warner Classics.

The San Francisco Symphony (SFS) has announced that it will partner with Warner Classics Label Services on global distribution of the orchestra’s in-house record label and production company.  The label’s classical roster includes the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra as well as the Munich Philharmonic.

Under terms of the deal, Warner Classics Label Services will manage global distribution of SFS Media in collaboration with Alternative Distribution Alliance Worldwide (ADA) across physical, download, and streaming platforms.

Listen to concert stems in real-time.

Peex, a new tech startup, has offered fans the opportunity to customize audio in real-time.  Peex grabs an audio feed from a concert soundboard, separates it into five ‘stems,’ and transmits them to audience members on a PA system via a wearable device or the Peex app.  Users can modify the levels and listen via a pair of headphones.  A separate feature dubbed Peex Relive makes concert recordings available as downloads.

The startup has tested the technology at sixty concerts and will soon launch “with downloads of iconic live shows available from an A-List artist.”

“Please, please, please buy tickets to the Labour Live Festival.”  “Okay.”

British trade unionist Len McCluskey has purchased 1,000 tickets for MP Jeremy Corbyn’s ill-fated Labour Live music festival, Jezfest.  McCluskey’s union, Unite, purchased the tickets.  The move comes after Jezfest had only sold 15% of its total ticket allocation.  Unite will give the tickets away for free.

Two people die after consuming drugs at the Mutiny Festival.

A young father and a teenage girl have passed away after consuming drugs at the Mutiny Festival at Portsmouth.  Tommy Cowan, 20, and Georgia Jones, 18, died after taking “Green Heinekin” pills.  Thirteen others were also hospitalized.  Authorities have arrested three men on suspicion of supplying drugs at the festival.  On Facebook, Jones’ mother, Janine Milburn, posted a warning to all festivalgoers.

“Georgia died yesterday due to complications after taking two pills at Mutiny.  If nothing else I hope what has happened to her will deter you from taking anything ever.  The pills had caused her temperature to rise so high, it made her fit for 45 minutes.”

Sunset Music Festival 2018 canceled due to Tropical Storm Alberto.

Florida officials had canceled the Sunset Music Festival on its second day due to heavy winds and rains.  Officials posted the following statement.

Dear SMF Community,

“Due to forecasted heavy rains and high winds associated with Tropical Storm Alberto, we are sad to announce the second day of Sunset Music Festival 2018 (Sunday, May 27, 2018) has been cancelled.

“This decision to cancel was made by the Tampa Sports Authority, in conjunction with the Tampa Police Department and Tampa Fire Rescue, and was based on the fact Sunday’s weather poses a serious risk to the health, safety and welfare of Sunset Music Festival attendees.  Additionally, a Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for the Tampa area and Florida’s Governor Scott has declared a State of Emergency.  The safety of our attendees, staff, artists, partners and community is always our number one priority.

“SMF will release detailed instructions on the refund policy and process as soon as possible at  We are truly saddened by this decision, however, your safety is our number one priority.  We hope to see you next year for SMF 2019.

Brockhampton kicks out Ameer Vann and cancels US tour.

Hip-hop group Brockhampton has kicked out founding member Ameer Vann following accusations of sexual misconduct by two women.  The group’s leader, Kevin Abstract, had initially supported Vann.  In a letter, Brockhampton apologized to the women.

Ameer is no longer in Brockhampton.  We want to sincerely apologize to the victims affected by Ameer’s actions.  We were lied to, and we’re sorry for not speaking up sooner.  [Brockhampton] does not tolerate abuse of any kind.  This is not a solution to their suffering, but we hope this is a step in the right direction.

The hip-hop group has also canceled a US tour.

Sting receives honorary awards.

Brown University has presented Sting and his wife with honorary degrees.  After receiving the degree, the English singer sang ‘My One and Only Love’ at the commencement ceremony.

Florence and the Machine announce North American tour.

Florence and the Machine have announced a North American tour in support of the group’s upcoming album, High as Hope.  The tour kicks off in Montreal on August 5th and will wrap up in Minneapolis on October 20th.

Universal Music Australia and Optus extend strategic partnership.

Universal Music Australia and streaming service Optus will extend their partnership.  The music corporation and its in-house label, BRiNG, will collaborate with Optus to promote their first music product.  Optus customers will soon stream their music without using their data on Google Play Music, iHeartRadio, and Spotify.

Phil Emmanuel passes away.

Famed Australian guitarist Phil Emmanuel has passed away following an asthma attack.  He rose to prominence in the early 1960s playing with family band The Trailblazers.  He was 65 and is survived by his wife Amanda and his children Jessie Maree, Jamie-Lee, Georgia Dee, Jackson, and Marshall Travis.

Stewart Lupton passes away.

Stewart Lupton, lead singer of indie group Jonathan Fire*Eater, has passed away.  Without providing an official cause of death, his family confirmed the tragic news.  He was 43.

Sony/ATV extends deal with Ben Ash.

Sony/ATV Publishing has extended its worldwide deal with UK songwriter and singer Ben Ash who works under the name Two Inch Punch.  The new agreement covers his entire song catalog, including ‘Money On My Mind.’  Ash has worked with artists including Rag’n’Bone Man, Jake Bugg, Jessie Ware, and Years & Years.

Featured image by paveita (CC by 2.0)