Latest Industry: Atlanta, Bon Iver, DFC, Lil Wayne, YouTube News, iHeartMedia, Live Nation, More…

Atlanta, renewed.

FX Network has just renewed Atlanta into a third season.  The successful show, led by Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino), will undoubtedly feel a lift from Gambino’s high-impact music statement ‘This Is America’.


Bon Iver and The National launch a streaming service.

Along with Bon Iver, The National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner have launched a new streaming service called People.  According to Aaron Dessner, the service won’t compete against Spotify and Apple Music.  Instead, the open-access “artist-directed” publishing platform will empower musicians to share their experimental works.

“We want to create a place to evolve and share ideas around the year.  That’s why we are in the process of building our own digital platform where the music from recordings, sessions, and live events as well as visual art, podcasts, and essays can find a home.  For all the raw, the unpackaged, the experiments, and the evolved ideas.”

The artists have also announced a new Berlin-based festival.


DFC announces second round of founding members.

The Digital Future Council (DFC) – a think tank aimed at bridging the gap between the creative and technology industries – has announced a second round of founding members ahead of its official launch during the Cannes Lions Festival.  New additions include executives from CNN, Casper, Refinery29, Columbia Records UK, eBay, and more.

The first round of founding members included executives from Havas Media, VICE Media, Mic, Hearst Digital Media, The LEGO Group, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment, GoDaddy, TLDR, MEDIA Protocol, Remy.co, and Wachsman, among others.


YouTube Red, YouTube Music Premium, and YouTube Premium.  Now, get ready for YouTube News.

YouTube has reportedly interviewed seasoned news journalists for an upcoming news initiative.  According to two sources speaking with Digiday, the company will likely follow Facebook’s playbook and pay news publishers for exclusive videos.  YouTube may also promote videos from accredited news outlets to combat rampant fake news stories on its platform.


Lil Wayne has wriggled free from Cash Money.

Lil Wayne has now negotiated an exit settlement with both Cash Money Records and Universal Music Group.  “He is his own man, a man that owns his assets, his music and himself,” Wayne’s attorney Ron Sweeney told Billboard.  “At some point, Wayne will let his fans know what’s going to happen next.”


Soundeon joins the Open Music Initiative.

Soundeon, a blockchain-based music platform, has joined the Open Music Initiative (OMI), a nonprofit initiative led by the Berklee College of Music Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship in partnership with the MIT Media Lab.  OMI aims to promote and develop an open protocol for industry-wide creative rights management and royalty distribution.


Ye has over 100 million streams on Spotify.

Kanye West’s new album, Ye, has surpassed 100 million total streams on Spotify.  TIDAL and Apple Music have yet to release their figures.


The Weeknd has his own show on Beats 1 Radio.

The Weeknd has announced a new show on Apple Music’s Beats 1 Radio.  The show joins Frank Ocean’s dreamy blonded and Drake’s Ovo Sound Radio.


Australian Women in Music Awards nominations have opened.

Nominations for the first-ever Australian Women in Music Awards have opened.  First announced in March, the event will feature fourteen award categories recognizing women’s contributions to the Australian music industry.  These include artists, people of color, educators, photographers, and managers.  Organizers will accept nominations on the Australian Women in Music Awards website until June 12th.  The event will take place in Brisbane on October 9th and 10th.


Ozy Media and iHeartMedia announce new partnership.

iHeartMedia and Ozy Media have announced a creative multiyear partnership.  The partnership will combine OZY Media’s news capabilities with iHeartMedia’s national cross-platform network.  OZY stories will be featured in iHeartMedia’s morning shows across 150 markets in the US.  The partnership also includes radio, digital, social, and live events across iHeartMedia’s network.


Prince estate announces new album.

The Prince estate has announced that it will release a new full-length album, Piano & a Microphone 1983.  Warner Bros. will release the collection of solo songs the late singer had recorded at his home.  The Prince estate has also released the first song from the album, a cover of ‘Mary Don’t You Weep.’


30,000 people pay for TIDAL’s high-fidelity audio service — according to someone out there.

According to ‘industry sources’ speaking to Billboard, Tidal has around 380,000 to 480,000 subscribers in the US.  30,000 users apparently pay for the service’s $19.99 high-fidelity audio tier.  Another source claims that Jay-Z’s beleaguered music streaming service has roughly 1 million subscribers around the world.  All of those numbers are unfortunately suspect, however, given serious allegations against Tidal of accounting and reporting fraud.  If true, the figures (whichever set you choose) still pale in comparison to Spotify (71 million paid subscribers) and Apple Music (42 million paid subs).


Steve Himmelfarb joins TFA.

Veteran talent executive Steve Himmelfarb has joined The Feldman Agency as an agent.  He joins from The Billions Corporation where he represented more than thirty-five artists across Canada, the US, South America, and Asia including Charlotte Day Wilson, PUP, Lord Huron, Beirut, Wolf Parade, Wintersleep, and New Pornographers, among others.


Live Nation announces new board members.

Live Nation Entertainment has announced the election of Dana Walden and Ping Fu to its Board of Directors.  Walden has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Television Group at 21st Century Fox since July 2014.  Fu co-founded Geomagic, a 3D imaging software company acquired by 3D Systems in February 2013.


Sony Music Nashville promotes Cary Ryan.

Sony Music Nashville (SMN) has promoted Cary Ryan to Vice President of Release Planning and Production.  He will continue to oversee the Release Planning & Production department and direct the scheduling, production, and distribution of products through the physical and digital supply chain for SMN.


Walker Hayes suspends several shows.

Country singer Walker Hayes has canceled multiple shows following the passing of his newborn daughter, Oakleigh.  In a statement on Twitter, he thanked fans for respecting his family’s wishes for privacy.

“Oakleigh Klover Hayes was born this morning at the hospital and now is safely in heaven.”


Jimmy Gonzalez passes away.

Tejano singer, guitarist, and songwriter Jimmy Gonzalez has passed away.  Eloy Lejia, Promotions Manager for Gonzalez’s label, Freddy Records, said that he had suffered a heart attack.  He was 67.


Featured image by Disney | ABC Television Group (CC by 2.0)


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