Latest Industry: Article 13, Aretha Sales, Stormzy, Amazon, Google, Columbia, More…

Music Industry Latest - Copyright Directive Protests, Aretha Franklin Sales, Stormzy, Amazon, Google, Columbia, More...

Pirate Party representative pushes for open protests to the Copyright Directive.

Julia Reda, Pirate Party representative in the European Parliament, plans to get Copyright Directive opponents “to the streets.”  On her blog, she lambasted the music industry for attempting to censor the internet.

“We haven’t won yet.  After their initial shock at losing the vote in July, the proponents of upload filters and the ‘link tax’ have come up with a convenient narrative to downplay the massive public opposition they faced.  They’re claiming the protest was all fake, generated by bots and orchestrated by big internet companies.”


Aretha Franklin music sales skyrocket.

Following Aretha Franklin’s passing on Thursday, Nielsen Music reports her combined album and digital song sales increased 1,568% the same day.  She sold 134,000 combined albums and digital song downloads, up 8,000 over the previous day.

Franklin’s top-selling songs included ‘Respect,’ ‘A Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel Like),’ ‘I Say a Little Prayer,’ ‘Chain of Fools,’ ‘Think,’ ‘Freeway of Love,’ ‘Until You Come Back To Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do),’ ‘I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me),’ ‘I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You),’ and ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water.’

Her top-selling albums included 30 Greatest Hits, Amazing Grace, Queen of Soul: The Best of Aretha Franklin, Soul Queen, and The Best of Aretha Franklin.


Stormzy launches Cambridge University scholarship for black students.

Stormzy, an English grime and hip-hop artist, has launched a new program.  The Stormzy Scholarship will cover the tuition fees and provide a maintenance grant for four black students studying at Cambridge University.  Explaining the program, he said,

“We, as a minority, have so many examples of black students who have excelled at every level of education throughout the years.  I hope this scholarship serves as a small reminder that if young black students wish to study at one of the best universities in the world, then the opportunity is yours for the taking – and if funding is one of the barriers, then we can work towards breaking that barrier down.”


So, only one female DJ decides who the ‘toxic men’ of the music industry are.

In honor of Women’s Month in South Africa, Angela Weickl, DJ and Head of SheSaidSo South Africa, has vowed to call out toxic artists on social media.  Promising to keep the list updated, she stated she’ll never work alongside the named artists.  Weickl wrote,

“PSA: I will be including a list in every booking agreement from now onwards.  This list will be of artists who I refuse to be on a line up with due to their toxic and harmful behaviour.  I will not share the spaces where we work to promote diversity, inclusion and safety, with people who harm and disrespect us.  If a venue or promoter cannot understand my choice, then I choose not to associate with them.”


Amazon looks to acquire Landmark Theatres.

Hoping to maintain its own movie theatres, Amazon has entered into talks to acquire Landmark Theatres.  Wagner/Cuban Companies, an entertainment group, owns Landmark.  Amazon would purchase the movie chain’s 50 locations in Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Also Read:  Spotify, Universal Music Ink Massive, Multi-Year Licensing Agreement

The report reads,

“Pushing into movie theaters would follow Amazon’s expansion into myriad other forms of media, including a film and TV studio and music service.”


Google adds native support for hearing aids on Android.

Google has released an open specification that allows Android devices to stream audio directly to hearing aids.  Using Bluetooth Low Energy (BE) technology, the company has unveiled Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids (Asha).


Columbia Records names a Senior Vice President of A&R.

Engineer/producer Noah Goldstein will serve as Senior Vice President of A&R at Columbia Records.  He has worked with Kanye West and G.O.O.D. Music as a producer, mixer, engineer, and A&R rep.  Goldstein will report to Ron Perry, Justin Eshak, and Imran Majid, Co-Heads of A&R at Columbia Records.


Young Thug arrested.

The Los Angeles Police Department arrested Atlanta rapper Young Thug – real name Jeffrey Lamar Williams – on a felony gun charge.  Officers arrested the rapper after stopping his Thursday evening party on early Friday morning.  Williams has since posted bail.


Tom Joshua signs with Bucks Music Group.

Bucks Music Group has signed English neo-folk singer/songwriter Tom Joshua to a worldwide publishing deal.  His debut single, ‘Meteor Showers,’ has over a million streams on Spotify.


Amy Thomson stops managing Swedish House Mafia.

ATM Artists founder and CEO Amy Thomson has announced she will no longer manage Swedish House Mafia.  She had managed the dance group for 15 years.

On Instagram, Thomson wrote,

“Thanks for all the messages I got hit with about this [reformation].  But, I guess now is the time to say that in May this year I told the boys I would be leaving at the end of summer 2018.  In this industry, people expect you to stay in projects that make you powerful.  Ego.  Pride.  Power.  Money.  All of that.  But, for me, I have learned that life changes you and what you want to do with that gift is a gift in itself.”


Big Sandy names a new General Manager.

SMG has named Cindy Collins as General Manager of Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington, West Virginia.  She most recently served as General Manager of Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center in Pikeville, Kentucky.

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ADE appoints new Director.

The Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) has appointed Mariana Sanchotene as the new Director of the event.  Starting October 1st, she will take over the vacant role left behind by Richard Zlijma.


Sony Music Nashville names new Vice President of Media Relations.

Public relations veteran Wendy Pearl will serve as Vice President of Media Relations at Sony Music Nashville.  She will start on September 4th and will report to Allen Brown, Senior Vice President of Media and Corporate Communications.


Jill Janus passes away.

Jill Janus, vocalist of heavy metal band Huntress, has passed away after taking her own life.  She was 43. According to her publicist, Janus had suffered a mental illness for years.


Featured image by Jon Aslund (CC by 2.0)