Latest Industry: Music Tourism in Tennessee, YouTube Premium, Spotify, Aretha Franklin, Viagogo, ECM Records, More…

People still love to visit Tennessee.

At the Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam revealed record figures from tourism in the state – $20.7 billion.  Tourism has aided local government across all 95 counties, with each county reporting at least $1 million in direct visitor spending.  David County led the music-fueled tourism industry with $6.5 billion, followed by Shelby County at $3.5 billion, and Sevier County with $2 billion.

YouTube Premium rolls out to more countries.

YouTube has rolled out its Premium and Music Premium service in The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, and Luxembourg.  The service is currently available in the US, South Korea, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.

Spotify tests Friends Weekly feature.

Several months after unveiling the Friends Weekly playlist feature on iOS, Spotify may soon roll out the feature on Android.  The app’s latest mobile release includes code referencing the feature, including ‘friendsactivity.friendslist.ui.AvatarListContainer’ and ‘findfriends.ui.FriendFriendsActivity.’

Pay your respects to Aretha Franklin via livestreaming and on TV.

On Friday, August 31st, fans can turn in to watch a live stream from the Associated Press online.  CNN and Fox News will broadcast several parts of the funeral.

45 days left to restore Aretha Franklin’s home.

Per a ruling from Shelby County Environmental Court Judge Patrick Dandridge, the city of Memphis has until October 16th to preserve Aretha Franklin’s home.  Born in South Memphis, the soul singer left her childhood home when she was 2.  Former Environmental Court Judge Larry Potter ordered the house demolished in 2016, but detained the order after volunteers stabilized the structure.

Facing heat in the UK, Viagogo flees to New York.

Following pressure from multiple investigations into its fraudulent business tactics in Europe, Viagogo will relocate its workforce in the UK to New York.  The company has spun the move, declaring it looks to “explore US expansion.”

CTS Eventim stands to lose over $1 million over lost ‘print-at-home’ fee revenue.

After Germany’s Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, or BGH) upheld a ban on print-at-home ticket processing fees, CTS Eventim has told investors its 2018 revenue will decline €1 million ($1.2 million).  The company had charged music fans a €2.50 ($2.93) processing fee.

ECM Records catalog available on streaming services.

Collaborating with Universal Music Group, ECM Records’ catalog will become available on streaming music services, including Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, and TIDAL.  The Munich indie record label’s catalog includes Keith Jarrett, Jan Garbarek, Paul Bley, Meredith Monk, and others.

When you think of streaming music, you probably don’t think of beer.

Craft Brewed Music, a Nashville-based streaming music service, will launch on October 1st.  Borrowing its name from the craft beer industry, Craft Brewed will offer a ‘flight,’ or a free 10-song sample.  A ‘growler’ subscription will cost $5 a month, or $50 per year.  Don’t expect to skip songs, however.  Craft Brewed, a ‘no interactive’ service, will force subscribers to listen to ‘genre-defying’ music.

Brian Horner, CEO and Chief Creative Officer, told The Tennessean,

“There’s incredible music lying undiscovered outside the mainstream and there are people who crave it, so we created a curated streaming service to shine a light on that music — and we do a direct profit-share with the artists.  As an artist manager, I’ve worked with this type of artist for years, and it’s often the lack of easy categorization that is the main obstacle standing between the artist and their audience.”

Hate the MMA?  Expect to get a billboard against you.

The Music Army – supporters of the Music Modernization Act (MMA) including Songwriters of North America – has paid for billboard ads in Oregon.  Addressed to Senator Ron Wyden, a notable MMA opponent, the billboard reads,

“Senator Wyden: Why do you hate music?”

Nick Jonas joins Uglydolls.

The singer will act and perform an original song in Uglydolls, an animated film.  He joins Kelly Clarkson and Pitbull.

Elton John teams with Twickets.

The singer has announced a partnership with the fan-to-fan ticket reselling platform for his farewell tour.  John’s tour will kick off on September 8th in Allentown, Pennsylvania and will make 300 stops in a span of 3 years.  The farewell tour sold 450,000 tickets on its first day of presale, selling out 76 shows almost instantly.

Triller announces a new board member.

Marie-Laure Sauty de Chalon has joined the Triller Advisory Board.  She’ll assist with the user-generated music video platform’s global strategy, focusing on brand deals.

MKTO signs with ICM Productions.

ICM Production’s Mike Hayes and Scott will lead the agents representing the pop duo worldwide in all areas.  Silver Lining Entertainment’s Tarik Kanafani and Jeff Golenberg as well as The ESI Network’s Nelson Paredez and Garrett Lindsay co-manage MKTO.

UMG’s 10:22pm signs Alesso.

The exclusive global recording deal with the Swedish DJ/producer comes weeks after the Universal Music Group (UMG) imprint signed YouTube star Lele Pons.  Alesso will drop his new album, Remedy, on August 31st.

Atlantic signs Ally Brooke.

The Fifth Harmony member has signed a record deal with Latium Entertainment/Atlantic Records.  Brooke will release her debut solo single this fall.

Spotify announces two key hires.

Mike Buckley and Clare Leonard will join Spotify as Sales Directors.  Both will serve under Rak Patel, Head of UK. Buckley will start in September and joins from adtech company Loopme.  Leonard will start in October and joins from Oath.

Matador announces hires in the US and UK.

Alex Keague-Davies will serve as the new UK General Manager at Matador Records, taking over for Natalie Judge, who will exit the label after 11 months.  Jake Whitener will serve as Director of A&R in the United States, taking over for Robby Morris, who left the label and joined Secretly Group last April.

William Lee joins UTA.

He’ll serve at United Talent Agency’s (UTA) speaker’s division.  Lee previously served as Vice President of Sales at Washington Speakers Bureau.  His client portfolio included HSBC, NBCUniversal, and PIMCO.

Spotify loses its veteran publicist.

After nearly 7 years at the company, Graham James, a public relations executive, will leave Spotify in September.  Dustee Jenkins, the company’s Head of Public Relations will relocate to New York.

Featured image by Thomas R Machnitzki (CC by 3.0)