Business

Live Nation Shareholder Sues Over Executive Bonus Accounting

The concert giant stands by its math that rewards CEO Michael Rapino and others with over $9 million in cash bonuses. Live Nation shareholder Shiva Stein  filed a federal civil complaint in the Eastern District of New York on Thursday (May 24) alleging the music promoter wrongfully paid out bonuses and awards to top executives, including CEO Michael Rapino.  Billboard reached out to officials with Live Nation, who provided an explanation for the bonus payouts and clarified some accounting issues, but did not comment on the lawsuit. According to the complaint, Rapino and four other defendants were paid over $9 million in performance bonuses and more than $1 million in restricted stock awards “that they do not deserve” based on a reading of the compensation rules set by Live Nati...

Vevo to Shutter Its Apps and Website in Coming Weeks

The major label-owned video platform said it is “exploring ways to work with additional platforms [outside YouTube] to further expand access to Vevo’s content” Vevo announced on Thursday it will “phase out elements” of its owned and operated platforms — meaning its mobile apps and consumer website — and shift the company’s focus toward growing current and future partnerships. A spokesperson told Billboard the Vevo website and apps for iOS and Android will be phased out over the coming weeks, with users being sent reminders to transfer their playlists next week. The company’s corporate website stays, however. “Going forward, Vevo will remain focused on engaging the biggest audiences and pursuing growth opportunities,” accordi...

American firms reveal the gulf between bosses’ and workers’ pay

HOW much should company bosses be paid relative to their employees? It depends who you ask. Plato argued that the richest members of society should earn no more than four times the pay of the poorest. John Pierpont Morgan, a banker from America’s gilded age, reckoned that bosses should earn at most 20 times the pay of their underlings. Investors today hold chief executives in vastly higher esteem. According to new filings submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), America’s largest publicly listed firms (those worth at least $1bn) on average paid their chief executives 130 times more than their typical workers in 2017. The figures are being disclosed by firms in their financial filings for the first time this year. Get our daily newsletter Upgrade your inbox and get our Dai...

As Tesla’s share price falls, it becomes an inviting takeover target

A RECENT tweet from Elon Musk, the boss of Tesla, an electric-car firm, shows footage of a Model X undergoing rollover testing. The SUV is propelled rapidly sideways on a trolley before encountering a sand trap that stops it suddenly, tipping the car. The Tesla teeters between ending up on its roof or settling back on its wheels. It is an apt metaphor for a firm hovering between fulfilling its promise and succumbing to financial woes. In April Adam Jonas of Morgan Stanley, a bank, said the next three months would be the “most critical time in Tesla’s history” since launching its upmarket Model S six years ago. The move from a niche in expensive electric cars to bringing battery power to the masses has been troublesome, to say the least. The firm had once hoped to be making 10,000 of its ch...

Gazprom is enjoying a sales boom in Europe

FEW firms have more power to heat up the cauldron of global geopolitics than Gazprom, the state-backed Russian energy producer. It supplies more than a third of the natural gas that Europeans use for power generation, heating and cooking, creating what many—especially Americans—see as an unhealthy dependence (see chart). It has used its strength to bully countries which are out of favour with the Kremlin, such as Ukraine and Poland. And it is engaged in a growing rivalry with American exporters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe and China, a competition which potentially adds to the world’s trade tensions. Get our daily newsletter Upgrade your inbox and get our Daily Dispatch and Editor’s Picks. The firm also revels in its bad-boy image. When its boss, Alexei Miller, was put on...

Dropkick Murphys Announce Boston Boxing Matches For Final Shows of Summer Tour With Flogging Molly

Mark “Bazooka” DeLuca will take on Walter “Two Guns” Wright for the final date of 16-show run. The Dropkick Murphys are bringing the fight to their upcoming tour with Flogging Molly, wrapping up their 16-date run with a concert that includes a number of boxing matches promoted by longtime Dropkick Murphy’s bassist, songwriter and singer Ken Casey. The card at the Bank Of New Hampshire Pavilion in Gilford on June 23 will include fighters from Murphy’s Boxing which Casey launched in 2012 after several years helping promote fights for Boston lightweight fighter Danny O’Connor, who served as an alternate in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. “He was a friend and I thought I could promote him and help him get some press,” Casey tells Billb...

Good Charlotte Signs to BMG For Worldwide Album Release: Exclusive

Good Charlotte has signed a worldwide deal with BMG to release the rock group’s new studio album later this year.  The untitled project will be the second record run through Good Charlotte’s MDDN imprint following 2016’s Youth Authority, which was the group’s first album following a five-year hiatus.  “We feel our partnership with BMG is a natural one, as we’ve been fortunate enough to see first hand their commitment to the artists they’re in business with,” said Good Charlotte founders/brothers Benji and Joel Madden. “As the momentum for Good Charlotte continues to build in this new chapter of our career, BMG has consistently demonstrated the type of forward thinking, artist friendly, entrepreneurial spirit that we really relate to and is in line with the way we want our business to feel....

YouTube Expands ‘Artist on the Rise’ Program, Starting With Jessie Reyez

On Friday (May 18), YouTube announced that Jessie Reyez will be its first Artist on the Rise. Last year, the video streaming platform debuted a weekly Artist on the Rise feature on its Trending tab. This new monthly program is an expansion of the previous feature, and will continue to promote three impactful songs from the featured emerging artist while also offering more opportunities to learn about the artist on the YouTube for Artists blog. The goal of the new program is to promote a diverse, multi-genre lineup of new voices by connecting them with a larger fanbase through YouTube’s resources. The company plans to assist artists through in-product promotion and programming, out-of-home, social and fan events at YouTube Spaces. The inaugural artist is known for her breakout hit “Figures”...

Great Escape Organizers Discuss How Streaming Has Helped Them Put Forth the Best New Music

The new music festival’s CEO and talent booker explain how easy access to troves of music has transformed what people listen to and lent itself to a diverse slate of emerging artists. Every Spring since 2006, the streets of Brighton, England, have been flooded with music lovers seeking the best new local and international artists. At the time of its inception, Great Escape talent booker Adam Ryan tells Billboard that indie music was in vogue, but the popularity of streaming has changed that call for genre-specific events. “With things like Spotify and how people consume music now, there are more people listening to music than ever before. They can listen to multiple genres and that’s why we’re able to get away with showcasing things like British jazz to American hip-hop,” Ryan tells Billbo...

Shared housing startups are taking off

Notice any commonalities? Yes, the startups listed are all based in either New York or the San Francisco Bay Area, two metropolises associated with scarce, pricey housing. But while these two metro areas offer the bulk of startups’ living spaces, they’re also operating in other cities, including Los Angeles, Seattle and Pittsburgh. From white picket fences to high-rise partitions The early developers of the U.S. suburban planned communities of the 1950s and 60s weren’t just selling houses. They were selling a vision of the American Dream, complete with quarter-acre lawns, dishwashers and spacious garages. By the same token, today’s shared housing startups are selling another vision. It’s not just about renting a room; it’s also about being part of a community, making friends and exploring ...

AEG Presents President Rick Mueller Talks Ticket Sales at Canadian Music Week: ‘If You Sell Out the First Day, You’re Underpriced’

“If you sell out any show the first day, you’re underpriced,” declared AEG Presents president Rick Mueller during his onstage “conversation with” Bob Lefsetz, during Canadian Music Week in Toronto last week. The music industry pundit and Lefsetz Letter namesake got the Taylor Swift business out of the way — “no, the tour is doing great,” said Mueller, contrary to several New York Post reports — before getting into on-sales and flex and dynamic pricing. What’s the biggest challenge facing you today? Lefsetz asked. “Trying to put shows on sale in this day and age when you have a hot tour, you try to service the fan the best we can…the amount of hurdles there are getting a ticket to the consumer through what is the secondary market agenda, the band fan club agendas, how scal...

GEMA CEO Calls on Creatives to Speak Up to Demand Fair Share From Digital Services

At this week’s annual meeting of German composers and publishers, GEMA CEO Harald Heker renewed calls for digital platforms like YouTube to “finally be bound to pay authors a fair share of [proceeds] generated from the works of creators.” Heker also urged the 700-plus composers, lyricists and publishers attending the annual GEMA General Assembly to sign the pan-European “Make the Internet Fair” petition, which he said could “bolster up the politicians who are supporting a fair Copyright Directive in Brussels. The lobby of the large online platforms must be counterbalanced by the creatives in order to make the internet a fairer place.” GEMA represents the copyright of more than 72,000 composers, lyricists and music publishers in Germany, and more th...