Business

U2 & Amazon Music Team Up for Immersive Online Radio ‘Experience’ Leading Up to New Album Release

“Alexa, play ‘The U2 Experience.'” U2 has partnered with Amazon Music for a new online radio broadcast leading up to the band’s new album, Songs of Experience, release on Friday.  The U2 Experience is the first of its kind for the tech company, airing a mix of historical and new exclusive content produced by Amazon Music, as well as the band’s biggest hits and live recordings of songs from The Joshua Tree and Songs of Experience recorded during The Joshua Tree Tour 2017. The programming is designed to create a chronology of the band’s career as told through commentary and interviews spanning back more than 40 years.  Most recently, the audio show will feature an exclusive interview with U2 and Amazon Music’s global head of programming, Alex Luke, w...

Columbia UK Appoints Stacey Tang and Manish Arora Co-Managing Directors

Stacey Tang and Manish Arora have been named co-managing directors of Columbia Records U.K. with immediate effect, reporting to label president Ferdy Unger-Hamilton. Tang has been with the British arm of Columbia Records since 2012 and was appointed general manager in 2015. Meanwhile, Arora joins the Sony frontline label from Polydor, where he was director of promotion working on campaigns for Ellie Goulding, Kendrick Lamar, Lana Del Rey, Lady Gaga  and Years & Years, among others. “I am delighted to have Stacey and Manish as the new driving force of Columbia,” said Unger-Hamilton in a statement confirming their appointment. Praising their “combined skills in marketing and promotion” and “hunger for success,” he said that “there are no two peop...

Music Streaming Royalty Rates Going Up Slightly in 2018

The Copyright Royalty Board has set rates for master recording copyright holders and non-commercial webcasters. The Copyright Royalty Board has set a cost of living adjustment to the rates paid to master recording copyright holders for 2018, with the rate increasing on basis point each to $0.0018 for ad-supported, non-subscription music streaming services; and $0.0023 per performance for paid subscription services. Previously, the rates had been $0.0017 and $0.0022, respectively. Meanwhile non-commercial webcasters will pay $0.0018 per performance for each one in excess of 159,140 ATH, or aggregate tuning hours, in a month. That is up from $0.0017 in 2016 and 2017, but down from prior years. These determinations are the first announcements from the CRB in what are expected to be a slate of...

NMPA President/CEO David Israelite Signs Five-Year Contract Extension

The National Music Publishers’ Assn. board of directors has signed president and CEO David Israelite to a five-year contract extension to continue to lead the organization. Since joining the NMPA in 2005, Israelite has emerged as one of the most effective executives in representing the music industry to Washington lawmakers. In overseeing all aspects of the NMPA’s operations, Israelite is responsible for the trade group’s legal strategy towards government affairs and advocacy. As such, Israelite has been effective in making the case for ensuring songwriters and publishers achieve higher rates when their music is used, as well as protecting them against piracy. The NMPA’s legal efforts have “amassed over $600 million for songwriters and music publishers,” according to the announcement. Curr...

U.K. Taking ‘Enforcement Action’ Against Secondary Ticketing Sites

British government agency the Competitions and Market Authority (CMA) is to take “enforcement action” against secondary ticketing websites it suspects of breaking consumer protection law. The announcement follows an almost two-year investigation into the sector that the CMA says “identified widespread concerns” about how secondary ticketing sites operate and “gathered evidence” about possible unlawful practice.  “Our investigation has identified concerns that the law protecting consumers is being broken,” said CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli in a statement announcing the escalation in proceedings.  “We are putting our concerns to these websites and will be requiring the changes necessary to tackle them,” Coscelli went on to sa...

Buster Phillips Joins WME’s Nashville Office

He follows Scott Clayton and Matthew Morgan, who made the same jump last week to operate a rock department in Music City. In a move many expected, Buster Phillips has officially joined WME as a rock agent in the company’s Nashville office. His hiring follows last week’s surprise announcements that both Scott Clayton and Matthew Morgan have also joined the agency and will operate a rock department out of WME’s Nashville office. During his career, Phillips has worked with Gov’t Mule, Iron & Wine, Third Eye Blind, The Wallflowers, Kathleen Edwards, Lori McKenna, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, Low Cut Connie, Savannah Conley, The Record Company, Devon Gilfillian, The War and Treaty, Amasa Hines and Marlon Williams, among others. Prior to WME, Phillips had worked CAA, where he led th...

The Justice Department Quietly Backs Away From a Hard Line on Music Licensing

Yes, the DOJ is suing over the AT&T-Time Warner merger. But on the antitrust front, the Trump Administration appears to be retreating in other places. In the past week, the antitrust division of the Department of Justice has drawn great scrutiny thanks to its bold lawsuit seeking to block AT&T’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner. According to the government, if the merger is allowed, AT&T would have the incentive and ability to substantially lessen competition in the media industry by doing something such as withholding or raising the price on an asset like HBO. The Justice Department could have demanded that AT&T promise to fairly license HBO and other assets to cable and satellite companies (similar to what Comcast once accepted in order to acquire NBCUniversal), ...

Tumblr Founder David Karp Steps Down as CEO

Tumblr founder David Karp is stepping down from his role as CEO of the blogging platform.  The decision, announced in an internal email to employees, comes five months after Tumblr parent company Yahoo completed its sale to Verizon.  “I beg you to understand that my decision comes after months of reflection on my personal ambitions, and at no cost to my hopefulness for Tumblr’s future or the impact I know it can have,” Karp said in the email, which he posted to his personal Tumblr page. “The internet is at a crossroads of which this team can play a fundamental role in shaping. You are in the driver seat, and I am so excited to see where you go.” COO Jeff D’Onofrio will assume leadership of Tumblr following Karp’s departure at the end of 2017.  Karp...

Royalty Flow Launches IPO, Offering Fans a Slice of Eminem Royalties

Royalty Flow has launched its IPO. The company, a subsidiary of Royalty Exchange, is looking to raise between $11 million and $50 million via a Regulation A+ crowdfunding effort that, if successful, will result in the purchase of a portion of the income stream derived from Eminem’s music. As previously reported, Royalty Flow has the option to buy either 15 percent or 25 percent of an Eminem income stream based on royalties paid to FBT Productions from the artist’s studio albums released between 1999 and 2013. That includes albums such as The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show. The plan is to give fans and investors a way to share in the income from the royalties through dividends paid by the company. The minimum investment during the IPO is $2,250 for 300 shares (at $7.50 a shar...

Lee Anne Callahan-Longo, Who Helped Build Beyonce’s Parkwood, Joins Maverick

Nearly two years after leaving Beyonce’s Parkwood Entertainment, Lee Anne Callahan-Longo has landed at another management company to the stars: Maverick. Guy Oseary, co-founder and CEO of Maverick Management, said in a statement that Callahan-Longo’s “commitment to clients and ability to create next-level artist experiences and business opportunities makes her the perfect fit for our team.” Callahan-Longo worked with Beyonce for ten years, going back to Columbia Records, and served as executive vp/gm of Parkwood while overseeing complex rollouts like the artist’s 2013 surprise “visual” album, three world tours and a Super Bowl performance. She along with several other principals departed in late 2015 as part of larger shakeup at the company. Former...

Meredith to Buy Time Inc., Publisher of People, Sports Illustrated & NME, for $2.8B

Time Inc., one of the most influential magazine publishers in U.S. history, will be sold to Iowa-based Meredith Corporation for $2.8 billion, the companies announced Sunday. Meredith, which publishes a wide array of consumer magazines, will pay $18.50 per share of the publicly traded Time Inc., a substantial premium. In addition to Time magazine, Time Inc. owns and publishes Sports Illustrated, People, Southern Living, Food & Wine, InStyle and Essence, among others, as well as UK subsidiary Time Inc. UK, whose titles include NME and Country Life. While Time Inc.’s sale announcement made no mention of Charles and David Koch, the conservative billionaires who are backing Meredith’s purchase of the company, Meredith’s announcement mentioned that $650 million in preferred...

Local stores hope for a boost on Small Business Saturday

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