While the drama surrounding Frank Ocean, Apple and UMG plays out, Spotify—a huge source of revenue for the rights holders—has begun to push back against those Apple exclusives by threatening to remove artists’ music from the service’s playlists, at the same time the Daniel Ek-led company is trying to secure better terms from the rights holders as they renegotiate their deals moving forward.
As I.B. Bad noted in a recent column, the streaming business is now throwing off real money, and we’re still in the early stages of the transition. Here’s a breakdown of the relationship between the Top 25 tracks in sales and their respective streaming totals for the week ending 8/25, and the estimated revenue each track generated from sales and streams during that period...
Sting strikes an "I'm pretty sure that's my Uber driver" pose on his new album 57th & 9th, which A&M/Interscope will release 11/11. He unveiled the album cover of his first pop-rock album in more than a decade today and debuted the first single, “I Can’t Stop Thinking About You,” on KROQ.
Eric Church, Maren Morris and Chris Stapleton lead this year’s Country Music Association Awards with five nominations each, signaling a closing of the gap between the two (unspoken) kinds of modern country: the critically acclaimed, street-connecting coterie vs. the classic, radio-driven mainstream. With this year's noms, the CMA continues the trend of recognizing more serious music rather than merely acknowledging radio velocity.
The most recent issue of our print publication features the incomparable Sir Paul McCartney, newly returned to Capitol, while our Contents Page VIP is UMG ruler Sir Lucian Grainge, whose recently issued policy on digital exclusives seized the news cycle. Why these two knights agreed to be part of our benighted rag is a mystery.
Sting, who dropped his upbeat new single and joined KROQ's Kevin and Bean for an interview and mini-concert on Wednesday morning, is one of many stars we somehow hornswoggled into posing with our print publication over the years...
Tony winner and S-Curve crooner Leslie Odom Jr. joins Phil Collins for a duet on "In the Air Tonight" at the opening ceremonies of the U.S. Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium (in Odom’s native Queens, N.Y.). The paring marked Collins’ first major public performance in six years. Later, Steve Greenberg played air guitar with a tennis racket.
It now seems that, contrary to prior rumors, Michael Rapino has done the deal to bring Chris Woltman's Elementary1 Marketing and Management company (which includes Twenty One Pilots) directly into Live Nation. Guy Oseary is said to have made the introduction, but the company will not be folded into Maverick.
MARELLA MOVES TO THE TOWER
Steve Barnett makes an announcement. (8/31a)
THE 2016 CMA NOMINATIONS ARE HERE
Church, Morris and Stapleton lead the way. (8/31a)
THE DEATH OF PRINT JOURNALISM: TWO SIRS, WITH LOVE
Sir McCartney's on our cover and probably wondering why he deserves such cruel & unusual punishment. (8/31a)
ACM CONCERT HONORS COUNTRY GREATS
The big shindig went down in Nashville last night. You'll have to wait a little longer to catch it on TV, though. (8/31a)
IT'S ELEMENT-ARY (UPDATE)
What's Michael Rapino up to? (8/31a)