Rights holders, seeing a light of increasing intensity at the end of a very long tunnel, are making a serious reinvestment in A&R. This ramped-up commitment to an area that has long been considered the foundation of virtually every successful music company has been inspired by a return to increased profitability following a decade and a half of diminished expectations. The turnaround is due in large part to the industry’s collective bet that the mainstream would come to embrace paid streaming.
The Grammy nominations announced Tuesday morning contain the usual surprises and snubs—all well and good. But as for the process that led to these decisions, we know nothing whatsoever, because Neil Portnow and the Recording Academy have kept the whole thing a mystery, as always. Why does the Academy insist on keeping its process under wraps? Why can’t the nominations be presented with context and transparency? Why does the secret committee need to be secret?
On this flipover Friday, fans have flipped over J. Cole and the new ZAYN/Taylor Swift single from Fifty Shades Darker. The artists are #1-3 on the iTunes songs chart while Cole is the leader on the album side.
J. Cole’s “Déjà vu” gets a prime spot on Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist. Meanwhile, some of us are having dance-floor déjà vu’s as the list also includes new music from Moby, Diplo, Major Lazer and a Justin Bieber dance track—suddenly we’re wearing a panda bear costume and sucking on a pacifier.
At the Island holiday party in NYC, the following people enjoyed high-test eggnog and felt grateful to be on the opposite coast from us: (l-r) UMG's Steve Gawley, Republic prexy Charlie Walk, Island topper David Massey, Teleport/Island artist Bishop Briggs, Republic ruler Monte Lipman, UMG SVP of Global Streaming Marketing Jay Frank, Republic President/COO Avery Lipman and Island EVP Eric Wong. Later, they were all sufficiently…
"Ah yes, I remember 1975," Pandora CEO Tim Westergren notes to Dirty Hit/Interscope's The 1975 during the digital music giant's Pandora Holiday Live Party at Pier 36 in NYC. "I went to see Jaws and I spilled my Orange Crush and my Keds were stuck to the floor and then we had to find a payphone, and then we went to Treehouse Records and got the new Bachman-Turner Overdrive LP." The band members used an app on their phones to translate.
The Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act has cleared the House and Senate and now heads to the President's desk for his signature. The bipartisan bill, designed to curb scalping, gives the FTC and the states new powers to halt the ability of bots to hoover up the best tix and gouge them via resale. The Recording Academy praised...
DIGITAL DRIVES RECORD YEAR FOR WARNER MUSIC
Stop us if you've heard this story before. (12/8a)
RAG'N'BONE MAN NAMED BRITS
This chap is a comer, it appears. (12/8a)
EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN: VINYL OUTSELLS DOWNLOADS
Money is no object to those who follow the needle in the groove. (12/8a)
SONG REVENUE CHART: STARBOY JUKEBOX
One artist, 18 tracks, $1.23m. (12/8a)
I.B. BAD: BETTING ON THE COME
Increased profits have triggered increased investment in A&R. (12/9a)