2015 will be a critical year for the music industry. Indeed, what happens during the next few months could seal the fate of the business as we know it, either setting the wheels in motion for a return to real prosperity, or cementing the status quo for a still-viable but contracted business. UMG’s Lucian Grainge and Sony Music’s Doug Morris are united in the belief that subscription is the future, and several entities are vying to become the service that shifts the paradigm.
Time is running out to enter the 2015 Stupid NCAA Basketball Contest, presented by iGen and Capitol, with an Apple Watch as the prize. The deadline to turn in your Sweet Sixteen bracket is 1pm today! That’s three hours and 15 minutes before the tipoff of the first of eight one-and-done games during the next two days, Wichita State vs. Notre Dame on CBS.
Times reporters Ben Sisario and Brian X. Chen take a detailed look under the hood of Apple's highly anticipated streaming service in a piece headlined "Apple and Beats Developing Streaming Music Service to Rival Spotify." And though these capable journalists are basically confirming specifics first laid out two weeks ago by our own I.B. Bad, they did snag one absolute beauty of a quote about the Man of the Moment, Jimmy Iovine, who's overseeing the construction of this presumably sleek and competitive vehicle.
Sia Furler was the big winner at Australia’s APRA Awards, which took place Tuesday night in Sydney. The Australasian Performing Rights Association named the enigmatic 39-year-old artist Songwriter of the Year for the third straight year, while her “Chandelier” got Song of the Year. True to form, Sia chose not to attend the awards, instead having Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz accept on her behalf via a video clip in which he sported the requisite blonde wig.
There’s the sense of an imminent changing of the guard on this week’s leaderboard. The Top 5 tracks all experienced slippage, while the next four made upward moves, led by RCA crossover princes Walk the Moon.
Roc Nation's Rihanna has, as her cryptic Instagram post suggested, dropped a new single, "Bitch Better Have My Money," from her upcoming eighth album, R8, which is "executive produced" by Kanye West. The Deputy-produced track (which was also teased in the Dubsmash mobile app) is, per Idolator, "a grimy anthem that shows her much-loved ratchet side." Check it out.
Kendrick Lamar will repeat at #1 next week, likely moving north of 100k on both our SPS and Album charts, while Kidz Bop, Earl Sweatshirt, James Bay and Van Morrison are among the week's key debuts.
The news that Zayn Malik is parting ways with SYCO/Columbia's One Direction has created much sturm und drang in the lad band's massive fan base. Malik's departure has been discussed by the band, management and label for some time, and officially 1D will continue as a quartet. But questions surround...
Apple/Beats magnate and industry legend Jimmy Iovine tops this week's HITS List, your weekly set of biz-related talking points; also featured are Kendrick Lamar, Team iHeart, Empire, Jay Z, Scooterville and more. Commit it to memory and sound smart.
Here's a context-free line from Karen Glauber's latest Post Toasted column: "I’d much rather make money than have my ass kissed." Now if that's not enough to compel you to read the whole thing, you're in the wrong business, bunky
I.B. BAD ON THE SUBSCRIPTION COMPETITION
Jimmy, Daniel and Jay get ready to rumble. (3/26a)
A NIGHT AT THE APRA
Double winner Sia was a no-show at the Australian PRO's annual ceremony, but her wig appeared on video. (3/26a)
N.Y. TIMES ON APPLE’S SUB SERVICE: THAT’S MR. IOVINE TO YOU
Story contains the best description yet of Apple/Beats, and it's only four words. (3/26a)
TOP 10 TRACKS
Alt-rockers Walk the Moon crash the Pop party. (3/26a)