That hyper-competitiveness that exists in the U.S. between UMG and Sony Music—creating a tense atmosphere and chilly relations between most executives at the two companies—is mirrored by their U.K. counterparts, and was dramatically apparent last week at the BRIT Awards.
Another mediocre sales week, with seven of the eight holdovers from last week’s Top 10 experiencing slippage. The exception: Maroon 5’s “Sugar,” which enjoyed an 8% uptick. The biggest comer by a mile was the Zedd/Selena tandem.
We’re getting our collective game face on for the first New & Developing Artist Special Issue of 2015, which will be printed on high-quality paper stock (disguising the third-rate editorial content, as usual) next week.
In this classic #tbt shot from the heyday of IDJ, we see Steve Bartels, who's gone on to lead Def Jam; L.A. Reid, who subsequently became head of Epic; Usher, who later joined the roster of RCA; and our own Michelle S. who ... is still at HITS. Our sympathies, Michelle.
Friends Keep Secrets/ Interscope's Ryn Weaver and Mom + Pop's Courtney Barnett are the newest Vibe-Raters additions. Weaver's "OctaHate" had a banner first week at Pop radio and has scored 5m+ Spotify plays so far. Barnett is also a streaming breakout, hitting Spotify's Viral 50 and earning more than 515k video views, and is selling out dates on both coasts. Meanwhile, Rae Sremmurd hits #1 this week. For the whole Vibe batch, go here.
Did you know that the RIAA has been counting streams as part of the calculation for singles certifications for the last two years? Neither did we.
To celebrate the renewal of their pact with hit songwriter Luke Laird and company, UMPG execs posed for this rollicking photo.
David Geffen has gifted Avery Fisher Hall, the home of the New York Philharmonic with a $100 million donation. Unsurprisingly, the venue will become David Geffen Hall.
Verve Music Group has officially upped Mike Rittberg to GM, reporting to Chairman David Foster. Based in the company's Santa Monica offices, Rittberg will oversee operations, artist development and release schedule, interface with Interscope Geffen A&M (which handles sales, marketing and film/TV licensing for Verve) and pretend to understand jazz.
BIG CHILL AT THE BRITS
In the U.K., UMG and Sony are engaged in a Cold War. (3/5a)
HITS LIST: THE PEOPLE THAT PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT
We're here to help. (3/5a)
HITS N&D Q1 SPECIAL
Watch today's unknowns become tomorrow's career artists. (3/5a)
BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED
Two new artists in Vibe-Raters. (3/5a)
TOP 10 TRACKS
Two very different couples make the big board. (3/5a)