Quantcast
Will Lionel Richie’s Tuskegee become this year’s album everyone needs to own, even without a big hit to drive it and no youth interest to speak of?
I.B. BAD: LIFE IN THE FAST LANE
The Azoff Hordes Invade Sin City, a High-Level Game of Musical Chairs Involving Both Execs and Music-Show Judges, a Nice Save by IDJ
The turnout of industry heavyweights at the Billboard Awards two Sundays ago in Las Vegas was equaled if not surpassed at the annual gathering of those who were on Irving Azoff’s personal invite list for certain Artist Nation employees, friends of the company and selected presenters in an exclusive gathering at MGM’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Off-the-record presentations were made to the assembled multitude by Ticketmaster’s Nathan Hubbard, Live Nation’s Mark Campana and Bob Roux, Apple’s Robert Kondrk and his team, a Clear Channel entourage led by Tom Poleman, YouTube/Google’s Robert Kyncyl, Universal’s Steve Berman and his posse, and Fuse’s Michael Bair, to name a few. By all accounts, almost everyone left with a new optimism about where the business is going.

Poleman appears to be putting his stamp on a revitalized Clear Channel, as the 900-pound gorilla intensifies its efforts to become more artist-friendly in the Bob Pittman era. The company is in the process of expanding its iHeartRadio concert series while also working on other online branding opportunities for acts. Will these initiatives be effective in expanding CC’s new-media platform into a significant revenue generator, or is all of this activity merely putting lipstick on the same old pig? In any case, these programs appear to be working for artists, who are seeing a much more aggressive music policy at the chain’s various formats. What remains to be seen is whether the new CC initiatives, with all the related horse trading and concert-ola, will result in the breaking of any new acts.

Rumors are swirling that Big Jon Platt is about to leave EMI Music Publishing, though there are two different theories as to why he’s supposedly making the move. Some believe he’s headed to Sony/ATV, rejoining his mentor Marty Bandier, while others say his allegiance is to his present boss Roger Faxon, who has asked Platt to join him at WMG. In this scenario, which appears to be gaining traction, Faxon would replace CEO Stephen Cooper, who was brought in short-term by Len Blavatnik to crunch the numbers for his newly acquired company. Many believe the Faxon-to-Warner move would be a good fit, with Faxon’s business acumen complementing Lyor Cohen’s record-man expertise.

The latest word is that Atlantic/Elektra/Fueled by Ramen’s John Janick is very close to going with Interscope—in an apparent effort by Jimmy Iovine to help reignite the franchise—after Sony Music supposedly decided the deal was too rich for their taste. Janick’s latest big win is Fun., which has sold 287k albums and 4.7m singles. Meanwhile, Atlantic Co-Chairman Craig Kallman is said to be talking to both Sony and Universal.

The biz is hoping for an early summer heat wave, with several big-money/high-pressure releases hitting before the Fourth of July holiday: Usher (6/12, previous LP 1.3m), Justin Bieber (6/19, 3.13m), Kenny Chesney (6/19, 1.08m), Linkin Park (6/26, 845k), Maroon 5 (6/26, 1.08m) and Chris Brown (7/3, 877k).

Will Lionel Richie’s Tuskegee (#2 year to date behind Adele, with 820k in nine weeks) become this year’s album everyone needs to own, even without a big hit to drive it and no youth interest to speak of? Can Richie create enough momentum to carry into the Grammy voting phase, and will NARAS’ Nashville chapter actively support it? So far this year, it appears to be Richie’s game to win or lose, in a situation absolutely no one anticipated.

The 11th season of American Idol and season two of The Voice are in the books, and some are predicting a wholesale changing of the guard prior to the returns of the two shows. Speculation is ramping up that neither Jennifer Lopez nor Steven Tyler will return to Idol, while The Voice’s Adam Levine “just isn’t into it anymore,” according to insiders.

Steve BartelsIDJ pulled off a major coup in refusing to accept the initial terrible callout on Bieber’s “Boyfriend,” which led many stations to drop the record. But Bartels wouldn’t give up; bucking the conventional wisdom, he ordered IDJ to rework the track at radio. The radical move paid off in spades, turning a potential radio stiff into a smash—”Boyfriend” is now Bieber’s biggest-charting single.
 
Many are surprised at Spotify’s lack of traction so far, as Apple continues the selling of music, TV, movies and books, while spurning the subscription model. Nine years after its launch, the iTunes brand maintains its tight grip on consumers worldwide, while the value of Apple stock just keeps growing.

Names in the rumor mill: L.A. Reid, Mike Caren, Brenda Romano, Jack Rovner and Scooter Braun.
 
 

NEW RELEASES: LE RETOUR DE CELINE (UPDATE)
Best read while dramatically thumping one's breastbone. (11/18a)
ICYMI: HARRY ON SNL (UPDATE)
He's so dreamy. (11/18a)
ARIZONA GOES TO COLUMBIA
Bring on the remixes! (11/15a)
ROSAL√ćA WINS BIG AT LATIN GRAMMYS
A harbinger of things to come? (11/15a)
WILL REI AMI BE THE NEXT ACT TO POP?
Pass the popcorn. (11/18a)
THE GRAMMY NOMINATIONS
They'll soon be here, and then we can start obsessing about who'll win.
U.K. SPECIAL
Forget Brexit--it's our yearly survey of doings in Blighty. And if you still can't forget Brexit, try drinking.
WHAT'S GOING ON BENEATH OUR WINDOWS?
The latest in Hollyweird.
WEED!
That's what Hollywood smells like. Seriously. 24/7.
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)