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PUB CRAWLING: A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE

Pubcos and Beats 1, Everything's Global and Diplo is Everywhere

Beats 1's Zane Lowe, Halsey, and (l-r) manager Zeke Hutchins, Sony/ATV's Danny Strick, SSVP Creative Jen Knoepfle, VP A&R and Research Jake Fain, Bridges, pubco chief Marty Bandier and manager Jonathan Eshak.

Beats 1 gave a big boost to the currently self-published sensation Halsey; who will snag the Astralwerks/Capitol artist? Stand by.

Apple’s live-radio venture is on the air in 100+ countries and the global release date upon us, we’re feeling more international than the pile of take-out menus we rifle through at lunchtime. It’s tempting to speculate, with Aucklander Zane Lowe and Londoner Julie Adenuga, among others, spinning tracks from every territory for the whole world to hear, about how “global hits” will be identified in the new reality, and whether U.S. audiences will embrace music that’s exploding elsewhere. For example, will the worldwide success of Kygo’s “Stole the Show” featuring Parson James translate stateside? The song’s been #1 at iTunes and Shazam and Top 10 at radio in a shit-ton of European countries, A-Listed at BBC Radio 1 and commanded a ridiculous 160 million streams in four months. Sony/ATV’s James is a distinctive voice, and brings a gravitas not unlike what Aloe Blacc brought to Avicii’s “Wake Me Up.” Feels kinda big.

Meanwhile, Marty and crew are geeked about young phenom Leon Bridges, a Beats 1 darling whose Columbia set enjoyed an impressive retail bow and whose October show at the storied Apollo (already sold out) should be an event. Sony/ATV has also locked up buzzing U.K. rockers The Struts, who broke through at Alternative on James Diener and Ben Berkman’s Freesolo imprint even before Interscope came aboard.


        

Jody Gerson, Kent Earls, Luke Laird, Shane McAnally

Beats 1 has certainly made an impression on UMPG boss Jody Gerson. “I haven't listened to another radio station since it launched,” she declares, noting a particular fondness for Elton John’s Rocket Man Hour. Speaking of Apple and UMPG, the pubco has three songs featured in the company’s iPhone 6 spots: “Magnificent Dance” (a Clash cover by The Lions), “Bugatti” by Tiga f/Pusha T. and Jamie xx’s “There’s Gonna Be (Good Times).” The House of Gerson is also celebrating some good ol’ traditional radio, as writer Jason Derulo takes #1 at Pop (as well as a U.K. #1) with “Want to Want Me.” Oh, and if you’ve been loving the new Kacey Musgraves album (on Mercury Nashville) as much as we have, Nashville supremo Kent Earls wants you to know that his writers Luke Laird and Shane McAnally (both featured in our recent Nashville spotlight issue) co-wrote eight of its wonderful tracks.

In other Universal Pub news, U.S. and U.K. users of the Royalty Window account portal will notice a couple of trick new features, notably royalty balance updates and a “one-click advance” service without added fees. And if you’ve written a hit song, could you please draw out a little extra scratch for us? We need to score some herb.


        

Matt Pincus, Ron Perry, Diplo, Chromeo

Team SONGS is working for The Weeknd, whose forthcoming monster has spent a fair spell at    #1 at iTunes in preorder and who has two smashes blowing up at radio (yes, with Beats 1 love too) and retail. Oh, and add writer Diplo into the mix—with Major Lazer, Skrillex and more—and SONGS’ Pop radio share is ridiculous. Meanwhile, the Palace of Pincus and Perry has inked Duran Duran (for their hit-stuffed catalog as well as their brand new set) and Chromeo.


 One more Beats 1 note: Big Deal writer St. Vincent is getting big props for her specialty show, on which she curated playlists for listeners’ personal issues. Could this mode of music therapy be a new biz model?

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