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NEAR TRUTHS:
SYNC AND SWIM

“HILL” TOPS: The intense response garnered by the 1985 Kate Bush song “Running Up That Hill” on the season premiere of Stranger Things shows how powerful the right sync on the right show can be. Given the preponderance of ’80s sounds and emo sensitivity in current pop, the young-skewing audience for the Netflix show was primed for the vibe of Bush’s work. The song, meanwhile, was dropped by supe Nora Felder into one of the most combustible moments on the episode, and it played an even more vital role in a subsequent episode.

As a result, "Hill" flew all the way to #1 on Spotify’s U.S. chart and #2 global (it's logged about 155m worldwide streams on the platform so far), the Top 5 at Apple Music and #1 at iTunes, with Shazams through the roof. It’s further proof, not that you needed any, that (under the proper conditions) the present ecosystem can launch virtually any catalog into the stratosphere.

XXX-RATED: Columbia chief Ron Perry has scored a coup of his own with another big streaming record, “True Love,” which pairs Ye and the late XXXTENTACION. As biz-watchers know, it isn’t easy to get the creator fka Kanye to do anything, yet this collab appears to have been delivered without much friction. It's featured in the Hulu doc Look at Me: XXXTENTACION and on its soundtrack.

ISLAND IN BLOOM: Much buzz surrounds Island co-bosses Imran Majid and Justin Eshak, whose aggressiveness in pursuing new acts is paying off big-time. The pair have been taking deals off the table left and right, following up the inking of streaming biggie Lauren Spencer-Smith and promising rapper Sleazyworld Go with the nabbing of hot viral breakout charlieonnafriday. The Majid/Eshak tandem has quickly and impressively established a new brand for the storied label. (Coincidentally, all this occurs just as Island founder Chris Blackwell’s wildly enjoyable new autobiography arrives.)

MARKING THEIR PLACE: Speaking of Spencer-Smith, the contest to become her new manager is now fully underway, with attorney Doug Mark wrangling the meets. That the canny 18-year-old artist parted ways with former manager David Ehrlich was not unexpected. Who will prevail among the many contestants clamoring for the gig?

RISING TEMPERATURE: Another re-energized imprint, Mercury, is also coming out of the gate with velocity. Co-bosses Tyler Arnold and Ben Adelson have a homegrown heater with retro-pop streaming phenom Stephen Sanchez, as well as a highly anticipated new set from Post Malone. What else have they got in the pipeline?

FUTURE FUTURES: Epic topper Sylvia Rhone has a bona fide giant in Future’s “Wait for U” f/Drake & Tems, a streaming colossus that has helped keep the rapper’s latest album near the top of the heap since its #1 bow a month ago. This triumph brings Future to a new level and is another milestone among many in Rhone’s extraordinary career.

IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE HITS LIST
With a star on top (12/9a)
MEDIABASE ’22:
THE BIG RED #1
Red and Gray pair nicely. (12/9a)
SONG REVENUE:
’TIS THE SEASON
It's the most wonderful time of the year. (12/9a)
WHAT SHE'D REALLY LIKE TO DO IS DIRECT
What can't she do? (12/9a)
GRAMMY NOMS:
THE LIST
For your consideration (12/6a)
GRAMMY HANDICAPPING
Who's likely to win in the major categories? We have no idea.
THE NEXT BIG PLAYER
in the catalog game is...
TRUMP CORP II
Totally less fraudulent than Trump Corp.
IS IT CHRISTMAS YET?
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