NEAR TRUTHS: SUPER BOWL SPECULATION, STREAMING PRICES, MORE

STANDING HOVATION: Who will perform at Super Bowl halftime 2024, slated for 2/11 at the Las Vegas-adjacent Allegiant Stadium? Taylor Swift, who would be a logical choice given her mind-blowingly successful year, has supposedly passed. We don’t know if this is just spin from Swift Nation HQ and she wants a big check from the NFL rather than incurring the substantial cost of mounting the show. That is a non-starter, of course—other performers have had to come up with a large sum to pay for the production. Dr. Dre, for example, is said to have put together a multimillion-dollar budget for his huge hip-hop tribute.

Over the past few years, Jay-Z, along with Des Perez and the Roc Nation team, have worked with the NFL to orchestrate halftime performances by Shakira, J-Lo, Bad Bunny and J Balvin (2020, Miami); The Weeknd (2021, Tampa); Dre’s aforementioned star-studded hip-hop salute featuring Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige and 50 Cent (2022, L.A.); and Rihanna (2023, Glendale, Arizona). Now wonderers are wondering if the time has come for Jay—who, in addition to being a biz mogul, is arguably the rapper with the greatest career longevity in the history of the form—to take center stage himself. Could he be readying a stadium-rattling career retrospective? That would be big pimpin’ indeed—with Vegas an apt backdrop for his superior showmanship. Stay tuned.

MAKING IT RAIN (AND NOT ON THE ROOF): Spotify’s newly announced decision to increase its monthly fee by $1 is said to represent an additional $1b in revenue for the streamery and is obviously a welcome development as the biz works to ensure music is properly valued in the entertainment ecosystem. Will there be a small bump in percentage revenue for the DSP as well?

Spotify has been the lone big holdout as Apple Music, Amazon Music and YouTube Music Premium have adjusted their subscription fees upward—to say nothing of video streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, etc., which have all ratcheted up their monthly fees in the wake of the pandemic boom.

Wonderers wonder if the widely disseminated 70-30 split between the biz and DSPs is firm or if the margins have changed by a point or two—or if, on the other hand, plateaus are built into the new deals with rights holders. Several insiders surmise that the arrangement is unchanged.

Spotify’s move, which was followed by a suggestion by French DSP Deezer that it would review further price hikes, certainly advances the “artist-centric” agenda of Sir Lucian Grainge, which also calls for other action to redress the imbalance created by “noise” in the DSP world. Sir Grainge has suggested various initiatives to make streaming compensation more reflective of its heaviest users and leverage fan engagement to bring more revenue directly to artists.

STREAMS AND DROPS: WMG boss Robert Kyncl (now touting a $1.56b quarter) has also chimed in about the importance of ensuring appropriate compensation for the artists driving the streaming boom. “It can’t be,” he argues in what has become a much-cited quote, “that an Ed Sheeran stream is worth exactly the same thing as a stream of rain falling on the roof.” What scenarios might offer more than a drop in the bucket?

SONY SIDE UP: Rob Stringer’s Sony Music is now projecting a $10.37b year after fiscal Q1, with streaming revenue up 19% to $1.2b, publishing up 19% and a dramatic bump in marketshare. These superb numbers are the halo effect from the company’s two-year hot streak—which, though not quite at the blazing temperature of its peak, continues. Adele, Harry Styles, SZA, Bad Bunny, Future, Miley Cyrus, Peso Pluma, Travis Scott, Lil Durk, Luke Combs and Sony’s Latin division have been integral to the company’s incredible two-year run.

HITS LIST SLIPS
INTO SUMMER
Fire up the grill. (5/29a)
TOP 50: SWIFT'S STREAK GROWS; BILLIE'S BIGGEST BOW YET
Ladies' choice (5/24a)
A PRE-SUMMER PHOTO GALLERY
Each worth a thousand words (5/27a)
DOJ FILES ANTITRUST LAWSUIT AGAINST LIVE NATION
A game of Monopoly on Capitol Hill (5/24a)
NEAR TRUTHS:
HOWDY, PARTNER
Redrawing the Mason-Dixon Line (5/24a)
THE NEW UMG
Gosh, we hope there are more press releases.
TIKTOK BANNED!
Unless the Senate manages to make this whole thing go away, that is.
THE NEW HUGE COUNTRY ACT
No, not that one.
TRUMP'S CAMPAIGN PLAYLIST
Now 100% unlicensed!
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