All posts tagged Amanda Ghost

Tuesday Roundup: More Spotify Numbers, Spotlight on Sony, Management Moves & more…

New stats show unsure future for mixed model

The latest Spotify stats show a mixed forecast for the the digital music service, as the number of users has increased substantially, both free and paid subscribers, but significant losses continue. The biggest contributing factor to the hefty costs comes from licensing fees for content, and while continued increases in users (and a U.S. launch) might help the company turn a corner, as Matt Rosoff reported, the startup may be in a particularly tough spot being a hybrid model that has both ad-supported and subscription options. He points out that rights holders calculate royalty payments at a rate for either one or the other, not both – the subscription rate being higher.  So if Spotify is paying the higher royalty rate for all of its users, not just the paying ones, can they sustain such heavy payouts?… While EMI has received the brunt of public scrutiny in recent times, all four major music groups are amid a transition phase, with initial shake ups already happening and most predicting much more to come.  After last week’s Hollywood Reporter piece, which picked apart Epic Records recent struggles under exiting Amanda Ghost at length and had Sony Music chairman Rob Stringer going on record about his failed decision to bring aboard the songwriter as label president, the industry chatter has ramped up about the impending new guard at Sony. Whether or not the new CEO will come from within the Sony ranks is still unclear, though most don’t expect the younger Stringer will be named to the top spot, leaving many to wonder if a dark horse will emerge as Rolf Schmidt-Holtz‘s successor in the end… Elsewhere, Primary Wave Talent Management, who recently grabbed a high-profile client in Cee Lo Green, has announced that writer/producer manager Tom Maffei will head up the independent publisher’s new management efforts on the West Coast… Downtown Music, who is also seen as positioning itself to shift toward increased management operations, has upped Michael Pontecorvo to oversee label operations and development… And ahead of Kanye West‘s latest release, his manager talks to The Daily Beast about the business strategy and development to expand Kanye Inc…

Ghost Story: As Epic Records Prexy Exits, What’s Next…

Ghost Exiting as President

The news that Epic Records president Amanda Ghost will be leaving her post at the end of the year was announced yesterday, with Columbia/Epic chairman Rob Stringer commenting “Amanda has been an important creative force at Epic in the past two years. In returning to the natural focus of her artistic career, I look forward to us working together in the future,” – the news came as little surprise in most industry circles… But what role will this leave for Epic Records head of A&R Mike Flynn? His background as a producer and A&R executive with an impressive track record that includes The Fray, seem to make him a prime candidate to fill the position. Insiders share Stringer preferred Flynn’s creative direction and that an internal struggle over operations between Ghost and Flynn played a role in her departure, compounded by her lack of executive experience that made daily operations and artist campaigns a challenge for label staff. Stay tuned…

The Brits Are Taking Over

With today’s announcement from Vivendi on the appointment of Lucian Grainge as Chief Executive Officer of Universal Music Group, expect the rumor mill to pump up the volume on what changes we can expect to happen within the UMG labels in the coming months. But before we delve into conjecture on the UMG side, it’s significant to point out the number of British executives running US major labels. Outside of Warner Music Group, the remaining three major label groups are run by Brits. The UK presence is quite prominent at the Rob Stringer-run Sony Music, particularly with the addition of Amanda Ghost at Epic, the recent addition of Ashley Newton at the Steve Barnett-helmed Columbia Records. And the Terra Firma-owned EMI Music Group maintains its US operations under Nick Gatfield, who served under Grainge during his stint as President of Island Records UK prior to his EMI post. Aside from Ghost, the aforementioned execs have solid working experience in US music companies. Barnett has been in the Sony US system for years, Newton’s previous post at RCA and his tenure co-running Virgin Records US makes him a very well-respected US exec, while Gatfield ran Polydor Records in the states during the ‘90s.

Back to UMG, Grainge will assume his new post on Jan. 1, 2011, succeeding current UMG CEO Doug Morris. Rumors of Grainge assuming Morris’ position have been swirling for months. Grainge is scheduled to relocate to NY in July as part of the transition. Industry insiders share that Universal Republic head Monte Lipman and brother Avery will have an expanded role at the music group, as well as Mercury Records head David Massey. It leaves to question the future roles of Island Def Jam ruler LA Reid and Universal Motown head Sylvia Rhone, who was a longtime Doug Morris protégé. And it’s fair to expect no major changes to happen at Jimmy Iovine’s Interscope label. Stay tuned…