All posts tagged AMerican Idol

More Bits & Pieces: Former EMI Head Among Bidders for Label, Live Nation Links with Walmart & Lockerz, Palmese Departs & more…

According to an article in the New York Post, private-equity firm Apollo Global Management was among the initial bidders in the Citigroup auction of EMI, with former EMI North America head Charles Koppelman onboard as part of the effort. Those keeping score remember that Apollo recently acquired CKX, who among other properties, owns American Idol production company 19 Entertainment. It’s unclear whether more recent EMI chairman Charles Allen, is among any of the groups who bid on the music company – Allen expressed his interest back in April… A new partnership between Ticketmaster and Walmart was announced this week, with the retail giant set to sell tickets in stores via kiosks, offering fans a “very convenient way to learn about upcoming events, purchase and take home tickets without leaving their neighborhood,” said Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard… Ticketmaster owner Live Nation Entertainment is also reportedly a new investor in e-commerce start up Lockerz, a social-oriented service that allows members to earn points to put toward purchases, which now includes concert tickets. EMI is also ready to begin utilizing Lockerz, in a partnership that will see the label providing up to 10,000 videos to users, according to Billboard.biz. Insiders point to the Seattle-based service’s alliance with a full-service big name agency as a key component in the new tie-ups in the music space… Elsewhere, today is the last day on the job for RCA EVP of Promotion Richard Palmese, who is expected to head to Azoff Music Management Group in some capacity, reuniting Palmese, Irving Azoff and their middle fingers. As recounted in music business tomes, the two famously worked together at MCA Records during the 80′s and 90′s… And The Guardian examines the “on air, on sale” practice, recently adopted in the UK in an attempt to combat piracy, a policy which apparently has not been embraced by all labels uniformly. Meanwhile, music revenues in the UK were revealed to have dropped by £189 million in 2010.

Wednesday Bits & Pieces: Google’s War Chest is Key to Music Service, mSpot Goes Mobile & more…

App Approved

In case anyone had forgotten about Google‘s plans to unleash a music service, a reminder comes in the form of new reports that the company is still in the process of negotiating with the labels for a launch next year, and their biggest, and most obvious bargaining chip, is lots of money, tens of millions in fact according to recent speculation. While it was originally thought that Google would first unveil a paid download type of service by the end of this year, similar to iTunes, ahead of moving toward the primary goal of a online music locker, indications now are that they’ll bypass a download store in favor of cloud-based streaming right out of the gate. Reasons for the delay in launch may include infighting over control of the music project, and failure to acquire an already built infrastructure in the form of Spotify or Rhapsody, rather than building something completely new. Matt Rosoff has the scuttlebutt at SAI… Speaking of music streaming, start up mSpot has gotten approval for their free iPhone app, which essentially provides the same desktop-to-mobile music synching feature that everyone is waiting for Apple or Google to launch, though as MediaMemo points out, the company currently has no licenses with the labels. A situation that seems to leave the company in a position to either be targeted for legal action or acquisition… The crux of the digital music dilemma is most often that technology innovators and content holders find themselves at an impasse, with the new distribution system, telecommunication companies, keeping their distance from the wrangle. Looking to the future, comments this week from Jean-Bernard Lévy, CEO of Vivendi, parent company of Universal Music Group among many others, could be seen as revealing. In discussing the company’s expanding umbrella and concentration on new businesses, Lévy said, ”The worlds of telecoms networks and content are merging,” – “And we are in the middle.”… Elsewhere, Yahoo has confirmed the already well documented layoffs, that total 600 staff members, or roughly 4% of its workforce… NBC is planning to launch their own American Idol rival, The Voice of America, which will start airing next spring, well ahead of the planned fall launch of Fox‘s other Idolesque series, The X Factor… And MTV in partnership with The Echo Nest has launched a new algorithm-based music discovery site called MTV Music Meter, which puts focus on emerging artists alongside those already established, and is being seen as another step to maintaining the recently achieved online music dominance over Vevo

In Case You Missed It: Reading Recap – Ping, MySpace’s New Content Chief & Mulve

Is Mulve digital downloading's "nightmare scenario"?

It’s been almost a month since Apple revealed iTunes 10, which included Ping, the new ‘social’ feature that connects iTunes Store users through fan and following features. While the addition of artist profiles to Ping was slow-going initially, things have picked up, but the reason for the sluggish start may have been that the labels weren’t given details about the new feature until the very last minute, as reported on Fast Company this week.  Indie aggregators like CD Baby and Tunecore are also now getting in on the Ping artist-profile action too, with limited abilities to submit artists into the program as well… Following the recent launch of an American Idol audition platform on MySpace for the upcoming 10th season of the show, it was revealed yesterday by the Hollywood Reporter that MySpace is also getting a new content chief in Andy Marcus, who will oversee the company’s entertainment initiatives, including the new Idol partnership…  Sub Pop has a new distribution deal with Australia’s Inertia, a result of financial woes for the Seattle label’s former distro partner Stomp, an inevitably tipped by our own Cool Hand Luke in a recent missive from down under… And many people are talking about Mulve, the new entrant into the digital downloading arena. But what is it? It’s not P2P, it doesn’t pull song-files from search services and it’s not BitTorrent based. Whatever kind of creature it is, people are interested, as the site crashed shortly after reports of the service first surfaced – as of this morning, it appears to be back up

Wednesday Bits & Pieces: Idol & UMG, eMusic’s new CEO and Chart Highlights

Idol's New Deal with UMG

The big news coming out yesterday was 19 Entertainment‘s decision to align American Idol with Universal Music Group for a new distribution and marketing deal, letting their previous deal with Sony Music lapse after 9 seasons.  While the move is being portrayed as “dropping a bomb” by many media outlets, the decision comes as much less of a surprise within the industry. The show itself is undergoing many transitions heading into the 10th season, not to mention that creator Simon Fuller‘s relationship with new UMG co-CEO Lucian Grainge is well known, performance of Idol finalist releases have been in decline, and uncertainty about what lies ahead for some of Sony’s top brass all pointed to a likely change – as was rumored in past weeks… eMusic has announced a new CEO in Adam Klein, who has previously held positions at MTV and EMI; a new upcoming cloud-based “locker” system has also been tipped. Klein replaces JDS Capital Management/Dimensional Associates head Danny Stein who was running the music service temporarily after the exit of eMusic’s former CEO David Pakman. JDS/Dimensional also recently finalized their acquisition of The Orchard… Elsewhere, Avenged Sevenfold sees their first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Charts with their new release Nightmare, bumping Eminem‘s Recovery from the top spot. Another impressive chart story comes from L.A. locals Best Coast, whose new release Crazy For You debuted at #36 selling over 10K in its first week… And will Spotify move into the shadows of the new digital music era, at least in the U.S., with the public launch of Rdio this week?

In Case You Missed It: Reading Recap

Chrysalis acquires over 45K copyrights in First State Media Group deal

All eyes were on EMI this week with the end of the quarter looming and no clear indication as to what kind of licensing deal, if any, would be struck at the last minute.  At the end of day no deal was made, and the new default deadline for the beleaguered music company and its parent Terra Firma appears to be June… Chatter that American Idol owner CKX, Inc. is in discussions to sell the company was confirmed on Monday… As we alluded to last week, Chrysalis has announced its acquisition of First State Media Group, whose S1 Songs and State One Music trade names control over 45,000 copyrights including the former Dreamworks catalog and Wind-Up catalog…  MP3.com founder Michael Robertson is preparing to take on internet radio with the rollout of his new service BYO.fm… Australian music start up Guvera launched a public beta in the U.S. on Tuesday… And Roadrunner Records will be releasing Korn‘s upcoming Ross Robinson-produced album Korn III – Remember Who You Are sometime this summer…