All posts tagged Sony

More Bits & Pieces: Spotify Close to U.S. Launch & is the MySpace Redesign Plagiarized?

Spotify Closing in on Labels with Cash in Hand

It seems that everyone agrees that Apple buying Spotify is not going to happen, even Danielle Ek told TechCrunch, who first reported the possible negotiations, that “We don’t want to sell, we are here for the long term”… But more interesting are reports by MediaMemo and CNET that the European startup is getting ever closer to a launch in the states, and the primary reason is cash. The company is reportedly offering large up front advances or guarantees to the major labels who hold the fate of the service in the U.S. in their hands.  Sony is reportedly the closest to making a deal, though Spotify will need at least three of the four major labels onboard to press the button – Warner Music Group would seem like the most obvious holdout if there is one… And MySpace saw a lot of positive reviews of its new design, though users of the early stage and invite-only startup Pinterest are calling foul play, as the site’s new aesthetics are strikingly similar. Apparently a now former technology director at MySpace asked for an invite to Pinterest back in March of this year, shown in an email released on TechCrunch

Wednesday Bits & Pieces: Apple’s New iTunes, Sony’s iTunes Rival & Amazon Enters the Fray

As predicted Steve Jobs did not announce a new cloud-based version of iTunes this morning, however the rumored social features were announced in the form of Ping. In the words of Jobs, it’s “Facebook and Twitter meet iTunes,” … “But it’s not Facebook, it’s not Twitter,” adding “it’s a social network all about music.” There is also a new logo that replaces the CD, which Jobs remarked as fitting, as he expects that by next Spring Apple‘s music sales will surpass all CD sales in the United States… The update to iTunes 10 will be available today and will include Ping. If you missed the action this morning, head HERE to watch the keynote… In what cannot be coincidental timing, this morning Sony Corp announced Sony Qriocity (“curiosity,” get it), which is the company’s new subscription-based music and video streaming service, the backbone of which will be the Playstation 3 console. It’s expected to launch in the UK before the end of the year… And not to be left out of the race to streaming dominance, Amazon is reportedly gearing up to launch a service similar to Netflix, which will allow unlimited access to movies and TV shows for a monthly fee.

In Case You Missed It: Reading Recap

Thom Yorke Shares his Cheery Outlook on the Biz

Apple‘s WWDC announcements on Monday did not include a new cloud-based version of iTunes, as many had expected (or hoped for), but Jobs did reveal the company already has a boatload of iAd commitmentsBuzzmedia is not the only one bolstering its ad network, as startup MOG announces a new deal that will add Sony Music Entertainment online properties into their network, including 117 major artist websites… In a recent BBC Radio 4 documentary, new EMI Music chief Charles Allen discusses the state of his company and the difficulty of spreading the message that they are in “really good shape”… Following Allen’s positive outlook came comments from Radiohead frontman and former EMI artist, Thom Yorke, predicting the collapse of the music industry within “only a matter of months” and going on to advise aspirant musicians to avoid the “sinking ship”… And a report in Reuters today examines Terra Firma boss Guy Hands gift-giving techniques and the “high concentration, high risk strategy” in his current efforts to save EMI… Elsewhere, a look at the business of selling online fans, followers and viewers to artists… New England area coffee shops and other small venues are facing increased pressure from PRO’s… And Complex Magazine discusses free music, almost signing Drake and f*ckin kids in a brief Q&A with Warner Music boss Lyor Cohen

In Case You Missed It: Reading Recap

Buh Bye bebo; AOL Plans to Sell or Shutter the Social Network

The week began with a report that EMI was apparently still in talks with Sony Music about a possible catalog licensing deal, though some have pointed out that contracts with key EMI artists might prevent such a deal from going through. No further updates followed, other than a cheery financial outlook from Terra Firma boss Guy HandsAOL revealed that it was planning to sell or shutter the social networking site bebo that it paid $850 million for in 2008, while Rhapsody spun off into an independent company shedding former partners RealNetworks and Viacom/MTV; the subscription music service now also counts Universal Music Group as a new minority investor… Digital royalty collection organization SoundExchange announced that its 2010 Q1 payouts to artists and copyright holders topped all previous quarters… Details about the Solid Sound Festival were released this week, the Wilco-currated three-day event will take place in June at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA… And Sonicbids owner Panos Panay talks about the artist-as-entrepeneur…

In Case You Missed It: Reading Recap – Extended Remix Edition

Linkin Park charity releases digital compilation to benefit Haiti

A lot to stay on top of over this short week, so enjoy this special extended edition of our weekly recap…

More chatter about a possible new iTunes streaming service from Apple continued, fueled by Michael Robertson’s prediction that the service will come in the form of a version update allowing users to access their iTunes media library from anywhere via the proverbial “cloud”… The lineup for Coachella 2010 was announced, and headliners include Jay-Z, Muse, Gorillaz and Thom Yorke… Ad-supported download service Free All Music announced a deal with EMI, who joins Universal Music as the first major music companies to strike agreements with the start-up… Elsewhere, Sony and Warner Music appear to be engaged in an eMusic pricing battle… YouTube launched a new music discovery and playlist experiment… Comcast appears to be taking steps toward an a la carte music streaming service for internet and cable customers… Other ISP news includes a report that Virgin Media‘s long delayed “unlimited” subscription service might be called MusicFish, it might not be unlimited and could be arriving this summer… It looks like Live Nation is putting its venues on the block in an effort to ease regulatory concerns over the Ticketmaster merger… And Prince revealed a new song “Purple and Gold” that he penned for his beloved Vikings - sorry Purple One, we’ll be rooting for the Saints

** If you haven’t yet, make sure to visit, where Linkin Park took the “pay what you want” model to their charity’s digital album that benefits the crisis in Haiti. The band quickly assembled a compilation of unreleased songs from Peter Gabriel, Alanis Morissette, All-American Rejects and many others.  The effort saw a quick and impressive collaboration of artists, labels and publishers who all granted full gratis rights for the compilation, and over a holiday weekend no less.

Missy Worth Shares Her Artistic License with RM64 in Our Last Q&A of ’09

Missy at the Artistic License mgmt office

When industry veteran Missy Worth finally agreed to a Q&A session with us, we knew we were in store for some great industry stories. Today she manages prolific punk rockers Rise Against along with indie stalwart Spill Canvas, but she has also guided the early development of artists such as Jeff Buckley, Alice In Chains and OneRepublic, among others. Her career spans a very colorful and exciting time in the business. A resume that includes running labels, concert promotion and artist management, while working with some of the industry’s most powerful and iconic figures —Irving Azoff, Michael Lippman, Donnie Ienner and Sandy Gallin to name a few. Pay close attention. She shares a lot of insight and perspective. You might learn a thing or two. We certainly did.

RM64: What was your first job in the music business?

MW: I worked at (entertainment law firm) Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, through a temp agency. I was 17.

RM64: Did you have aspirations to be in the music business at that time?

MW: I did. I was sitting in history class in Northridge and I was ‘what am I doing here?’ I only care about music and movies, anything to take me out of my life. I didn’t want to make movies because I couldn’t compete with my dad, he was just too good at it. I went home and said ‘I’m not going to school anymore.’ My parents said if I wasn’t going to go to school then I had to get a job. I called Apple Temp Agency on Sunset and they got me in as a temp in the file room at MS&K.

RM64: So what happened next?

MW: I meet attorneys Abe Summer, Milt Olin and Peter Lopez who were working in the music division. I suggested that they get a scout because they wanted new developing acts. Then I brought them The Motels and Milt became the band’s lawyer. Interestingly enough it also led to my next job. Michael Lippman wanted to manage The Motels because he had just left Arista Records and wanted a young rock band. So Milt introduced me to Michael and I left MS&K and went to work for Michael’s management company. I told him I was 18 and he didn’t get the band, but he did get me.

RM64: So you lied?

MW: Yes. (laughs) I was still 17.

RM64: What was your role with Michael?

MW: Well, first I was his receptionist. Then I became the production assistant for Ron Nevison and Harry Maslin helping with producer duties, like booking the studios , watching the budgets, getting food for them, very glamorous. I also worked with Eric Carmen and Melissa Manchester as kind of their day to day assistant. I worked for Michael for a long time, he taught me the business in a way I’m very lucky to have learned. He taught the big picture, record company, publishing, imaging and touring. If you knew that you could manage, if you didn’t, you had to learn it all. Nothing has been more valuable to me.

RM64: So you became a day-to-day manager?

MW: You didn’t call it that then. None of those fancy terms came about. You were paid no money. You didn’t get a TV. You got phones thrown at you and you helped throw their parties. There weren’t any ‘day-to-day’ managers or anything like that. You were their assistant. And you did whatever you were told to do. There was no entitlement, that started in the 90’s. And you were really happy to do it. I remember I got Eric Carmen the wrong blow dryer and it was a disaster. Literally, he kicked me out of the apartment. He was screaming ‘how am I going to do my hair now!’ I don’t know if you know anything about Eric, but his hair was perfect…

RM64: Quaffed hair?

MW: Yes, but it was perfect and it took him like an hour to do and I got him the wrong blow dryer. I almost got fired for that!

Eric Carmen with his perfect quaff

RM64: That’s funny. Back to management…

MW: Yes in today’s terms you would call it being a day-to-day manager. Back then you were just the assistant and you were really happy to be learning. But you could read all the contracts and deal memos that came in. And all the phones had mute buttons. It was awesome because you were on the phone taking notes for your boss, but you were really learning an immense amount. You were hearing how they manipulated the whole situation and how they negotiated and how it all worked by hearing both sides of it. Now I think people don’t even sit in the offices with their assistants. And they certainly aren’t allowed to make phone calls for you anymore or any of that stuff, but that’s how I learned everything. I sat on the couch across from Michael and I was on the phone all day.

Read more…

In Case You Missed It: Reading Recap

EMI and owner Terra Firma are back in the headlines as the private equity investment firm reportedly prepares to write down its investment in the struggling music company by 90% after their latest bid to restructure debt was denied… But it wasn’t all gloom and doom for EMI this week as the the music group announced a first-of-its-kind deal with Hulu to distribute artist content on the popular online video destination… MySpace snapped up online streaming music service Imeem for a bargain basement price, a move some suspect was more about talent than technology… And Sony announced plans to launch an online store that will sell music, movies, books and mobile applications, sound familiar?

Endless Summer…

The Drums have labels & pubco's marching to their beat

Monday night at Spaceland was like a good ole’ label brew-ha of days past, with A&R posses from around the league filling the room to catch The Drums (those keeping score may remember a couple of the members from former incarnation Elkland, who was signed to Columbia). Those marching to the Brooklyn-via-Florida band’s jangly surf-pop beat included barneys from all major music groups, with a particularly large showing from the bunny… Pubco’s are in the chase as well with Warner/Chappell making a strong play, but word is Sony/ATV may drop-in on the deal at any moment. Just remember, leashes are for pansies…

Elsewhere, some insiders are wondering what the future holds for Shangri-La Music, as the boutique label has been quietly handing back masters to some of its artists.  Word on the street is that it will come down to founder Steve Bing’s decision whether or not to continue funding the music component of his larger Shangri-La business group. Recent coups for the label include the release of the highly anticipated Monsters of Folk debut album and a building story for new UK artist Band of Skulls. Stay tuned…

Musical Chairs

Columbia Wins

Columbia Wins

As reports come in, well-respected A&R veteran Ashley Newton will be staying in the Sony Music family, transitioning from RCA to Columbia Records. We were alluding to Newton in our Aug. 20th post: “Which Head of A&R is making a jump to another label? Is the move to replace a soon-to-be exiting creative head? Inquiring minds want to know…” As Sony Music ruler Rob Stringer and Columbia Records head Steve Barnett were orchestrating Newton’s transition, Warner Bros. Records was indeed courting Newton in the last minute and insiders share that the bunny was offering a 7-figure annual salary to the seasoned exec. With a new A&R player in the Columbia fold, how does this affect Rick Rubin’s role at the company? Meanwhile, what’s going on at the Amanda Ghost-helmed Epic Records?…

In The Mix: Steve Moir, Freelance Whales, Pete Giberga and Kevin Day…

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