While Glassnote Entertainment‘s Mumford & Sons didn’t walk away with a Grammy award Sunday night, they did see a huge bump in one-day sales for their debut album Sigh No More. It currently is sitting atop the iTunes album chart at #1. Other winners and performers from the night, which saw the largest ratings for the award show in over a decade, are also getting a sales spike in the wake of the event… As anticipated, Pandora filed for an IPO last Friday seeking to raise $100 million, making it the first Internet-music company to go public since Napster went bankrupt in 2002. In filing, it was revealed, among other things, that the company spends half of its revenues on acquiring content, a fact that AllThingsDigital‘s Peter Kafka points out, isn’t a bad thing… Reports over the weekend have Apple considering the possibility of turning its paid MobileMe storage service, into a free “locker” for personal memorabilia such as photos, music and videos – reigniting talk of the company’s move into offering a streaming-music function. Meanwhile today, Apple announced the launch of a content subscription system for music, videos, newspapers, magazines and other forms of content, which will work similarly to app purchases, except that customers choose their type of subscription. As for what it might mean specifically for music, Evolver.fm points out; on-demand subscriptions like MOG, Rhapsody, Napster and Spotify, and the paid version of interactive radio services such as Last.fm, Pandora and Slacker, can now charge you for a subscription right within iTunes, with the same convenience for you — and the same loss of revenue for them... Radiohead has announced details about their new album The King of Limbs, which will see a digital release this weekend, a month ahead of a physical release via XL Recordings. The band’s co-manager explains to Music Week the reason behind not releasing the new album in the same manner as In Rainbows… Former EMI Music A&R prexy Nick Gatfield has been named President Of Music Division for Sony Music UK, reporting to Chairman and CEO Ged Doherty… And does Guy Hands really want to double down and make a bid for both Warner Music and EMI?
All posts tagged Warner Music
Executive shuffling continues as the year-end countdown proceeds, with the Hollywood Reporter revealing that longtime A&R executive Jeff Fenster is departing his SVP post at Jive Records, where he was most recently tasked with overseeing the Idol signings. He is presumed to be heading to a new senior-level creative position within Warner Music… Also, a recent bit of activity within Universal Music Group that was overlooked in all the scuttlebutt, is A&R hitter Luke Wood‘s exit from his EVP post at Interscope Records to assume a new position within Jimmy Iovine‘s Beats sector. Stocking stuffers anyone? Most expect more quiet moves within UMG to continue ahead of Lucian Grainge‘s official crowning as CEO in January… Stay tuned.
The recent shake ups at the major music groups has led to a fair amount of musical chairs at labels over the last few months, including major shifts in creative leadership at Warner Music and EMI with more changes expected to be announced soon at Sony and Universal Music as well… Onlookers may notice a commonality between executives who have recently landed in creative positions, with insiders sharing that a man behind the man, behind the man once again has a direct line to label heads. Is a powerful veteran kingmaker back to pulling strings behind the scenes? Inquiring minds want to know…
Wednesday Bits & Pieces: eMusic Loses Big Indies, Warner Re-Ups with Spotify & UMG Looking to Get Lean
Last month digital music retailer eMusic announced that they would be adding a quarter-million more songs to its service in a new partnership with Universal Music Group, this following previous deals with Warner Music and Sony over the last year, a move which had some questioning whether the service was getting away from its ‘independent’ roots. While too early to tell the larger effects the new major label partnerships will have on customers, some big indie labels have decided they will no longer make their music available, including Domino Records, Merge and the Beggars Group of labels, which includes 4AD and Matador among others. No small exit, as those handful of labels are home to some of the most popular current and past independent acts including Animal Collective, Arcade Fire, Spoon, Bon Iver and many many others. A statement from Beggars Group made it clear that the split, at least for them, is directly in response to the arrival of the major labels to the service and new terms that they “have found impossible to accept, in our own interests, those of our artists, and ultimately those of their fans”… In the latest Warner Music earnings call, it was revealed that the company has renewed their existing deal with Spotify, which currently covers European markets. And while no update on a agreement covering the U.S., many still suspect that deals with multiple majors for the startup to launch its service in America are in motion. In reference to the continued gap between physical and digital music sales, CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. made it clear that he (and presumably all the labels) are hopeful for digital increases with the launch of Google‘s impending music service among others, like Spotify?… More talk of looming cutbacks at UMG persist after the CFO of parent company Vivendi made recent ominous comments about cost saving needs, including “A lot of fat can be taken out without hurting muscle and bones” – onlookers continue to keep an eye on Island Def Jam as one of Lucian Grainge‘s prime targets for restructuring… Elsewhere, Amazon.com is getting into the movie business by launching Amazon Studios… Check Your Pulse songwriter Bonnie McKee talks to Billboard about launching her own recording project after a string of credits on some of 2010′s biggest songs… And inquiring minds want to know, which former major label head has been spotted moonlighting on lead guitar in a Neil Young cover band?
Wednesday Bits & Pieces: Tip of the UMG Change-Over, Yahoo Music Head Departs, MTV Funding Videos & More
The departure of longtime Universal Music Group vice chairman and CFO Nick Henny was announced this week, the first high-level executive to exit under new UMG ruler Lucian Grainge. Seen as only the tip of what will be a massive restructuring at the largest of the four major music groups, chatter continues about the fate of executives and the labels themselves including Island Def Jam, Mercury and both Motown and Republic labels. Stay tuned… After a relationship lasting almost four decades, Queen has officially parted ways with EMI, signing with UMG in a deal that will see the release of remastered albums next year… In more exits, Yahoo Music chief Jeff Bronikowski is reportedly leaving to join AOL Music - AOL has also been named among those recently interested in acquiring Yahoo, other names on the list include BMG Rights Management backer KKR… Though no longer “Music Television” in name, MTV has announced the launch of a new series of videos called Supervideos, that will see the company funding the videos themselves – a move spawned by the return of music video popularity online, and possibly the rise of a new rival in Vevo. The first video project is for the LCD Soundsystem song “Pow Pow”… Elsewhere, Warner Music is launching an archival project dubbed Sight of Sound, which will focus on the integral role that visuals played in the pre-Internet age, and to document the rich history of the label… And after two years of running as an ad-funded streaming service, the UK company We7 is refocusing as an online radio service similar to Last.fm and Pandora.
Not to be left out of the growing media preoccupation with new music services from industry giants like Google and Apple, not to mention the handful of new players who have emerged ahead of the curve like mspot, MOG, Spotify and Rdio, MySpace Music is back in the mix with renewed reports this week of a looming subscription service. The company is said to be in talks with labels about moving away from their current free streaming model to a paid service… Simultaneously MySpace parent News Corp. was quick to deny rumors that the company is in talks to sell the once supreme social network that has been facing a tough transition and revolving door of executives over the last year… An article in the WSJ today examines the increasingly tough road for the live music business – and for those keeping score, Rihanna‘s “Last Girl on Earth” tour appears to be the latest summer outing to announce cancellations… Elsewhere, Wilco is planning to start their own label and will be leaving Warner Music after a 15-year relationship, having released albums on both Reprise and then Nonesuch… And CAA + “The Decision” x Kanye West = LeBron to The Heat…