business

How Music Generated by Artificial Intelligence Is Reshaping — Not Destroying — The Industry

There is an enduring fear in the music industry that artificial intelligence will replace the artists we love, and end creativity as we know it. As ridiculous as this claim may be, it’s grounded in concrete evidence. Last December, an AI-composed song populated several New Music Friday playlists on Spotify, with full support from Spotify execs. An entire startup ecosystem is emerging around services that give artists automated songwriting recommendations, or enable the average internet user to generate customized instrumental tracks at the click of a button. But AI’s long-term impact on music creation isn’t so cut and dried. In fact, if we as an industry are already thinking so reductively and pessimistically about AI from the beginning, we’re sealing our own fates as slaves to the algorit...

Eventbrite Acquires Spain’s Ticketea to Further Grow European Operations

Ticketing platform Eventbrite has acquired Ticketea, one of Spain’s leading ticketing providers, to further grow its presence in Continental Europe.  The deal follows last year’s acquisition of Netherlands-based Ticketscript, which positioned Eventbrite as the third-largest ticket provider in Europe, according to the San-Francisco-based company. Since being founded in 2006, Eventbrite says it has processed over $10 billion in gross ticket sales, facilitating millions of events across more than 180 countries and territories. In 2017, more than 50 million people bought a ticket or registered for an event on the platform. It handles ticketing for a number of music festivals including Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals, while venue clients include New York’s Bowery Ballroom and ...

Warner Classics Signs Deal With IDAGIO Classical Streaming Service

The new partnership encompasses the entire Warner Classics and Erato catalog, as well as playlists curated by the labels and their artists. Warner Classics has announced a new deal with classical music streaming service IDAGIO that will bring the entire Warner Classics and Erato Records catalogs to the platform’s users.  The deal also encompasses recordings originally released on the iconic labels EMI Classics and Teldec (now Warner Classics) and Virgin Classics (now Erato).  Among the works that will now be available in the coming weeks are albums by legacy artists such as Maria Callas, Yehudi Menuhin, Leonard Bernstein and Herbert von Karajan, as well as more recent projects by Itzhak Perlman, Martha Argerich, Philippe Jaroussky, Joyce DiDonato, Sir Simon Rattle and others.  As wel...

Amazon Prime Hits 100M Subscribers

This is the first time CEO Jeff Bezos has announced the program’s user count. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced his company has reached over 100 million subscribing Prime members, a new milestone for the 13-year-old program.  The news came via Bezos’ annual shareholders letter and is the first time Amazon has ever revealed its number of Prime subscribers.  Bezos said Amazon Prime saw its best year ever in 2017, shipping more than 5 billion items worldwide with more new members signing up than in any previous year — both worldwide and in the U.S.  The world’s richest man also touted the growth of Amazon Music, which now has tens of millions of paid customers. The on-demand, ad-free music streaming service expanded to more than 30 new countries in 2017 and membership ha...

Should Artists Get a Cut When Their Songs Land On Branded Playlists on Spotify?

The acts featured in advertorial content help boost a brand’s visibility without permission. Spotify’s RapCaviar playlist has more than 9 million followers, and for many young listeners it has taken the place of local hip-hop stations in discovering new artists. It has been called “the most influential playlist in music” by New York magazine and not surprisingly so; inclusion on the playlist has almost single-handedly changed the trajectory of several artists’ careers. RapCaviar is one of a series of continually-updated playlists Spotify offers with varying themes; Get Turnt (3.6 million followers), mint (4.9 million followers) and Hot Country (4.5 million followers) are others. These playlists function almost as an editorial extension of the Spotify streaming service — somethi...

Facebook Adds Privacy Settings to Comply With European Rules

Facebook is enhancing privacy safeguards for users around the world as it complies with new European rules designed to make it easier for consumers to give and withdraw consent for the use of their data. Facebook is introducing the new policies this week in Europe, but eventually everyone on the social network will be asked to decide whether they want to enable features like facial recognition and some types of targeted advertising, the company said in a blog post. “Everyone — no matter where they live — will be asked to review important information about how Facebook uses data and make choices about their privacy on Facebook,” the company said in a blog post. “We’ll begin by rolling these choices out in Europe this week.” The announcement comes as Faceb...

Russell Simmons Calls Rape Lawsuit a ‘Work of Pure Fiction’ That Falls Outside Statute of Limitations

The $10 million claim was filed by a woman identified as Jane Doe last month. Russell Simmons‘ legal team is asking a $10 million lawsuit alleging rape against the record mogul filed last month be thrown out because it exceeds the statute of limitations. Furthermore, in paperwork filed in Los Angles County Superior Court on Monday, Simmons denies the claims, calling the complaint “a work of pure fiction.”  The lawsuit filed by a woman identified as Jane Doe claims Simmons raped her following a concert she attended with her elementary-school-age son. After dropping off her son with a babysitter, Doe claims she and Simmons spent time at a nightclub before moving to his hotel because he said he needed to get something from the room.  Once in Simmons’ room, Doe alleges ...

Travis Scott Fires Back With Counterclaim Over Super Bowl Lawsuit

The rapper’s lawyer accuses three Minneapolis promoters of trying to “shake Travis down.” Travis Scott has filed a countersuit against a group of Minneapolis promoters, accusing Jefferson Agar, Alex Martini and Patrick Johnston with PJAM of failing to set up travel arrangements for his return to Los Angeles following a Super Bowl concert. Attorneys for Scott say the three men breached their contract with the “Goosebumps” rapper and owe him the balance of his fee over a concert set to take place during Super Bowl weekend in February. The countersuit was a response to a lawsuit filed against Scott in March by the promoters, who said Scott failed to show up for the concert at Myth Live nightclub near Minneapolis, one day before Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4. Promoters...

Out of the Shadows: Fair Ticketing Alliance Launched In Support of Secondary Ticketing Operators

“For too long, the secondary ticketing industry has been suffering from a poor reputation, afraid to defend itself. We aim to change that,” says chairman Stephen Lee. They’re regularly painted as the shadowy scourge of the live industry, profiting at the expense of fans and artists, but now a bunch of secondary ticketing sellers in the United Kingdom are fighting back with the launch of their own campaign group. Called the Fair Ticketing Alliance, the organization has been set up by what it calls “a group of responsible U.K. ticket brokers” to push for “a fair, trustworthy and flexible ticket market that works for all live entertainment fans.” “For too long, the secondary ticketing industry has been in the shadows, suffering from a poor reput...

Charles Goldstuck Opens State-of-the-Art Bahamas Recording Facility

“There are probably more talented musicians per capita in the Bahamas than anywhere else,” says Goldstuck. “This was an opportunity to build a world-class facility that can serve as a catalyst for local talent development.” In 2013, the notion of building a state-of-the-art recording studio in the Bahamas — on prime waterfront real estate, no less — would have sounded quixotic to anyone aware of the recorded-music industry’s steadily diminishing returns over the previous nine years. But, for Charles Goldstuck, then the executive chairman of TouchTunes Interactive Network, and more recently, founder and co-chairman of Hitco Entertainment, change was in the air. “Outside of the majors, I was seeing a much broader commitment to investing in music,” he tells Billboard. “I fel...

Torres Says She Was Dropped by Label 4AD ‘For Not Being Commercially Successful Enough’

Her third full-length album and debut with 4AD, ‘Three Futures,’ was released last September. Torres, the project of singer Mackenzie Scott, has been dropped from her label 4AD, according to a Twitter post on Monday (April 16).  According to Scott, she had signed a three album deal with the popular independent label but now she has been cut loose “for not being commercially successful enough.” Torres’ third full-length album and debut with 4AD, Three Futures, was released last year. It failed to land on any Billboard charts. Previously, her 2015 album, Sprinter, peaked at No. 20 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums chart.  Billboard reached out to 4AD for comment but did not receive any response by time of publishing.  My former label, @4AD_Official, has de...

Canada’s CIMA, Music Managers Forum Announce Honorees for 2018 Awards

The music industry events will take place in Toronto over the next coming months. The Canadian Independent Music Association has announced four honorees for this year’s CIMA Celebration & Awards Gala, while Music Managers Forum Canada has also released five names of inductees to its annual honor roll. Both ceremonies take place in Toronto. The CIMA presentation will be held at Phoenix Concert Theatre on June 11. eOne Music/Last Gang Records’ Chris Taylor will receive the entrepreneur award; Justin Time Records’ Jim West the builder award; Pandyamonium’s Sandy Pandya the Brian Chater industry award; and Indie 88’s Dave Bookman the unsung hero award.  The winner of the marketing award will be declared the night of the event. The three nominees are Arts &...