Lots of things happen in the music business and on the internet every week. This is an attempt to make sense of them. OK, here we go.
Typically this column kicks off with some dire and dispiriting industry news about massive layoffs or Baauer’s YouTube-enabled ascendance up the Billboard charts, but this week we’re starting things on a positive note. Earlier this week the Hollywood Reporter revealed that due to increased revenue from digital downloads and streaming services, the music industry saw a 0.3 percent bump in global revenue, the first improvement since 1999. So if you’ve been thinking about investing in the music industry, now’s the time to stick 0.3 percent of your toe in the water. This music stuff is gonna be big, I tell you. Big! Big! Big!
Besides digital downloads and streaming services, what are the other big moneymakers on the horizon? Goat remixes? Maybe. But EDM is probably a better bet, or at least EDM websites. Billboard Biz reports that SFX Entertainment acquired the popular dance music website Beatport for “slightly more than $50 million.” That’s more than the Rap Genius guys got in their deal. BRB, going to create a website called “EDM Genius” so I can convince rich people to invest money in my shaky business model.
This week Fast Company named SoundCloud one of the 50 Most Innovative Companies. Look for EDM Genius on that list next year.
The RZA is currently enveloped in a copyright infringement lawsuit concerning a supposedly uncleared sample from Kanye West’s “Dark Fantasy” track off of the My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album. Now Spin is reporting that RZA is counter-suing. Remember on “You Can’t Stop Me” when RZA (in his Bobby Digital guise) was all like, “You can’t stop us, you can’t block us/Rock us or mock us, knock us or top us,” and you were like, “Hm… Is he talking about lawsuits?” Well, yes, he was talking about lawsuits.
Headline of the week: George Lopez To Host Playboy Jazz Festival. Yep. Also, the article contains this choice quote from Lopez: “To attend the show in this capacity is beyond whatever I could have imagined.” This raises an important question: In what other capacities was Mr. Lopez imagining attending the Playboy Jazz Festival? As a fan? As a drummer in Herbie Hancock’s band? As an angry anti-jazz protestor flying in on a jetpack to disrupt the show? Oh, to be inside the mind of George Lopez!
Now that we’ve entered the weird, depressing section of the Industry Wrap, let’s check in on Baauer. The good people at Billboard have the in-depth story of how the company INDmusic has been monetizing the YouTube plays of “Harlem Shake” for their client Mad Decent. It’s an interesting read if you’re looking to launch a viral dance craze—and, come on, don’t act like you haven’t thought about it.
You know who’s probably not monetizing their YouTube plays with a company like INDmusic? Death Grips! Don’t expect a viral dance craze from the band anytime soon because, as Pitchfork pointed out that the group’s tracks have been removed from YouTube, presumably by the their label.
Controversial-quote-generating-machine/artist Morrissey continued his whirlwind publicity tour by canceling his scheduled appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night talk show because he didn’t want to appear on the same telecast as the stars of the TV show Duck Dynasty. “I can’t take the risk of being on a show alongside people who, in effect, amount to animal serial killers,” said Moz in a statement. Kimmel and the Duck Dynasty people then made fun of Morrissey on the show, and Morrissey fired back in classic Morrissey fashion by invoking Sandy Hook and accusing Kimmel of ridiculing depression. Hopefully for his next breathlessly covered public spat, Morrissey mistakes MTV’s Catfish for a show about actual catfish and maybe he can get in a spirited war of words with that creepy Nev guy.
OK, that’s it for this week. Amanda Palmer’s TED talk is on the internet now, so please watch this insightful video instead. Have a great weekend!