The music business fuckery continues. An industry so destructive it only benefits the top dogs (and even so, temporarily), while the actual players continue to eat sand out of peanuts. Who's winning? Who's losing?
Dig in for this week's music-bidness shenanigans.
Viacom: The company's revenue is up 56 percent, thanks to a confluence of higher cable fees and low operation costs.
The bulk of Viacom's earnings came from MTV, VH1, BET, Comedy Central and TV Land. I guess reality shows do pay. Ain't that grand? I don't want to live in a world where a Beastie Boy is dead and Snooki is a best-selling author. Take me now.
The Beastie Boys: Speaking of Beasties, the boys hold down No. 6, 16 and 23 on the Billboard 200, with Licensed to Ill (15,349), Paul's Boutique (7,189) and Solid Gold Hits (6,196), respectively. None of those albums was on the chart the previous week. #PouroutsomeliquorforMCA
Katy Perry. Named NARM Artist of the year Thursday night. I don't know about this one. I would've voted for Jessie J.
B.o.B.: Diagnosed with Pop Ambitionitis (symptoms include cupcake-rap and cheesy jingles) and with no cure in sight, Bobby Ray has some 'splaining to do. After shelling out for big enchiladas (Taylor Swift's two-bar appearance alone should sink his budget), he only managed 76K.
Yes, Atlantic will probably ship out single after single to make up for the weak album sales, despite the fact that we've already established that singles no longer sell albums. This flop is clearly the universe telling Atlantic to stop force-feeding us singles. They should probably listen.
David Cook: RCA Records dropped the Season 7 American Idol winner after just two albums. So this is what happens to Idol winners not named Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson? Put out one or two albums and get dumped like a bad sack of potatoes. Yipes.
MAMA, I MADE IT
Meek Mill: So Rozay went and got Milly a management deal with Roc Nation. That just might be the last piece in the puzzle for him. The guy has talent. Unteachable talent. I don't believe he can carry an entire album solo like Eminem or Nas, but he can do it with the right pairing, on the right beats.
Roc Nation offers an opportunity to nab some star-power collaborations, production, live gigs, endorsement deals, dinner with the Carters, etc.
BY THE NUMBERS
267,338: First-week sales of Carrie Underwood's chart-topping album, Blown Away. And 107,000 of those were sold digitally. I thought they said country fans don't own com-poo-tahs.
30,000: Number of Coachella attendees who live-clicked at the festival.
1: Ed Sheeran's rank on the UK's most-streamed artist chart.
Spotify for iPad: Slick and sweet. An eye-catching way to enjoy your music. And if you're into streaming and stuff, it ensures continuity. Unfortunately, it's not available to free users. Sorry.
Spotify's Artist in Residence Program:. Spotify appointed DA Wallach, one-half of pop-rock duo Chester French, its Artist in Residence. There's some confusion on what the job entails, so Billboard's @wGruger asked Wallach.
The conversation I'm having every day is: How do we as a business double or triple the value of the recorded-music side of things? Right now the thing a lot of people are forgetting is that we live in a world where most people don't pay anything for music, and people are well-adjusted to not paying.
We're trying to attack that, but it requires a shift in the way people think about monetizing music. If we can get artists and labels to understand the idea of access and social integration, then we can get millions of people to pay.
Oh. That reeks of rotten mushrooms.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
"I've got Warner Bros. behind me, MMG and Roc Nation. Some of the most powerful people in the game." -- @MeekMill by way of @LifeandTimes
HE SAID SHE SAID
"You haven't taken us down yet, Universal!" -- Katy Perry, during her NARM Awards acceptance speech, referring to the pending Universal-EMI merger.
"I'm currently without a record deal." -- David Cook
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