Lady Gaga never saw it coming. After a relentless, mammoth, publicity extravaganza for her new album, ArtPop, she was upstaged by a comet seeming to swoop in out of nowhere — the release of Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2. Eminem’s sales boomed big, while Gaga’s embarrassingly fizzled, leading to quick deep discounts to keep ArtPop on the charts.
Eminem, now 41, did few interviews and personal appearances for this formidable double album. As with Adele sweeping the Grammys two years ago, his instant commercial triumph demonstrates the readiness of a discerning world public to respond to power and passion of voice rather than to manipulative gimmicks or exhibitionistic stunts. CONTINUE READING
From The New York Times
The Universal Music Group, the giant record company that sells almost 40 percent of the world’s music, is about to get a little bigger through a deal with the independent label behind Mumford & Sons.
Glassnote, founded by Daniel Glass in 2007, has struck a global distribution agreement with Universal for its music, starting March 1. The deal is a blow to Sony Music Entertainment, which had handled Glassnote through its Red distribution unit. CONTINUE READING
Last year, American Idol winner Phillip Phillips released the song “Gone, Gone, Gone” from his debut album The World from the Side of the Moon. The song went to #1 on the Adult Alternative and Adult Contemporary charts and peaked at #24 on Billboard‘s pop song chart, the Hot 100. For Gregg Wattenberg, one of three credited co-writers of “Gone, Gone, Gone,” the song’s chart performance was of particular interest because it translated indirectly into cash.
“U.S.-only hit songs — when I say ‘hit’ I mean like top five, not like No. 20 — can generate anywhere from one to two million dollars in ASCAP monies,” Wattenberg says. CONTINUE READING
For instance, Pharrell Williams single Happy had 36,159 paid downloads on iTunes within the last 24 hours. Katy Perry’s single Dark Horse had 29,265 paid downloads.
After a last-minute approach to NBC, the reality mogul heads back to Britain as insiders debate his “grumpy uncle” appeal in a changed TV landscape.
A version of this story first appeared in the Feb. 21 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Weeks before Fox officially lowered the curtain on The X Factor, sources say its creator and star Simon Cowell quietly reached out to NBC to find a new home for his TV baby. “Simon himself was involved in this process,” says an executive familiar with the approach on behalf of Cowell’s Syco production company and partner FremantleMedia. (A Cowell source vehemently denies a pitch was made, adding, “Fox and Syco/Fremantle looked at plausible other options in the U.S. without him but decided these weren’t viable.”) But NBC already has The Voice and the Cowell-produced America’s Got Talent — and, more importantly, X Factor was damaged goods.
In fact, now that the show was canceled Feb. 7, observers are divided on Cowell’s future on U.S. television as well as the steps Fox will take to replace its failed franchise. CONTINUE READING
Want some music suggestions from your friends but don’t really want to talk to your friends? Well, Facebook has you covered: The social network has added an “ask” feature that makes it simple to garner entertainment recommendations from your friends.
When you click onto a friend’s profile, scroll down the left side of the page to his/her music, books, movies or TV shows section. Underneath his/her picks, you’ll see a button reading “ask” next to the line “Ask [friend] for a music recommendation.”
When you press “Ask,” you’ll be able to fill in a text box specifying what kinds of tunes you’re looking for, as well as add more friends to the query. When your friend receives the request, they can either answer with recs from their own Likes, or search for a specific band.
After clicking on the recommendation, you can add it to what appears to be a new section of your profile titled “Listen Later” for music, “Want To Watch” for movies and TV and “Want To Read” for books.
There are still some kinks to be worked out with these features — each section also boasts suggestions, and all my music suggestions are bands I’ve recently listened to on Spotify — but the “ask” button could be a cool way to crowdsource new tunes.
Try it out and tell us in the comments below: Did you get any worthwhile musical suggestions from your friends?
Fox has pulled the plug on The X Factor. The Hollywood Reporter has learned that there will be no fourth season of the singing competition.
The writing has been on the wall, given the expensive series’ significant ratings declines in the second and third years, but executive producer and star Simon Cowell had been quite vocal about negotiations to keep the show on Fox in some limited capacity.
News of X Factor’s cancelation comes the same day that U.K. broadcaster ITV announced that Cowell is returning to the original iteration of the format in fall 2014. The conflict would have kept him from functioning in anywhere near the same capacity on the U.S. version.
As NBC has seen a ratings resurgence thanks to The Voice, and Fox’s 13-seasons-old American Idol has fallen from its flagship status, The X Factor did nothing to stem reality losses for Fox. The third season saw its performance show average just a 2.2 rating among adults 18-49 and 7 million viewers. The December finale closed the season down a devastating 45 percent from the previous cycle. CONTINUE READING
My first hit song blew up on the radio first. “I’m Awesome” got picked up by the local alt-rock station in my town, the radio station I’d grown up on. It quickly became the most requested song there and then jumped to the local pop station. Keep in mind I’d only self-released two albums at this point. I was very new to the game, and suddenly the two biggest local radio stations were playing the shit out of my stuff, which was unprecedented. No local artist had ever broken through at pop radio in my area (Portland, Maine, is not exactly known for its burgeoning rap game).
PhilipC, via Wikimedia
We lost a lot of guys during our East Coast/West Coast beef with Portland, Oregon.
The way the world works now, if you’re blowing up on the radio, you’re killing on iTunes, too. I think there’s an intern at Universal who goes through the regional iTunes charts every week, from Des Moines to Albuquerque, and looks for outliers.
“We know all the other guys on here. Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, Ke$ha … who the hell is Spose?”
So this intern looked at the Portland sales and saw that I had the #1 song. I doubt I cracked the top 200 nationwide, but that was enough to get their attention. At this point, I was 24 years old and totally broke, delivering pizzas and raising a newborn. The day Universal sent me a $35,000 check for signing on with their label, my bank account was at -$800. I couldn’t even buy gas for my car without overdrafting my account again — one generally doesn’t hear Jay-Z rapping about bank fees and bus passes. CONTINUE READING