1. LL Cool J & Russell Simmons Visit NYC Jail

    July 31, 2014 7:53 PM EDT A group of young people at a New York City jail complex got some words of encouragement on Thursday from hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and rapper/actor LL Cool J . The two visited Rikers Island to mark the launch of a national anti-violence program from Simmons' RushCard, a prepaid debit…

  2. Live Nation Revenue Down 1 Percent in Second Quarter

    July 31, 2014 7:17 PM EDT Live Nation revenue declined 1 percent in the second quarter, the company announced Thursday, giving the world's largest concert promoter and ticket seller a rare -- but not unexpected -- hiccup during a period of health in the live event business. Concert revenue declined 2 percent in…

  3. Samsung's Milk Music Joins the Premium Radio Service Race

    July 31, 2014 4:33 PM EDT Samsung has added a premium tier to its streaming service, Milk Music, making it the latest company to roll out an inexpensive, radio-like streaming service. For $3.99 per month, Milk Premium adds offline listening and unlimited song skipping to the regular offering of 200 stations and a…

  4. Guvera Follows Spotify, Others Into Asia

    July 31, 2014 12:11 PM EDT Guvera, an Australia-based music streaming service that's fallen behind its competitors, has considerably expanded its presence in Asia. According to a report at The Next Web , Guvera has expanded to Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore. Until it launched in Indonesia in…

  5. James Mercer's Pre-Shins Band Getting a Reissue

    July 29, 2014 6:48 PM EDT Flake Music's debut is the Shins album you've never heard. Before the Shins, there was Flake Music. No, it's not a great name for a band by any stretch of the imagination, but don't let that throw you. Their sole album, 1997's  When You Land Here, It's Time to…

  6. Are Investors Losing Patience With Pandora?

    July 29, 2014 1:04 PM EDT While the Internet radio company has grown in many areas, investors are still waiting to see profits. Critics are circling Internet radio company Pandora after shares fell as much as 14.5 percent and closed down 10.3 percent Friday following the company's second-quarter earnings release …

  7. Rhapsody Tops 2 Million Global Subscribers

    July 29, 2014 12:01 AM EDT Rhapsody International, working to stay relevant in a crowded market, announced Tuesday (July 29) it has surpassed 2 million global subscribers to its music streaming services. Rhapsody offers an on-demand music subscription service under the brands Rhapsody and Napster. Included in the…

  8. Zach Braff's 'Wish I Was Here' Q&A: 'I Wasn't Shy About Being a Struggling Actor Again'

    July 28, 2014 3:37 PM EDT Zach Braff is pretty confident the soundtrack to his new film, Wish I Was Here , won't be a platinum blockbuster like the one from his 2004 directorial debut, Garden State . "Selling 1.5 million copies in this day and age is ridiculous," the actor-director tells Billboard. …

  9. Apple's Swell Buy Signals a Focus on Personalization

    July 28, 2014 1:25 PM EDT Apple's acquisition of Swell , the developer of a podcast streaming app, is another bet on the value of personalized content.   Swell is to podcasts what Beats Music is to music: a service that delivers a personalized collection of audio content. The Swell app learns from a user's…

  10. Happy 74th Birthday, Billboard Charts!

    July 27, 2014 8:00 AM EDT Seventy-four years ago today, Billboard published its first chart ranking the sales of recorded songs. In the July 27, 1940, issue, the maiden 10-position "National List of Best Selling Retail Records" paved the way for seven decades - and counting - of Billboard's hallmark…

  11. Dept. of Justice Looks to Make Illegal Streaming a Felony

    July 25, 2014 5:01 PM EDT A Department of Justice office told a House Judiciary hearing Thursday he supports a felony penalty for illegal streaming.   Noting the rise of streaming, David Bitkower , Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, said tougher penalties would reflect the reality of today&…

  12. David Byrne Talks Artists' Rights, Spotify & Touring

    July 25, 2014 2:16 PM EDT 'Artists in general can be given more agency regarding what happens to their work,' Byrne tells Billboard. Recording artist, songwriter, label founder, producer, author, actor: David Byrne , 62, has seen the entertainment business from many sides during his four-decade career. Amid…

  13. Cyber Thieves Hacked 1,000 StubHub Accounts, Bought Tickets: Officials

    July 23, 2014 12:05 PM EDT Cyber thieves got into more than 1,000 StubHub customers' accounts and fraudulently bought tickets for events through the online ticket reseller, a law enforcement official and the company said. Arrests were expected in a case that sprawled across international borders, said the official…

  14. Netflix Points a Way Forward for Streaming's Success (Analysis)

    July 22, 2014 5:11 PM EDT How does a streaming company turn a profit? There's one good example: Netflix, which released second-quarter earnings Monday. Netflix is the only publicly traded company that deals almost entirely in the streaming of licensed digital media. Streaming accounted for 85.5% of the company&…

  15. Sam Smith's Spotify Gamble: Did It Pay Off?

    July 21, 2014 11:26 AM EDT Hoping to beat Lana Del Rey to the No. 1 spot in first-week sales, Capitol Music Group took significant risk in betting against streaming. A version of this article first appeared in the July 25th issue of Billboard Magazine . Sam Smith lost a battle but not the war. In an effort to debut at…

  16. The Sales Domination of 'Frozen,' In One Chart

    July 18, 2014 3:45 PM EDT This year's U.S. music sales would be almost uneventful if not for the "Frozen" soundtrack. Purchases are down across the board -- even digital albums and tracks. Releases by superstars have stumbled . One album has bucked the trends and is doing brisk business, however.…

  17. Punk's Quiet Visionary: Debbie Harry, Tommy Stinson, Danny Fields and More on Tommy Ramone

    July 18, 2014 3:11 PM EDT In 1974, Thomas Erdelyi became Tommy Ramone. The last surviving original member of the band is remembered as the odd man out who helped shaped the sound and look of punk rock's founding fathers. This feature first appeared in the July 26th issue of Billboard Magazine . DANNY FIELDS…

  18. Tommy Ramone: His Story as Told to Legs McNeil

    July 14, 2014 4:05 PM EDT In 2003 Tommy Ramone – a.k.a Tommy Erderly or his birth name, Erdelyi Tamas -- sat down for an interview with me for research I was doing on Mickey Leigh’s book, "I Slept With Joey Ramone." (Mickey, whose real name is Mitchel Lee Hyman, was Joey’s brother.)  I knew it was going to…

  19. All Good Cretins Go to Heaven: The End of the Ramones

    July 13, 2014 10:48 AM EDT Tommy Ramone was the band’s rock of strength, the pulse at the heart of the "Blitzkrieg Bop." And then there were none. The death of original Ramones drummer and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Tommy Ramone ne Erdeliyi at the age of 65, following treatment for cancer of the bile…

  20. Judas Priest Shares The Story Behind 'Redeemer of Souls': Video Premiere

    July 08, 2014 10:26 AM EDT "Most of this music is very classic Priest," says Rob Halford. Rob Halford and his bandmates wanted to "reinvestigate the roots of (Judas) Priest" for "Redeemer of Souls," the Metal Gods' 17th studio album and first set of new material since the concept…

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