Morning Fix: Len Blavatnik's New Media Empire; Crowd-Funding Overtaking Direct-to-Fan; Facebook's Facelift

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WITH WARNER, BEATS AND MORE, IS LEN BLAVATNIK BUILDING A NEW MEDIA EMPIRE?

Len Blavatnik’s Tuesday announcement of his $60 million investment in Beats Electronics’ forthcoming music service Daisy is just the latest in a string of deals that are starting to fill in a bigger picture around the billionaire’s broader ambitions.
Billboard.biz


BUSINESS MATTERS: HAS CROWDFUNDING STOLEN DIRECT-TO-FAN’S THUNDER?

It seems crowdfunding has stolen the thunder from direct-to-fan, a theme that has dominated music conferences, the like upcoming SXSW, for a number of years. Part of this is momentum. Crowdfunding is a newer topic that has yet to be explored to the extent that direct-to-fan services have been explored at conferences. But part of this could be crowdsourcing sites crowding out direct-to-fan services that preceded them.
Billboard.biz


BRUNO MARS SCORES FIRST NO. 1 ALBUM ON BILLBOARD 200, ATOMS FOR PEACE AT NO. 2

As forecasted last week, Bruno Mars claims his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, as 'Unorthodox Jukebox' jumps one slot to the top of the tally. The set, largely fueled by Amazon MP3 sale pricing, sold 95,000 copies in the week ending March 3, for a gain of 96% compared with the previous week (according to Nielsen SoundScan).
Billboard.biz


SXSWi: FEST EXPECTS 28K WITH OR WITHOUT A 'HIGHLIGHT'

South by Southwest is expecting a crowd of 28,000 for the Interactive portion of its 11-day tech, film and music festival, Adweek reports. That's 3,500 attendees more than in 2012, and 9,000 greater that what showed up two years ago.
Billboard.biz



GUEST POST: WILL THE COPYRIGHT ALERT SYSTEM BREAK THE INTERNET? BY FUTURE OF MUSIC COALITION'S CASEY RAE

Reactions to the Copyright Alert System (a.k.a. "Six Strikes" rules) implemented last week by ISPs ranged from "meh" to outright paranoia, which begs the question: is CAS a cabal of corporate interlopers out to thwart internet freedom or a meaningful way of dealing with an issue that has bedeviled rightsholders and artists for close to fifteen years? And, will it break the Internet?
Billboard.biz



MUSE, DAVE MATTHEWS BAND, STING TO HEADLINE NCAA BIG DANCE CONCERT SERIES IN ATLANTA APRIL 5-7

Muse, Dave Matthews Band and Sting have been tapped to headline the 2013 NCAA Big Dance Concert Series, in conjunction with the 2013 NCAA Men’s Final Four, held in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park April 5-7.
Billboard.biz


REVERBNATION JUMPS INTO MUSIC DOWNLOAD BUSINESS FOR GOOD: EXCLUSIVE

ReverbNation, a digital marketing platform used by more than 2.7 million musicians, announced Wednesday that it is jumping into the music download business. But it’s doing so with a twist -- 43.4% of what people spend will go directly to charity.
Billboard.biz


LADY GAGA CONCERT PROMOTERS SUE 'DESPICABLE' INSURER OVER TERRORISM-RELATED CANCELLATION

The pop star was pulled from a concert in Indonesia last year amid a mounting protest from various Islamic or other groups. Now Live Nation LGTours says it has suffered substantial damage.
Billboard.biz


THE GIF-T OF VIDEO: HOW SIMPLE MOVING IMAGES ARE DRIVING FAN ENGAGEMENT

On Jan. 7, One Direction released the video for "Kiss You," the third single from the British boy band's second album, "Take Me Home." In slightly more than 24 hours, the act racked up 10.4 million Vevo views, nearly breaking the site's record for a single day. And GIF files -- short animated clips -- are a big part of how the group did it.
Billboard.biz


LUKE BRYAN BOUND FOR FIRST NO. 1 ALBUM ON BILLBOARD 200 CHART

Country star Luke Bryan is headed for his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart. Label sources say his new compilation 'Spring Break . . . Here to Party' may sell a bit over 100,000 copies by the end of the tracking week on Sunday, March 10.
Billboard.biz


ALVIN LEE OF TEN YEARS AFTER DEAD AT 68


"He was an inspiration for a generation of guitar players," says Ten Years After bassist Leo Lyons.
Billboard.biz


 
 
APPLE IRADIO PLAN REBUFFED BY LABELS OVER ITS 6¢ SOLUTION

Apple has opened talks with record labels about getting rights for a music-streaming service — but has gotten plenty of push back because its offer is seen as way too cheap, the NY Post report.  The tech titan, the most valuable company in the world, made an initial offer to the label of about 6 cents per 100 songs streamed, sources said. That’s about half of the 12 cents per 100 songs paid by Pandora, the leading online radio service that Apple is taking aim at, sources said.
New York Post


FACEBOOK TO ANNOUNCED FACE-LIFT TODAY

Facebook plans to announce today a substantial redesign of its News Feed — a makeover aimed at both keeping users glued to the social network and luring more advertising dollars. Company executives have broadly said they want to make the News Feed, the first page every user sees upon logging in, more relevant.
New York Times


GOOGLE DOWNRANKS THE PIRATE BAY IN UK SEARCH RESULTS

Google has started to downrank the Pirate Bay website in its UK search engine results. The controversial BitTorrent site is no longer listed among the top results when users search for “pirate bay,” independent of the user’s location. For other search terms The Pirate Bay is still listed on top. A Google spokesperson declined to comment on the record.  Rights holder organizations’ biggest criticism of Google has been its lack of action on a pledge made last year to downgrade piracy sites in search results.
TorrentFreak


KENNEDY CENTER TO HOST HIP-HOP MUSIC FESTIVAL

Hip-Hop will find itself in a surprising place next year. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced that its 2013-2014 season will include a week-long festival titled “One Mic: Hip Hop Culture Worldwide.” The Kennedy Center website announced the festival will highlight “MCing, DJing, B-Boying, and graffiti writing, the original four elements of hip-hop culture.” According to The Washington Post, the 2014 festival will open with Nas performing songs from his debut album, Illmatic, featuring musicians from the National Symphony Orchestra.
Paste


ACM AWARDS: FIRST ROUND OF PERFORMERS ANNOUNCED

Luke Bryan, Kelly Clarkson, Hunter Hayes, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, George Strait and The Band Perry are on the first list of performers announced for the 48th annual Academy of Country Music Awards. Bryan and Shelton will co-host the show set for April 7 in Las Vegas. The event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena will air live on CBS.
CMT.com


HEADLINES OF THE DAY

- For $500, Justin Timberlake Will Sell You Two T-Shirts and Five Buttons

- Carly Rae Jepsen meets Nine Inch Nails; genius ensues

- Snoop Lion the Video Game? Seriously?

- Andrew WK is the Pitchman for a New Brand of Intimate Wipes. This is Not a Joke...

- Elton John's Glasses Room: Tour Rider Demands Hotel Spot for Rocket Man's Specs

- Big Sean and Snoop Dogg Have Mastered the Art of Smoking in Hotel Rooms


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