Morning Fix: Bertelsmann Finalizes BMG Takeover; Motown Gospel Launches; Ghost Beach Piracy Guest Post

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BERTELSMANN FINALIZES BMG BUYOUT

German media giant Bertelsmann has completed its takeover of music rights group BMG, buying the 51% stake held by private equity group  Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. to secure full control of BMG. The deal, which will see Bertelsmann administer BMG's rights catalog of more than 1 million songs, with works from such recording artists as Bruno Mars, Will.i.am, Johnny Cash and Duran Duran, has received the necessary regulatory approval.
Billboard.biz


MOTOWN, EMI GOSPEL CREATE JOINT VENTURE: MOTOWN GOSPEL (EXCLUSIVE)

Motown Records and EMI Gospel have entered into a 50-50 joint venture partnership to create Motown Gospel. The new label launches officially tonight with a press reception and showcase at L.A's Arc Theater -- none of which would have been possible without a conversation between UMG's Barry Weiss and Capitol Christian's Bill Hearn at last year's CMAs
Billboard.biz


WHY WE TOOK THE PIRACY DEBATE TO A TIMES SQUARE BILLBOARD: GUEST POST BY GHOST BEACH

The New York-based “tropical grit pop” duo Ghost Beach was recently selected as the latest band to have its music featured in an online commercial for American Eagle Outfitters -- and that deal brought the group the opportunity to also be featured on the retailer’s giant digital billboard in Times Square. They  decided to shine a light on the debate surrounding music piracy, promoting an online campaign called Artists Vs. Artists on Twitter and at artistsvsartists.com. In this guest post, they explain why.
Billboard.biz


ADA ADDS NEW WEST, SUMERIAN RECORDS TO DISTRIBUTION ROSTER (EXCLUSIVE)

Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA), the music distribution arm of Warner Music Group, has lured two new independent labels to its growing stable of distribution clients. Alt-country/Americana label New West Records and hard rock purveyor Sumerian Records have both partnered with ADA for exclusive physical and distribution rights in the United States.
Billboard.biz


CUTTING EDGE EXPANDS FILM SCORE BUSINESS MODEL WITH BRIGHT EYES MEMBERS (EXCLUSIVE)

The soundtrack to “Stuck on Love" will be the first to go through the Cutting Edge Group’s new model for film music that includes score, songs and soundtrack. Varese Sarabande, which Cutting Edge acquired, will release the soundtrack featuring music by Bright Eyes' Michael Moggis and Nate Walcott and a song by Conor Oberst.
Billboard.biz


COURT RULES AGAINST REDIGI EFFORTS TO RESELL DIGITAL MUSIC

Capitol Records has won a victory in U.S. District Court against ReDigi Inc., a company that sought to build a marketplace for consumers to sell their “used” digital songs.
Billboard.biz


BUSINESS MATTERS: REPORTS OF THE CD'S DEATH WERE GREATLY EXAGGERATED

Even though CD revenues have fallen sharply over the last ten years, most predictions about the format have been wrong. The CD's decline, while painful to companies, has been far more gradual than precipitous. To wit: of the 969,000 units sold of Justin Timberlake's "20/20 Experience" in its first week of release, 53% were CDs, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Billboard.biz


LOLLAPALOOZA 2013 LINEUP: MUMFORD & SONS, THE KILLERS, THE CURE HEADLINING

After weeks of rumors, the 2013 Lollapalooza lineup was officially revealed on Monday (Apr. 1), with a lot of expected names at the top of the bill. The Cure, Mumford & Sons, the Killers, Nine Inch Nails and Phoenix will all perform at the festival, again taking place at Grant Park in Chicago.
Billboard.biz


BILLBOARD, CHEVROLET TO PRESENT FIRST-EVER MILESTONE AWARD AT 2013 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS

Billboard and Chevrolet are teaming up to celebrate the ingenuity of this year's hitmakers with the new Milestone Award at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, May 19. Fans can vote for their favorite Milestone artist online and enter a contest to win an opportunity to present the award live at this year’s event alongside Cee Lo Green.
Billboard.biz


AEG LIVE TO ARGUE MICHAEL JACKSON'S RESPONSIBILITY FOR DEATH IN LAWSUIT

AEG Live will defend itself in a wrongful death lawsuit by arguing that the King of Pop was responsible for his own death, according to CNN. The network spoke with Marvin Putnam, an AEG Live lawyer, for "Michael Jackson: The Final Days," a CNN documentary set to air Friday. According to Putnam, AEG Live will contend that Murray was not their employee, but Jackson's. Putnam claims Jackson himself was paying Murray directly at the end of his life, information that has been previously unreported. AEG also reportedly intends to present evidence of drug addiction and discuss Jackson's court case over child molestation accusations, for which he was acquitted.
Billboard.com


ROLLING STONES EXPECTED TO ANNOUNCE TOUR ON WEDNESDAY

The Rolling Stones are expected to make a big announcement on Wednesday, and it's presumably about their long-rumored American summer tour. Billboards stating "Start Me Up" and other song titles alongside the Stones' tongue logo have gone up around the country, and their Facebook, Twitter and official app have been counting down to #StartMeUpWednesday for a few days. The group is already confirmed for the Glastonbury Festival on June 29th, and their other tour plans have been just about the worst-kept secret in rock.
Rolling Stone


MUSIC DISCOVERY SERVICE SHAZAM IS BRANCHING INTO FURTHER PRODUCT RECOGNITION.

Using its unique technology, used widely thus far to identify songs via audio, and also for interactive TV brand engagement in the US, the company is now looking to expand its offering by incorporating other products under its recognition spectrum. The Guardian reports that CEO Andrew Fisher said: "We have the ability to identify the product in a TV show so that when somebody Shazams it, they could find out where a presenter's dress is from in one click.”
Music Week



FANS MARK 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF LESLIE CHEUNG DEATH

Almost 2 million origami made by fans in memory of singer-actor Leslie Cheung are being displayed in Hong Kong at an exhibition marking the 10th anniversary of his death. Cheung, who was 46 when he  killed himself by jumping off the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in central Hong Kong on April 1, 2003, made several hit albums and starred in classic films including 1987's "A Chinese Ghost Story," director John Woo's "A Better Tomorrow" and Chinese director Chen Kaige's "Farewell My Concubine."
Associated Press


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- Blake Shelton Wants to Nail You in a Nice-Guy Sort Of Way: Rating the Top Country Hits

- I Want to Stop DJing to Make "Real Music," Will Fans Accept Me Despite My Past?

- Diplo-Approved Flume Hates the Roided-Out Bros and Orange Chicks of EDM Culture

- The Weeknd Did Not Sign $200 'Trilogy' Vinyl Set As Promised, a Machine Did

- Hanson Is MMMback With New Music AND A Tour!!

- Bill Murray + Tequila + Wu-Tang x SXSW = ?

- Smashing The Philip Glass Ceiling: Verity Susman Interviewed

- Justin Bieber rejected song written for him by Frank Ocean and Tyler, The Creator


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