Morning Fix: Loeb Calls On Sony to Spin-Off Entertainment Unit; WMG Quarterly Profits, Revenue Up; Behind the Making of Daft Punk's New Album

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WARNER MUSIC GROUP QUARTERLY REVENUE, PROFIT UP

Warner Music Group revenue rose 8% to $675 million in the quarter ended March 31 from $623 million a year earlier. “We recorded an impressive quarter, thanks to great releases from our artists and excellent execution from our operators,” said Stephen Cooper, Warner Music Group’s CEO.
Billboard.biz


THIRD POINT'S DANIEL LOEB CALLS FOR SONY TO SPIN-OFF ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS

Hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb, who previously pushed for corporate changes at Yahoo, has called on Sony Corp. to spin off or sell a stake in its entertainment operations, according to several reports. Loeb, whose fund Third Point has quietly acquired a 6.5% stake in Sony, also signaled that he would be open to taking a seat on the entertainment and consumer electronics board.
Billboard.biz


ARETHA FRANKLIN UNWELL, CANCELS CONCERTS

Aretha Franklin has canceled appearances in Chicago and Connecticut later this month under a doctor's recommendation. A Monday news release says Franklin will need treatment during the time period shows were scheduled with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on May 20 and at Foxwoods Resort & Casino in Connecticut on May 26.
Janelle Monae will step in for Franklin for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Corporate Night fundraiser.
Billboard.biz


DAFT PUNK'S THOMAS BANGALTER, COLUMBIA'S ROB STRINGER, MANGER PAUL HAHN ON THE MAKING OF 'RANDOM ACCESS MEMORIES'

Shrouded in calculated mystery and unveiled gradually through traditional media, Daft Punk's first album in eight years "Random Access Memories" is a bold, high-end effort to make everything old new again. Here, Daft Punk's Thomas Bangalter, manager Paul Hahn and Columbia's Rob Stringer and Scott Greer explain the making of the duo's magnum opus and its unique rollout.
Billboard.biz


PHIL RAMONE'S LIFE AND LEGACY AT MEMORIAL CONCERT

The life of legendary producer Phil Ramone was celebrated Saturday night in grand style, with performances from many of the acts he produced down through the years such as Billy Joel, Paul Simon and Tony Bennett, along with remembrances from Quincy Jones and Kevin Spacey.
Billboard.biz


HOUSE JUDICIARY TO HOLD COPYRIGHT HEARING THURSDAY

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet will hold a hearing on May 16 titled “A Case Study for Consensus Building: The Copyright Principles Project.” The hearing, at 2 p.m. eastern, is the second in House Judiciary chairman Bob Goodlatte’s push for major copyright reform.
Billboard.biz


UNIVERSAL TEAMS WITH HYUNDAI FOR RARE MARLEY AD CAMPAIGN, PREPS ‘LEGEND: REMIXED’ COMPILATION

In a rare brand partnership for the Bob Marley estate, a new remix of Marley’s “Three Little Birds” will be the featured soundtrack to a national ad campaign for Hyundai that debuts May 15.  Then there’s the “Legend: Remixed” compilation and accompanying documentary.
Billboard.biz


IHEARTRADIO SURPASSES 30 MILLION REGISTERED USERS, STILL WELL BEHIND PANDORA

Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio has surpassed 30 million registered users less than two years after the launch of its current version. The milestone puts iHeartRadio at roughly 43% of Pandora’s 70.5 million registered users in the United States, Australia and New Zealand (although the service fully launched in the latter two countries in December).
Billboard.biz


NACIONAL RECORDS, SEARCH PARTY LAUNCH LICENSING VENTURE EL SEARCH PARTY

The partnership comes as Nacional and others are reporting substantial increases in revenues and interest in music syncs by Spanish-speaking artists coming from both the Hispanic and general markets.
Billboard.biz


MARIAH CAREY, MIGUEL BLAST ONTO RADIO CHARTS WITH '#BEAUTIFUL'

Aided by first-day airplay at Clear Channel radio, the song enters multiple surveys ahead of its expected lofty Hot 100 launch.
Billboard.biz


MIDEM MOVES 2014 DATES TO AVOID GRAMMYS

Midem 2014 has been rescheduled, it was announced today. Organizers were concerned about a possible overlap with next years Grammy Awards.
Billboard.biz


MILLIONS STOLEN FROM SOUTH AFRICA’S FNB STADIUM FOLLOWING JUSTIN BIEBER, BON JOVI CONCERTS

A cash heist that took place after the Justin Bieber concert at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday night was an inside job, officials and police officers gathering evidence at the scene said yesterday. On Monday morning - after back-to-back concerts featuring Bieber and Bon Jovi - thieves used ropes and specialised equipment to drill through a bathroom roof into a section of the stadium. Millions were stolen from a company renting space from Stadium Management to sell refreshments to 150,000 concert-goers. Justin van Wyk, Big Concerts' managing director, the company that brought both Bieber and Bon Jovi, said it could not comment yet owing to concerns for the safety of its staff.
Times Live


ITUNES USERS SPEND $40/YEAR ON APPS, MUSIC, AND DIGITAL SHTUFF

Apple has built a massive and fast-growing $16 billion annual revenue stream in digital content alone, Apple analyst Horace Dediu says. The company announced that quarterly iTunes revenues topped $4 billion — including $2.4 billion in content alone — in its latest earnings report. Based on historical numbers alone, that’s a $16 billion annual run rate, thanks to Apple’s 500 million iTunes users. But since it also has grown at a fairly steady 29 percent per quarter for the past six years, it’s also an underestimate of the annual value of the iTunes ecosystem. And it gets better as users have more Apple devices. “Apple users spend about $1/day for each Apple device in use,” Dediu says. All of which means that Apple is still king of the mobile ecosystem, at least as far as monetization is concerned.
Venture Beat


FRANCE SET TO DUMP 3 STRIKES ANTI-PIRACY LAW BUT AUTOMATED FINES TO CONTINUE

Mired in controversy since its inception but held up as an example by entertainment companies looking to spread the model worldwide, France’s Hadopi anti-piracy law now looks set to be scrapped. A just-published government-commissioned report recommends that the graduated response system, which promised fines and disconnections for errant file-sharers, should be shelved and replaced with 60 euro per time automated fines.
TorrentFreak


RED BULL MEDIA HOUSE SIGNS PUBLISHING DEAL WITH SONY/ATV/EMI

Red Bull Media House today announced it has signed an agreement with Sony/ATV/EMI Music Publishing for a worldwide administration deal. In a first for Red Bull Media House, the three-year agreement will cover all territories globally excluding the US and Austria, where the media company will steer administrative functions for their music publishing business in-house. Amongst the catalogue, publishing rights include artists signed to Red Bull Records such as certified multi-platinum US-act Awolnation, UK silver-awarded Twin Atlantic and emerging talent Five Knives, Blitz Kids, Itch and Heavens Basement, as well as commissioned scores and a fast growing catalogue of production music assets.
Music News Nashville


ADVERTISERS WILL SPEND NEARLY $10 BILLION THIS WEEK ON A BROKEN TV MODEL

This week, advertisers will sit down with the broadcast TV networks and hash out their "upfront" ad buying deals for the year. The talks are one of advertising's huge, dramatic set-pieces. As Ad Age describes it, "possibly as few as 40 people from the networks, agencies and brands will go into backrooms and decide how $9 billion of the $62 billion U.S. TV ad market will be spent next year." Networks are expecting, again, to see TV ad spending rise, even as the viewing audience itself dwindles. Goldman Sachs estimates that 17% of the 18-to-49-year-old demographic simply stopped watching broadcast TV in winter 2012-2013, the New York Times notes. On its face, this doesn't make sense: Why would advertisers pay more to get less?
Business Insider


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