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Google unveiled its All Access on-demand music service at yesterday's I/O developer conference. It will charge $9.99 per month after a 30-day free trial. The announcement came after Google cleared licensing deals with Warner Music Group in March, and in recent days with UMG and Sony to be able to offer "millions of songs" for the service. It also has a deal with Merlin, which represents independent labels such as Rough Trade, Beggars Group and Warp Records.
GOOGLE'S VICE PRESIDENT OF CONTENT, JAMIE ROSENBERG, TALKS ALL ACCESS: Q&A
Jamie Rosenberg, Google's Vice President of Digital Content, spoke with Billboard.biz shortly after the company's unveiling of its All Access music service to talk about why music is important to the technology giant and whether Apple users can look forward to seeing a version of All Access on iOS.
A FIRST LOOK AT GOOGLE'S ALL ACCESS SERVICE
Google's new on-demand subscription service, given the unfortunate name Google Play Music All Access, could one day be something special, but on launch day only does the bare minimum. The subscription-only service has the basic features one would expect but doesn't yet separate itself from the crowd.
BERTELSMANN ANNOUNCES RECORD Q1 PROFIT, REVENUE DIPS
The media giant, whose holdings include BMG, “American Idol” producer FremantleMedia, recorded earnings of $267 million, up 43% over the year-ago period. The rise was due mainly to earnings from buying out KKR's shares of music rights group BMG and a solid performance of the German TV market. While its first-quarter profits were strong, quarterly revenue from continuing operations slipped slightly to $4.68 billion
BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS REVEAL PLAYLIST, COLLABORATIONS
The 2013 Billboard Music Awards have confirmed that some of music's biggest names will team-up to perform their biggest hits on this Sunday's ceremony. A few of the collaborations tipped for the May 19 show include: Christina Aguilera, Pitbull and a special surprise guest; Ne-Yo with David Guetta and Akon; Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez; Will.I.Am with Justin Bieber; and Nicki Minaj with Lil Wayne. The Las Vegas show will air on ABC at 8 ET, live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
EXCLUSIVE: MERLIN UNVEILS THE NUMBERS BEHIND ITS LABELS' STREAMING GROWTH
Member labels of independent rights organization Merlin saw growth in both streaming and download revenue in 2012, according to numbers released by the organization Thursday. But the labels are doing the best at streaming services with over half of the labels reporting increased streaming revenues of between 50% and 100%.
VAMPIRE WEEKEND AIMING FOR NO. 1 ON BILLBOARD 200 CHART
Rock band Vampire Weekend is winging its way to a second No. 1 album next week. Its new 'Modern Vampires of the City' album, released yesterday (May 14), may sell around 120,000 copies by the end of the tracking week, which could mark the act's second No. 1, following its last release, 2010's 'Contra.'
SLAYER'S JEFF HANNEMAN MEMORIAL PLANNED FOR HOLLYWOOD PALLADIUM
A memorial for Slayer's Jeff Hanneman, who died earlier this month at age 49, is set for May 23 at Los Angeles' Hollywood Palladium. The memorial, which will be open to the public, is set to last four hours.
JENNIFER LOPEZ APPOINTED CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER OF NUVOTV
J-Lo was announced last fall as a creative partner with the English-language Latino network, but her role was solidified Wednesday as NUVOtv held its upfront for advertisers and prepared for a re-launch of its programming in July.
UNIVERSAL MUSIC PUBLISHING, ADAM LEVINE HONORED AT BMI'S ANNUAL POP AWARDS
Maroon 5 frontman and “The Voice” judge Adam Levine received the President’s Award last night at the 61st annual BMI Pop Awards. Also honoring the 25 most-performed songs of the year, the ceremony presented statuettes to Universal Music Publishing for publisher of the year and the Maroon 5 hit “Moves Like Jagger” for song of the year.
Sony Network Entertainment International’s Music Unlimited service has expanded to Brazil. The cloud-based digital music subscription service is now available in 19 countries worldwide.
Changes are aplenty for "The Voice"'s technically advanced judge chairs: Shakira confirms a season 5 Exit, Usher expected to follow. Meanwhile, former coach Christina Aguilera has inked a deal to return to the hit NBC program, while CeeLo Green is said to also be negotiating a comeback.
The event, presented by SoundCTRL and 'stache media, will include special performances by Glassnote-signed EDM artist Robert DeLong, up-and-coming rapper Joey Bada$$, dance crew iLuminate and more that will be revealed in the days to come.
BMG CONCLUDES VIRGIN AND FAMOUS UK DEAL
BMG has concluded its takeover of the Virgin Music and Famous UK Music songwriting catalogues from Sony/ATV and EMI Music Publishing as the EC has approved the deal. The purchase covers the Virgin UK, Europe and US catalogues as well as Famous' UK interests and includes songs by the likes of Kurt Cobain, Human League, Culture Club, OMD and Tears For Fears as deals and catalogues with more contemporary writers such as Duffy and Mark Ronson. The acquisition, which followed the Sony/ATV-led consortium having to divest some catalogues for the European Commission to approve its takeover of EMI Music Publishing,
A federal judge denied class-action status to music publishers who sued Google’s YouTube, claiming that it violated copyrights by allowing the posting of music clips on the website without authorization. U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton in Manhattan today denied a motion for class certification by individual publishers. The suit, filed in 2007 by music publishers and a U.K.- based soccer league, is a companion to one brought by Viacom Inc. (VIAB) that year against YouTube for copyright infringement.
Apple couldn’t have timed its countdown to 50 billion app downloads more perfectly. Just hours after Google revealed during its I/O conference keynote that app installs from its Google Play store had hit 48 billion, the iTunes App Store countdown clock rolled over to 50 billion passing another major milestone, and surpassing the achievement its rival had announced earlier in the day. Apple’s promised the person who downloaded the 50 billionth app a $10,000 App Store gift card.
Lamb of God today embarks on its first tour since frontman Randy Blythe was acquitted of manslaughter charges in the death of a Czech fan injured at the band's 2010 concert in Prague. In advance of the tour's kickoff in Asheville, North Carolina, Blythe has written a lengthy open letter that urges fans to be careful at shows. The singer asks venues to take responsibility for the protection of both performers and fans. "Security is there to protect the band, the fans, and your business," he writes. "If you cannot provide a safe environment for a show that requires security and barricades, do not have it. You have no business playing around with people’s lives for a few extra dollars. No amount of money is worth the risk of someone dying in your establishment."
New Zealand's highest court ruled Thursday that it will hear an appeal by Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom and three colleagues as they seek to avoid extradition to the United States.
Rock `n roll was officially welcomed by the 115-year-old academy, an "honor society" proud to call itself elite and home to some of the country's leading writers, composers, painters and sculptors. On Wednesday, Dylan became the first rock star inducted, joining a membership that includes E.L. Doctorow, Chuck Close and John Ashbery.
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