Morning Fix: U.S. Digital Music Sales Decline in Q2; Blake Shelton's Tornado Relief Concert Raises $6 Million; BBMAs Spur a Million Song Downloads

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U.S. DIGITAL SALES DROP IN SECOND QUARTER

Digital sales continue to lose the big year-over-year gains they posted early in 2013. Both US track and digital album sales have fallen nearly every week through May 26th, according to Billboard analysis of Nielsen SoundScan data. Exactly what is behind the declines is up for debate.
Billboard.biz


BLAKE SHELTON'S 'HEALING IN THE HEARTLAND' RELIEF CONCERT RAISES OVER $6 MILLION

Usher, Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan Reba McEntire and Vince Gill also performed at the benefit for Oklahoma's tornado relief which was televised live on NBC Wednesday night.
Billboard.biz


BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS PERFORMANCES SELL NEARLY 1 MILLION DOWNLOADS

The 2013 Billboard Music Awards continue to pump sales gains, as the latest charts reflect the first full week of impact after the May 19 show. In the tracking week ending May 26, the 19 songs performed on the ABC broadcast sold a combined 973,000 downloads according to Nielsen SoundScan -- marking a big 15% gain compared to the previous frame. It's an impressive jump, considering that overall song sales rose by less than 1% for the week.
Billboard.biz


MARIAH CAREY, NICKI MINAJ LEAVE 'AMERICAN IDOL'

Singer Mariah Carey and Rapper Nicky Minaj often seemed to have little in common on this past season of 'American Idol.' Today, however, the two simultaneously made public their plans to leave the singing contest TV program. Carey said she is planning to tour in the Fall and Minaj exclaimed via Twitter that it's time to "focus on the Music!!! Mmmuuuaahhh!!!". Billboard.biz (Carey, Minaj)


JONES BEACH THEATER GETS $20 MILLION RENOVATION FOLLOWING SUPERSTORM SANDY DAMAGE

New York's popular Nikon at Jones Beach Theater is re-opening after extensive damage caused by Superstorm Sandy knocked it out of commission in Oct. 2012. Live Nation Entertainment today announced that the Wantagh, Long Island venue underwent months of reconstruction at a cost of more than $20 Million. Sandy created a storm surge of 8 to 10 feet, submerging parts of the stage and seats impacting concessions and VIP areas. More than 3 million gallons of sea water had to be pumped out of the venue,
Billboard.biz


MTV TO RELAUNCH IN RUSSIA

New MTV Russia will be offered in high definition and have more global programming, Viacom says.
Billboard.biz


SONY MUSIC AUSTRALIA APPOINTS JON HANLON AS EDM DIRECTOR

Jon Hanlon joins Sony Music Australia and New Zealand as Director, Electronic Dance Music, the company said today.
Billboard.biz


EXCLUSIVE: POP TARTS BOOKS DEMI LOVATO, OWL CITY, AUSTIN MAHONE, MORE FOR SECOND LIVE NATION CONCERT SERIES

Kellogg’s Pop Tarts and Live Nation are re-teaming for Crazy Good Summer, a concert series that has been expanded from two to three shows this year. Confirmed performers include Owl City and Hot Chelle Rae, who will co-headline the first event in Atlanta in June.
Billboard.biz


SONY CEO DEFENDS ELECTRONICS, ENTERTAINMENT PAIRING

Sony Corp.  Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai on Thursday defended the company's ownership of an electronics-gear business and entertainment operations under one roof—a corporate mix that has come under assault from hedge-fund investor Daniel Loeb. On stage at the D: All Things Digital technology conference, Mr. Hirai said Sony's electronics business is fixable, and he said the company benefits from having a single corporation that makes televisions and smartphones, and runs operations in music, TV and films.
Wall Street Journal


ROCK BANDS RAISE MONEY FOR BOSTON MARATHON VICTIMS

Veteran rockers Aerosmith helped close the 5 1/2 hour Boston Strong Concert on Thursday. After an energetic run through hits, such as "Walk This Way" and "Sweet Emotion," they were joined on stage by 1990s boy band New Kids on the Block and other performers for the Beatles classic. The Boston Strong Concert had residents jamming to songs from the Dropkick Murphys, Boston and other musical acts and even laughing at a joke about the capture of a bombing suspect.
Associated Press


GOOGLE MUSIC ALL ACCESS COMING 'SOON' TO IOS

Google Music All Access, the company's streaming music service, will come to Apple iOS sometime this summer, according to a Google executive.
Speaking at the D11 conference, Android and Chrome chief Sundar Pichai said All Access is due for iOS in "a couple weeks." A Google representative confirmed that, but hedged on the timeline, saying only, "Google Play All Access is coming to iOS this summer."
CNET


[PIAS] EXPANDS INTO U.S.

PIAS] will open a US office in New York in June, headed up by Sean Maxson, who was previously general manager for Co-Op USA. [PIAS] acquired Co-Op from Universal Music for an estimated £500,000 in a deal that was cleared by EC regulators in March. Co-Op was a related divestment of the major’s buyout of EMI Music. The move into the US increases [PIAS]' total number of international offices to 10.
Music Week


GLASTONBURY KICKS-OFF TODAY; ROLLING STONES WANT THEIR SET BLACKED OUT

The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts kicks off its music festival today in England with a line-up that includes everyone from the Rolling Stones, Chic and Mumford & Sons to SBTRKT, Phoenix and Bobby Womack and much more. Several stories have run on this year’s extensive digital and television coverage, including one story that the Rolling Stones want their set to be “blacked-out.”
Telegraph


DEEZER CLAIMS 4 MILLION PAYING SUBSCRIBERS & MORE TRACKS THAN SPOTIFY

Spotify leads the world’s on-demand subscriptions with six million paying subscribers, but it’s facing stiff competition from a company that isn’t even available in the biggest music market on the planet: Deezer, which tells us it now has over four million paying subscribers to its “premium plus” subscription. Though you cannot access it from the United States, Deezer is available in more territories than any other on-demand service, according to data. And like Spotify, MOG, and other subscriptions, it has seen usage increase follow its integration with Facebook, so that people can see what their friends are listening to on there.
Hypebot


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