| SPOTIFY RAISING $100M FOR EXPANSION; OPENING IN LATIN AMERICA, EASTERN EUROPE NEXT YEAR: Spotify is close to wrapping up a $100 million round of funding at a valuation of $3 billion as it prepares for expansion into Latin America and expanding further across Europe in 2013, according to a source. The digital music streaming market leader is expected to close within the next week or two with several investors including Goldman Sachs.
| AEG TO ALIGN WITH STUBHUB: Sports and concert-promotion company Anschutz Entertainment Group plans to make eBay Inc.'s ticket-resale site, StubHub, an official partner of a new ticketing service, the companies said. Starting early next year, customers shopping for tickets sold by AEG's AXS Ticketing platform will be offered the chance to buy or sell tickets through StubHub. The company, which put itself up for sale in September, is looking to fetch $10 billion, according to the NY Post.
Wall St. Journal
| TAYLOR SWIFT, JUSTIN BIEBER WIN BIG AT MTV EUROPEAN MUSIC AWARDS: Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber dominated the 2012 MTV European Music Awards, winning three trophies each, with Swift ruling over her first-ever appearance at the EMAs, taking the honors for best female, best live act and best look. Bieber continued his reign over the international pop scene with wins in the best male, best pop and best worldwide stage act categories.
| ROBBIE WILLIAMS TOPS UK ALBUM AND SINGLES CHART: Robbie Williams is celebrating a double victory in the U.K. charts, starting a second week atop the singles survey with "Candy" and debuting at No. 1 with the album "Take The Crown" (Universal Island). It's the tenth chart-topping title of a solo career in which Williams has sold more than 15 million albums in the UK.
| MOODY'S CUTS SONY'S CREDIT RATING AGAIN, BUT CALLS MUSIC 'GENERALLY STABLE': Moody's Investors Service has downgraded the long-term senior unsecured bond ratings of Sony Corporation. The credit rating agency says that Sony's entertainment-based businesses in pictures and music remains "generally stable," however.
RECORD LABELS DEFY RECESSION TO INVEST $4.5 BILLION IN NEW MUSIC: IFPI REPORT: Record companies invested $4.5 billion A&R and marketing during 2011, despite the global economic downturn. The figure, which represented 26% of all industry revenues, comes in a new IFPI report on the changing economic of the music business. The investigation concludes that revenue invested solely into A&R in 2011 stood at $2.7 billion, only marginally down on 2008 (US$2.8 billion), despite an overall decline of 16% in the trade value of the industry globally over the same period.
LIVE NATION MERCHANDISE AND FEA MERCHANDISE CONSOLIDATE UNDER CEO/PRESIDENT BRUCE FINGERET: Live Nation Merchandise and FEA Merchandise have consolidated their operations under newly appointed CEO/President Bruce Fingeret, with all key departments reporting to him. As part of the move, longtime exec Dell Furano will leave to pursue interests "outside the merchandising business." Fingeret and COO Michael Krassner will coordinate the various back room functions between the dual U.S. locations in Englewood, NJ, and San Francisco.
JAY-Z, COLDPLAY TO RING IN NEW YEAR'S AT BARCLAYS CENTER: Jay-Z will once again kick off a new year alongside his pal Chris Martin of Coldplay, as t he rapper and rock band will link up for a special New Year's Eve concert at the newly opened Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Jay-Z and Martin, who collaborated on the track "Beach Chair" in 2006, celebrated New Year's together two years ago, when the hip-hop superstar and U.K. rockers rang in 2011 at the Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas.
SIMON FULLER IN TALKS WITH BACKERS FOR PARLOPHONE BID: Simon Fuller, the music impresario who launched the careers of the Spice Girls may be on the verge of teaming up with septuagenarian investor Lord Rothschild to bid for a host of EMI record labels, according to Sky News. Mr Fuller, the owner of XIX Entertainment, has approached a number of potential investors about backing a bid he is assembling for Parlophone including RIT Capital Partners, the investment trust chaired by Lord Rothschild, as well as other firms to inject hundreds of millions of pounds into a takeover of the EMI labels.
YOUTUBE PULLING PLUG ON 60% PERCENT OF ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING: YouTube, which has funded about 160 "channels" as part of a new strategy to make the video site more TV-like is not going to renew nearly 60% of last season's programs. This week, Google's video site figures it will end up re-investing in up to 40 percent of its original channels by the time the renewal process is done. Channels that don't get new deals won't get kicked off YouTube, and executives say they hope content makers will continue producing content.
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