| JEFF CASTELAZ IN LINE TO TAKE OVER ELEKTRA: SOURCE: As Billboard.biz speculated Friday, Dangerbird Records co-founder Jeff Castelaz -- who, with general manager Matt Solodky, left the company abruptly last week -- is in line to take over Elektra Records, a source close to the situation confirmed, stressing that the deal is not yet closed.
REPORTS OF THE DEATH OF MAJOR LABELS ARE GREATLY EXAGGERATED: People seem to be split between two opinions: the majors are doing OK; and the majors are doomed. If people come from the world of independent music they tend to be biased against the major labels or downright distrustful of them. If they have some experience with major labels they tend to recognize the degree to which the majors have changed and have greater faith (or hope) they will carry on. And then there's the matter of $1 billion in annual operating profits...
BMG TO ACQUIT ILLEGAL FILE-SHARERS FOR THE LOW, LOW PRICE OF $20: BMG Rights Management, home to artists such as David Bowie, Foo Fighters and the Sex Pistols is trying to generate revenue from alleged file-sharers. BMG is using the ISP's obligation to forward DMCA notices to their customers to present details of the alleged infringement and invite account holders to pay the princely sum of $20 which "finally, unconditionally, irrevocably and absolutely releases, acquits, remises and forever discharges" them from future legal action on the infringement in question. Considering that one court just upheld Jamie Thomas-Rasset's $9,250 per-song fine, BMG's $20 fine could be seen as something of a bargain.
GOOGLE JUST BOUGHT ITS OWN INSTAGRAM: Five months after Facebook's (FB) famous $1 billion Instagram purchase, Google (GOOG) is trying to get in on the photo-tweaking action too. The search giant has acquired Nik Software, the 17-year-old company behind photo-editing and filter app Snapseed. Though terms of the deal weren't disclosed, it's clearly not Instagram money. That said, Google is pouring cash into its widening battle with Facebook, adding more features to its still-scrappy (but growing) social network Google+.
USHER, SHAKIRA TO JOIN 'THE VOICE' FOR SPRING SEASON: Usher and Shakira will replace Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green for the spring season of NBC's "The Voice." The announcement of a spring season confirms a report in a recent issue of Billboard magazine that "The Voice" would be moving to a full year on NBC's schedule. Coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton will remain through season four.
REVERB MUSIC ACQUIRED BY RESERVOIR: New York-based music company Reservoir Media Management has swooped for UK publisher Reverb Music. The deal covers the entire Reverb operation, including its catalogue of over 30,000 copyrights and agreements with more than 100 songwriters. Among Reverb's key songwriters are BMI Award winner Jamie Hartman ( The Wanted, Joss Stone), writer-producer John Fortis ( Ellie Goulding, Prodigy) and musical director and touring keyboardist for Depeche Mode, Peter Gordeno (U 2, George Michael, Seal).
TV ON THE RADIO, DEERHUNTER TO CURATE 2013 ATP FESTIVALS: All Tomorrow's Parties have announced that, contrary to last year's suggestion that they planned to stop their springtime festivals in order to concentrate on the Christmas editions, they are to hold two festivals in spring/summer 2013 in the UK at the Camber Sands grounds. They follow on from two ATPs at Christmas, curated by The National and Shellac respectively, and which are now sold out. The first weekend will take place from May 10-12, and will be curated by Brooklyn genre-skirters TV On The Radio and the second weekend takes place from June 21-23 and will be curated by Deerhunter.
C3 PRESENTS PARTNERING IN ST. LOUS' LOUFEST: Listen Live Entertainment, producers of the LouFest Music Festival in St. Louis, has joined forces with C3 Presents in a joint venture to grow the festival, which just completed it's third edition. LouFest f ounder and producer Brian Cohen says the new partnership will bring more resources to the event in the areas of talent booking, marketing and sponsorship support.
BRIAN MCMANUS NAMED VILLAGE VOICE MUSIC EDITOR: The Village Voice announced the hiring of Brian McManus as its new music editor. McManus is a former music editor at the Philadelphia Weekly. He replaces Maura Johnston. Since the New Times bought the Village Voice in 2005 many have criticized the new-ish regime's staffing decisions as long time writers and editors were let go and replaced by less-experienced staff or not replaced at all. Others, however, point to a larger decline at alt-weeklies.