Billboard.Biz Exclusive: Rick Rubin Brings American Recordings to Universal Republic
Rick Rubin has signed a deal to put the next incarnation of American Recordings through Republic Records.

According to sources, Universal Republic president/CEO Monte Lipman and co-president/COO Avery Lipman recently completed a P&D deal with Rubin, which will see the famed producer issuing three or four albums a year through Republic. Further terms of the deal, including possible involvement of the American catalog, were unclear at press time. Rubin's controversial five-year stint as co-chairman of Columbia Records ended in February.

The deal with Universal Republic has been in the pipeline for some time, as its first release -- ZZ Top's "La Futura," co-produced by Rubin and guitarist Billy Gibbons -- is due in less than month, on September 11th; the two labels are also reported to be close to a joint deal for highly touted singer/songwriter Noah Gunderson. READ MORE HERE

How Pussy Riot Ended Up on Slacker Not Spotify

As the Internet lit up Friday in the wake of Pussy Riot's sentencing to a two-year prison term for performing a song critical of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, you may have noticed (as we did) that although the group's music was readily available on its MySpace page and YouTube, it was notably absent from iTunes and streaming services.

Well, that situation ended yesterday, when Slacker announced it added the tracks "Kill the Sexist," "Putin Wet Himself," (from Putin Wet Himself, copyright 2012), "Kropotkin Vodka" and "Deliver Pavement" to its catalog as well as its "Protest Radio" station. How an Internet radio service came to play a Russian band that has no commercially available music in the U.S. gets to the very heart of webcasting in the U.S.

An on-demand subscription service like Spotify or Rhapsody, or a download store like iTunes, would need to acquire the rights to commercial music from an intermediary -- most likely a digital distributor -- and ingest the digital files before being able to stream or sell them. This can be a slow process (see Rdio's licensing deals with TuneCore and CD Baby two years after its U.S. launch) but ensures rights are respected. READ MORE HERE

Taylor Swift's 'Never' Song Sells 623,000, Best Digital Sales Week Ever By Female Artist
It's official: Taylor Swift has set the record for the biggest digital sales week ever for a song by a woman. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" sold 623,000 in the week ending Aug. 19, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and it thus debuts at No. 1 on Billboard's Digital Songs chart.

Not only is "Never" the best week ever for a woman, but the second largest ever. Only Flo Rida's "Right Round" has sold more in a week, when it debuted at No. 1 with 636,000 on the Digital Songs chart dated Feb. 28, 2009. READ MORE HERE

Epic Patent Trial Over iPhone Technology Wraps Up
Jury deliberations are scheduled to begin today in the multibillion-dollar patent trial involving the world's biggest smartphone companies: Apple and Samsung
Associated Press

How 'Call Me Maybe' and Social Media Are Upending Music
The success of this summer's hit, Carly Rae Jepsen's cheerfully flirty "Call Me Maybe," shows how much the hitmaking machine, as well as the music industry itself, has been upended by social media - but has it really replaced radio's reach and influence?
New York Times

Hulu Rolls Out New Design, Focus On Content Discovery, Personalization
Streaming video site Hulu launched a redesigned Web site last night that replaces its traditional grid with larger images and focuses more on personalization.

Best Buy Battle: Ex-CEO Shulze Enlists Allies
Former Best Buy CEO Richard Schulze, whose bid for the retail chain for as much as $9.5 billion was spurned by the nation's largest electronics chain, has responded by hiring a firm to drum up investor support to shake up the company's board.
NY Post

CMJ 2012 initial Lineup Announced

CMJ's initial Artist Announcement Party at the Mercury Lounge in New York City, last night revealed the first batch of names to appear at the 2012 CMJ Music Marathon. Highlights of the schedule include: The Presets, The Walkmen, The Mountain Goats, Kimbra, GZA, OFF!, King Tuff, Killer Mike, Com Truise, DIIV, Pig Destroyer and The Jezabels

Grooveshark Announces 10 New Label Deals
Controversial streaming music service Grooveshark has announced the addition of ten new labels to its list of licensed content holders.
Music Week