RDIO To Get More Indie With Merlin Licensing Deal

-- Rdio's music catalog will be more complete after its new deal with indie label licensing agency Merlin. The deal will add the catalogs of such bands as Arcade Fire, The xx, Vampire Weekend, The Pixies, Spoon and Boards of Canada. Merlin members' music will be available initially in the U.S. with more territories to bedisclosed in the coming months.

This is a great addition for the company named Billboard's top music startup of 2010. Rdio launched with all four majors and a number of indie music distributors but its catalog has had some holes. For a cloud-based music service to maximize its value, it needs to carry as much of the world's music as possible. As Merlin claims a 10% global market share, this deal fills a pretty sizable gap.

X5 Music, Digital Music Company With Titles Like '99 Most Essential Romantic Masterpieces' To Open In U.S.
-- X5 Music, a digital music company based in Sweden, has raised €7 million ($9.1 million) from Northzone Ventures to open a branch in the U.S. You may not know X5 but you have probably run across some of its titles. Its low-priced, high-volume digital albums, such as "99 Most Essential Romantic Masterpieces" and "99 Most Essential Piano Pieces" tend to be strong sellers. When priced at $1.99 or $2.99, such titles regularly top Amazon.com's MP3 album chart.

( paidContent)


More Individual Lawsuits Filed Against Illegal Movie Sharers

-- More lawsuits are being filed against people suspected of illegally sharing such movies as the Oscar-winning "The Hurt Locker" and the 2010 Sylvester Stallone film "The Expendibles." Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver, which began filing lawsuits last year, is recruiting lawyers to file lawsuits against "thousands" of suspected pirates in local courts. ( CNET, The Hollywood Reporter)

Nashville Votes For New 12,000-Seat Outdoor Amphitheater
-- Nashville's Metro Council has voted to rezone the site of the former Starwood Amphitheater. This would allow for the construction of a 12,000-seat amphitheater and a five-year permit for outdoor events. The matter now goes to the planning commission. The Starwood, owned and operated by Live Nation, was a 17,000-capacity outdoor amphitheater that closed in 2007. It was sold that year to Vastland Companies. A mixed-use retail and residential development was planned for the site before the economy went south.

(WSMV)