Morning Fix: Prince and His Scary Masters; Pandora CFO Talks Q1; Music Wants a Slice of the Upfront Pie

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PRINCE GETS MASTERS BACK, WHICH LABELS SAY 'SCARES US SILLY'

The April 18 announcement that Prince had re-signed with his first label, Warner Bros. Records, where he had resided from 1978 to 1996 and produced some of his best-selling and most compelling work, came as a shock to the music industry and fans alike.
Billboard.biz


MUSIC BIZ VYING FOR LARGER CHUNK OF TV’S $20 BILLION IN UPFRONT AD DOLLARS

The upfront season — when media companies secure some $20 billion in early advertising buys with TV, cable and radio networks and online content companies — is underway, and increasingly, music-industry giants Live Nation, Clear Channel and Vice are gunning for a slice of that ad-dollar pie.
Billboard.biz


PANDORA CFO MIKE HERRING ON Q1 EARNINGS, WALL STREET'S REACTION, PRICE INCREASE

Minutes after Pandora announced a 69% jump in first-quarter revenue and narrower losses Thursday afternoon, its stock price sank more than 8%. This fact does not seem to faze Mike Herring, Pandora's Chief Financial Officer. Herring, who's been on the job at the Oakland, Calif., Internet radio company for a little more than a year, is used to this reaction from the stock market, which is often based on expectations around profitability.
Billboard.biz


DJ RASHAD DIES OF DRUG OVERDOSE

Chicago footwork mastermind DJ Rashad has died of a drug overdose. A rep from his label Hyperdub has confirmed to Billboard that they will release an official statement on Monday morning.
Billboard.biz


MR. PROBZ, PAOLO NUTINI LEAD U.K. SALES CHARTS

Dutch hip-hop star Mr. Probz debuted atop the U.K. singles chart yesterday (April 27), as “Waves” (Left Lane Recordings) sold nearly 127,000 units. Paolo Nutini started a second week at No. 1 on the artist album chart with “Caustic Love” (Atlantic/Warner Music).
Billboard.biz


ATLANTIC RECORDS GROUP UPS KEVIN WEAVER TO PRESIDENT, FILM & TV

Kevin Weaver has been promoted to president of film and television for the Atlantic Records Group. He will also retain his current title of executive VP of Atlantic Records Group, a post he has held since 2009.
Billboard.biz


GWEN STEFANI SPLITS FROM LONGTIME MANAGER

Gwen Stefani is being wooed by multiple suitors. According to sources, the No Doubt frontwoman, 44, was close to signing on as a judge for ABC's summer singing competition Rising Star before choosing NBC's "The Voice."
Billboard.biz


DAVID BOWIE PAYS TRIBUTE TO COLUMBIA RECORDS CHAIRMAN ROB STRINGER

Columbia Records chairman Rob Stringer was among the music industry players to be recognized at the UK's Music Week Awards on April 24. His tribute came by way of an unexpected post on David Bowie's Facebook page, which was also read aloud at the event hosted by the 50-year-old British trade magazine and held at the Brewery in London.
Billboard.biz


ROSS ON RADIO: WHO SAID ALTERNATIVE IS SUPPOSED TO ROCK?

Some may wince at my contention that the Black Keys' "Fever" owes something to Foster The People, filtered vocal and all, before it turns into Electric Light Orchestra at the end. But neither reference is an insult in my worldview. Alternative chart acts already have fielded a half-dozen songs that belong on pop radio this summer, even if the typically long crossover period means that only a few rock songs will likely get there.
Billboard.biz


JARED LETO ON LEAVING VIRGIN, THIRTY SECONDS TO MARS DOC 'ARTIFACT'

Fresh off his Oscar win for Best Supporting Actor last month, the singer/actor is feeling freshly confident about his day job as frontman of rock band Thirty Seconds To Mars.
Billboard.biz


GREGG ALLMAN BEGS 'MIDNIGHT RIDER' DIRECTOR NOT TO RESUME FILMING

"Midnight Rider" subject Gregg Allman is urging director Randall Miller not to proceed with production on the controversial biopic after the tragic death of camera assistant Sarah Jones.
Billboard.biz


BEYONCE WRAPS WORLD TOUR IN EUROPE WITH $41.1M IN TICKET SALES

Beyoncé heads up Billboard’s weekly slate of top-grossing tours with sales reported from the final leg of her Mrs. Carter Show world tour that wrapped at the end of March.
Billboard.biz


AEG LIVE PRES. OF INTERNATIONAL TOURING ROB HALLETT LEAVES COMPANY

Rob Hallett, AEG Live's president of international touring, has left the company with immediate effect. His surprise departure was announced this morning (Apr. 25) in a brief announcement from AEG Live, which stated that Hallett “now feels the time is right to explore other opportunities within the Live Music entertainment space.”
Billboard.biz


'JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS' FINDS ITS STARS

In her first major film role, "Nashville" actress Aubrey Peeples has been cast as the lead, Jem, in the live-action "Jem and the Holograms" film, which is being directed by Jon M. Chu.
Billboard.biz


SECRET GIGS PLACE THE NEXT BIG THING RIGHT INTO YOUR FRONT ROOM

Watching a gig in London a few years ago, Rafe Offer could not believe how many people were talking over the music. The Mercury prize-nominated band Friendly Fires were on stage, but the crowd were chatting, or gazing into their smartphones: "I turned to my friends and said, 'There has got to be a better way'."
The Guardian


WHAT’S NEXT FOR PONOMUSIC, THE STARTUP THAT TOOK KICKSTARTER BY STORM AND RAISED $6.2M

PonoMusic, which set out to raise $800,000, ultimately raked in $6.2 million by the time of its fundraising deadline a little over a week ago. Endorsements from music industry luminaries such as co-founder Neil Young, investor Bruce Springsteen, and many others certainly didn’t hurt PonoMusic’s cause — but it’s not celebrity clout alone that can bring this kind of success.
TechCrunch


AFTER 7-YEAR MAKEOVER, BRONX LINKS OF LEGEND TRY TO RECLAIM THE PAST

When William Larkin, a hip-hop producer-turned-golf pro, accepted the position of general manager of the Van Cortlandt Park Golf Course in the North Bronx in 2007, it was because he thought the course could live up to its history.
New York Times


THE MOBILE INDUSTRY IS FIGHTING THE WRONG WAR IN EMERGING MARKETS

Mobile is counting on the developing world (and its estimated 5 billion mobile subscriptions) in a big way. As Mozilla demonstrates a $25 smartphone, undercutting on price has long been the industry’s strategy to wooing emerging market consumers. However, content also matters significantly.
Quartz


STOP THE PRESSES!

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