1. Michelle Shocked Releases Silent Album of Songs Named After Digital Music Execs

    July 28, 2014 10:17 PM EDT Taking a page from the Vulfpeck playbook , folk singer-songwriter Michelle Shocked has released an album consisting of silent songs that are named mostly after executives in the digital music world. Rambling Michelle Shocked Tells Piers Morgan � ...

  2. Vulfpeck's 'Silent Album' Half-Joke Made Some Substantial Cash

    July 22, 2014 10:10 AM EDT Los Angeles groove band Vulfpeck’s silent album ‘Sleepify’ may have been a mere prank intended to rack up play counts and royalties, or perhaps it was a more sophisticated act of digital performance art. It's definitely been a rocky road -- b ...

  3. Global Indie Sector Unites To Launch ‘Fair Digital Deals Declaration’

    July 15, 2014 4:00 PM EDT Over 700 indie labels have given their backing to a major new initiative promoting fair and transparent accounting to artists and music companies in respect of digital revenues.   Representatives of Domino, Cooking Vinyl, Epitaph, Because Mus ...

  4. Pop Art By Robert Christgau: In It For The Art

    July 15, 2014 10:00 AM EDT Anyone wondering how that guy who grades albums like a damn college professor got a column in the bible of the music business should consider one factoid. At 72, that guy has been covering what we'll call rock and roll longer than anyone in A ...

  5. SiriusXM Cancels Top 40 Channel ’20 On 20,’ Replaces With Rhythmic Pop Hits Station

    July 11, 2014 2:03 PM EDT Among the changes taking place as part of satcaster SiriusXM’s latest channel realignment is the cancellation of longtime mainstream top 40 address "20 on 20.” As of July 17 the channel will be replaced by “Venus,” which will focus on rhythmi ...

  6. Billboard Artist 100 Chart Launches; Trey Songz Leads First List

    July 10, 2014 10:03 AM EDT Sam Smith, Ariana Grande, MAGIC! and Luke Bryan among others in the top 10 of Billboard's exclusive new ranking of each week's top acts Today (June 10), Billboard proudly unveils the Artist 100 , the first-ever weekly ranking dedicated t ...

  7. What Taylor Swift Failed to Mention In Her Poptimist Op-Ed

    July 09, 2014 1:47 PM EDT It's not every day a music superstar pens an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal and covers a variety of topics in nearly 1,200 words. At a time many artists fret the industry is crumbling, Swift's piece brims with optimism. Taylor Swift ...

  8. Merge Records Shares 25th Anniversary Documentary on Google Play (Watch)

    July 09, 2014 11:14 AM EDT Chapel Hill, N.C.-based independent label Merge Records — which has released music by Arcade Fire, the Magnetic Fields and Neutral Milk Hotel — has shared a documentary through Google Play to help celebrate its 25th anniversary. Superchunk, Merge ...

  9. Executive Playlist: Red Bull Records’ Greg Hammer Shares ‘New Classics’ and ‘Palate-Cleansing’ Tunes

    July 08, 2014 10:04 AM EDT Greg Hammer is the managing director of Red Bull Records, an independent label formed in 2007 by Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz. Hammer spent six years as director of A&R at Universal Records, then some time as an independent producer be ...

  10. Ted Joseph To Manage Relaunched Kalimba Music

    July 07, 2014 10:22 PM EDT EWF founder Maurice White created indie label in late ‘90s Ted Joseph has been appointed label manager for Kalimba Music, relaunched last year by Earth, Wind & Fire founder Maurice White. In his new role, Joseph will also be working with Kalim ...

  11. Taylor Swift Shares Optimistic View of the Music Industry In Wall Street Journal Op-Ed

    July 07, 2014 10:14 PM EDT Taylor Swift believes there’s still hope for the music industry. In fact, she’s “one of the few living souls in the music industry who still believes that the music industry is not dying…it's just coming alive,” the superstar wrote in an op-e ...

  12. After a Year of Experimentation, BitTorrent Bundle Wants to Make Artists (and Itself) Money

    June 29, 2014 9:49 AM EDT After hitting the '100 million' milestone, BitTorrent, the data transfer protocol long associated with piracy, continues to try and clear its name. One year and 100 million legal downloads later, the BitTorrent Bundle platform — an ...

  13. Industry Argues Its Worth to Congress (and Itself) In Second Round of Testimony

    June 25, 2014 4:38 PM EDT A Congressional hearing on music licensing Wednesday turned up mostly the same themes, frustrations and proposed solutions as the hearing two weeks earlier. Representatives of artists, record labels, songwriters, music publishers and broadcasters ...

  14. Aphex Twin's $46k Record, Minecraft and a Benevolent Internet Community

    June 25, 2014 3:05 PM EDT Minecraft is as much a cultural phenomenon as it is a video game, drawing millions of children and parents into its strangely addictive, retro-stylized open world since its release in 2011. The game has made its creator, Swedish programmer and des ...

  15. 'We Want to Compete,' Says Secretly's Van Arman, Ahead of His Congressional Testimony Tomorrow (Guest Post)

    June 24, 2014 12:46 PM EDT Darius Van Arman is co-founder and co-owner of Secretly Group, an independent label group that is based in Indiana. He currently serves on the boards of A2IM, SoundExchange and Merlin. Tomorrow (June 25), he is providing testimony on behalf of ...

  16. Disgust, In Digest: The Top Five Reasons Indies Are Mad at YouTube

    June 23, 2014 4:12 PM EDT Last week, Billboard obtained a typical contract being offered by YouTube to its indie label partners for its new subscription service. Here's a breakdown of the five things that are really upsetting your favorite indie label. 1. YouTube i ...

  17. Bruce Iglauer's A2IM Lifetime Achievement Award Speech and Wisdom of Mr. Wizard the Lizard

    June 23, 2014 11:15 AM EDT The highlight of last week's American Association of Independent Music's Libera Awards   was Bruce Iglauer of Alligator Records' acceptance speech upon winning the A2IM Lifetime Achievement Award.  Here Iglauer, discusses the histor ...

  18. Kevin Liles on Mariah and Jay-Z's Beverages, Lyor's 300 & D'Angelo’s New Record (Q&A)

    June 22, 2014 3:24 PM EDT Kevin Liles calls himself an entrepreneur, and it's hard to imagine a more accurate catch-all term for the items in his overstuffed portfolio. My Day: Kevin Liles, Founder of KWL Enterprises Lyor Cohen Unveils 300, New 'Content Company ...

  19. Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, Daptone, Bruce Iglauer Honored at A2IM's Libby Awards

    June 20, 2014 5:25 PM EDT The American Association of Independent Music’s third annual Libera Awards (a.k.a. The Libbys) hit NYC's Highline Ballroom last night, recognizing achievements throughout the independent music sector, which now constitutes some 34.6% of the ...

  20. Inside YouTube's Controversial Contract with Indies

    June 20, 2014 1:42 PM EDT Billboard has obtained a typical contract being offered by YouTube to its indie label partners for its new subscription service. The devil is in the numbers, but also in the overall strategy. Even though YouTube is said to be offering lower r ...

  21. A2IM Head Bengloff Strikes Out at Majors, RIAA, Amazon and YouTube in Keynote

    June 20, 2014 8:47 AM EDT In his keynote address, A2IM president Rich Bengloff said that the trade group's board members cited the main issue their business is facing is how music licensing transactions were evolving and the concept of digital breakage. "Breakage ...

  22. Merlin Doubles Earnings, Digital Accounts for Half of Members' Revenue

    June 19, 2014 5:05 PM EDT Merlin, the global rights agency for the independent music sector, says it collected $89 million from digital music services for its members in the year ended April 30, 2014. The figure is double the amount that it had collected in the prior year ...

  23. How YouTube's Subscription Terms Will Hurt Indies – No Content Removal Required

    June 18, 2014 1:25 PM EDT 16 1.009 k 149 0 YouTube might not, in fact, take down music from indies it doesn’t have an agreement with... but it won’t pay them either. Right after Amazon appeared to take independent labels for granted with a take-it-or-leave-it payment scheme for it ...

  24. Rich Bengloff on A2IM Indie Week, YouTube Licensing; Alleges Majors' Shady Streaming Terms

    June 17, 2014 3:45 PM EDT “We’re kicking their ass,” says a fiery Rich Bengloff, the president of the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), about the state of the indie labels in comparison to the majors. The trade group's seventh annual Indie Week kicks ...

  25. Indie Game Soundtrack to 'Transistor,' Even with Uncounted Sales, Has Impressive First Week

    June 17, 2014 10:39 AM EDT The score to Transistor sold a startling 13,000 copies, debuting at No. 7 on the Soundtracks chart. This article first appeared in the June 21st issue of Billboard Magazine . The soundtrack to the sci-fi indie video game "Transistor" is ...

  26. Casey Kasem, Iconic Radio Personality, Dead at 82

    June 15, 2014 10:30 AM EDT Casey Kasem, the American Top 40 radio host who crafted a long and lucrative career out of counting down to No. 1, has died. He was 82. Kasem, who hosted the syndicated weekend show for nearly four decades, died of complications from dementia at S ...

  27. Olympia's Music Scene Worth $88.3 Million a Year (Report)

    June 09, 2014 1:36 PM EDT Olympia, the capital city of Washington, the birthplace of riot grrl, K Records and a pit stop for Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, generates a pretty staggering amount of money via its historic and historically avant-garde music scene, according to a new ...

  28. New Signings: The Orchard Signs CYHSY, Angaleena Presley Joins Slate Creek, Round Hill Music Nabs Tesla

    June 09, 2014 12:03 PM EDT Here’s a look at the latest artist signings across the music industry, including record labels, artist management firms, publishing companies, booking agencies and more.     RECORD LABELS  -- Northern California “hip-pop” duo Kalin and Myles sign ...

  29. Tom Silverman on the 2014 New Music Seminar: 'Who Needs Another Music Convention?'

    June 07, 2014 12:50 PM EDT “There’s really no reason for another conference, there's enough out there,” says Tom Silverman who is three days out from the 23rd iteration of his New Music Seminar , which starts this Sunday, June 8 at New York's Wyndham New Yorker ...

  30. Weird Merch: Numero Group Goes Full Mordor with '70s Fantasy-Rock Game, Comp

    June 06, 2014 3:41 PM EDT "We had some vicious arguments about the merits of a 20-sided die." Chicago-based Numero Group, the esteemed crate-digging label nominated for three Grammys, is known for trawling the depths of music history time and time again since it ...

  31. Nick O’Byrne Exiting From Australia’s Indies Trade Body AIR

    June 06, 2014 2:32 AM EDT Nick O’Byrne has resigned as GM of the Australian Independent Record Labels Association to focus on his myriad other music industry projects. A tireless campaigner for the indie sector, the Melbourne-based exec took on duties running AIR’s day-to- ...

  32. 'Adapt or Die': Jade Tree's Darren Walters on Running a Major Indie for 15 Years

    June 04, 2014 10:30 AM EDT As a high schooler in the late '90s, the punk-aligned but never pigeonholed label Jade Tree loomed large in my world. So imagine my excitement last week when a report said the label had returned from a hiatus I wasn't aware of. After ...

  33. Indie Music Labels Set to File Complaint Over YouTube's 'Strong-Arm' Tactics

    June 04, 2014 9:03 AM EDT The industry body that represents independent music labels worldwide says it has had enough of YouTube's aggressive negotiating tactics and will bring its case to the European Commission for review. The Worldwide Independent Network (WIN), wh ...

  34. Independent Study: Partisan Records, Home of Fela Kuti, Deer Tick, Sylvan Esso

    May 29, 2014 1:07 PM EDT Label: Partisan Records Founded: 2007 Location: Brooklyn, NY Number of Employees: 27 Number of active artists: 10 Biggest Release: Deer Tick – “War Elephant” (45k SoundScan) Latest release: Sylan Esso, "Sylan Esso" Distributor: ADA Twitt ...

  35. A2IM Lobbies Congress, Argues Majors' Digital Compensation Rates 'Out Of Proportion'

    May 28, 2014 4:54 AM EDT Coming in the wake of last week’s protest by European indie record labels over YouTube’s insistence on signing away their music rights for their reported new streaming service, U.S. independents are lashing out against the majors in the ongoing ba ...

  36. Publishing Briefs: Sony/ATV's Neighboring Rights Division Signs Pharrell, Robin Thicke, More; Printz Board to Atlas; Disney Nabs TRiON

    May 20, 2014 9:45 AM EDT -- The neighboring rights division launched by Sony/ATV Music Publishing last year has announced a spree of signings including such artists as Pharrell Williams , Robin Thicke , Nile Rodgers , Clean Bandit and the estate of Lou Reed to a roster th ...

  37. Justin Timberlake, Imagine Dragons Win Big at Billboard Music Awards

    May 18, 2014 11:30 PM EDT Justin Timberlake received seven Billboard Music Awards Sunday, taking home trophies for Top Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist and Top Billboard 200 Album ("The 20/20 Experience") in a three-hour show at at the MGM Grand Arena. Imagine Dr ...

  38. How the F--- Do You Market a Band Called F-----d Up?

    May 16, 2014 12:45 PM EDT This is an extended version of an article first published in the May 24th issue of Billboard Magazine . Many bands second-guess their names, especially when the musicians have matured beyond the juvenile or inebriated inspiration that first sparke ...

  39. Steve Miller Band Teams with Kobalt's AWAL For 'The Joker Live' Release

    May 16, 2014 4:56 AM EDT The Steve Miller Band will mark the 40th anniversary of its iconic "The Joker" album today with a release of "The Joker Live," a partnership with Kobalt Music Group’s AWAL digital platform. The new album, which features exclusi ...

  40. CASH Music To Bring Musicians, Technologists Together In Brooklyn

    May 15, 2014 4:02 PM EDT A little less moderation, a lot more conversation; that’s the goal of a series of events hosted by CASH Music, a non-profit organization that creates free, open source tools for artists. This weekend, CASH Music will hold a two-day summit of one-o ...

  41. Sub Pop Records Co-Founder Wins Independent Spirit Award at Music Biz Conference

    May 08, 2014 8:10 PM EDT Jonathan Poneman, who gave Nirvana and Fleet Foxes their start at Sub Pop, revealed the philosophy that conquered the world of music from an unlikely place as he accepted the award. Jonathan Poneman, cofounder of Sub Pop Records, which launched Ni ...

  42. Jim Donio Opens Music Biz Assn. Convention with Honors for Sylvia Rhone, Jonathan Poneman

    May 07, 2014 5:31 PM EDT In his opening address to the Music Business Assn. convention in Los Angeles, the trade group's president Jim Donio noted that, while the growth of streaming was more than offsetting declining download sales, IFPI data also showed physical wa ...

  43. Rise Records' Unlikely, Exponential Success

    May 05, 2014 12:39 PM EDT How an obscure Oregon label became a $10-million-a-year hard rock phenomenon. This is an extended version of an article that first appeared in the May 10th issue of Billboard Magazine . Rise Records is a tiny operation -- just six employees at a ...

  44. Jim Donio on What to Expect at This Week's Rebranded Music Biz (Read: Not NARM) Convention

    May 05, 2014 10:00 AM EDT With the first annual Music Business Association (Music Biz) convention being staged in Los Angeles at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel from May 6-9, Billboard caught up with the trade group's president Jim Donio to see what was in stor ...

  45. New Signings: Rufus Wainwright to CAM, ICM Signs T-Pain, Epitaph Inks Roll the Tanks, O.A.R. Joins Reach Music

    May 02, 2014 9:52 PM EDT Here’s a look at the latest artist signings across the music industry, including record labels, artist management firms, publishing companies, booking agencies and more.       RECORD LABELS -- Brazilian singer/songwriter Bebel Gilberto signs with ...

  46. Vice’s NewFronts Presentation: Guns, Sports and Little Music

    May 02, 2014 7:45 PM EDT Vice is getting bigger, but it isn’t growing up. At the Landmark Cinema on the Lower East Side of Manhattan for their first annual NewFronts presentation, co-founder Shane Smith and creative director Eddy Moretti debuted a slate of new online prog ...

  47. Moogfest 2014: Well-Received, But Will It Return Next Year?

    April 30, 2014 4:45 PM EDT “We got the cyborg man here what more could you want,” joked Mike Adams, CEO of Moog Music to a crowd of organizers, participants and sponsors-- including Neil Harbisson, a man with an antenna implanted in his skull that allows him to hear color-- ...

  48. Steve Albini Says Online Streaming 'Best Thing Since Punk Rock'

    April 30, 2014 10:28 AM EDT Old man Steve Albini does not yell at the Cloud -- at least, not anymore. Just over 20 years after publishing his seminal 1993 essay "The Problem With Music," which painted a bleak picture of an industry driven by record label fat cats p ...

  49. Brooklyn Pop Label Cascine Launches New Singles Imprint (Exclusive)

    April 29, 2014 11:56 AM EDT Listen to an exclusive premiere of first single "Home" by Studio Montaigne Cascine, the Brooklyn-based independent dream pop label, has begat CSCN, a new singles imprint that will spotlight developing artists from around the world. Relat ...

  50. RADiUS-TWC Acquires Quincy Jones-Produced Doc on Trumpeter Clark Terry

    April 28, 2014 10:45 AM EDT The Quincy Jones-produced film on trumpeter Clark Terry has been acquired by RADiUS-TWC, the company that had Oscar-winning success with "20 Feet From Stardom." Terry, a veteran of the Duke Ellington and Count Basie bands before leading ...

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