1. Why Indie Artists Can't Afford to Skip Streaming: Guest Post

    February 27, 2017 12:42 PM EST Tracy Maddux is the CEO of CD Baby, a digital distributor that works closely with independent musicians to get their work on platforms like iTunes, Spotify and Apple Music, among others. It was a watershed year for the half-million or so artists a ...

  2. Sony Music's Kevin Kelleher Elevated to Chief Operating Officer

    February 27, 2017 12:04 PM EST Kevin Kelleher will become chief operating officer of Sony Music Entertainment on April 1, reporting to Sony Music CEO Rob Stringer . The nearly 25-year Sony Music veteran currently is executive vp/CFO. Kelleher has been an integral decision maker ...

  3. Is a New Jay Z Album On the Way? Tracking His Steady Re-Introduction to Rapping

    February 24, 2017 12:06 PM EST It's been almost four years since Jay Z released his 12th solo album, Magna Carta Holy Grail , which dropped on the 4th of July in 2013 via an exclusive Samsung release. The album became his 10th straight solo album to reach No. 1 on the Bill ...

  4. Universal Music 2016 Earnings: Streaming Drove Revenue Growth for Recordings, Publishing

    February 24, 2017 10:37 AM EST Sizable growth in streaming and subscription services again helped Universal Music Group offset falling physical and download sales in 2016. Annual earnings released by parent company Vivendi show UMG's recorded music revenues grew by 2.9 per ...

  5. Atlantic's Julie Greenwald to Keynote 'Leading Ladies' Session at Music Biz 2017

    February 23, 2017 2:15 PM EST Atlantic Records Group chairman and COO Julie Greenwald has signed on to keynote the second annual "Music's Leading Ladies Speak Out" session at the upcoming Music Biz 2017 conference in Nashville. The major label influencer -- No. ...

  6. Universal Music's Michele Anthony Named UJA Music Visionary of the Year

    February 23, 2017 11:03 AM EST Universal Music Group evp Michele Anthony has been named the 2017 Music Visionary of the Year but the  UJA-Federation of New York . The honor arrives on the organization's centennial anniversary. Anthony will be feted "for her exceptiona ...

  7. Spotify to Host Podcast About Hip-Hop Exec Chris Lighty

    February 23, 2017 10:49 AM EST Spotify is adding to its offering of exclusive podcasts. The music streaming service will announce Thursday three new podcasts that all look at a different facet of the music industry, from TV's top music moments to the career of hip-hop exec ...

  8. Urban Tropical Hits Take Planet Records to the Billboard Latin Music Awards

    February 22, 2017 5:35 PM EST Planet Records is a finalist in the 2017 Billboard Latin Music Awards ’ tropical albums label of the year and tropical albums imprint of the year categories. The independent record company from Italy could seem to the unfamiliar like an obscure ch ...

  9. Say What!? Country Radio Seminar Tackles Hearing Loss Epidemic

    February 22, 2017 1:33 PM EST After two years of his wife complaining that the TV was too loud, Country Radio Broadcasters (CRB) executive director Bill Mayne finally broke down and took a hearing test. When the doctor fitted him with some new hearing aids, it was an emotional ...

  10. Little Big Town Tops Country Airplay With Taylor Swift-Penned 'Better Man'

    February 22, 2017 12:05 PM EST Little Big Town scores its second No. 1 on Billboard 's Country Airplay chart (dated March 4), as "Better Man," written by Taylor Swift , pushes 2-1 in its 18th week. It increases 8 percent to 40.8 million audience impressions in th ...

  11. Grammys Push Adele & Beyonce Back to Top 10 on Billboard 200, Plus More Grammys Chart Impact

    February 21, 2017 6:12 PM EST The 59th Annual Grammy Awards shine brightly on Billboard ’s newest charts (dated March 4), following the first tracking week of impact after the Feb. 12 show, which aired live on CBS TV. The latest charts reflect the sales and streaming tracking ...

  12. Publishing Briefs: Warren Haynes Signs With Atlas Music; BMG Forms New Agency

    February 21, 2017 2:33 PM EST -- Atlas Music has signed Warren Haynes to a global exclusive publishing deal that covers his entire catalog and any future songs. In addition to the songs he has written for Gov’t Mule and his solo albums. Haynes has also played guitar with the A ...

  13. Metal Upstarts Baroness, Gojira & Periphery Reflect on 2017 Grammys, Why They 'Had a Blast Losing'

    February 21, 2017 10:53 AM EST The metal faction at the 2017 Grammys (Feb. 12) comprised a stark mix of elder statesmen and red carpet newbies. Rounding out the former was Megadeth  -- finally taking home a trophy on their 12th try --  Metallica and Korn , which added “Grammy-w ...

  14. U.K. Labels and Google Partner on Anti-Piracy Measure: Removing Links

    February 21, 2017 9:18 AM EST Search engines Google and Bing will step up their efforts to demote and restrict access to copyright infringing websites, following the agreement of a voluntary code of practice between rights holders and tech companies in the U.K. Hailed as a wor ...

  15. 'Fifty Shades Darker' Soundtrack Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart

    February 19, 2017 3:00 PM EST The Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, earning 123,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Feb. 16, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 72,000 were in traditional album sales. The set was release ...

  16. Morehouse College to Honor Warner/Chappell CEO Jon Platt, Usher, Tyler Perry

    February 17, 2017 3:07 PM EST Morehouse College is set to honor music publishing leader Jon Platt this weekend with the prestigious Candle Award in Music, Business and Entertainment. The Warner/Chappell Music chairman and CEO will join fellow 2017 Candle recipients Usher and T ...

  17. Academy of Country Music Awards Announces 2017 Nominees: Surprises, Snubs & Early Favorites

    February 16, 2017 11:06 AM EST If one can take anything away from the nominations for the 52nd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, which were announced this morning (Feb. 16), it would be that the format has had a banner year. While new acts such as Maren Morris have added ...

  18. Tori Kelly Signs Global Deal With Sony/ATV: Exclusive

    February 16, 2017 8:00 AM EST Tori Kelly has signed a long-term, worldwide deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Billboard can reveal.  The Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter joins the Sony/ATV stable as she gets to work on the followup to her debut full-length album Unbrea ...

  19. Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' Extends Reign as Highest Certified Album in U.S. History

    February 16, 2017 5:59 AM EST Michael Jackson ’s blockbuster album Thriller just keeps on getting bigger. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has certified the set at 33-times platinum in the U.S., extending Thriller’s record as the highest certified album in ...

  20. UMPG Appoints Walter Jones, Rochelle Holguin to Executive Creative Roles

    February 15, 2017 8:36 AM EST Universal Music Publishing Group has appointed Walter Jones as its new VP of creative. The announcement was made by  David Gray , UMPG EVP/head of West Coast A&R to whom Jones will report. The new UMPG exec, who formerly worked at Sony/ATV as ...

  21. Amazon Music Hires Alex Luke as Global Head of Programming, Content

    February 14, 2017 1:05 PM EST Former EMI and Apple executive Alex Luke has been hired as Amazon Music's global head of programming and content strategy, a newly created position that comes as the retail/tech giant goes toe-to-toe-to-toe with Spotify and Apple Music in the ...

  22. Regina Spektor, The Bangles, Weird Al, Perry Farrell Play the Wammys, Grammy Week's Most Rocking Party

    February 14, 2017 12:24 PM EST Grammy Week can feel like spring break for suit-and-tie wearing music execs glad-handing over passed hors d'oeuvres and top shelf drinks while preening over the latest quarter's balance sheets. It can also seem far removed from music ...

  23. Reba McEntire, Sam Hunt & Dustin Lynch Leap to New No. 1s on Country Charts

    February 14, 2017 11:22 AM EST Reba McEntire 's first faith-based set, the double album Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope , arrives atop Billboard 's Top Country Albums chart, as well as Top Christian Albums (dated Feb. 25). It earns 54,000 equivalent albums (52, ...

  24. Apple Music 'Well Past' 20 Million Subscribers; Eddy Cue Says Long-Term Exclusives 'Never Good' for Industry

    February 14, 2017 10:16 AM EST Apple Music has gone "well past" the 20 million paid subscriber mark that it announced late last year, but senior vp Eddy Cue wants more. Speaking at the Code Media conference on Monday night, Cue said the company was "thrilled" ...

  25. Who Are Adexe & Nau? Check Out the YouTube Sensations Newly Signed to Sony

    February 13, 2017 4:45 PM EST You may not know the names Adexe & Nau yet, but chances are, if you speak a smidgeon of Spanish, you’ve seen this sibling duo from Tenerife, Spain. That’s because in the past year alone, Adexe & Nau -- 11 and 14 years old, respectively -- ...

  26. Tim McGraw & Faith Hill Sign With Sony Music Entertainment: Exclusive

    February 13, 2017 4:23 PM EST Tim McGraw and Faith Hill have signed with Sony Music Entertainment as individual artists, Billboard has learned. McGraw was most recently with Big Machine Label Group, while Hill last recorded for Warner Bros. McGraw’s recording of “Humble and Ki ...

  27. TV Ratings: Grammys Grow to 26 Million Viewers, Topping Previous 2 Telecasts

    February 13, 2017 2:42 PM EST With no shortage of star power, the 2017 Grammys dominated the dial Sunday night -- providing broadcast TV another destination live telecast on the heels of last week's Super Bowl. Viewership and ratings for the CBS telecast were up from 2016 ...

  28. Sound Royalties Announces $100 Million Investment in Advances for Songwriters Over 24 Months: Exclusive

    February 13, 2017 11:56 AM EST Last July, songwriter Priscilla Renea , who has co-written hits for Mariah Carey , Fifth Harmony , Madonna and Pitbull -- including his 2013 No. 1 Hot 100 hit "Timber" -- found herself in a tough spot. Recently married, in the midst of r ...

  29. A Tearful Adele, a Pissed-Off Tribe Called Quest and a Snubbed Beyonce Headline One of the Best Grammys Ever

    February 13, 2017 2:10 AM EST A confluence of stunning performances, controversies and acceptance speeches It's just hours after the credits rolled on the 59th Annual Grammys this Sunday (Feb. 12), and it's already tempting to wonder how this year's show is goin ...

  30. Katy Perry Honored, Niall Horan & Big Sean Among Performers at Universal Artist Showcase

    February 12, 2017 11:45 AM EST For its annual artist showcase on the day before the Grammy Awards, Universal Music Group focused on its stable of up-and-coming talent more than ever before -- with a few very notable exceptions. Held on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 11) at the Ace Th ...

  31. St. Vincent Confirmed as Record Store Day Ambassador for 2017

    February 10, 2017 12:36 PM EST St. Vincent is this year's Record Store Day Ambassador, joining an esteemed list of former diplomats including Dave Grohl, Josh Homme and Iggy Pop as the celebrity face of the annual holiday feting independent record stores. In a short announ ...

  32. Interscope Blankets L.A. Bus Stops With Ads Celebrating Steve Berman's 25th Year at Label

    February 09, 2017 5:01 PM EST Two dozen bus stops ads offer campy congrats to the IGA vice chairman. As the music industry descends on Los Angeles in anticipation of the 59th annual Grammy Awards this Sunday evening (Feb. 12), those passing by a sidewalk bus stop may see somet ...

  33. Republic President Charlie Walk Explains How a Label's Role Needs Redefining In the Digital Era

    February 09, 2017 12:45 PM EST Not many label executives find themselves trending on social media, but Republic Group president Charlie Walk has come close on several occasions. There was the time Ariana Grande debuted Nicki Minaj ’s rap on “Side to Side,” or when Hailee Steinf ...

  34. Prince Estate Selects Universal to Manage NPG Records Catalog, Unreleased Works

    February 09, 2017 10:07 AM EST As expected, the Universal Music Group has announced a multi-year agreement with Prince's estate and NPG Records, granting the major label group exclusive licensing rights to much of the late artist's catalog of released and unreleased ...

  35. Margo Price, Gallant, Bob Moses Among American Music Prize Finalists for Best Debut: Exclusive

    February 09, 2017 9:00 AM EST The finalists for the 2017 American Music Prize for Best Debut Album (“The AMP”) has been revealed and include the following wide-ranging releases: Margo Price 's Midwest Farmer's Daughter, Julien Baker 's Sprained Ankle, Whitney� ...

  36. Elton John, Quincy Jones, George Clinton Among Curators of New Experience Vinyl Subscription Service: Exclusive

    February 08, 2017 3:15 PM EST Experience Vinyl, a new vinyl record subscription service, today announced its April launch and the initial slate of artist-curators, including Elton John, George Clinton, Quincy Jones, Talib Kweli and Sean Lennon.  Subscribers to the new service ...

  37. Drake Named IFPI Global Recording Artist of 2016

    February 08, 2017 11:00 AM EST It's official: Drake was the most popular recording artist around the world in 2016.  The Canadian hip-hop star has been crowned the IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year, an honor which recognizes the top artist across physical sales, dow ...

  38. 'Spinal Tap' Co-Creators Join Harry Shearer's Fraud Lawsuit Against Vivendi

    February 08, 2017 10:08 AM EST This Is Spinal Tap co-creators Christopher Guest and Michael McKean , along with the 1984 film's director Rob Reiner , are now co-plaintiffs in Harry Shearer 's lawsuit against Vivendi and StudioCanal after allegedly being denied rightfu ...

  39. Jason Crabb Launches New Label Red Bus Records

    February 07, 2017 5:15 PM EST Grammy-winning Christian recording artist Jason Crabb is launching his own label, Billboard has learned exclusively. Red Bus Records will partner with Daywind Music Group for marketing and distribution. Crabb plans to release his first album throu ...

  40. Brantley Gilbert, Thomas Rhett Collect New Country Chart No. 1s

    February 07, 2017 1:01 PM EST The Devil Don't Sleep , the fourth studio album from Brantley Gilbert , debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 's Top Country Albums chart (dated Feb. 18), shifting 77,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Feb. 2, according to Nielsen Musi ...

  41. Bobbie Gale Joins Warner Bros Records as VP of Communications & Media

    February 07, 2017 1:00 PM EST Bobbie Gale has joined Warner Bros. Records as vice president of communications and media. The announcement was made by Liz Morentin , who was named executive vice president of communications and media in December and to whom Gale will report to o ...

  42. Warner Music Reports Solid Growth of Streaming, Publishing Revenue in Quarterly Earnings

    February 07, 2017 11:34 AM EST Warner Music Group has reported $24 million of net income on revenue of $917 million for its fiscal first quarter ended Dec. 31. That represents an increase of 8 percent on revenue and a 14.3 percent decline in net income from the corresponding ea ...

  43. Big Sean Heading for No. 1 Debut on Billboard 200 Albums Chart With 'I Decided.'

    February 06, 2017 8:27 PM EST Rapper Big Sean is aiming for his second No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart, as industry forecasters suggest his new set I Decided . could bow atop the list with around 120,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Feb. 9. I Decide ...

  44. Universal Music to Co-Produce Russell Simmons' Hip-Hop Musical 'The Scenario'

    February 06, 2017 3:15 PM EST Universal Music Group has signed on as a lead producer of The Scenario , Russell Simmons ' long-in-the-works Broadway music celebrating hip-hop culture. The show, announced in March 2015 , is now shooting to premier during the 2017-18 Broadwa ...

  45. Scott Borchetta's Big Machine, Canada's Bell Media Ring Up Deal on New TV Talent Property

    February 06, 2017 8:00 AM EST Toronto-based multi-media company Bell Media has struck a partnership with Scott Borchetta ’s Big Machine Label Group (BMLG) to develop a new worldwide television talent search “to uncover, develop, and promote pop culture’s next musical superstar ...

  46. Migos Earns First No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart With 'Culture'

    February 05, 2017 4:20 PM EST Hip-hop trio Migos scores its first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with the arrival of Culture . The set — which was led by the No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 single “Bad and Boujee,” featuring Lil Uzi Vert — launches atop the list with 131,000 ...

  47. Michael Jackson Tax Judge Allows Trial Testimony About Intellectual Property Mashups

    February 03, 2017 7:19 PM EST This month, a groundbreaking tax trial begins over what Michael Jackson's estate owes the Internal Revenue Service for the value of the late entertainer's image and likeness when he died in 2009. The dispute's significance not only ...

  48. Music Publishers' 4th Quarter Report: Top 3 Companies Have the Same No. 1 Song

    February 03, 2017 1:52 PM EST In a rare occurrence for the Publishers Quarterly, the three major music publishing companies in the United States -- Sony/ATV, Universal Music Publishing Group and Warner/Chappell -- have a share in the same top song: "Closer," by The C ...

  49. Kiiara Signs Global Co-Publishing Deal With Primary Wave; Debut Album in the Works: Exclusive

    February 03, 2017 8:55 AM EST Primary Wave Music Publishing has added Kiiara  to its roster.  The independent music publisher has signed the hotly-tipped newcomer to a worldwide co-publishing and administration deal ahead of the release later this year of her debut full-length ...

  50. Sony Music Sales Down Slightly in Q4

    February 02, 2017 3:00 PM EST Sony Corp. reported that its music operations sales were 178.5 billion yen ($1.539 billion), down from the third quarter of 2015 when sales were 181.8 billion yen ($1.57 billion), a decline of 1.8 percent. It attributed that decrease due to apprec ...

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