Morning Fix: Apple Close to Buying Beats; WMG's Q2 Decline; Echo Nest Data Cruncher Talks 'McDonald's-ification'

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APPLE CLOSING IN ON $3.2 BILLION PURCHASE OF BEATS ELECTRONICS (REPORT)

Apple is reportedly closing in on a deal to acquire Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion, according to a Financial Times report. If completed at that price, the deal would be the largest ever for Apple. The deal is said to include both Beats’ music subscription service and its hardware business, which sells Beats by Dr. Dre headphones and portable speakers.
Billboard.biz


BUSINESS MATTERS: APPLE & BEATS, SEARCHING FOR THE ULTIMATE BUNDLE

A year or two from now, when the music subscription business will surely have been transformed further by dealmaking and consolidation, the acquisition of Beats Electronics by Apple may be viewed as the turning point in the story of how the sector matured.
Billboard.biz


WMG ATTRIBUTES Q2 DECLINE TO LIGHT RELEASE SCHEDULE

For the quarter ended March 31, 2014, the company lost $60 million on revenues of $653 million, versus a $2 million net loss on revenues of $675 million for the corresponding period in 2013.
Billboard.biz


LARRY LEVAN WAY: THE FIGHT TO GET THE PIONEERING NEW YORK HOUSE DJ A STREET NAME

A petition to co-name a section of Manhattan's King Street in honor of Larry Levan, the pioneering DJ best-known for his Paradise Garage residency in the 1970s and 80s, will be celebrated by Red Bull Music Academy's free block party this Sunday.
Billboard.biz


IHEARTRADIO PUBLISHES AUDIENCE RESULTS FOR AUSTRALIA

In a rare show of openness for an Australian streaming music service, iHeartRadio’s domestic operation has shared some data on its subscribers and how they’re using it.
Billboard.biz


YOUTUBE CREATOR MANAGEMENT LEAD BING CHEN RESIGNS FOR STEALTH STARTUP

Bing Chen, who has worked for the Google-owned video streaming platform for four years, is leaving the company to join a stealth startup. Chen, who said his last day at YouTube is Friday, was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 this year because of his work helping guide YouTube's creators navigate its partner program. According to his LinkedIn profile, he co-created and helped lead YouTube's talent incubation program.
Billboard.biz


SUB POP RECORDS CO-FOUNDER WINS INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARD AT MUSIC BIZ CONFERENCE

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.
Billboard.biz


LORDE TO PERFORM 'TENNIS COURT' ON 2014 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS

The 2014 Billboard Music Awards just became a little more royal: Lorde, one of the biggest breakout artists of the year, will perform her new single "Tennis Court" at this year's ceremony, being held on Sunday, May 18 in Las Vegas. The performance will mark the first time the New Zealand singer-songwriter has performed "Tennis Court" on television.
Billboard.biz


THE ECHO NEST'S PAUL LAMERE ON THE DANGERS AND SOLUTIONS TO STREAMING DISCOVERY (Q&A)

Imagine a square that contains all the music on Spotify. What Lamere and his colleagues attempt to do is round off the edges of that square in order to focus in on what each user may like, but an unfortunate side effect of this pruning is that some of the music in the corners get pruned. Much of that music is niche, maybe too out-there for some, but maybe exactly the tonic for others. We spoke to Lamere about the issue of those lost corners, and how he and his team try to keep them there.
Billboard.biz


TECH GIANTS JOIN NEUTRALITY FUROR IN OPEN LETTER, FCC RESPONDS WITH OPEN EMAIL

Today has brought two separate reactions to the raging net neutrality debate; the FCC has thrown open its doors, while the most powerful companies on the web have thrown down the gauntlet.
Billboard.biz


MARKETING EXECUTIVE TONY GUMINA DIES AT 56

He oversaw licensing deals for the Ray Charles Marketing Group and served as an executive producer on a 2010 documentary about the legendary performer.
Billboard.biz


DEEZER KNOCKS SPOTIFY OUT OF SHAZAM IN FOUR COUNTRIES

Music-identification app Shazam has added on-demand streaming service Deezer as a partner, enabling Deezer account holders in four countries to listen to full-length songs immediately upon identifying them with Shazam’s mobile app. The deal also replaces an existing integration of Spotify in Shazam’s app, where Spotify has been removed as an option to stream a song in those territories.
Billboard.biz


A VETERAN MANAGER'S PLEA FOR MORE TRANSPARENCY IN THE BRAVE NEW DIGITAL WORLD (GUEST POST)

When I first started managing Clap Your Hands Say Yeah in 2005, I was an employee at Atlantic Records. I worked in the label’s publicity department from 2001-2006 and loved it there. I made amazing friends I’ve kept to this day, and have managed and worked with many bands on the label since I left. For a couple years after leaving, I was decidedly "anti-label."
Billboard.biz


JOHN MALONE'S LIBERTY MEDIA BUYS MORE CHARTER SHARES, POSTS MIXED FINANCIALS

The company's stake in Charter now amounts to 26.4 percent as it plans to go ahead with the spin-off of Liberty Broadband and CEO Greg Maffei discusses the firm's interest in Vevo.
Billboard.biz


CHUCK BERRY, OPERA DIRECTOR PETER SELLARS SHARE NORWAY'S POLAR PRIZE

U.S. rock legend Chuck Berry and American opera director Peter Sellars have been awarded the 2014 Polar Music Prize, Sweden's most prestigious award for musicians.
Billboard.biz


IT WOULD MAKE NO SENSE FOR APPLE TO BUY BEATS FOR $3.2 BILLION

Seriously, we wish we could explain how this is a brilliant move, and it's a perfect tuck in for Apple, but we're stumped.
Business Insider


GOOGLE PLAY VS. RDIO VS. SONGZA: HOW MANY STREAMING MUSIC PLATFORMS WILL SURVIVE IN CANADA?

So why would a Canadian consumer subscribe to Rdio, especially when Google Play Music pricing is slightly lower $7.99 for unlimited access on all devices (it goes up to $9.99 soon), compared to Rdio’s tiered pricing model starting at $4.99 for just web-based music streaming?
Canada.com


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