| WARNER MUSIC REALIGNS STRUCTURE; CAMERON STRANG GETS BIG BOOST: Warner Music is restructuring and dividing itself into 3 divisions: frontline recorded music (Atlantic Records, Warner Bros. Records and Warner Nashville); music publishing and catalog development, which puts Warner / Chappell and Rhino under the same umbrella ( which Strang will run); and label and artist services. News also broke that WMG has inked a refinancing deal – all point to the world’s third largest music company becoming more profitable and efficient in the coming year.
HOW TUESDAY’S ELECTIONS IMPACT THE MUSIC BUSINESS: The music business lost one of its biggest supporters and a long-time friend in Tuesday’s elections. Howard Berman, a dogged fighter on behalf of content owners, lost his seat in the House after 30 years in office; also, Mary Bono Mack, widow of the late musician Sony Bono and co-chair of the Recording Arts and Sciences Congressional Caucus, lost her seat in the House after 14 years in office.
| BILLBOARD TOURING CONFERENCE & AWARDS FEATURES CANDID IRVING AZOFF KEYNOTE: Perhaps it was because Live Nation’s lawyers asked their chairman and CEO Irving Azoff to stop tweeting that he spoke so candidly at the Billboard Touring Conference’s opening day. Azoff held back very little on an array of topics, including: watching Bill Graham kick a guy in the ribs; determining Live Nation’s market value; the upside of the AEG sale; the downside of Pandora’s royalty battles; Paul McCartney’s mobile ticketing success, StubHub’s bots and much more.
| TAYLOR SWIFT’S ‘RED’ AIMS FOR THIRD WEEK AT NO. 1; NE-YO, AEROSMITH, ‘NOW 44’ TO DEBUT: Industry forecasters suggest that Taylor Swift’s new album, “Red,” will spend a third straight week atop the Billboard 200 chart next week, fending off new releases from Aerosmith and Ne-Yo, as well as the new “Now 44” compilation.
ONE DEAD, 19 HURT NEAR SOUTH AFRICA LINKIN PARK CONCERT: A spokeswoman for the South African city of Cape Town says one person died after a scaffolding collapsed in high winds outside a Linkin Park concert, injuring 19 other people. Twelve people were hospitalized, after a temporary advertising structure collapsed outside the Cape Town Stadium. Police are investigating.
SONY NETWORK ENTERTAINMENT PRESIDENT TIM SCHAAF LEAVING: Tim Schaaff, who oversaw the launch of Music Unlimited, a Spotify-like music subscription service, and also led the company’s network entertainment unit is retiring according to the company. Andrew House, an executive who runs Sony Computer Entertainment, the company’s video-game division, will take over his duties.
BRAZIL’S ANTI-TRUST REGULATORS FREEZES PURCHASE OF EMI BY UNIVERSAL, SONY: Brazil’s antitrust regulator, known as Cade, froze the purchases of EMI Group assets by Universal Music Group and Sony Corp. Alessandro Octaviani, the Cade commissioner responsible for the case, said today in Brasilia. According to Music Week, however, the Cade decision does not represent a block of deals, but rather the country’s regulators need more time to review the deal.
APPLE SHARES DROP TWENTY PERCENT FROM PEAK: Apple’s stock fell Wednesday along with a sell-off in the broader market. The stock of the world’s most valuable company has now fallen more than 20 percent from its all-time high of $705.07, hit on Sept. 21. That was the day the latest iPhone went on sale. The sell-off comes as Apple readies other new products for sale, including the iPad Mini. The Cupertino, Calif., company warned late last month that the costs of making new gadgets would cut into profit in its holiday quarter.
YAMAHA’S NEW RECORD LABEL: Twenty miles from Nashville’s Music Row, in quaint downtown Franklin, music instrument manufacturer Yamaha Corp. is experimenting with a new business model. No longer content with artists merely strumming and striking the guitars and pianos, Japanese music instrument manufacturer Yamaha Corp now wants them signed to its startup record label: Yamaha Entertainment Group. The label, which launched this fall, is run by label president Chris Gero.
MY BLOODY VALENTINE’S ‘LOVELESS’ FOLLOW-UP COMING THIS YEAR — ALLEGEDLY: My Bloody Valentine plans to release the long-anticipated follow-up to its shoegaze masterpiece, 1991’s “Loveless,” before the end of 2012. In an interview with NME, band leader Kevin Shields says that the new album will at long last be released on his website this year. An EP of brand new material will follow and presumably be released in 2013.