Go behind the scenes of N.O.R.E.’s “Banned From T.V.” video shoot from the critically and commercially acclaimed album, ‘N.O.R.E.’, released in the Summer of 1998.
Fans of iconic psychedelic rockers Pink Floyd can now stream the band’s entire discography for free on Spotify (and Spotify only), thanks to a promotional campaign between Pink Floyd and the music streaming service.
The deal was that as soon as Floyd’s well-known song “Wish You Were Here” hit 1 million streams, starting on Friday June 14th, the band’s discography would be “unlocked” by Spotify, making it available for free to the service’s 20 million registered worldwide users. The campaign took less than four days to complete.
That doesn’t mean, however, that Pink Floyd’s music is a newcomer to streaming; as the Guardian notes, subscribers to Rhapsody, Deezer and/or Rdio have been able to listen to Dark Side of the Moon — still the record-holder for most weeks spent on the Billboard 200 (well over 800 weeks) and a constant presence on the Billboard 200 and/or Catalog Albums charts from 1973-1988 and 1991-present — to their hearts content for years now. [Billboard.biz]
Yes, that U2. What’s most striking about watching Bono, the Edge, and Adam Clayton discuss their history and new album is how much they seem like regular guys– give or take a Bob Dylan anecdote. Filmed back in 2009.
JAY Z’s new album “Magna Carta Holy Grail” comes to Samsung Galaxy fans first. Be among the first million to download the app on June 24th and get the album free July 4th, three days before the rest of the world.
With a debut record and a hit song, The Lumineers have broken big, sold huge and received a couple Grammy nods. The Denver-based folk rockers join Jian at the desk in Studio Q for a feature chat.
Big Time Rush and the “Man of Steel” soundtrack are heading for top 10 debuts on the Billboard 200 albums chart next week.
Industry sources suggest Big Time Rush’s new “24/Seven” album could sell around 45,000 copies by the end of the tracking week on June 16. The “Man of Steel” soundtrack — an instrumental score album by Hans Zimmer — might move around 30,000.
The new Billboard 200 chart’s top 10 will be revealed on the morning of June 19.
A start of 45,000 would be the vocal quartet’s smallest debut so far. Big Time Rush’s last release, 2011′s “Elevate,” moved 70,000 in its first week, for a No. 12 entry, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Before that, their “BTR” debut in 2010 moved 67,000 in its opening frame (a No. 3 bow).
Big Time Rush’s “24/Seven” might debut at No. 3 on next week’s chart, behind the likely new No. 1, Black Sabbath’s “13.” The latter title is set for a start of around 120,000, securing the band’s first No. 1 and its best sales week in the SoundScan era (1991-present).
At the present, it seems like Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories” should hold at No. 2 with around 40,000.
Zimmer’s “Man of Steel” score soundtrack could debut in the top five on the chart, which would be the highest-charting instrumental score album since Daft Punk’s “TRON: Legacy” hit No. 4 in January 2011. “Man of Steel” opened in U.S. movie theaters on June 14.
An instrumental score set was most recently in the top 10 just a year ago, when Zimmer’s “Dark Knight Rises” soundtrack debuted and peaked at No. 8 on the chart dated Aug. 4, 2012.
Other albums aiming for top 20 debuts next week include: Goo Goo Dolls’ “Magnetic” (30,000), the Lonely Island’s “The Wack Album” (25,000), Jimmy Eat World’s “Damage” (20,000) and Chrisette Michele’s “Better” (20,000).
On SoundScan’s Building chart (below), Black Sabbath is No. 1, followed by Big Time Rush and Daft Punk at No. 2 and 3, respectively. The Building tally is a precursor to the final Billboard 200 ranking, reflecting the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan’s tracking week as reported by six major merchants.
As for the rest of the top 10: the Lonely Island, Goo Goo Dolls and Michele are Nos. 4-6. Darius Rucker’s “True Believers” follows at No. 7, Florida Georgia Line’s “Here’s to the Good Times” places at No. 8 and the “Man of Steel” soundtrack is No. 9. Imagine Dragon’s “Night Visions” closes out at No. 10. [Billboard.biz]
|Nielsen SoundScan Building Chart|
|2||NEW||Big Time Rush||“24/Seven”|
|3||2||Daft Punk||“Random Access Memories”|
|4||NEW||The Lonely Island||“Wack Album”|
|5||NEW||Goo Goo Dolls||“Magnetic”|
|7||5||Darius Rucker||“True Believers”|
|8||8||Florida Georgia Line||“Here’s to the Good Times”|
|10||7||Imagine Dragons||“Night Visions”|
|The Building Chart reflects the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan’s tracking week (which ends Sunday) as reported by six major merchants: iTunes, Trans World Entertainment, Best Buy, Starbucks, Target and Anderson Merchandisers. Billboard estimates that they make up about 85% of all U.S. album sales.|
Next week could be the biggest for new rap albums in two-and-a-half years.
June 18 sees the release of three hip-hop sets that are all on course for sizable sales debuts: Kanye West’s “Yeezus,” J. Cole’s “Born Sinner” and Mac Miller’s “Watching Movies With the Sound Off.”
According to early sales forecasts from industry sources, “Yeezus” might sell 500,000 copies in its first week. Behind him will likely be “Born Sinner” with perhaps 150,000 to 200,000. “Watching Movies With the Sound Off” could sell as much as 100,000.
If West and Cole both sell over 100,000 — which seems a sure thing — it will mark the first time two rap albums have debuted with more than 100,000 in the same week since November of 2010. That Thanksgiving, West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” started with 496,000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan, while Nicki Minaj’s “Pink Friday” bowed with 375,000. The two albums started at Nos. 1 and 2 on the Billboard 200 chart, respectively.
With Miller also in the June 18 mix, things get even more interesting. While a 100,000 start for his album isn’t necessarily a lock, if it does more more than 100,000, that would give us three 100,000-plus rap debuts in a week. We haven’t had that happen since way back in November of 2006. That Thanksgiving week saw the release of Jay-Z’s “Kingdom Come” (680,000), Snoop Dogg’s “Tha Blue Carpet Treatment” (264,000) and 2Pac’s “Pac’s Life” (159,000).
West’s album, which had been kept tightly under wraps, leaked to the Internet on June 14. Five days earlier, Miller’s set went viral, while Cole’s effort reached the Web on June 7. The leaks have been taken into account when projecting their first week sales.
We’ll have further updates on the sales forecast for West, Cole and Miller after their albums hit retail on June 18. [Billboard.biz]
This new deal follows in the wake of Cannon’s signing a multi-year, multi-million-dollar first-look production deal with NBC Networks earlier this year to develop scripted and unscripted programming. The multi-media company’s other productions include the return and July 9 season premiere of “Wild N’ Out” on MTV2, Cannon’s studio film directorial debut with the upcoming Lionsgate film “Cliques” and the Cartoon Network sketch comedy show “Incredible Crew.”
“Cannon is a multi-faceted entrepreneur and entertainer,” states RED president Bob Morelli in the release announcing the exclusive partnership. “We look forward to working with him in every aspect on this exciting new deal.”
‘Stache media, RED’s full-service marketing agency, will oversee marketing of the NCredible brand encompassing new media, traditional retail, lifestyle marketing, radio and video promotion and strategic brand partnerships.
Adds Cannon, “Sony RED’s entrepreneurial spirit and progressive approach make it the perfect home for NCredible Entertainment.”
Established by Cannon in 2009, the multi-media company also presents TeenNick’s annual “Halo Awards” and houses a top-selling line of branded headphones in conjunction with Monster Cable Products, Inc. [Billboard.biz]
Spanish singer David Bisbal has renewed his recording contract with Universal Music Spain, signing a long-term, 360 deal that extends to touring and management. Universal didn’t specify how long Bisbal’s contract was renewed for, but during the signing, the singer said: “Well, it looks like we’ll be together for at least 10 more years.”
Bisbal catapulted to fame as a big vocalist and dynamic performer on the 2000 inaugural version of Spain’s “Operación Triunfo,” a music reality show.
He became a phenomenon, selling a million copies in Spain alone of each of his first two solo albums, 2002’s “Corazón Latino” and 2004’s “Bulería.” Originally signed to Spanish indie Vale Music, with Universal distribution, Bisbal became a Universal Music Latin act exported both to the U.S. and Latin America. The relationship was strong enough that Bisbal eventually signed his management to GTS, Universal’s talent development arm, which also presented his latest tour throughout Latin America and the U.S. this spring and in Spain last year.
Now, Bisbal has renewed with Universal for all aspects of his career.
“We’ll continue his international expansion,” said Jesús López, chairman Universal Music Latin America/Iberian Penninsula. “He’s already opened European markets like Belgium, France and Rumania. Plans for Latin America are also big. He’s strong in many countries and grew a lot in Argentina with his last album. We’re looking to grow more, especially in Mexico and the U.S.”
Bisbal signed his new deal in Spain, alongside López, UMG global marketing president Andrew Kronfeld, UMGI chairman/CEO Max Hole, Universal Music Iberian Penninsula president Francois Benoit and manager Narcis Rebollo.
Bisbal is at work on a new studio album set for release in 2014. [Billboard.biz]
When and why did you join the “Yeezus” project?
Kanye came over to play me what I assumed was going to be the finished album at three weeks before the last possible delivery date. We ended up listening to three hours of partially finished pieces. The raw material was very strong but hadn’t yet come into focus. Many of the vocals hadn’t been recorded yet, and many of those still didn’t have lyrics. From what he played me, it sounded like several months more work had to be done. I joined the project because after discussing what he had played for me, he asked if I would be open to taking all of the raw material on and help him finish it.
How would you describe the new sound he was driving for, and how you did you help him arrive there?
He wanted the music to take a stripped-down minimal direction. He was always examining what we could take out instead of put in. A good example would be the song that became “Bound.” When he first played it for me, it was a more middle of the road R&B song, done in an adult contemporary style. Kanye had the idea of combining that track with a cool sample he had found and liked – I removed all of the R&B elements leaving only a single note baseline in the hook which we processed to have a punk edge in the Suicide tradition.
Can you recall a scene from the sessions that might help people understand his method in the studio?
We were working on a Sunday [the same day West attended a baby shower for girlfriend Kim [Kardashian] and the album was to be turned in two days later. Kanye was planning to go to Milan that night. Five songs still needed vocals and two or three of them still needed lyrics. He said, “Don’t worry, I will score 40 points for you in the fourth quarter.” In the two hours before had to run out to catch the plane, he did exactly that: finished all lyrics and performed them with gusto. A remarkable feat. He had total confidence in his ability to get the job done when push came to shove.
As many as eight new releases could debut in the Top 15 next week. The biggest and probably loudest of these, of course, will be 13 from Republic‘s reunited metal godfathers, Black Sabbath. Here’s how it looks headed into the weekend:
*Black Sabbath (Republic) 115-125k
Daft Punk (Columbia) 45-50k
*Big Time Rush (Columbia) 40-45k
*Hans Zimmer “Man of Steel” Soundtrack (WaterTower) 30-35k
Darius Rucker (Capitol Nashville) 27-30k
*Goo Goo Dolls (Warner Bros.) 27-30k
Queens of the Stone Age (Matador) 25-28k
Florida Georgia Line (Republic Nashville) 24-27k
Blake Shelton (Warner Bros. Nashville) 24-27k
*Lonely Island (Republic) 24-27k
Imagine Dragons (Interscope) 24-27
*Jimmy Eat World (RCA) 21-24k
Justin Timberlake (RCA) 21-24k
*Chrisette Michele (Motown) 21-24k
*Now Country 6 (UMe) 19-21k
John Fogerty (Vanguard) 19-21k
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (Macklemore) 19-21k
Michael Buble (Reprise) 19-21k
Sting performed in honor of Elton John, Billy Joel sang snippets of Foreigner’s hits when introducing the band and Smokey Robinson debuted part of a new song he wrote about Berry Gordy.
The 44th annual Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremony was full of star power that included Alison Krauss, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Nickelback, Petula Clark, Wiz Khalifa, Jordin Sparks and a video message from Bill Clinton.
Tyler, Perry, Mick Jones and Lou Gramm of Foreigner, Holly Knight, JD Souther and Tony Hatch were inducted Thursday into the Songwriters Hall 2013 class in New York City.
John and writing partner Bernie Taupin received the Johnny Mercer award, and Sting kicked off the night with a performance of “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting.” Sting also called John and Taupin “my two heroes.”
John, who was inducted into the Songwriters Hall in 1992, said songwriting is often taken for granted.
“I don’t mean this lightly, but when you get an Ivor Novello award or an American songwriter’s award, it means so much more than a Grammy because this is where the whole process starts,” he said.
John also used the stage to try to clear his differences with Joel.
“I didn’t see you tonight Mr. Joel, but I want to see you,” he said.
Joel responded later when he was onstage with light jokes.
“Is Elton still here by the way?” he asked. “Anyway, we’re OK. Call me. It’s the same phone number.”
Joel introduced Jones and Gramm, who gave the night’s most rousing performance when they sang the Foreigner hits “Juke Box Hero” and “I Want to Know What Love Is,” which had the crowd singing along, standing and swaying side-to-side at the black tie event. Foreigner also got a boost thanks to The Anthony Morgan’s Inspirational Choir of Harlem.
Petula Clark also stunned with her performance of “Downtown,” which Hatch wrote and produced in 1964. Hatch, too, was entertaining on the piano as he sang a medley of tunes he wrote, including Clark’s “My Love” and Bobby Rydell’s “Forget Him.”
Hatch also provided the laughs after thanking Universal Music, who owns his publishing.
“I hope that plug will get me more royalties in the future,” he said. “I’m still under those 1966 contracts.”
Nickelback was impressive with their rendition of Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion,” which was followed with the rock icons singing “Walk This Way.”
Krauss was soft when she sang for Souther, and Patty Smyth was a firecracker when she performed “The Warrior” in honor of Knight, who has written hits for Tina Turner and Pat Benatar.
“I want to dedicate this to all of my exes,” Knight said before singing “Love Is a Battlefield” on piano.
Robinson, who gave a lengthy, 15-minute introduction to Gordy, said he was recovering from inflamed vocal cords and hadn’t performed in two months. Then he sang part of a new song he wrote about his relationship with Gordy, who he called his mentor, brother, sometimes dad and best friend.
“Did you know all the joy you’d be bringing,” he sang. Some of the cast of “Motown: The Musical” followed with a medley of classics.
Benny Blanco, the 25-year-old who has co-written No. 1 hits for Katy Perry, Maroon 5 and Ke$ha, earned the Hal David Starlight award.
“They picked the wrong person,” said Blanco, who has also worked with Khalifa, Nicki Minaj and Bruno Mars. “I’m in a room with people I should probably be serving food to.”
The event also featured a video from Clinton, who spoke about the significance of Sam Cooke’s
“A Change Is Gonna Come” during the Civil Rights Movement. The song, performed by Jordin Sparks, was honored with the towering song award.
The night also paid tribute to Hal David, who died last year, and Phil Ramone, who died in March. [Billboard.biz]
At the National Music Publishers’ Association annual meeting yesterday at the Marriott Marquis in New York City, NMPA president David Israelite pointed out that the music industry has moved beyond the period of copyright theft and denial of the industry’s rights but there are still challenges ahead, and he urged record labels, music digital services and publishers to continue to work together.
Those parties “have a common interest in building a strong foundation,” he said, without which nothing can happen. “Even if we disagree on rates, we can work together” on common issues. Like RIAA chairman and CEO Cary Sherman, who addressed the meeting before him, Israelite noted that too often publishers have been at odds over royalty splits. He also pointed out publishers have managed to get 50/50 splits when film, television or commercials use music where the government is not involved in synchronization. Once again, Israelite reminded everyone in attendance that the NMPA’s goal is to get fair pay for songwriters, and he laid out the case for fairer rates for performance and mechanical licenses.
In mechanical licensing, where labels are in a free market but publishers have to deal with a compulsory license carry statutory rates, there is a ratio of about 9-to-1 in favor of record label revenue over music publishing’s share, since publishers tend to get about 91 cents per album while labels get a blended wholesale revenue per album of about $8.00. In the performance digital area where BMI and ASCAP operate under consent decrees, the money split is about 14-to-1 in favor of record labels, he said, referring to the 56% of revenue that Pandora paid record labels last year versus the 4.1% it paid music publishers. This issue is important to publishers because synchronization only makes up about 30% of revenue, while the rest is almost evenly divided between mechanical and performance revenue, so the publisher share is out of balance.
To be fair, he added, record labels don’t get paid performance royalties from terrestrial radio, “but it’s not our fault, because they are getting screwed by broadcasters and we shouldn’t be screwed to make up for it” in the digital space. He urged publishers to support labels in their push to get performance royalties from terrestrial radio, citing two long-term goals that publishers still have: getting out from under the consent decrees (or at the least getting them adjusted), and pushing to get out of dealing with the compulsory license so publishers can engage in a market with a willing buyer and willing sellers.
Speaking to the labels and digital music services, he said, “We should be able to disagree about rates while agreeing to work together to fix the system so licensing works.” While record companies can tout where the publisher’s songs would be without its artist, and publishers can ask where the label’s artist would be without their songs, 94 of the top 100 songs in the Billboard Hot 100 last year had outside songwriters or an outside songwriter working with the artists.
These themes were echoed in Sherman’s address to the NMPA. He noted that while publishers and record companies have a long history of being at odds with one another, now is the time to pull together for common goals. In the past, “both sides were focused on short-term gains,” and neither was looking at long-term benefit to the entire music community.
“When publishers sought to change the penny rate structure to a percentage royalty back in 1980, record companies resisted it,” he noted. “A couple of decades later, record companies wanted a percentage rate structure, but now the publishers said no. In other words, the publishers were for it before they were against it. And record companies were against it before they were for it.”
There are other examples where publishers and labels have each flipped their positions over time, but that is historical baggage, he said, reminding the publishers of when they successfully worked together figuring out how to license subscription services like Rhapsody, the rate settlement the two sides reached last year, and the five new rates for business models the two created last year, all of which is still awaiting the Country Radio Broadcasters’ approval.
To foster an industry where publishers and labels work together, “record companies have withdrawn from the legal debates over whether a download is a performance; [and] PRO’s and songwriters have worked with us so they could accept the creation of a public performance right for artists and labels.”
Now, the industry is at the point where publishers and labels together will have “to rethink the business.” He added, “If we were inventing this industry from scratch, would we design it the way it works now? Seems unlikely.” He called for a reworking of the mechanical licensing system and also wondered if mechanical and performance could be licensed more efficiently and tied together, which would give digital services certainty about their publishing costs.”
Earlier in the event, Israelite presented an award to Shapiro Bernstein in honor of their centennial anniversary in business. He also presented the President’s Award to Florida Congressman Ted Deutch, while the organization also honored songwriter Toby Keith, who performed a couple of songs for the membership. [Billboard.biz]
X Ambassadors recount how they got their start as musicians, having been playing music since their early gradeschool years, while their manager chimes in and discusses how he fell into becoming a manager.
Of Monsters and Men came to New York City to perform on the first day the 2013 Governors Ball music festival, and Billboard’s cameras were there to chronicle this day in the life of the Icelandic folk-poppers. Though it was exceptionally rainy, the dense mud and heavy winds weren’t enough to keep members Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir, Ragnar Þórhallsson, Brynjar Leifsson, Arnar Rósenkranz Hilmarsson and Kristján Páll Kristjánsson from inciting a dance party in the middle of the messy island.
We traveled with the group from their hotel downtown in their tour bus across the FDR to the crowded catering tent on the festival grounds, right up to their epic afternoon set that featured hits “King & Lionheart,” “Mountain Sound” and the double platinum-selling “Little Talks.” Governors Ball caught the band towards the end of their latest U.S. tour, which wraps later this month before they play more festivals in Europe and take some well-deserved time off in the fall. Of Monsters & Men is still in the conceptual phase of its next album, which it hopes to begin in earnest later this year. [Billboard]
Good week for Columbia‘s Nine Inch Nails, whose return is a most welcome development in PoMoland (“Haunted” also got added at SiriusXM’s Alt Nation, as we noted earlier). Meanwhile, Thirty Seconds to Mars landed on KROQ and Jason Flom‘s teen discovery Lorde got the “Royals” treatment at crosstown station KYSR. Here’s what else is new at a few key stations.
KROQ Los Angeles
Nine Inch Nails, “Came Back Haunted” (Columbia)
Thirty Seconds to Mars, “City of Angels” (Virgin)
KYSR Los Angeles
Fitz & The Tantrums, “Out of My League” (Elektra)
Lorde, “Royals” (Lava/Republic)
Nine Inch Nails, “Came Back Haunted” (Columbia)
Of Monsters and Men, “King and Lionheart” (Republic)
Atlas Genius, “If So” (Warner Bros.)
Jack Johnson, “I Got You” (Brushfire/Republic)
Nine Inch Nails, “Came Back Haunted” (Columbia)
Oh, and if you’re in an “alternative” mood when 4:20 rolls around, the staff at UMPG highly (and we do mean highly) recommends a bowl of Kosher Kush. [HitsDailyDouble]
Bravado, the global merchandising arm of Universal Music Group, has announced a deal with Apple Corps., the management boutique founded by the Beatles in 1967, covering rights to Beatles merchandise in North America, making UMG, for all intents and purposes, the home of the Beatles in North America. As today’s statement put it, the deal “[enables] Universal Music Group to provide a unified marketing strategy for the music and associated products of the most influential and beloved band in the history of music.”
UMG chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge wrote in a statement that “all of us at Universal Music Group are very excited about extending our relationship with the Beatles’ iconic brand to include both merchandise and their legendary recordings, and about the potential for innovative marketing of creative new products.”
Bravado began handling merchandising for the Rolling Stones in 2008 for licensing, retail, Internet and, with the 50th anniversary shows. While touring is, of course, a moot point, with the Beatles one could expect a similar approach in terms of creativity, a diverse range of products, and a broad array of retail partners. Bennett told Billboard in an earlier interview on pitching the Stones “about how we thought we could grow the retail part of the business, as well as online and licensing, by marrying the music and the merchandising together so we could go and offer retailers all over the world a more complete package. By tying into the enormous reach of Universal in 44 countries, it just revolutionized our business to the fact that they’re the most successful and first real example of how well music and merch work together. What it has enabled us to do with a worldwide product like the Rolling Stones and a worldwide company like Bravado/UME, we’ve been able to go into markets where they weren’t as well served in the past because the people [the Stones] worked with in the past just weren’t in all these markets. We’ve really treated them like a premier music brand, we’re making sure we only do great things with them with great products in great stores at great prices, and it’s astounding how well it’s working.”
Bravado handles merchandising for hundreds of artists (roughly 798, according to their web shop), among them Black Sabbath, New Kids on the Block, Lady Gaga, Guns ‘N Roses, Justin Bieber, Bob Marley. [Billboard.biz]
As forecast last week, rock band Queens of the Stone Age earns its first No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The group’s new album, . . . Like Clockwork, opens atop the list with 91,000 sold in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The new set is its first for Matador Records, which also collects its first No. 1 album. The label has tallied two previous top 10 sets: Interpol’s 2010 self-titled release (which debuted and peaked at No. 7) and Cat Power’s 2012 album Sun (another album that debuted where it started: No. 10).
Impressively, . . . Like Clockwork sold 12,000 vinyl LPs in its first week—about 13% of its overall sales. It naturally debuts at No. 1 on the Vinyl Albums chart. That’s the second-biggest sales week for a vinyl LP since SoundScan launched the chart in January 2010. The only bigger frame since then? That was two weeks ago, when Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories moved 19,000 LPs in its debut week.
Queens of the Stone Age’s latest release is its first studio effort since 2007′s Era Vulgaris, which bowed at No. 14 with 52,000 in its first week. Their best sales frame was with their only previous top 10 effort, 2005′s Lullabies to Paralyze, which debuted at No. 5 with 97,000.
. . . Like Clockwork was led by the single “My God Is the Sun,” which topped out at No. 17 on Alternative Songs two weeks ago. This week, it slips 17-19, after spending two weeks at its (so far) peak.
Queens of the Stone Age bumps Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories from No. 1, where it has resided for the past two weeks. This week, the album slips to No. 2 with 62,000 (down 33%). It’s cumulative sales are fast approaching the half-million mark: After three weeks, the set has shifted 494,000.
Coming in at No. 3 is a new arrival from rock act Sleeping With Sirens, which scores its best sales week and highest-charting album ever with Feel. The album debuts with 59,000 sold. Twenty-seven percent of the set’s first week consisted of physical albums sold through Internet retailers, fueled by a strong pre-order campaign for the effort.
The band’s last set, 2011′s Let’s Cheer to This, debuted and peaked at No. 17 off an 18,000 start (its previous best week). Its first album, 2010′s With Ears to See and Eyes to Hear, didn’t chart on the Billboard 200, but did reach No. 7 on our developing artists tally, Heatseekers Albums.
Blake Shelton’s Based on a True Story . . . rises one rung to No. 4 this week (36,000; though it’s down 13%), and Darius Rucker’s True Believers climbs 6-5 (33,000; down 18%).
Megadeth notches its highest-charting album since 1994 as Super Collider bows at No. 6 with 29,000. While that sales start is less than the 42,000 that greeted its last album, 2011′s Th1rt3en, the new album came out during a less competitive time of the year on the chart. (Th1rt3en arrived in November of that year, as the busy Christmas shopping season started.) So, Super Collider‘s smaller sales start equates to a more elevated chart entry.
Megadeth last charted higher on the Billboard 200 with 1994′s Youthanasia, which debuted and peaked at No. 4 with 143,000 sold in its first week. The group’s highest-charting set is 1992′s No. 2-peaking Countdown to Extinction.
Back on this week’s Billboard 200, Imagine Dragons’ Night Visions rises 8-7 with 28,000 (down 14%).
Fresh off its success at the 2013 CMT Music Awards, country duo Florida Georgia Line sees its Here’s to the Good Times rise 17-8 with 28,000 (up 26%). The set has the largest unit gain on the Billboard 200 this week, gaining by 6,000 copies. The act earned two CMT Music Awards at the June 5 broadcast (for breakthrough video and duo video, both for “Cruise”) and also performed on the show.
Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience stays steady at No. 9 for another week, moving 27,000 (down 14%). It’s the album’s 12th consecutive week in the top 10—its entire chart run.
Closing out the top 10 is Barenaked Ladies, with their new Grinning Streak starting at No. 10 with 26,000. The album is its highest-charting set since 2003′s Everything to Everyone also debuted (and peaked) at No. 10.
The Ladies’ latest starts with a slightly stronger sales figure than their last set, 2010′s All in Good Time, which launched with 23,000 (at No. 23). Before that, their last regular studio album was 2006′s Barenaked Ladies Are Me, which entered at No. 17 with 37,000.
Like Megadeth, Barenaked Ladies’ new album’s smaller sales start yields a high debut, thanks to a less competitive week on the chart.
Over on the Digital Songs chart, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” featuring T.I. and Pharrell, holds at No. 1, selling 315,000 downloads for the week (up 38%). It’s the first song in nine weeks to sell more than 300,000. The last to do so was Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man,” which rode a discounted 69-cent sale price in the iTunes Store to a big 340,000 download week at No. 1 (on the chart dated April 20).
Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” profits from the duo’s CMT Music Awards exposure, as it jumps 3-2 with 225,000 (up 15%), its second-best sales week yet. Its biggest week was nine weeks ago, when a just-released pop-friendly remix of the song with Nelly helped boost its sales to 248,000.
Total download sales for “Cruise” jump past the 4 million mark this week as well, as its cumulative total now stands at 4.1 million. It’s only the fifth country song to sell more than 4 million downloads, following Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” (6.1 million), Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” (5.6 million), the Band Perry’s “If I Die Young” (4.6 million) and Swift’s “You Belong With Me” (4.3 million).
Right behind “Cruise” on this week’s Digital Songs chart is Miley Cyrus’ new “We Can’t Stop,” which bows at No. 3 with 214,000. It’s her best sales week for a song since Christmas of 2009, when “Party in the U.S.A.” sold 285,000 downloads.
“We Can’t Stop” is the first single from Cyrus’ forthcoming studio album, due out later this year. To compare, her last album’s first single (and title track), “Can’t Be Tamed,” debuted on the Digital Songs chart at No. 4 with 191,000 downloads back in 2010.
Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” (featuring Pharrell Williams), remains at No. 4 this week with 193,000 (up 1%), Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” rises 6-5 with 192,000 (up 21%), and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Can’t Hold Us” (featuring Ray Dalton) descends 5-6 with 174,000 (down 6%).
Selena Gomez’s “Come and Get It” is steady at No. 7 (154,000; down 2%), as is P!nk’s “Just Give Me a Reason” (featuring Nate Ruess) at No. 8 (132,000; down 12%). 2 Chainz & Wiz Khalifa’s “We Own It (Fast & Furious)” drops 2-9 with 131,000 (down 37%).
Rounding out the top 10 on the Digital Songs chart is Cassadee Pope’s “Wasting All These Years,” debuting at No. 10 with 125,000. The winner of the third season of NBC’s “The Voice” returned to the show’s stage on June 4 to perform this song, which premiered the same day via digital retailers. It’s the first single from her forthcoming full-length solo debut album; its release date hasn’t yet been announced.
“Wasting” is Pope’s second-largest sales week for a song, surpassed only by “Over You,” which moved 152,000 for a No. 3 debut in late 2012.
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending June 9) totaled 4.9 million units, up 1% compared with the sum last week (4.8 million) and down 8% compared with the comparable sales week of 2012 (5.3 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 126.3 million, down 5% compared with the same total at this point last year (133 million).
Digital track sales this past week totaled 24.9 million downloads, up 3% compared with last week (24.2 million) and down 2% stacked next to the comparable week of 2012 (25.3 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 604.8 million, down 3% compared with the same total at this point last year (622.2 million).
Next week’s Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2012 when: Usher’s Looking 4 Myself started at No. 1 with 128,00. [Billboard.biz]
Apple announced a new music streaming service on Monday called iTunes Radio, and although the company is already is a huge player in the digital music space, it will now go head-to-head with a whole slew of web radio leaders.
iTunes Radio is most similar to Pandora, allowing users to create custom radio stations based on songs and artists, while also discovering new music through “featured” radio stations. Although it’s free for iTunes users, iTunes Radio will feature ads for those who are not iTunes Match subscribers.
Other companies such as Google and Xbox have had their sights set on Internet radio, too. In fact, just last month, Google announced its own streaming music platform — Google Play Music All Access. The Swedish-based Spotify, which launched in 2008 and came to the U.S. in 2011 — also has a radio service that serves its 24 million monthly active users and 6 million paying subscribers.
With 20 million licensed songs, Spotify actually beats out Pandora, Slacker and iHeartRadio in terms of its library, but trails behind Xbox Music’s database of 30 million songs. Pandora is the clear adoption leader with 70 million monthly active users and 200 million registered users, but that doesn’t mean Apple can’t catch up.
Here’s a look at how the new iTunes Radio stacks up against others. Check out the full chart here –> [Mashable]
||Google Play Music All Access
|Users||N/A||Unknown||Unknown||70 million||20 million||4 million||48 million|
|Free Version||YesAds, skipping unknown||YesLimited skips, ads||YesLimited skips||YesLimited skips, ads, reduced quality||YesAds, limited listening time, unlimited skipping||YesAds, limited skipping||YesFifteen combined skips per day, six per hour per station|
|Paid Tiers||No ads for iTunes Match subscribers, $24.99/year||$9.99/month for unlimited skipping and offline listening; 30-day free trial||$9.99/month for unlimited skipping and offline listening; 30-day free trial||$36/year or $3.99/month for no ads, higher quality audio (192K bits for second), fewer interuptions||$4.99/month for no ads. $9.99/month lets you use all devices, no ads, unlimited skipping||$3.99 ad-free, $9.99 custom playlists and full on-demand streaming||No paid tiers|
|Library Size||Unknown||30 million||Unknown||1 million||20 million||13 million||15 million|
|Stations||Custom and curated stations||Custom stations||Custom and curated stations||Custom stations||Custom stations, on demand||Custom and curated stations, 750 terrestrial stations, live talk radio, on demand||Custom, 1,500 Live Stations|
|Apps||iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Apple TV), iTunes on Mac and PC||Windows Phone, apps for Android and iOS expected soon||Android, coming soon to iOS||iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry||iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, S60 (Symbian), Windows Mobile||iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry||iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry|
Cady described Slacker’s position in a crowded market of streaming services as one that focused on curated radio for casual consumers. He said the core Slacker user may not have a specific song or artist in mind that they want to hear, but does have a general sense of what they like. Even though Slacker includes options for on-demand listening, Cady said 83 percent of its users just use the radio service.
For Spotify, radio usage is not as high, but Doshi said users are in a similar passive or “lean back” mode when they choose to listen to a playlist created by a friend or artist. Spotify’s radio feature is included as a part of the service’s free, ad-supported tier, which Doshi said has been effective at competing with piracy and luring users into a paid subscription model.
Rhapsody, for its part, is focused on editorial content and programming, according to Irwin. In an environment where most streaming solutions offer similar catalogs containing tens of millions of songs, he said users need to be guided in order to see value beyond simply having a music archive.
Launched in 2010 in Norway, WiMP similarly focuses on editorial content in the five countries where it operates, including Denmark, Sweden, Poland and Germany. Chen, who took on the role of CEO only recently, said the company employs a team of editors in each country to provide strong editorial content for its music on a daily basis.
WiMP was originally launched as a service of the mobile phone carrier Telenor, and many panelists discussed the importance of forging partnerships with carriers in order to leverage their billing and distribution capabilities. Doshi said Spotify has found partnering with carriers in some South American and Asian countries to be a particular challenge, since many customers have pay-as-you-go plans as opposed to monthly subscriptions. In response, Spotify is considering offering daily or weekly passes in these countries.
Piibe, the sole representative of the major label system on the panel, said he understood the importance of embracing new music services since he used to work for one as an early employee of Napster. He said the industry’s attitude has changed from the days when labels feared cannibalization to one today where they’re more open to learning and experimenting with great new services and business models.
“Instead of being gatekeepers, we want to be gate-openers,” he said.
In response to an audience question about Apple’s radio service, which was announced almost simultaneously at the company’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference in California, Cady said he is focused on providing users a great experience on any platform, as opposed to restricting them to one, as Apple has done with iTunes Radio. He also said he sees a silver lining in the arrival of a major new competitor.
“Apple has significant marketing budgets, so I think they’ll create awareness of radio services at a level that wasn’t possible before,” he said. “A rising tide lifts all boats.” [Billboard.biz]
Sting, Green Day, Ed Sheeran and Mumford & Sons are among musicians raising their voices against poverty by re-recording classic protest songs.
The agit8 project, which hopes to influence leaders at next week’s G-8 summit in Northern Ireland, is backed by the One Campaign set up by U2 front man Bono.
It wants G-8 leaders to help boost African food production and improve transparency in international aid.
The songs, available online from Tuesday, include Sting performing The Police track “Driven to Tears” and Sheeran’s version of Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War.”
“Love, Actually” director Richard Curtis has made a short film on the theme of music and protest. It will be projected onto the side of London’s Tate Modern gallery on Tuesday through Thursday evenings. [Billboard.biz]
Two-time Emmy-award-nominated TV and Film composer (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Unit, Butterfly on a Wheel and Into the Blue 2: The Reef) Robert Duncan joins Dave and Herb on the 118th episode of Pensado’s Place!