Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Black Panther’ album is a hit — and it could change the music industry

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“Black Panther” is a bonafide box office smash, and its soundtrack is tearing up the charts, too. “Black Panther: The Album” debuted atop the Billboard 200 this weekend after selling 154,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen Music. That number understates the success of the album, a collection of songs curated by Grammy-winning…


Here’s why you don’t like new music any more

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Every week, Spotify and Apple Music are flooded with a slew of new, zeitgeist-defining albums that are yours for the streaming. Why, then, after a few songs, do we tend to retreat back into the comforting arms of Tupac Shakur, Alanis Morissette, or Robert Smith? No, it’s not because nobody makes ’em like they used…


Metallica to get ‘Nobel Prize of music’

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Heavy metal pioneers Metallica are being honoured with Sweden’s Polar Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in music. The band, best known for 1991’s Black Album, redefined the sound of metal with a tougher, faster and more abrasive take on rock. Polar Prize organisers said the US band could transform “a teenage bedroom into…


Country Radio Seminar Recap: An Industry ‘Up Against Anything and Everything’ Urged to Get Smart About the Future

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How could The Flintstones adjust their stone-age approach to the world and still succeed in the futuristic era of The Jetsons? That’s the cartoon version of the question broadcasters addressed during the 49th annual Country Radio Seminar (CRS) Feb. 5-7 in Nashville. The audio-only terrestrial radio medium will turn 100 in 2020, drawing dinosaur comparisons as…


Songwriters Gain Influence in How the Music Modernization Act Would Work

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After further negotiations between songwriter groups and music publishers, songwriters may have a bigger role in participating in how an agency created to expedite a proposed blanket mechanical license will conduct business. That is, if the Music Modernization Act is passed. What the law ultimately says is up to members of the House and Senate, who…


The case against subwoofers for music

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Subwoofers for music systems don’t make sense to me anymore. For home theater, where movies rely on low-frequency effects subs to make the magic happen, subs are essential. No argument here, but music rarely has extremely deep, under-50Hz bass, and most speakers with 5-inch (127mm) or larger woofers can muster 50Hz bass in small or…


Celeste’s Video Game Soundtrack Is Perfect Background Music for Getting Work Done

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There’s a popular theory that video game soundtracks make great background music when you need to work or study. The idea is that the music is designed to motivate you without being distracting, but that’s not always the case. A lot of video game soundtracks can be over the top, obnoxious, or just plain bad—then…


Music Industry Men Join Cry To Change The Recording Academy

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Another group of high-profile players in the music business are calling on the Recording Academy (also known as NARAS, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences) and its president and CEO, Neil Portnow, to make fundamental changes to address gender disparity within its ranks and at the Grammy Awards. The letter follows one issued…


U.S. Copyright Authorities to Make Subscription Music Services Increase Payout Rate to Publishers and Musicians

PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 06:  In this photo illustration, the logo of the Swedish music streaming service Spotify is displayed on the screen of an iPhone on January 06, 2017 in Paris, France. Spotify announced, via a tweet published Thursday, that it now has 70 million paid subscribers. As a comparison, in September, Apple Music claimed 30 million subscribers and Deezer had fewer than 10 million subscribers. Spotify, the world's largest streaming music company, is expected to be listed on the Wall Street stock market in the first quarter of 2018.  (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)

American copyright authorities have ruled to increase royalty payments on streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora over the next five years. On Saturday, the Copyright Royalty Board of the U.S. Library of Congress issued a written decision to adjust the revenue rates for songwriters and music publishers on streaming sites. The National Music…


Pop Keeps Changing. And the Grammys Turn a Deaf Ear, Again.

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By any measurement, Cardi B’s ascent over the last year has been supersonic, the rare example of a raw young talent speeding unfettered into the pop consciousness, and thriving. And yet, there was something bafflingly off about her appearance at the 60th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday. She performed alongside Bruno Mars, the night’s big…