Deadline's David Lieberman explains what Apple is getting for its $3B buy of Beats.
Just hours after the biggest deal in Apple’s history, two of the key players in the $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics and Beats Music took to a conference stage to say the deal took a decade to happen, and then virtually no time at all. “I asked them every day for 10 years,” said Jimmy Iovine, the long-time Universal Records executive who co-founded Beats with rap super-producer Dr. Dre. “These guys are not easy to get to. They make deals like they make products,” as he made a wringing motion with his hands.
Iovine and Apple Sr. Vice President of Internet Software and Services were on stage at the Code Conference in Palos Verdes, CA, this evening just hours after the much-rumored deal was finally announced, bringing the maker of hugely popular (and frequently-criticized) headphones and portable speakers and a budding but still small music streaming service to the tech giant for $3 billion. Read More »
In this video, directors Joel and Ethan Coen explain how their collaboration with T Bone Burnett created a musical sound that was as important as dialogue in capturing the early ’60s folk music scene in Inside Llewyn Davis. Here, they explain how they and Oscar Isaac pulled it off in the CBS Films release. I had the opportunity to moderate a panel in Deadline’s Contenders Event last month. After Burnett and Isaac got done explaining the keys to recreating the sound of an emerging musical movement, Isaac got up with his six string and memorably performed Green, Green Rocky Road, a song from the film. It was certainly a highlight of an event full of them.
The report this morning from The NPD Group surprises me, although perhaps it shouldn’t considering how quickly the music business is changing. The research firm says that in Q4 online services including Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Spotify accounted for about 23% of the average weekly music listening time among 13-to-35 year olds, up from 17% at the end of 2011. The latest figure is just about even with AM/FM radio: It accounted for 24% of the music listening time among young fans, down two percentage points from the previous year. The change is “driven by mobility and connectivity” — especially the growing use of smartphones as music devices — says Russ Crupnick, senior vice president of industry analysis at NPD. The firm’s latest Music Acquisition Monitor study, based on its consumer surveys, says that young listeners increasingly see streaming services as attractive alternatives to CDs and digital music files. Digital files accounted for 15% of their listening time followed by on-demand services (14%), CDs (9%), satellite radio (5%), and the remainder for other sources. Pandora remains by far the most popular online service. It’s used by 39% of the young streamers followed by Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio (11%), the free version of Spotify (9%), Grooveshark (3%), Slacker (2%), Pandora One (2%), TuneIn (2%), Last.fm (2%), and Xbox Music (2%). A little more than half of the group said that they mostly listen to music in cars. Traditional radio still has … Read More »
The music performing rights organization and local TV station rep the Television Music License Committee have agreed in principle to a plan regarding fees local U.S. stations pay to use ASCAP-protected songs on their broadcasts. The proposed seven-year deal is retroactive to January 2010 and lasts until the end of 2016. The blanket license covers primary broadcasts, digital multicasts, Internet websites, and emerging wireless, mobile, and other digital platforms. The pact also allows for access to license documents online. “This agreement reflects the environment local broadcasters face in the 21st century: intense competition from cable, the Internet and other media; reduced audiences; and use of both broadcast and new media to reach our viewers with the news, information and entertainment programming they expect from us,” said TMLC chair Chuck Sennet, whose committee represents 1200 local stations. ASCAP oversees royalties on more than 8.5 million musical works.
Even if you don’t have Spotify on your computer or smartphone screen, you should put it on your radar. Music execs tell me that the streaming service, introduced in the U.S. last July, is beginning to break from the pack of digital music providers which includes Pandora, Rdio, Rhapsody, MOG, and Slacker. ”The big question is whether it will become the iTunes of the streaming media market,” one tells me. Credit Suisse’s John Blackledge took note of Spotify yesterday in a 63-page report initiating coverage of Pandora Media, which offers a radio-like streamed service. “There is a lot of discussion and buzz around Spotify,” he says noting that it is “looking to siphon market share” from some of the giant sellers of downloaded music including iTunes and Amazon. Spotify has about 10M active users worldwide. (The company won’t break out the figures by country.) The vast majority use its ad-supported, free service which — in the U.S. – offers unlimited access to its library of more than 16M songs including tunes from all four major recorded music companies: Universal, Sony, Warner, and EMI. (No Beatles, though; iTunes has exclusive online rights to the group’s catalog.) The company’s goal, though, is to nudge users into paying for a subscription. About 3M people pay either $4.99 a month (for unlimited, ad-free streams to computers) or $9.99 (for unlimited, ad-free streams to mobile and digital devices as well as computers, and the ability to download songs for off-line listening). Users can listen to specific songs on demand, or let the service create playlists based on a particular performer or other criteria. While other companies offer similar services, execs say that Spotfy one of the easiest to use — and integrates well with Facebook, where users can share songs, playlists and recommendations. Indeed, only Facebook members now can sign up for Spotify. Read More »
Apple made a major improvement to its digital music service today as it introduced iTunes Match. For $24.99 a year, iTunes will scan a user’s mobile gadget or hard drive, identify its recordings — including those copied from a CD — and then make them available on iCloud for streaming to any Web-enabled device running iTunes software. The company says iTunes already has 20M songs, and will upload “only what it can’t match.”
The announcement precedes Google’s expected unveiling tomorrow of its own music store. It will enable buyers to download tunes, and stream them from remote servers. The company also has been lobbying record companies to make it possible for members of the Google+ social network to share tunes with their online friends. EMI has agreed to offer songs from its catalog on the music store, and Vivendi’s Universal Music “may be signed as early as tomorrow,” Bloomberg reports. The other two majors, Sony and Warner Music, are holding back until pricing and privacy concerns are resolved.
At a party tossed by Family Guy creator/runner Seth MacFarlane this week, MacFarlane was joined onstage by Bill Maher to belt out the Frank Sinatra tune Star. It turns out both guys have decent chops, even after a cocktail or two. Of course, that shouldn’t be a huge surprise in the case of MacFarlane, who last month released his own album of big band standards and showtunes. Watch:
As I often say, I have enough trouble dealing with the scoundrels in Hollywood movie and television industry (and those awards) that I can’t possible take on the crooks in the music biz as well. But feel free to comment on tonight’s Grammy Awards if you must.
Sources tell me that Barry Diller dumped. This, of course, after the IAC/InterActiveCorp chairman resigned as chairman of the Live Nation Entertainment board last month. The $4 billion music powerhouse formed in January with the merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation.
UPDATE: In a pre-launch stunt, Conan O’Brien’s team has started a poll to determine who the first guest on O’Brien’s TBS show will be. Fans can chose among 12 potential guests ranging from Pope Benedict XVI and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber to such obscure choices as the curator of Nutcracker museum in Oregon and the 2007 Nobel Prize in Chemistry winner. For those who thought the poll might be for real (BTW, Jack Nicholson, who has not appeared on a talk show in almost 30 years, is firmly in the lead with more than 1,600 votes), here is a disclaimer: “None of these people have actually been booked on our show. For one reason or another, we haven’t contacted any of these people – In fact, we’re kind of hoping that, if someone on this poll starts getting a lot of votes, these folks will actually feel a bit guilty and will agree to be our first guest!!”
PREVIOUS: The house band on Conan O’Brien’s upcoming TBS talk show will be called The Basic Cable Band. Traditionally, late-night show bands carry the name of the show they play on, and, while he was the host of The Tonight Show, Conan’s band was called The Tonight Show Band (though he already broke tradition on Late Night where he was accompanied by The Max Weinberg 7). The Basic Cable Band has a nice, off-beat ring … Read More »
The writing team of Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley just closed a deal at Warner Bros to script a feature vehicle for Steve Carell based on the 2008 documentary Of All The Things. That film told the story of how songwriter/producer Dennis Lambert achieved rock star status late in life when he went on a singing tour of the Philippines, and discovered he was to Filipinos what Jerry Lewis is to the French. Carell’s Warner Bros-based Carousel is producing with Bryan and Sean Furst. The studio acquired the remake rights, while Submarine is repping the docu’s distribution rights.
It’s the second project the writers are doing for Carell, who’s crafting film vehicles he’ll do after completing his run on The Office. They also wrote Burt Wonderstone, a New Line comedy that has Carell wanting to play a Vegas magician who accidentally kills his performing partner and tries to rebound while taking on a rival illusionist (the studio wants Sacha Baron Cohen for that role, but I’m told it’s unlikely). Of All The Things was directed by Lambert’s son, Jody, and is an affectionate look at a guy who first found success as the songwriter or producer of such memorable tunes as Ain’t No Woman (Like The One I’ve Got), One Tin Soldier, Rhinestone Cowboy, Night Shift, We Built This City, and Baby Come Back. “After Lennon and McCartney, he had the most hits on the Billboard charts, like around 75 … Read More »
Los Angeles, CA — 19 Entertainment and Simon Fuller, creator of ‘American Idol,’ television’s biggest entertainment program for the last nine seasons and one of the most globally recognized entertainment brands, and Universal Music Group (UMG), the world’s leading music company, today announced a long-term strategic alliance to increase the development, distribution and marketing of ‘American Idol’s’ musical artists. The announcement was made today by Doug Morris, Chairman & Co-Chief Executive Officer of UMG, Lucian Grainge, Co-Chief Executive Officer of UMG, and by Simon Fuller on behalf of 19 Entertainment.
As part of this multi-year agreement, UMG’s Interscope Geffen A&M will market, promote and distribute albums globally from ‘American Idol’s’ finalists and winning contestants across a broad array of retail and new media platforms. Recently, ‘American Idol’ kicked-off auditions for its milestone 10th season as the excitement and renewed interest in the show resulted in over 26,000 hopefuls coming out for their shot at the coveted Idol crown in Nashville and Milwaukee.
Upcoming auditions will be held in Louisiana, Texas, New Jersey and California.
Mr. Fuller comments: “With Idol celebrating our 10th season I wanted to inject some new power and weight behind our brand. We have been quietly delivering hits relentlessly for 9 seasons and Lucian Grainge and Jimmy Iovine’s (Chairman, Interscope Geffen A&M) ambition, commitment, and determination to push the boundaries and go even further with Idol was very compelling. It is exciting to have the world’s biggest
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures has made a deal to turn Justin Bieber’s life story into a 3D feature biopic. Davis Guggenheim, the Oscar-winning director of An Inconvenient Truth, is negotiating to direct. The film doesn’t have a title, but Bieber will play himself in the film. The pic will be sprinkled with performances from his current concert tour. The film will come out February 11, 2011 on Valentine’s Day weekend. Manager Scooter Braun and Island Def Jam chairman L.A. Reid will produce the film. Because when you think of romance, you think of a 16-year old who looks much younger. This comes as Bieber made a deal with HarperCollins for a memoir about his life. Is there some explosive secret story that requires multiple platforms to tell? Probably not, but this kid has become enough of a juggernaut for film execs and publishers to see a potentially huge audience for these properties. The YouTube, Facebook and Twitter star has made himself into the most viewed recording artist on YouTube. How popular is he? The video for his recent song, Baby, attracted 270 million views on Youtube. Many think that one reason The Karate Kid overperformed on its opening weekend was because of the video that Bieber made with Jaden Smith. Meanwhile, we’re all waiting breathlessly for the inevitable sequel — Justin Bieber, Puberty: The Testicles Descend.
Here is Bieber’s text.
Meanwhile, here is Justin’s tweet:
I came across this story about Bon Jovi in the Daily Mail. It is accompanied by 2 photos illustrating the longevity of the New Jersey rock band. The caption on the first photo reads: Rock Gods: Bon Jovi at the Monsters of Rock Festival in Castle Donington in 1987. The caption on the second pic says: Still going strong: The band in New York last year. Just one problem — in the second photo, band members David Bryan, Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and Tico Torres are flanking Showtime CEO Matt Blank at last year’s premiere ofBon Jovi: When We Were Beautiful. Bon Jovi has been a quartet ever since former bassist Alec John Such left in 1994. Maybe they’ve finally found a 5th member.
The songwriter is reteaming with screenwriter Lee Hall on a stage version of George Orwell’s classic Stalinist allegory, reports the Daily Mail. John and Hall worked together on the stage adaptation of Billy Elliot. It’s taken the pair two years to obtain all the necessary rights. The CIA was covertly involved in buying the film rights from Orwell’s widow Sonia, enabling Halas & Batchelor to make their 1954 cartoon. There’s no theatre producer attached yet. I imagine they’ll be falling over themselves.
Much as I love Orwell, I can’t help but feel Animal Farm is a bit tired around the edges. I’m picturing lots of masks and actors singing, “Four legs good, two legs bad.” Animal Farm just doesn’t resonate in the way 1984 still does. I’d much rather see the stage musical David Bowie was planning of 1984 back in the 70s until Sonia Orwell blocked him. That score eventually became the basis for the album Diamond Dogs.
EXCLUSIVE: I hear the Boardwalk Empire duo of director Martin Scorsese and writer Terence Winter is re-teaming with HBO for another sweeping period drama series project, and this time, they have rock legend Mick Jagger as a partner. The project, referred to as History of Music, is a rock ‘n’ roll epic, which follows two friends through 40 years in the music business, from the early days of R&B to contemporary hip-hop.
It originated as a feature based on Jagger’s idea, first at Disney and most recently at Paramount where it was set up three years ago with Scorsese attached to direct, The Departed scribe William Monahan to write and Jagger, his Jagged Films partner Victoria Pearman and Scorsese producing. I hear HBO is now making a deal with Paramount to develop a pilot based on the idea, and Sopranos alum and Boardwalk Empire creator Winter is being brought in to write it. (Monahan is no longer involved.) Scorsese would get first crack at directing if the project goes to pilot. Scorsese also directed the pilot for Boardwalk Empire, which was picked up to series and was a top seller at the international LA Screenings in May. Deals are still being negotiated, but Scorsese, Jagger, Pearman and Winter are expected to executive produce the History of Music project. Boardwalk Empire, set in 1920s Atlantic City at the dawn of Prohibition, premieres Sept. 19. Scorsese directed Jagger and his Rolling Stones bandmates in the … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: He is behind the hottest show on television. Now Emmy nominated Ryan Murphy has landed one of the biggest deals ever for a TV writer-producer that spans television, music and theater. I hear he is closing a new 4-year $24-million overall deal with Glee producer 20th Century Fox TV for his services on the Fox series and new development through his Ryan Murphy Prods. The sum includes advances against future profits. Additionally, under the pact, Murphy will share profits from Glee’s music business – album sales and downloads – and will also receive a portion of Glee‘s touring and merchandising revenues. Both clauses are retroactive, covering the show’s red-hot freshman season. Also, Murphy has the option to mount a Glee Broadway musical, on which he also would be a profit participant. All in all, the new deal could potentially earn Murphy as much as $10 million a year over the next 4 years if Glee continues to grow.
In its size, it rivals the the $60 million five-year pact JJ Abrams inked with Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros TV in 2006 as that covered both Abrams’ TV and feature services. In scope, it is similar to the mega pact 20th TV has in place with Seth MacFarlane, which also includes multiple auxiliary revenue streams. That deal could hit $100 million over its six-year span. Murphy’s new multi-faceted deal succeeds the 3-year three-company pact Murphy inked in 2007 with News Corp. entities FX, 20th … Read More »
The Fab Four – or their lawyers at EMI Japan to be precise – are letting Vietnamese director Tran Anh Hung use the original recording in his latest film Norwegian Wood. Anh Hung, who was nominated for an Oscar aged 31 for The Scent of the Green Papaya, has adapted cult Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood. The filmmakers were originally planning to use a cover version, but when Anh Hung was editing, he realised that only the original would do. Fortissimo Films, which is selling the film internationally, says it’s extremely rare for an original Beatles recording to be approved for use in feature films. But I can think of plenty of examples — from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button to Ghost Town and Withnail and I. And of course, Robert Zemeckis is remaking Yellow Submarine 3D for Disney.