Universal and Sony Buy EMI

Publication: Adweek

Title: Universal and Sony Buy EMI for $4.1 Billion: Record company splits in two

Article by: Dan Walker Smith



Adweek has reported that record company EMI has been bought in two deals with Sony and Vivendi’s Universal Music.  According to Adweek,

“The company will now be split into two divisions. Universal bought EMI’s recorded music group for $1.9 billion on Friday, while a group headed by Sony picked up EMI’s music publishing division for $2.2 billion. The combined value of the deals was $4.1 billion. EMI was previously owned by Citigroup.”

The New York Times reports that the breakup of EMI “completes the biggest shift in music’s corporate structure in almost a decade.” Although the deal is subject to regulatory approval, if it goes through, the number of major record companies will be reduced to three.  Sony and Universal will have a larger presence than they already have.

According to the New York Times Universal has plans to sell around$680 million worth of assets to combat competition concerns.


Possible Google Music Store Info Leaks

Publication: Mashable

Title: Possible Google Music Store Screenshots Surface

Article by: Todd Wasserman


Mashable has reported that there are Google Music Store screenshots circulating around the web.  According to the screanshots and information gathered by the blog TechnoDroidVe, song price range is $0.99-$1.29.  Albums are priced $8.49 and $9.99.

The existence of Google Music Store has been speculated about for sometime.  Especially since the release of Google Music Beta, which was released in May.

Google Music Store would be in direct competition with iTunes Match, the Apple cloud-based offering, and Amazon Cloud player.

Soul Train Awards

Publication: Billboard

Title: Soul Train Awards Adds New Roster of Performers

Article by: Erika Ramirez



The Soul Train Awards show will be taped on Thursday November 17 at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta.  It will feature tribute performances to celebrate the recipients of the Legend Award–  Earth, Wind & Fire and Gladys Knight.

According to Billboard:

“Those performing include Cee Lo Green, Mary Mary, Common, Freddie Jackson, Chrisette Michele, Marsha Ambrosius, Musiq Soulchild, Anthony Hamilton and Toni Braxton’s sister, Tamar Braxton. Along with the performance, the awards will present pre-recorded tribute testimonials by Elton John, Smokey Robinson, Patti Labelle, will.I.Am, The Roots, Marie Osmond and more.”

Presenters include Basketball legend and Chairman of Vibe Media LLC, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Valerie Simpson, DJ Just Blaze, actors Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Melissa De Sousa, Lance Gross, Demetria McKinney, Nelsan Ellis, Amber Rose, Kel Mitchell, Shaunie O’Neal and more.

The show will be hosted by Cedric “The Entertainer.”

Nominees include Chris Brown (five nominations across 11 categories), Beyoncé (four nominations) and more.

The show is slated to air on Sunday November 27 at 9pm on BET and Centric.

YouTube Announces Channel Strategy

Publication: Adweek

Title: YouTube Announces Channels: Video site will feel a little more like cable TV

Article by: D.M. Levine



YouTube has formally announced their long-awaited channel strategy.  YouTube is expanding its channel lineup to include new offerings from a number of partners, including “well-known personalities and brands in the Hollywood, music, news, and sports worlds.”

According to Adweek:

“Under the new system, content creators—like Vice Media or the video game lifestyle network Machinima, for example—will have a dedicated channel on the site that they will control, continually updating it with video content. YouTube, for its part, will sell ads against that video inventory.”

YouTube will be organizing its site the way cable providers organize their channels.  YouTube’s global head of content partnerships Robert Kyncl explains that, “Today, the Web is bringing us entertainment from an even wider range of talented producers, and many of the defining channels of the next are being born, and watched, on YouTube.”

YouTube is hoping that they will be able to get people to spend less time watching television and more time watching content on YouTube.

Why Artists Like Coldplay Aren’t Bringing New Albums to Spotify

Publication: Mashable

Title: Why Coldplay and Adele Aren’t Bringing New Albums to Spotify

Article by: Lauren Indvik



Coldplay has decided that it’s latest album, Mylo Xyloto, will not be available on Spotify or any other streaming music service– just yet.  Fans will need to buy the physical CD or mp3 downloads from e-music stores like iTunes.

There is a lot of speculation surrounding this decision.  Some think Coldplay wants their audience to hear the album as “one cohesive work” (even though you can buy the singles on iTunes).  Some think it’s more financially motivated.  Mashable reports,

“Recording artists only make about three-tenths of a cent every time one of their songs is streamed, and 20 cents for every song sold on iTunes, according to estimates published in Rolling Stone.”

So it would make sense, financially, for Coldplay to hold off making their music available for free, especially since they have a very strong fanbase.  Coldplay aren’t the only ones who have made the decision to not partner with music streaming services.  Adele’s lastest album, 21, for instance, is not available on Spotfiy.  Her older album, 19, is.

It will be interesting to see if this trend plays out for less established artists, who aren’t necessarily guaranteed huge sales.  My guess is that less established/less popular artists are more focused on trying to get their music out there, in which case, services like Spotify can really help.

Absolut Celebrates 30 Years of Marketing to Gay Community

Publication: The New York Times

Title: Absolut Celebrates Its 30 Years of Marketing to Gay Consumers

Article by: Stuart Elliot



The Swedish vodka brand Absolut, is launching a campaign to mark its 30th year of the brand’s efforts to reach the American L.G.B.T. community.  According to The New York Times, Absolut began running ads in 1981 in two magazines for gay men- The Advocate and After Dark.

Thirty years ago this type of marketing was very rare for such a mainstream product.  Absolut followed its advertising efforts with events, donations, charities, outdoor advertising, and most recently, sponsorship of the Logo cable channel’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

The Times reports:

“The yearlong Absolut anniversary campaign carries the theme “Absolut Outrageous” — the letters “Out” are in pink — and includes this phrase: “Celebrating 30 years of going out and coming out.” The budget is estimated at more than $4 million.”

Pernod Ricard USA, TBWA/Chiat/Day NY, SPI Marketing, and photographer David LaChapelle collaborated on the print ad.  The ad will appear in publications such as The Advocate, Instinct and Out- as well as two general-market magazines- Vanity Fair and Vogue. Click to see.

Sale of Jim Beam to Pernod or Diageo Predicted

Publication: Bloomberg Businessweek

Title: Jim Beam Inviting Biggest Liquor Takeover Since 2005: Real M&A

Article by: Devin Banerjee and Duane D. Stanford


Bloomberg News reports that Jim Beam could be sold to Pernod-Ricard SA or Diageo Plc.  If this prediction is correct, it would be the biggest spirits acquisition in six years.

The liquor company Beam Inc. formed as a result of the breakup of Fortune Brands Inc. this year.  If Beam Inc. was to be taken over, it would be worth approximately $59 a share.

According to Bloomberg News:

“With bourbon sales outpacing vodka in the U.S. as drinking at home increases, Beam’s command of a third of the domestic market with Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark may lure Pernod, Europe’s second-biggest distiller, or Diageo, the world’s largest spirits company, said Davenport & Co. and Goldman Sachs.”