Music Biz Headlines, April 22, 2020

Toronto’s bubbling psych scene, Leonard Podolak (featured) offers a lament for the Winnipeg Folk Fest, and the expansion of Apple Music. Others in the headlines include TikTok, cancelled concerts, UMG, streaming stats, record stores, PlayOn fest, Tracy Chan, Warner Music Group, Bruce Springsteen, the Beatles, Rowland S Howard, Fiona Apple, Johnny Marr, and Billy McFarland.

Music Biz Headlines, April 22, 2020

By FYI Staff

'Profound sense of loss' as Winnipeg Folk Fest's legendary love, laughter (and yes, music) put on hold

Growing up at the celebrated fest 'was like Christmas in July,' says the son of the founding director. – Leonard Podolak, CBC News · 

12 things we noticed about the One World: Together at Home concert


Toronto's bubbling psychedelic music scene drips online

A pocket of local artists and festivals have been intermingling like tie-dye, and they're adapting to the we're-all-in-this-together-while-we're-apart spirit of the times. – Jesse Locke, NOW


How to do karaoke at home with your friends like you're at Lion's Head with Laurie The Guy

Covid sucks. Karaoke doesn't. Some tips for you. – Caora McKenna,the Coast


Apple Music expands into 52 more countries

Two dozen Africa nations are included, and the App Store, Apple’s Podcasts, iCloud and the Apple Arcade will now be available in 20 more countries for a total of 175. – Dan Rys, Billboard

You have a TikTok Hit! Now, quick — change the title

Snippets of songs are often becoming popular faster than the songs themselves, which means labels have started tailoring song titles to make searches on streaming platforms more effective. – Elias Leight, Rolling Stone

The IP complexity of posting content to social media sites

Major tech platforms are predatory animals whose Terms of Service are toxic to creators. Here are the basics … – David Newhoff, The Illusion of More

Bandsintown's data-first approach could revive crippled touring business

As the shutdown took hold the platform expanded its mission to become a global hub for live music streaming, adding WATCH LIVE and other free tools to help artists promote their live streams and partnered with Twitch for fast-track monetization of those streams. – Entrepreneur

The music industry’s lost summer: No Bieber, no Swift and mass layoffs

The summer concert season ended before it began. While sports leagues and restaurants try to figure out when they can reopen to the public, there’s growing recognition among music industry executives that concerts won’t be coming back anytime soon. In the past couple of weeks, festivals have cleared out of May and June, while those in July and August are just waiting to reschedule. – Lucas Shaw, Bloomberg


Artists, live industry brace for a year without concerts: ‘Is there a better place for spreading disease?’

Just a few weeks ago, Pollstar projected that in its most pessimistic scenario for the post-COVID-19 concert industry, shows would resume in less than a year with industry losses around $9 billion (U.S.). Now the live business is preparing for much worse. – August Brown, Los Angeles Times

UMG braces for physical ad streaming downturn but says subscription is more stable and robust

Universal Music Group is staying realistic about the potential negative impact COVID-19 might have on its performance this year – despite a Q1 performance that was very much business as usual. – Tim Ingham, MBW

Everyone’s stuck at home – so why are people streaming less music?

Streaming was supposed to be the music industry’s silver lining during the pandemic, but figures have been going down. – Eamon Forde, The Guardian

Three new documentaries explore the enduring allure of a great record store

Those looking to indulge their vinyl fetish, though, can do it with a triple feature of new feature-length documentaries available this weekend. The three movies offer a kaleidoscopic view of the ways in which physical music, and the communal spaces that buy and sell it, has become a kind of secular religion. – Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times

Arts and culture are worth saving

More than $800 billion arts and culture was contributed to the US economy by arts and culture, according to a Bureau of Economic Analysis study released last March. It’s one of the heavyweights of the new economy, growing larger as the old one dwindles. The arts economy is more than double that of mining, agriculture, forestry, and fishing combined. – Murray Whyte, Boston Globe


Warner Music Group (WMG) is launching a three-day virtual music festival called PlayOn Fest

Kicked off by LL COOL J April 24 at noon ET, PlayOn Fest will stream each day exclusively via Songkick’s YouTube channel. The event is being hosted in support of the covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization (WHO), which is powered by the UN Foundation. –  Murray Stassen, MBW


Ticketmaster finally responds to a rising tide of customer complaints

Ticket buyers hounded Ticketmaster for weeks, wondering when or if they would receive refunds for cancelled sporting events and concerts. Live Nation, the parent company of Ticketmaster, offered no reprieve. And then the politicians became involved. – Nicole Schuman, PR News

Spotify for Artists lead Tracy Chan joins Twitch

“I believe there’s a massive opportunity-to-help-artists-connect-with-their-fans-through-virtual-performances-and-live-streaming.” – MBW

BBC Radio 1 launches coronavirus charity song with Dua Lipa, Chris Martin and more

The cover of the Foo Fighters’ Times Like These also features Rita Ora, Biffy Clyro and other big names. – The Guardian

Warner invests in Africa-based music distributor Africori

Warner Music Group is investing an undisclosed sum into Africori, a  digital music distribution, music rights management and artist development company that calls itself “the home of African music”. Africori is the largest digital music distribution company in Sub-Saharan Africa. – Tim Ingham, MBW

The Beatles’ ‘Get Back’ documentary: Everything you need to know

The forthcoming Peter Jackson-directed ‘The Beatles: Get Back’ documentary will offer a revelatory look at the band. Here’s what we know so far. – Sophie Smith, Udiscovermusic

Neil Young won’t reunite CSNY because David Crosby shit-talked his wife

Back in 2014, David Crosby thought it would be a great idea to publicly declare that the new girlfriend of one of his oldest pals, Neil Young, was a “purely poisonous predator” who wasn’t worthy of Young’s affection. This caused a rift that remains. –  Devon Ivie, Vulture

Bruce Springsteen: where to start in his back catalogue

In Listener’s Digest, our writers help you explore the work of great musicians. Next up: the firebrand rocker who gave his tales of blue-collar life universal appeal. – Laura Barton, Guardian

The artist works in isolation. But what’s the point when ‘all art seems inconsequential right now?’

Some have even suggested that it’s unethical to create art right now, at least a few angry birds in the Twittersphere, since it could be perceived as capitalizing on the pandemic, using global distress as a resource for something as frivolous as art. I disagree. – Mathew Silver, Toronto Star

Fiona Apple’s new album, ‘Fetch the Bolt Cutters,’ makes a bold show of unprettiness 

 “Fetch the Bolt Cutters” is Fiona Apple’s third consecutive album with a title to suggest that one of pop music’s flesh-and-bloodiest songwriters has cold, hard machinery on her mind. – Mikael Wood, Los Angeles Times


'A guitar hero when there were none': the fragile life of Rowland S Howard

He played with Nick Cave, influenced Primal Scream and My Bloody Valentine, and is hailed as a genius by generations of post-punks – but heroin always held him back. – The Guardian

Supporting Austin music venues during the shutdown

Alongside citywide efforts like Austin Community Foundation’s Stand With Austin Fund and the Red River Cultural District’s Banding Together ATX, many local music venues have launched their own fundraising options. – Rachel Rascoe, Austin Chronicle

Johnny Marr teaches fans how to play a Smiths classic from his home studio

'The Headmaster Ritual', as taught by the man himself. – Patrick Clarke, NME

Fyre Festival fraudster Billy McFarland seeks early release amid pandemic

The imprisoned Fyre Festival founder has reportedly petitioned for an early prison release, citing his health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic. – WENN

Soleil Launière
Jaime Antonio Luna Quezada

Soleil Launière


Soleil Launière wins the Francouvertes: “It means a lot to me as an Indigenous artist”

Meet the Innu artist, big winner of the 2024 edition of the showcase-competition, who is the first Indigenous artist to win since the Quebec music competition started allowing submissions in Indigenous languages.

Soleil Launière has won the 28th edition of Francouvertes, becoming the first Indigenous artist to win the Quebec-based music competition.

The multidisciplinary Innu artist from Mashteuiatsh, Quebec won the grand final of the musical showcase on Monday, May 13. The Montreal-based artist edged out rapper Sensei H and maximalist rock singer-songwriter Loïc Lafrance.

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