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FYI

Music Biz Headlines, April 29, 2020

Buffy Sainte-Marie (pictured) delivers a powerful poem during the Stronger Together benefit, Facebook plans to let creators charge for live streaming, and more pandemic-forced cancellations. Also in the headlines are Massey Hall, Tami Neilson, Somm, Toni Watson, Spotify, The Pack A.D., Live Nation, Merck Mercuriadis, Simbals, XTC, and Halsey.

Music Biz Headlines, April 29, 2020

By FYI Staff

Star-studded lineup joins Canadian ‘Stronger Together’ covid-19 broadcast benefit

These are trying times for Canada, but we’re all in this together and hope is on the horizon. Such was the message of Sunday’s “Stronger Together, Tous Ensemble,” a star-studded show of support for those on the front lines in the fight against the covid-19 crisis. – Victoria Ahearn, Canadian Press


Buffy Sainte-Marie delivers a powerful spoken word poem 

The veteran artist and activist delivers a powerful message to take heart and take care during the Stronger Together benefit. – CBC 

Massey Hall's sound museum makes quarantine fun

Even though it's closed, you can recreate an audio experience of being at the historic Toronto concert venue. – Glenn Sumi,NOW

The pandemic can't keep a good beehive down as dynamic diva goes live

Covid-19: London's major summer festivals cancelled in tourism body blow

Three festivals that fill London summers with music have been called off for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic, delivering another huge body blow to the city’s business community. – Joe Belanger, London Free Press

Covid-19: Mission Folk Music Festival announces its 2020 cancellation, but there is some good news

The Mission Folk Music Festival has announced the cancellation of its 2020 edition, which had been scheduled to take place from July 24-26. The good news is that fans of the long-running festival can help ensure its survival for future years by donating the value of their ticket, for which they'll receive a charitable tax receipt. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

BADBADNOTGOOD returns with two new songs

This is the acclaimed Toronto combo’s first original material since 2018 single Tried with Little Dragon. BBNG last delivered its IV album in 2016. – Exclaim!

Red Deer musician releases cover song for Canadian Mental Health Association

Jesse Roads has released a cover of the well-known Canadian song Lovers in a Dangerous Time, a tune written by Bruce Cockburn and also covered by Barenaked Ladies. It is a track Roads says is apropos for the times we’re in. – Lethbridge News Now

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Somm: The whole is bigger than the sum of its parts

Ariane Moffatt and Étienne Dupuis-Cloutier take us on a track-by-track journey behind the scenes of their new collaborative album. – Catherine Genest, Words & Music

Toni Watson was busking and living in her car. Then ‘Dance Monkey’ took her on a ‘roller-coaster’ ride

Toronto, Toni Watson feels your pain. The Australian native professionally known as Tones and I, the originator of the impossibly irresistible chart-topping smash “Dance Monkey,” was really looking forward to entertaining you at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in April when COVID-19 interrupted her plans. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

With their eighth album, The Pack A.D. hang up their instruments, for now

With the whole music industry, and indeed life, on hiatus, this seems like as good a time as any to take a break. In fact, The Pack A.D. announced their intention to step away from touring last year, but recorded one potentially final album, It Was Fun While It Lasted. – Shawn Conner, Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

International

Saudi Arabia buys $500 million take in Live Nation, stock rises with the news

The government of Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund has acquired a 5.7 percent stake in Live Nation, the parent company of Ticketmaster. Based on Live Nation’s share prices as of this writing, the investment is valued at just shy of $500 million. – Alex Weprin, Hollywood Reporter

Merck Mercuriadis of Hipgnosis has spent over $1B on songs in less than two years and he’s not stopping now.

Mercuriadis, CEO and Founder of Hipgnosis, tells MBW in our latest podcast, that he’s now officially spent a billion dollars, across approximately 60 deals. Those deals have seen Hipgnosis buy – or partly buy – 12,000 songs. – Tim Ingham, MBW

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How the coronavirus crisis has helped Spotify’s podcast business

The Swedish streaming service said it had nearly 150,000 podcast uploads last month, 69% higher than February and the largest monthly increase in Spotify’s podcast catalogue. At a time when many Hollywood productions have been shelved and workers are losing their jobs, Spotify is continuing to build out its podcast business. – Wendy Lee, LA Times

Independents grew fastest on Spotify in 2019, but there's a twist

Spotify announces its Q1 2020 results today, at which point we will find out whether it had a covid-bounce as Netflix did or whether growth slowed. But there is one little detail from Spotify’s 2019 Annual Report which warrants a closer look. The majors and Merlin indies saw their share of Spotify streams decline by three percentage points in 2019. That builds on the narrative of the streaming tail getting longer and fatter, with the superstars losing share. – Musicindustryblog

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As President Trump eyes abolishing federal arts funding in the U.S., a survey of tax-supported music from Australia to Iceland reveals a complex, shifting landscape. – Pitchfork

Downtown-owned AdRev has acquired France-based metadata analytics company Simbals.

The transaction integrates Simbals’ patented audio fingerprinting technology and machine learning-driven analytics into the digital rights management provider's existing technology. – Murray Stassen, MBW

Facebook goes on a music biz hiring spree as it announces a plan to let creators charge for live  streaming

Facebook has been hiring for music executives that could potentially be playing a key part in its plans regarding live-streamed events. – Murray Stassen, MBW

Facebook will soon let page owners charge for live streams

The ability to charge for Facebook live streams is, in theory, a big deal for artists. The caveat is that we don’t have any useful data yet on how many fans will pay for them once the option is there. Remember, too, that charging for access will not be the only way to make money from live streams on Facebook: the social network recently announced that it would be expanding its ‘stars’ tips economy / donation system to musicians.  – Music:ally

New York hospitals play ‘songs of hope’ as coronavirus patients go home

Pick a hospital in the metropolitan area of New York these days, and you are likely to find that the staff has identified a song as the fitting soundtrack to the release of patients who had been hospitalized because of the virus. Many have chosen “Here Comes the Sun,” long associated with finding joy through hard times.  – Nancy Coleman, New York Times

How we made: XTC on Making Plans for Nigel

‘British Steel responded by rounding up a lot of workers called Nigel and getting them to say their jobs were actually great.’ – The Guardian

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Halsey compares herself to 'music Vegemite', feels her music is loved and hated in equal measures

The pop star has compared herself to "music Vegemite". The Without Me hitmaker admitted she feels like her music is loved and hated in equal measures, just like Australia’s salty savoury food paste. – Perth Now

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Valence
'La nuit s’achève' album cover

Valence

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Music News Digest: Canadian Artists Valence Jon Mullane & Jay Douglas Earn Awards

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The Grand Théâtre de Québec and its partners, the City of Québec, Solotech and De la Létourneau, are awarding the inaugural Bourse Karim-Ouellet to singer/songwriter Valence (Vincent Dufour). The prize was created last Sept., in memory of the late Quebec City-based singer-songwriter Karim Ouellet. It awards a $7,500 cash prize, plus consulting and publicity services from communications firm, and the opportunity for a paid performance at the Grand Théâtre de Québec in 2024. Applications for next year’s Bourse Karim-Ouellet open on Aug. 30, with a Dec. 1 deadline.

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