Music Biz Headlines, Jan. 13, 2022

Danny Michel (pictured) slots into a new activity, Hamilton’s Staircase Theatre is another pandemic casualty, and major label revenue surges. Also in the headlines are NEXT magazine, Gideon Arthurs, Lucian Grainge, Capitol, Africori, Primary Wave, Paul Rodgers, Morgan Wallen, Elvis Costello, Coachella, Poly Styrene, and Allen Toussaint.

Music Biz Headlines, Jan. 13, 2022

By Kerry Doole

Kitchener musician making art with hometown connection

Danny Michel is a three-time Juno award nominee, but for his next big project he decided to build a miniature replica of the local Schneiders sign that can be seen from Hwy. 401. It's part of a race track project in his home for his AFX slot cars. This has become a new focus for Michel after a slew of shows and a western tour could not go on because of the pandemic. – Ricardo Veneza, CTV News Kitchener 

Gideon Arthurs named new executive director of Soulpepper Theatre Company

Soulpepper’s board of directors announced on Monday that Arthurs will serve at the helm of the Toronto theatre company alongside artistic director Weyni Mengesha. Arthurs joins Soulpepper after eight years as the chief executive officer of the National Theatre School of Canada. – CP


NEXT Magazine's Top 21 articles from 2021

From TikTok scoops to musings about mega-star misfortunes, our readers turn to website to find out what’s NEXT in record numbers. – Staff, NEXT

‘We’ve gone 30 rounds with this pandemic’-  Hamilton’s Staircase Theatre closes its doors

A popular arts venue in Hamilton is closings its doors once again. The Staircase Theatre on Dundurn St. was saved from closure in late 2020 by three Hamilton small business owners. They had hopes of serving Hamilton as a premier alternative event space featuring live performances, music, video games and theatre. The owners posted on their Instagram account this past weekend they have decided to close due to the effects of the pandemic.  – Shayla Vize CHCH

Nestruck on Theatre: Canadian plays move back to your headphones as live, in-person postponements abound

As hard as it is has been for theatre companies in provinces such as Newfoundland, Ontario and Quebec to be shut down again because of government restrictions introduced in the past few weeks, at least it has made the decision-making process on whether to go ahead with shows this month easy for artistic directors and administrators. – JK Nestruck, Globe and Mail


2021 major label revenue surged, but what does it mean?

2021 was an anomalous year for the recorded music market. Two of the majors did an IPO, the pandemic continued to disrupt the marketplace, and major label revenues grew at unprecedented rates. – MIDIA Research


At least $5B was spent on music rights acquisitions in 2021. Could 2022 be even bigger?

The music rights market was on fire in 2021. MBW estimates  that at least $5.05B was spent on catalog and music rights acquisitions across the 60-plus big-money deals we reported on during last year. That figure includes deals for individual catalogs sold by artists and songwriters, plus acquisitions of music rights portfolios (including those owned by active labels/publishers) by companies from other companies. – MBW

Lucian Grainge’s memo to UMG staff: Big hits, good deeds and embracing change

With another major year in the books, UMG's chairman/CEO sends a note to the troops: "Universal Music truly is a category of one." – Dan Rys, Billboard

Arjun Pulijal named President of Capitol Music Group

Michelle Jubelirer has made her first big executive move since being promoted to Chair and CEO of Capitol Music Group (CMG) in December, as Arjun Pulijal is elevated to President of Capitol Music Group (CMG). In his new role, Pulijal will work closely with Jubelirer in leading the company and planning its direction and future growth. – Murray Stassen, MBW

‘It’s a game-changer for us’: Artists welcome guaranteed basic income plan

Pilot scheme could see 2,000 creative workers get €325 a week from March 2022. – Irish Times

Warner acquires Africa-based music distributor Africori

Warner Music Group (WMG) has acquired a majority stake in Africori, a prominent African music distribution, music rights management and artist development company. With offices in Johannesburg, London and Lagos, Africori currently services 7K artists and 850 clients. WMG says that Africori will continue to operate as an independent company, with current CEO, Yoel Kenan, remaining in his post. – Billboard


About that catalog music stat we published the other day

On Jan. 6, MBW published a jaw-dropping statistic about the US music market in 2021: 82.1% of music consumption in the second half of the year, we calculated, was of ‘catalog’ music, as opposed to ‘current’ music. On Jan. 11, MRC Data issued a correction to its annual 2021 report, significantly altering its numbers when it comes to both ‘catalog’ and ‘current’ music consumption in 2021, so we've downgraded the stat for catalog share of the US music market in 2021. – MBW


Primary Wave pays $60M for stakes in Paul Rodgers and America catalogs

Primary Wave Music has recently struck two new catalog deals for a combined $60M The firm has spent $20M on a stake in Paul Rodgers’ music publishing catalog for Free and Bad Company, as well as his master recording income streams for both bands. Secondly, Primary Wave has acquired Gerry Beckley’s and Dewey Bunnell’s rights in the America music catalog, in a deal worth $40 million. – Murray Stassen, MBW

The 40 Best Pop Albums of 2021

Featuring Olivia Rodrigo, Xenia Rubinos, Rosie Tucker and more. – Staff, Paste

Historic venue Grand Ole Opry criticized for Morgan Wallen performance

Some saw the show as a path to reconciliation for Wallen after he used a racial slur last year.– d in Lakeview named in honor of Confederate General Robert E. Lee will be renamed after the late rhythm-and-blues icon Allen Toussaint. The renaming is part of an ongoing effort to rid the city's’ streetscape of place names memorializing Confederate leaders and white supremacists. Offbeat

Elvis Costello says radio stations would be “doing him a favour” if they stopped playing ‘Oliver’s Army’

The controversial track has attracted criticism over the years. –  Damian Jones, NME

Even if Coachella's not going to happen, organizers have given us a reason to live with Kanye and Billie Eilish

According to the Hollywood Reporter—via TMZ and Variety—doom-pop queen and all-round renaissance woman Billie Eilish and Kanye West have been approached to headline Friday’s Coachella lineups. At the moment, Coachella is scheduled for two weekend, April 15-17 and April 22-24, at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, California. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

Start 2022 with these exciting new roots music releases

With 2021 under our belts, and all those best-of-the-year lists in the rearview mirror, it’s time to turn our attention to what the new year holds. Below are initial impressions of four new releases that I’m enamored with. Canadian Sam Weber is on the list. – No Depression

Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché doco is out next month

New documentary Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché is out next month, and will screen nationwide just before it hits streaming/VOD on February 4. Screenings include theaters and a few rock clubs too. I Am A Cliché tells the story of the late X-Ray Spex singer through the lens of Poly's daughter, Celeste Bell. –Brooklyn Vegan 


Jack White sets table for upcoming Supply Chain Issue Tour with "Taking Me Back"

Jack White is making it crystal clear he’s had quite enough of sitting around the house. Or, if you prefer, sprawling Nashville estate. The White Stripes frontman turned solo artist has released a live-performance video for last October’s single “Taking Me Back”. What you get in the self-directed clip is four guys plugging and old-school rocking out. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

Courtesy of Vertigo Live



Iceland Rock Band KALEO's 'Rock N Roller' is This Week's Hot New Radio Track in Canada

Toronto band jackie's "Perfume" and Nova Scotian singer-songwriter Maggie Andrew's "About Us" are also making their way onto radio playlists.

The following are tracks delivered to radio by digital distributor Yangaroo in Canada and broken down into three categories. Top Downloads and Top Canadian Downloads represent the most copied tracks in the week ending June 7. Most Active Indies blends downloads and streams, with the affiliated label and radio promotions company in parentheses.

Top Downloads

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