Music Biz Headlines, March 25, 2020

COVID-19 themed stories continue to dominate the headlines. Those here feature Kevin Griffin, Rob Halford, SOCAN members, CISAC, NSYNC, Kevin Liles, UTA, and Michael Stipe. Also covered aree The Weeknd (pictured), BMG, and rock memoirs.

Music Biz Headlines, March 25, 2020

By FYI Staff

Dear musicians: here's how to successfully host a live music event from home

From Facebook Live to Twitch, these are the platforms you should become familiar with now. – Melody Lau, CBC Music

Self-isolation: A source of inspiration for SOCAN members

While everyone, including creators, is self-isolating as much as possible, can we already predict an exceptional musical harvest in the wake of the COVID-19 situation? KROY is adamant: “There’s going to be a baby boom and an album-boom.” –  Catherine Genest, Words & Music

Listen: Canadian musicians suggest songs that calm, uplift and give comfort

Music distracts us, soothes us, uplifts us, calms us. All those attributes are required more than ever in the COVID-19 era. The Globe and Mail reached out to a handful of Canadian musicians to ask them about the songs they turn to in difficult times for comfort, joy and peace of mind. – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail


CISAC calls for global action to help creators

Global creators’ rights organization CISAC, with more than 230 member societies in 120 countries, has released an open letter to governments around the world urging global action to help music creators. Read the message here. – SOCAN

Review: The Weeknd shows off his full versatility on After Hours

The Scarborough-bred pop phenom gets into 80s synth-pop sounds but stays true to his moody R&B roots. – Sumiko Wilson, NOW 

Need a self-isolation playlist? Today’s #StarRotation from Toronto DJ Big Jacks

The COVID-19 news has Toronto’s art community feeling the burn. In particular, DJs and artists, who rely on venues for income. The Star reached out to some of those DJs and artists to curate a playlist for readers looking to discover new music online.  – Evelyn Kwong, Toronto Star


Music streaming was down last week amid coronavirus quarantine, but not on YouTube.

On Thursday (March 19), MBW predicted that the volume of plays within the latest Spotify Top 200 global weekly chart would fall by 11.4%. the final tally of all global streams within Spotify’s Top 200 chart last week (from March 13 - 19) was 1.822bn streams, down by 226m plays – or 11.0% week-on-week. – Tim Ingham, MBW

BMG revenues climbed 10% to $674M in 2019, a 23% profit margin

The world’s fourth-biggest music rights-holder, saw its revenues increase 10.1% to €600m ($674m) in 2019, accordingto a new annual report from the firm’s Germany-based parent, Bertelsmann. – Tim Ingham, MBW


UTA cuts salaries across company amid Coronavirus pandemic

United Talent Agency has implemented a company-wide salary cut, multiple people familiar with the decision told Variety, as Hollywood deals with a near-shutdown in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. – Justin Kroll, Variety

Coronavirus leaves roadies and events crew devastated: 'It's the first industry to stop dead'

Australian live performance workers are ‘shell-shocked’ after companies have shuttered and all jobs have dried up – virtually overnight. – Steph Harmon, The Guardian

End of the world as we know it? Music megastars riff on the virus

The big stars are emerging from the hermetically sealed safety of their mansions to get in on the COVID-19 songs act, with Bono and Michael Stipe leading the line. – Straits Times

Kevin Liles finds purpose in crisis

"I can’t control what happens in the outside world. What I can control is my mindset,” says the  CEO of New York-based 300 Entertainment. – MBW

How Better Than Ezra’s Kevin Griffin raised $40,000 for Coronavirus relief by clicking a box on Facebook

The Better Than Ezra frontman raised $40K for MusiCares’ coronavirus relief fund simply by performing a virtual concert on Facebook and clicking a box on the site. Here's his story.  – Jem Aswad, Variety

Coronavirus crisis: How to help roots music artists

Many musicians, event organizers, venues, and fans are already talking about ways to help, and we’ve compiled as many of those ideas as we can below. Stacy Chandler, No Depression 


'Signs of crisis': Coronavirus now expected to halt Italy's recorded music growth in 2020

Italy's record industry had a positive year in 2019, according to stats released by  FIMI, with trade revenues up 8.2% on the prior year to €247.8m ($278m). This year, though, as Italy enters its third week of nationwide quarantine – a government-mandated process which kicked off on March 9 – Italy's local music business is far from optimistic.  MBW

COVID-19: Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford offers tips on staying safe while wiping down his leather 'n' studs

Heavy metal legend Rob Halford is doing his bit to help spread the news about being safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 68-year-old frontman for Judas Priest, aka "the Metal God", released a video in which he gives instructions on how to avoid getting infected and how to engage in proper social distancing while staying connected. – Steve Newton, Georgia Straight


Warner Music Nashville releases compilation album to benefit tornado relief

Warner Music Nashville has released a digital compilation album in support of tornado relief efforts in Nashville. The digital album, entitled Nashville Strong, consists of 21 songs by artists from across the WMN roster, including Blake Shelton, Brett Eldredge and Cole Swindell. – RTT News

The 50 greatest rock memoirs of all time

Awesome rock & roll reads, from Keith Richards and Patti Smith to Slash and Nikki Sixx. – Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone

As *NSYNC’s ‘No Strings Attached’ turns 20, execs and collaborators look back

While Timberlake’s talent was clear to songwriter Andreas Carlsson early on, it was once he became involved in the band’s sophomore album, 2000’s “No Strings Attached,” when he realized the teen’s true potential.– Leena Tailor,  Variety 

Jayda G
David Reiss

Jayda G


Fresh Sounds Canada: New Songs from Jayda G, Claudia Bouvette and More

This week's discovery roundup of new Canadian songs also includes Indigenous songwriter Celeigh Cardinal and Quebec acts KROY and Mon Doux Saigneur.

In Fresh Sounds Canada, Billboard Canada puts you on to the must-hear songs of the week by artists on the rise and those about to break. Here's what's out this week.

Jayda G, “If We Only Knew”

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