The 2013 Billboard Music Awards pump big sales gains on the charts this week, thanks to blockbuster performances from the likes of Bruno Mars, Jennifer Lopez and Ed Sheeran. The show aired on May 19 from 8-11 p.m. EST on ABC.
In the week ending May 19, the broadcast spurred an overall 15% gain for the 18 previously-released songs performed on the broadcast, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That’s impressive, considering there were only a few hours left in the week before the close of business on Sunday night.
Combined, the 18 tunes sold 842,000 downloads — up from the 733,000 the week previous. Those songs include Mars’ “Treasure” (24,000; up 220%), Lopez’s “Live It Up” (65,000; up 53%) and Sheeran’s “Lego House” (56,000; up 134%).
“Treasure,” which is the third single from Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox” album, also debuts on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at No. 71. It follows the album’s two previous No. 1s: “Locked Out of Heaven” and “When I Was Your Man.”
Other gaining songs include Chris Brown’s “Fine China” (35,000; up 41%), Selena Gomez’s “Come and Get It” (164,000; up 15%), will.i.am’s “#thatPower,” featuring Justin Bieber (81,000; up 3%) and David Guetta’s “Play Hard,” featuring Akon and Ne-Yo (12,000; up 164%).
Even a-ha’s classic Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit “Take On Me” earned a 30% gain, following its surprise performance on the show. The group’s singer, Morten Harket, joined Pitbull and Christina Aguilera during their rendition of “Feel This Moment,” which samples “Take On Me.” The latter cut moved 3,000 downloads for the week.
Next week, we could expect further sales gains, following a full week of post-show impact.
Source: Billboard (by Keith Caulfield)
by Glenn Peoples
Spotify and Rdio are expected to launch in Japan in the next few months, according to a report at Japanese music trade McClure Music.
“Rdio and Spotify will have a positive impact on the Japanese market because they’re a great form of communication in social media for consumers, especially teenagers,” says Takayuki Suzuki, GM of digital strategy, sales marketing, at Universal Music Japan, told McClure Music.
A Spotify representative did not comment on the report. An Rdio representative had not yet responded to a request for comment.
This latest report follows a report in October that Spotify was speaking to labels about opening in Japan this month.
Spotify is currently available in 20 countries and has posted job openings that suggest upcoming expansions to Mexico, Poland and Italy. Rdio is available in 17 countries. Neither of them are yet available in an Asian country.
Although Japan is the second-largest music market in the world, it has been slower than others to adopt subscription services. Only Sony’s Music Unlimited currently operates in the country.
Japan is somewhat unique when it comes to digital music: mobile-related digital content — ringtones, ringtunes, full track downloads — still dominates. In the first 9 months of 2012, mobile digital content accounted for 67.6% of the country’s digital music revenue, according to data from the Recording Industry Association of Japan. Digital downloads accounted for 29.8% of revenue. The tiny remainder was split almost evenly between Internet subscriptions and mobile subscriptions.
But mobile is trending down and downloads and subscriptions are trending up. Mobile digital revenue fell 39% in the first nine months of 2012 while digital download revenue jumped 34%.
Source: Billboard Biz
There are two notable statistics in today’s Nielsen Company & Billboard’s 2011 Music Industry Report. One is that digital music sales accounted for an eyelash over half (50.3 percent) of all sales, marking the first time digital overtook physical. The other is that vinyl album sales grew 36 percent compared to 2010, selling more than any other year in the past two decades.
Taken together, those numbers lend some support to the belief that consumers are losing interest in physical product, but when they do purchase they’re increasingly likely to choose something that they connect with on a personal level.
Total music purchases also reached a new high at $1.6 billion for the year. Digital sales were up 8.4 from the previous year while physical album sales declined 5 percent.
Music executives, meanwhile, should thank their bookshelf stereo systems for Adele (pictured). It has been seven years since an album sold more than 5 million copies in a year, and the soulful British artist’s smash hit 21 sold over 5.8 million units and became the best selling digital album of all time (1.8 million). Adele also became the first to top best-selling artist, album and digital song sales charts in a single year.
Other top honors Adele achieved in 2011 include having the best-selling physical album, digital album, Internet album, digital song (“Rolling in the Deep”), and most played song on the radio with the same sensational recording. She also tops Big Champagne’s Ultimate Chart, which factors in music fans enjoy regardless of whether it was enjoyed via legitimate channels.
Lady Gaga took the number one place when it comes to streaming music, which is appropriate given her embrace of the ephemeral in art, although the most-streamed individual song was Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass.”
Article originally appeared on Digital Media Wire (http://www.dmwmedia.com).
Roger Williams, the virtuoso pianist who topped the Billboard pop charts in the 1950s and played for nine U.S. presidents during a long career, died Saturday. He was 87.
Williams died at his home in Los Angeles of complications from pancreatic cancer, according to his former publicist, Rob Wilcox.
Known as an electrifying stage performer and an adept improviser, Williams effortlessly switched between musical styles.
“Roger was one of the greatest pianists in the world and could play anything from classical music to jazz. He was one of the greatest personalities I’ve ever known,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, a longtime friend of Williams and himself a musician. “He could touch any audience, from teenagers to senior citizens.”
Williams’ 1955 hit “Autumn Leaves” was the only piano instrumental to reach number one on the Billboard pop charts. It remains the best-selling piano record of all time, with more than 2 million sold.
Nicknamed the “pianist to the presidents,” Williams played for every commander in chief from Harry Truman to George H.W. Bush. His last trip to the White House was in 2008, when he performed at a luncheon for then-first lady Laura Bush.
Williams was good friends with Jimmy Carter, with whom he shared a birthday. When the two men turned 80, Williams played a 12-hour marathon at the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum in Atlanta, with the former president in attendance.
Born Louis Wertz in Nebraska, Williams started playing piano at age 3. By age 9 he was prolific with several instruments and could play anything by ear.
“I had a piano teacher growing up who would never play a song for me, she would make me play it from sheet music so I could learn to read music,” Williams said, according to biographical information provided by Wilcox.
As a teenager, he was given his own 15-minute radio show on KRNT-AM, which was broadcast live from a Des Moines, Iowa, department store. Later he hosted a program on WHO-AM, where he first met the station’s young sports announcer, Ronald “Dutch” Reagan. The two men started a friendship which lasted over 60 years.
Nancy Reagan said that when the two men met in Iowa all those years ago, “neither could have guessed that their careers would take them both to the White House someday.”
The former first lady noted Saturday that in recent years Williams performed several times at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, including for a concert celebrating the late president’s 100th birthday.
“Roger was a great pianist, a great American, and a great friend. I am saddened by his death, and my sympathy and prayers go out to his family,” Nancy Reagan said in a statement.
Williams moved to New York to study jazz at the Juilliard School of Music. He won performing contests on the popular radio shows “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts” and Dennis James’ “Chance of a Lifetime.”
Soon after, Williams was signed to Kapp Records, where founder Dave Kapp was determined to find a hit for the young prodigy. Producers decided on a shortened arrangement of “Autumn Leaves,” which Williams recalled first clocked in at three minutes and three seconds.
“In those days the disc jockeys would not play a record over three minutes long. So Kapp asked if I could play the thirds a little faster. I did and it came in at two minutes and 59 seconds,” Williams said, according to Wilcox.
It was an instant hit and catapulted Williams to national renown. He followed it up with a string of hits including “Born Free,” ”The Impossible Dream,” ”Theme From Somewhere In Time,” and “Lara’s Theme from Dr. Zhivago.”
Williams became a popular guest on the top television shows of the time including “The Ed Sullivan Show,” ”The Perry Como Show,” and “The Steve Allen Show.”
In a 1995 interview with The Associated Press, Williams said he liked playing - and listening to - all types of music.
“The only thing I have against rock ‘n roll is the volume,” he said.
He is the first pianist to be honored on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where his star was decorated with flowers Saturday. He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Steinway & Sons.
On his 75th birthday, Williams played a 12-hour marathon at Steinway Hall in New York City, a stunt he repeated several time in the following years.
In March, Williams announced on his website that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. A few days later he played his last concert, in Palm Desert, California.
Williams is survived by his daughters, Laura Fisher and Alice Jung, and five grandchildren.
Funeral services are pending.
Article originally appeared on Billboard (http://www.billboard.biz) and was written by Christopher Weber.
Warning: The following rant will ruffle some feathers and just might upset your comfort zone. Read with caution!
John McCrea, lead singer of the band Cake, stirred up a reaction when he told NPR’s Melissa Block that he is skeptical about the future of music as a vocation.
“I see music as a really great hobby for most people in five or 10 years,” he remarked.
Keep in mind this was part of a segment about Cake’s historic new album, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts in January. It was historic because the album earned the coveted ranking by selling just 44,000 copies — the lowest amount for a No. 1 in the 20-year history of calculating record sales.
I’ve been seeing a lot of articles and blog posts lately about the doom and gloom of the music biz — including depressing news about the state of independent music. There have been references to the failure of direct-to-fan as a business model, and the harsh realities that aspiring musicians, managers, and promoters face.
Really? Give me a break!
Sure, I agree that things have drastically changed. The “traditional music industry” has crumbled. All the new, accessible promotion tools have created a crowded and noisy world where millions of DIY artists are clamoring for attention. Things are in flux. Nothing is predictable. There’s no sure path to success.
So tell me …
How is this so radically different from the good old days?
When exactly was there a sure path to making a good living as an artist? What year or decade did a healthy percentage of musicians prosper in the Golden Age of Music? And in what era was the pursuit of the almighty record deal an accessible and fair arrangement for all concerned?
Wake up and smell the gigabytes! Please!
The truth is … This Golden Age never existed. There’s never been a time when musical self-sufficiency was guaranteed. It’s always been the case — and always will be — that a majority of people pursue music as a part-time hobby.
Only a small percentage of artists make a living. That isn’t a consequence of the Internet or piracy or consumer apathy or limitless entertainment choices. It’s just the nature of humanity, regardless what business model is in place.
If you find yourself complaining about the current state of music, it’s probably because you feel lost not knowing what direction to go or what “rules” to follow. I get that. At least — prior to the Napster and iTunes era — many people agreed on the steps you needed to take: get a record deal and/or get radio airplay, retail placement, media exposure, tour, build a business team, etc.
Now it seems nobody knows what the sure path is. As flawed as the old system was, at least you had some kind of map, right?
Here’s another cold dose of reality … That system sucked just as much as, if not more than, the current one!
Many musicians struggled then … and they struggle now. Artists fought for attention then … and they fight for it now. Self-promoters were confused about marketing and sales then … and they are just as confused now.
And, back in “the day,” there was never a set path to a record deal either. Nearly 20 years ago I organized a lot of music education events in St. Louis with local artists who had been signed to label deals. Each had to forge their own path to get noticed and get signed. No two stories were alike.
However, the one theme that many of them shared years later was the bitterness they felt after having gone through the corporate record company process. Hmm … I guess that wasn’t the Golden Age after all.
Honestly … Do you really prefer the old system of having to impress a gatekeeper before you are deemed worthy of a music career? Do you prefer the stability of needing commercial radio airplay, retail space, and MTV video exposure to “make it”?
I think not! So …
Please stop lamenting the good ole bygone days (that never existed to begin with). Please stop complaining about the hardships of social networking and all the work required to get noticed and engage with fans. Cry me a river!
Success in music has always required talent, desire, a quest for mastery, and consistent action. That was true years ago, and it’s just as true today.
The modern-day whiners all focus on what’s missing and what’s difficult. Meanwhile, empowered indie artists such as Jason Parker, David Nevue, Rob Michael, John Taglieri, and many more see opportunities, embrace this new era and … heaven forbid … are actually making a decent living doing it.
So … are you a victimized complainer … or an empowered doer?
Article originally appeared on Music Think Tank (http://www.musicthinktank.com/) and was written by Bob Baker.