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Live Nation Entertainment Reports Record-Breaking Earnings for 2023

Live Nation Entertainment has unveiled its full-year and fourth-quarter earnings for 2023, boasting its “biggest year yet” and solidifying its dominant position within the entertainment industry.

The prominent promoter disclosed that its revenue surged by an impressive 36%, reaching a staggering $22.7 billion last year, with operating income soaring by 46% to $1.07 billion. Live Nation celebrated record-breaking figures across various metrics, including attendance, ticket sales, and sponsorship activity, as more than 145 million fans flocked to over 50,000 events throughout the year. Concert revenue experienced a remarkable uptick of 39%, totaling $18.8 billion.

However, amidst these unprecedented financial achievements lies a contentious practice: surge pricing.

Throughout the past year, concertgoers have voiced increasing frustration over inflated ticket prices, attributing much of the dissatisfaction to Live Nation and its subsidiary, Ticketmaster. From the likes of chart-toppers such as Olivia Rodrigo and Bad Bunny to rock veterans like blink-182 and emerging acts like Sleep Token, fans across diverse genres found themselves grappling with exorbitant ticket costs. The implementation of dynamic and platinum pricing strategies led to significant price hikes, resulting in lengthy queues, error messages, waitlists, and, ultimately, unattainable ticket prices for thousands of eager event attendees.

While Live Nation’s financial success undoubtedly underscores its formidable position within the entertainment landscape, the prevalence of surge pricing has sparked a wave of criticism and discontent among fans. As the company continues to navigate the delicate balance between profitability and consumer satisfaction, the debate surrounding ticket pricing policies within the live music industry shows no signs of abating.

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TikTok

TikTok’s “Add to Music” App Expands to Over 160 New Countries

Since its inception in 2023, TikTok has continuously revolutionized the way we engage with music, and now, it’s taking another giant leap forward. TikTok has just announced the global rollout of its innovative “Add to Music” app feature, extending its reach to over 160 new countries.

The “Add to Music” app, a game-changer in the music discovery realm, empowers users to seamlessly save the catchy tunes they stumble upon while scrolling through TikTok onto their preferred music streaming service (where available).

Here’s how it works: when users stumble upon a track that resonates with them on their “For You” feed, they’ll notice a new button labeled “Add Song” conveniently placed next to the track name. With just a tap, users can effortlessly save the song to the music streaming service of their choice.

Upon pressing “Add Song” for the first time, users can designate their preferred music platform. From there, the chosen track automatically finds its way into a default playlist on the selected streaming service. However, TikTok aficionados aren’t limited to just one playlist; they can opt to create new playlists or add the track to existing ones, tailoring their musical journey to their liking.

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US Appeals Court

US Appeals Court Overturns Billion Dollar Damages Ruling Against Cox Communications

In a significant development within the music industry’s ongoing battle against online copyright infringement, the US Fourth Circuit Appeals Court has overturned a landmark ruling that awarded major record companies hefty damages against internet service provider Cox Communications.

The billion-dollar damages ruling, previously won by major record labels, has been reversed by the appeals judges. This decision stems from the rejection of a crucial aspect of the previous ruling, which determined that Cox Communications bore vicarious liability for copyright infringement due to its purported control over and financial benefit from the infringement.

In its latest judgment, the Fourth Circuit highlighted that while Cox was found liable for willful contributory infringement, the decision to hold it vicariously liable has been overturned. The court emphasized that Cox did not directly profit from the infringing activities of its subscribers, a prerequisite for establishing vicarious liability.

This legal saga began when Cox was sued by BMG, marking a pivotal moment where internet service providers were held accountable for copyright infringement facilitated by their networks. Subsequently, major record labels pursued their own lawsuit against Cox, leading to the initial billion-dollar damages ruling in 2019.

The implications of this decision reverberate throughout the industry, particularly concerning the responsibilities of ISPs in combating online copyright infringement. The precedent set by the Cox case has prompted scrutiny and legal action against other internet companies accused of similar infringements.

While the ruling affirms the importance of combating copyright infringement, it also underscores the complexity of determining liability in cases involving online platforms and service providers. As the legal landscape continues to evolve, stakeholders in the music industry and beyond will closely monitor developments and their ramifications for digital rights and responsibilities.

Photo credit: Warren LeMay.

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Music Industry

Music Venue Trust (MVT) and RADAR Festival Join Forces to Support Grassroots Music Venues!

In an exciting development for the UK music scene, Music Venue Trust (MVT) has forged a groundbreaking partnership with RADAR Festival, signaling a major win for grassroots music venues (GMVs) across the country.

Under this innovative agreement, a portion of every ticket sold for the upcoming RADAR Festival will be dedicated to supporting GMVs through MVT’s Pipeline Investment Fund. This pioneering initiative marks RADAR Festival as the inaugural event to pledge contributions to the fund, demonstrating its commitment to nurturing the foundation of the music industry.

Since its inception in 2022, MVT’s Pipeline Investment Fund has been instrumental in providing crucial financial support to 61 GMVs, totaling over £260,000 in grants. With the alarming loss of 16% of UK GMVs in the past year alone and 38% reporting financial deficits, this collaboration couldn’t come at a more critical time.

RADAR Festival, renowned for its inclusive and contemporary approach to music, is scheduled to take place from July 26 to 28 at the O2 Victoria Warehouse in Manchester. Boasting an electrifying lineup featuring acclaimed acts such as The Midnight, Dirty Loops, Plini, VOLA, and Sungazer, the festival promises an unforgettable experience for music enthusiasts.

Catherine Jackson-Smith, co-organizer of RADAR Festival and owner of The Lounge Bar in Alton, expressed her passion for safeguarding grassroots venues, stating, “If we don’t protect the smaller venues then there isn’t a pipeline for the next headliners, and this ticking time bomb is something that the music industry can, and must, take action on.”

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Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys Opens Up About Early Struggles with Industry Expectations

Singer-songwriter Alicia Keys recently shared candid insights into her early experiences navigating the complexities of the music industry. In a heartfelt interview with People magazine, the Grammy-award-winning artist revealed the challenges she faced as a young artist breaking into the entertainment world.

Keys, who skyrocketed to fame with her groundbreaking debut album “Songs in A Minor” in 2001 at the tender age of 19, admitted feeling immense pressure to conform to the expectations of others within the industry. Reflecting on her journey, she expressed how overwhelming it was to grapple with the demands of fame while still finding her own voice as an artist.

“I always felt like on top of being a young girl just entering into the music business, exploring, being on television and performing under hot lights and sweating and just (being) in a whole new universe – it was like an alien universe,” Keys disclosed, highlighting the surreal nature of her early experiences.

Despite the initial challenges, Keys persevered, carving out her unique path in the music industry with her unparalleled talent and authenticity. Over the years, she has captivated audiences worldwide with her soulful melodies and empowering lyrics, earning her a well-deserved place among music’s elite.

As Keys continues to inspire fans with her music and advocacy work, her journey serves as a testament to the importance of staying true to oneself in the face of adversity. With her unwavering determination and passion, Alicia Keys continues to shine as a beacon of resilience and creativity in the ever-evolving landscape of the music industry.

Photo credit: Walmart.

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TikTok

Breaking News: German Court Ruling Holds TikTok Liable for Unlicensed Music

The music industry is abuzz with discussions surrounding a recent landmark ruling in the German courts concerning TikTok’s copyright practices. The ruling, which comes as a result of changes made under the 2019 EU Copyright Directive, has significant implications for the popular social media platform.

In a decision that has been welcomed by many within the music industry, the German courts have held TikTok accountable for unlicensed content uploaded by its users. This ruling is grounded in the platform’s failure to make the “necessary best efforts” to secure licenses from relevant copyright owners, as mandated by European copyright law.

Of particular interest is the timing of this ruling, amidst the backdrop of stalled licensing negotiations between TikTok and Universal Music. The breakdown in talks between the two parties underscores the importance of clarity in copyright law, as it directly impacts the obligations and liabilities of platforms like TikTok.

This ruling serves as a crucial clarification of European copyright law, setting a precedent that could have far-reaching consequences for TikTok if it fails to reach new licensing agreements with major music companies. It emphasizes the necessity for platforms to actively pursue licenses and uphold their responsibilities in ensuring the lawful use of copyrighted material.

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Vinyl

Rockvinyl Launches Crowdfunding Drive for New Vinyl Pressing Plant in Glasgow

The company building a new vinyl pressing plant in Glasgow, which boasts an impressive lineup of investors including key figures from the music industry and beyond, has announced the launch of a crowdfunding campaign to bolster its construction efforts.

Rockvinyl unveiled its plans today, revealing its ambition to raise £1.75 million in support of erecting a cutting-edge 7,000 square feet facility in Dalmarnock.

Heading the venture is managing director and shareholder David Brady, a seasoned professional with a background in graphic design and print. Brady is joined by a distinguished board of non-executive directors and investors, notably including Mark Mackie, the chief executive of renowned concert promoter Regular Music, and Mark Wilson, esteemed for his management roles with iconic Scottish bands Orange Juice, Trashcan Sinatras, and The Bluebells.

Among the notable investors is financier David Low, whose involvement dates back to his pivotal role in facilitating Fergus McCann’s acquisition of Celtic Football Club in the 1990s. Low, who also owns the esteemed Arlington bar in Glasgow, brings his wealth of experience and strategic insight to the project. Additionally, Peter McGowan and esteemed medical academic Denis Kinane round out the impressive roster of backers.

The establishment of Rockvinyl’s new pressing plant marks a significant stride in reviving the vinyl industry in Glasgow, contributing to the city’s vibrant music scene and bolstering its status as a cultural hub. With the support of passionate investors and music enthusiasts alike, Rockvinyl is poised to leave an indelible mark on the landscape of the music industry.

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BBC

Iconic BBC Radio DJ Steve Wright Passes Away at 69

The music world mourns the loss of a broadcasting legend as BBC Radio DJ Steve Wright has passed away at the age of 69, as confirmed by his family on Tuesday, February 13th.

Wright, a beloved figure renowned for his charismatic presence and infectious energy, graced the airwaves for over four decades. His illustrious career included hosting shows on both BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2, as well as his memorable stint as the face of Top of the Pops.

While the cause of his death has not yet been disclosed, tributes have poured in from colleagues and fans alike, underscoring the profound impact Wright had on the industry and the hearts of listeners.

BBC director general Tim Davie expressed the collective sentiment, stating, “All of us at the BBC are heartbroken to hear this terribly sad news. No-one had more energy to deliver shows that put a smile on audiences’ faces. They loved him deeply.”

Wright’s legacy is etched in the annals of radio history, with his iconic “Steve Wright in the Afternoon” show captivating audiences for over 35 years. Even in recent times, his presence on the airwaves remained strong, hosting “Sunday Love Songs” on Radio 2 as recently as February 11th.

As the music industry reflects on the loss of one of its most cherished personalities, Steve Wright’s contribution to the world of broadcasting and his enduring spirit will continue to resonate with audiences for years to come.

Photo Credit: Elliott Brown.

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Georgia

Georgia Moves Forward with Statewide Music Office Bill

In a significant development for Georgia’s music industry, House Bill 549, known as the Georgia Statewide Music Office Act, has gained traction. The bill, championed by State Representative Tyler Paul Smith, cleared a crucial hurdle as the Creative Arts and Entertainment Committee convened at the State Capitol on Monday and voted favorably to advance it.

Representative Smith, who sponsored the bill, emphasized the cultural significance of Georgia’s music scene, particularly in light of recent events such as Usher’s electrifying halftime performance at the Super Bowl. “For anyone watching the Super Bowl last night, Georgia music was on full display, it should make us proud,” said Smith, highlighting the state’s rich musical heritage.

Central to House Bill 549 is the establishment of a Georgia Statewide Music Office, tasked with supporting, cultivating, and promoting local artists. The proposed legislation mandates the appointment of a statewide music advisory council comprising Georgia creators, studio owners, and industry leaders. This council will play a pivotal role in shaping the direction of the state’s music initiatives.

The timing of this bill aligns with a growing recognition of Georgia’s music industry on a national scale. By formalizing support structures and fostering collaboration within the local music community, proponents believe House Bill 549 will catalyze further growth and innovation in Georgia’s vibrant musical landscape.

Photo Credit: Ken Lund.

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VELCOA

Shania Twain Set to Rock Hyde Park Like Never Before!

Exciting news has just emerged from the British Summer Time (BST) festival camp, as iconic country-pop sensation Shania Twain is set to grace the headline slot this year, accompanied by the ever-talented special guests, The Corrs. Twain, at 58 years young, joins the stellar lineup following the announcement that K-pop phenomenon Stray Kids will be making their BST debut as headliners.

The announcement has stirred waves of anticipation and enthusiasm among fans worldwide. Fondly referred to as the ‘Queen of Country Pop,’ Twain expressed her delight at the opportunity, stating, “I’ve seen so many of my own musical heroes headlining at Hyde Park and have wonderful summer memories there.” The Grammy-winning artist continued, “It is a real privilege to headline my own show this year. It’s going to be a s***-kicking party!”

Adding to the allure of the event, Irish pop icons The Corrs will be joining Twain on stage, promising to elevate the musical experience even further. Following their performance at BST, The Corrs are gearing up to embark on a UK & Ireland tour alongside Natalie Imbruglia, ensuring that fans have ample opportunities to catch their electrifying performances.

With such an impressive lineup taking shape, this year’s BST festival promises to be an unforgettable celebration of music and camaraderie. Fans can mark their calendars and prepare for a summer extravaganza like no other, as Shania Twain, The Corrs, and a host of other talented artists take center stage at Hyde Park.

Photo Credit: rawpixel.com / The White House Baiden-Harris.

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