May 2014

Beats Lowers Yearly Subscription Fee

Details of what to expect from the acquisition of Beats by Apple are starting to emerge.It’s been announced that they will lower their yearly subscription fee from $119. 98 to $99.99. It will still cost $9.99 for monthly subscription fees, which is standard among other streaming platforms.

The Hollywood Reporter  thinks the Apple partnership has allowed the start of a price war with other streaming services. Apple takes 30 percent of in-app purchases from most streaming services, so Beats previous in-app purchases of year-long subscriptions were costing them approximately $36 per customer. Now that they’ve teamed up, that fee ostensibly goes away, making in-app purchases far more affordable for Beats than for their competitors (SPIN ).

Apple Acquires Beats

After weeks of speculation, Apple finally purchased Beats for $3 billion dollars. The deal includes both Beats Electronics and Beats Music. Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre will have roles with Apple. Iovine will exit Interscope Geffen A&M and be replaced by Fueled By Ramen founder, John Janick. IGA’s parent company, Universal Music Group, will also lose Iovine, but will receive about $500 million dollars from investments it made in Beats.

For more on what this deal means, go here.

Metallica’s ‘Black Album’ Reaches New Milestone

Metallica’s self-titled album, known as the “Black Album”, has reached 16 million in sales. The album was released in 1991 and continues to be Nielsen SoundScan’s best-selling album since it began.

Last week, the album sold 3,000 copies bringing the total to 16,002,000. Only the “Black Album” and Shania Twain’s “Come On Over” have more than 15 million copies sold in the SoundScan era, which began in 1991.

Go here for more.

Billboard Launches Twitter Real-Time Charts

If you want up-to-the-minute chart information, Billboard is helping you out. They’ve teamed with Twitter to bring you the interactive Trending 140.

According to Billboard, the chart is “an up to the minute ranking of songs shared in the U.S., measured by acceleration over the past hour. This chart can be filtered to present a real-time view of the most shared track in the U.S. over the past 24 hours, with a weekly summary presented as the Billboard Twitter Top Tracks chart on and in print in Billboard.”

Go here for more on how the Trending 140 works.

Chad Smith, Will Ferrell Drum Battle Finally Happened

After months of back and forth between Will Ferrell and his doppelganger, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer, Chad Smith, their drum battle finally happened. The pair sat down with host Jimmy Fallon on the set of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” to discuss their rivalry.

Watch the drum off and see who walked away with the giant golden cowbell.

Destiny’s Child Reunites for One Track

Destiny Child has reunited for a track on Michelle Williams’ solo album, Journey to Freedom“Say Yes” is a remix of a Nigerian gospel song, “When Jesus Says Yes”.
A video has reportedly been shot to accompany the single.

This marks the third time the group has reunited since disbanding in 2006.

Spotify Reveals 10 Million Paid Subscribers Milestone

Spotify revealed that they reached the milestone of having 10 million paid subscribers globally. In March 2013, the largest streaming music company announced that they had reached 6 million paid subscribers.

Spotify made their mobile version free in December, spurring the growth. 80% of users sign up for the service via mobile devices.

For more on what Spotify’s growth means, go here.

Go Behind-the-Scenes With Michael Jackson’s Hologram

If you weren’t slightly uncomfortable or creeped out by the Michael Jackson hologram performance at the Billboard Music Awards, see how they were able to pull it off.

The performance of “Slave to the Music” took five months to create. The hologram was joined onstage by 16 dancers and a five-piece band.

Watch for yourself.

Beyonce, Jay Z, & Solange Release Joint Statement

A few days after a hotel video surfaced of Solange physically attacking Jay Z, the trio have broken their silence.

“As a result of the public release of the elevator security footage from Monday, May 5th, there has been a great deal of speculation about what triggered the unfortunate incident. But the most important thing is that our family has worked through it,” an exclusive statement to The Associated Press read Thursday. “Jay and Solange each assume their share of responsibility for what has occurred. They both acknowledge their role in this private matter that has played out in the public. They both have apologized to each other and we have moved forward as a united family.”

“The reports of Solange being intoxicated or displaying erratic behavior throughout that evening are simply false,” the statement continued. “At the end of the day families have problems and we’re no different. We love each other and above all we are family. We’ve put this behind us and hope everyone else will do the same.”

The hotel employee that sold the video to TMZ for $250,000 has been fired.

Casey Kasem Located in Washington

Three days after a judge ordered an investigation into his whereabouts, Casey Kasem has been located in Washington State. He is said to be in good condition and his wife, Jean, was with him.

His daughter, Kerri Kasem, was appointed as his temporary conservator on Monday. She filed a missing persons report just hours before the legendary DJ was found. Kerri & her siblings are in the process of having their father brought back to Los Angeles.

Kasem, 82, suffers from Lewy Body Disease and has been in poor health for several years.

Michael Jackson & Justin Timberlake Music Video Premieres

The music video for Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake’s single “Love Never Felt So Good” has premiered. No hologram version of MJ appears, just archived footage from some of his other music videos.

“Love Never Felt So Good” was originally recorded by Jackson in 1983. The solo version as well as the version featuring Timberlake appear on Jackson’s new album, Xscape.

Neil Young & Jack White Perform, Record, and Press Record Live

Last night, Neil Young & Jack White performed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Their performance was also recorded and pressed live on air. A Voice-O-Graph from the 1940s was used. Watch Young & White describe how it works.

See the performance and recording of “Crazy”.

Video Surfaces of Solange Knowles Physically Attacking Jay Z

TMZ (no surprise) has obtained video of Solange Knowles, singer and sister of Beyonce, physically attacking Jay Z in an elevator following last week’s Met Gala. The video appears to show Solange hitting Jay Z before a security guard tries to restrain her. She continues kicking towards Jay Z, who says something, but does not physically retaliate. Beyonce appears to remain calm and does not get involved.

There is no word on what started the altercation. Camps for all three artist have been silent thus far.

Apple Close to Buying Beats Electronics

Apple is reportedly closing in on a deal to make Dr. Dre a billionaire. If the deal goes through and Apple acquires Beats Electronics, it will be sold for $3.2 billion dollars.

For more on what this deal means and Pusha T’s thoughts, go here.

A Hard Girls’ Night

Wax Audio has created a mash up of The Beatles’ ” A Hard Day’s Night” with “Girls, Girls, Girls” by Motley Crue.

Here’s the result.

Cher Contributes to Wu-Tang Clan’s New Album

Cher is featured on two tracks on the upcoming Wu-Tang Clan album her rep confirms. One on track, she sings “Wu-Tang, baby. They rock the world,” at the end. Her parts were recorded separately from the group.

“Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” will only have one copy released and sold. It will be played at various exhibitions, galleries, and festivals before it’s eventual sale.


Hunter Hayes Attempting to Break the Guinness World Records

Hunter Hayes will attempt to break the Guinness World Records title for most concerts played in a 24 hour period. The attempt is to bring attention to his new album “Storyline”, which is out today and will also benefit Feeding America.

On May 9, Hayes is scheduled to play 10 gigs across multiple cities along the East coast. The first performance will be at 8 AM on “Good Morning America”. The final performance is scheduled for 5 AM on May 10 in Philadelphia.

Go here for more.

Will Cassettes Make A Comeback?

Sony has created a cassette tape that can hold 148 GB per square inch. That is equal to 64,750,000 songs. For comparison, the Library of Congress’ entire catalog is equal to 10 TB total. This new cassette can hold 18.5 versions of the Library of Congress.

The tape will eventually be available for commercial sale, but Sony has not indicated when that will be.

For more, click here.