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Ian Rogers' Departure From Beats 1 Baffles Industry, Colleagues

News of Ian Rogers' departure from Beats 1 for an unspecified job in Europe came as a surprise to the entire music industry, including his coworkers, sources tell Billboard.

The veteran digital-music executive, who has worked with the Beastie Boys, Yahoo Music and his own Topspin artist-to-fan platform over the years, gave no indication of wanting to leave until his abrupt announcement to the company two weeks ago. The news was broken by the Financial Times early Friday (August 28). Rogers' last day is unclear at the moment, though an insider suggests he could be around for "a couple more weeks."

Blockchain As The Source-DNA For Content Attribution: A Conversation With Bill Tai

Bill Tai is a truly inspiring person. It's not so much his success as a VC – though, that is pretty off the charts – but, more, the fact that even with this success, Mr. Tai continues to keep pushing; expanding out beyond traditional Venture-based activities (if there is such a thing), into endeavors that are as focused on impact as they are profit.

Along with Susi Mai, Mr. Tai created MaiTai Global, which holds events across the country that focus on not only advancing and elevating the discourse on relevant topics, but also is focused on philanthropy. [Disclosure: I will be participating in the upcoming MaiTai event on the Music Industry.]

Facebook Finally Cracks Down On Video Piracy

Facebook didn't get to be one of the largest video streamers on the web without making a few enemies. Unfortunately, up to this point, a lot of those enemies were the people actually creating cool video content for the site.

Today, Facebook is trying to rectify its poor management of controlling video piracy on its site and appease video creators who have been getting kind of pissed off at the site with a series of new updates...


Meet the Match.com for record labels: How Creative Commission is challenging music biz rules

How a 'dating site for creatives' is striking direct relationships

...Very few acts and labels, of course, have the budget of a Nicki Minaj or Taylor Swift. So how can music rights-holders make their money go further while feeding an increasing demand from fans for more visual content?

Creative Commission thinks it has the solution.

The UK-based site works as an online exchange, directly connecting labels, managers and artists with creative talent across video, design, photography and digital.


TIDAL blames Apple for banning stream of Drake concert at charity event … but Apple had nothing to do with it

As part of a charity music event raising money for children affected by Hurricane Katrina, Apple Music rival TIDAL streamed the event live on its website. However, when Drake took the stage to perform his set, the stream was abruptly paused. A message from TIDAL said that Apple had banned Drake from allowing his performance to be broadcast online, with TIDAL saying that Apple is "interfering with artistry" and apologizing for the "big brother" influence.

TIDAL made similar claims on its Twitter feed but it turns out these claims are simply untrue. Although it is true that Apple has an exclusivity deal with Drake for his new album, the contract does not stop Drake from streaming live performances. Buzzfeed confirmed that Apple had nothing to do with the censoring of the stream.

Why Nashville Is Becoming a Recording Mecca for Jill Scott & Other R&B Stars

Nashville and country have been synonymous for decades. But in recent years, Music City recording studios like Blackbird and RCA Studio A have become unlikely homes to a different sound: contemporary soul.

R&B stars Leela James, Kelly Price, Anthony Hamilton and Jill Scott -- whose fifth LP, Woman, debuted at No. 1 on the Aug. 15 Billboard 200 -- all made albums in the Tennessee capital. "I only wanted to record in Nashville -- there's live music everywhere," says Scott. Adds Phil Thornton, vice president/GM of urban inspirational for eOne Music (Lalah Hathaway, Mary Mary's Erica Campbell): "Nashville is more than country, cows and farms. R&B and gospel have strong roots here."

YouTube as well as SoundCloud should worry about PRS lawsuit

We reported yesterday on PRS for Music's decision to sue SoundCloud for copyright infringement. Over the course of the day, the key contradiction between the two parties' statements became clear: it's about whether SoundCloud is willing to strike a licensing deal, and specifically whether that deal would apply to both its existing free service and its upcoming subscription tier.

Meanwhile, it also became clear that this lawsuit may have strong implications for YouTube, not just SoundCloud.

But first, the seeming contradiction. "SoundCloud does not accept that it requires a licence for its existing service in the UK and Europe and has informed us that it will be defending the claim. Amongst other defences, SoundCloud is seeking to rely on the European 'safe harbours' for online intermediaries," claimed PRS for Music yesterday.

Instagram rolls out support for portrait + landscape photos & videos

Instagram today announced that it's rolling out two new orientations for photos and videos including portrait and landscape formats to add to the old square photo format that was previously the only option for users uploading content.

It turns out that nearly one in five photos or videos people post aren't in the square format, and we know that it hasn't been easy to share this type of content on Instagram: friends get cut out of group shots, the subject of your video feels cramped and you can't capture the Golden Gate Bridge from end to end.

Joe Smith Receives a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

The way Bonnie Raitt wound up on Warner Bros. Records is a fitting example of the Wild West days of the music business that Joe Smith presided over. Capitol Records flew Raitt to Los Angeles from the East Coast to play the Troubadour, ostensibly an audition for the label. Smith, then president of Warner Bros. Records, had heard about Raitt from friends and colleagues in his hometown of Boston, where Raitt had a made a name for herself in the folk clubs.

"We had Tony Joe White on the bill as the opening act," Smith recalls. "I went to the show and saw Bonnie and asked her, 'Can we do some business?' "


SAG-AFTRA/Labels Agree on Worldwide Streaming Deal

SAG-AFTRA and major record labels said late Thursday they had struck a deal on a successor agreement on sound recordings that includes what they call a "groundbreaking" formula for compensation for online streaming and nonpermanent digital downloads that includes revenue from outside the U.S. and on platforms including Spotify and Rdio. The previous agreement (which henceforth will be the SAG-AFTRA National Code of Fair Practice for Sound Recordings, had expired Dec. 31, 2014, and covers "session singers, royalty artists, announcers, actors, comedians, narrators and sound effects artists who work on recordings in all new and traditional media and all music formats as well as audiobooks, comedy albums and cast albums." The new contract is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2015 and extends through Dec. 31, 2017.

Facebook draws 1 billion users in a single day

The biggest social network on earth keeps getting bigger. Today Facebook announced a huge milestone: a billion people used the service Monday, founder Mark Zuckerberg said in a post. "On Monday, 1 in 7 people on Earth used Facebook to connect with their friends and family," he wrote. "When we talk about our financials, we use average numbers, but this is different. This was the first time we reached this milestone, and it's just the beginning of connecting the whole world."..


Spotify's Privacy Stumble Highlights Pros & Cons of Data Collection

Last week, leading interactive streaming service Spotify came under fire for seemingly overreaching changes to its privacy policy, which, according to Wired, required that users give up files on mobile devices including photos, their location, their speed (which would disclose whether someone is in a car or running), what you post on Facebook, as well as information about contacts in a user's phone. Soon thereafter, Wired then reported on Spotify's clarification its policy, pointing to Spotify's CEO Daniel Ek's statement about what the service called "a major misunderstanding." Wired also drew many comparisons between Spotify's privacy policy and that of other services like Pandora, Rdio, Apple Music, Tidal, and Google Play Music, which have similar clauses.

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