Why VeVo Could Become The Hulu Of Music

via PC.org

imageUniversal Music has apparently seduced a cortortium of indie labels, A2IM, to join its video site Vevo. That follows last week’s news that Sony (NYSE: SNE) Music Entertainment has also signed up for VeVo, which Universal is launching with help from YouTube, the Google (NSDQ: GOOG) video site.

Assuming it doesn’t run into some unforeseen obstacle, VeVo could easily become a mainstream digital platform for the struggling music industry, much like Hulu has become for the TV industry.

My reasoning, after the jump.

-The labels will probably work together better this time, providing consumers with a robust, complete content offering. The labels likely learned their lesson from the failure of digital music download services launched in the early 2000s, including pressplay (Sony and Universal) and a venture powered by MusicNet (EMI and BMG). Consumers rejected those services for their complicated licensing procedures and lack of choice in the acts offered for sale.  This time around, it looks like the labels are ready to be more collaborative—a release announcing Sony’s participation said it would include a broad array of its artists on the site. Continue reading

UMPG Signs Eminem To A Worldwide Publishing Deal

via Rap Industry

Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) has announced the signing of Eminem, to an exclusive, worldwide publishing agreement. The deal includes Relapse, Eminem’s sixth studio album set to be released on May 19, 2009.emrelapse

The debut single, “Crack a Bottle,” rocketed from No. 78 to No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 setting a new record. It also topped 13 charts worldwide, including the Billboard Pop 100 and the UK R&B Chart. “Eminem continues to be an indelible and iconic musical presence around the world,” said David Renzer, Chairman & CEO, UMPG.

“I am so pleased that we will be working with his manager, Paul Rosenberg and the Interscope team on continuing to bring his amazing music to a worldwide audience.” Continue reading

Scorcese Tapped to Direct Sinatra Biopic


via Variety

Martin Scorsese will direct the biopic “Sinatra” for Universal Pictures and Mandalay Pictures.

Phil Alden Robinson is writing the screenplay for Sinatra based on the life of the iconic entertainer.

Universal and Mandalay have been quietly developing the project after securing the Frank Sinatra life rights and music rights from Frank Sinatra Enterprises — a joint venture of the Sinatra Estate and Warner Music Group. The process of acquiring the rights took years.

Peter Guber and Cathy Schulman are producing.

Universal and YouTube agree on music video deal

via Financial Times

Universal Music and YouTube have finalised plans for a premium music video site, a landmark agreement between the largest record label and the Google-owned video sharing site it had once threatened to sue. youtube-universal-logo

Vevo, the planned new service which is expected to launch later this year, will host Universal’s entire library of professionally produced videos, as well as content from artists. Fans will be able to use clips in their own amateur videos.

Other large labels are expected to sign up to the initiative, an industry-wide effort to control the flood of unauthorised copies of their videos currently circulating online, from which they make little or no revenue. Continue reading

Universal To Partner With YouTube For New Video Site

via XXL

An inevitability in the age of downloading as record labels look for new revenue streams, at least one label is in talks with YouTube to create a premium online music video service.umg-news

Reuters reports that Universal Music Group—the umbrella under which such labels as Interscope and Def Jam fall and home to artists the likes of Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and 50 Cent—is looking to partner with the No. 1 video site in the nation to create what at this point is being referred to as “Vevo.” Carrying premium music-related content, the new video site would generate higher advertising and per-play rates than currently available through YouTube.

Financial terms of a potential deal remain unknown, but an agreement between the two media giants could prompt similar partnerships between YouTube and the remaining “Big Four” labels—Warner Music Group, EMI, and Sony BMG. Back In December, Warner ordered YouTube to pull all of their content from the site after contract talks fell apart but current agreements with Universal, EMI, and Sony BMG remain in place.

UPDATE: RZA Says Wu-Tang Reunion Unlikely…Death of a Dynasty?

All Digital

via ProHipHop

RZA’s in the midst of his Bobby Digital tour for the release of Digi Snax. He’s getting quite a bit of press attention and appears to be taking the opportunity to dig into past history quite freely.

RZA spoke recently on the unlikelihood of another Wu-Tang Clan album:

“I don’t know, really, to tell you the truth…Wu-Tang is forever, I think, and we’ll be making the same sounds, whether we make it together or separately. But as far as making an album together, I don’t know.”

“I wouldn’t want to get into a business relationship with the Wu-Tang Clan because it hurt my business, Universal Music’s business, the record business. It hurt a lot of people when they wouldn’t show up for music videos, for press. It (wastes) a lot of people’s money. A lot of people got fired — the guys don’t even know how many people got fired because of them.”
Continue reading

Boardroom: The Brain Behind Lil Wayne, Sylivia Rhone…

Source : NYTimes, Musicians Guide

Ms. Rhone became the first African American woman to command a major record company when appointed as president/CEO of Atlantic Records division Eastwest Records in 1990.

If behind every great man is a great woman then Sylvia Rhone is definetly amazing! Rap superstar Lil Wayne doesn’t hesitate to thank his boss, Ms. Rhone who is President of Universal Music Group’s Motown Records/ VP of Universal Records, for aiding in the breakout success of the Carter III, which sold over 1 million copies in its first week.

“He stayed connected and nurtured his audience,” said Sylvia Rhone, president of Universal Motown Records. “He was always working. And I think the rabid following he’s cultivated is reflected in those sales numbers.” Universal Motown is also responsible for heavy-hitting artists such as Stevie Wonder, India Arie, Akon, Erykah Badu, Ashanti and Nelly.

If you’re looking for success in the music industry then Sylvia Rhone is more than a role model she is a living legacy. Ms. Rhone became the first African American woman to command a major record company when appointed as president/CEO of Atlantic Records division Eastwest Records in 1990. In 1994, she was appointed as chairman/CEO of Elektra Records where her roster included talent such as Missy Elliott, Metallica, Fabolous and Yolanda Adams.

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“The Incredible Hulk” Smashes Box Office

The Incredible Hulk

via Reuters

A bigger, meaner “The Incredible Hulk” crushed the competition at North American weekend box office with a $54.5 million take, but still fell short of its predecessor, according to studio estimates on Sunday.

The action-oriented film revival starring the hulking green superhero is only the second self-financed production from Marvel Studios, which paid General Electric Co’s Universal Pictures a fee to market and distribute the film.

Marvel and Universal brought the first “Hulk” to theaters in 2003, but that more introspective version failed to follow through on its muscular $62 million debut after disappointing comic book fans. Its ticket sales fell quickly and the movie ended its run with $137 million at domestic box offices.
Continue reading

Ashanti Promo Vid Sparks Protests

Protests are erupting over a graphical depiction of domestic violence that is being promoted by Universal Records to push Ashanti‘s new project. The disturbing mock news clip has blood-soaked references to “Black children” dying and simulates a scene suggesting that Ashanti’s video for “The Way That I Love You” is responsible for a surge in mutilated bodies of “cheaters.” The site pushing this promotion is even called “Universal Crime Network” and features flash animation of a blood-soaked blade cutting through the scene. Activists have responded by beginning a letter-writing campaign. Below is excerpts from a letter written by Najee Ali protesting the move by Universal.

“Over the last 15 years as a Black activist I have been a voice of concern on various issues that I personally felt needed attention drawn to them from organizing gang truces in South L.A, protesting police brutality and organizing forums to help stem Black on Black violence just to name a few there are some who say I have been at the forefront of the movement to help stop the violence and increase the peace.

Which is why along with several of my colleagues nationwide have now launched a campaign to draw attention to R&B singer ”Ashanti” who I feel should be ashamed of herself. Her participation in the glorification of violence in her music video “The way I love you” sends a horrible message to thousands of impressionable youths worldwide who are accessing the unedited video that is being promoted by Universal Music and Motown on their website.
Continue reading

Maury “Baby Daddy” Tees Are Selling Out Fast!


[Source: Complex]

Have they no shame? It was just a matter of time before NBC realized what type of franchise it had on its hand with the antics of The Maury Show. Now they are capitalizing on the brand by commercializing the phrase that Maury’s made famous…”You Are Not The Father!” along with “You Are The Father!” Now they are debuting a line of tees and onesies that revolve around that theme and you guessed it, they’re selling out! Now I would be the first to admit that Maury can be a lil’ addictive, I myself am a recovering addict but can you really stomach seeing a baby with a “I Met My Daddy On Maury” onesie? Where do we draw the line? If you feel this a late April Fool’s joke, CLICK HERE to see for yourself.

More Flicks after the jump…
Continue reading

NBC & Apple Back In Business


The strike is over!  Well, sort of…the holdout between NBC and Apple’s iTunes division is apparently come to a halt with both parties agreeing to crawl back in bed with one another.  After trading blows and throwing dirt in the press about Apple “destroying the music business” NBC President Jeff Zucker had a change of heart and stated in the Financial Times, “We’ve said all along that we admire Apple, that we want to do business with Apple…We’re great fans of Steve Jobs.”  Jobs responded, “We’ll put it back together on the TV thing. Everybody lost. But NBC is a great company, and Apple is a great company.”  Speculators are guessing the two media giants kissed and made up on the heels of Apple’s historic partnership with Universal and several other movie studios.  Apple is preparing to allow customers to rent movies for a 24 hour period, transferable to their iPod’s and iPhone’s.  For a dollar more you can snag in HD…sounds genius to me!  CLICK HERE for more info on this story.