Christmas is around the corner, so you know what that means… music industry news and events!! (that made sense right?)
1. Judge rules Taylor Swift did not infringe with “Shake It Off”… by quoting Taylor Swift lyrics.
After reviewing the case of Braham v. Sony/ATV Music Publishing, a case in which the artist Jesse Braham sued Taylor Swift for allegedly copying material from his song “Haters Gone Hate” with her hit “Shake It Off”, a magistrate judge recommended that he not go further with his complaint. The judge felt that he did not prove that the two songs were substantially similar. However, the way in which she closed her statement was nothing short of priceless:
“At present, the Court is not saying that Braham can never, ever, ever get his case back in court. But, for now, we have got problems, and the Court is not sure Braham can solve them. As currently drafted, the Complaint has a blank space — one that requires Braham to do more than write his name. . . . Braham may discover that mere pleading Band-Aids will not fix the bullet holes in his case. At least for the moment, Defendants have shaken off this lawsuit.”
2. Pandora plans to launch streaming service using Rdio’s technology.
Pandora, in a recent move that intended to fuel “the streaming wars”, recently acquired technology, assets, and personnel from the newly bankrupt Rdio for a reported $75 million. This will enable Pandora to finally get into the on-demand streaming market (kudos to them for seeing the writing on the wall) as well as open up territories for an international expansion. Pandora is only available in the United States, New Zealand, and Australia, and much of the international licensing landscape is friendlier to on-demand streaming than their current passive radio-streaming platform.
3. Streaming services are moving into new revenue streams… and potentially encroaching on labels.
Due to the well known economics problem that streaming services face, huge growth without constant and impressive profitability, streaming services have begun to move into new areas to generate more revenue streams. Especially since the major new entrants into streaming (Apple, Google, and Amazon) are happy to be loss leaders in order to bring users into their ecosystem to spend money on other products. Pandora, in their acquisition of Rdio’s assets and Ticketfly as a whole, they plan to try and capitalize on artist analytics and the sale of concert tickets. Spotify is aiming in the same direction, crafting playlists of local concerts happening in the area with a “buy ticket” option on the playlist. These streaming companies finding new ways to turn a profit that encroach on traditional label activities, such as marketing and show promotion, is disconcerting. However, there are aspects of promotion (getting radio play) and video production that streaming companies don’t have the competency yet to get into.
1. Buy some really cool vintage furniture from the historic Hotel Figueroa at their liquidation sale @ Hotel Figueroa on Mondays to Saturdays 10-5 and Sunday Noon-5 until they run out of stuff. I love cool furniture so I am absolutely going. I actually considered not sharing this to have it all to myself… but what the heck.
2. See the LA Zoo at Griffith Park all lit up with Christmas lights @ Griffith Park starting at 6pm nightly ending January 3rd. Apparently its quite a sight to behold… and theres a rumor going around that Santa is going to be there!
3. Try LA’s BEST Mac & Cheese at “Time Out Los Angeles’ inaugural Mac & Cheese Smackdown“@ LA River Studios only on Sunday, December 6th (choose one of two midday sessions). Mac & Cheese is one of my childhood favorites. If you are a big fan, this is your one shot to become a connoisseur .
Disclaimer: If you read this newsletter without ever seeing the movie “Elf”, you’re missing out in more ways than one.