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Billboard Magazine March 13, 2021

Written for music industry professionals and fans. Contents provide news, reviews and statistics for all genres of music, including radio play, music video, related internet activity and retail updates.

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Land:
United States
Taal:
English
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Penske Media Corporation
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29 Edities

in deze editie

6 min
a year for the weeknd in the top 10

THE WEEKND’S “BLINDING LIGHTS” MAKES HISTORY as the first song ever to spend a year in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 as it logs its 52nd week there. The track, at No. 3, tallied four weeks atop the Hot 100 last April and May. After debuting at No. 11 on the chart dated Nov. 14, 2019, it first reached the top 10 on Feb. 29, 2020, and has spent all but three frames in the top tier since. The single appears on The Weeknd’s LP After Hours, which spent four weeks atop the Billboard 200 last April. “After Hours was always meant to be a very personal project. It’s a story I had to tell,” says The Weeknd. “The fact I’ve been able to tell it with the world listening…

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6 min
nfts: wtf?

IT WAS ONE OF THOSE MOMENTS in my life where I was like, ‘Holy shit,’” recalls DJ-producer 3LAU, “‘I think we just changed everything.’” That holy-shit moment, shared by most of the music business, was his Feb. 25 auction of 33 collectible NFT — non-fungible token — versions of his 3-year-old album, Ultraviolet, that sold for $11.7 million (one NFT went for $3.6 million) — some of which included vinyl, unreleased music and the chance to record with 3LAU. But their real value is as digital collectibles that can be identified as originals because they’re registered on the Ethereum blockchain, an immutable digital ledger. Music creators and executives seem to agree that something has changed — even if they don’t entirely understand it. Deadmau5, Grimes and Shawn Mendes have already sold NFTs…

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2 min
they’re down with nfts

THESE ARTISTS WERE AMONG THE FIRST TO SEE TOKEN SUCCESS Oct. 5 RAC Money raised $26,000 The Portuguese producer made a splash auctioning off the pastel pink audiovisual “Elephant Dreams” in October, and on March 1 announced his new NFT creative agency, called 6. “The rest of the industry is scrambling to understand this,” he wrote on Instagram, “and we’ve been doing it since 2017.” Dec. 11 DEADMAU5 Money raised $97,000 The dance heavyweight and early crypto adopter made his NFT debut with a collection of packs containing animated stickers, virtual trading cards and more. Several new deadmau5 NFT drops since have raked in over $500,000, and his latest collection, Slickmau5, arrived March 9. Feb. 28 3LAU Money raised $11.7 million After the electronic producer was the first in music to drop an NFT in September (for $23,000), his 33-token drop celebrating…

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2 min
the late show

INDEPENDENT VENUES ARE COUNTING ON FEDERAL ASSISTANCE, BUT ITS ENTRANCE SEEMS TO BE DELAYED WHEN CONGRESS PASSED A COVID-19 RELIEF bill in December that included $15 billion in grants for independent music venues, promoters and other performing arts organizations forced to shut down during the pandemic, concert business executives saw it as a lifeline. More than 10 weeks later, however, the Small Business Administration (SBA) hasn’t even started accepting applications — which means funds probably won’t arrive before May. Indie venues have been in “desperate” need of government assistance since July, says Audrey Fix-Schaefer, head of communications at promoter I.M.P. and a board member for the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), which helped lobby for the venue grant program. Venues can’t pay rent now, she adds, with “a promise of hope of…

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2 min
itunes discounts: not just a cheap trick

TO BOOST RAPPER CJ’S hit “Whoopty,” Mike Sherwood’s staff at Warner Records came up with a plan that might seem unusual these days: Sell it. As a 69-cent download, on iTunes. And — “Boom,” he says — “Whoopty” surged from No. 16 to No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in mid-February. It’s a streaming world: In 2020, digital downloads generated just 6% of U.S. recorded-music revenue, according to the RIAA. But since Apple returned 69-cent song sales to the iTunes homepage, some of the tracks involved have surged in sales. After a late-February “69-cent R&B Hits” promotion, Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” (featuring Dr. Dre) spiked 1,421%, to 8,000 sales, and The Temptations’ “My Girl” jumped 727%, to 5,000. Those kinds of numbers won’t shift a label’s balance sheet, but they’re basically found…

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4 min
fare play

WHEN SPOTIFY FIRST NEGOTIATED its initial licensing deals with labels in the late 2000s, both sides focused more on how much money the service would take in than the best way to divide it. The idea they settled on, which divides artist payouts based on the overall popularity of recordings, regardless of how they map to individuals’ listening habits, was “the simplest system to put together at the time,” recalls Thomas Hesse, a former Sony Music executive who was involved in those conversations. They decided on a price point “and had the big pie that gets distributed,” he says. “It was early days, when we invented the whole model.” Over the last decade, that model has become successful enough to bring back the music business — and also reshape it in…

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