ZINIO logo

Billboard Magazine June 26, 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.

United States
Penske Media Corporation
€ 7,18(Incl. btw)
€ 88,90(Incl. btw)
29 Edities

in deze editie

7 min
dua lipa keeps ‘levitating’ at radio

I REALLY BELIEVE TIKTOK GAVE IT A HUMONGOUS JOLT BACK into the pop-culture forefront,” says Erik Bradley, music director at KNOU (97.1NOW!) Los Angeles and assistant program director/music director at WBBM-FM (B96) Chicago, of Dua Lipa’s “Levitating,” featuring DaBaby. “There was a period as it was reemerging at radio when you couldn’t open TikTok without seeing it all over your feed.” More than a year after the original was released on Lipa’s album Future Nostalgia — the remix with DaBaby arrived in October, and the song subsequently entered the Billboard Hot 100 — “Levitating” holds at No. 3 as it hits a new No. 2 high on the Radio Songs chart, up 4% to 81.1 million impressions, according to MRC Data. It first reached No. 6 on Radio Songs in January…

6 min
will avatars kill the radio stars?

TWO YEARS AGO, Anthony Martini’s teenage daughter showed him an Instagram profile for a green-haired rapper with tattooed arms, hypebeast style and glitched-out trap tracks getting hundreds of thousands of plays on SoundCloud. Martini — a former artist manager who helped develop artists like Lil Dicky and MadeinTYO, and in March became CEO of Royalty Exchange — signed the rapper, who now goes by FN Meka, to his record label, Factory New. Since then, FN Meka has released three official singles and acquired 9.7 million TikTok followers. It’s a typical story about online artist development, but with a twist: FN Meka isn’t real, and Factory New isn’t for human artists. FN Meka is a virtual avatar, de-signed by Martini’s business partner Brandon Le, which performs music created with artificial intelligence algorithms.…

2 min
power restructure

For the first time, the Recording Academy will have a separate CEO and president — or make that presidents. Starting Aug. 16, Recording Academy president/CEO Harvey Mason Jr. — who accepted that role on a permanent-basis in May — will relinquish half of his title to co-presidents Valeisha Butterfield Jones and Panos Panay, restructuring the organization’s executive suite. Butterfield Jones — who was hired as the academy’s first chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer in May 2020 after four years as Google’s global head of inclusion — will retain her existing responsibilities and now oversee membership and awards, advocacy and related initiatives. Panay, who founded and ran Sonicbids and will join the academy from Berklee College of Music, where he was senior vp of global strategy and innovation, will also become…

3 min
settling artists’ accounts

IN AN INDUSTRY WHERE smart executives look for angles others don’t see, Sony Music Group’s June 11 announcement that it would begin to pay royalties to artists with unrecouped balances that were signed to its labels before 2000 and haven’t received an advance since, was greeted with surprise, enthusiasm and also a bit of cynicism. The move, part of Sony Music’s new Artists Forward initiative, is designed “to increase the ability of those who qualify to receive more money from uses of their music,” the company said in a letter to its partners obtained by Billboard. The label will not modify its contracts or even adjust the balance — just ignore them in order to prioritize “transparency with creators.” It’s hard to find anyone in the industry who doesn’t like Sony’s idea.…

2 min
small venues face big problems

CONCERTS ARE COMING BACK with what looks to be a busy, competitive fall season. But the Small Business Association’s sluggish rollout of the $16 billion Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program that Congress approved in December is leaving independent venues and promoters ill-prepared for a robust return. For the past 15 months, venues have been largely shuttered due to COVID-19 restrictions. The SVOG was created to save indie venues from permanent closure and level the playing field with corporate competitors Live Nation and AEG, which relied on borrowing during the pandemic — except that the checks haven’t gone out yet and no one’s certain who’s getting one. As of June 21, only 677 venues and promoters had received SVOG funds from the SBA, about 13.5% of those that applied. And although many…

2 min
game over?

OVER THE PAST YEAR, ROBLOX HAS BECOME A popular online platform for kids and teenagers to create and play simple but addictive games — and apparently also upload unlicensed music by artists like Olivia Rodrigo and The Weeknd to listen to at the same time. Now, the National Music Publishers’ Association is demanding that the company behind it stop playing around and start paying for music in a $200 million lawsuit filed June 9. Now that streaming is an established business, the trade associations that represent rights holders are focusing more on ensuring they get paid by companies that incorporate unlicensed music into their products. One early battle was against the exercise bike startup Peloton, which the NMPA sued for $370 million in 2019 and settled with the following year. “We are…