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Billboard Magazine

Billboard Magazine September 21, 2019

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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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United States
MRC Media, LLC
29 Issues

in this issue

4 min.
lewis capaldi lands first top 10

LEWIS CAPALDI COLLECTS HIS FIRST BILLBOARD HOT 100 TOP 10 as “Someone You Loved” lifts 11-9. The ballad rises with 79 million airplay audience impressions (up 11%), according to Nielsen Music; 22.3 million U.S. streams (up 9%); and 17,000 sold (up 2%). The ballad by the 22-year-old Scottish singer-songwriter topped the Official U.K. Singles chart for seven weeks in March and April, while two proper videos for the song have helped its profile, including a clip that premiered at the end of August. Meanwhile, Post Malone infuses the Hot 100’s top 10 with four songs from his new album, Hollywood’s Bleeding, which launches atop the Billboard 200 (see page 186). He becomes just the sixth act ever to tally at least four simultaneous Hot 100 top 10s, joining 50 Cent, The Beatles,…

2 min.
a letter from the editor

In early April, Billboard moved Lil Nas X’s breakout hit “Old Town Road” to the R&B/hip-hop chart from the country chart and found itself in the middle of a debate over how the music business should classify the genre-defying hit. Within weeks, the performer and his fans quickly settled the matter of where the song really belonged: atop the Billboard Hot 100, where it reigned for a record-breaking 19 weeks. The song has defined a year in music when the old assumptions about where artists fit in have burst, and mavericks like Lil Nas X and Lizzo — our other cover star this issue — have become exciting new superstars, as well as top contenders for best new artist and other major Grammy Awards in 2020. Artists like Lizzo and Lil…

5 min.
the pricing paradox

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN AN unstoppable force meets an immovable object? The music subscription business is about to find out, as the force of competition ratchets up the pressure on long-rigid streaming prices. The standard $9.99 monthly charge in the United States — other countries differ — hasn’t budged in over a decade. But now prices are starting to move. Amazon’s new Amazon Music HD, launched Sept. 17, will test consumers’ acceptance of higher prices. Costing Prime members $12.99 and nonmembers $14.99, the new tier provides audio ranging from CD quality to lossless, audiophile-level clarity. Experts say even standard tiers — with less than CD-quality audio — could command higher monthly fees for extra features. About half of music streamers age 21-45 surveyed by MusicWatch said they would pay $15 for an…

3 min.
ric ocasek 1944-2019

THE MUSIC THAT RIC OCASEK MADE AS THE SINGER, guitarist and primary songwriter with The Cars is generally filed under new wave, but it was really a category unto itself. The band, which has sold 15 million copies of its catalog in the United States, according to Nielsen Music, was futuristic yet traditional, visionary yet widely appealing, forged from elements of punk, pop, glam, art and straight-up FM radio rock — even rockabilly. When Ocasek died Sept. 15 at age 75, the outpouring of grief from artists across the musical spectrum — Tim McGraw to Ice-T, Alice Cooper to Beck — was a reminder of the band’s rare and universal appeal. The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers noted when he inducted The Cars into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in…

2 min.
next up for the mma: a budget

WHEN THE MUSIC MODERNIZATION Act was signed into law in October 2018, it mandated the creation of a Mechanical Licensing Collective, which is to be up and running by Jan. 1, 2021. On Sept. 13, the MLC — which must be able to administer the new U.S. blanket licensing system for mechanical rights created by the MMA — filed a proposal to the Copyright Royalty Board estimating it will need $37.25 million to build its infrastructure and then have a first-year operating budget of $29 million. Those assessments are part of a proposal outlining the structure of the collective and the funding required to carry out the statutory demands of the MMA. That legislation mandates that digital services fund the operation, and that the CRB assess how much it will cost. “The…

3 min.
‘spray me with your hose’? as men pen most latin hits, women struggle on charts

BEATRIZ LUENGO WAS IN A writing session for a major female artist when another writer volunteered a lyric for the chorus that went, “I want you to spray me with your hose all night.” Luengo bristled: Her label, Sony Latin, had brought her in to provide a female perspective in the songwriting process. “If we’re going to talk sex, let’s talk sex that’s good for both sides,” says Luengo, 36. “Music has influence. I don’t want to tell young girls that ‘getting sprayed’ is the new sexy.” The Latin Grammy-nominated artist and songwriter, who has penned hits for Ricky Martin and CNCO, is one of just a handful of Latina songwriters working on charting Latin hits. That scarcity goes to the core of a long-standing issue in the genre: With fewer…