Saturday, January 5, 2013

Youtube Deletes Billions of ‘Fake’ Video Views

YouTube has deleted billions of “fake and “dead” music video views. According to The Daily Mail, the video streaming site has cracked down on allegedly faked views on music videos, stripping Universal of one billion views on its artists videos and Sony of 850 million.
“This was not a bug or a security breach. This was an enforcement of our view count policy,” said YouTube officials after dealing with the alleged inflation of viewing figures for music videos on their site.
The site was forced to take action after conducting an audit of its viewing figures and suspected tampering from hackers, who were evidently artificially increasing views on certain videos in order to make videos appear more popular than they are and increase their own exposure on the site (so their videos would have better chances of popping up in the “related videos” sidebar). Universal, home of Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Justin Bieber, lost a total of one billion views in the video site’s crackdown. Other artists whose channels were affected include Beyonce, Chris Brown, Leona Lewis and Michael Jackson.
Record labels denied involvement with hackers and instead blamed the cuts in their viewing figures on a change in the way that YouTube has changed its view count, according to The Daily Mail.
Billboard reported that the Google-owned company recently decided to remove view counts for so-called “dead videos,” which were no longer live on the channel. A senior label executive told the magazine that because thousands of videos had been migrated to Vevo, the views those clips accrued during their time on their dedicated label channels were taken away in YouTube’s sweep. 
Universal acknowledged its drop in views, but said its channel had been mostly dormant since it shifted its focus to Vevo, which it founded in 2009 with Sony Music, Abu Dhabi Media Company, and E1 Entertainment.

Virgin France To Announce Insolvency

Virgin France, which operates the Virgin music retail shops, is slated to declare itself insolvent next week.  A company spokesperson said today the company would hold a meeting on Monday, Jan. 7 to work out a restructuring plan in an effort to avoid closure.

According to Reuters, the music retailer has been operating at a loss over the last four years accumulating an estimated debt of $28.8 million.

Virgin France is owned by the French investment company Butler Capital, which bought 80% of the company from Lagardère in 2007.  Lagardere still owns 20% of the company which it purchased from Richard Branson's Virgin Group in 2001.

The company operates 26 Virgin retails stores in France including its flagship operation on Paris' Champs-Elysées. The music retailer recently terminated its lease at that location.

In recent years, the UK's largest music retailer HMV has faced similar financial pressures reorganizing itself and recently having to fend off buyers.


Grammy-winning producer Timbaland is taking his relationship with rap star 50 Cent up a notch, moving beyond studio recording booths and into a new business venture for SMS Audio.
Details of the new partnership bubbled online this week as Timbo is now an official investor in Fif's popular headphones line.
The "Candy Shop" hit-maker founded SMS Audio LLC in 2011 and his range of electronics has been a big hit among fans. Now, Timbaland is throwing his support behind his pal's business venture by funneling his own cash into the firm and agreeing to serve as a member of the corporation's board of directors. The music producer, real name Timothy Mosley, will also help design new products. (Star Pulse)
Both hip-hop artists have confirmed the big news and what people can expect.
He says, "50 Cent has created an inspirational audio brand that produces the highest caliber of headphones on the market. I'm looking forward to working with 50 and being part of a company so eager to bring studio-quality sound to music fans all over the world." And the 37 year old is happy to have Mosley as his partner: "As an entrepreneur in the music industry, I have great respect for Timbaland and his evolving role as a producer, artist and influencer. I welcome his expertise and guidance." "Timbaland will be a huge asset to the SMS Audio team as we move forward with new and innovative audio products." (Star Pulse)
SMS Audio President Brian Nohe previously talked to SOHH about the growing brand.
"I remember being a kid in the 1950's listening to my transmitter radio, most people are probably too young to remember, but there was a single bud you put in your ear and that's how you listened to your transmitter radio," Nohe told SOHH. "Headphones have been around for a long time and some competitors have done a brilliant job inducing the market in terms of either quality or fashion. It has been good for the marketplace -- the headphones category over the past few years is growing at about ten percent per year. I love the competitors and I think people like Skull Candy have done a great job and Beats have done a good job in terms of speaking to their consumers and I think there's more than enough room for good, solid competitors and we are going to be one." (SOHH)
A couple years ago, the G-Unit head said a portion of his headphones sales would go toward fighting hunger.
50 Cent promises that his new line of SMS Audio headphones will beat out any current market competition, but the G-Unit CEO is also donating some of the proceeds from headphone sales to Feeding America. "Because of my Street King initiative, with every purchase there's a meal being provided through the United Nations World Food Programme," Fif tells MTV News. "And with this actual project, I decided I wanted to do something here in America. So for every pair of these headsets that are sold domestically and online through, 250 meals will be provided by Feeding America, which is our leading charitable organization against hunger." (RapFix)

Spotify Stops Selling Downloads in Europe

Spotify is getting out of the digital-download business in Europe. The subscription service's latest update does not allow users to buy downloads, although download credits already purchased -- including gift cards -- are still redeemable. U.S. users won't notice a change because in-app download purchases have never been a part of the service in that country.

A company spokesperson explains the move was made "to further streamline the service and pave the way" for upcoming discovery features that were announced last month and expected early this year. The spokesperson added that in-app purchases could return in future updates.

Download sales in general aren't exactly faltering. Track sales rose 6% and digital albums rose 14.8% in the U.K. in 2012, according to the BPI. Digital download revenues were up 32% in Germany in the first half of 2012, according to the BVMI. But the decision makes sense: Spotify is first and foremost a streaming service.

The upcoming features will aim to provide greater context and make music discovery easier. Users will be able to follow artists as they would on social networks. Spotify also plans to integrate album reviews, concert information from Songkick and playlists from tastemakers and celebrities. "We want to make discovery even more seamless and intuitive," CEO Daniel Ek said at the December 6th press event.

Even though Spotify no longer sells downloads, the product acknowledges that its users live in a world of both streams and downloads: The application allows users to access songs from the user's hard drive and also stream songs from Spotify's catalog.

Big Record Labels Push Copyright Claims Against Vimeo

On Friday, Capitol Records and other big record labels asked a judge for a summary judgment win in a lawsuit against the popular user-generated video website Vimeo, owned by Barry Diller's IAC/Interactive Corp.

The lawsuit was filed in New York federal court three years ago. The plaintiffs allege that Vimeo has copied, performed, and distributed seminal sound recordings by artists including The Beatles, Coldplay, Norah Jones, Nat King Cole and the Beach Boys. When the lawsuit was first filed, "lipdubs" on Vimeo's network were hot, and the record companies alleged that Vimeo needed license to the sound recordings when users posted their lip-synching.

The dispute was delayed because there was a pertinent piece of litigation about to go before appeals judges that considered the copyright liability of UGC sites -- Viacom v. YouTube.

Now that the 2nd Appellate Circuit has weighed in on what is required before ISPs like YouTube and Vimeo gain safe harbor from copyright liability -- that an ISP had to have actual knowledge of specific infringements through takedown notices or something else before being required to remove copyright material expeditiously -- the Vimeo case proceeds. Today's motion filed by attorney Russell Frackman indicates how copyright owners are adjusting themselves to an appeals court's direction.

What's particularly noteworthy is how the plaintiffs present Vimeo as being worse than other UGC sites out there. The 2nd Circuit might have revived Viacom's lawsuit against YouTube, but the plaintiffs want to make clear that they have evidence of Vimeo's actual knowledge that passes legal muster.

According to the motion:

    "Vimeo's business model and service intentionally differs from, and Vimeo controls the content on its website far more pervasively than, other 'user-generated content' websites. YouTube, Veoh, and other websites do not create and consistently upload their own infringing videos; do not expressly tell users it is permissible to use infringing music in their videos and instruct their users how to do so; do not have a team of employees monitoring to 'curate' their content and a set of technological tools to accomplish that task; do not actively participate in the website 'community' to define and delimit the content on their website; do not at their sole discretion delete and 'bury' content that they believe does not reflect the image or brand they want to establish; and do not refuse to obtain licenses from music copyright owners or to deploy available technologies to filter copyrighted music. As described below, Vimeo does all of these things and more."

If a judge is convinced on this argument, it would either lead ISPs in two direction -- either be more hands-on in monitoring infringements on the site or be more hands-off in acting in an intermediary, curative role. There might be liability to having a website employee designate a Daft Punk music video as a "Staff Pick" if that stamp of approval becomes evidence of knowledge of exactly what is on the site.

Then again, turning a cheek might not provide safety from claims. The record labels also make arguments on the "red flag" knowledge and "willfull blindness" fronts as well, saying, "Vimeo cultivated an environment where it encourage infringement of music by its employees and its users and then looked away from the same infringing conduct."

In its own summary judgment motion, Vimeo denied taking such an active role, arguing that "given the sheer volume of video content uploaded every day, Vimeo does not -- and cannot -- view every video uploaded by its users to attempt to determine whether it infringes a copyright or otherwise violates Vimeo's terms of service. Instead, Vimeo relies upon copyright holders to inform it if a user has uploaded an infringing video."

The record labels have chosen to dispute this in a 56-page motion. Among the examples given about how Vimeo allegedly knew its culpability is that when it provided a popular video to CBS for possible inclusion in a 60 Minutes pieces about Barry Diller, Vimeo is said to have questioned whether it should use the video because the music wasn't licensed and that an employee suggested, "If you want me to make a version that does not have copyrighted music in it, I will do that for you."


Naomi Campbell refused to elaborate on a recent mugging in Paris, but did confirm to the New York Post's Page Six that she is currently doing "fine."
The 42-year-old model was reportedly attacked in France while trying to hail a taxi on the street. It's believed her assailant was after her jewelery during the time of the attack.
"[She was] knocked over and robbed," a source claimed. "It was terrifying. Naomi believes the assailant had been watching her, casing her out, and waited for a moment to strike when she was alone. She was attacked in the street as she hailed a cab, and robbed... Her leg was injured as she was violently pushed to the ground. She was understandably very upset and shaken up."
Campbell's billionaire boyfriend Vladimir Doronin flew her back to the States to receive medical treatment from an orthopedic surgeon.

Business Matters: A Better Look at the Digital Pie

Digital download sales were up in 2012 in the United States. Track sales set a record. Digital album sales set a record. In fact, sales were so healthy the gains nearly offset the decline in physical sales.

But, as some people pointed out, looking at just download revenue gives an incomplete sense of the digital market. Why leave out all the growth happening in other parts of the digital economy? (For starters, there is no single system for tracking all digital streams as there is SoundScan for purchases. But that's another topic for another day.)

So what does the U.S. digital market look like when subscription and performance revenues are added? The picture changes quite a bit, actually. When put side by side, downloads are still the master of the digital economy but subscriptions and performance revenues are clearly important pieces of the revenue pie.

Here's my rough (emphasis on rough) estimate: digital tracks, digital albums, subscriptions and digital performance royalties generated about $2.4 billion in trade revenue for U.S. record labels in 2012. About $1.7 billion, or 73%, of that $2.4 billion, came from downloads. The rest came from subscriptions services like Spotify and Rhapsody and performance revenues from services like Pandora.

To get an estimate of subscription revenue, I started with the figures available in the RIAA's U.S. Manufacturers' Unit Shipments and Value Chart. RIAA members' subscription revenue grew 13.4% from $212.4 million in 2010 to $241 million in 2011. I forecast a healthy 30% growth in subscription revenue in 2012, more than double the previous year's growth rate because Spotify launched in mid-2011.

The digital performance forecast of $341.6 million was straightforward. I used the same growth rate -- 17% -- for 2012 that revenues grew in 2011. The number was taken from the same RIAA chart. I left off mobile revenue.

The digital download numbers are from Nielsen SoundScan and were reported by this week. I accounted for the share of catalog and new release titles sold each year (for both tracks and digital albums) and made a rough estimate of the average sale price. To make the numbers comparable to the RIAA's data (which represents trade value, not consumer spending), I calculated rights holders' share of revenue and deducted mechanical royalties due to music publishers.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Internet Radio Fairness Act Slips Into Hibernation

Despite some triumphant claims on Twitter, the Internet Radio Fairness Act isn't really dead. It's just hibernating.

The controversial bill, supported by the likes of Pandora and Clear Channel and opposed by groups representing artists and sound-recording owners, would change the standard by which Internet radio royalties are set by a panel of judges.

Neil Portnow, President and CEO of the Recording Academy, claimed victory Thursday when he sent an email to Recording Academy members thanking them for their help in opposing the bill. "Congress listened to you- and we won," he wrote. "The 112th Congress just concluded and IRFA is officially defeated."

IRFA is indeed dead for now, but it was really killed by the calendar. Introduced late in the 112th Congress, IRFA was unlikely to be passed before the 113th Congress was sworn in today. Instead, it set up a political fight that is expected to carry on for years. Sources say the bill's momentum was sapped at the November 29th hearing in Washington. Lawmakers criticized the National Association of Broadcasters representative for seeking lower online royalty rates even though terrestrial radio stations do not pay sound recording owners a performance royalty. The year ended without the bill going into markup and receiving a vote in committee.

Although the hearing did not go well for IRFA, the bill seems like a good bet to be introduced again in 2013. Since Its passage could lower digital music services' royalty obligations by hundreds of millions of dollars. Insiders tell the new bill could be re-introduced under a different name and could have different language than the one seen last year.


Grammy-winning singer Rihanna and Chris Brown are back to making daily gossip headlines after getting spotted riding around together this week in Los Angeles.
Although it is unclear how serious the speculated reunited couple are, RiRi rode alongside Chris Breezy yesterday (January 2).
And just like that ... Rihanna's back where it all started ... Chris Brown's passenger seat. The on-again couple relived their past earlier today in L.A., where they picked up some refreshments -- including an Icee -- at a gas station convenience store. You'll recall, Rihanna was riding shotgun back in 2009 when CB unleashed a ferocious beatdown on her face -- but today, she was nothing but smiles. Oh yeah, that red sweatshirt she's wearing is Chris' clothing line -- Black Pyramid. (TMZ)
The alleged couple also got caught sitting courtside at the New York Knicks versus Los Angeles Lakers basketball game on Christmas Day.
The NBA Christmas Day matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks got a bit more interesting when cameras spotted Rihanna and Chris Brown sitting together courtside. Earlier this week Rih Rih was spending the holidays back home in Barbados. That trip turned a bit creepy when an intruder trespassed onto her beach villa. Today she was back stateside with Brown sitting right next to the Laker bench. (Complex)
Speculation stirred up last month of Rihanna calling it quits on Brown.
The Diamonds singer - who just splashed out $12 million on a new home in the Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles - will join a raft of celebrities who traditionally decamp to the island, including X Factor supremo Simon Cowell, Top Shop billionaire Sir Philip Green, as well as a host of music executives. The 24-year-old singer, who has a net worth of $72 million, always returns to her native Barbados for Christmas, and was reported to be joined by Chris Brown before their very public split this week. (Daily Mail UK)
Breezy's ex-love interest Karrueche Tran has reportedly made attempts to get his attention as of late.
Chris Brown's on-again off-again girlfriend Karrueche Tran greeted her Instagram followers on Christmas morning with a picture of herself wearing a Chris Brown t-shirt with the caption: "Good morning." That photograph's online life was cut short after Brown was spotted being affectionate with ex-girlfriend Rihanna during Tuesday's Los Angeles Lakers game; just hours after sharing the snap, Tran deleted the image. Rihanna then tweeted out this image of herself and Brown, titling the flick: "Thug life." (RumorFix)


Despite some ugly rumors from blog sites about Frank Ocean being arrested for "lewd conduct" while driving, CBS received a statement from the California Highway Patrol which explained the incident as "a routine traffic stop and citations for speeding, driving with a suspended license and a tinted window violation. "
CBS Local Reports:
“On 12/31/2012 at approximately 1630 hours, Officer E. Moore, #20190, was in full CHP winter uniform, and driving a black and white departmental sedan (Class E),” the statement read. “Officer Moore was stopped facing northbound in the center median of US-395, north of Tom’s Place monitoring traffic.
Officer Moore observed a black BMW driving southbound on US-395 exceeding the 65 MPH maximum speed limit. Officer Moore accelerated his patrol vehicle in order to follow the BMW, and then observed a marked patrol unit from the Mono County Sheriff’s Department making an enforcement stop on the BMW. After the Mono County Sheriff’s Department unit stopped the BMW, Officer Moore stopped to provide any necessary assistance.”
Ocean received a Notice to Appear for driving with a suspended license, speeding and for the tinted front windows. ----Erik Parker, CBS Local


Music newcomers Azealia Banks and Angel Haze are starting off the New Year with boiled feelings, publicly going at one another over Twitter.
"if you have a screenshot of angel haze's "threat" plz send to #YOUGOINGTOJAILNOW !"
"Whatever, angel haze was just waiting for an opportunity to express her Azealia Banks jealousy."
"There was NOTHING in my tweets that even for a SECOND alluded to her."
The Brooklyn-born, Detroit-bred emcee followed suit by launching a spiral of disses aimed at Azealia.
" ... remember this?@AZEALIABANKS. There's no know who's better. You've always known."
"b*tch, i dragged you....youre struggling to reach like your edges are.... stopppp @AZEALIABANKS"
"lololol, adam's apple? @AZEALIABANKS? I guess your best physical trait is photoshop....causeee uh....ive seen you in person."
"Bitch, what're signed to interscope...Chief Keef's album came out before yours @AZEALIABANKS ......" (Angel Haze's Twitter)
Last year, Banks said she wanted to step away from Twitter feuding with people.
"Of course, because it's e-thugging... Who wants to look like that? But how else am I gonna reach y'all? I don't have a T.I. to get on a radio show and defend me; I'm the one behind me. Y'all expect me to agree like, "Oh yea, I'm wack. I only have one song." That's one song y'all n*ggas don't f*cking have. You might win some, but you just lost one." (VIBE)
Recently, Azealia revealed she could see herself leaving hip-hop for good in a few years.
"One day, I don't want to rap anymore," Azealia added. "It's easy, you know what I mean, but I think it's kind of tacky and I think it's very unladylike and I like it but I think I'm gonna get tired of it. I would like to get two albums out, get all of the urban stuff, rap music out, or just whatever ideas I have in me out, in to fruition and go back to school and take voice lessons again and do contemporary jazz or whatever. I don't know. I definitely don't see myself being a rapper forever. I wll remain loyal to music, definitely." (Hype Trak)
Check out Angel Haze's new anti-Azealia Banks "On The Edge" diss:

Liberty Media Gets FCC Approval to Take Over Sirius XM Licenses

Liberty Media has all but taken control of Sirius XM Radio.

The conglomerate said late Thursday it has received approval from the FCC for its request for the "transer of de jure control" of the satellite-radio firm, and it expects the complete transfer to occur within 60 days.

Liberty intends on converting preferred securities and debt in order to obtain enough shares to own more than 50 percent of Sirius, and FCC said it expects that to happen before the 60 days are up.

Liberty has been buying shares for several months and is already very close to the 50-percent threshold. The buying spree has been a catalyst for a surge in Sirius XM's stock price, which closed Thursday at $3.08, up 47 percent in six months.

Liberty has already replaced Mel Karmazin as CEO, installing James Meyer as Sirius XM's interim chief, and it has suggested that after it takes control of the radio company it will spin it off.

In connection with Irving Azoff stepping down as CEO of Live Nation on Monday, Liberty purchased 1.7 million shares of Live Nation stock from Azoff, increasing its stake to 26.4%.

Sirius has more than 23 million subscribers to its service, which includes dozens of commercial-free channels as well as dozens of ad-supported channels dedicated to sports, comedy and politics. It also features celebrity channels starring the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart, Dr. Laura Schlessinger and Howard Stern, and it has deals for streaming audio from TV channels like CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and the Fox News Channel.


Brandy's resurgence in 2012 was only the welcome mat for what's to come from the star in the new year.
The newly engaged vocalist partied the New Year away at Tao Night Club in Las Vegas, and took some time to speak on her wedding plans, 2013 resolutions, and some congratulatory words forKim Kardashian on her recent pregnancy.
See B-Rocka's interview in the video below (and make sure you catch J. Cole getting down on the mic with a bottle of Henny):


Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz recently discussed his status with G.O.O.D. Music and explained why he is not ready to officially join forces with Kanye West's growing team.
Despite having a good relationship alongside Yeezy, Chainz said his past stint at Ludacris' Disturbin' Tha Peace has inspired him to go solo right now.
"We been talking about it all the time. DONDA, which is his expertise team, they actually helped me with the album packaging. We combine ideas and all these theories on just trying to get me to have an iconic image for my album package. He had something to do with that and we talk all the time. It's just that I came from a situation where I was under artists already. He completely understands that. The thing that I think we do with each other is push each other as far as the competition level. I'm very confident although I haven't sold a lot of records, I haven't been that successful, in my eyes at least, I still feel like I've got something." (FUSE TV)
Last summer, the artist formerly known as "Tity Boi" denied inking up a G.O.O.D. Music deal.
"I'm not officially signed, paperwork-wise, to G.O.O.D. Music. But I have a great rapport with 'Ye. He called me before Watch the Throne came out. I'm an only child. I've got trust issues. So I don't have a best friend, a brother, sister--nothing. Stuff was happening in my life that I couldn't tell nobody. I didn't have anybody in my life that I could tell, like, "'Ye just called me." (Complex)
Earlier the same year, Chainz discussed how much of a close-knit bond he has with the crew.
"He just said I'm good, like I'm ill. But we was talking and I think I was jeopardizing my brand sometimes by doing the homeboy special," Chainz said, referring to his knack for hooking artists up with guest features. "So I think he felt like we should just put that out there that we ain't doing no more of that -- I would have done almost anything a couple months ago, and it was all about really reaching out because I still will, I'm still grounded, but it made sense for me to slow down a little bit being that I got an album coming out August 14th. I'm still working on that -- I'm just trying to focus on 2 Chainz a little more." (Bootleg Kev)
Outside of hip-hop, his music has also caught the attention of Hollywood stars like actress/singerMiley Cyrus.
Miley Cyrus had a butt-naked birthday celebration -- latching on to a stripper's bare ass, and TMZ has the first pic of the awesome encounter ... inspired by none other than 2 Chainz! Miley rang in her 20th last month with a house party in Hollywood ... and sources inside the bash tell us Miley's friends ordered a few strippers -- one of whom dropped a booty-shaking lap dance on the birthday girl. (TMZ)
Check out 2 Chainz's interview:

Album Sales Down in 2012, But Digital Shows a Healthy Boost

Album sales fell 4.4% in 2012, reversing a brief uptick in 2011, but there were still bright spots in the U.S. music industry, including a continued healthy growth of digital-track sales that indicate a steady long-term turnaround for the business, according to Nielsen SoundScan's year-end tally.
Even the album sales decline wasn't harrowing, considering the four years of double-digit declines the U.S. experienced from 2006-2010, before 2011 

Digital continues to ascend, with download stores finally catapulting to be king of the hill in album sales, outpacing mass merchants by selling 111.7 million units, versus the 93.1 million sold in discount department stores like Walmart and Target. By percentage, download stores now account for 37.2% of all album sales, up from 31.2% at the end of 2011. Last year, the two categories were much closer 103.6 million to 103.1 million with the big-box stores on top.

Digital-track sales enjoyed 5.1% growth to 1.34 billion units and thanks to that robust performance,album sales plus TEA (track equivalent albums whereby 10 tracks equal one album), only declined 1.8% for the year.

All this occurred in a year when subscription and ad-sponsored services like Spotify, Muve, YouTube and Pandora continued to grow and create excitement for music fans as well as industry executives. When iTunes and Amazon's MP3 store are added to the mix digital revenue sales are above the 50% mark, according to industry executives.

For the second consecutive year, Adele's "21" was the top-selling U.S. album, scanning 4.4 million units, versus 5.8 million units in 2010. This marks the first time since the SoundScan era began in 1991 where the same album was the top seller for two years in a row. Possibly just as significant, it marks the first time that the same album, "21," has led the digital album sales chart, with over 1 million copies downloaded for two years in a row: 1.8 million scanned in 2011 and 1.04 million this year.

Jack White's "Blunderbuss" was the top-selling vinyl LP, with nearly 34,000 units versus the nearly 30,000 units scanned by the Beatles "Abbey Road" album. Of course, White's album debuted last year while the Beatles' vinyl came out in the previous year and scanned more units than "Blunderbuss" this year, tallying 41,000 units in 2011 for a two-year total of 71,000 units.

Looking at digital-song sales, Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know" (featuring Kimbra) was the top U.S. seller with 6.8 million units, versus the 6.5 million units that Carla Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" scanned. In total, 108 songs hit the million-unit milestone this year, which is down from the 112 songs that accomplished that feat in 2011 when Adele's "Rolling In The Deep," with scans of 5.8 million, was the top-selling title.

But despite the fall in million-sellers in 2012, as many as 18 titles scanned more than 3-million units in 2012, versus only 14 titles reaching that threshold in 2011. Moreover, the top 200 best-selling titles combined had overall sales of 289.3 million units, versus 280.7 million units in 2011.

CD sales continued their decline, dropping 13.5% to 193.4 million while digital album sales jumped 14.1%. Vinyl album sales actually managed to outpace digital's sales growth, increasing by 17.7% to 4.55 million units. But that's still a meager 1.44% of all U.S. album sales in 2012.

Rock and country were the only categories to post album sales gains in 2012 with the former increasing 1.4% to 107.1 million units and the latter increased 4.1% to 44.7 million units; while R&B experienced a 9.6% decline to 50.1 million units; latin dropped 17.5%  to 9.7 million units; electronica declined 12.2% to 8.8 million units; and gospel fell 3.4%to 22.9 million units.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Exclusive: Tiesto Inks With Red Light Management

Tiësto has joined Red Light Management under its influential founder Coran Capshaw, has learned.

The move makes the Dutch DJ/producer the first major electronic dance artist to link up with a major manager from outside the genre. It also ends his long-time relationship with Complete Control, the Brooklyn-based company that helped build him into a social media and touring powerhouse, and the most sponsored artist in dance music.

Over the last five years, Tiësto accrued nearly 13.5 million Facebook fans and 1.5 million Twitter followers; became the first solo DJ to sell out an arena (Carson, Calif.'s Home Depot Center), and the second to land on the cover of Billboard (after David Guetta); and inked lucrative deals with cross-category brands, including HP, Heineken, Unilever, AKG, and even competing clothiers GUESS and Armani Exchange.

It was uncertain at press time whether Tiësto will stay with AM Only, the booking agency associated with Complete Control (his former manager Michael Cohen works for both), of which he is an anchor client.

Capshaw, No. 2 on Billboard's 2012 Power 100 list, personally looks after artists including Dave Matthews Band, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, and Phish, with a policy of "freedom and flexibility." His direct-to-fan marketing expertise (he founded MusicToday, and sold it to Live Nation in 2007) will inevitably help Tiësto leverage his massive social footprint, and maximize his own merchandising efforts, including his Club Life clothing line.

Capshaw declined comment on the news.

Unsigned NFL star Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson is taking legal action against a few select websites

Unsigned NFL star Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson is taking legal action against a few select websites he blames for providing content from his recently leaked sex tape to the masses.
Details of the lawsuit bubbled online Wednesday (January 2) afternoon.
Chad Johnson's legal war over his sex tape isn't over -- the former NFL star is now suing two websites that posted footage of him having sex with a tattooed woman ... TMZ has learned. Chad's lawsuit names WorldStarHipHop and Media Takeout, claiming the two websites posted the sex footage without his consent ... footage that was allegedly stolen from him in the first place. (TMZ)
There is no clear dollar amount attached to the lawsuit and both sites have removed the content.
Chad wants unspecified damages ... plus a court order blocking the websites from posting the footage ever again. As we reported, both websites removed the tape last Thursday following Chad's cease-and-desist letters ... but Chad insists the damage was already done. (TMZ)
One of the featured women on the tape is allegedly video vixenWankaego.
Earlier today, Chad admitted to being the "Johnson" in a leaked "adult film" he shot with some bangin' tattooed jawn. Well, the identity of said jawn has been revealed and confirmed as a Florida-area model named Theresa "Wankaego" Runyon (@Wankaego on Twitter). According to the FCP report, she has covered Black Men's Magazine, Urban Ink, and also has aspirations to become (wait for it....) a rapper...SMH Celebrity chop-downs are nothin' new to this broad as she has also been known to have dalliances with both Bow Wow and Waka Flocka Flame. (Bossip)
Immediately following its leak, Chad sought out help from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Former NFL star Chad Johnson has come up with a new gameplan to deal with a sex tape that's been vexing him. The former all-pro has contacted the FBI, asking investigators to probe how the X-rated footage got hacked from his phone, sources close to Johnson told TMZ. Sources told the gossip site that Johnson has already admitted to being the man in the sexual highlight reel co-starring two female friends. The video was shot in a Florida hotel room three years ago and was meant to be private. (New York Daily News)

Justin Bieber Calls for New Legislation in Wake of Photographer's Death

Justin Bieber is calling for new legislation following the death of a photographer that was killed in an attempt to photograph the singer's white Ferrari. 

"My thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim," Bieber said in a statement on Wednesday. "Hopefully this tragedy will finally inspire meaningful legislation and whatever other necessary steps to protect the lives and safety of celebrities, police officers, innocent public bystanders and the photographers themselves." 

The incident reportedly occurred on Tuesday shortly before 6 p.m., The Los Angeles Times reports, when an unidentified photographer crossed Sepulveda Boulevard near Getty Center Drive in order to take pictures of Bieber's car, which had been pulled over on the 405 Freeway for a traffic top. A friend of Beiber's was driving the car and the pop star was not present at the time. 

The photographer was reportedly hit by another vehicle as he crossed the street to return to his own car and later died at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. According to LAT, the photographer was not crossing in a crosswalk and the motorist that struck him was fully cooperating with authorities.  

A first-of-its-kind anti-paparazzi law was passed in 2010 and punishes paps driving dangerously to capture images they will sell, but has since come under scrutiny. Last year, a Los Angeles Superior court judge threw out charges related to the law, saying that it violated 1st Amendment protections by overreaching and could affect other photographers. In that case, Bieber had been pulled over on the 101 Freeway in the San Fernando Valley and was cited for speeding. Bieber said that he was being chased by a paparazzo at the time. 


Latrell sprewell arrested
Sometimes the party gets loud - loud enough to get Latrell Sprewell arrested.
The former NBA baller was arrested on New Years Eve for bumping his music too loud, at a time when most people were still getting dressed. Latrell Sprewell was arrested at 4PM at his home in Milwaukee, hours before the ball dropped on 2012.
The 13-year veteran was arrested after "repeated complaints about loud music coming from a house on E. Pleasant St. on Milwaukee's east side," according to local reports. The 42-year-old Sprewell was booked into jail at 4:15 PM, which means his party was already jumping before the sun had set.
This is far from the first time we've seen Latrell Sprewell arrested. The former Warriors, Knicks and Timberwolves player had tax problems in 2008, and is best known for an ugly incident in which he coked former coach P.J. Carlesimo while playing for Golden State. He was suspended for that, but seeing Latrell Sprewell arrested for something as innocuous as loud music pales in comparison to, say, throttling a head coach.


A year after Young Money's Drake threw a jab at NBA champion Kobe Bryant's one-time estranged wife on "Stay Schemin'," Vanessa Bryant has finally broke her silence on the diss.
Writing via her Instagram page, Bryant stood behind her husband and role as a loyal wife.
"I love when immature kids quote a rapper that has never been friends with Kobe and knows nothing about our relationship. Just shows how gullible they are. I don't need to be in the gym. I'm raising our daughters, signing checks and taking care of everything else that pertains to our home life. [...] I really wish people would stop THINK and then realize that they are being sucked into someone's clear intention to monetize and gain attention off of our family's heartache. This is real life. I hold down our home life so my husband can focus on his career. It's a partnership. Since my husband isn't friends with Drake, we received a text of an apology forwarded from his manager. It's done and over with and it's now time for people to THINK before speaking." (Necole Bitchie)
Last year, Drizzy publicly apologized for speaking on their relationship and called Kobe a friend.
"That line came from a conversation about being this young and making this much money and the fear of losing it all. I just used his potential situation to address my own life. I never intended to offend Vanessa or anyone else. That line had everything to do with me and what goes on in my head as a 25 year old man with this much income flowing in. Kobe is and always will be a friend and an icon to me." (Nah Right)
Speculation on Drizzy's lethal words developed following the song's release in early January 2012.
I don't know if you want Drake as the rapper defending you in matters of the heart, but at least someone is looking at for Kobe Bryant in his divorce. Rick Ross came out with a mix tape the other day and everyone is talking about this line from Drizzy. If we are talking about authenticity from our rappers, the maximum Kobe will lose is around $75 million, but I am nitpicking. I much prefer rapper Drake than Gerald Levert Drake, so I can dig it. I have no ill will toward Vanessa, no one put a gun to Kobe's head and told him to marry her (maybe a statutory rape case, but that is another story for another time). You have to understand if you marry someone and you sitting on millions and they are sitting on Little Debbies, it will probably not end well for you in the divorce. (Black Sports Online)
Despite a minor separation, Kobe and Vanessa nixed divorce plans last summer.
Vanessa Bryant will NOT sign documents to make her divorce final ... at least for now ... because TMZ has learned, she and Kobe are working on a full reconciliation. We've learned Kobe and Vanessa are trying to work out the issues that caused her to file for divorce back in December. They spend a lot of time together but he has not officially moved back in with her. Under California law, Vanessa has to wait 6 months before she can file final docs making the divorce official. The 6-month mark hits this weekend, so Vanessa could end the marriage as early as Monday ... but we know she won't. Now here's the deal. We're told Kobe and Vanessa have had their ups and downs since she filed for divorce ... and there's nothing stopping her from filing final divorce papers at some point in the future if things don't work out. One more thing. If Kobe and Vanessa end up living together ... it will be in one of her 3 mansions, because he signed over all the deeds to her while they were working out divorce details. (TMZ)
Check out "Stay Schemin'":