Friday, June 16, 2017

[Katy Perry]: Becomes First Twitter User to Hit 100 Million Followers!

Singer Katy Perry, who just released her electronica-inflected album “Witness,” has become the first Twitter user to reach 100 million followers.
Perry, who joined Twitter in February 2009, reached 50 million users by mid-2012. 

She’s also set new records on YouTube, with the video for single “Bon Appetit” topping 16.8 million views in 24 hours after it was released last month (breaking her own record, previously set with “Roar”).

{EXCLUSIVE} Prodigy Dies at 42!
In addition to her singing career and “Witness” tour, Perry recently landed a gig as a judge on ABC’s reboot of “American Idol,” and this week helped announce the audition schedule for the show.

Believe Digital: Seeks Sale

This article was originally published by Variety Magazine.

This article originally appeared in Variety.

Contributing author 


TOP STORY: Amazon to Buy Whole Foods for [$13.7 Billion]!

Amazon has a deal to buy Whole Foods, the online retailer announced on Friday.
Amazon Jeff BezosThe all-cash transaction is valued at $13.7 billion, with Amazon assuming Whole Foods’ debt. 
DR. DRE: Invest In Compton

It comes out to roughly $42 a share — a 27% premium on its closing price on Thursday.
Amazon has moved heavily into the grocery delivery business, offering food through its AmazonFresh service. Whole Foods will still operate stores under its name and will continue to be headquartered in Austin, Texas. CEO John Mackey will also retain his job.
Believe Digital: Seeks Sale

It’s the most Amazon has ever shelled out for a company, topping the $1.7 billion it spent to buy shoe and clothing retailer Zappos in 2009.
“Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement. “Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting, and nourishing customers for nearly four decades — they’re doing an amazing job and we want that to continue.”
Shares of Amazon were trading at $988.52 in pre-market trading, a 2.53% jump, while Whole Foods shares were down 6.74% at $33.06. News of the deal took a bite out of stocks at competitors such as Walmart and Kroger.
The deal still needs to gain regulatory approvals and is subject to a Whole Foods shareholders vote. The companies said they expect to close the transaction during the second half of 2017.

This article was originally published by Variety magazine.

This article originally appeared in Variety

Contributing author 



Well, they’re not kidding when they say that the music industry is changing faster than you can blink.
Welcome to Tha’ Palace. In a report by The Wall Street Journal, it’s been found that Spotify has a valuation of around $8.4 billion, while the entire United States recorded music industry has a valuation of about $6.97 billion, according to RIAA.

Believe Digital: Seeks Sale
While these numbers are intriguing, they hardly come as a shock to the music industry at large. As record sales fell while the Internet rose, record labels and artists had to turn to live performances, merchandising, and artist sponsorships as primary sources of profit.

While it’s easy for some to view this as a seal of the industry’s death, it’s important to keep in mind that change is what makes the music industry thrive. Keeping in mind that the the Internet has created a world of free, piracy-ready music, of course streaming would take over. What else would? While music streaming is certainly less profitable for artists than album purchases, isn’t streaming a better option than music piracy?

DR. DRE: Invest In Compton
We may not know whether it’s for better or for worse yet, but it’s impossible to deny that we’re watching the music industry change more quickly than ever. 

Read More
This article was originally published
Contributing author 


Hip-Hop Artists Are Changing What The Music Industry Calls An 'Album'

For decades now, the album has been the most important format to the music industry. Singles were released to promote full-lengths, and entire careers counted on how well a collection sold. 

In less than a decade, everything has changed, and now several artists aren't just trying to change the importance of the medium, they are actually changing the name entirely.
Drake began moving the needle in 2015 when the rapper showed the world how prolific he could be by dropping a pair of full-lengths, which he called mixtapes. It’s certainly not uncommon for rappers to share mixtapes with fans in between proper albums, even ones as busy as Drake, but what made the powerhouse’s decision to call both If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late and What A Time To Be Alive with Future mixtapes interesting is the fact that both were albums in all but name. The two titles were released by record labels, immediately made available for sale and much of the same work that goes into an album, such as clearing the samples and properly crediting every person involved, took place before they dropped. Both albums...I mean mixtapes...debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and together they’ve moved over three million units in the U.S. alone.

After returning to the traditional album format in 2016 for his blockbuster effort Views, Drake once again switched things up and adopted a new name for what appeared to be nothing more than a record. Just a few months ago, the Canadian rapper once again topped the albums tally with More Life, which the hip-hop star and his record labels have been calling a “playlist project.” That’s a term that has never been used before, and one that obviously underlines how important streaming has become to musicians these days, especially the most-streamed artist on the planet. Initially only playable on streaming platforms, More Life has been released on physical formats since its massive beginnings, and it too hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with ease, making Drake the only artist to do so with three different kinds of releases (albums, mixtapes and a playlist project).
Now, up-and-coming hip-hop talent Vic Mensa is continuing the trend of trying out new monikers for a collection of music. The rapper has just recently shared a four-song EP, only that’s not what he’s calling it. 

According to a press release announcing the release of The Manuscript, this is a new “capsule” from the artist. Again, this is a completely new phrase for a musician as popular as the Grammy nominee, and it is only a matter of time before somebody else drops a "capsule" of their own, following in Mensa's footsteps.

Believe Digital: Seeks Sale

This article was originally published by FORBES

This article originally appeared in Forbes

Contributing author Hugh McIntyre 


[REPORT]: Podcast Host Taxstone Pleads Guilty to Federal Weapons Charges

Hip-hop podcaster Taxstone, real name Daryl Campbell, has reportedly pleaded guilty Thursday (June 15) to two federal weapons counts from the 2016 Irving Plaza shooting. 

According to the New York Daily News, Campbell -- who was arrested earlier this year -- copped to possessing a firearm as a felon and receiving a firearm in interstate commerce. 
The May 25, 2016, shooting took place before a scheduled T.I. concert, leaving three injured -- including rapper Troy Ave, with whom Taxstone had a public beef -- and Troy Ave's bodyguard Ronald McPhatter dead.

Believe Digital: Seeks Sale

While the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office did not charge the 31-year-old, who hosts the interview podcast Tax Season, with murder, prosecutors told the judge that Campbell brought a firearm to the venue and fired multiple shots, including the one that killed McPhatter.

Campbell faces up to 20 years in prison.

McPhatter died from his injuries in the shooting, and prosecutors also say DNA from Troy 

Ave, Ronald McPhatter and Darryl Campbell all show up on the murder weapon.

Previously, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office have charged Troy Ave with attempted

 murder for his involvement in the shooting, which the rapper reportedly contended as self-


Tax initially given $500,000 bail, but it was quickly revoked after the government implied

 there would be more serious charges filed against him. Oddly enough, those charges, such as

 assault or murder, have yet to be given.

The podcaster’s lawyer has claimed that Troy Ave is the one who should still be behind bars

without bail, as he is the one who was seen holding the gun in security footage from the 

fateful evening. McPhatter’s family has also blamed the rapper for his bodyguard’s death.

Dr. Dre to help build a performing arts center in Compton!

Dr. Dre is signing on to help build a performing arts center for the new Compton High School in his hometown.
The rapper and producer is committing $10 million toward the new center, breaking ground by 2020. But he'll also take charge of raising the remaining money for the center, which will include a 1,200-seat theater and equipment to teach digital media production.

Believe Digital: Seeks Sale
“My goal is to provide kids with the kind of tools and learning they deserve," Dre said in a statement. "The performing arts center will be a place for young people to be creative in a way that will help further their education and positively define their future."
It's been a long time coming for the project. With the release of his Compton in 2015, the artist and Beats co-founder announced that he would donate his artist royalties from the record to fund a "new performing arts facility" in the city. Now, it seems the idea is coming to fruition.
“The support that Dre has shown to Compton over the years is unwavering and we are so excited that we will now be home to one of the greatest performing arts centers in the country,” said Satra Zurita, president of the Compton Unified School District’s Governing Board of Trustees.


Added Micah Ali, vice chairman of the district's Board of Education: "Dr. Dre has stepped up and partnered with the school district to make this vision a reality. A true act of giving back to the community in a way that will directly impact the ever-resilient efforts of our students to rise-up and succeed. A true act of leading the way and standing as an example to others of how never to forget where you came from."
It's not the first time Dre has dabbled in philanthropy, particularly tied to education: Back in 2013, he joined forces with record producer and fellow beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine to launch a new Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation at the University of Southern California.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Over 49 million fans from 190 countries tuned in to the online event.

Last Thursday (June 8) Katy Perry kicked off the weekend of her Witness album release with a 96-hour livestream, entitled Witness World Wide, in partnership with YouTube. 

The stream encompassed a number of celebrity guests, wild segments and political discussions -- and amassed over 49 million total views. The event lived up to its international name as well, with Katy Kats from over 190 different countries tuning in. 

Believe Digital: Seeks Sale
“We are absolutely thrilled with the success of this unique and surprising event and are honored to have supported Katy’s ambitious, creative vision,” said Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Original Content, YouTube in a statement. “It was truly remarkable to watch Katy share herself with the world and we admire her openness, honesty, and engagement with fans on YouTube throughout the entire 96-hour live stream.”
Perry has long been active on YouTube, with over 24 million subscribers and 11 billion views across her channels. The online event promoted her new albumWitness, which is currently the No. 1 album in over 41 countries. 

Believe Digital Actively Seeks Sale, Major Players Show Interest [EXCLUSIVE]

Believe Digital is for sale and units associated with at least two of the three major label groups have expressed strong interest, sources tell PMG. Other possible buyers include BMG, Concord and several private equity firms. 

Believe declined to comment for this story.

Founded by current president Denis Ladegaillerie in 2004, Believe began an aggressive expansion in 2015, financed by $60 million from private equity firms TCV, XAnge, GP Bullhound and Ventech. TCV also led a $250 million funding round for Spotify in September 2014, and is a major investor in Vice Media. 
One source described global music executives jumping on planes to Paris to visit a "due diligence data room" set up so that they could view financial, legal and other business documents prior to the relatively tight bid deadline set by Believe. Other execs added Paris to last week's MIDEM itinerary.
After Believe aquired TuneCore in 2015, Ladegaillerie said that the combined companies would generate more than $250 million that year, which he boasted was was “bigger than any player in the market outside of the three major labels.” 
With income from streaming soaring, Believe's original investors may have decided now was the right time to sell.