"Someone has to listen and help make a final decision if an artist, a song or a recording is “right” to move forward with and be released. I’ve been very fortunate in that I have spent many years in that type decision making process. It’s a serious responsibility and not to be taken lightly. This is not  something you can go to college to learn. One has to have “ears”, instincts, a gut feeling, and today,  know that varying “data” is a critical piece of the puzzle. I do believe though that eventually “it all  begins with the music”.

The World's Highest-Paid Women In Music 2017


Shortly after Adele took home the Grammy award for Album of the Year in February, she broke it in half--with the intention of physically sharing it with Beyoncé, the internet concluded—in recognition of the latter's Lemonade. But Queen Bey won an even more valuable distinction outright: she's this year's highest-paid woman in music, pulling in a whopping $105 million pretax.

Lemonade was a hit with both critics and fans, giving Beyoncé her sixth solo No. 1. The ensuing Formation World Tour, much of it falling into our list's scoring period, grossed a quarter of a billion dollars. Then she took time off as she and husband Jay-Z welcomed twins Rumi and Sir this summer. Adele finished second, earning $69 million, boosted by seven-figure nightly grosses on her first proper tour since 2011.

"Adele’s music appeals to listeners of all ages all over the world with her undeniably powerful, emotional vocal interpretations paired with timeless songwriting and production," says multiplatinum singer-songwriter Skylar Grey. "No matter what genre someone generally subscribes to, it’s hard to find a music lover who doesn’t appreciate what she does."


Report: Hip-Hop/R&B Is The Dominant Genre In The U.S. For The First Time



While it is no longer surprising to state that streaming, in general, is altering the music business, certain kinds of music now have power like never before because of this new model. 

Nielsen Music recently released its annual mid-year report, which takes a look at how the music industry is doing halfway through the year and lists which songs and albums are performing the best. This time around, the report revealed some fairly unsurprising stats, including the fact that streaming is still exploding,  Ed Sheeran’s “Shape Of You” is the most popular track and Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. is the album that the American public simply can’t get enough of.  All of those could have been predicted, but there is one standout piece of information embedded in the document that is somewhat shocking.


Nielsen 360 Study Finds Consumers Love Streaming Music, But Radio Still Strong


Consumers are flocking to music, with streaming becoming the preferred channel of choice. The latest study from Nielsen Music shows 90 percent of the population listens to music and that, on average, they do so 32.1 hours a week. That's up from 86 percent in the prior annual study, when listening time averaged 26.6 hours a week.

The study, Nielsen Music 360 2017 U.S. Report, also finds that people on average spend $156 annually on music, with live performances snaring the greatest percentage of that. In the prior year, consumers spent on average $153.

Of that, live performances accounted for 54 percent; buying CDs, LPs, downloads and music gift cards totaled 29 percent; streaming 9 percent and satellite radio 8 percent.



Video of the Week


Artist Quote


“Money doesn’t talk, it swears.” 
― Bob Dylan




With Dan Kimpel, my co-writer of our book “It All Begins With The Music”. From the photo session for the book cover.


November 2017

"Trends are always there potentially to affect the thinking, but the true responsibility as a music industry A&R person  is to seek talent, yes, but also to help create and deliver music that sells.  He/she needs to be a leader in creative thinking, not to follow the sheep. One does have to comprehend the sphere of the market, but never live by it.  Sure, we do understand the need by some to create music to fit the slot for what is selling today, but these things  change - often very quickly. Unique talent and great songs will straddle time."

- Don

The Beatles Make £67,000-A-Day From a Company That Shut 50 Years Ago



The Beatles still rake in £67,000 a day from a company they formed before they split, nearly 50 years ago.

Apple Corps, set up in 1968 to manage their affairs, declared a turnover of £24.4 million for the year ending January 31.

It is owned by surviving Beatles Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, as well as George Harrison and John Lennon’s widows Olivia and Yoko Ono. Accounts show each was paid £2.97 million in “aggregate fees for promotional services, name and likeness”.


READ MORE: Mirror.co.uk

Spotify On Course To Hit 500M Users And A $100BN Valuation



According to a new paper from investment bank GP Bullhound, Spotify could be valued at $20bn by the time it goes public later this year or early in 2018. What’s more, say the firm’s analysts, Spotify’s subscriber base is set to grow from the 60m announced in July to 100m by summer next year.

From there, says GP Bullhound, the streaming platform’s user base could hit half a billion (500m) people by 2020 – with 200m of them paying subscribers. And here’s music to Daniel Ek’s ears: Bullhound says Spotify now has a “long-term potential of being valued at $100bn”. Yes, $100bn. Just think. That’s only a seventh of what GOOGLE is worth…

READ MORE: Music Business WorldWide

Pandora Is Worth Less Than Ever



When Pandora Media launched on the NYSE in June 2011, it started trading at $16 a share – with a $2.6bn valuation.

Optimism was rife for music’s big digital play on the stock market. The expectation was that the firm’s valuation, and global presence, would soar. Today, over six years on, Pandora is worth less than a third of what it was that day, at under $5 per share.

And, according to Music Business Worldwide’s calculations, there’s even sorrier news for the firm’s new regime to contemplate: Pandora has now lost over a billion dollars in less than four years.

READ MORE:  Music Business Worldwide


Video of the Week:


 Bebe Rexha - "Meant to Be (Feat. Florida Georgia Line)
Click Here to View

Quotes of the Week:

“I’ve been imitated so well I’ve heard people copy my mistakes.” — Jimi Hendrix
“There’s nothing like the eureka moment of knocking off a song that didn’t exist before – I won’t compare it to sex, but it lasts longer.” — Paul McCartney

October 2017

"While the influences of American roots music and the power of American
pop overseas are well documented, there are numerous success stories of
artists from other countries, most notably the UK, Sweden and Canada, who
have given the world magnificent and life changing music, from The Beatles
to Bob Marley to today’s Ed Sheeran and Drake. Music is truly international, 
and artistry can come from any corner on the earth. As the world has become
smaller, the beat has become much bigger."  

- Don

Atlantic Records & Artist Partner Group Launch Emerge Talent Search



Atlantic Records and Artist Partner Group revealed last week the launch of EMERGE, a nationwide, social media-driven search for exceptional teen Pop/R&B talent. At EMERGE’s launch, it has also finalized partnerships with AEG PresentsDeckstarDeutsch and Spotify as it seeks to discover young artists with breakthrough potential. Additionally, the new platform marks the first time that a music company, live concert organization, management company, marketing agency and digital music service have teamed up to both discover and provide opportunities to emerging talent.

EMERGE is currently accepting submissions from artists and musicians between the ages of 13 and 19, who are residents of the U.S. or Canada (excluding Quebec), until Sunday, November 12th. The search will receive support from EMERGE’s other partners with entries reviewed by Atlantic A&R representatives, who will then select the artist or artists they feel most deserving of a major label contract.


READ MORE: Variety

The Best Selling Artists of All Time



Back in the days of physical sales, the actual number of albums sold was as big deal as they are today with streams and views. The problem was that you could never get an exact count of how many were really sold, so there were always a lot of numbers thrown around that sounded good on paper, but most likely had no basis in the real world (Michael Jackson’s 120 million sales of Thriller comes to mind here). In the United States, the RIAA is the most reliable source since it certifies Gold, Platinum and Diamond awards based on scans of the product barcode during checkout at retail. Here’s a list of the 20 best selling artists of all time in the U.S. according to the RIAA.

READ MORE: Music 3.0


Nielsen:  Radio Reaches 98 Percent of Hispanics Each Week



Radio is the best way to reach the U.S. Hispanic audience, with 98 percent of U.S. Hispanics listening to radio each week, according to a new report by Nielsen. And that audience is growing. Radio's reach among Hispanics significantly exceeds the overall national average of 93 percent, the Nielsen report found.

According to Nielsen’s new "State of the Media: Audio Today 2017" report, the number of Hispanic radio listeners grew from 39.5 to 42.4 million from 2013 to 2017. That increase was tied to a 29 percent jump in Latinos using smartphones to stream audio in 2016 alone. According to Nielsen’s research, 42 million Hispanics use radio each week, with each person tuned in for an average of 12.5 hours a week.

READ MORE:  Billboard


Video of the Week:


 Charlie Puth: "How Long"
Click Here to View

Quote of the Week:

"Historically, musicians know what it is like to be outside the norm - walking the high wire without a safety net. Our experience is not so different from those who march to the beat of different drummers." 

Billy Joel

September 2017

"Our music business is a tough one, always has been and always will be, especially if you
want a “hit record”. But, if the music is “great”, there is an audience for it. The challenge
is to be determined, creative and start the process of connecting, building an audience. 
It is a fact that most successful artists did not happen overnight. They believed in themselves,
worked hard, often with little reward, honed their craft and were ready when all the pieces
came together, like when a jigsaw puzzle is completed.

Have faith in yourself and don’t give up."  

- Don

For $50,000 Gene Simmons Will Come To Your House with 10 CDs

Gene Simmons Performing with Kiss

Gene Simmons Performing with Kiss

KISS member Gene Simmons has announced that he’ll release a box set of previously unreleased solo material this year known as The Vault on 10 CDs in a big vault-like box. The catch? The set will only be available to those who spend an exorbitant amount of money for one of three different “experiences.” 

For $2,000, you can get the Vault Experience, which will let you meet up with Simmons at one of 21 events around the world where you can pick up your box set and get a 5-minute-long meet-and-greet with Simmons. 

For $25,000, you can get the Producer Experience, which will let you meet up with Simmons at one of 11 studios around the world where you can spend an hour with him listening to tracks from The Vault and, of course, get a box set of your very own. 

And **drum roll** for $50,000, Simmons will hand-deliver The Vault to your very home, where you and up to 25 friends can spend two hours with him. There are, of course, some caveats. From the FAQ page: 

Will Gene be in full makeup and costume? 

No. No, he will not. 

Will Gene supply food and drink? 

No. Gene will be bringing the Vault. You as the host will be bringing the party. You are in charge of supplying food and drinks. 

Will he be playing any music? 

Maybe. If you have an acoustic guitar around, Gene may strum a few tunes for you and your guests. 

Will Gene Simmons clean my house? 

No. The Demon does not do housework including windows. 

If any of that possibly sounds appealing to you, you can nd out more information here or watch this handy explanation video below. 

READ MORE: Stereogum

"How’s this for chutzpah? He doesn’t say that the 'winners' have to find their way one of the 21 events around the world or to one of the 11 studio events around the world."  - Don


Guess Which Music Company has a $10 Billion Valuation Before Its IPO?


According a new report published by Bloomberg, there’s a music company that is actively seeking funding at a $10 billion valuation ahead of their IPO.  A source close to the company said says this behemoth is willing to sell 3% of its shares to strategic partners, including record labels.

So who is this company?  That would China’s own Tencent Music Entertainment Group. After merging last year with China Music Corp., Tencent Holdings spun out its music division group.  Last year, it held around 62.45% of the company.  Oh, Tencent also owns WeChat (small detail).  Beyond that, Tencent Music Entertainment Group operates music streaming and karaoke apps.

The company seeks to maintain its dominant position in the Chinese streaming market.  Next year, analysts forecast that the market will reach 4.37 billion yuan ($664 million) in subscription revenue.  Accordingly, forging deals with record labels would help Tencent Music secure vital streaming rights in the country.

All of which sounds just like Spotify.  But, in a totally different sphere of influence.

READ MORE:  DigitalMusicNews.com

"This is a market that will become a major player in the world music business. Still early days but with technology and entities like Tencent Music the world music business landscape will change dramatically." - Don


Michael's Scream Will Be Heard.


With approval from the The Estate of Michael Jackson, just-announced album Michael Jackson SCREAM will be released on CD and digital on 9/29 via Epic/Legacy, with specialty vinyl on 10/27.

The set—a 13-track collection of some of the icon's most danceable tracks, including "Ghosts," "Torture," "Thriller," and "Dirty Diana"—also features “Blood on the Dance Floor X Dangerous,” an energetic five-song mashup (of “Blood on the Dance Floor,” “Dangerous,” “This Place Hotel,” “Leave Me Alone,” and “Is It Scary”) recently created by renowned remixer The White Panda.

That song, which premiered as a Shazam exclusive this morning, could be discovered when fans Shazamed any MJ tune between 7-9am ET. It's now widely available to stream and as an instant-grat track with the album pre-order.

The glow-in-the-dark vinyl edition will street on 10/27. The cover art (and the poster that comes with) feature the first-ever AR (augmented reality) experience created for a Michael Jackson project.

READ MORE:  HitsDailyDouble.com

"I spent a magical time at Epic Records and was involved in the release of Michael’s “Bad” album. I was one of the first people to hear the “test pressing” of the album. Wow! Talk about crazy times! His music lives on and deservedly so." - Don


Video of the Week:

Sam Smith - "Too Good At Goodbyes"
Click Here to View

#1 in the UK already and breaking BIG time in the US. A true artist!

Quote of the Week:

"To not be modest about it, you'll find that with only a couple of exceptions, most of the musicians that I've worked with have done their best work by far with me."   - David Bowie