February 2018


Indie Labels Scored 40% of Grammy 2018 Wins

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Independent labels won 36 out of the 84 or just over 40% of Grammys handed out this week. A2IM member labels 4AD (Beggars Group), ATO, Big Machine, Concord Music Group, Compass, eOne, Mack Avenue, Motema, Naxos, Sub Pop and Thirty Tigers all scored wins.  10 of the 36 winners were distributed by The Orchard.

“Independent artists swept more than forty percent of last night’s wins at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards in New York City,” A2IM CEO Richard James Burgess stated. “A2IM is gratified that our peers, The Recording Academy voting members, so powerfully endorsed the diverse musical values and relevance of our independent community.”


Best Buy Ends CD Sales, Target Demands New Terms


CD sales fell 18.5% last year, as steaming became the dominant format for more and more U.S. consumers. But this substantial decline could accelerate as Best Buys says it will stop selling all CDs; and Target will reportedly follow suit, unless labels agree to more favorable terms.

Best Buy has told labels that it will stop selling CDs in July, Billboard reports. While a fraction of its former self, the once dominate retailer still sold $40 million CDs annually, according to sources. Best Buy has reportedly agreed to continue to sell vinyl for at least the next two years, in part because of a partnership with turntable manufacturers.


‘The Middle’ Rules Top TV Commercials Chart for January


Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey’s new single “The Middle” rules Billboard & Clio’s Top TV Commercials chart, powered by Shazam, for January, thanks to the song’s synch in Target’s “2018 Grammys: The Middle” commercial. 

Using tagging data from Shazam, as well as sales and streaming information tracked by Nielsen Music, Billboard partners with Clio Music each month to present a chart ranking the top songs in commercials. Rankings exclude any song that has recently charted within the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 or top 10 on a genre chart.  

“The Middle” led all songs on Top TV Commercials in January with 89,000 Shazam tags, 56,000 downloads sold and 13.1 million total U.S. streams, according to Nielsen Music. The collab’s launch was also boosted by its music video premiere concurrent with the 60th Annual Grammy Awards Jan. 28. 


Senate Introduces CLASSICS Act Covering Pre-1972 Recordings


Senators from both parties, led by Chris Coons (D-Del.) and John Kennedy (R-Louis.) Wednesday afternoon introduced the CLASSICS (Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, & Important Contributions to Society) Act, which would require digital services to pay both rightsholders and artists for the use of recordings made before 1972. The bill has had a House of Representatives counterpart since July, and is widely expected to pass into law — either on its own or as part of a larger copyright reform package. 

Unlike traditional radio stations, digital music services — both online and otherwise — pay to use recordings made after 1972, which are covered by federal copyright law. Recordings made before then are covered by state law, and the question of whether online services must pay to use them has led to complicated litigation in several states. Both versions of the CLASSICS Act require digital services to pay for the use of pre-1972 recordings in the same way, and at the same rate, they pay to use those made later. SoundExchange will collect royalties on behalf of performers, as it does for recordings made after 1972. 


Video of the Week

Calum Scott – “You Are the Reason”

Artist Quote


I actually love Twitter and Instagram. I do think it’s so strange to think that 20 years ago, people would never have known personal stuff about musicians and actors, but I like it. As long as I don’t obsessively overshare, it’s OK. And when I do overshare, it’s just, like, me saying, ‘I’ve got $7 in my bank account!’ 

– Lorde



EMI America Records was started in 1978 by EMI as a second US label next to Capitol Records.
I was a founding member, VP, A&R. Many bigsuccesses, including Sheena Easton, Kim Carnes, David Bowie, Stray Cats, Sir Cliff Richard, J. Geils Band, Kenny Rogers……  An exciting and successful experience during a great time in music.

Author: Grierson

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