Universal Music Group has licensed the world’s largest music catalog to Equinox Holdings Inc.’s Variis digital fitness app, allowing users to work out at home to hits by Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish and the Weeknd. The agreement comes as the music industry increasingly looks to new partners across social media, videogames and fitness for revenue beyond streaming.
Sony Corporation of America has announced a new subsidiary called Sony Immersive Music Studios, which is focused on “developing immersive music experiences through the power of creativity and technology”. The division is led by digital entertainment veteran Brad Spahr, who according to Sony is “an award-winning developer of next-generation experiences at the intersection of music, immersive reality, and gaming”.
Forget buzzy new shows like “The Queen’s Gambit” and “Normal People.” The three series that people spent the most time watching on the major streaming platforms in the United States in 2020 all premiered on network TV more than a decade and a half ago, the research firm Nielsen found.
The Walt Disney Co. and the Motion Picture Association are joining Comcast and AT&T in halting political contributions to House and Senate lawmakers who voted to reject the certification of electoral votes for Joe Biden. A Disney spokesperson said, “The insurrection at our nation’s Capitol was a direct assault on one of our country’s most revered tenets: the peaceful transition of power.”
The live music web hub Bandsintown is introducing a streaming concert subscription service, Bandsintwon Plus, that will offer shows from independent artists like Phoebe Bridgers, Jeff Tweedy, Soccer Mommy, Joe Bonamassa and Mt. Joy for a flat $9.99 monthly fee. The “all access pass” for Bandsintown Plus promises more than 25 concerts a month.
SiriusXM informed the public of the imminent “impairment charge” in a recent release, ahead of its Q4 2020 earnings call, which is scheduled for Wednesday, February 2nd. The expected impairment is a result of the anticipated operating performance of Pandora, primarily its royalty cost structure,” and “could be approximately $1.0 billion,” the text indicated.
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the United States, told performing arts professionals at a virtual conference on Saturday that he believed that theaters and other venues could reopen “some time in the fall of 2021,” depending on the vaccination rollout, and suggested that audiences might still be required to wear masks for some time.
Teased last October in national commercial spots, the streaming monolith is guaranteeing its roughly 193 million subscribers unseen features every week in 2021. Largely consisting of original productions as well as some splashy acquisitions, the slate has 71 titles across genres — from musicals to action, romantic comedies to family animation.
While live-streaming can never replace real-life options and is unlikely to have the same financial benefits, organizers and artists have witnessed the power of opening up events to a larger audience online and have realized that fans may still crave these opportunities when the world resumes.
Max Haycock, an analyst at Stifel’s London division, recently downgraded the rating of Hipgnosis (traded as SONG on the London Stock Exchange) to “neutral,” specifying first that he and his team “feel uncomfortable with Hipgnosis’ valuation procedure” – particularly because the music industry is “opaque.”