>• Writer Rounds. Derrick Hampton has signed with Studio Gold Music, Inc. Hampton won the 2011 NSAI/CMT Listener’s Choice Award with his co-written song “Angie’s List.”… Warner/Chappell has signed Sonya Isaacs Yeary who has had songs recorded by Trisha Yearwood, Vince Gill, Martina McBride and more. Isaacs in addition to performing with The Isaacs recently was honored with Songwriter of the Year at this year’s Absolutely Gospel Awards…Black River Publishing renewed its contract with writer/producer Forest Glen Whitehead who has a song placed on the new Brantley Gilbert album…SESAC Songwriter Tina Parol who has had cuts with Britney Spears plus Natalie Stovall and The Drive, has inked with Sony/ATV and Love Monkey Music.
>• Expanded Collections. Audiam, began by offering direct licensing to help publishers collect YouTube royalties. Now the rights service is expanding its services to audit, administer and license interactive streaming services, scan and match lockers and other hybrid uses. Audiam CEO Jeff Price explains, “The trick to finding and collecting money in the new digital music industry is matching metadata points, database architecture and copyright law. The existing mess of missing and bad data has misallocated or stopped the payment of hundreds of millions of dollars owed to music publishers and artists. By fixing this problem, we are able to find, unlock and administer huge amounts of money our customers would otherwise not have gotten, all while removing liability for the new music services.” For a complete list of music services included in Audiam’s service click HERE.
>• More Data Please. Digital Music News reports that Pandora will create a back-end interface where artists can find their listener data. Details are not available, but DMN assumes the info will include streams per song, top listener locations, demographics, and more. A launch date has not been announced. Mollie Starr, Pandora Dir. of Corporate Communications said, “Features could include the ability to communicate with fans.”
>• Badass Debut. Brantley Gilbert’s new album, Just As I Am, is expected to sell almost 200,000 units placing it No. 1 on the country chart and No. 2 on the Billboard 200 behind Coldplay which is expected to enter the chart with sales north of 370k. It will be Brantley’s best sales week ever.
>• Music City Center Finances. The Tennessean reports that after one year of operation, Music City Center has “failed to meet projections for hotel bookings, saw its surplus revenue fund drop by nearly $8 million and had its bond rating downgraded.” Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. President/CEO Butch Spyridon has responded, ”Property taxes, property values, new restaurants, new hotels, job creation, construction — that building has spurred everything imaginable beyond what any of us thought.”
>• Hillbilly Rappers. New York Times stellar inkman Jon Caramanica offers a podcast and article posing the question we’ve all been asking ourselves this week, what’s all this rap, hip-hop doing in Nashville? Podcast and article notes, “Country has been on a collision course with hip-hop for the last few years…” Might be a lot of todo about nothing, but the article names Big & Rich, Average Joes’ Shannon Houchins and others as possible origination points for the rap influx. Longwinded, but interesting read…
>• Indie Angst. Talks between YouTube and independent labels regarding terms of the video streaming service’s upcoming music subscription service have reached a massive stall according to various media reports. YouTube already has deals with Sony, Warner and Universal according to The Worldwide Independent Network (Win) which claims YouTube is “strong-arming” indie labels by threatening to remove them from YouTube if they don’t agree to a non-negotiable contract. “We’ve paid out to the music industry over the last several years over a billion dollars,” VP of YouTube content Tom Pickett said at the Midem music industry conference in February. Stay tuned…