<• Tim James has signed an exclusive joint venture publishing agreement with Big Deal Music and BMG Chrysalis US. James wrote the Billboard 2010 Song Of The Year recorded by Lee Brice, “Love Like Crazy.” He’s also had cuts from artists such as Darius Rucker, Chris Young, Toby Keith, Trace Adkins and Lee Ann Womack. Kos Weaver, EVP of BMG Chrysalis Nashville, commented,”Tim is an extraordinary talent and a highly respected songwriter.” Dale Bobo, Sr. VP at Big Deal added, “Tim, Kos and I worked together a few years ago and it was awesome. I’m tremendously excited about supporting Tim again with our new teams.”
<• According to Billboard, Amazon wants to add what sources describe as catalog music streaming to its Prime service. The publication reports that Amazon offered indie labels a pool of $5 million and majors $25 million to be divided up according to use. Amazon hasn’t commented. Last Friday the Seattle-based retailer announced it was raising its Prime service membership fee from $79 to $99.
<• Nielsen presented at SWSX, The Insights Evolution: Why Only Obsessing About Sales Is Holding You Back. After analyzing trends of top songs that gained commercial success via sales, on-demand streams and airplay. They found the following conclusions…
– In many cases, web/social activity before the release of a song drives awareness, contributing to first-week sales and consumer activity.
– Radio can be a vital driver of On-Demand streaming and sales.
– The first 8 to 12 weeks of a new release can present the best opportunity for TV and other exposure.
– Around week 12, consumption typically reaches its peak.
– After 12 weeks, artists should look for crossover opportunities to engage new audiences as consumption starts to decline.
<• In the long term, streaming presents the opportunity to lengthen monetization
<• Google has lowered the price of its monthly storage plans to $1.99 for 100GB (previously $4.99), $9.99 for 1TB (previously $49.99), and $99.99 for 10TB, with even more storage available if you need it. Present customers will receive the lower rates automatically. The lower rates are expected to create some pricing waves among players like Dropbox which charges $10 a month for 100GB.
<• Singer/songwriter Brandy Clark will debut on the Ellen DeGeneres Show on Thurs., March 20. Clark is expected perform “Stripes” on the show, the song which DeGeneres danced to during a Beats Superbowl ad which featured the track. Clark is currently touring the country opening for Jennifer Nettles. In addition to writing and performing her own songs, she writes for other artists. Miranda Lambert took her song “Mama’s Broken Heart” to No. 1, as did The Band Perry with “Better Dig Two.” She’s also had songs recorded by Sheryl Crow, Darius Rucker, and frequent collaborator, Kacey Musgraves. More on Clark’s new album HERE.
<• Legendary songwriter/producer Desmond Child will close NSAI’s Spring Training Event, March 28-29 at Scarritt Bennett Center in Nashville with an interview and performance. The two-day event is $470 for non-NSAI members and $370 for members. Register HERE. The panels and discussions feature writers such as Craig Wiseman, Chris Tompkins, Josh Kear and Shane McAnally. A&R execs like Warner Music’s Chris Lacy are also featured.
<• Baton Rouge songwriter C.J. Solar has signed a publishing deal with Sea Gayle Music.
<• Cracking The Code—Predicting A Country Music Hit is a new white paper from Musicmetric designed to weigh “the sudden appearance of multiple new listening, discovery, and engagement platforms; the lack of understanding as to what success is like on new platforms; and the lessening predictability of a successful track’s life cycle.” Historically a single’s journey was more straightforward and based solely upon receiving airplay and high rankings on the country radio charts, but the report notes, “In the last 15 years the emergence of illegal downloads, social media, and multiple listening and viewing platforms have changed the game.” The report was presented at Country Radio Seminar by Musicmetric’s Sr. VP Mark Tindle. Musicmetric received assistance from collaborating partners: Jeffery Green, Stone Door Media Lab; David De Busk and Nick Fisbaugh, Shazam; Stephen Linn, AmpliFLY Entertainment; Todd Schumacher, SummitMedia Corporation; and Daniel Anstandig, LDR (Listener Driven Radio).
<• Tracy Gershon has joined recently relocated Rounder Records (Nashville) as VP of A&R. She will report to Concord Music Group Chief Creative Officer John Burk and work closely with label President John Virant. Gershon will also continue to manage Natalie Stovall And The Drive, plus Ella Mae Bowen. “Rounder Records has an amazing legacy and a sterling reputation as an artist friendly label,” said Gershon. “It feels like a perfect fit for me, and I am excited to be a member of the team.”
<• Pandora will pay ASCAP a rate of 1.85%, the rate it has been paying for the last few years in what is viewed as a “defeat for songwriters” according to Billboard. “Songwriters can’t live in a world where streaming services only pay 1.85% of their revenue,” says Sony/ATV Music CEO Martin Bandier. “This is a loss, and not something we can live with.” ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento said, “Without the artificial constraints of a consent decree recent agreements make clear that the market rate for Internet radio is substantially higher than 1.85%.”
<• Edison Research’s Larry Rosin warns against the nationalization of radio content saying, “Nationalized radio stations become USA Today…as opposed to your local paper. There are already TONs of national media options.” In his CRS millennial research Rosin closed the segment with a dire warning saying, “We say ‘live and local’ all the time, but it turns out that it isn’t just a line, it’s what the consumers say about us. That’s why voice tracking and the nationalization strategies are essentially a disaster for the radio industry.”