The first product from the company since being acquired by Apple, Beats by Dre has expanded its offering of wireless products with the launch of the new Solo2 Wireless on-ear headphones. Solo2 Wireless offers the same dynamic sound and streamlined design as Solo2, but with the added benefit of wireless capabilities. With its Bluetooth technology, Solo2 Wireless can move freely for up to 30 feet from your audio device. Also, its rechargeable battery allows you to enjoy up to 12 hours of wireless playback, and if you run out of charge you can always just plug in the RemoteTalk cable. In addition to red, black, white and blue colorways, Beats has once again teamed up with project (RED) to help fight the battle against AIDS.
Solo2 Wireless retails for $299.95 USD and will be available this month at Apple’s online store and select retailers.
Horizon MCV’s launch of a Mercedes-Benz Vito range is the first time a company has adapted the German brand’s vehicles for the UK’s luxury campervan market at this level.
The brand is calling it “the best of both worlds,” now available for about $58,000.
That’s a much smaller number than the one offered by Spotify’s Daniel Ek earlier this week.
The Taylor Swift vs. Spotify saga continued Wednesday (Nov. 12) with revelations about royalties the singer generated at the streaming company. Scott Borchetta, head of Swift’s record label, Big Machine, told Time magazine that Swift’s catalog earned less than $500,000 — $496,044 to be exact — in the past 12 months from domestic streaming at Spotify.
That’s a much smaller number than Spotify CEO Daniel Ek suggested in a blog post Monday. In his lengthy defense of Spotify’s business model after Swift pulled her entire catalog from the service, Ek claimed “payouts for a top artist like Taylor Swift (before she pulled her catalog) are on track to exceed $6 million a year” — a global figure — and will probably double in the next year.
Spotify painted a different picture of Swift’s royalties. The company revealed to Time that the singer’s catalog had generated global revenues of $2 million in the last 12 months and about $500,000 in the month prior to her catalog being pulled, covering both her label and publisher.
Swift has employed a windowing tactic in the past, holding back new albums from streaming services to goose album sales. Although Spotify has argued against this practice, Swift doesn’t appear to have been harmed. Her new album, 1989, has sold nearly 1.7 million units in its first two weeks. And her previous album, Red, sold 1.2 million units in its first week back in 2012.
Big Machine is rewarding fans that pay for music. As he explained in a radio interview with Nikki Sixx on Nov. 7, letting people listen to Swift’s music for free would be “completely disrespectful” to fans that paid for her music. So Big Machine draws a line between services that offer free, ad-supported listening and those that offer only paid subscriptions. “Now if you are a premium subscriber to Beats or Rdio or any of the other services that don’t offer just a free-only, then you will find her catalog,” said Borchetta.
Following Swift’s departure, Jason Aldean removed his new album, Old Boots, New Dirt, from Spotify, joining notable artists such as Coldplay and the Black Keys that have delayed the release of new albums to Spotify and other streaming services. In the radio interview, Borchetta claimed more artists would follow. “I’ve had calls from so many other managers and artists. There’s a big fist in the air about this.”
A federal judge is making it rain at one Midtown strip club by awarding more than $10 million to dancers.
In a ruling issued Friday, Manhattan Federal Court Judge Paul Engelmayer found that the dozens of dancers at Rick’s Cabaret had been stripped of cash they should have been allowed to pocket — and ordered the club to pay up.
A group of entertainers from the Midtown mammary mecca had filed a class-action lawsuit against the club in 2009, charging they were employees who the club should have been paying minimum wage.
The suit said that not only had the club not been paying them, it had been charging them to work there – forcing them to turn over $60 per shift.
It also collected $2 of every $20 “Dance Dollar” customers bought with their credit cards to tip the temptresses — money they believed was going directly to the dancers, the suit said.
The W. 33rd St. club had argued the salary should be offset by the dancers’ “performance fees,” which included the $20 “for each personal dance — i.e. a lap dance or table dance” or time “in one of the club’s semi-private rooms,” which cost $100 for 15 minutes, $200 for 30 minutes, or $400 an hour.
Engelmayer didn’t buy that argument, noting that was cash paid to the dancers directly from the customers, and because the club would also collect a separate service fee for the rooms.
In his 51-page ruling, he took aim at the club’s “Dance Dollar” policies.
If the customer paid cash to the dancers, he noted, the dancers would get to keep 100% of the money, but if they paid by credit card and bought “Dance Dollars” for the tips, the club would keep $2 of ever $20, in addition to charging the customers a $4 fee.
In his ruling, the judge said that was misleading, because customers would think the dancers were getting the full $20.
A “reasonable customer would have understood the performance fees which customers paid dancers as gratuities belonging to particular dancers, not as service charges belonging to the club,” he found.
He ordered the club to pay $10.8 million in damages for minimum wage violations and improperly retaining tips — and the club could be on the hook for millions more at trial, which is where the dancers’ complaints about paying $60 a shift will be aired.
The club maintains the dancers weren’t required to pay the cash.
It’s unclear how many dancers will split the judgment — about 50 dancers are plaintiffs in the case, but 1,900 entertainers worked at the club between 2005 and 2012, the years covered by the complaint.
Lawyers for the dancers did immediately return calls for comment.
In a statement, a rep for Rick’s parent company, RCI Hospitality, said it was “disappointed” with the “flawed” decision and planned to appeal once the entire case is over.
The statement also said “there is no current or near term obligation to pay any sums as a result of this decision” since the case is ongoing.
Rick’s has said it’s appealing an earlier ruling by the judge that found the dancers were employees and not independent contractors.
“When you become truly grateful for all the blessings sent your way, you will have little time to either mourn or complain.”
The show’s final broadcast will air on Dec. 19.
Billboard has learned that BET mainstay “106 & Park” will be moving online. Its last show will air on Dec. 19. Currently hosted by Bow Wow and Keshia Chante, “106 & Park” will be winding up a 14-year broadcast stint at BET. Details concerning the hosts and the show’s digital debut will be announced later.
Here’s an official statement from BET:
“America’s #1 music variety show on cable television, “106 & PARK,” will host its final daily on-air show on December 19, 2014, concluding its impressive 14 year run. The “106 & PARK” brand remains strong and will continue to produce various specials throughout the year including its annual New Year’s Eve show, “106 & PARTY,” along with live event experiences at the BET Awards and BET Experience. In 2015, “106 & PARK” looks forward to continuing its reign as the hottest hangout on one of the coolest digital platforms, BET.com.”