Macklemore made his way to Hot97 to make an appearance on Ebro In The Morning to sit down with Ebro and Peter Rosenberg. Macklemore talked about stepping away from the music, racial issues in America, the police brutality, white rappers, Kendrick Lamar, Iggy Azalea, and YG not being nominated for an Grammy of his album.
Taylor Jasmine releases her lyric video to “I don’t Need it”. Thanks to all the fans that submitted their videos.
Sony has been considering selling Sony/ATV music publishing, according to leaked internal emails obtained by Bloomberg. According to the emails — which have come to light thanks to the massive Sony hack, now believed to have been perpetrated by North Korea — Sony had decided that growth prospects for Sony/ATV had diminished, and were discussing a potential sale of the division.
Sony’s music publishing arm is the largest music catalog in the world, controlling the rights to over 2 million songs, including tracks by Beyoncé, Jay Z, Taylor Swift, Bob Dylan, and the majority of The Beatles’ catalog. Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton, Sony Corporation of America president Nicole Seligman, and SCA CFO Steve Kober were leading the sale, according to an email from Kober back in November.
“THIS IS A TOP-SECRET PROJECT.”
The sale was considered “top secret,” with details only being discussed between a few high-level executives, according to the emails obtained by Bloomberg. Sony’s Tokyo-based executives wrote about their concerns with the complex ownership behind Sony/ATV, and the continuing shift to streaming music. Sony/ATV artist Taylor Swift recently spoke out about the issues with streaming music, and it seems the company that owns her publishing agrees.
Sony/ATV is co-owned by Michael Jackson’s estate — the late singer purchased ATV music publishing for $47.5 million in 1985 in one of the shrewdest business deals in recent history. 10 years later, Jackson sold Sony a 50 percent stake in the company for $90 million, creating Sony/ATV. In 2012, the group partnered with music mogul David Geffen and Mubadala Development, the investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government to purchase EMI’s music publishing division from Citigroup for $2.2 billion, bringing even more ownership parties to the table.
SONY/ATV IS CO-OWNED BY MICHAEL JACKSON’S ESTATE
Sale of the music arm was supposed to be secret, with only a few executives in the know, but was leaked internally in a botched email sent by Lynton. In response to the leak, Kober wrote, “As you know quite well, this is a top-secret project that is being handled by me working directly with Michael [Lynton] and Nicole [Seligman].”
Selling the music publisher could help alleviate the stress put on Sony by its mobile division. Sony is expecting to lose over $2 billion this fiscal year — nearly five times what it initially expected to lose — due to its mobile division. Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai said in September the company would cut 15 percent of the mobile division’s workforce, as it reigns in production of midrange phones and refocuses on higher-end devices.
By Andrew Hampp
Longtime manager Guy Oseary spoke to Billboard just days after successfully launching Madonna’s new album… four-and-a-half months ahead of schedule.
Madonna‘s surprise pre-release of six songs from her upcoming album Rebel Heart on Dec. 20 was a hard-fought victory: the result of two sleepless nights to combat the widespread leaks of more than a dozen unfinished demos just three days prior. And it almost didn’t happen.
“We didn’t know until Friday night [December 19], 11:30 [Eastern] and 8:30 [Pacific] that it would even work,” Guy Oseary, Madonna’s longtime manager, said in a phone interview on Dec. 23. “There was a chance that technically it was not possible because it was so last-minute. Normally it wouldn’t be the end of the world, but because iTunes was shutting down [for the holiday] we were told that it would either go live at 11:30 East Coast time or January 5. We didn’t know — she was saying her prayers, we were all just hoping.”
The result? Pre-orders for the March 10, 2015 album topped the iTunes charts in more than 36 countries, with three of the album’s six finished songs entering this week’s Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart. Lead single “Living For Love” was serviced to U.S. radio stations on Dec. 22 by Madonna’s label Interscope, with a bigger push coming in January. An official music video will be filmed next month as well, with a planned release for the “first week of February,” as Oseary revealed in a separate Twitter Q&A on Dec. 27.
But Madonna & co. aren’t coming up for air just yet. Just hours after Oseary spoke with Billboard on Dec. 23, 14 more tracks from the Rebel Heartsessions leaked, including the alleged Lady Gaga diss track “Two Steps Behind Me” (which Oseary has already denied is about Gaga or “anyone in particular”).
Below is an excerpt of Billboard’s conversation with Oseary last Tuesday (Dec. 23), including a detailed account of how Madonna and her team sprang into action to respond to the leaks. “If people knew what had to happen from Wednesday to get it it up for Friday, it was a circus show.”
It’s been six days since the leaks started spreading. Have you slept yet?
Last night I got some sleep. This ride was crazy. And what a crazy year. It’s been big.
So what happened, exactly?
I mean look, our music was stolen. And now it’s an ongoing investigation, so we’re taking it very, very seriously. Two songs came out a few weeks ago, and we were able to contain it. We did what we could to contain it. It’s hard to contain a leak online. And then it was Tuesday, last Tuesday — it feels like a year ago — but it was last Tuesday when I started seeing messages going a lot of the songs are leaking. [We were] trying to pull down as many leaks as we could, and then it got to Wednesday morning it was just unstoppable. It was all out there. You could not seal this leak. So, Madonna was pretty adamant that we should go immediately, that we should put out as much of the finished music as we could. And there was a lot of talk about the many reasons why it didn’t make sense – there was just a lot of chatter of having to hurry and all of the many, many reasons why it made no sense. But she was adamant that she didn’t want people to think those were the finished tracks. And she was devastated — I mean, devastated and sickened that someone would do this to her and not allow her the chance to share the finished product with people.
We were thinking about going with “Living For Love,” as you saw, as a Valentine’s Day song, and the album at the end of April. We’re talking all of April, so that’s four-and-a-half months early. You always hear about one week early, two weeks early… but this is crazy. So, [Interscope vice chairman] Steve Berman was really helpful, and he also knew all the many reasons why it may not make sense to do it. But he supported Madonna to do it and rallied all the troops together to pull this off. And then Robert Kondrk at Apple really helped us push this through.
When did you know you were good to go with the iTunes upload?
We didn’t know until Friday night, 11:30 her time and 8:30 my time, that it would even work. There was a chance that technically it was not possible because it was so last-minute. Normally it would be the end of the world, but because iTunes was shutting down we were told that it would either go live at 11:30 East Coast time or January 5. We didn’t know, so we get this phone call at 8:30 at night saying, “we are good.” She was saying her prayers, we were all just hoping.
When I got the message that [the release was working], it started happening slowly and surely. Then it finally rolled out around the world, and it took a full day, until Sunday, for the album to register. On Saturday, six songs were in the top 10 almost in every country around the world. On Sunday, when the album finally registered, it was number one in almost every country, along with the six songs. It was an exciting ride. We all wish the hacking or stealing of the music never happened, but we’re really grateful that everyone wanted the music to be heard. If people knew what had to happen from Wednesday to get it it up for Friday, it was a circus show.
Now that you’ve pulled off this feat, and moved up the album timeline by nearly two months, what’s next?
We have a video shoot at some point, things to go do, now we’ve gotta figure it out what happens next. She really wants to support this, and wants to make sure that — because it was so far out, we have to regroup. She did one or two interviews… there was no time to explain. I’ve learned a lot over the last few years, and it was important that the few songs we did release be understood because it was so rushed.
How is this being handled legally? Do you have any idea of the source?
We’re talking about a criminal. It was photos, videos, anything that feels like it shouldn’t be out there. She was posting them [on Instagram] saying, “Hey, I’m seeing this for the first time. Nice, thanks a lot.” You know, this is new days, we’ve learned a lot, we understand where the holes were. And we’re doing all of it. It’s real. It’s real stuff. A lot of pain, you know, seeing a lot of your private work just being thrown out there to the universe because someone can steal it and do that.
Was this a case of a fan feeling like they were “gifting” this unreleased material?
They weren’t gifting people. I don’t want to get too into it, but it will all be revealed at some point.
The company is now the most-valuable private startup in the world, beating out Uber at a valuation of $45 billion.
It has been a year of ascendence for China’s homegrown technology firms, highlighted by the September IPO of Alibaba Group Ltd., which at $25 billion set a record as the largest IPO haul to date. Last week, the privately held hardware firm Xiaomi Corp. continued the trend by raising $1.1 billion in equity funding, valuing the company at $45 billion dollars — a more than four-fold increase in valuation since its last round in Aug., 2013.
It’s a remarkable tale of rapid growth; Xiaomi shipped its first products in 2011 and is now the world’s third-largest smartphone maker by shipment volume and the most valuable privately funded tech startup in the world, edging out Uber for that honor.
In 2014 the company began expanding beyond the Chinese market, entering Singapore, India, Malaysia, the Phillipines and Indonesia, with penetration into Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Turkey and Thailand slated for 2015. It’s global ambitions are helmed by former Google Android vp Hugo Barra — the company’s phones and tablets feature a sleak, customizable operating system built on Android software.
The company has taken significant flak as a Chinese Apple clone: its founder-CEO Lei Jun sports Jobsian attire during splashy product announcements, notably cribbing the Apple founder’s famous “One more thing… ” cliche for an announcement earlier this year. And the product line is remarkably similar to that of Apple, with smartphone’s, tablets (dubbed the MiPad), a set-top TV box and a cloud storage service (the, ahem, MiCloud). Xiaomi also is a major client of Foxconn, the giant Taiwan-based electronics manufacturing contractor whose biggest client is — can you guess? — Apple.
Jun’s protestations at being compared to Steve Jobs notwithstanding, the trajectory of the two companies promises to yield an increasingly incendiary rivalry in years to come, as Xiaomi attempts its aggressive expansion beyond the Chinese market and Apple relies increasingly on China and other developing-world markets for continued growth.
This summer Apple reported 26% year-on-year revenue growth in China, compared to overall revenue growth of 6% for the company. A year ago Apple signed a long-awaited deal with China Mobile – the worlds largest mobile network by number of subscribers – and Apple CEO Tim Cook called the event a “watershed day” for the company. China remains a crucial and profitable market opportunity for Apple despite Xiaomi’s dominance there.
Xiaomi does offer a number of other tech products outside the Apple core, including an air purifier, a smart TV, a wi-fi router and a fitness bracelet. Importantly, the company offers its products at affordable pricepoints, sell them exclusively online, and relies on content and services to shore up its bottom line while selling its electronics at very low margins. Last month, Xiaomi announced it would be investing $1 billion in developing television content.
It remains uncertain whether Xiaomi, whose logo is a cartoon bunny sporting a hat repurposed from Mao-era Communist Party propoganda, will be able to succeed as a global brand outside its home market, or differentiate itself meaningfully as something more than a cut-rate purveyor of Apple knock-offs. But after last week’s funding round, it seems clear that it won’t fail for lack of capital.
The man responsible for Xbox Live is leaving Microsoft.
Boyd Multerer is no longer at the Xbox’s parent company (via Neowin). The engineer posted a “goodbye” this morning, saying that it was time for him to look into doing something new. This comes after 18 years with Microsoft. During that time, Multerer launched the Xbox Live online networking service and created the XNA game-development language.
As director of development for Microsoft’s Xbox division, Multerer was most recently responsible for helping to design the Xbox One. He was key to giving Microsoft’s latest gaming hardware three different operating systems to let it quickly jump between games, apps, and the menu system.
Multerer said he recognized the changing needs of the gamer were in conflict with the needs of the developers, and his designs for the Xbox One reflected that.
“[Developers] want to know exactly how much RAM they can use, and exactly how much CPU, and exactly how the graphics are going to work, and that should never change,” Multerer said in an interview on Microsoft’s new site from 2013. “The needs of the gamer and the needs of the game developers are at direct odds, so how do you serve both at the same time? That’s the real reason why we did two separate operating systems. One is more static, aimed letting game developers ability to deliver the best games, and one is aimed at the gamer to give them an evolving, changing, updating console that will be able to support the next big social network that hasn’t even been invented yet.”
Prior to the Xbox One, Multerer’s impact on the Xbox platform was huge. The Xbox Live he created for the original Xbox system is still the backbone of the online infrastructure the Xbox One uses today. The network was one of the first reliable online services for a console, and it made online gaming a requirement for all future systems from Sony, Nintendo, or Microsoft.
Multerer is also responsible for jumpstarting smaller independent games on Xbox 360 with his XNA tools. This software enabled people to make lightweight games that could run on a number of Microsoft platforms without needing to go through a tough porting process. People who built XNA games could even release them for sale on the Xbox Live Indie Games portal in the Xbox Live store. A number of studios that now make indie games for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Wii U got their start with XNA.
The Xbox Live and XNA mastermind has not said what he plans on doing next, but he did say that he is already writing code and experimenting with new ideas.
As for his legacy with Microsoft, he tweeted the following: