Scarface returns with his latest offering called No Problem directed by Mr. Boomtown and was shot in Houston’s South Acres neighborhood. Scarface new album titled Deeply Rooted, is coming this summer.
Lil Boosie back with this latest single called Pray For Me featuring Webbie and Foxx. Lil Booise new project is coming soon.
Jennifer Lopez (@JLO) Feat French Montana (@FrencHMonTanA), Big Sean (@BigSean) & Tyga (@Tyga) – I Luh Ya Papi (Remix)
Illustration by Louise Pomeroy
As Spotify allies with Sprint, labels say Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre’s streaming service is off to a slow start.
This article was first published in the April 26th issue of Billboard Magazine.
Two of music’s most successful brand marketers, Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, are in the hot seat as label sources grouse that the first 100 days of the duo’s subscription streaming service, Beats Music, has been a disappointment and soon will face competition on the mobile platform when Sprint begins bundling Spotify with its “Framily” plans.
Spotify founder Daniel Ek will debut the rival wireless partnership — a direct challenge to Beats Music’s alliance with AT&T — on April 29, at a time when a number of label sources are expressing concerns that Beats, which launched in January, has yet to catch fire in the streaming music market.
“Jimmy is finding out this is tougher than it looks,” says one senior executive. “This business takes time.”
Beats Music was started by Iovine and Dre with backing led by Warner Music Group owner Len Blavatnik in a $60 million funding round a year ago. The music service is in the process of closing a new round valued between $60 and $100 million.
Although the labels remain supportive of Beats Music for the long term, these sources estimate early subscriber numbers as “disappointing” despite a marketing launch valued in the “tens of millions of dollars.” (Beats has not released subscriber numbers, but labels have gauged use by its revenue impact.) The push included a splashy Ellen DeGeneres Super Bowl TV ad and the lucrative mobile phone bundling partnership with AT&T, the No. 2 wireless carrier in the United States, which has 110 million mobile customers. Sprint, the No. 3 carrier, has 54 million, which should put Spotify at a competitive disadvantage.
The key metric for the labels is the so-called “conversion rate” — the rate at which free trials to road-test a streaming service lead to paying subscribers. Label sources estimate the Beats Music subscriber count to be in the “low six figures.” Beats representatives declined to comment for this story, but company insiders argue that subscriptions and consumer reaction has met expectations and that the “millions of people” trying out the service exceeded internal projections.
Some label sources say Beats Music should scrap its original advertising-led approach and give away more free music. “We’ve learned from Spotify that you have to fund free for a length of time with users investing time, creating playlists and getting used to the service,” says one senior executive.
Spotify has just over 2 million subscribers in the United States, according to people familiar with the company’s data. They point out that it took two-and-a-half years of educating the U.S. market and giving away millions of dollars’ worth of music for subscribers to reach that number.
Despite their concerns, label executives predict the tipping point for the subscription streaming business is near now that two of the largest mobile phone carriers are bundling Beats Music and Spotify subscription fees, at a discount, into customers’ bills — which, they contend, is an easier hurdle than having users sign up for automatic billing through the streaming site. They also say they are excited the streaming services will benefit from their wireless phone partners’ huge marketing budgets. Kantar Media reported that last year, AT&T spent $1.8 billion on marketing, while Sprint spent $765 million.
The music streaming business grew 33% in the first quarter to, Billboard estimates, $171 million, while music download sales fell 13% to an estimated $473 million.
The labels not only want more entrants to boost the market size. They also want more competition so they’re not beholden to a dominant market leader like Apple’s iTunes, which has as much as a 70 percent share of U.S. digital music revenue.
Music industry insiders widely acknowledge that Beats Music is still young and has plenty of runway to match expectations. Some label executives also contend that Iovine and Dre’s success at building Beats Electronics into a world-class brand in just five years created unrealistic expectations for their streaming service.
“We are rooting for them,” says one.
Head coach Tyrone Corbin won’t be returning for another season with the Utah Jazz.
The Jazz announced Monday that the team won’t be offering Corbin a new contract. The team said in a release that it will begin searching for a new coach immediately.
Jazz owner Greg Miller wished Corbin the best in a tweet Monday.
Corbin became the head coach on Feb. 10, 2011, following the resignation of Jerry Sloan.
Corbin ends his stint with the Jazz with a 112-146 record. He guided the team to a winning record in two of his three full seasons and a playoff appearance in 2012. But the Jazz were dismal this season, going 25-57.
Mike Woodson was fired as coach of the New York Knicks on Monday and Steve Kerr, a leading candidate to replace him, said later in the day that he expects to hear from new team president Phil Jackson soon.
“I do anticipate talking with Phil Jackson at some point. When that time comes, it will come,” Kerr said on his weekly SiriusXM NBA Radio show, his first on-the-record comments about being the potential successor to Woodson. “For now, there’s really not a whole lot to talk about.”
Kerr, who played for the Jackson-coached Bulls and currently is an NBA analyst for TNT, later added: “It’s going to be very interesting. My name is being thrown around. I do anticipate at least being a part of the conversation and we’ll see where it all goes.”
Kerr also was general manager of the Phoenix Suns at one point. He has close ties to Jackson, whose Bulls won three of their NBA championships while Kerr was playing. Kerr has never coached before and reiterated on ESPN Chicago’s Carmen & Jurko Show on Monday afternoon that he has a desire to coach in the NBA.
“Yeah, yeah and I’ve been pretty open about that the last few years and I think that obviously that’s one of the reasons that this is all out there,” Kerr said. “… When the time comes, I’ll be interested.”
Woodson was fired early Monday, a decision that has been anticipated for weeks, something Kerr sympathized with.
“Coaches basically know when they go in that they are likely to be fired. It’s a brutal business, it’s a brutal profession,” Kerr said on Sirius XM. “I think back to a year ago when the Knicks were one of the best stories in the league, they won 54 games, I thought Mike Woodson was one of the top coaches in the league. He did a fantastic job. And then everything fell apart this year for a number of reasons.”
Jackson also announced that Woodson’s entire coaching staff was relieved of its duties.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mike Woodson and his entire staff,” Jackson said. “The coaches and players on this team had an extremely difficult 2013-14 season, and blame should not be put on one individual. But the time has come for change throughout the franchise as we start the journey to assess and build this team for next season and beyond.
“Everyone in this franchise owes a great deal of gratitude to what Mike and his staff have done. We wish him the best.”
Woodson had one year remaining on the three-year contract he signed with the Knicks before the 2011-12 season.
When reached for comment, Woodson said he was “doing fine.”
“I’m in my office packing as we speak,” he told ESPN. “I’m not really entertaining anything with the media right now. I’m just trying to clear my head. That’s what I’m doing. … I’m fine. I have been doing this a long time. I’m good, really good. It’s time to move on.”
Shooting guard J.R. Smith, called Woodson’s firing “sad.”
“He was great to me. I think I got a fair shake for the first time in a while under him,” Smith told ESPN. “He treated me how he wanted to be treated. It sucks, but there is nothing I can do about it.
“I think he did a great job. I think he did a good job with me. He responded to the players. It’s just a sad day for him, for me and my teammates.”
Jackson said he will immediately begin to conduct a coaching search to find a replacement.
The 13-time NBA champion (11 titles as a coach) is expected to seek a coach with an intimate knowledge of the triangle offense. Kerr certainly meets that criteria.