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Spotify Says They Overpaid Songwriters and Publishers in 2018

Tim Ingham, writing at Music Business Worldwide:

Because of this additional complexity, Spotify has now calculated that, retrospectively, according to the CRB decision, many music publishers actually owe it money for 2018, due to an overpayment based on the prior rates. And guess what? It wants that money back.

Spotify told the publishers the news this week and, as you can imagine, these companies – already up in arms over Spotify’s CRB appeal – are fuming about it.

One senior figure in the music publishing industry told MBW: “Spotify is clawing back millions of dollars from publishers in the US based on the new CRB rates that favor the DSPs, while appealing the [wider CRB decision]. This puts some music publishers in a negative position. It’s unbelievable.”

Billboard to Launch Weekly Top Songwriters and Top Producers Charts

Billboard has announced a new weekly chart that will rank songwriters and producers.

The charts are based on total points accrued by a songwriter or producer for each attributed song that appears on the respective charts. As done with Billboard’s yearly recaps, multiple writers or producers split points for each song equally. The dividing of points will lead to occasional ties for some rankings.

Listening to Fall Out Boy on the Brink of Collapse

John Bazley, writing at Catapult:

We didn’t yet know exactly how the following year would work its fingernails into our neighborhood and pick it apart, but there was a palpable feeling of impending doom lingering over the roofs in my hometown.

All easy to ignore, of course, when Fall Out Boy would release a new record. I was twelve, living within my CD collection and the narratives it projected upon the world in front of me. I didn’t know about subprime mortgages or Lehman Brothers then. I just counted the days until Infinity On High. There was no other world event that could possibly take precedent over the release of that album. My excitement for Infinity On High may have been an unsustainable motivator, but sustainability itself was a questionable construct in 2007.

This is very well written.

Spotify’s Mood Related Data Lets Advertisers Target by Listeners Emotional State

Liz Pelly, writing for The Baffler:

[A] more careful look into Spotify’s history shows that the decision to define audiences by their moods was part of a strategic push to grow Spotify’s advertising business in the years leading up to its IPO—and today, Spotify’s enormous access to mood-based data is a pillar of its value to brands and advertisers, allowing them to target ads on Spotify by moods and emotions. Further, since 2016, Spotify has shared this mood data directly with the world’s biggest marketing and advertising firms.

This creeps me out.

Living With Perfect Pitch and Synaesthesia

LJ Rich, writing on her blog:

Now, I’d like you to imagine you’re chatting with your conversation partner. But instead of speaking and hearing the words alone, each syllable they utter has a note, sometimes more than one. They speak in tunes and I can sing back their melody. Once I know them a little bit, I can play along to their words as they speak them, accompanying them on the piano as if they’re singing an operatic recitative. They drop a glass on the floor, it plays a particular melody as it hits the tiles. I’ll play that melody back – on a piano, on anything. I can accompany that melody with harmony, chords – or perhaps compose a variation on that melody – develop it into a stupendous symphony filled with strings, or play it back in the style of Chopin, Debussy or Bob Marley. That car horn beeps an F major chord, this kettle’s in A flat, some bedside lights get thrown out because they are out of tune with other appliances. I can play along to every song on the radio whether or not I’ve heard it before, the chord progressions as open to me as if I had the sheet music in front of me. I can play other songs with the same chords and fit them with the song being played. Those bath taps squeak in E, this person sneezes in E flat. That printer’s in D mostly. The microwave is in the same key as the washing machine.

This is from a few years back, but I just came across it and found it fascinating.

Who’s Going to Stop Spotify’s Viral Rap Impersonators?

Noah Yoo, writing for Pitchfork:

There’s a rapper on Spotify named Lil Kambo who’s racked up 2 million streams and counting on his song “Kid Carti.” This would be a significant feat for any unsigned, self-releasing artist in the modern day. The only problem is that “Lil Kambo” doesn’t exist and “Kid Carti” is a pitch-shifted leak of Playboi Carti’s yet-unreleased track “Kid Cudi” (previously referred to as “Pissy Pamper”), a song the rapper’s been teasing for some time and even playing out live. Lil Kambo isn’t a viral hit—he’s a fraudster.

Playdate: The New Handheld Video Game System

Panic, a company known for their Mac and iOS software, has announced the Playdate, a new handheld video game system:

Playdate is both very familiar, and totally new. It’s yellow, and fits perfectly in a pocket. It has a black-and-white screen with high reflectivity, a crystal-clear image, and no backlight. And of course, it has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB-C, and a headphone jack. But it also has a crank. Yes, a crank: a cute, rotating analog controller that flips out from the side.

It also includes a full season of original games, at no extra charge, delivered each week to the system — games in all sorts of genres that are all hopefully surprises.

This looks adorable. Panic is a Portland based company that has their office not that far from where I live; I walk by their customizable sign all the time. The company is also one of the main reasons I started using a Mac after discovering their editor Coda, which was basically revolutionary to me at the time. This little video game system looks like a whole lot of fun and I wish them the best of luck.

Taking Back Sunday Oral History

Kerrang did an oral history of Taking Back Sunday:

We’d met Dave Stein, who was our lawyer for years, at a show and he gave me his card. He was like, ‘If you ever need a lawyer, let me know.’ He was kind of the New York hardcore lawyer. So once we started talking to Victory I reached out to Dave and asked him to look over the contracts. And he’s like, ‘Do not sign this.’ But at the time we weren’t thinking too far ahead – we just wanted to have a record out, so we did it anyway. And I don’t think we’d be where we are had we not been on Victory. They really gave us a large push and that really helped us.

Carly Rae Jepsen Talks New Album With NPR

Carly Rae Jepsen talked with NPR about her upcoming album:

Our first single, “Now That I Found You,” was very much that euphoric, kind of top-of-the-mountain feeling. “Feels Right,” as well, has a very summery vibe to it. Maybe “Automatically in Love,” as well, which has a very ’90s feel to it; I was driving with Mariah Carey in my head around the time that we worked on that song. And then on the other side of the spectrum, I think the more intimate ones would be “The Sound” and “Right Words Wrong Time.”

Blink-182 in Second Place in Hall of Fame Fan Vote

Blink-182 is currently number two in the in-museum “vote your choice” fan vote for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

Since the start of the year, Blink-182 has led the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s in-museum “Voice Your Choice” fan vote. But a new contender has emerged.

Motley Crue overtook first place in the kiosk-driven voting this weekend. The popular ‘80s metal band has been surging since the release of “The Dirt” on Netflix in March.

Spotify’s Postal Address Insanity

Josh Centers, writing at TidBITS:

Apparently, Spotify requires address verification to try to ensure that all family members are in the same household, so presumably, those addresses need to be entered identically. Did my wife type out the word “bypass” in our address, or did she use an abbreviation? Did she put our box number on the first or second line? Wanting to make sure I got it right, I asked her to check the address format on her account.

PledgeMusic Headed for Bankruptcy

Benji Rogers, writing on Medium:

I went back into PledgeMusic just over three months ago as a volunteer to try and help the board and team turn around and sell the company, but I am sad to report that this effort has not met with success and that PledgeMusic will shortly be heading into administration.

I cannot begin to appreciate how all of you affected artists are feeling about this and I am deeply sorry for what you have been through.

I ask all of the fans to please understand the awful and near impossible situation that this has put the artists that you love and supported in, and as such I ask you to bear with them as they do their best to make any obligations to you right.

Humans Threaten a Million Species With Extinction

Matt McGrath, writing at BBC News:

From the bees that pollinate our crops, to the forests that hold back flood waters, the report reveals how humans are ravaging the very ecosystems that support their societies.

Three years in the making, this global assessment of nature draws on 15,000 reference materials, and has been compiled by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). It runs to 1,800 pages.

The brief, 40-page “summary for policymakers”, published today at a meeting in Paris, is perhaps the most powerful indictment of how humans have treated their only home.

It says that while the Earth has always suffered from the actions of humans through history, over the past 50 years, these scratches have become deep scars.

Fan-fucking-tastic.

Rolling Stone to Launch Its Own Music Charts in Challenge to Billboard

Henry Chu, writing at Variety:

The new “Rolling Stone Charts” will encompass the top 100 singles and the top 200 albums in the U.S.. the singles chart will be updated daily instead of weekly. The lists are also expected to incorporate more information on streaming and offer more transparency about how the rankings are derived. Rolling Stone, which is owned by Penske Media Corp. (which also owns Variety), is hoping that those innovations will help it muscle onto turf that Billboard has ruled for decades.

They start next Monday.

New Found Glory Talk Cover Album

New Found Glory talked with Alternative Press about their recent cover album:

Giving props to my man Jordan here. At the end of the original version of “Let It Go,” Idina Menzel sings [imitates hair-metal singer/leg-trapped animal screech] “Let the storm rage oooooooooon!” [Laughing followed by coughing fit.] I can’t even do it! It’s an insanely high note! So Jordan’s tracking vocals, and he gets up to the note, and everyone and Jordan knows that note is about to come. And we ask him, “Are you ready?” and he says [deadpan tone] “No.” [Laughs.] Dude, we know it’s high. Just think about Nothing Gold Can Stay days. Don’t worry about being perfect. Just rip it. Go for it. He’s like, “I don’t knooooow…” We hit “record,” and he hits it in one take. When you hear the record, remember, that’s one take.

Hayley Williams On Mental Health, Self-Care, And Hair-Dye

Hayley Williams talked with Nylon about mental health, self-care, hair dye, and more:

I think that Paramore primed me, for better or worse, it prepared me to let people down all the time. I think Paramore prepped me pretty well to make mistakes in front of people, [and helped me learn that] you’ve gotta put your pride aside.

The thing about companies is that they’re made of human beings. For instance, Brian and I have made a lot of mistakes in terms of formulation that we’ve had to correct. We’ve had to be transparent about those things. Some things you fix and they happen. I’m starting to understand how many mistakes happen in the beauty industry all of the time. We’re constantly improving and trying to correct and make sure that we’re doing the right thing.

‘Avengers: Endgame’ Sets New Records

BoxOfficeMojo:

Heading into the weekend it was a foregone conclusion that Avengers: Endgame would deliver the largest opening weekend of all-time, both domestically and globally, but to deliver a three-day domestic gross totaling an estimated $350 million and a global weekend over $1 billion was almost inconceivable. Today that figure has become a reality as Endgame not only delivered an estimated $350 million over the course of its first three days in domestic release, but a massive $1.2 billion at the global box office in just its first five days in release.

Why Won’t Twitter Treat White Supremacy Like ISIS?

Joseph Cox and Jason Koebler, writing at Motherboard:

In separate discussions verified by Motherboard, that employee said Twitter hasn’t taken the same aggressive approach to white supremacist content because the collateral accounts that are impacted can, in some instances, be Republican politicians.

The employee argued that, on a technical level, content from Republican politicians could get swept up by algorithms aggressively removing white supremacist material. Banning politicians wouldn’t be accepted by society as a trade-off for flagging all of the white supremacist propaganda, he argued.