Video Game Platforms Turn Into Venues for Concerts, Movies

During the COVID-19 pandemic, video game platforms have transformed into virtual entertainment sites. Online game platform Roblox recently hosted a benefit concert featuring Lady Gaga and Paul McCartney, and online game “Fortnite” ran a trailer for director Christopher Nolan’s upcoming feature “Tenet” and Quibi video clips. It also added a socializing space, launching it with a party at which EDM stars deadmau5, Steve Aoki and Dillon Francis performed. Most recently, also on “Fortnite,” DJ Diplo debuted his latest album in a live performance. Continue reading Video Game Platforms Turn Into Venues for Concerts, Movies

Spotify Inks a New Licensing Deal with Universal Music Group

Spotify and Universal Music Group, the world’s biggest record company, finally inked a global, multiyear licensing deal after two years of intermittent negotiations. With this deal in place, Spotify now has a better chance of convincing Sony and Warner to follow suit, and UMG, whose artists include Drake, U2, The Weeknd and Lady Gaga, has more flexibility on how it streams its music. Spotify’s contracts with UMG, Sony and Warner had expired long ago. Spotify, valued at $8 billion, now also has a clearer path to going public. Continue reading Spotify Inks a New Licensing Deal with Universal Music Group

Historic Super Bowl Marks Firsts and Generates Social Activity

This year’s Super Bowl made a major splash on a number of fronts. It marked the NFL’s first overtime game in Super Bowl history, a fifth ring for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, a historic fourth quarter comeback, the first time a squadron of drones were featured during the halftime show, some impressive overall ratings, and a collection of ads that focused on social issues such as gender equality, ethnic diversity and immigration. The game delivered Fox an average viewership of 111.3 million, making it one of the top-five most-watched Super Bowls. Nielsen notes the broadcast generated a 45.3 household rating, while 70 percent of U.S. households turned in. Continue reading Historic Super Bowl Marks Firsts and Generates Social Activity

Fox Plans to Live-Stream Super Bowl, Will Include Local Ads

On February 5, the Super Bowl will be available for free online as a live stream (with no need for pay-TV credentials) and will include dynamically-inserted local advertising based on the viewer’s location. More than 170 affiliates will team with Fox Sports to deliver the digital ads. “The national ads will be the same on both TV and online, and the live-stream will include the halftime show featuring Lady Gaga,” reports Variety. Coverage “will be available live on Fox Sports Go, the broadcaster’s streaming platform … on iOS, Android, Windows and Amazon tablets; and through connected devices including Apple TV, Roku, Android TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and Microsoft Xbox One.” Continue reading Fox Plans to Live-Stream Super Bowl, Will Include Local Ads

Spotify Focuses on Major Record Label Deals to Boost Profits

In its efforts to move more free-tier users to its $10/month subscription service, Spotify has redoubled its efforts to ink long-term licenses with major record labels. One potential option is that the labels would limit new releases to Spotify’s subscription tier in exchange for a lower percentage of subscription revenue. Another possibility is that Spotify will provide artists data and promotion in exchange for reduced royalty payments. Spotify is trying to settle the deals by end of 2016, say sources. Continue reading Spotify Focuses on Major Record Label Deals to Boost Profits

YouTube Turns to Big Data for Selecting Music Awards Winners

YouTube has announced the 50 winners of its 2015 YouTube Music Awards, which were selected this time around by data analysis of growth in views, subscribers and engagement during the last six months on the Google-owned video site. The honorees include mainstream acts such as Ariana Grande, Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift — in addition to YouTube stars including Lindsey Stirling and Pentatonix. The 50 artists collectively represent more than 164 million subscribers and 47 billion video views on YouTube. Continue reading YouTube Turns to Big Data for Selecting Music Awards Winners

Academy Awards Have Strong Presence on Twitter and Facebook

Last year’s selfie by Ellen DeGeneres during the live Oscar telecast set a new Twitter record and launched 3 million retweets. Not surprisingly, yesterday’s 87th Academy Awards had an impressive social presence, from ABC live-streaming its backstage show on Facebook to news organizations live-blogging on assorted social networks and Facebook launching its new real-time Trending Oscars experience. According to Twitter, the most tweeted-about nominees and performers included Lady Gaga, Patricia Arquette, Alejandro Iñárritu and John Legend. Continue reading Academy Awards Have Strong Presence on Twitter and Facebook

BitTorrent Offers Hollywood Bundle Options for Promo Content

BitTorrent is making efforts to appeal to Hollywood — and help generate legitimate revenue — by offering studios and artists the opportunity to sell and distribute their material in Bundles as a way to entice customers to buy the full content on iTunes or other similar services. BitTorrent Bundles has already teamed up with Lady Gaga, Madonna and Vice Media to launch promotional content including photos, trailers, videos, songs and other extras. Continue reading BitTorrent Offers Hollywood Bundle Options for Promo Content

Live-Streamed YouTube Music Awards Disorganized But Fun

YouTube hosted its first-ever YouTube Music Awards Sunday at Pier 36 in New York City, and viewers around the world got to stream the event live from their computers. Actor Jason Schwartzman and comedian and musician Reggie Watts were the unscripted hosts, while Spike Jonze was the creative director. The show attracted around 220,000 viewers at its highest point, and the whole event felt like a spontaneous, often chaotic, and not-at-all traditional award show. Continue reading Live-Streamed YouTube Music Awards Disorganized But Fun

First YouTube Music Awards to Feature Worldwide Performances

YouTube will be hosting its first ever YouTube Music Awards on Sunday, November 3 in New York. The event will feature notable performers including Eminem, Lady Gaga and Arcade Fire, among others. It will be modeled after such events as the MTV Video Music Awards, but winners will be chosen by YouTube’s online visitors. In addition to big name artists, YouTube performers such as dubstep violinist Lindsey Stirling and CDZA will be featured. Continue reading First YouTube Music Awards to Feature Worldwide Performances

Lyrics Videos Establishing Effective New Genre on YouTube

In the past, lyrics videos were largely just the simple creations of music fans. However, the market for lyrics videos has changed dramatically in recent years, and name brand artists are leveraging the technique as a means of greater exposure and profit. According to YouTube, the number of views for these videos, which are typically fast and cheap to produce, has increased seven times since 2011. The top 500 lyrics videos attracted 624 million views this year. Continue reading Lyrics Videos Establishing Effective New Genre on YouTube

YouTube Channels Lose Millions of Views to De-Spamming

YouTube’s “de-spamming” initiative aims to remove unintended views from videos. The initiative has removed millions of views from videos, and large channels like Sony, Universal and RCA have been among the most affected. Together, these channels have lost upwards of 2 billion views since the Google-owned video site began its de-spamming efforts in December 2012. Continue reading YouTube Channels Lose Millions of Views to De-Spamming