Industry News Courtesy Of Hypbot                   

Fear and Loathing in Royalty Rate Setting 

Bat-countryXBy FMC's Casey Rae on FutureOfMusic.org

Who gets paid, how much and under what terms when music is played on digital and AM/FMradio? Answering those questions isn’t easy, even for experts. But one thing is clear: 2014 has been a big year for the laws and policies that determine royalty rates for all forms of radio, and the intrigue will likely continue into 2015. There are a few proceedings and court cases currently underway that will impact radio and creators—from legal questions around recordings made before 1972 to the rules that govern the public performances of musical works to royalty rates for sound recordings played on Internet and satellite radio.

Today, we’re going to take a look at the latter, as stakeholders from across the industry make their case to a trio of government judges who are tasked with setting rates for digital radio. (Bear with me, because there’s no simple way to explain all this.)

As a quick refresher, keep in mind that there are two copyrights in a piece of music: the sound recording (think music captured on tape or hard drive) and the musical work (think notes on paper or lyrics). Labels typically own sound recordings (though sometimes it’s the artist). Musical works are owned by publishers and composers.

When a song is played (or “performed”) via webcast or on satellite radio, it generates a royalty that is paid to performers and labels for the sound recording, and also to the publishers and songwriters for the musical work. (AM/FM radio in the US only pays the publishers and songwriters—something that FMC and our allies have been working to fix).

Right now, the aforementioned trio of judges—the Copyright Royalty Board, or CRB—is hearing from radio services and rightsholders as they decide upon digital radio royalty rates for 2016-2020. These proceedings can be contentious; the last round in 2008 ended up with many dissatisfied parties and aCongressionally brokered solution. It remains to be seen where things will end up in the current process.

As expected, the labels, performers, publishers and songwriters want more money, and the services want to pay less. The CRB has the unenviable job of considering all the reasons why each side thinks it’s right.

ImagesDigital radio services exist under what’s called a statutory licensing framework. Basically, the government says, “hey, newer forms of radio, you can play whatever music you want without seeking individual permission, so long as you pay a set rate.” Compare that to downloads or on-demand services likeSpotify, which require direct negotiation with the rightsholders to get permission to use the music. That can be a costly and time-consuming process with no guarantee of obtaining catalog. Some—like the major labels and a few artists—prefer this form of licensing, but it can come at the expense of growing a legitimate digital music marketplace as an alternative to piracy.

In its original form, radio was not meant to be a substitute for sales. (In fact, AM/FM broadcasters have historically argued that radio drives sales, which is an excuse they use to justify not paying performers and labels). These days, music sales aren’t an area of growth in the industry; in fact, they continue to decline. Part of the reason is due to the advent of streaming on-demand services like Spotify, which operate under a direct licensing framework. (Payment also differs; signed artists are paid under contract, and unsigned artists are paid by “aggregators” like CD Baby or TuneCore under the terms of service.) It is now becoming evident that on-demand services—where users can choose the song or album they want to hear, create playlists and even download and cache music for offline listening—are cutting into download sales, to say nothing of CDs. This puts pressure on digital radio to make up the difference, which doesn’t seem entirely fair.

Another area of controversy is what evidence is allowed to be considered or should carry weight in theCRB rate-setting process. The current law provides for rate determinations to be calculated under a “willing seller, willing buyer” standard, which is meant to emulate the terms parties would have arrived at if negotiating directly. The labels and SoundExchange (the nonprofit that collects and distributes royalties for the digital public performance of sound recordings) often point to the on-demand, or “interactive” streaming marketplace as evidence of negotiated rates. But that can lead to some tortured arithmetic, because the services are fundamentally not the same—remember, one is radio (even if it’s customizable), and the other more like Netflix or Hulu, where you either pay a subscription fee or tolerate ads in exchange for the ability to watch or listen to the catalog available on the service.

A handful of weeks ago, the webcaster Pandora entered into a direct deal with an organization called Merlin, which administers the rights for some of the biggest independent labels. We appreciate it when services recognize the tremendous value that independent music brings. But we had some questions about the deal, as key details were not revealed. Well, the terms remain undisclosed, but some information has come to light in the evidence that Pandora has submitted to the CRB. One of the revelations (and an area that we previously flagged for concern) is that Pandora is “steering” its algorithms to perform more music from the Merlin catalog in exchange for lowered rates. That sounds uncomfortably like the age-old practice of payola, where major labels would entice AM/FM broadcasters to play their music in exchange for money and other considerations. We stood with the independent labels many times over the years to combat structural payola, and their trade organization, the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), relied heavily on FMC research to make their anti-payola case to the FCC. And we criticized the majors for their direct deals with Clear Channel, because the implication is increased rotation in exchange for lowered digital rates. So it’s disappointing to see a group that negotiates on independent labels’ behalf behave like major labels for their own competitive advantage.

We get why. But we also understand that what makes Pandora awesome is that it has always played music by a broad range of independent artists (myself included), many of whom aren’t signed to Merlin labels.

Here’s another thing that’s easy to understand. Pandora is using this deal—arrived at under actual “willing seller, willing buyer” conditions—to justify lowering the royalties it pays to SoundExchange (which are then distributed to performers and labels under a roughly 50/50 split). This has pissed some folks off, including observers at the Trichordist blog. While we might disagree with the proposal, we don’t see the posturing as unusal, as the “other side” always pushes for higher rates, which the services claim would put them out of business. Neither is likely to get exactly what they want, and this is only the start of the process. So let’s not hit the panic button just yet.

Remember, there are other players involved, too. The National Association of Broadcasters has its proposal for the digital simulcasts of over-the-air stations, and SiriusXM is also making its case. It is true that Pandora’s proposed rate is around half that put forward by SoundExchange, so the judges have their work cut out for themselves in achieving compromise. But what’s the alternative? Pandora shuts down and everyone is at the mercy of Apple’s iTunes Radio and the major labels? Or artists take a haircut based on the undisclosed terms of a private deal that many of us weren’t a part of?

I’d like to think that there’s a middle ground. And my job is to remind people that artists are the ones who occupy it. We want our music performed so that more people can discover our awesomeness. And we want to be paid fairly for the use of our work on services whose success depends in part on our sweat equity. It’s not crazy to think that these basic values can be reflected in the eventual rates. As the market continues to transition from a purely sales-based environment, we need to watch out for our interests. But it would be naïve and short sighted to expect that radio alone can solve all of our revenue concerns.

Here’s the message to all parties (including the judges): work with us, not against us, and you’ll get a better result.

(PS: if you’re into micropenny math, RAIN and Broadcast Law Blog both have more info on the specifics of each proposal.)

Former EXFM CEO Talks Music Startup Challenges 

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In this episode of the Upward Spiral, a music business podcast, we talk with Dan Cantor, who is former CEO and co-founder of exfm, a social music discovery platform that enables people transform music blogs into playable mix. In recent months, his company was acquired by Rhapsody International and he became their VP of product. We talk to Cantor about his company, the music startup space, and Rhapsody’s future.

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Content Marketing Is Dead 

content{UPDATED] By Brian Thompson from ZenThinking.net and Thorny Bleeder; writer, podcaster, and author of the upcoming book, "Sparks to Awaken."

Content marketing is dead. or perhaps I should say, it makes me feel dead. whether you realize or not, it probably makes you feel quite empty and lifeless too. i’ve grown to have a serious disdain for the word ‘content’, when associated with creative and artistic work. when you add the word ‘marketing’ to the end of it to form 'content marketing', the resulting phrase gives me the serious willies now. i cringe.i know this may seem hypocritical considering all of the marketing advice i've formerly advocated, but i’ve changed. and i hope you will too. 

the content marketing catchphrase stinks of trying too hard. it reeks of over-planning, of researching all the possible metrics and demographics on how to penetrate your market to death, of how to obtain maximum optimization, of how to take advantage of people.

this isn’t art. it feels disingenuous. it sounds heartless and cold. it leaves me feeling as if i’ve been grossly manipulated.

i genuinely feel that when you use the term 'content marketing' to describe what you do, it cheapens your work. it taints your intent, it sours what you create. it attempts to commoditize your efforts, it twists the dynamics, it skewers the context of why you’re creating in the first place, and it heaps copious wads of unwarranted expectations onto it.

when you label your creativity as 'content marketing', it devalues your artistic process and all your work in contributing to whatever culture you’re a part of. it makes it all seem so utterly heartless and devoid of honest emotion.

this isn’t art.

Guitar-Music-Art-lwhat began as simply creating, sharing, and connecting with an audience who had similar tastes, somehow became an economic numbers game. it was reduced to a field where there was only winners and losers. the harbingers of the social media wave once paved their golden road on the promises of creating communities, of extending the reach of our cultural identities, over the borders, across the oceans, and into the homes of those who once had nowhere to belong.

the social networks have instead created nothing more than an evolution in advertising, overrun by a cesspool of clickbait farms, with everyone trying to mimic one another.

creativity became competitive, and our attention became a commodity; attracting the most eyeballs was now the most important thing at stake.

it saddens me to see so many artists, entrepreneurs and brands, who once thought for themselves so vigilantly, now hypnotized by the promise and allure of geeky analytics and creating second-rate trash.

i’m not pointing fingers or absolving myself, i’m as much to blame as anyone else. the artistic focus of the creative digital nomad has unfairly been distracted, now placed onto securing website visits and views, onto garnering click-through rates and conversions, and achieving online rankings and increased sales.

so... what’s the alternative to content marketing then?

create stuff that matters.

the process is much the same, but it’s our approach that i suggest we change. we should strive to be more precise with our language. for crying out loud, don’t think of yourself as a content marketer! the words we use to describe things dramatically affect how we feel about them. so if you set out to create noting more than just ‘content’, then what exactly will you end up with? often, it’ll just be disposable junk.

that’s why i’m removing 'content marketing' from my everyday vernacular. i've tossed it into my bin of derogatory phrases, used only to describe crass self-promotion and those empty, meaningless posts that make my eyes roll and that are devoid of any value.

we need to imbue our work with a sense of worthiness before we send it out and into the world.

before we hit publish we should ask ourselves, does it have soul? or is it just made to generate clicks?

in order to remain true to both ourselves and to our community, our goal should be to simply create what matters, share with those who care, and connect; not to just merely create with the sole purpose of marketing, or to gain attention with targeted, predictable content.

when you create from the heart, you’ll touch it in others.

i don’t want my writings to be thought of as merely content, as disposable trash to distract you, but rather as a piece of my creative self, a hint at my point of view, an opinion and a glimpse into my personal, inner world. isn’t that what audiences want too?

if you parade your creations around under the banner of content marketing, you'll limit your possibility for greatness. you won't care for your finished product as much as if you had considered it on par with the rest of your art.

don't belittle your creative efforts by calling them content marketing. don’t reduce the sparks of your artistry into meaningless rubbish.

make all that you do a masterpiece (or at least try to). take no shortcuts.

i urge you to leave the task of content marketing for all the big brands with swooshes in their logos and who have multimillion dollar viral campaigns. leave it for all the soulless companies who only care about robbing you of your dollar.

content marketing is not a term to embrace for the artist, the artisan, the creative, the eco-entrepreneur, the teacher, the healer, the passionate freelancer or the skilled craftsman; regardless of industry.

content marketing is dead. it was beaten to death by all of the meaningless and over-posted drivel that had no worth. it reduced our artists to expect nothing from their audiences beyond anticipating their algorithmic responses, and to assume their fans have no interest in anything beyond fifteen second, over-edited video clips.

content marketing for artists may be dead, but don’t be discouraged. there’s oodles and oodles of open hearts just waiting for you to connect with, waiting to glimpse a piece of your vulnerability, anxious to see your authenticity and to be graced with your honest and genuine creations. let people into your world. give them a deeper insight into your unique perspective, unfiltered by any marketing expectations you might have.

share a piece of your soul.

your intentions will impact your output, so don’t let your art be blinded by ambition.

 

Music Publishing News Roundup 10.31.14: Soundcloud, T.I. + Sony/ATV, TIDAL Hi-Def 

Soundcloud-adverts-appSoundcloud is looking to start making money. The Berlin-based online music streaming giant has grown its user base to 350 million since launching in 2007. Up till now, the company has lost up to $29.6 million. Soundcloud currently pays no publishing royalties because they are not making money from advertising like Youtube is. For this reason, they have managed to avoid any legal problems with organizations like NMPA. However, David Israelite of the NMPA has recently said that they may still sue, but are looking for a win win situation. In an effort, to launch their ad-supported streaming smoothly, Soundcloud has hired fore Warner Music executive Stephen Byran as VP of business development.

MORE:

Rapper and songwriter T.I. has signed with Sony/ATV for a worldwide publishing deal. In addition to covering all future works, this deal also includes his just-released studio album and his share of the cut for "Blurred Lines," the biggest hit of 2013. T.I. has sold more than 14 million albums and 30 million singles worldwide, and has been a lead or featured artist on over 100 singles since 2003.  His new album, Paperwork,  was released on October 21 on Grand Hustle/Columbia Records and features collaborations with artists such as Iggy Azalea, Usher, and Pharrell Williams.

Hi-def streaming service, Tidal has launched in the US and UK. The service, launched by Scandinavian company Aspiro offers a catalog of over 25 million audio tracks and 75,000 music videos in FLAC and ALAC formats. While most streaming competitors like Spotify and Beats Music offer audio quality at 320kbbps, Tidal offers a high-quality audio experience with 1,411kbps of lossless files. The subscription cost will be $19.99 in the US and £19.99 in the UK. Harry Fox Agency has since signed a licensing and music administration deal with the company in support of their launch.

David Packman: The Artist's Share 

Shutterstock_144811777-e1414516371339By David Packman, prominent venture capitalist in NYC, the co-creator of Apple's Music Group, and former CEO of eMusic. This post originally appeared on Packman.com

There is a commonality in the Hachette/Amazon and Spotify/Pandora/Recording Artist debates and it looks something like this:

  • By not paying enough royalties to the licensor (book publisher, record label), authors and artists are being starved.
  • We are told this is critically bad for authors and artists who can no longer earn a living.
  • Thus, creators won’t create, and art and culture ultimately suffer.

None of us want there to be fewer books or songs in the world. But frequently lost in this debate is a discussion of the presence, or perhaps obsolescence of the middleman and the amount of revenue they keep. 

Spotify, Pandora, Amazon and the other licensees of ebooks and music are ultimately just retailers. Their job is to acquire and retain customers, and sell them as much music and books as they can. They license their content from book publishers and record labels. The terms of the license are set unilaterally by the publishers or the label as they have exclusive authority over the titles they represent. The publishers and the labels form agreements with their authors and artists. These agreements dictate how much of the money received from retailers gets paid out to the creators. Spotify, Pandora, and Amazon have no control over the terms of the relationships between the creator and the middleman publisher or label.

Money_bagsFor every dollar spent on books or music, we know how much retailers keep. In the case of Spotify, more than 70% of every dollar they collect gets paid to record label and music publisher middlemen. In the case of Amazon, we see from theirgross margins that they pay out about 70% – 80% of every dollar they collect to the book publishers. Pandora pays out about 55% – 60% of the revenue it receives. Apple, the world’s largest retailer of music, pays out 70%. Most retailers of media, through both analog and digital eras, squeak by on about 30% gross margins and pay about 70% to the middleman. (Apple, in their AppStore, keeps 30% of app revenue and pays 70% to developers.) The argument is often made that “these retailers build their businesses on the backs of the creators and should keep a relatively small share.

Fair enough. Except how much of the money collected by the book publishers and record labels makes it back to the actual authors and artists—the creators without whom there would be no art? And in a changing digital landscape, are the analog legacies of these payments appropriate for the digital world?

In music, the deals between record labels and artists have two types of royalty structures: a) a percent of revenue paid to the artists for recorded music that is sold (a CD, a digital download) and b) a different percentage for music that is licensed (for use in a film, or perhaps a digital streaming service). Different artists have different deals, and massive superstars can demand better terms, but on average, revenue sharing for music sales are in the 15% – 18% range. That is, the artist receives only 15-18% of the wholesale payments the record label receives from sales. In real dollars, for a $1 download, Apple keeps $0.30, pays $0.70 to the label and the label pays $0.10 – $0.13 to the artist. That is a shockingly low amount and helps explain why artists often feel bitter about digital music sales. If retailers only keep 30%, why do the record labels keep more than 80% of the money they receive?

Traditionally, they claimed they served an invaluable role in the creation of music. They advanced money to the artists to live, they paid for studio time, they guided the recording process and helped select material, they manufactured the records and CDs, they shipped them in their trucks to their distribution facilities and then to the retailers. They also paid for music videos and marketing activities. If the labels needed 80% share to cover all of these costs, that might make some sense. Except in record deals, the artist is actually billed for most of these costs and has to repay them (“recoup”) by allowing the record label to withhold royalties until their advance and many of these costs are recouped. Interestingly, the overwhelming majority of these activities are not needed in the digital age (trucks, manufacturing) or cost a whole lot less to perform (electronic distribution).

In the digital world, many artists have successfully argued that digital services are being licensed by labels and thus the licensed royalty amount should apply. Again, this is negotiable, but generally is about a 50%/50% split. That is, half of the royalties collected by the labels get paid out to the artists, subject to deductions and recouping of costs. In the previous iTunes download example, the artist would receive about $0.35 for every $0.99 download sold.

In book publishing, for eBooks, many book publishers pay out about 25% of royalties they receive directly to the author and pay out about 5% – 15% of the retail price (or about 25% – 30% of the amount the publisher receives) for physical book sales.

In their most recent financial statements, Warner Music Group indicates that they are paying out to artists about 52% of the revenue they collect, far less than Apple, Amazon and Spotify pay to record labels and book publishers. In the case of book publisher John Wiley & Sons, they pay out to authors only about 29% of the revenue they collect, keeping 71% for themselves.

If retailers “build their business on the backs of the creators,” so too do the record labels and book publishers. Are they entitled to the majority of profits of every sale? Are they even any good at the marketing skills required to excel in the digital age? With audience proving grounds like Kickstarter and IndieGogo, how much creative direction and marketing does an artist need in this new world? It’s time not just to revisit the very purpose of these legacy middlemen, but also to re-examine the amount of money they take for their services.

 

Grooveshark Introduces Grooveshark Presents 

GI_69809_Grooveshark-Tile-OrangeDespite several ongoing legal battles with record labels, earlier this week, Grooveshark announced the launch of Grooveshark Presents, a new fan-sourced live music initiative. By tapping into their already established user base of over 30 million music fans, Grooveshark Presents is a way for Grooveshark to bring offline music events to their online audience. 

By consciously cultivating a network where content creators, broadcasters, and listeners can listen and discover music interactively, Grooveshark hopes to become a key player in the music streaming sector. "We seek to create a new standard for streaming music just as Netflix has done for Online TV viewers," said Sam Tarantino, Co-founder and CEO, Grooveshark. 

Main-qimg-466d2dba44e06eaf456241b2b255efd0Their aim is to bridge the gap between online streaming and live music experience by merging both of those pieces into one platform. Tarantino continues, “With Grooveshark Presents we are removing the significant risks promoters take in booking talent, simply by combining the intelligence gathered from our streaming platform with our unique ability to communicate with our listeners. Live events are in our DNA, as our heavily millennial listener base consumes music online, but spends on music offline. This is a significant step in how Grooveshark organically bridges artists and fans with technology."

Grooveshark Presents is set to launch on November 10th in Gainesville, Florida where Chicago-based electro chill artist will be showcased with the support of San Francisco's Happy Accidents and Gainesville's own Bells & Robes. This will mark the first time Grooveshark has actively utilized their online community and human-curated broadcasting to fully power a fan-sourced event. 

“We want to continue to organically foster a human-curated, rich way for listeners to discover music. Our mission with Grooveshark remains: to empower artists and fans around the world through technology,” said Jason Blate, Grooveshark’s VP of Events and Promotions.

The Dangers of Positive Thinking: Bursting the Music Industry Feedback Bubble 

SmileBy Alex Jae Mitchell, Co-Founder and CEO of Audiokite

Having listened to probably more than a thousand artists as a songwriting contest judge and music startup person, I’m no stranger to giving feedback to musicians. And I have a confession to make: rarely is the feedback I give 100% honest. I’ll hear a track with major problems (out-of-tune vocals, scratchy production, uninspired lyrics, etc.) and tell the band “Maybe touch up the vocal production, but overall, it sounds great!” 

Actually, it doesn’t sound great. It sounds like a dying cat attacking an out-of-tune guitar. But I’m not going to say that, the band’s friends aren’t going to say that, and the band’s current fans aren’t going to say that. Why? Because musicians work hard. They go through hundreds of iterations of each track element and pour their heart and soul into everything they make. At the end of the day, we want to be supportive, we want the band to learn and thrive, and we don’t want to leave them disheartened.

And so continues the cycle: musicians produce new songs and solicit feedback from friends, other musicians, and people within the music industry. To protect the feelings of those musicians, everyone says it’s great with minor comments, and the musician continues to perceive success in a poisonous bubble of positive feedback. Then, years later, they’re still wondering why their career is going nowhere. 

Maybe on some level, this isn’t the worst thing in the world. After all, musicians will naturally find their sound as time goes on, right? And maybe that sound will lead to a successful career, or maybe it won’t. The danger is that the feedback bubble is endemic in the music industry, and it’s affecting everyone’s bottom line.

SoundScan’s third-quarter results show that there’s an obvious problem in the industry’s ability to generate revenue. And while that problem is multi-faceted, an important (and often overlooked) facet is the disconnect between consumer expectations and what the promotional channels of the industry are actually delivering.

I would argue that the origin of this disconnect lies in the same feedback bubble plaguing new musicians. Traditionally, when it comes to important decisions regarding new artists and promotion outlets, industry decision-makers tend to ask each other’s opinions: other musicians, other producers, and other A&R execs. And while the judgments at that stage are probably more honest than in the unsigned cohort, they’re still leaving out arguably the most important opinion in the equation: that of actual music consumers.

We’ve discovered several interesting points from the data collected at Audiokite Research to support this. For example, when labels are asked to rate the general quality of their own songs out of 10, they report an 8.4 on average – 2.2 points above the average public rating of 6.2 of those same songs. Independent artists rate themselves an average of 7.6, still 1.4 points higher than actual music listeners.

MegaphoneThis data shows that music consumers, especially when anonymized, are much more honest (even sometimes brutal) when reviewing music they’ve never heard before. They burst the feedback bubble. It makes sense – without a personal connection to the artist, what reason is there to sugar coat opinions? This works both ways, as positive feedback isn’t sugar coated either; when an audience enjoys a song, they’ll talk about why, and they’ll seek it out. So if consumers are willing to tell us what they want to hear, why aren’t we asking?

The music industry can learn a few lessons from the startup world. In startups, data collected from user feedback is one of the most important practices in releasing a new product. It tells you where to improve, if there’s a product-market fit, and how to solve your customers’ problems. And while the opinion of one user can be easily brushed off, the opinions of hundreds can’t.

The inherent subjectivity of music in general will always necessitate a level of A&R, but deeply integrating the opinions of the listening public into the process can bring, at the very least, some semblance of objectivity on which to base important decisions. If we’re going to find a solution to the problems facing the music industry, maybe it’s time for the industry to stop asking itself and ask its audience instead.

Live Nation Posts Solid Q3 Financials 

image from www.celebrityaccess.comLive Nation Entertainment released positive financial results for the third fiscal quarter and reported revenue up across the board by 11% from the previous year. Revenue increased to $2.50 billion from $2.26 billion, in 2013 and adjusted operating income increased to $258.1 million from $221.2 in the same period in 2013, an increase of 17%.

Live Nation reported a good quarter for concerts as well, with an adjusted operating income of 82.8 million, or 17% over Q3 2013, driven by the strength of the company's promotion of 22 of the top 25 global tours this year including Jay-Z and Beyonce, One Direction and Luke Bryan. As well, the company continued to grow their festival portfolio and reports that they are expecting nearly five million fans across our 65 global festivals in 2014, and 8% increase from 2013.

Live Nation's artist management unit, Artist Nation was also in the black this quarter, posting a revenue increase of 18% over Q3 2013 and an AOI increase of 73% with the company now managing Madonna, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj and Lil' Wayne.

Sponsorships and ticketing also saw a strong quarter, with revenue up by 4% and 8% respectively over the previous year after partnerships such as the company's daily live streamed concert deal with Internet search giant Yahoo!.

"We are continuing to build share in concerts and artist management and drive growth in sponsorship and ticketing. The live business continues to have a robust outlook as artists are reliant on touring as their main earnings driver and the best means to engage and connect with their fan base. The ongoing flow of new artists continues to re-energize the business as fans more than ever find the live experience, from club shows to stadiums to festivals, a top entertainment choice and the best and most unique means to celebrate their favorite artist and share the experience with fans, both on-site and online," said Live Nation CEO/President Michael Rapino. -  via Celebrity Access

Billboard Announces 2014 Touring Award Finalists 

BBtouring2014_300x250 (2)The finalists for the 2014 Billboard Touring Awards were announced yesterday. One Direction, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, Arcade Fire, Rolling Stones, Jason Aldean and Paul McCartney were among the finalists. Billboard's touring awards recognizes artists with outstanding achievement in the touring world. The awards are based considerably off of Billboard's Boxscore chart data that reflects gate receipts for concerts, comedy shows, and various real box office shows. 

"The tours, artists, venues, events, executives and companies represented as finalists for the Billboard Touring Awards are pushing the boundaries of creativity to make live events a bigger draw than ever," says Ray Waddell, Billboard’s Executive Director of Content and Programming for Touring and Live Entertainment. "In this era of fragmented digital consumption, live performance remains paramount in building and sustaining an artist’s career."

Justin-timberlakeThe three finalists for Top Tour, based on Boxscore gross, include Justin Timberlake's 20/20 Experience tour, The Eagles' History of The Eagles tour, and One Direction's Where We Are tour. 

The Top Boxscore category honors the top-grossing single engagement by an artists. The finalists include One Direction for their May shows in Dublin, The Rolling Stones for their February-March Tokyo Dome engagement, and Paul McCartney for his November shows at the Tokyo Dome. 

The Breakthrough Award recognizes a breakout artist who climbs their way to the top ranking tours within their first decade of touring. Florida Georgia Line, Arcade Fire, and One Republic are the finalists. 

Finalists for the Top Package category, recognizing the highest-grossing tour with three or more artists on the bill, include Jason Aldean featuring Florida Georgia Line and Tyler Farr; Katy Perry's Prismatic tour featuring Tegan & Sarah, Kasey Musgraves, Capital Cities, Becky G Ferras; and Luke Bryan featuring Lee Brice and Cole Swindell. 

Top Festival finalists are The Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, CA, Austin City Limits Music Festival in Austin, TX, and Lallapalooza in Chicago, IL. 

Winners will be honored at the Roosevelt Hotel at the 11th annual Billboard Touring Conference & Awards on November 20. Further details about the 2014 Billboard Touring Conference & Award will be released closer to the event date. 

A full list of the 2014 Billboard Touring Awards finalists in as follows: 

TOP TOUR
The Eagles
One Direction
Justin Timberlake

TOP DRAW
Luke Bryan
One Direction
Justin Timberlake

TOP PACKAGE
Jason Aldean featuring Florida Georgia Line and Tyler Farr
Luke Bryan featuring Lee Brice and Cole Swindell
Katy Perry’s Prismatic Tour, featuring Capital Cities, Kasey Musgraves, Tegan & Sarah, Becky G Ferras

BREAKTHROUGH
Arcade Fire
Florida Georgia Line
OneRepublic 

TOP COMEDY TOUR
Jeff Dunham
Micky Flanagan
Barry Humphries (Dame Edna) 

TOP BOXSCORE
Paul McCartney - Tokyo Dome - Nov. 18-19, 21
One Direction - Croke Park, Dublin - May 23-25
Rolling Stones - Tokyo Dome - Feb. 26, March 4, 6 

TOP FESTIVAL
Austin City Limits Music Festival, Austin TX
Coachella Music & Arts Festival, Indio, CA
Lollapalooza, Chicago, IL

TOP ARENA
Allphones Arena, Sydney, Australia
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
O2 Arena, London, England 

TOP VENUE - UNDER 10,000 SEATS
Auditorio Nacional, Mexico City, Mexico
The Axis at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas, NV
Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY 

TOP VENUE - UNDER 5,000 SEATS
The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, NV
Durham Performing Arts Center, Durham, NC
Fox Theatre, Atlanta, GA 

TOP CLUB
9:30 Club, Washington, D.C.
House of Blues, Boston, MA
House of Blues, Orlando, FL 

TOP AMPHITHEATER
Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, Toronto, Canada
Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, Wantagh, NY
Xfinity Center, Mansfield, MA 

TOP PROMOTER
AEG Live
Live Nation Entertainment
Ocesa 

TOP INDEPENDENT PROMOTER (U.S.)
Another Planet Entertainment
C3 Presents
Move Concerts

TOP INDEPENDENT PROMOTER (INTERNATIONAL)
Dainty Group
SJM Concerts
T4F- Time For Fun 

TOP AGENCY
Creative Artists Agency
Paradigm
William Morris Endeavor Entertainment 

TOP MANAGER
Modest! Management
Roc Nation
Wright Entertainment Group

CONCERT MARKETING & PROMOTION AWARD
Luke Bryan/Cabela’s
Steve Aoki/Bud Light Platinum
Hunter Hayes/Conagra
Billy Joel/Citi at Madison Square Garden
Music Midtown/Coke Zero with The List
Katy Perry Prismatic World Tour/Staples
Blake Shelton/JCPenney

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