Prince's Vault

The Prince estate released "Piano & a Microphone 1983," the first from his archive, the Vault.

Stop what you're doing and go listen now.

MUSIC & INDUSTRY


A series of investigative reports on Ticketmaster's pricing practices and role in secondary markets rocked the industry. The first report details how face value isn't fixed, and two seats next to each other can sell for vastly different amounts. This is dynamic pricing like airplane tickets, and fans hate it. But economists love it, and it's set by the artist anyways, so put away the pitchforks. That is, until you read the second report. Journalists posed undercover as secondary ticket brokers (ie, scalpers) and Ticketmaster employees pitched them on TradeDesk, an uploader service for scalpers built and owned by Ticketmaster. The TradeDesk rep discusses how brokers can setup multiple accounts and manage their broker business through the service, in direct violation of Ticketmaster's terms. Ticketmaster issued a statement, denying having "any program in place to enable resellers to acquire large volume of tickets," noted that they "do not condone" what was said by the rep, and is conducting an internal review. Still, they're correct when they point out that a secondary market is necessary "as long as there is an imbalance between supply and demand in live event tickets."

BRANDS & BANDS


Much to the delight of LA, LeBron James signed a four-year deal with the Lakers on July 2nd. The new environment suits him well. Since the signing, LeBron and his production company SpringHill have launched a whole slew of new projects, not the least of which being Space Jam 2. Much of the upcoming work will reflect his outspoken activism, like his "Shut Up And Dribble" series starring Jamelle Hill. Indeed, LeBron "sees a direct line between his activism on subjects like representation and social justice and his budding media empire." When brands partner with stars, they strive for authenticity. Here, that won't be a problem. LeBron is the brand, and the brand is strong.

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS


RIAA released its 2018 mid-year revenue report, and it confirms what we already knew. Streaming revenue grew 28% year over year, and now makes up 75% of all retail revenue. Meanwhile, after some late drama, the Music Modernization Act passed in the Senate by unanimous vote (yes, unanimous). And so, after the most significant copyright reform in decades and steady, stable growth, the recording industry is finally back on solid ground. At least until whatever new technology comes down the pipe in a decade and upends everything all over again.

EVERYTHING ELSE


LISTEN


Prince
17 Days (Piano & Mic '83)
Serial
Season 3

LOOK


LSD
Thunderclouds
Shepard Fairey

WEEKEND PLAYLIST

FACTORY FLOOR


Maroon 5 is playing Super Bowl 53
Here's a pic w/ the factory team from 2013 when they headlined the Honda Civic Tour.

FRIDAY GIF


See ya next week...
This WeekMatt Pennington