Posts by Demetrius Brown

    Michael Jackson Estate Renews 41-Year-Old Partnership With BMI

    Michael Jackson‘s estate has renewed a partnership with BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) that dates back to the Carter administration. The performing rights organization announced on Tuesday that it will continue licensing the King of Pop’s songwriting catalog for public performance, renewing a pact first signed in 1979 and last refreshed in 2014.

    “Michael first signed with BMI in the nascent stage of his solo career and BMI has never wavered in its commitment to his extraordinary talent,” said John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Jackson estate. “This is a significant agreement, commensurate with the robust growth of interest in his music and his enduring contribution to the culture.”

    Jackson spent most of his 50 years making music, first with the Jackson 5 and later in a solo career that spawned huge self-penned hits including “Rock With You,” “Billie Jean,” “Wanna Be Starting Something,” “Beat It,” “Bad” and “Black or White.” He also co-wrote the 1985 charity anthem “We Are the World.”

    According to BMI, 17 of Jackson’s songs have exceeded over one million plays on radio, with some exceeding five million spins.

    “The influence of Michael Jackson’s revolutionary music is undeniable,” said Mike O’Neill, president & CEO, BMI. “We are extremely pleased that his estate continues to entrust BMI to represent his extraordinary catalog.”

    Source: Billboard.COM

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    For platforms like Netflix and Hulu, password sharing might be their own ‘streaming crisis’

    With the debut of its streaming service in 2007,Netflix caused a paradigm shift in the way viewers watch entertainment. Since then, the field has become cluttered with competitors.’s Prime Video and Disney-controlled Hulu are just the two most well known examples – and there are more on the way.

    In late 2019, Disney debuted its flagship Disney+ service and the stock immediately soared to new all-time highs as signups surged to 10 million within just one day after its release (including those who committed early). Apple recently introduced Apple TV+, and Comcast and AT&T’s HBO said they would launch Peacock and HBO Max, respectively, in early 2020.

    With many of the biggest names represented, it’s surprising that almost no one is talking about the billions of dollars streaming services are forfeiting as the result of password sharing.

    For streaming platforms, issue is reaching epidemic proportions

    While companies have acknowledged the practice over the years, password sharing has soared recently, according to an extensive report by Hub Entertainment Research. Hub surveyed 2,050 U.S. consumers with broadband who reported watching at least one hour of TV per week, and the results are startling. 

    Of all consumers, 42% said they have used someone else’s online TV service password to access a service, according to Hub’s Video Redefined report. With younger viewers, the numbers are even more troubling, growing to a whopping 78% among 13- to 24-year-olds.

    The biggest loser is Netflix, as 69% of younger viewers admitted to using someone else’s password to access the service, but every major streaming service suffered from the same phenomenon. Rounding out the top three are Hulu at 59% and Amazon with 53%. Even though it only launched in November, Disney+ soared up the leader board with 53% of 13- to 24-year-olds accessing the service using someone else’s credentials.

    Fewer consumers admit to handing out passwords, but the results are still stark. Among all consumers, 31% confessed to sharing their login information with someone who didn’t live in their household. That number more than doubled among among 13- to 24-year-olds, as 64% admitted to giving out their password to a friend or extended family member. The percentage is much lower among older adults, with 16% of consumers 35 or older saying they shared credentials.

    Among younger viewers, Netflix is the most shared, with 56% giving out their password, but Disney rocketed up the charts – taking second place – with 31% of younger viewers sharing credentials. The other big names suffered similar fates, with Hulu at 30%, Apple TV+ at 17%, Amazon at 14%, and HBO Now at 10%.

    Billions of dollars at stake

    If the results are representative of the larger population of viewers – and there’s no reason to think they’re not – this has huge implications for the future of streaming. Netflix has the most to lose, as the company has the deepest penetration of any streaming service – but this poses a similar problem for all the streaming providers.

    A study from late 2018 estimated that Netflix was forfeiting more than $1.6 billion per year from password sharing, according to research company Magid, and that’s assuming that just 10% of paid subscribers shared their password. There’s little doubt that figure has climbed from there. 

    No easy answer

    Netflix CEO Reed Hasting has addressed the matter in the past, saying, “Password sharing is something you have to learn to live with.” When asked about Disney’s stance, CEO Bob Iger said in an interview, “We’ll watch it carefully with various tools, technology tools that we have available to us to monitor it. But it’s obviously something that we have to watch.” 

    That’s not to say they’re sitting idly by while password sharing costs them billions in revenue. The major streaming services, along with the biggest studios in Hollywood, are part of the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), which recently announced it was working to reduce “improper password sharing.” ACE, which counts Warner Bros., Disney, Netflix, Sony, Paramount, and Amazon, among others, among its members, is looking to develop technology solutions to combat password sharing, like limiting the number of devices that can access the same account. 

    Streaming services have been somewhat reticent in the past to crack down on the practice of password sharing for fear of angering consumers and losing potential future customers. As the streaming wars heat up, however, look for them to become less accepting of the practice.

    Source: USATODAY.COM

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    NFL set to experiment with alternative to onside kick at Pro Bowl

    The NFL announced Tuesday it will be testing two rule changes at the Pro Bowl on Sunday, including the experimentation of an alternative to an onside kick. 

    The announcement comes on the heels of league owners rejecting the alternative idea last year. The experiment, however, indicates the NFL still is considering what has been drawn up as a fourth-and-15 type of alternative opportunity for teams. 

    Teams will have two options after scoring in Sunday’s game, with no kickoffs as in previous Pro Bowls. The scoring team can choose whether to give the ball to its opponent, which would begin at its own 25-yard line, or to run one additional play from its own 25-yard line. If that team can gain 15 yards or more, it keeps the possession. If it does not, the ball goes to the opponent at the dead ball positioning. 

    The NFL does not adopt all Pro Bowl rule change options. But the league has been looking to looking into possible changes to the onside kick since new standards enforced in 2018 have made the play much more difficult for the kicking team, with all-time low of 7.7% of attempts recovered by them last season.

    Pro Bowl officials will also be instructed in this year’s game to use a different standard for false start penalties on receivers at the line of scrimmage. It will not be a false start if a receiver moves or lifts a foot off the ground, provided the player resets on the ground for one second.

    Source: USATODAY.COM

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    Panthers QB Cam Newton And Former Girlfriend In Custody, Paternity Battle

    It was rumored that Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton allegedly had a fifth child with an Instagram model, thus breaking up his relationship with longtime girlfriend Kia Proctor, who is the mother of his other 4 children. Or so everyone thought. Now, Newton has filed to wants his now ex-baby mama/girlfriend, Kia Proctor, to take a DNA test to prove “their” 4 kids are his?!

    Yep, you read that correctly.  According to multiple reports,  Newton, sued Proctor for paternity, joint custody and visitation of their four children, Chosen 5, Sovereign-Dior, 3, Camidas, 2, and Cashmere Saint, 3 months.  The former couple, who posted together with their then three children and Proctor’s daughter from a prior relationship, have erased each other from their respective social media accounts. In this year’s holiday photo, Proctor posted solo with four of her children.

    Newton, 30, is allegedly the father of a child with Instagram model La Reina Shaw, 33. That apparently went down while he was still with Proctor.

    According to court papers obtained by Bossip, Newton demanded a DNA test from Proctor, 31, for their youngest child, born in September who has never lived with the Carolina Panthers quarterback.

    Here’s more via Bossip:

    Newton acknowledged that he signed the kids’ birth certificates, but wants DNA proof. He said he’s been voluntarily paying child support but wants the court to figure out a dollar amount. Newton also said that once he’s legally deemed the father, he’d like joint physical custody with Proctor.

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    US retail sales climb in December, and November sales were revised up

    U.S. retail sales rose for a third straight month in December, with households buying a range of goods even as they cut back on purchases of motor vehicles, which could strengthen the view that the economy maintained a moderate growth pace at the end of 2019.

    The Commerce Department said on Thursday retail sales increased 0.3% last month. Data for November was revised up to show retail sales gaining 0.3% instead of rising 0.2% as previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales would gain 0.3% in December. Compared to December last year, retail sales accelerated 5.8%.

    Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, retail sales jumped 0.5% last month after falling by a downwardly revised 0.1% in November.

    The so-called core retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product. They were previously reported to have edged up 0.1% in November.

    Sales rose in December despite retailers such as Target Corp , Kohl’s, J.C. Penney and Macy’s reporting a decline in sales for the holiday period as foot traffic in malls dropped.

    Though a report last week showed a slowdown in job growth in December and the increase in the annual wage gain retreating to below 3.0%, consumers will continue to shoulder the longest economic expansion on record, now in its 11th year, thanks to higher savings, rising house prices and a bullish stock market.

    Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, grew at a 3.2% annualized rate in the third quarter. Growth in consumer spending is expected to have slowed to around or below a 2.5% rate in the fourth quarter. The economy expanded at a 2.1% pace in the July-September period.

    Growth estimates for the fourth quarter are as high as a 2.5% rate, in part because of a drop in imports, which compressed the trade deficit.

    In December, auto sales fell 1.3%, the biggest drop since last January, after increasing 1.5% in November. Higher gasoline prices lifted receipts at service stations, which jumped 2.8%. Online and mail-order retail sales rose 0.2% after being unchanged in November.

    Sales at electronics and appliance stores rebounded 0.6% in December. Receipts at building material stores surged 1.4% and sales at clothing stores accelerated 1.6%. Spending at furniture stores edged up 0.1%.

    Americans also spent more at restaurants and bars, with sales rising 0.2% last month. Spending at hobby, musical instrument and book stores rebounded 0.9%.

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    Tessa Thompson Talks Her Love For Nostalgic Pieces And The Importance Of Supporting Small Businesses with Essence.

    While not everyone is able to become an American Express Platinum Member, the company is curating conscious projects to make sure there is support for underrepresented businesses. On Saturday, the credit card conglomerate threw its first-ever Platinum House in New York City hosted by actress Tessa Thompson. Thompson is an avid supporter of small businesses especially through her fashion choices where she’s likes to incorporate pieces from Black or POC designers. 

    When applying for an American Express Platinum Card, it’s usually rewarded to individuals who are in high financial standings. And with the holiday season in full swing, this campaign comes right on time with the credit card company encouraging its clientele to support small businesses when shopping this season and beyond.

    Read More Here.

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    DJ Khaled’s Executive Produced ‘Bad Boys For Life’ Soundtrack, Featuring Meek Mill & Rick Ross.

    Over the course of 10 tracks that cover Hip Hop, R&B, reggaeton and dancehall, DJ Khaled has rolled out his executive produced project, the Bad Boys For Life Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.

    Meek Mill, Rick Ross, Quavo, J Balvin, Bryson Tiller and The Black Eyed Peas are just a handful of the notable names that fill up the tracklist.

    Read more here.

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    Jimmy Iovine Knows Music and Tech. Here’s Why He’s Worried.

    The biggest story in music over the last decade was the industry’s reconciliation with tech — after a decade fighting the internet, the music business fully embraced it in the 2010s. Streaming has now finally returned the business, which was nearly decimated by the shift from physical to digital formats, to growth.

    Perhaps no one has had a broader view of this phenomenon than Jimmy Iovine, the producer and record executive who made the leap to the other side. He and his partner, Dr. Dre, sold their company, Beats Electronics, to Apple for $3 billion in 2014 and helped launch Apple Music, the tech giant’s late entry to the streaming market, which now has more than 60 million subscribers.

    It was, from the start, a strange pairing. Apple is obsessively cautious in maintaining its public image; Iovine, the son of a Brooklyn longshoreman, blurts profanities in a high-pitched rasp and is one of music’s great hustler-salesmen. But Iovine, who co-founded the Interscope label in 1990 and led it until he left in 2014, has long been one of the sharpest observers of the tug-of-war between the entertainment business and Silicon Valley.

    Iovine, 66, retired from Apple in 2018, and says he has devoted himself to passion projects like the XQ Institute, an educational initiative led by Laurene Powell Jobs, who was married to the Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. He has even started taking guitar lessons. “I’m realizing how hard Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen’s jobs really were,” he said from his home in Los Angeles, with a chuckle.

    Iovine has also become a dedicated collector of contemporary art, guided in part by David Geffen, his friend and fellow mogul retiree. His most prized work is a 2017 commission by Ed Ruscha, “Our Flag,” an update to one of Ruscha’s perennial subjects that shows a star-spangled banner ripped and tattered — a striking comment on contemporary politics.

    “If you looked at the painting and thought it represented the disarray of democracy you would be right,” Ruscha said. “Any flag that flies for 250 years deserves to be a little soiled but nothing this extreme.”

    Read Complete Article Here.

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    FUBU brings Tech to Radio. FUBU Radio Partner with Tech This Out News.

    DEC 3, 2019 NEW YORK CITY/LOS ANGELES — FUBU Radio and Tech This Out have partnered sharing interests in creating new marketing opportunities, drive digital growth, increase radio listenership and break new music.

    Starting from Dec. 10, Tech This Out is distributing a 30-minute live simulcast every Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET on FUBU Radio. In addition to a weekly live simulcast, Tech This Out will provide short-form video content and tech product review with its Tech This Out Review.

    FUBU Radio is the new name in urban radio. The online radio platform offers Hip Hop, R&B and “infotainment” news content. “We are excited to welcome Tech This Out News to FUBU Radio,” said Keith Perrin, President of FUBU Radio and co-Founder of FUBU. “Tech This Out News innovative approach to covering technology, music, while highlighting topics that affect culture and society will be a great addition our listeners are going to appreciate.”

    Mike Johns, the executive producer of Tech This Out said that the podcast was created to be the voice for today’s tech startups, consumer electronic brands while at the same time be a platform for emerging and indie artists

    “We are thrilled to deliver Tech This Out to FUBU Radio,” said Johns. “The FUBU brand has been paramount in Hip Hop and we are redefining FOR US BY US motto to incorporate the unlimited and vast power of technology.”

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