This Week in Music – March 28, 2016

Weekly update of key events in music, entertainment and technology compiled by Laura Montarroso, CORD Spain and edited by Anthony Vanger, MD CORD EMEA. 

Rolling Stones make history in Havana

The Rolling Stones played to an estimated 500,000 Cubans in Havana last Friday. For a convertible peso you could get a cone of popcorn or a bootleg Stones CD outside the gates. Men in traditional green military uniforms were present but unnecessary despite the charged atmosphere leading up to Cuba’s largest concert ever.

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Google Play Music and Milk partner for Series on Emerging Artists

In the heated battle for subscribers, streaming services are curating playlists, customising experiences and marbling-in unique content.  In the latest move, Google Play Music is teaming with media studio Milk for a series aimed at cultivating emerging artists. 

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Universal tries to break artist via multi-million pound ad campaign 

Universal Music Group is taking an unorthodox approach to breaking a new artist Norma Jean Martine by positioning her at the centre of a multi-million pound ad campaign for designer discount fashion outlets McArthurGlen.
Martine’s track has reportedly already been downloaded 350,000 times on iTunes worldwide.

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Toyota Renews Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Sponsorship

Toyota remains the official vehicle of the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon and a title partner of the concert series hitting 21 cities this year. The marathon series is expected to attract 600,000 athletes and features headliner performances at finish line festivals across the country.

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Ford Adds Spotify To FordPass Platform 

Spotify already is one of many apps that interacts with Ford SYNCAppLink. AppLink enables drivers to connect their vehicle and smartphone, and projects apps to the center console-mounted touch screen. Commands can be given via voice or touch.

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Social Platforms Grow Older, So Do Their Users 

Women make up 81 percent of Pinterest users, while 67 percent of Instagram users are millennials. Illustration: Carlos Monteiro

As social audiences grow to more resemble the general population, the brutally consistent notion that ‘If my parents are there, it’s no longer cool’ continues to present the social world with difficult choices. The trade-off: gain high-income earners at the expense of your share of younger audiences. 

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Does Boycotting Spotify Work?  

Boycotting Spotify isn’t a new thing, though the arrival of premium-only streaming services Apple Music and Tidal is making the decision easier.  These new streaming platforms gave artists choice, and more importantly, greater certainty of a guaranteed, higher per-stream royalty rate.

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Discussing Streaming Music Festivals at SXSW

While streaming has certainly taken a huge step forward in overall entertainment, its presence in music is still somewhat new, especially in broadcasting live events and finding ways to effectively monetize it without making home audiences feel like their experiencing an un-authentic portrayal of what the festival experience really should be. 

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After Skipping Spotify, Gwen Stefani Gets a Number One Album

Earlier this week, Gwen Stefani excluded her latest album from Spotify.  Now, she has a number one album. A growing number of artists now share the view that music streaming services that allow fans to listen to their music for free, like Spotify, collectively devalue music.  Many of those artists are opting to release on paid-only streaming platforms, like Apple or Tidal.  Neither Apple nor Tidal offer a free tier, outside of limited trials.

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For more information please contact: 

Anthony Vanger |

Laura Montarroso |

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