This Week in Music – April 25, 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. 


I watched Purple Rain yesterday on the plane to Warsaw. It had been a while since I had connected to anything he had done.  I was struck by how radical his sound was, especially the drums. The weirdly off-beat and processed snares and kicks produced a constant sense of danger in his music.

It is hard to imagine now, but back in 1984 when Purple Rain dominated the charts and won an Oscar, Prince was considered a corrupting influence in the US, mainly due to his overt sexuality. Prince’s scream, heard most notably on Darling Nikki, was almost inhuman in its ferocity and conveyed a sexual power that titillated teenagers all over the world and terrified their parents. Tipper Gore, then the wife of senator and future Vice President Al Gore, singled out “Darling Nikki” as an example of what she termed “porn rock” in her 1987 book “Raising PG Kids in an X-Rated Society.” As a result of this action, CD’s now carry the warning, Parental Discretion Advised.

Now it all seems quite tame, but back in 80s, Prince was not just changing the music landscape, but also shifting social norms. Like many other great artists, he transcended his field of expertise and forever entered into the popular consciousness.


Brazilian telecom company Oi, have developed an interactive approach to their identity, experimenting with sound and touch activation, so that there could be as many subtle variations to the logo when people interact with it. 


‘Next Up’: Billboard and W Hotels Partner for Emerging Artist Series

Billboard and W Hotels announce a collaborative, multi-faceted emerging artist program, Next Up: New Artists, New Music. The partnership will highlight artists that have had major impact on Billboard’s Real-Time Emerging Artist Chart and feature intimate concert series held at four of the luxury hotel brand’s key U.S. locations.

Russell Simmons Launches Creative Agency To Help Brands Reach Hip Hop Audience

Russell Simmons has launched a creative agency, ADHD, as part of All Def Digital’s new in-house creative machine. ADHD will help brands and Hollywood understand the multi-cultural, diverse Hip Hop audience and help them appeal to a younger demographic.


Prince set to top UK singles and albums charts

Within 24 hours of his death, Prince’s music had jumped into the top 10 of the official albums chart, despite much of it being unavailable on streaming services. Data from the first day of the chart week indicates that his 1984 anthem Purple Rain is a strong early contender for the top-selling single. When Doves Cry is on track for second place, with Kiss at No 4 and 1999 in fifth.

Lemonade streaming exclusively on Tidal 

Lemonade is available now via Columbia/Parkwood, streaming exclusively on Tidal giving a big boost to the streaming service. Beyoncé’s new album features Kendrick Lamar, Jack White, the Weeknd, James Blake.

Can audio go viral on Facebook? Here’s what happened when NPR ran an experiment for a month

Social audio has huge potential for audio creators and podcasters who produce hours of great content every day but still struggle with discovery and reaching new audiences. At NPR, they recently tried a different approach with a beta Facebook audio player.

YouTube gears up to enter battle for music streaming exclusives

The music industry has opened a new front in its dispute with YouTube, as the three largest labels allege that the Google-owned video site’s filtering technology fails to identify enough unlicensed content.


SoundCloud inks Europe-wide licensing deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing

Fresh from announcing its subscription service in the US, SoundCloud has signed a Europe-wide licensing agreement with Sony/ATV. The direct publishing agreement would enable Sony/ATV’s songwriters across Europe to generate revenue each time their songs a streamed on the platform.

Is Vinyl Slowing Down? Early 2016 Data Raises Serious Concerns… 

The breakneck resurgence in vinyl started back in 2007, and sales have been booming ever since.  The question now is whether a 10 percent Q1 jump represents a broader deceleration.


How to make Coachella even trippier: augmented reality earbuds

Attendees at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival had the ability to experience the festival in a whole new way, thanks to some cutting-edge technology. The idea is that the earbuds — which are kind of like high-tech hearing aids — can be used to modify the sounds in your physical environment. This can mean eliminating background sounds, raising the bass, adjusting reverb or creating other sonic experiences.

YouTube Launching 360-Degree Live Streams With Coachella 2016

INDIO, CA – APRIL 12: Music fans attend day 3 of the 2015 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival (Weekend 1) at the Empire Polo Club on April 12, 2015 in Indio, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Coachella)

YouTube has announced that they will begin offering 360° live streams. The feature launched with the live stream in the second week of Coachella.

For more information please contact: 

Anthony Vanger |

Laura Montarroso |

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