A weekly update on all things music, advertising and technology coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: BILLIE EILISH
I love a pop song with great lyrics. Having spent the best part of the Xmas holidays trying (unsuccessfully) to come up with my own to a song I am working on, I salute any artist who can conjure up a turn of phrase that immediately instills itself into popular culture. Ocean Eyes is such a title and Eilish gives a confident performance, aiming her mascara-lined eyes directly into the lens, using all her considerable technique as a singer to carry the song’s message. Part-Lorde, part Katy Perry, she has swiftly defined a space for herself in the music universe. I know everyone is talking about Lady Gaga right now, but I think in this case, the person whose star is born is Eilish.
Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell is an American singer and songwriter. Her debut single, “Ocean Eyes”, went viral and has accumulated over 132 million streams on Spotify as of October 2018
AD OF THE WEEK: THE ECONOMIST
The iconic magazine has launched its first TV ad in more than 10 years in an attempt to deepen the magazine’s emotional connection with readers.
Created by Proximity, the “Never stop questioning” campaign launched online this week and will run on ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky channels, as well as in the US (CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox).
I like this ad not just because of the way it looks and the actors, but because it cleverly explains why curiosity is such a valuable character trait.
COACHELLA FESTIVAL 2019 TOPPED BY ARIANA GRANDE AND CHILDISH GAMBINO
Coachella, the Californian festival that kicks off the summer of outdoor live music, has announced its 2019 lineup.
Taking place in Indio on 12-14 and 19-21 April, the opening night is headlined by Childish Gambino, AKA rapper, singer, writer, actor and comedian Donald Glover. His track This Is America was one of the most talked-about of 2018, while his album Awaken, My Love! was a Grammy-winning US hit in 2017. Closing out the festival will be Ariana Grande, the pop star who has weathered very public traumas – the Manchester arena attack, the death of former boyfriend Mac Miller, the breakdown of her engagement to comedian Pete Davidson – to become more popular than ever in 2018: her album Sweetener topped the US and UK charts in September.
HMV CALLS IN ADMINISTRATORS FOR SECOND TIME IN SIX YEARS
The move, the second in six years, involves 2,200 staff at 125 stores.
Owners Hilco, which took the company out of its first administration in 2013, blamed a “tsunami” of retail challenges, including business rate levels and the move to digital. It said the stores would continue to trade while negotiations were held with major suppliers and it looked for buyers.
HMV sold 31% of all physical music in the UK in 2018 and 23% of all DVDs and Blu-rays, with its market share growing month by month throughout the year. According to Paul McGowan, (executive chairman of HMV) the industry consensus was that the market would fall by another 17% during 2019 and therefore it would not be possible to continue to trade the business.
Ed Note: This must surely be the beginning of the end of retailers like HMV. Other examples of retailers that have imploded include Blockbuster and electronic chain Comet. Unless it can come up with a completely new business model, it too will go the way of the metaphoric dinosaur.
RESIDENT ADVISOR – “WE’RE CLOSING COMMENTS”
With a valid reason
The electronic music media giant has taken the big decision to end the comments. The opening of RA’s statement:
“Our message boards, and later our comments section, were a place for people obsessed with electronic music to share knowledge, recommendations and general chat”
They go onto say:
“..we no longer see in our comments a fair reflection of our audience or our community. Too often a tone of disrespect prevails, occasionally boiling over into full-blown intolerance—sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, you name it. To highlight just one part of the issue: by now, any content involving women is likely to receive sexist comments.”
SONY UNVEILS A BRAND-NEW 3D AUDIO FORMAT — INTRODUCING ‘360 REALITY AUDIO’
We haven’t heard it yet though as the name suggests, this format is all about immersive surround sound. According to Sony, the goal is to replicate actual live experiences using object-based spatial audio technology. The net result is a spatially-mapped audio experience that mirrors the reality of experiences like live concerts.
For those at CES in Las Vegas, this is one of the more interesting innovations, at least for those into audio. Alongside its announcement, Sony’s ‘360 Reality Audio’ already has a number of important partners lined up. That includes Deezer, nugs.net, Qobuz, TIDAL, Live Nation, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music Entertainment, all of whom are either collaborating on the format itself or planning to offer it in the future.
TECHNICS UNVEILS NEW SL-1200 MK7 TURNTABLE
Aimed squarely at DJs.
Technics has announced the release of a new direct drive turntable, the SL-1200 MK7. Teased last week and unveiled at CES 2019, the Technics SL-1200 MK7 direct drive turntable follows Panasonic’s revival of the Technics brand in 2016, when it launched the SL-1200G range. Now, eleven years since the release of the SL-1200MK6, the new MK7 model promises to only make minor adjustments to the design.
While Technics have made the point of targeting the MK7 at the DJ community, they have yet to announce how much the turntable will cost – something which will doubtless be a deciding factor in how this news is ultimately received. Click here to find out more.
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
Artwork by Gustav Balderdash