The music industry was built on savvy entrepreneurs who channeled their drive, talent and dreams into helping artists build their careers. Now, Jon Zazula, who with wife Marsha made an impact on the world during the heavy metal era of the 1980s with their Megaforce Records label, has put out his own book – independently, of course – to tell how the couple helped bring Metallica, Anthrax and countless other metal stalwarts to a wider audience. It all started in a New Jersey flea market…
This week in music:
MO MONEY MORE PROBLEMS – The US Record industry may be heading toward its first double digit revenue year at retail since 2007. The Recording Industry Assn. of America says the US record industry generated $5.39 billion across all formats in the first six months of this year. That’s up 18 percent year-over-year. Also of note: for the first time since the earth cooled, vinyl is out-selling the CD. Of course, streaming is now the dominant format, but still….
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SUCCESS FROM SCRATCH: One of the music industry’s mom and pop success stories is out with a new book telling how it was done. Heavy Tales: The Metal, The Music, The Madness is the story of Jon and Marsha Zazula, a New Jersey couple who grew their music business empire from a flea market stall to a multi-million-dollar empire by managing and releasing albums by Metallica, Anthrax, Testament, Mercyful Fate, Raven, Overkill, and King’s X, among others. The book is worth it for the Metallica section alone, which Zazula helped raise from unknowns to stardom.
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RETURN OF THE WALKMAN: Sony is bringing back the Walkman. No, not the cassette player, but a new streaming device that helps celebrate the 40th anniversary edition of the beloved music device. Available only in Europe as of its November release, the device features a special logo on the back and a case that looks exactly like the original TPS-L2 Walkman. Retail price will be about $900 for the deluxe version, but a cheaper variation may be on the market.
NIELSON SELLING MUSIC DATA: Billboard in the process of buying Nielsen’s song and album sales data to incorporate into its chart business. The two companies have been partners for several decades. The move could be a prelude to moving more of Nielsen’s material behind a paywall.
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