The debut of a new TV show by Kelly Clarkson, a farewell to rocker and reality TV star Eddie Money, and news on the sale of the boyhood home of one of arena rock’s giants made up some of the headlines in the music industry this week. All this as the industry eyed new pots of gold in podcasting and streaming, hi-tech bicycles.
This week in music:
PUBLISHERS, WE RIDE : Hi-tech exercise bicycle Peloton is facing an onslaught from music publishers. Music publishers have now raised their lawsuit for copyright infringement to $300 million, claiming more songs have been discovered that the bike streams without permission.
Publishers claim Peloton has used a total of more than 2,200 unauthorized tunes in the video fitness classes it broadcasts to its bike owners. Songs by The Who, The Beatles, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake are among those alleged to have been streamed.
The raised legal stakes arrived as Peloton is on the eve of an initial public offering of its stock.
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SHE WON’T BACK DOWN: The Gainesville, Florida Sun says Tom Petty’s ex-wife recently bought his childhood home.
The 1,300-square-foot house sold for $175,000 on July 31 to Benyo Petty. She edged out a fan who also wanted the three-bedroom, two-bath home. Petty died in 2017 at age 66. The Pettys had two daughters together.
The change comes because companies were gaming the system in order to win bragging rights. Buying ads touting the new music videos boosted totals, allowing companies to inflate claims on how many people watched the videos in the first 24-hours, thereby creating the illusion of momentum.
“Our goal is to ensure YouTube remains a place where all artists are accurately recognized and celebrated for achieving success and milestones,” YouTube said in a blog post Friday.
Indian rapper Badshah may have sparked the change in policy. His “Paaagal” video briefly became the No. 1 music video record holder for the first 24-hours, eclipsing boy group superstars BTS. But most of the traffic was in paid ads.
EDDIE MONEY PASSES: Talk to anyone in the business, and you’ll walk away with an Eddie Money story, typically about his kindness and honesty. One of the most beloved stars of all-time, Money was known as unfiltered but always eager to help, particularly with young stars, and asked nothing in return. His death from esophageal cancer at age 70 this week struck those who knew him particularly hard. Money was currently starring in a reality TV show for AXS, Real Money.
PODCASTING MUSIC RIGHTS: Podcasting is booming. Witness Disney getting into the business with its new For Scores interview series, or Spotify’s $340 million investment to purchase and ramp up two podcasting companies. The podcasting universe generates $479 million in yearly advertising revenue in the United States, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. And soon, many predict, it may become a very lucrative revenue stream for the music industry.
KELLY ON THE TELLY: Grammy winning songstress Kelly Clarkson began a new daytime TV talk show this week. First-week guests included Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Chance the Rapper, John Legend, Jay Leno and Ellen DeGeneres. Clarkson will also lean on her American Idol roots later this month, bringing in judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson, original host Ryan Seacrest (but not Brian Dunkleman) and season one runner-up Justin Guarini.
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