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In The Know: Weekly Music News Summary February 2, 2018

SoStereo's weekly music and advertising round-up with news from Sony, Viberate and more.
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Viberate Announces Collaboration With Imogen Heap:

Viberate, a company that brings together promoters, agencies and artists through cryptocurrency has teamed up with Imogen Heap. Besides being an innovative artist, Imogen Heap has been at the forefront of bridging the gap between technology and music, so working in the blockchain is a logical step for her. 

“Blockchain has become the long overdue catalyst for the music industry to update its policy and business models toward music makers and to provide quicker and seamless experiences for anyone involved in creating or interacting with music,” Heap says in a press release. Heap will become a brand ambassador for the company.

Billboard/Hollywood Reporter Merge with Dick Clark Productions, TV Studio MRC:

A large new media and production company is forming. Valence Media has been created after the merger of Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group, dick clark productions and film and television studio MRC. Dick Clark Productions produces the Golden Globes, Billboard Music Awards, American Music Awards and New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, among other television events, while MRC is known for TV shows and movies like House of Cards, Ozark, Baby Driver, Ted and Elysium. Together they will work on TV, movies, live and digital entertainment.

Read more here.

Growing Pressure Mounts on Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow:

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A group of female executives have signed an open letter calling for the resignation by Recording Academy President Neil Portnow. Portnow was asked about the disparity between male and female nominees and winners and he said women need “to step up because I think they would be welcome. I don't have personal experience of those kinds of brick walls that you face but I think it’s upon us -- us as an industry -- to make the welcome mat very obvious, breeding opportunities for all people who want to be creative and paying it forward and creating that next generation of artists."

He quickly apologized and the Recording Academy has created a task force on female participation in the Grammys or lack thereof, but the damage has been done. In the letter signed by executives in PR, talent booking, management, publishing and more, they are calling on him to resign. “We step up every single day and have been doing so for a long time. The fact that you don’t realize this means it’s time for you to step down.”

Read more here.

Sony Releases 2017 Earnings:

Sony Music generated nearly $4 billion in revenue for Sony in 2017. This was a 5.9% increase from the previous year at constant currency. Streaming was the driving factor behind this, growing 32.9% from 2016 to $1.65 billion in 2017. This helped offset losses in other categories. Physical sales fell 7.2% to $1.17 billion and download sales dropped by 22.6% to $467 million. For the first time, streaming was the largest contributor to revenue for Sony Music.

Read more here.

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