The Pirate Bay Has Been Raided and Taken Offline by Police

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The_Pirate_Bay___Boot_Screen_by_wakizashimaster

The Pirate Bay came in at #3 on the RIAA’s “Most Notorious Piracy Sites” list (the #1 site, vKontakte, has since published a letter that highlights all the anti-piracy measures they take).

It looks like The Pirate Bay is currently facing a widespread takedown attempt. The Pirate Bay website is currently down and The Pirate Bay’s separate forums site is down, as are other other torrent-related sites.

Swedish authorities have told TorrentFreak that police have carried out a raid on servers in Stockholm. They say the raid is due to intellectual property violations. Servers and computers were reportedly taken in the raid. TorrentFreak says police “may have” detained one person.

+Someone Has the Balls to Sue an ISP…

The Google Play Store also recently removed apps that provided Pirate Bay access. Google told app developers that they violated intellectual property provisions and issues strikes against them.

 

Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more. Follow her on Twitter: @nine_u

Image by wakizashimaster, licensed under Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0).

The post The Pirate Bay Has Been Raided and Taken Offline by Police appeared first on Digital Music News.


Nina Ulloa
Digital Music News

Jack White Releases 3D Virtual Reality App

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Jack White Releases 3D Virtual Reality App

Jack White has a well-documented obsession with the number three, even going so far as to add a “III” to his name. Now, the inventive garage rock mogul has released his own app called Jack White: THIRD-D. The app has rather specific compatibility requirements to use properly, since an announcement notes that it works only with recent Android phones (five-inch or six-inch) using a Google Cardboard virtual reality headset. Without the headset, it works in regular 2D, or it’s possible to make your own Cardboard-style headset. Meanwhile, iOS users are out of luck. If you use the…Read More

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Get Reviews of Smashing Pumpkins, She & Him and J. Cole in Our New Release Roundup

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Get Reviews of Smashing Pumpkins, She & Him and J. Cole in Our New Release Roundup

If you’re in search of some of the latest records for the music fiend on your list this holiday season, our New Release Roundup can help point you in the right direction. The piece features reviews of some of the top releases this week. Give it a read to catch up on what’s new and notable, then be sure to check out our Recently Reviewed section for many more.

Since disbanding the original lineup of the Smashing Pumpkins in the year 2000, Billy Corgan has made headlines more for his incessant grumbling about everything from the state of music to Anderson Cooper than for his music. Their third LP since returning to music, Monuments to an Elegy, finds the man teaming up with guitarist Jeff Schroeder and Mötley Crüe’s Tommy Lee to make a record that is “nakedly moody, sonically tight, full of searing guitars, wobbly synths and memorable melodies,” according to our review. How does the latest incarnation of Corgan’s alt-rock collective fare this time around? Read our review to find out.

On the aptly named Classics, She & Him explore a variety of pop hits from the 1930s to 1970s. With Zooey Deschanel taking the lead on the majority of performances, the accompaniment of M. Ward and a 20-piece orchestra makes for safe, pleasant interpretations of pop standards such as “Unchained Melody,” “We’ll Meet Again” and “Teach Me Tonight,” among others.

With little promotion and no singles to be found prior to release, J. Cole‘s surprise third album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive “bridges childhood memories to current success, interpolating tales of lust, confusion, growth and gratitude.” Further up the east coast, Ghostface Killah delivers what our reviewer calls “some of his best rapping in recent years” on 36 Seasons. Backed by an all-star cast of guests including Kool G Rap, AZ and Pharoahe Monch, the album plays out much more like a team effort than a solo project.

Finally, the legendary DJ Premier and Royce da 5’9″ have partnered up under the name PRhyme to deliver what our reviewer calls “one of 2014’s tightest releases.” The self-titled disc serves up nine tracks full of “dark, hard and flawless” Premo sample flips, with Royce delivering a punchline-filled performance that’s as “invigorated and honest as ever.”

Find some tracks from the albums reviewed above and lots more on our Rdio Genre Playlists:

Pop & Rock
Hip-Hop

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Kid Ink Announces ‘Full Speed’ Album

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Kid Ink Announces

Los Angeles rapper Kid Ink tapped Usher and Tinashe for his new single “Body Language,” and now he’s detailed the album that the song is attached to. Full Speed will be out on February 3 through Tha Alumni Music Group/88 Classic/RCA Records. That’s the cover artwork above. Full Speed‘s title is apparently a continuation of the metaphor contained in the title of Kid Ink’s most recent record, My Own Lane, which came out back in January. “I named my last album My Own Lane because that’s exactly how I felt at the time,” he said in a statement. “After…Read More

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Get the Latest from My Drunken Haze, Travi$ Scott and Alex Calder in Our Music/Video Roundup

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Get the Latest from My Drunken Haze, Travi$   Scott and Alex Calder in Our Music/Video Roundup

Our Music/Video Roundup is back this week with another excellent handful of the week’s most popular album streams, music videos, singles, remixes and more. Read over our picks below, and be sure to stop by our Music/Video section for more new music and videos every day.

Greek dream-pop outfit My Drunken Haze tell the story of a woman “in search of love, longing, separation, and redemption” with a new set of visuals for their tune “Carol Wait.” With the clip telling the story of how Carol’s night-time stroll takes a trippy turn, the psychedelic experiences on screen match the “retro vibes” provided by the track.

In his new video for “Mamacita,” Houston rapper Travi$ Scott gets together with Rich Homie Quan and Young Thug to hang out with traffic-directing models in an abandoned bowling alley parking lot. To complete the already absurd visuals, glowing corpse paint and a T.I. cameo also prove this is anything but a standard rap video.

Montreal-based musician Alex Calder recently treated La Blogette to a quiet acoustic performance of his song “Strange Dream” from inside a laundromat, complete with bagels for those who hung around to watch. Elsewhere, Vancouver hardcore crew Baptists have delivered an incredibly graphic new video for the title track from their recent Bloodmines. Set in an abandoned mining compound, the sangue-soaked violence is definitely not safe for work.

Here’s a weird one to have to write: When Exclaim! Senior Editor Stephen Carlick put out a call for a mashup tape between Drake and the Smiths, I jumped at the chance to create one. ‘Views from the Smiths’ celebrates the five moody musicians by bringing together their music in a humorous yet palatable fashion.

Finally, OVO crooner Partynextdoor has released four new tracks in advance of his upcoming world tour, with the #PNDCOLOURS EP containing both smooth slow-burners and a few bangers for good measure.

Looking for more? Head to our Music/Video section for new singles, streams, videos and more.

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Modest Mouse Hint at New Recordings via Mysterious 7-inch Photo

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Modest Mouse Hint at New Recordings via Mysterious 7-inch Photo

The wait for Modest Mouse’s next LP has been interminable, as they’ve spent years hinting at the follow-up to 2007’s We Were Dead Before This Ship Even Sank. Now, it seems that something may finally be on the way, since they posted an image of a 7-inch on their newly launched Instagram account. This hand-labelled record bears the song title “Lampshades on Fire.” This is presumably the same tune as the one that the group have been playing live for several years now. Watch a live performance below. The post was tagged #lampshadesonfire. There’s no concrete information about the…Read More

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Executive Shuffles: Sony Music UK, Decca, Boiler Room…

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Screen shot 2014-12-04 at 11.06.27 AM

Sony Music UK has hired Indy Vidyalankara as Director of Communications; she will start next month.  Vidyalankara is currently at the BBC, where she is Communications Manager.

Decca Records has promoted Rebecca Allen to Managing Director.  Allen was most previously General Manager.

Joe Muggs, who has written for FACT and The Wire, is Boiler Room‘s new Editor-In-Chief.  Muggs will help the online concert series develop an editorial voice.

 

Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more. Follow her on Twitter: @nine_u

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Nina Ulloa
Digital Music News

Joey Bada$$ Details ‘B4.Da.$$’ LP, Taps Action Bronson, Kiesza and More

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Joey Bada$  $   Details

Beast Coast rapper Joey Bada$ $ has long promised the release of his debut LP, B4.Da.$ $ . The album is set to arrive early next year, and now more details have emerged. The 15-track effort will feature guest appearances from BJ the Chicago Kid, Chronixx, Maverick Sabre, Dymeond Lewis and Raury. Rounding out the release are two bonus tracks, with guest spots from Action Bronson, Elle Varner and Kiesza. Bada$ $ has also shared an updated version of the album’s cover, which offers an epic black-and-white photo of the rapper in front of an epic cityspace. Scrawled in colourful…Read More

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Why Fans Will Pay for Music…

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smilecoin

The following guest post comes from Eric W. Neumann, founder of Mad Genius Radio.

Earlier this fall, Digital Music News published an article discussing all the reasons why fans won’t pay for music.  But more recently there has been talk about the waning days of free music, as artists and labels push music streaming services to convert free listeners into subscribers.  Looking at the shift in consumer behavior and artist expectations – as well as the parallels to other industries – I believe the “consumers won’t pay for music” argument is unfounded.

This all began in the late 1990s, when Napster and other peer-to-peer file sharing services first came onto the scene.  Suddenly the notion that music should be free permeated consumer culture.  (I’ve often wondered whether the imbroglio we see Spotify in today has anything to do with Napster’s Sean Parker joining its team in the early days).  And now the debate about “free” versus “paid” services is coming to a boil.

When Taylor Swift pulled her discography from Spotify, several story lines emerged.  A few are debatable, sure: whether there should be a free tier at all, whether premium content should be windowed for paying subscribers, whether artists can make up in scale what they lose in margin, and whether royalty payments were set too low to begin with.


But we need to remember that it’s the record labels that made these deals with Spotify (and other on-demand services) in the first place.  They’re like VCs: they make bets, some good and some bad, and they often end up as the copyright holder of a catalogue of music.  It’s their property to monetize, to say nothing of transparency.  But I think Dave Grohl is missing the point.  Not everyone is a Foo Fighter who can give away their music for free.  Do his bandmates and label support his dismissive stance on collecting royalties I wonder?

Paying for Convenience and Choice

Time is the currency of the 21st century consumer.  Hollywood discovered how to capitalize on the consumer subscription economy — Netflix and Hulu have become the preferred medium to watch movies and TV shows, all on-demand for a monthly fee.

This palette for delivering a personalized experience is painting every facet of retail: from monthly deliveries of product “boxes” like cosmetics, fashion, local/organic produce, personal grooming products, dog toys, and even marijuana, consumers pay for quality and convenience – on their terms.

The promise of ad-free, instant gratification is bringing more consumers over the paywall.  Paid subscriptions are currently bringing in $ 371 million, up 23 percent from 2013.  Spotify touts 12.5 million paying subscribers to its on-demand service.

That said, no one has a crystal ball.  By all expert accounts, vinyl should be dead by now, yet today vinyl is the only segment that is growing (of album sales). Perhaps in 2025 music ownership will only consist of die-hard vinyl addicts like me – it’s hard to know.  But for now and next year, music ownership is still measured in the billions of dollars, despite its declines with no foreseeable turnaround–currently (remember vinyl).

The sheer numbers around the profitability potential of subscription-based models should be enough to stave off the naysayers, but there’s another reason why this piece of the pie should – and I believe will – grow.

Why ads aren’t the solution – for the consumer, business or artists

The other side of this coin is streaming radio – the non-interactive services that cater to the majority of consumers.  Free online radio is not a sustainable model, other than Pandora since it has 76 million active users.  The number one complaint of Pandora is the volume of ads that diminish the experience and waste time (source: Jacobs Media).  And if consumers are already complaining about ads, they will soon start to look for a better experience.  Yet other free radio services (think Songza and iTunes Radio) have failed to attract enough audience to monetize at a high-enough level.

Furthermore, the ad-based business model may be equally to blame for unfair artist compensation.  For every 1,000 songs streamed on a free, ad-based radio service such as Pandora, the copyright holder (performer and/or record label) makes $ 1.40.  By contrast, they earn $ 2.50 for every 1,000 plays on a subscription-based radio player.  These are 2015 rates and represent a 79 percent increase from free, ad-based radio services.

Highly publicized claims like those from artist and songwriter Aloe Blacc – that he only received $ 4,000 after Pandora played his hit song 168 million times – tell only part of the story.  First of all, he was only referring to his portion (one-third) of songwriting royalties, not performance royalties.  Without a deeper dive of his contract with Avicii, I can’t know if his deal is fair or not.

And that’s just for performance royalties.  Songwriters (like Aloe Blacc) are paid out 535 percent more by subscription radio services than they are by free, ad-based services.


Ultimately, it’s the responsibility of the streaming service to create an equitable value proposition to consumers and the musicians on whom they depend to provide a service.  That’s why now is the time for a reset in consumer and industry thinking – music isn’t free.  Without audience on the scale of Pandora, a free-to-the-consumer, ad-based service can’t possibly afford a higher rate for artists/copyright holders.  And that’s clearly what artists are clamoring for.

At my company, we believe that all boats can rise so long as consumers begin to understand how the business works and how their actions and choices have a lot to do with what ultimately lands in an artist’s bank account.

 

A former CFO for terrestrial radio companies, Eric W. Neumann started Mad Genius Radio in October 2014.  Image by Aart van Bezooyen, licensed under Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0).

The post Why Fans Will Pay for Music… appeared first on Digital Music News.


Eric Neumann
Digital Music News