It's coming out late, damn has it been a long day, but this week's episode of Encore is here. This week we discuss Thomas going on a cruise, some about the Super Bowl and the half-time show, and the internet's reaction to the half-time show, and some about the commercials. We then tackle the main topic this week: Discussing albums we don't like in the most productive way, how our feelings on an album may be swayed by someone else's passioned defense or take-down of an album, and how this may or may not be related to the new Say Anything album. We finish up with a few questions about long distance relationships, noise-canceling headphones, and Thomas being in early on The Front Bottoms....
Here are the albums that are in stores today. Pick up anything good? What do you recommend? If we missed anything, please add it to our calendar. We recommend Rdio or Spotify for album streams of new releases and check out our review section to see what our staff thought of the albums.
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Cyrus Farivar, writing for Ars Technica, looks at the financial documents that show Soundcloud is maybe not doing so hot either. Streaming platforms are hard.
New financial records released by SoundCloud show that the company has nearly doubled its losses from 2013 to 2014—those two years combined account for a total of €62.1 million ($70.3 million) in losses. The Berlin-based audio social network has been the darling of independent producers and DJs worldwide who use it to share and comment on each other’s work. But like some startups, it has struggled to turn its massive user base into meaningful revenue. As a "freemium" service, most people use the site without paying.
Music publisher Warner/Chappell will no longer be allowed to collect licensing royalties on those who sing "Happy Birthday" in public and will pay back $14 million to those who have paid for licensing in the past, according to court settlement papers filed late Monday night.
That faint rising tone, physicists say, is the first direct evidence of gravitational waves, the ripples in the fabric of space-time that Einstein predicted a century ago. (Listen to it here.) It completes his vision of a universe in which space and time are interwoven and dynamic, able to stretch, shrink and jiggle. And it is a ringing confirmation of the nature of black holes, the bottomless gravitational pits from which not even light can escape, which were the most foreboding (and unwelcome) part of his theory.
MTV has been hiring quite a few heavy hitters over the past few months, including some veterans from Grantland, with an apparent goal to take on Vice and other big music news publications.
MTV will lean on its news division, once a vital source of pop culture and political journalism for young audiences, to prop up a network that has suffered significant losses in viewers. News, on TV and online, is a first step in new MTV President Sean Atkins’s rebuilding efforts, which are critical to reversing Viacom’s declining stock price and advertising sales, Chief Executive Officer Philippe Dauman said on an earnings call this week. Freshening the entertainment programming will take longer.
The New York Times is reporting that Pandora has been thinking about selling itself.
Pandora Media, the largest Internet radio service, has held discussions about selling the company, according to people briefed on the talks. Pandora is working with Morgan Stanley to meet with potential buyers, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were discussing private matters. The talks are preliminary and may not lead to a deal, the people said.
In the press release, Time says the acquisition will help the company: "Targeting ad delivery to the optimal audiences; linking devices back to real people; converting ad spending to actual sales and closing the ROI loop." Viant gives Time an immediate leg-up compared to its competitors when it comes to ad tech and provides a first-party data set that, in Time's own words, "rivals industry leaders Facebook and Google."
Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner, of Bon Iver and The National, respectively, have announced the second annual Eaux Claires Festival. It will take place August 12th and 13th, featuring the likes of James Blake, Erykah Badu, Beach House and Deafheaven. A poster and announcement video are in the replies.
Typically, under terms that the record labels worked out with the streaming services (and somehow persuaded the federal rate courts to sign off on), when a song is streamed, sixty per cent of the income goes to the owners of the sound recording, thirty per cent goes to the service itself, and ten per cent goes to songwriters and publishers. When a song is streamed on an Internet radio site—Pandora is by far the largest—the holders of publishing copyrights receive a thousandth of a cent per stream.
Forget Harry Potter: Bruce Springsteen just wrote your new favorite book. Just days after being the best part of a Super Bowl Halftime Show he wasn't even present for, the Boss has announced that he will publish an autobiography, via Simon & Schuster, on September 27th. He has supposedly been writing the book privately for the past seven years. In a turn of events that will surprise no one, the autobiography will be titled Born to Run. You can read a full press release in the replies.