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Billionaire Haim Saban is betting on music. He’s betting big. Like $500 million big. Who convinced him? Probably his friends Lucian Grainge and Lyor Cohen. “They thought we were on the cusp of the golden age of the music world,” says Saban. “The first thing that came to my head was, ‘If this is the golden age, why am I ignoring it?'”

He’ll invest $500 million in Los Angeles based label Saban Music Group (SMG). The company is led by CEO Gustavo Lopez, who ran the Latin company, Talento Uno Music, which was acquired in May by Saban.

“I can tell you that that $500 million is available now,” says Saban. “The timing of the expenditure will depend on the opportunities presented to us. I don’t think it will be 10 years, but I think it could be next week, or in two or three years.”

The money will go to artist development and acquisitions.

Are they hesitant being a new music label? Not really. “Bad Bunny wasn’t a superstar two years ago,” says Lopez. “We’re in a world where artists are developing at a faster pace than they ever were. One of our goals is finding artists that have strong regional appeal and make them into international stars.”

“We are not going to sign 100 artists,” says Saban. “This is going to remain a boutique label with significant resources to put behind the very few artists that we will sign. Except for hip-hop, there is no limitation to the categories of music we will look to be involved with. We will be very opportunistic.”

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Taylor Swift created  controversy when she accused Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande manager Scooter Braun for buying Big Machine Music Label which owns her masters. First, Taylor is not entitled to own her master recordings because she signed a contract with a music label. The music label spends money in marketing and promotion, hence owns the masters. Why would any company shell out millions of dollars and not own the masters? It doesn’t make sense. Think about it, 99% of artists who are signed do not own the masters.

Pop singer Kelly Clarkson is siding with Taylor recommended that she re-record her songs. Is this legal? No, and even if it were, she would cannibilize her own songs. You are essentially creating a black market.

“You become a competitor of your record label if you re-record and own new master recordings from the same compositions,” Brian Caplan, an intellectual property lawyer at the New York firm Reitler Kailas & Rosenblatt LLC tells Billboard.

“Caplan says that standard recording agreements have a re-recording restriction that prohibits an artist from re-making a song that was previously delivered to the record company (sometimes even ones that were not released during the contract’s duration) for a set period after the deal expires, a term that typically runs three to five years.”

“A lot of us are Monday morning quarterbacks on these contract issues, but 99 percent of artists signed to labels don’t own their own masters! It’s just the way it is,” he notes. The re-recording language in most contracts is fairly boilerplate, and as a fierce artist advocate, McPherson says it’s always something a lawyer tries to make as favorable as possible during negotiations.

“I’ll say two things: ‘it has to be released by you during the term’ — this master with this song — so if I record a song during the term but you don’t release it, I should be able to re-record that. That helps you if you get dropped and you don’t release your album; if you can’t negotiate a buy-back of your masters you can just go re-cut it. And you just try to make the post-term period as short as possible.”

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Amazon claims that the subscribers to Amazon Music Unlimited spiked 70% in the last year – totaling 32 million subscribers. But can the behemoth internet company really compete with Spotify? Not really. Much of the Amazon subscribers are older and Amazon isn’t sexy – I don’t think artists are racing towards ‘Amazon Artist of the Month’. Amazon is luring potential prospects through Amazon’s Echo speakers. Although Amazon is betting on its music service, Spotify and Apple and far ahead.

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Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road’ became an overnight smash. But how?

Lil Nas X  credits the track viral success to its massive popularity on TikTok.

The rejection of the track on country music charts added to the story but it’s most likely TikTok that turned the song into a meme turning it into a smash hit.

The 19-year old Atlanta rapper has experience with creating memes, becoming a tweetdecker on Twitter as a teen. “I promoted the song as a meme for months until it caught on to TikTok and it became way bigger,” he told Time.

If you are unaware, TikTok is a media app that allows you to create short music videos of 3 to 15 seconds and short looping videos of 3 to 60 seconds. The app is now playing a role in viral trends, spawning internet celebrities and launching songs.

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Pollstar releases its midterm road report. So far, Elton John is a hot seller edging out Pink grossing $82 million. Other big tours come from rocks that include Metallica, Fleetwood Mac, KISS, and Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band.

Shawn Mendes clocked in 25 million during his Spring trek through Europe. Post Malone pulled in solid numbers. He racked in $4.3 million from 46,247 tickets at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena on May 7-9. He has totaled $36.4 million from 414,782 sold seats.

Riding high from a top 40 hit, Panic At The Disco! grossed $15 million from 252,436 tickets at 29 shows.

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