Weblinks: Breaking Music Online, Feminist Hits, Spotify and More

Dee Johnson

Deadline Hollywood reports that Dee Johnson is taking the helm of ABC drama Nashville as executive producer/showrunner. She replaces Jim Parriott and will serve alongside series’ creator Callie Khouri, the pilot’s director R.J. Cutler and Steve Buchanan. Johnson has served as showrunner on Starz’s drama Boss, and CBS’s The Good Wife, and worked on ER, Army Wives and Southland.

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According to Ann Powers, Max Martin has played a significant role in the feminist hits of recent years.

NPR music critic Ann Powers examines how today’s female stars are borrowing from the feminist handbook with their I’m-so-over-you break-up hits. In her article “Taylor Swift, Princess Of Punk?” Powers discusses the star’s latest headline-making smash, and delves into songwriter/producer Max Martin’s role in the trend. Martin collaborated with Swift on “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and has had similarly themed hits with Kelly Clarkson, Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne, Katy Perry and Pink.

Powers writes, “In this century, songs like ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ have taken that quaint 20th century form of rebellion called punk — specifically the feminist punk that took hold in the late 1970s and then was reborn through the Riot Grrrl movement in the 1990s — fully into the pop mainstream.” Keep reading.

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Carly Rae Jepsen

The Carly Rae Jepsen smash “Call Me Maybe” exemplifies the growing trend of breaking music online, reports Ben Sisario in the New York Times. “Call Me Maybe” blew up after Justin Bieber Tweeted about it, and he and his friends posted a video of themselves lip-syncing to it. According to the article, Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” and fun.’s “We Are Young” also launched online.

“YouTube, Twitter and Facebook are now record labels’ textbook tools for starting a marketing campaign, and if the numbers there are big enough, they can be used in pitches to radio and television programmers,” states the article, which adds that radio play is still crucial. DigSin’s Jay Frank told the NYT, “There’s not a million-seller out there that doesn’t have radio play. But its first million generally doesn’t come from radio.”

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The House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet continues to investigate the pending Universal/EMI deal. The latest development is an inquiry letter sent to executives at Universal, EMI and Warner this week asking questions about how the merger would affect competition in the music industry, reports the NYT.

According to the NYT, “Universal has offered to sell as much as two-thirds of EMI’s holdings in Europe, but it has not made any such concessions in the United States or elsewhere. …Like the Senate panel, the House committee has no power to block the merger. But its involvement puts pressure on Universal and on the Federal Trade Commission, which is reviewing the merger.”

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The New York Times reports Spotify’s revenue and losses are on the rise. In 2011 revenue was $236 million, up from $99 million in 2010. In 2011, net loss was $56.6 million, up from $42 million in 2010 and $26 million in 2009. The paper also reports Spotify is raising more than $200 million in a round of financing that would value the company at up to $4 billion. Spotify is available in 15 countries and has plans to launch in Canada soon.

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About the Author

Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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