NOXU Music Group
According to Doc McGhee, the band’s manager, a new biopic chronicling the early days of KISS will premiere on Netflix in 2024. Initially revealed in 2021, the film, Shout It Out Loud, is directed by Joachim Rønning.
“It’s a biopic about the first four years of KISS. We’re just starting it now. We’ve already sold it, (the deal is) already done, (and) we have a director. That’s moving along, and that’ll come in ’24,” McGhee revealed on The Rock Experience With Mike Brunn.
“I think it’s a very interesting look at the formation of KISS, the mindset of how that came about, the social pressure that everybody was in in the ’60s and ’70s that brought something like KISS to the forefront, that it could actually happen,” McGhee elaborated in a previous interview. “So it’s very interesting, and I think it’s a well-written movie. And our partner right now is Netflix. It’ll be a theatrical release, then Netflix.”
“I will tell you this,” says KISS singer-guitarist Paul Stanley. “For casting to be accurate in terms of age, we are looking at actors in their early 20s. Honestly, I don’t know a whole lot of actors in their early 20s.”
“When people get asked these kinds of questions, they’ll say, ‘Oh, Brad Pitt,’ or this one or that one,” Stanley continued. “Well, those guys are in their 50s or 60s, so you’re talking about another generation of actors. And I’m the first to say I’m not up on a lot of them.”
As the biopic continues production, the band finishes their farewell tour, with dates scheduled throughout 2023. The tour culminates with a two-night stand on December 1 and 2 at Madison Square Garden in New York City — just a short distance from where the band first began.
Chew’s written remarks were released ahead of the hearing that took place today. “Let me state this unequivocally: ByteDance is not an agent of China or any other country,” the remarks read. Chew goes on to say that TikTok has three areas of concern for its operation including protecting children on the platform, and protecting U.S. data from foreign access, and remaining a platform for free speech not influenced by any government.
TikTok has been fined by several government organizations in both the US and the UK for failing to keep minor children safe on the platform. Since those record fines, TikTok says it has implemented several safety controls to keep young kids safe online. Chew mentions TikTok’s age-gated controls that provide a different experience for 13-17-year-olds who use the app compared to those who are 18 or older.
“Current versions of the app do not collect precise or approximate GPS information from U.S. users,” Chew tells Congress, which means the app used to collect that information. Now it no longer does, likely after GPS and location concerns expressed by the U.S. military as early as 2019—before the pandemic boom that made TikTok a household name.
This hearing before congress marks Shou Chew’s first Congressional appearance, ahead of a potential ban on the app. A potential TikTok ban has been looming since 2020 when former President Trump was still in office. You can view the TikTok CEO’s full written statement to Congress here.
U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) have introduced the legislation to eliminate “excessive fees and bring transparency to the marketplace as hidden fees cost Americans billions of dollars annually.”
“Concealed surprise fees—nickel and diming Americans to distraction—must be stopped,” adds Senator Blumenthal. “Airline travel, concert going, common purchases—seemingly almost everywhere—consumers are compelled to pay hidden excessive charges. Our bill will help end this price-gouging, forcing full disclosure upfront and restricting abusive fees. It will mandate basic common sense fairness and transparency, which consumers rightly demand and deserve.”
“Business models that rely on nickel-and-diming consumers are fundamentally unfair,” adds John Breyault, National Consumers League Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications, and Fraud. “Hidden junk fees also harm honest businesses by making their competitors’ products and services look deceptively cheaper. The Junk Fee Prevention Act is a long-overdue solution that will help consumers keep more money in their pockets and promote competition in the marketplace.”
“Junk fees can add up to a lot of extra money and pose a real financial strain for families at a time when inflation is already taking a big bite out of their wallets,” adds Chuck Bell, Advocacy Program Director for Consumer Reports. In the world of concerts, even artists’ attempts to keep prices low have gone unheeded. The Cure kept its ticket prices out of Ticketmaster’s dynamic pricing model—but tickets were 100% of the advertised cost after Ticketmaster’s various fees.
You can read a full copy of the new legislation here.
Hundreds of songs from some of India’s biggest blockbusters have been pulled from Spotify. That’s because Spotify says it was not able to reach a licensing agreement with the owners of the tracks. Users opened their favorite playlists only to discover soundtracks like Malhari from Bairao Mastani or Kala Chashma from Baar Baar Dekho are now missing.
“I’m so upset; this is insane,” Vishma Rai, a Bollywood fan, told BBC about the removal. “It’s so bad that Kalank songs are gone. One of my favorites was the title track and it’s just so upsetting. I don’t know what I’m gonna listen to now when I want to feel loved up.”
“Spotify and Zee Music have been unable to reach a licensing agreement,” a spokesperson said. “Throughout these negotiations, Spotify has tried to find creative ways to strike a deal with Zee Music and will continue our good faith negotiations in hopes of finding a mutually agreeable solution soon.” Licensing agreements are always in flux, but Zee Music encompasses a large part of the sound of Bollywood music for India.
“Another reminder that while streaming can be great and has an important role, it should never be regarded as a replacement for physical collections,” tweeted one Bollywood fan after the removal. Zee Music has 93.6 million subscribers on YouTube and is the second most-subscribed channel behind T-Series, with 239 million subscribers.
For some artists, recognition by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is an honor symbolizing their achievement as a musician. But for Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde, the whole thing “is total bollocks.” On Friday, after Hole frontwoman Courtney Love posted a scathing op-ed review of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — which followed her Instagram carousel about it earlier in the week — Chrissie Hynde took to Facebook to share her thoughts on the institution.
“It’s just more establishment backslapping,” wrote Hynde. “I got in a band so I didn’t have to be part of all that.”
The singer says that when she learned her band was being inducted into the class of 2005, her heart sank.
“I knew I’d have to go back for it as it would be too much of a kick in the teeth to my parents if I didn’t,” she explains. “I’d upset them enough by then, so it was one of those things that would bail me out from years of disappointing them.”
Aside from Neil Young’s generous induction speech, Hynde says the “whole thing was, and is, total bollocks. It’s absolutely nothing to do with rock n’ roll, and anyone who thinks it is is a fool.”
Courtney Love’s Guardian op-ed criticized the Rock Hall’s lack of female representation, stating that just 8.48% of inductees are women and that only nine women are seated on the organization’s nomination board. Love also noted the astounding length of time for some legendary women musicians to be nominated or inducted, in addition to some glaring omissions she points to in calling into question the “ol’ boys club.”
Love notes that more women were nominated this year than at any other time in the organization’s 40-year history, including Kate Bush, Cyndi Lauper, Sheryl Crow, and Missy Elliott. However, Kate Bush is on her fourth nomination but didn’t make it onto a ballot until 2018, after the Hall of Fame’s co-founder and Rolling Stone magazine founder Jann Wenner was inducted in 2004.
“Never mind that she was the first woman in pop history to have written every track on a million-selling debut,” says Love of Bush’s The Kick Inside, released in 1978. “A pioneer of synthesizers and music videos, she was discovered last year by a new generation of fans when ‘Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)’ featured in the Netflix hit Stranger Things. She is still making albums.”
“The Rock Hall has covered itself in a sheen of gravitas and longevity that the Grammys do not have,” Love adds. “Particularly for veteran female artists, induction confers a status that directly affects the living they are able to make.”
“The Rock Hall’s canon-making doesn’t just reek of sexist gatekeeping, but also purposeful ignorance and hostility,” Love concludes. “If the Rock Hall is not willing to look at the ways it is replicating the violence of structural racism and sexism that artists face in the music industry, if it cannot properly honor what visionary women artists have created, innovated, revolutionized and contributed to popular music — well, then let it go to hell in a handbag.”
A broad coalition of creative organizations has announced the launch of the Human Artistry Campaign to ensure AI is developed and used in ways that support human culture and artistry rather than replacing or eroding it.
The group outlined principles advocating best practices for AI that emphasize respect for artists, their work, and their personas, as well as transparency and adherence to existing law, including copyright and intellectual property. The campaign urges supporters to sign a petition to advance these fundamental tenets.
Launched at SXSW in Austin at an event featuring voice actor and songwriter Dan Navarro, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Jessy Wilson, and UT Austin professor and immersive technology expert Erin Reilly, the event was moderated by Rob Levine, Billboard’s Deputy Editorial Director.
“Black songwriters, producers, and artists already face an uphill battle for ownership, credit, and proper payment in the music industry,” says Black Music Action Coalition Co-founder and Co-Chair Willie “Prophet” Stiggers. “Although AI can be an incredible tool, without the protection of real human artistry, AI could devastate the Black creative community that leads so much of popular culture.”
“There is so much potential with AI. But it also presents risks to our creative community,” adds Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. “It’s crucial that we get this right early on so we don’t risk losing the artistic magic that only humans can create.”
SiriusXM (NASDAQ: SIRI) CEO Jennifer Witz revealed the unfortunate news via a public update this morning. According to the more than two-decade company veteran, the cuts will affect 475 individuals, as mentioned, or approximately eight percent of the satellite-radio provider’s workforce.
(At the time of this writing, none of the 475 professionals appeared to have addressed the layoffs in LinkedIn posts.)
Witz cited “today’s uncertain economic environment” as well as the various “investments we are making in the business this year” as the reasons for the seemingly far-reaching layoffs, which follow an “enterprise-wide review” and will affect “nearly every department across SiriusXM.”
The impacted persons are being “contacted directly,” according to the former LendingTree director Witz, who likewise said that her company will provide these now-former staff members with “exit packages that include severance, transitional health insurance benefits,” and more.
“Today is one of the most difficult days we’ve had to face as a team,” penned Witz, “and these changes impact each of us deeply. However, it is my belief that these tough decisions were necessary as we look to capture the opportunity in front of us.”
During 2022, Liberty Media’s SiriusXM generated approximately $9 billion (up about 3.5 percent year over year), according to its full-year performance analysis. The lion’s share of the figure ($6.4 billion, a 4.7 percent YoY jump) resulted from satellite-radio subscriber revenue, whereas $196 million derived from satellite-radio advertising, per the resource.
Nevertheless, satellite radio’s quarterly subscriber revenue ($1.6 billion, up 2.1 percent YoY) increased only modestly, as advert income dipped by $3 million YoY ($50 million total) and equipment revenue decreased by 22.6 percent YoY to hit $41 million.
Meanwhile, SiriusXM communicated that Pandora subscriber revenue had in Q4 fallen $3 million YoY to $130 million, compared to a $12 million YoY decline in the streaming service’s quarterly advert income ($430 million). Although Pandora’s full-year subscriber revenue fell as well (to total $522 million), advert revenue improved by 2.2 percent YoY to near $1.6 billion.
When 2022 concluded, SiriusXM boasted 34.3 million subscribers (including 32.4 million self-pay listeners), according to higher-ups, and Pandora (along with “off platform”) is said to have had 47.6 million monthly active users – roughly 4.6 million less than at 2021’s end. Once again at the time of this writing, SiriusXM stock (NASDAQ: SIRI) was trading for $4.30 per share, reflecting a 1.29 percent increase from Friday’s close.
Curious what your friends are listening to? Want to share your music tastes with someone else? Spotify’s Blend feature automatically creates a curated playlist shared between people that updates daily. Here’s how to Blend and share playlists on Spotify.
What is a Spotify Blend Playlist?
Created using only the mobile app on your phone or tablet, Spotify Blend is a unique way to share music with others and discover the music your friends are into using a shared playlist. The Blend playlist is generated based on the favorite and most-listened songs of yourself and another user and features a Taste Match rating to compare your music interests.
A Blend playlist updates daily based on your listening habits, and you can add more friends to the Blend to keep its algorithm fresh. You can even compare your music tastes to your favorite artists’ by Blending with them — provided they’re using an invite link.
To create a Spotify Blend playlist to share with a friend or family member, both users will need their own Spotify account — but neither will need a Premium subscription.
On the mobile Spotify app:
After sending the link, the other party must open it on their phone or tablet and tap the Join button. Spotify will then generate a Blend playlist complete with custom cover art and tracklist of songs based on the listening preferences and tastes of you and the other person.
You can view your Blend Story (similar to your Spotify Wrapped) by tapping the three-dot icon, showing your Blend results, how similar your tastes are, and the option to share your Blend Story with others on your social media platforms.
To share a Spotify playlist that’s not a Spotify Blend, find the one you want to share and tap the three dots. In the dropdown menu, select Share. You can now select the Spotify URL, your social media network of choice, or a messaging app. You can also share playlists this way on a desktop; there, you’ll also have the option to copy the widget embed code.
Artificial intelligence can now create music. Yes, the quality of AI music right now kind of sucks, but it will only get better over time and as people use it more. So what does this mean for the future of the music industry? What does it mean for your music career? Let’s explore that question…
First, let’s see where the state of AI music is today. There are plenty of websites and pieces of software that use AI to create music. But what does this music sound like? And is it passable as “human”? Well, I’ll just let you listen to the tracks below and you decide for yourself.
I used AIVA to create a sad singer-songwriter track. You can listen to it below. As you can hear, the vocals do sound somewhat real but they’re out of tune. The music itself isn’t bad.
I also created an uplifting orchestral piece with AIVA, which you can listen to below. To be honest, it sounds like a computer made this. Or someone who’s making their first track with a bunch of fake-sounding MIDI instruments.
Soundraw is a company that has a bunch of tracks already created by AI, so I’m not sure how much editing was done by a human. But the below hip-hop song isn’t horrible, and I can hear it working as background music for a low-budget commercial or social media video.
Last, we have Boomy, which made the below lo-fi hip-hop track. This track also sounds like a newbie made their first song.
As a music producer myself, I’m not scared of the development of AI. I’m excited to see more AI-powered tools that will help us make better music. There are already a bunch of plugins that run on AI, the most well-known being some of iZotope’s plugins. And then we also have AI-powered mastering from companies like LANDR, eMastered, and Aria mastering.
My point is, AI tools will help producers do their jobs better. Here’s the thing: a producer is only as good as their ideas. And artists hire producers because of their ideas as well as the specificity they can have with a fellow human that AI does not offer (yet).
We already have AI tools to help songwriters find inspiration and ideas. And there are websites that will write lyrics to an entire song.
In fact, below are lyrics generated from this site with the prompt “I love you”:
– – –
I don’t want you to miss me,
So go away and leave me,
Because you know, I don’t believe you can.
All those good things that you do,
I just want them to stay with me.
I don’t need you,
I just need you to see me,
Wherever you may be,
I just want you to be there.
I don’t want you to say good-bye,
So go away and leave me,
Because you know, I don’t believe you can.
I don’t need you,
I just need you to see me,
Wherever you may be,
I just want you to be there.
– – –
Yeah, not that impressive.
The main thing human songwriters have over AI songwriters is the human experience. A human songwriter has their life story, and they can put that into a song. And knowing the story or inspiration behind a song can make it more powerful for the listener. AI can’t pull from their lived experience because it’s just 1s and 0s.
Could AI write a song that sounds like the human experience? Sure. But that’s the thing, it’s coming from a computer, not a human. You, the human songwriter, add a depth to your songs that only you can through your story.
This is why human stories will become even more powerful than they are now. People feel seen when they hear a well-written song, and they’ll continue to crave that feeling.
AI is surely already affecting micro licensing, which is when people pay to use tracks in their low-budget projects, like YouTube videos, social media ads, and videos created by a company for internal use. People can go to any number of sites and pay a super small fee to get the background music they need.
This means websites that license artists’ music for pennies may not need those artists anymore. They’ll either create an unlimited amount of AI-powered music or offer a service that allows their customers to generate the music themselves.
However, it’s going to be a while (probably not in my lifetime) before AI starts taking over the bigger licensing deals, like when an artist’s song gets placed on Grey’s Anatomy or in an Apple commercial. Why? Because of what I mentioned above about the human experience.
The songs used in big-budget TV shows and commercials have that human quality. The songs are sung by a human and they tap into a relatable human emotion. And the success of the scene or commercial relies on the viewer feeling that human connection, feeling seen.
Live music will be the last aspect of music that AI will touch. In fact, I don’t believe it will ever take over the performing industry. Why? Because people crave person-to-person connections. And the best place to get that is through experiencing a human perform their vulnerable songs in the same room as you. AI can’t take this from us.
As AI becomes a bigger part of our lives, authenticity will become even more valuable. We’ll continue to seek out human connection, which means live music will thrive even more than it is now.
Sharing your story and the inspiration behind your songs, whether online or on the stage, will be even more important. AI will never be human and can never truly experience what it’s like to be a living, breathing, bag of water like you and me. So lean into your human experience and share it in your music.