WHO NEEDS HITS: Record Companies Are Handing Out Million Dollar Deals …

Rapper A$AP Rocky
Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky has never sold a single song of his own. All right, he’s not the only one.
But unlike the Weeknd, and a host of other rappers at the time of their first contracts, Rocky has also never released a mixtape — just a few tracks scattered across the blogosphere and YouTube.
Paltry as that might seem, this output has earned him a $3 million record contract with Sony/RCA Records subdivision Polo Grounds Music, according to A$AP Rocky himself.


The New Economics of the Music Industry

In the old days, it was much easier for pop stars to keep up with how much they were getting paid. Somebody would buy a CD at a Tower Records for $15 and a few dollars would appear months later on the star’s royalty sheet. Then iTunes took over the record business, and it was even easier (if not more profitable) – every time somebody bought a 99-cent track, a few pennies went into the artist’s bank account.

Those were such simple times. Today, music fans play free music videos on YouTube, stream songs for free on Spotify, MOG or Rdio, customize Internet radio stations on Pandora or Slacker and consume music a zillion different ways. The fractions of pennies artists make for each of these services are nearly impossible to track – at least for now.

Apple Stores Closing For Steve Jobs Memorial…

Steve Jobs Apple

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Apple Inc plans to shutter U.S. retail stores for several hours on Wednesday so employees can take part in a company-wide celebration of co-founder Steve Jobs’ life, a person familiar with the celebration said.
Store employees in United States will use that time to view a live broadcast of the event, which is being held at an outdoor amphitheater at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino.
The celebration — which will be held from 10 a.m. PT to 11:30 a.m. PT — follows a private memorial service for the late tech visionary at Stanford University attended by Silicon Valley luminaries, politicians and celebrities.
Many stores across California were not accepting online bookings for Wednesday morning, either for tech-support or tutorial appointments.
Employees across Asia and Australia will be able to view a re-broadcast of the celebration, the person said.
By Poornima Gupta