SFX Entertainment rebrand as LiveStyle for a fresh start after bankruptcy

Massive EDM events brand SFX Entertainment has emerged from bankruptcy with a new name and a new boss to shed the image Sillerman left.

SFX Entertainment entered bankruptcy at the beginning of this year after it’s founder and then CEO Robert Sillerman’s audacious business purchases led a drop in valuation from $1 billion to $10 million in under 3 years. The company responsible for some of the worlds biggest EDM brands like digital store Beatport and festivals like Tomorrowland and Mysteryland are looking to move past the bankruptcy with a rebrand.

Now named LiveStyle. Inc the company will be led by Randy Phillips, who was named CEO and president after leading the company out of bankruptcy. After the selling of some assets and fixing it’s debt LiveStyle still stands as the biggest host of music festivals in the world and with safer management should be able to retain it’s global position and move forward following SFX and the checkered Sillerman legacy.

New CEO Phillips told Billboard: “Every time I said the name ‘SFX’ to someone, I got this negative reaction — people would make the sign of the cross.” Phillips didn’t join until after Sillerman had left and plans to shift the company’s image away from EDM, saying: “We’re going to be a music company that specializes in electronic music.”

Phillips also revealed plans to broaden some of their popular festivals like Mysteryland, saying they “will be broadened, more like Coachella”. Other LiveStyle events and festival will retain their electronic music focus like their annual Electric Zoo festival in New York. Phillips also says he plans to integrate the company more so that festivals, whilst still operating independently, are trimmed of unnecessary costs like accounting.

Beatport, the company’s massive digital store for independent EDM music, was considered too valuable to sell as the company sold off assets earlier this year. Phillips said that since getting rid of the streaming platform that was introduced to Beatport the store can go back to it’s successful business of hosting and selling music rather than sticking with the uncertain streaming model.

Whilst avoiding specific details Phillips did say that: “The problem was that it was put together too quickly — it was based on doing an IPO.” He went on to say that Sillerman was marketing the company wrong, saying that he “sold a story about sponsorship. But sponsorship has to be the icing on the cake — not the cake itself”.

Now that the company is back on track with investors now owning a 70% majority and has sold unnecessary assets the company is ready to move forward with it’s remaining properties. Phillips said: “We have no plans to sell anything. Now is the time to clean this up, make it function, and grow it.”

World famous producers and musicians come together on letter to President-elect Donald Trump

The music industry is coming together again to speak to the next president of the United States of America on protecting music in America and the people behind it.

Various areas of the music industry have written to President-elect Donald Trump, including major music publishers, offering a variety of congratulations, wishes and sometimes their criticisms of the controversial new president. The latest letter for President Trump comes from members of The Recording Academy’s National Advocacy Committee.

The Recording Academy is best known for the Grammy Awards ceremony, with Grammy winners Nile Rodgers, Rodney Jerkins, Ann Mincieli, and Dan Warner contributing to the letter. Other contributors include musician’s Brandon Bush and Kim Owens, Board Chair at The Recording Academy John Poppo, and President/CEO of The Recording Academy Neil Portnow.

The letter reads:

Grammys on the Hill, Music Copyright Lobbying

November 29, 2016

President-elect Donald J. Trump
Office of the Presidential Transition
1717 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20006

Dear President-elect Trump:

We, the undersigned members of The Recording Academy’s National Advocacy Committee, write to congratulate you and to reach out to you about the current state of the music economy for creators across America. The Recording Academy is the only organization that represents the interests of all music creators: the songwriters, performers, producers and engineers who create American recordings.

“In 2015, the U.S. music industry contributed $15 billion dollars to the American economy, creating jobs in every state.”

As your administration begins to chart its course, this is an important moment to ensure the continued viability of music as one of America’s greatest exports and as an integral part of the American innovation story, fueled by the entrepreneurial spirit of the men and women who make up the creative workforce. In 2015, the U.S. music industry contributed $15 billion dollars to the American economy, creating jobs in every state.

“These outdated laws… have weakened the value of American intellectual property in foreign markets…”

Today, music lovers have more ways to listen to music than ever before. But the laws governing the sale and distribution of music have failed to keep pace with technology, keeping music creators from receiving fair market value for their work.  These outdated laws, stemming from the turn of the last century, have weakened the value of American intellectual property in foreign markets to the tune of tens of millions of dollars in unpaid royalties.

The Recording Academy and our members across the country are working with Congress to fix the broken copyright system.  We hope that the 115th Congress, with support from your administration, will conclude its review of copyright and act to support creators.  Copyright reform continues to enjoy bipartisan support on Capitol Hill and among a broad group of stakeholders.

We look forward to working with your administration to support the music economy.  We urge you to support reform of outdated laws and oppose any regulation that would diminish the value of these creators’ hard work and property rights.

Thank you for your consideration, and we wish you great success.

Sincerely,

Nile Rodgers, GRAMMY Winning Musician/Songwriter/Producer
John Poppo, Producer/Engineer/Songwriter & Board Chair of The Recording Academy
Rodney Jerkins, GRAMMY Winning Musician/Songwriter/Producer
Ann Mincieli, GRAMMY Winning Engineer
Brandon Bush, Musician/Songwriter
Kim “KEM” Owens, Musician/Songwriter
Neil Portnow, President/CEO, The Recording Academy
Dan Warner, Grammy Winning Musician

Top 10 Music Blogs

Music blogs aren’t as predominant as they once was. Certain reports place this down to social media and the rise of distribution opportunities like YouTube, Soundcloud and beyond. However, we still feel that there is a place in the social media world for great journalism and music blogs. Here are our top 10 music blogs:

  1. Pitchfork
  2. Drowned In Sound
  3. Your EDM
  4. Stereogum
  5. Dancing Astronaut
  6. Indie Shuffle
  7. EDM Sauce
  8. ThisSongIsSick
  9. Hypetrak
  10. OkayPlayer

Prince William knights Universal Music CEO Lucian Grainge

In a “recognition of British music’s significance to the UK” Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of UMG, has been knighted by Prince William.

Yesterday Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, knighted London-born Lucian Grainge during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Now Sir Lucian, Grainge was inaugurated into the Order of the British Empire and Knight Bachelor for his contributions and accomplishments in the music business.

As chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, one of the world’s 3 major labels alongside Warner and Sony, Sir Lucian holds one of the most powerful positions in the music industry across the entire planet. His knighthood was announced during Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday honours in June. Yesterday using his knightly sword Prince William did the honour and appointed Lucian Grainge as Knight.

Speaking on being knighted, Grainge said: “It is with enormous pride that I receive this honour from Her Majesty the Queen. It is a recognition of British music’s significance to the UK’s culture and economy, its role in inspiring investment, and the contribution of incredible creative talent from around the world.”

2016 has been a tumultuous year but for music has been a giant success, with the rise of music streaming increasing music revenues for the first time in years. It was revealed earlier this year that Universal makes almost $4 million every single day from music streaming. Grainge’s influence in the music industry has been recognised around the world, being named the top executive in Billboard’s Power 100 list this year.

Pandora continues to evolve with a brand new look

Pandora have completely redesigned their web app with a fresh new look that introduces better music discovery and sorting in the lead up to their paid subscription service.

After revealing their new branding look a few weeks ago Pandora have given a fresh coat of paint to their web service to bring it in line with their new theme. The updated look “showcases Pandora’s vibrant branding, includes our latest features, and brings exciting new ways to discover and engage with your music”.

What’s new?

Immersive Now Playing View: Not only will you never lose sight of what you’re currently jamming to with the fixed player bar at the bottom of your screen, but you’ll also be able to visually experience and interact with the music in new ways. The album art is front and center, bold and beautiful, with additional backstage access to the artist’s lyrics, tour dates, bios, and more.

Improved Navigation: It’s easier than ever to manage your music with seamless navigation between past, present, and future listening. From what’s currently playing, to station creation and organization, and the history of your favourite tracks, the updated features across the platform allow you to easily control your listening experience.

Pandora update new look fresh

Replays and More Skips: For Pandora Plus listeners, hit the replay button to start your favourite jam from the beginning or experience that newly discovered song again. It could be the last song you heard, or you can go back in your listening session and replay a track. Press skip to get to your next favourite track. For those of you who want to stick with the free, ad-supported Pandora, you’ll be getting some new features as well. Whenever you run out of skips or want to replay a track, just watch a video ad to get those extra features for added control over your experience.

Tour Dates: Love what you heard and want to experience it live? Access to local shows is now just a click away. We’re serving upcoming tour dates for all of your favourite acts in Now Playing and the artist pages.


Pandora have spent the past few months fortifying their music streaming service as they approach the launch of their paid music streamer. So far we’ve seen a giant upgrade to their artist marketing platform, integration for sharing music on Apple iMessage and a partnership with Uber so you can choose the soundtrack to your ride.

Pandora are planning to launch Pandora Plus on December 6th and another tier to their service, Pandora Premium, in early 2017.