Sony Music Overhauls Legacy Label to Adapt to Streaming World EXCLUSIVE

first_imgDuring the second half of the 1980s, the arrival of the compact disc turned the music business into a money-spinning juggernaut, with the format moving from essentially zero early in the decade to 400 million units produced in 1988 alone. But that explosive growth was driven less by superstars of the era — although Whitney Houston and Guns N’ Roses sold many millions of the high-priced discs — than by people replacing their old vinyl albums and cassettes with a more convenient format.The same syndrome has taken hold with streaming: According to BuzzAngle’s 2017 year-end report, a whopping 51% of songs consumed are from “deep catalog” (music three or more years old), with an additional 12.5% coming from “catalog” (18 months to three years old). Which means that for all the discovery opportunities that a virtually unlimited pool of music can offer, people are using it far more to hear music they already know, or to explore previously untraveled corners of a genre or a favorite artist’s oeuvre. Popular on Variety The distribution executive points to Jai Wolf’s song “Indian Summer” — which was released in 2015 but has taken on new life via multiple syncs, including an Izze beverage campaign and uses in “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance” — as an example of how such factors can make a new hit out of an older song (it has nearly 55 million plays on Spotify). Also key are playlists like Spotify’s “This Is” — which combine an artist’s older music with new — and recommendations on streaming services, which represent more frequent and active endorsement than what was available in the physical world. “There are all kinds of ways of rabbit-holing into the platforms now, where one artist leads to another and another, and you can connect the dots musically,” adds the distribution exec. “You didn’t really have that in a record store unless someone told you.” The exec also notes playlist promotion and seasonal opportunities like Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day as ways to get classic songs in front of fresh audiences.Just as streaming has broken down barriers between musical genres, it can break them down between eras as well. “If you’re a 14-year-old kid who likes N.W.A or Led Zeppelin but doesn’t know Public Enemy or Cream, there’s a whole world just a click away,” the major-label exec says. “The trick is leading them to it.” ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 That trend was not lost on new Sony Music Entertainment CEO Rob Stringer. For 28 years, the company has been host to one of the most popular catalog labels in the business, Legacy, which has won multiple Grammy Awards for beautifully curated collections from Sony’s vast repertoire — which includes Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson and many others — as well as new releases from heritage artists like Willie Nelson and Earth, Wind & Fire. But in recent months management found the business to be too oriented toward physical releases, and a major reorganization is under way, a source close to the situation tells Variety. By mutual consent, Legacy president Adam Block agreed to step down earlier this year, and several other staffers have or will leave the company.Yet Legacy, which is housed within Sony’s Commercial Music Group under the direction of president Richard Story, is also staffing up in the digital space, with nine new roles and more likely to come. The source tells Variety that the company felt renewed urgency in realizing it did not have sufficient staffers specializing in deep catalog, streaming, marketing and analytics. The insider stressed that the company will continue to release lavish boxed sets and other physical product, but it has moved to correct that imbalance.Promoting catalog on streaming is a dramatically different proposition than pushing physical product, according to a veteran distribution executive. “Format changes have always given catalog a bump,” the executive says. “But what’s different now is the idea of lifetime value — before, you were trying to get people to buy something once, but now you’re trying to get people to keep coming back.”Key to that repeat business is discovery, which is generally discussed in terms of new music but is just as relevant for catalog. “When a song or an artist is featured on, say, [former] President Obama’s Spotify playlist, or in film or TV or in a commercial, it can lead to a big boost in streaming numbers,” says another major-label executive. “For example, [the N.W.A biopic] ‘Straight Outta Compton’ led thousands of people to discover N.W.A and Ice Cube and Dr. Dre’s older cuts.”last_img read more

Study explores how grunting influences perception in tennis

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)May 3 2019Exceeding noise levels of 100 decibels, the grunting sounds produced by some tennis players when hitting the ball are on a par with motorbikes or chainsaws. While fans react to these impressive exhalations with either annoyance or amusement, the habit has also been a source of intense debate among professionals.For instance, Serena Williams has said that she is not bothered by opponents grunting in the heat of the competition. In contrast, former world number one Martina Navratilova has complained that grunting masks the sound of the racket striking the ball, making it – unfairly – harder to predict the ball’s trajectory. The question of whether this common complaint is justified has now been examined in a new study by a team of sport psychologists from Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, led by Dr Florian Müller and Prof. Rouwen Cañal-Bruland.Experiment with manipulated grunting noisesFor this study, the research team conducted a series of experiments in which experienced players were shown video clips of rallies from a professional tennis match. After observing players hitting the ball, they had to work out the ball’s trajectory and indicate where it would land. Largely unnoticed by participants, though, the intensity of the grunting noises was manipulated.Grunting biases anticipation of ball flightResults indicate that grunting does have an effect – but not the one claimed by Navratilova. There was no evidence that grunting caused a distraction effect. In spite of the supposed irritation, participants’ level of error in predicting where the ball would land was the same – regardless of the intensity of the grunts. Instead, it was shown that the louder the grunting, the further the participants assumed the ball would fly. This reaction was observed even when the noises could only be heard after the racket had made contact with the ball, as is usual in many professional matches. “We assume that players account for the physiological benefits provided by grunting,” explains Müller. Other researchers have demonstrated that forcefully exhaling air activates the abdominal muscles, providing additional strength that enables players to hit harder, making the ball fly faster. “This possibly explains why an effect can be observed as a result of the grunting, but the ability to anticipate the ball’s trajectory remains unaffected.”Related StoriesProbing Submicron Protein Aggregation using Asymmetrical Flow Field-Flow Fractionation, AF4, and Light ScatteringHeat-induced heart attack risk on the rise, study showsResearchers discover how mosquitoes smell acidic volatiles in human sweatPerception in sport as the interplay of multiple sensory impressionsAccording to Müller and his colleagues, the results of the study suggest that Navratilova’s claim needs to be reconsidered. For the sport psychologists, it is also evidence that sensory impressions other than sight are of importance in sport as well, and that scientists should look at these more closely in future. For this reason, too, they want to stay ‘on the ball’ and investigate the phenomenon further. To get closer to real-world conditions, in the next step participants will have to catch a tennis ball on the touchscreen in real time. Ultimately, the experiment could even be conducted during a real match on a tennis court – as long as no one in the neighborhood is disturbed by excessively loud grunting.Source: https://www.uni-jena.de/en/190502_tennis_grunting.htmllast_img read more

Latvias ehealth system hit by cyberattack from abroad

Digital prescriptions became compulsory on January 1, 2018 in Latvia Explore further Three Latvia regions under emergency due to African swine fever Citation: Latvia’s e-health system hit by cyberattack from abroad (2018, January 16) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-latvia-e-health-cyberattack.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Latvia said its new e-health system was on Tuesday hit by a large-scale cyberattack that saw thousands of requests for medical prescriptions pour in per second from more than 20 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the European Union. © 2018 AFP No data was compromised, according to health officials, who immediately took down the site, which was launched earlier this month to streamline the writing of prescriptions in the Baltic state.”It is clear that it was a planned attack, a widespread attack—we might say a specialised one—as it emanated from computers located in various different countries, both inside the European Union and outside Europe,” state secretary Aivars Lapins told reporters. “We received thousands of requests in a very short space of time. That’s not the normal way the system works,” he said, adding that an investigation is under way. The site was back up and running within a couple of hours but with reduced functionality, forcing Latvia to provisionally revert to the previous paper system that was kept as a backup after digital prescriptions became compulsory on January 1. read more

Microsofts antihacking efforts make it an internet cop

first_imgIntentionally or not, Microsoft has emerged as a kind of internet cop by devoting considerable resources to thwarting Russian hackers. Microsoft uncovers more Russian hacking ahead of midterms Companies including Microsoft, Google and Amazon are uniquely positioned to do this because their infrastructure and customers are affected. Turner said they “are defending their own hardware and their own software and to some extent defending their own customers.”Turner said he has not seen anyone in the industry as “out in front and open about” these issues as Microsoft.As industry leaders, Microsoft’s Windows operating systems had long been prime targets for viruses when in 2008 the company formed its Digital Crimes Unit, an international team of attorneys, investigators and data scientists. The unit became known earlier in this decade for taking down botnets, collections of compromised computers used as tools for financial crimes and denial-of-service attacks that overwhelm their targets with junk data.Richard Boscovich, a former federal prosecutor and a senior attorney in Microsoft’s digital crimes unit, testified to the Senate in 2014 about how Microsoft used civil litigation as a tactic. Boscovich is also involved in the fight against Fancy Bear, which Microsoft calls Strontium, according to court filings.To attack botnets, Microsoft would take its fight to courts, suing on the basis of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and other laws and asking judges for permission to sever the networks’ command-and-control structures.”Once the court grants permission and Microsoft severs the connection between a cybercriminal and an infected computer, traffic generated by infected computers is either disabled or routed to domains controlled by Microsoft,” Boscovich said in 2014.He said the process of taking over the accounts, known as “sinkholing,” enabled Microsoft to collect valuable evidence and intelligence used to assist victims.In the latest action against Fancy Bear, a court order filed Monday allowed Microsoft to seize six new domains, which the company said were either registered or used at some point after April 20.Smith said this week the company is still investigating how the newly discovered domains might have been used.A security firm, Trend Micro, identified some of the same fake domains earlier this year. They mimicked U.S. Senate websites, while using standard Microsoft log-in graphics that made them appear legitimate, said Mark Nunnikhoven, Trend Micro’s vice president of cloud research.Microsoft has good reason to take them down, Nunnikhoven said, because they can hurt its brand reputation. But the efforts also fit into a broader tech industry mission to make the internet safer.”If consumers are not comfortable and don’t feel safe using digital products,” they will be less likely to use them, Nunnikhoven said. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The company’s announcement Tuesday that it had identified and forced the removal of fake internet domains mimicking conservative U.S. political institutions triggered alarm on Capitol Hill and led Russian officials to accuse the company of participating in an anti-Russian “witch hunt.”Microsoft stands virtually alone among tech companies with an aggressive approach that uses U.S. courts to fight computer fraud and seize hacked websites back. In the process, it has acted more like a government detective than a global software giant.In the case this week, the company did not just accidentally stumble onto a couple of harmless spoof websites. It seized the latest beachhead in an ongoing struggle against Russian hackers who meddled in the 2016 presidential election and a broader, decade-long legal fight to protect Microsoft customers from cybercrime.”What we’re seeing in the last couple of months appears to be an uptick in activity,” Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer, said in an interview this week. Microsoft says it caught these particular sites early and that there’s no evidence they were used in hacking.The Redmond, Washington, company sued the hacking group best known as Fancy Bear in August 2016, saying it was breaking into Microsoft accounts and computer networks and stealing highly sensitive information from customers. The group, Microsoft said, would send “spear-phishing” emails that linked to realistic-looking fake websites in hopes targeted victims—including political and military figures—would click and betray their credentials.The effort is not just a question of fighting computer fraud but of protecting trademarks and copyright, the company argues.One email introduced as court evidence in 2016 showed a photo of a mushroom cloud and a link to an article about how Russia-U.S. tensions could trigger World War III. Clicking on the link might expose a user’s computer to infection, hidden spyware or data theft.An indictment from U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller has tied Fancy Bear to Russia’s main intelligence agency, known as the GRU, and to the 2016 email hacking of both the Democratic National Committee and Democrat Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further In this May 11, 2017, file photo Alex Kipman, a technical fellow at Microsoft, stands on stage after speaking at the Microsoft Build 2017 developers conference in Seattle. Microsoft stands virtually alone among tech companies with its aggressive approach that uses U.S. courts to fight computer fraud and seize hacked websites back from malicious perpetrators. But in the process, the company is taking on a role that might look more like the job of government than a corporation. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File) In this Feb. 27, 2018, file photo Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith, left, leaves the Supreme Court in Washington. Microsoft stands virtually alone among tech companies with its aggressive approach that uses U.S. courts to fight computer fraud and seize hacked websites back from malicious perpetrators. “What we’re seeing in the last couple of months appears to be an uptick in activity,” said Smith.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) Some security experts were skeptical about the publicity surrounding Microsoft’s announcement, worried that it was an overblown reaction to routine surveillance of political organizations—potential cyberespionage honey pots— that never rose to the level of an actual hack.The company also used its discovery as an opportunity to announce its new free security service to protect U.S. candidates, campaigns and political organizations ahead of the midterm elections.But Maurice Turner, a senior technologist at the industry-backed Center for Democracy and Technology, said Microsoft is wholly justified in its approach to identifying and publicizing online dangers.”Microsoft is really setting the standards with how public and how detailed they are with reporting out their actions,” Turner said. Citation: Microsoft’s anti-hacking efforts make it an internet cop (2018, August 22) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-microsoft-anti-hacking-efforts-internet-cop.htmllast_img read more

What Facebooks privacy vision really means

first_imgThe first change users might notice is their address book, said Siva Vaidhyanathan, director of the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia. While your Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp contacts might be quite different now, if the services combine to some degree, your contact lists will, too.”As these services merge, we might end up basically having these huge combined address books from three messaging services,” he said.WHEN THIS WILL HAPPENYou’re not likely to see any of these changes anytime soon. In his blog post, Zuckerberg said the plan will be rolled out “over the next few years. … A lot of this work is in the early stages.”And it’s subject to change. EMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson points out that previous Facebook visions of the future haven’t quite panned out. A few years ago, for instance, Zuckerberg predicted that video and augmented and virtual reality would be a much bigger part of Facebook than what materialized, for example.But it shows that Facebook is trying to adapt as people shift toward services like Instagram and WhatsApp over Facebook—which today has 15 million fewer U.S. users than in since 2017 , according to Edison Research. In his post Zuckerberg said he expects Messenger and WhatsApp will eventually become the main ways people communicate on Facebook’s network.”There’s not a sense that things will fundamentally change overnight, or even probably this year,” Williamson said, “But it signals Facebook is thinking more seriously about embracing the way people communicate today.”WHAT IT MEANS FOR PRIVACY Explore further In this Nov. 15, 2018, file photo the icons of Facebook and WhatsApp are pictured on an iPhone in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Mark Zuckerberg’s privacy memo is a maneuver to make more palatable the planned merging of the instant-messaging services of WhatsApp, Instagram with Facebook’s core Messenger app, analysts say. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File) Citation: What Facebook’s ‘privacy vision’ really means (2019, March 9) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-facebook-privacy-vision.html Its first step will be to make its three messaging services communicate better with each other. That would let you message a friend on WhatsApp from Facebook Messenger, which isn’t currently possible. It would also link your messaging accounts to your Facebook ID, so people can find you more easily.Zuckerberg also promised to greatly increase the security of these messages. It will implement so-called end-to-end encryption for messaging, which would scramble them so that no one but the sender and recipients could read them. That would bar access by governments and Facebook. WhatsApp is already encrypted this way, but Messenger and Instagram Direct are not. Looked at one way, the manifesto read as an apology of sorts for Facebook’s history of privacy transgressions, and suggested that the social network would de-emphasize its huge public social network in favor of private messaging between individuals and among small groups.Looked at another, it turned Facebook into a kind of privacy champion by embracing encrypted private messaging that’s shielded from prying eyes—including those of Facebook itself.Yet another reading suggested the whole thing was a public-relations exercise designed to lull its users while Facebook entrenches its competitive position in messaging and uses it to develop new sources of user data to feed its voracious advertising machine.As with many things Facebook, the truth lies somewhere in between. Facebook so far isn’t elaborating much on Zuckerberg’s manifesto. Here’s a guide to what we know at the moment about its plans.WHAT’S HAPPENING TO FACEBOOKIn one sense, nothing. Its existing social network, with its newsfeeds and pages and 2.3 billion global users and $22 billion in 2018 profit, won’t change and will likely continue to grow. Although user growth has been stagnant in North America, its global user base expanded 9 percent in the last quarter of 2018.But Zuckerberg suggested that Facebook’s future growth will depend more on private messaging such as what it offers with its WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct services. The Facebook CEO said private messaging between individuals and small groups is “by far” the fastest growing part of online communications.Naturally, Facebook wants to be there in a big way.WHAT’S CHANGING IN MESSAGING © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. In this April 11, 2018, photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg listens to a question as he testifies before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election and data privacy. Zuckerberg said Facebook will start to emphasize new privacy-shielding messaging services, a shift apparently intended to blunt both criticism of the company’s data handling and potential antitrust action. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Mark Zuckerberg’s abrupt Wednesday declaration of a new “privacy vision ” for social networking was for many people a sort of Rorschach test. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Encrypted messaging is in many ways a big plus for privacy. But the way Facebook collects information about you on its main service site isn’t changing, said Jen King, director of consumer privacy at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society.”This is limited to a very specific part of the platform and it doesn’t really address all the ways Facebook is still collecting data about you,” she said. So users should still be alert about privacy settings and careful about what they choose to share on Facebook.VANISHING POSTSThough the timeline is hazy, Zuckerberg did outline other changes users will eventually see. He said the company is looking at ways to make messages less permanent, a la Snapchat or Instagram “Stories,” which disappear after 24 hours.”Messages could be deleted after a month or a year by default,” Zuckerberg wrote. “This would reduce the risk of your messages resurfacing and embarrassing you later.” Zuckerberg said users will have the ability to change the time frame or turn off auto-deletion. “And we could also provide an option for you to set individual messages to expire after a few seconds or minutes if you wanted.”PAYMENTSFacebook will likely also expand the way users can use its platform to pay for things, said Justin Brookman, director of consumer privacy and technology policy for Consumer Reports. Zuckerberg didn’t mention any new payment plans specifically but did bring up payments four times in his post.Currently Facebook lets its users pay friends or businesses digitally by linking a credit card or PayPal account and that’s method is not likely to change anytime soon. But as Facebook looks to emulate Chinese behemoth WeChat , it could let you reserve a table through Facebook instead of going through an outside app, or order an Uber.”Ideally Facebook will try to get a cut of all transactions,” Brookman said. A digital currency of Facebook’s own is also rumored to be in the works.”Like many other companies Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology,” Facebook said in a statement. “This new small team is exploring many different applications. We don’t have anything further to share.” In this April 11, 2018, file photo Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Zuckerberg’s new “privacy-focused vision” for Facebook looks like a transformative mission statement for the much-criticized social network. But critics say the announcement obscures Facebook’s deeper motivations: To expand lucrative new commercial services, continue monopolizing the attention of users and to develop new data sources for tracking people. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) Zuckerberg promises a privacy-friendly Facebook, sort of (Update)last_img read more

Nvidia buys Israeli chipmaker Mellanox for 69 bn

first_img Citation: Nvidia buys Israeli chipmaker Mellanox for $6.9 bn (2019, March 11) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-chipmaker-nvidia-mellanox-billion.html US computer graphics giant Nvidia said Monday it is acquiring Israeli data center firm Mellanox for $6.9 billion, to expand its presence in the high performance computing segment. Explore further Fiserv buys First Data for $22B, creating fintech giant The combined firm will have the capacity to “optimize data center” performance for applications in cloud computing and artificial intelligence, according to a statement by the firms.”The emergence of AI and data science, as well as billions of simultaneous computer users, is fueling skyrocketing demand on the world’s data centers,” said Jensen Huang, founder and chief executive of California-based Nvidia.”Addressing this demand will require holistic architectures that connect vast numbers of fast computing nodes over intelligent networking fabrics to form a giant data center-scale compute engine.”The all-cash deal is expected to close later this year subject to regulatory and shareholder approval.The deal will expand the offerings of Nvidia, which produces chips and other technologies for video games, facial recognition systems and autonomous vehicles.The companies have previously collaborated in building the world’s two fastest supercomputers, Sierra and Summit, operated by the US Department of Energy.Eyal Waldman, co-founder and CEO of Mellanox, told a news conference in Tel Aviv he believes the tie-up can “build the future architecture of the future computing rooms.””Together we will be able to create much more efficient systems of computing, of connectivity and of storage,” Waldman said.center_img © 2019 AFP This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. California-based Nvidia struck a deal to acquire Israeli chipmaker Mellanox to create a bigger presence in high-performance computinglast_img read more