Jay Z’s Roc Nation Announces New Television Division

Jay Z's entertainment company Roc Nation will be launching a television division which will be headed by the Weinstein Company's Patrick Reardon. 

Reardon, executive vice president of scripted and unscripted television for Roc Nation, will have the responsibility to build and lead the division with a focus on developing scripted and unscripted content. According to a press release, the division has several projects in development which include an unscripted series with Amazon.

Roc Nation is such an influential and dynamic company. I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them as they expand their brand into television,” Reardon said in a statement.

Reardon, a veteran executive and producer, boasts 15 years in the industry. Since 2015, he has served as exec VP and co-head of the television department for the Weinstein Company. During his time at Weinstein Co., Reardon headed the Project Runway franchise.

Some of Roc Nation's most recent television and film work includes “Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story,” which just premiered at Tribeca Film Festival, and Spike TV's “Time: The Kalief Browder Story,” which earned a Peabody award. Shawn “Jay Z” Carter, founder of Roc Nation, was the executive producer on both of these projects.

In March, Roc Nation was announced as an investor on the app-based program Promise, which aims to help people who are unable to pay the bail amount set by a judge. The goal of the app is to help the problem of overcrowding in jails by making bail “a cost-effective and more humane alternative to incarceration.”

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LifeAtComplex: Steve Aoki, Why Do We Throw Cakes?

On this episode the vlog gets a special visit from not one but two special guests, Steve Aoki and our UK correspondent Fenn. They sit down to talk about the new Asics Hypergel Kenzen and embracing “The Cake”. 

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Azealia Banks Reveals Massive Label Deal: ‘I Have a Home Again’

After being without a major label home since 2015, rapper Azealia Banks recently revealed that she signed a brand new million dollar deal with Toronto-based eOne Music.

“I HAVE A HOME AGAIN… I’m crying,” she wrote in her Instagram caption, expressing her gratitude for the opportunity to make music with a label again. “Thank you guys so freaking much you don’t know how much this means to me,” tagging eOne and its VP of A&R, William Robillard-Cole.

While Banks is undoubtedly talented, she's consistently been in the news more for her behavior on- and offline than for her music. From inflammatory tweets, bizarre live stream rants, and famous feuds with everyone from Iggy Azalea and Cardi B to Pharrell and Remy Ma, the Harlem rapper's music has been sitting on the back burner since 2016. Just a few days ago, she shared a preview of a new song that will likely end up her upcoming project Fantasea II: The Second Wave, reportedly dropping in March.

With the FII release date fast approaching, Banks has already chosen “Anna Wintour” as its first single. Snippets of the track have been floating around since last year, but she now wants to revamp it with features from Nicki Minaj and everyone's favorite Spice Girl, Mel B.

Banks parted ways with her last label, Prospect Park Records, in 2015 and would go on to release her Slay-Z mixtape independently, so we may have to wait and see how this new partnership pans out.

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Notre Dame Students Staged a Walkout During Mike Pence’s Graduation Speech

A large group of Notre Dame students walked out of their own graduation ceremony on Sunday afternoon, in protest of Vice President Mike Pence giving a commencement speech at the university.

The student group known as We StaND For garnered attention over the last few days for a walkout they planned to stage during graduation. Several students spoke up on the specifics of their outrage, which stems from Pence's treatment and views on marginalized people, such as immigrants and members of the LGBTQ community.

“There's something really odd,” said graduate student Luis Miranda, “about going to the most important moment of your life—the culmination of your education—with friends, family, and someone who persecutes you for who you are.”

On the event page for the protest, the students emphasized their desire to be strong, yet peaceful during Pence's speech:

We invite all students, faculty, and families who will be attending the Commencement ceremony to walk out with us as we take back our graduation and show our dissatisfaction with the University's selection of Mike Pence as honored speaker. We also will walk out in dignity and solidarity with all marginalized people affected by Pence's politics, both on this campus and throughout our nation. 

A subsequent press release from the group further highlighted Pence's stances on refugees and LGBT rights, claiming his beliefs clash with the Catholic teachings of a school like Notre Dame:

According to reporters who attended the ceremony, there was a mixed reaction to the walkout from the crowd. Some audience members chose to boo the students who participated in the protest:

In one video captured by a reporter, you can also hear a member of the audience yelling, “Losers!” as the students file out of the stadium:

Some students took an alternative approach to mocking Pence in the days leading up to his controversial appearance. A sign welcoming “election conspirators” in both Russian and English popped up near the school, a clear reference to the ongoing investigation of Russia's alleged influence of the Trump campaign:

Pence appeared to reference the unrest during his speech, when he praised Notre Dame for allowing people of all popularity levels to share their views on campus:

The university's president, Rev. John Jenkins, said prior to the event that he respected the students' right to peaceful protest.

“Our goal has never been to avoid controversy,” he said. “This group has said publicly that their intention is not to disrupt the commencement for others, but certainly to make their position heard. I commend them for that.”

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Mark Cuban Won’t Rule Out 2020 Presidential Run Against Donald Trump

The Democratic party is doing some soul-searching after their loss in the 2016 election, and President Donald Trump's non-traditional candidacy opens the door for a variety of newcomers in 2020. Mark Cuban has been one of  Trump's most vocal opponents, and many would love nothing more than for him to go head-to-head with the Donald in the 2020 election.

While participating in a panel at the annual Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston, Cuban was asked by Five Thirty Eight's Nate Silver about the prospect of running for the nation's highest office in 2020. He wouldn't commit one way or another, but he left the door open:

Cuban clarified in a follow-up comment that Trump's controversial presidency might spell doom for future outsider candidates, which doesn't lend hope to seeing him run in the future. But if his personal battle with Trump continues at this pace, there's no telling what he might do to stand between Trump and a second term in the Oval Office.

The relationship between Trump and Cuban has been erratic over the last couple years. Cuban made headlines in 2015 when he said he'd consider being Trump's VP if asked. Once Trump and Clinton were confirmed as primary winners midway through last year, Cuban said in an interview he'd consider accepting an offer to be either candidate's second-in-command. His rationale has been consistent, and Cuban claims to want to help the country regardless of party labels.

However his tone has shifted dramatically as of late. These days Cuban is actively beefing with President Trump, who claims the Mavericks' owner and Shark Tank host isn't smart enough to run for president. Cuban has responded by mocking the failure of Ivanka Trump's clothing line and digging up old email correspondences with Trump.

Would Cuban have a chance to beat Trump? Maybe. Recent surveys conducted by Public Policy Polling put Cuban just a single percentage point behind Trump in a head-to-head battle, despite 45 percent of respondents claiming they were unsure how to feel about him.

Cuban's potential candidacy will be questioned right up until the primaries begin in a few years, and he's already backed off his initial stance of there being “no possible way” he'd run. After last year's election, you can't really rule anything out. 

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Facebook Seeks To Position Itself As YouTube Alternative For The Industry

For a long time now, YouTube has been the dominant social media platform for music discovery across the major social networks. According to industry sources, it looks like Facebook is gaining a piece of the pie with deals that would “govern user-generated videos that include songs.”

As of now, Facebook doesn’t currently have any deals in place with record labels and publishers for revenue on music streamed on their platform, meaning lost revenue for musicians on any viral videos that feature their content. They also lack a system to successfully pick up on copyrighted material use such as YouTube’s Content ID system.

That being said, the platform does boast a user base of 2 billion and has looked to be straying into proper discussions with the music industry with the hiring of Tamara Hrivnak to lead ‘global music strategy.’ As the former VP of digital strategy & business affairs at Warner Music Group’s publishing arm Warner/Chapell with prior experience at YouTube, Hrivnak brings plenty of music industry legitimacy, which is an encouraging sign to music industry executives. Similar to the existing YouTube deal, any deal with Facebook would be heavily reliant on nullifying copyright violations in user-generated videos.

Ad revenue generated by video content is perhaps Facebook’s biggest reason for their foray into the music industry which has seen Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube all flourish. Online TV ads attract approximately $70 billion in advertising annually making it a lucrative market from which Facebook can draw on its massive user base. And with Facebook allegedly looking to play audio from Facebook videos by default on mobile, users will potentially stay on the site for even longer, bringing in more ad revenue.

Per music industry consultant Vickie Nauman, cutting a deal between Facebook and the music industry would be no easy feat. “Facebook definitely has the size and scale, but the tribal nature of music preferences is different than a feed or news stories or cute cat videos. To be successful, it will not only need to envision a great music experience but also have to navigate the web of label and publisher rights and relations. No small feat.”

We’ll see in the coming months whether or not Facebook is up to the task.


H/T: Bloomberg

This article was first published on Your EDM.
Source: Facebook Seeks To Position Itself As YouTube Alternative For The Industry

YouTube’s One Billion Dollar Payout To Music Industry

Listen here: YouTube’s One Billion Dollar Payout To Music Industry

It was revealed by the VP of YouTube content at Google on Sunday that the streaming platform has paid out more than a billion dollars “over the last several years” to the music industry. Tom Pickett said “We are very much into music.” As is the rest of the world, Pickett. He defended YouTube’s ad-supported model, going on to say “we’ve paid out to the music industry over the last several years over a billion dollars. So there is money being generated in this ad-supported model.”

So what’s next for the content streaming monster? “We will have to see,” says Pickett, regarding a YouTube subscription service, which was rumored to be in the works last year.