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Kanye West sets new livestream record on Apple Music

Kanye West’s second album listening party at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium (cap. 71,000) in Atlanta last Thursday (5 August) was reportedly Apple Music’s biggest-ever live stream.

The live stream of West previewing his upcoming album ‘Donda’ attracted 5.4 million viewers on Apple Music – more than double the current livestream record on Twitch – which set a new record for the streaming service, according to Billboard.

The previous record was set by West’s first listening event at the stadium on 22 July, which saw 3.3 million people tune in.

West also livestreamed from a dressing room at the stadium ahead of the show, with fans able to watch him recording, exercising and sleeping for a number of hours.

Billboard also cites sources who claim that West made $7 million (€5.9m) from in-person merch sales during the second ‘Donda’ event, which recorded 40,000 ticketed fans in attendance.

West made $7 million (€5.9m) from in-person merch sales during the second ‘Donda’ event

Of the 400,000 fans, a stadium rep told Billboard that four people got a vaccine shot offered by the event that evening.

The event provided Pfizer shots for those who haven’t already taken the shot to help slow the transmission of Covid-19 but very few took up the offer – despite the venue promoting its efforts.

The event’s push for fans to get vaccinated comes as Live Nation and AEG, the world’s biggest live entertainment companies, have announced various vaccine mandates.

Live Nation announced that artists would be given the choice as to whether they require all concertgoers and venue staff to be vaccinated for their US shows, and it is understood a similar model will likely be rolled out internationally.

While AEG Presents, AEG’s concert promotion division, will additionally require all fans in the US to be vaccinated from 1 October.

 


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Kanye, Bieber, Will Smith perform at Coachella

The second and final weekend of Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival came to a close on Sunday 21 April, with Kanye West hosting an Easter “Sunday Service” and Justin Bieber making a return to the stage after a lengthy hiatus.

The 2019 edition of Goldenvoice’s Coachella (125,000-cap.) has now come to an end, following two consecutive weekends of live music and surprise appearances in the Californian desert.

Kanye West hosted a performance on the closing Sunday of the event as part of his series of Sunday Service performances – invite-only sessions in which the rapper performs alongside a gospel choir in secret locations.

Chance the Rapper, Kid Cudi and DMX joined West for the performance atop a hill, some miles away from the main festival site.

Another surprise performance came in the form of Justin Bieber, who joined Ariana Grande on stage for a rendition of his 2015 single ‘Sorry’. The Canadian singer also used the performance to hint at the release of a new album.

The 2019 edition of Coachella has come to an end, following two weekends of live music and surprise appearances in the Californian desert

Will Smith also appeared on the Coachella stage, joining his son Jaden Smith for a performance of the rapper’s song ‘Icon’.

Weekend one of the festival saw Grande break records as Coachella’s youngest-ever headliner, Childish Gambino pay tribute to Mac Miller, the debut of a state-of-the-art augmented reality experience and the introduction of Amazon lockers to the festival.

California’s Empire Polo Club has hosted Coachella since its inaugural edition which took place over two days in 1999. The festival later added its second weekend in 2012.

A 2018 lawsuit filed against Coachella’s radius clause, which forbids acts from playing other North American festivals for five months around the festival, was dismissed last month.

The dates for next year’s Coachella are yet to be announced.

Kanye’s VGT settles with sued Lloyd’s insurers

Kanye West’s Very Good Touring (VGT) company says it has settled “amicably” its legal complaint against Lloyd’s of London insurance brokers over an alleged US$10m in unpaid claims, after the suit was dismissed and all parties agreed to pay their own costs.

VGT last August sued several syndicates at Lloyd’s of London, the insurance market, for breach of contract after they refused to pay out for cancelled shows on his 2016 Saint Pablo tour. West called off the remainder of the North American tour on 21 November 2016, two days after cutting short a show in Sacramento and embarking on a 25-minute, apparently unscripted onstage rant praising Donald Trump and criticising Hillary Clinton, Jay Z, Beyoncé and Facebook. He was later admitted to a Los Angeles mental hospital, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, apparently suffering from exhaustion and sleep deprivation.

The suit alleged the five Lloyd’s insurers – Cathedral Syndicate 2010, Liberty Syndicate 4472, XL Catlin Syndicate 2003, Markel Syndicate 3000 and Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty – told West that “they may deny coverage of the claim on the unsupportable contention that use of marijuana by Kanye caused the medical condition”.

The insurers later hit back with a suit of their own, denying implying West’s use of cannabis “provides the sole basis” for their rejection of the claim, instead accusing his representatives of sabotaging their investigation, “contrary to the duties of cooperation VGT agreed to as a condition” of the policy.

“Substantial irregularities” in Kanye records, says counterclaim

Terms of the final settlement were not disclosed, although a California court order notes that both plaintiff and defendants will each bear “that party’s own attorney’s fees and costs”.

TMZ reports that “Lloyd’s [sic] folded under massive pressure by Kanye’s lawyers and agreed to pay most of what Kanye was due under the policy”, while VGT lawyer Howard King says in a statement the “dispute has been amicably resolved”.

 


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“Substantial irregularities” in Kanye records, says counterclaim

Several Lloyd’s of London insurers are counter-suing Kanye West, alleging representatives for the rapper’s company, Very Good Touring (VGT), “wilfully concealed and or misrepresented relevant facts” in an effort to thwart underwriters’ investigation into the partial cancellation of his Saint Pablo tour.

West called off the remainder of the North American tour on 21 November 2016, two days after cutting short a show in Sacramento and embarking on a 25-minute, apparently unscripted onstage rant praising Donald Trump and criticising Hillary Clinton, Jay Z, Beyoncé and Facebook. He was later admitted to a Los Angeles mental hospital, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, apparently suffering from exhaustion and sleep deprivation.

Earlier this month it was reported VGT was suing several syndicates at Lloyd’s of London, the insurance market, for breach of contract after they refused to pay out for the cancelled shows. The suit alleges the Lloyd’s insurers told West that “they may deny coverage of the claim on the unsupportable contention that use of marijuana by Kanye caused the medical condition”.

In a counterclaim, filed in US district court for central California on Tuesday, five Lloyd’s underwriters – Cathedral Syndicate 2010, Liberty Syndicate 4472, XL Catlin Syndicate 2003, Markel Syndicate 3000 and Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty – deny implying that West’s use of cannabis “provides the sole basis” for their denial of the US$10.8m claim, instead accusing his representatives of sabotaging their investigation, “contrary to the duties of cooperation VGT agreed to as a condition” of the policy.

“Throughout underwriters’ investigation, VGT and its legal, medical and other agents and representatives have delayed, hindered, stalled and/or refused to provide information both relevant and necessary for underwriters to complete their investigation of the claim,” reads the complaint.

The investigation has turned up “substantial irregularities in Mr West’s medical history”

“Underwriters are informed and believe, and thereon, these same persons have wilfully concealed and or misrepresented relevant facts in an effort to thwart underwriters’ investigation.”

The suit also says the insurers’ investigation, based on “documents and other information necessary to determine VGT’s entitlement to coverage under the policy”, has turned up “substantial irregularities in Mr West’s medical history”, although it declined to provide specifics.

While the plaintiffs – who have demanded a jury trial – maintain they are unable to reach a conclusion until VGT supplies “additional information requested” as part of their investigation, West’s lawyer, Howard King, criticised the counterclaim as amounting to the “same generic response Lloyd’s files in all cases when they don’t want to honour a legitimate claim but can’t find a factual basis to deny a claim.

“We look forward to the day a jury awards our client the full amount of the policy he purchased, plus interest at 10% per annum, along with punitive damages.”

A similar lawsuit, brought by Foo Fighters against several Lloyd’s brokers for “inconsistent, erratic and unreasonable behaviour” after the partial cancellation of the band’s Sonic Highways tour, was dismissed by the same court last October.

 


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75%+ of richest artists’ income is from touring

On average, the ten highest-paid artists made more than three quarters of their income last year from touring, reveals a new list of music’s biggest money-makers.

The list, compiled by Billboard, combines revenue from sales, streaming, publishing and touring. Of the top ten – Beyoncé, Guns N’ Roses, Bruce Springsteen, Drake, Adele, Coldplay, Justin Bieber, Luke Bryan, Kanye West and Kenny Chesney, in that order – only one placed artist, Drake, earnt more from recorded music than from live.

Beyoncé (pictured) brought in US$4.3 million from sales, $1.9m from streaming and $1.3m from publishing, but $54.7m from touring (her Formation world tour was the highest grossing of the year); for second-placed Guns N’ Roses, meanwhile, the figures are $771,700, $670,800, $499,600 and $40.4m, respectively.

Beyoncé’s Formation world tour grosses $256m

Drake, the sole exception to the rule, earnt $18.1m from streaming compared to $13.6m from touring. Kanye West’s streaming performance was also strong ($7.6m), although it was still under half the $15.4m he took home from live shows.

Added together, income from sales, streaming and publishing for the top ten totalled around $71.1m – or just 24.4% of the $291.7m they made from touring.

Music streaming is, of course, on the rise, climbing 9.9% in the first six months of 2017 alone. But –Drake aside – Billboard’s charts illustrate how even the world’s biggest artists are struggling to make significant money from streaming – and prove once again that it’s a good time to be in the concert business…

 


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Kanye, Drake fans lead way in mobile ticketing

Despite the abrupt axing last month of the final 21 dates of his Saint Pablo tour, Kanye West was still the no1 choice for mobile ticket-buyers in 2016, new data suggests.

West – whose cancellation, due to stress and exhaustion, led to a loss of US$30 million in potential ticket sales – tops Gametime’s list of the ‘most mobile music fans of 2016’ by tickets sold on its app, followed by Drake and Future, Beyoncé, Skrillex’s show at Super City Fest in Oakland, California, and a country music tour co-headlined by Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Sam Hunt and Old Dominion.

Gametime is a last-minute mobile secondary ticketing platform for music and sporting events, on which resale prices fluctuate dynamically according to market demand. “Unlike other ticket providers that rely primarily on web-based platforms,” it notes, “Gametime is 100% mobile, revealing consumers who are on the go, largely Millennials (>75% of user base) and looking for a speedy transaction accompanied by great value.”

“A consumer behaviour shift is happening in the live event industry, with a migration toward the last-minute window”

The San Francisco-based company says its research – which correlates with previous predictions of 20% year-on-year growth for mobile ticketing until 2020 – shows that “a consumer behaviour shift is happening in the live event industry, with a migration toward the last-minute window – 7 days or less until the event – driven by a younger, more spontaneous and experienced shopping consumer”.

“For example,” it explains, “55% of concert tickets sold on Gametime are happening on the week of the event, and 30% on the day of the event. As events draw near, prices decline roughly 25% and buying activity spikes via mobile millennial fans.”

Gametime’s top 20, and the average US ticket price of each tour, is shown below:

Most mobile music fans of 2016, Gametime

 


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