Downtown Music Is Going Full Stack, Acquires Netherlands-Based FUGA

Downtown Music Publishing’s AVL Digital Group has acquired FUGA, an Amsterdam-based digital-music distributor and service provider.

The purchase, which was announced publicly this morning (January 22nd), is the latest in a series of aggressive, growth-minded investments from Downtown.

In March of 2019, the company finalized a $200 million deal and assumed ownership of AVL Digital Group, which, through its
subsidiaries—Sounddrop, AdRev, DashGo, and CD Baby, one of the largest digital distributors of independent music—helps independent artists monetize their work.

Per the deal’s terms, FUGA will continue to operate independently.

Factoring for the Dutch company’s 100 or so team members, Downtown now has more than 500 employees working on its behalf, as well as offices in New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, Amsterdam (separate from FUGA), and London.

Founded by Justin Kalifowitz in 2017, Downtown has quickly risen to the top of the artist-rights and royalty-collection sphere. The brand’s ability to attract (and maintain) high-profile acts is without doubt; The Beatles, One Direction, Bruce Springsteen, and other extremely popular artists are part of the Downtown banner.

By acquiring FUGA, which will complement and benefit AVL’s platforms, Downtown is signaling that its long-term goals aren’t limited to North America—or even Europe.

FUGA debuted in 2014, as a small, ambitious startup with big ideas, limited funding, and only 12 employees. In less than half a decade, FUGA’s team size shot up, and the company opened its own international offices. CEO Pieter van Rijn has long spoken of his intention to establish a foothold in the Asian and African markets, and doing so will be easier with the contacts and supplemental resources of Downtown at his disposal.

The financial terms of the Downtown-FUGA deal were not disclosed.

Amazon Claims More Than 55 Million Music Streaming Users

Amazon says its Amazon Music streaming service has surpassed 55 million customers. There are six different pricing tiers for its streaming service, including a free ad-supported tier.

Amazon Music first launched in October 2016, but it still lags behind and . Just last summer, Apple Music announced 60 million subscribers. Last quarter, Spotify confirmed it has around 113 million paying subscribers and 248 million users globally.

There is no drill-down for how many users are in each of the Amazon Music tiers. Amazon does reveal that the growth of Amazon Music Unlimited is up 50% over the last year.

Amazon Music Unlimited is available in the United States, UK, Germany, Japan, and Brazil with HD-quality. France, Italy, Spain, and Mexico were also significant contributors to growth, though HD-quality music is not available yet.

Amazon’s subscription tiers encourage Prime members to give its services a try. Amazon’s dominance in the smart speaker market means there’s an Amazon Music tier just for its Alexa devices. Prime users also get a discount on the Amazon Music Unlimited service, undercutting rivals.

Spotify is focusing on music and podcast exclusives to help differentiate. But during its last earnings call, Spotify gave some insights into Amazon’s growth.

Amazon’s music streaming business is picking up more ad-supported users than paying subscribers, according to Spotify.

“Our data also suggests that Amazon’s user base skews significantly more to ‘Ad-Supported’ than ‘Premium,’ and that average engagement on our platform is approximately 3x,” Spotify said during its .

Spotify says that Amazon’s ad-supported growth leaves the company open to continue growing its paid streaming service. Spotify needs to be careful here, though, Amazon’s ecosystem is attractive to people who want all services under one provider.

Amazon has its fingers in storage, video, reading, games, and now music. If Spotify isn’t careful to diversify beyond just music, larger tech companies like Apple and Amazon could surpass it.

Safaree & Erica Mena Get Roasted On Twitter After Tying The Knot On "L&HH"

On this week’s episode  Love & Hip Hop: New York, cast members Safaree Samuels and Erica Mena ficially tied the knot, but some Twitter users did not prove to be their biggest supporters. After Safaree proposed to Erica on Christmas Day in 2018, they got married the following year in October, a few months before they welcomed their first child together. Since then, the notorious couple have been causing some major drama on the show since the series’ 10th season premiered in December.  On Monday night, the world finally got to witness their wedding ceremony take place on their TV screens.

While Safaree Samuels and Erica Mena may have said “I do,” the Internet highkey said “we don’t.” Plenty viewers were critical their union, pointing out how performative and fake their marriage looks considering how unhappy they’ve appeared to be together thus far.

The lack substance in their relationship have many feeling that the marriage is doomed and won’t last long.

Still, some were moved by the ceremony and got emotional, expressing nothing but well wishes for the couple.

 

Ja Morant Shows Off Early Look At The Nike Adapt BB 2.0

Ja Morant is one the most entertaining young stars in the entire NBA right now and continues to dominate on the fensive side the ball. He is currently under contract with Nike which makes him the perfect candidate to show f new models. A couple weeks ago, we reported on the Nike Adapt BB 2.0 and how some people overseas were getting their hands on some early pairs. Now, Morant is giving fans an ficial look at what this sneaker will resemble.

As you can see, the upper is black with a silver swoosh on the upper. From there, black and red are placed on the midsole. Overall, it’s an interesting look that matches the futuristic vibe. For those who don’t know, the Nike Adapt BB 2.0 features auto-lacing technology that can be controlled through an app. The original Nike Adapt BB was quite successful and we can only imagine what sort technological advances were made with this latest version.

For now, these are slated to drop on February 16th 2020 for $400 USD. In the meantime, let us know if you’ve tried auto-lacing sneakers yet and whether or not you enjoyed your experience. 

Nike Introduces New Sneaker: The Air Max 2090

Nike is celebrating the 30th anniversary the iconic Air Max 90 throughout 2020 with special edition colorways ranging from all-time classic to never before seen styles. As a further nod to the AM90, Nike will introduce an all-new silhouette, the Air Max 2090, billed as the company’s current shoe the future.

Leveraging the same DNA that made the Air Max 90 so iconic and future-forward 30 years ago, the Air Max 2090 is designed to illustrate what the future holds. According to Nike, the kicks utilize colors typically seen in electric cars, and the overall design the AM2090 represents what Nike designers think cars will look like in 2090.

Other notable details include (H/T Nike):

  • Air Unit: With the aim all-day comfort, the Air Max 2090 employs a larger Air unit than its originator, with a 200 percent larger window than traditional side-visibility Air units seen 30 years ago. 
  • Flexibility: Echoing the Air Max 90’s waffle outsole, the Air Max 2090 also employs distinct grooves for flexibility and takes original tread lines and updates the pattern for performance in 2020. 
  • Color Blocking: Color blocking was instrumental in the development the original Air Max 90, with darker colors underscoring the strength in the shoe’s support structure. In that same vein, the 2090 relays this through levels opacity — the most supportive materials are 100 percent opaque, and the least supportive (and lighter weight) materials are see-through.

The Air Max 2090 will be launching at retailers this Spring. Continue scrolling for ficial images two upcoming colorways.

Nike Introduces New Sneaker: The Air Max 2090

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Nike Introduces New Sneaker: The Air Max 2090

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Nike Introduces New Sneaker: The Air Max 2090

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Nike Introduces New Sneaker: The Air Max 2090

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Nike Introduces New Sneaker: The Air Max 2090

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Nike Introduces New Sneaker: The Air Max 2090
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Nike Introduces New Sneaker: The Air Max 2090

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Nike Introduces New Sneaker: The Air Max 2090

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Nike Introduces New Sneaker: The Air Max 2090

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Nike Introduces New Sneaker: The Air Max 2090

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Nike Introduces New Sneaker: The Air Max 2090

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Nike Introduces New Sneaker: The Air Max 2090

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Buffalo Wild Wings Announces ‘Free Wings’ Promotion For Super Bowl LIV

Buffalo Wild Wings is running back their overtime promotion for Super Bowl LIV, promising free wings for the whole country if the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers go to OT on February 2nd.

“Football fans love to have fun with our established connection to overtime, tweeting at us any time a game goes to extra time. That was taken to the next level last year when free wings were on the line, so we knew we had to bring this program back,” said Seth Freeman, Chief Marketing Officer, Buffalo Wild Wings. “More football AND free wings? Now that’s something all football fans can get behind and root for on February 2!”

According to BetMGM, the moneyline for the game going into overtime opened at +875, meaning a $100 bet would net $975 (including stake) if the game goes to OT. In other words, Vegas sportsbooks believe there is roughly a 10% chance winning free wings during Super Bowl LIV.

If the Chiefs and 49ers need an extra session to settle the score on February 2nd, fans can pickup a free order boneless or traditional snack-sized or 5/6 count chicken wings on February 17 between 4-7pm local time. Worth noting: No purchase is necessary to redeem the free wings, but the promotion is available for dine-in orders only.

Buffalo Wild Wings Announces 'Free Wings' Promotion For Super Bowl LIV

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Apryl Jones Says She "Should Have F*cked The Game When I Had The Opportunity"

She ten tells people to mind their businesses when it comes to her personal life, but Apryl Jones has no problem sharing details about her intimate moments with the public. Her relationship with Fizz has been scrutinized for nearly a year after rumors circulated that she was dating her baby daddy Omarion’s B2K groupmate. She and Fizz would later flaunt their romance for Love & Hip Hop Hollywood cameras, further placing them both at the forefront public criticism.

Apryl Jones Says She "Should Have F*cked The Game When I Had The Opportunity"
Emma McIntyre / Staff / Getty s

However, that’s not the only topic that has caused Apryl to become a villain sorts. In a chat with Tiffany “New York” Pollard for VH1’s Brunch With Tiffany webseries, Apryl also discussed the viral video that circulated where she explicitly named f celebrities she says wanted to sleep with her. Those men included including Kevin Durant, The Game, A$AP Rocky, Shaquille O’Neal, Paul Pierce, Shiggy Show, and last but certainly not least, Fizz.

Apryl explained that she was being accused sleeping with multiple men so she just listed their names in jest. “At this point, it’s like, you’re right, I f*cked every single one them because that’s what you want to hear, so that’s what they captured,” she told Tiffany. “Not that I have had with those men]. I would have no problem when, sh*t, I should have. I mean, I should have f*cked The Game when I had the opportunity.” She added that she never bedded any the other men she mentioned.

Elsewhere, Apryl spoke on co-parenting with Omarion and how it gets more difficult as time progresses. They haven’t been in a relationship in over three years and she states the primary caregiver to their two children. “It’s not been easy, that’s the truth,” she said. “I’m trying to figure it out on a daily. I’m prayed up that it’s gonna get better, but I don’t know.”

Watch Apryl’s Brunch With Tiffany episode below where she talks quite a bit about…well, …and check out her controversial viral video as well.

CMT Pledges To Give 50% of All Video Plays to Female Artists

CMT says it will evenly split music video airtime between male and female artists. The former split favored male artists 40/60%.

CMT says it is stepping up to help ensure gender parity in the country music genre. A study released last year showcased what many female country stars already know – country music is a male-dominated genre.

The new policy will be standard on CMT and CMT Music channels. Male and female artists will split all 29-hour primetime video blocks equally.

Female country music star representation is something of a bugbear in the industry. Martina McBride brought the issue front and center with her last year. Now political comedian Samantha Bee is talking about the issue.

Last year, a study found that most country music stations are told to remove women. Some choice phrases  in that study include, “women are not financially ble” and “country radio is a principally male format.” The study also found that in 2000, women held 33.3% of songs on the year-end country airplay reports. By 2018, that number had dwindled to just 11.3%, or a decline of 66%.

That study is one of the first to use radio airplay data to investigate gender imbalances in country radio. The results not only confirm the gender imbalance but show its more than just listener preference behind country’s male-dominated roster.

Unbalanced programming choices favoring men helps drive what seems like a preference for male artists. CMT is rising to the challenge of creating more opportunities for female country stars to create new fans.

The report released last year asked associations like CMA to set new standards for inclusion. Bringing attention to the programming imbalance means it can be corrected in the long run. Will the broader country music industry sit up and take notice, though? Decades of programming bias has enforced the belief that women aren’t profitable.

That view isn’t limited to country music either; the video game industry also dealt with issues of female representation. Back in 2012, games with male characters sold 75% better than those with only a female hero. Unsurprisingly, both country music and the video game industry are heavily male-dominant industries.

Air Jordan 34 "Paris" Will Be The Most Limited Colorway Yet: Release Info

Jordan Brand is celebrating the NBA’s first-ever regular season game in Paris with the release a super exclusive Air Jordan 34 this week.

The colorful kicks, limited to just 500 pairs worldwide, will reportedly release exclusively Nike SNKRS on Friday, January 24th, just before the Charlotte Hornets vs Milwaukee Bucks game at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris.

Each Air Jordan 34 features a unique heel logo and this particular colorway features an iridescent Jumpman logo on the left shoe, opposite Paris’ ’75’ area code on the the right. The Air Jordan 34, billed as one the lightest basketball shoes ever created by Jordan Brand (size 9 weighs just 13.1 oz), includes the following features:

  • An Eclipse Plate, formed by two Pebax pieces, which helps reduce the overall stiffness and strips down the weight
  • A forefoot Zoom Air unit, with herringbone traction pattern – providing optimal explosion f the foot 
  • Limited Upper – heel counter, tongue, eyestay and midfoot reinforcer – showcasing the purest form a basketball shoe 
  • The number 23 is featured in Morse code on the vamp

Continue scrolling for ficial images the “Paris” colorway, and click here to preview the “MLK” Air Jordan 34 debuted by Zion Williamson.

Air Jordan 34 "Paris" Will Be The Most Limited Colorway Yet: Release Info

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Air Jordan 34 "Paris" Will Be The Most Limited Colorway Yet: Release Info

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Air Jordan 34 "Paris" Will Be The Most Limited Colorway Yet: Release Info
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Air Jordan 34 "Paris" Will Be The Most Limited Colorway Yet: Release Info

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Air Jordan 34 "Paris" Will Be The Most Limited Colorway Yet: Release Info

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Air Jordan 34 "Paris" Will Be The Most Limited Colorway Yet: Release Info

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Air Jordan 34 "Paris" Will Be The Most Limited Colorway Yet: Release Info

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Air Jordan 34 "Paris" Will Be The Most Limited Colorway Yet: Release Info
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Nipsey Hussle’s 2020 Grammys Tribute Includes Performances By YG, Meek Mill & More

Los Angeles, CA – The 2020 Grammy Awards will include a special tribute to the late Nipsey Hussle. On Tuesday (January 21), Grammys’ executive producer Ken Ehrlich revealed the tribute will entail performances by several of Nipsey’s close friends and collaborators, including YG, Meek Mill, Roddy Rich, DJ Khaled, John Legend and Kirk Franklin.

“An activist, entrepreneur and rapper, Nipsey Hussle had a lasting impact on not just his community, but also the culture at large,” Ehrlich said in a press release. “There is no denying the influence he had and his legacy will be felt for generations to come.

Th”We are honored to bring together this amazing group of artists to celebrate Nipsey’s life and pay tribute to his many contributions to music. It’s sure to be a memorable performance.”

The Grammys will be broadcast live from the Los Angeles Staples Center on Sunday (January 26) with Alicia Keys serving as host. Additional performances include Tyler, The Creator, H.E.R. and Aerosmith with Run-DMC. 

Nipsey earned a posthumous nomination in the Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song categories for “Racks in the Middle” with Hit-Boy and Roddy Ricch. The John Legend and DJ Khaled collab “Higher” featuring Neighborhood Nip is also nominated for Best Rap/Sung Performance.

Nip was shot and killed in front of his Marathon Clothing store on March 31, 2019. He was just 33 years old.

Pamela Anderson Secretly Marries 5th Husband Jon Peters In Malibu

Pamela Anderson and her ex-boyfriend Jon Peters have come back into each other’s lives after they first dated and broke up 30 years ago. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Pamela and Jon secretly got married on January 20th in Malibu and the wedding marks their fifth time walking down the aisle for both them. 

Pamela Anderson Secretly Marries 5th Husband Jon Peters In Malibu
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“Pamela has never seen her full potential as an artist. She has yet to shine in a real way. There is much more to her than meets the eye, or I wouldn’t love her so much,” Jon told the publication. “There are beautiful girls everywhere. I could have my pick, but — for 35 years — I’ve only wanted Pamela. She makes me wild — in a good way. She inspires me. I protect her and treat her the way she deserves to be treated.” Jon is a famed film producer known for A Star Is Born (the original and the latest rendition) as well as The Witches Eastwick, Caddyshack and more.

Jon first met Pamela when she was just 19-years-old at the Playboy mansion. “I walked in and saw this little angel sitting at the bar. It was Pammy. She was like 19. I knew she would be a big star. We ended up living together. Of course, Hefner loved her and saw her beauty,” Jon previously explained. 

Pamela’s famous exes have been Tommy Lee, Adil Rami, Rick Salomon and Kid Rock. 

Pamela Anderson Secretly Marries 5th Husband Jon Peters In Malibu
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T.I. Speaks On Honoring Nicki Minaj & Cardi B With Trap Music Museum Exhibit

Last week, we reported that the T.I.-founded Trap Music Museum in Atlanta would be unveiling an exhibit dedicated to Nicki Minaj and Cardi B. Despite Nicki and Cardi beefing in the past, paintings and other art pieces honoring the two artists’ contributions to hip hop are placed side-by-side in this colorful installation. A dollhouse references Nicki’s 2012 hit, “Beez In The Trap”, and a stripper pole on a checkered platform references the aesthetic Cardi’s debut album and her previous pression. T.I. spoke on how the lack women included in the museum since its 2018 inception contributed to the impetus behind this tribute. 

“Ever since the Trap Music Museum opened, one the most common questions posed to us was, ‘Why aren’t there any exhibits showcasing women?’ We were always committed to honoring women who contributed to the culture, but finally found a way to truly elevate and celebrate two the best,” says T.I., per AllHipHop. “The Nicki Minaj and Cardi B exhibits lift two the greatest to their rightful place within the Trap Muzik Universe.”

While the exhibit had its grand opening at the Trap Music Museum this week, a glimpse it was given at a pop-up in Los Angeles in July. T.I. faced some backlash for sanctioning one particular piece: a throne that was painted half pink and half checkered. The obvious symbolism is that Nicki and Cardi share the title being the “Queen Rap”. While many argue that this a tired debate that unnecessarily pits women against one another, T.I. received complaints that Cardi’s entrance in the game was too fresh to place her on the same plane as Nicki. He responded to this controversy in a 2019 interview: “Everybody was like], ‘How could you? Cardi] hasn’t been rapping long enough! She ain’t put out enough! You’re being disrespectful to Nicki!’ When does celebrating two queens become disrespectful to one? I never understood that. This is an acknowledgment. Both these young ladies have struggled and overcame obstacles and defied the odds to put themselves in positions to represent themselves] and the next generation.”

Conor McGregor Claims Donald Trump Might Be The GOAT Of The USA

Twenty-twenty is a big year for politics in the United States America. Later this year, the Democratic party will have chosen their candidate who will go to battle against President Donald Trump in the general election. It remains to be seen how the election will go down, even with all the criticism surrounding Trump. While many speak out against the president, there are still plenty people who are ride or die for him. As it turns out, one those people is none other than UFC star Conor McGregor.

Yesterday, Trump celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day by talking about himself and his accomplishments as President. That’s when McGregor jumped into the comments section to express his love for the 45th president the United States.

“Phenomenal President. Quite possibly the USA 🐐,” McGregor wrote. “Most certainly one them anyway, as he sits atop the shoulders many amazing giants that came before him. No easy feet. Early stages term also. Incredible. Congrats and Happy Martin Luther King Jr. day America.”

McGregor’s comments were met with a mix support and strong disagreement. There is no denying both McGregor and Trump are polarizing people. Perhaps that’s why they attract each other. Either way, we’re sure some McGregor fans won’t be too impressed with these comments.

LeBron James Cops Diamond Lion Doorknocker Pendant With Red Lit Eyes

He’s a modest, hard-working family man who is one the most respected basketball players on and f the court. Yet, just because he likes to be humble doesn’t mean that LeBron James doesn’t drop a few stacks now and then on some serious ice. Iceman Nick is well known in celebrity circles for creating one–a-kind pieces that can catch your attention from across a room, and TMZ reports that he recently helped craft a standout pendant for Bron.

LeBron James Cops Diamond Lion Doorknocker Pendant With Red Lit Eyes
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The Los Angeles Lakers star reportedly commissioned Iceman Nick for a large “Lion Gatekeeper” pendant that boasts “130 grams 14k gold, encrusted with 35 carats VS1 diamonds.” Bron is a fan the King the Jungle because he’s referenced lions in campaigns, logos, and apparel. 

The crowned “Lion Gatekeeper” is also a fully functioning doorknocker with blazing red eyes that light up. TMZ didn’t share how much this piece set Lebron back, but we’re sure he spared no expense. Other clients Iceman Nick include Rap-a-Lot Records, Carmelo Anthony, Nelly, Lonzo Ball, Boosie Badazz, Megan Thee Stallion, Moneybagg Yo, Lil Baby, and many more. Check out Bron’s new bling below along with a few other celebrity pieces Iceman Nick has crafted.

LeBron James Praises Bronny James Jr. After Candy Was Thrown At Son During Game

When your father is arguably one the best NBA players to ever step in the paint, it’s going to be difficult to follow in his footsteps. Nevertheless, Bronny James Jr. is carving out his own lane in the basketball world as the Sierra Canyon School sports star carries on the James name. LeBron is front and center at Bronny’s games when he can make it, but even with the championship basketball player in attendance, his son is a target for abusive behavior.

On Monday (January 20) Sierra Canyon went up against Paul VI Catholic High School from Virginia in front a packed auditorium 4,000 people. LeBron reportedly entered the room to roaring applause, but even with all the support, someone thought it was appropriate to throw something at Bronny during the game.

According to Yahoo Sports, it was near the beginning the second half when someone in the stands tossed a piece candy at Bronny, causing the referee to interrupt gameplay. As LeBron shook his head in disgust, security escorted the person out the auditorium. The young James’s teammate Ziaire Willaims told Yahoo Sports, “You’d be surprised by all the stuff Bronny has to go through. It’s not fair, but he doesn’t let it faze him at all. I’m learning how to be more like that from him and he’s younger than me.”

Later, LeBron took to Instagram to publicly declare how proud he is his son. “Know I got your back and front throughout it all! I’d die for you and your siblings,” the Los Angeles Lakers star wrote. “Never waver no matter what disrespect, hate, envy, jealousy, etc comes your way! Only push forward and continue to be the great kid/young man/person you are! Love you kid!! ❤️ #JamesGang👑.”