Music Streaming 2015: “The Days of Huge Album Sales Are Behind Us”

Sources: 27/7 WallStreet – By Paul Ausick | All Things Michael

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Music demand is higher than ever. In the first six months of 2015, U.S. music fans streamed 135 billion songs and music videos, nearly double the total streamed in the first half of 2014.

The news is less good for sales. According to the latest report from Nielsen, song sales dropped 10.4% to 531.6 million and album sales dropped 4.0% to 116 million units.

None of the streams in the Nielsen study went to Apple Inc. and its new Apple Music service, so when the researchers produce their report for the second half of the year, we’ll get a pretty good idea of how successful Apple Music has been.

After the spat with Taylor Swift, Apple gets to stream her hit album “1989,” but that may not be a big bonus. Re/Code noted that songs from that album were streamed just 188,213 times in the first half of the year. The album sold just 1.33 million copies, and if you add album equivalent units from single sales, the album sold an equivalent of around 2 million units. The album needs to increase that by a factor of 10 to join the ranks of the 50 top-selling albums of all time. Then sales need to increase by another factor of five to reach the number one spot, now held by Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” from 1982.

Does anyone really think that “1989” will sell even 21 million records and join Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” from 1984 at 50th on the list? The point is not that Swift’s album is not musically as good as Jackson’s or Madonna’s, but that the business is different, and by 2045, “1989” is not likely to reach even 10 million in total sales. The days of huge album sales are behind us.

When Swift pulled her catalog from Spotify late last year, Nielsen commented that fans willing to purchase music missing from online services are more likely to buy just one or two songs rather than the entire album.

According to the Nielsen report, only Swift’s album sold more than a million actual copies in the first half of 2015. Only five other albums sold more than 1 million album-equivalent units, according to Billboard.

Apple’s iTunes gets a lot of the credit (or blame) for the demise of the album and the boom in singles sales, but can Apple Music translate the iTunes success into subscription revenue for the streaming service? When the Nielsen report for the second half of 2015 comes out we will know more.

 

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Has Science Finally Found A Cure? Arthritis Drug May Reverse Vitiligo

Sources: The San Diego Union Tribune – By Bradley Fikes| All Things Michael

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An arthritis drug has restored skin color in a patient with vitiligo, according to a study published Wednesday by dermatologists at Yale School of Medicine. Vitiligo is most noted for the disease the late pop star Michael Jackson said caused his much-noted skin whitening.

The drug, tofacitinib citrate, sold under the brand name Xeljanz, treats rheumatoid arthritis. It’s a JAK inhibitor, so-called because it inhibits an enzyme in the class of Janus kinases, mainly found in blood-forming cells. Doctors have been testing the drug for other diseases. (Drugs targeting the related JAK2 pathway are being tested in blood cancers at UCSD.)

Tofacitinib is effective against hair loss called by alopecia universalis, according to a study by Dr. Brett King of Yale published last year. A man with almost no body hair grew a full head of hair after being treated with the drug, according to the study.

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Top: Hands of a vitiligo patient before treatment with the rheumatoid arthritis drug. Bottom: The hands have recovered normal pigmentation after five months of treatment. — Brett King, M.D.

King and Dr. Brittany Craiglowe, coauthors of the new study in JAMA Dermatology, tested the drug against vitiligo in a 53-year-old woman whose facial, hand and body skin was covered with a growing number of white spots. Treatment with other drugs had been ineffective.

“After 2 months of therapy, partial repigmentation of the face and upper extremities was evident,” the study stated. “After 5 months, repigmentation of the forehead and hands was nearly complete, and the remaining involved areas demonstrated partial repigmentation. Approximately 5 percent of the total body surface area remained depigmented.”

There were no adverse effects from the drug, the study stated.

“The results suggest that tofacitinib and other Janus kinase inhibitors may be effective in the treatment of vitiligo,” the study stated. “Additional studies will be needed to confirm their efficacy and to explore their safety.”

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All Of The Lights: Vitiligo In Black And White (Excerpt)

Sources: Huffington Post – By Cece-Jones Davis | All Things Michael

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In May 2009, while doing my hair in the bathroom mirror, I noticed a dime-sized white spot on my elbow. I studied it for some time, moving my arm at different angles to get a better view. A sudden thought, accompanied by a burst of cold, ran through my body. Could this be that Michael Jackson disease? I ran to my phone to call my twin sister. She was calm but perplexed by my description and assured me everything would be okay. I just needed to make a dermatologist appointment in the morning. We hung up the phone and I returned to staring at the spot.

I arrived there a few days later. The diagnosis was straightforward – it was vitiligo, an incurable condition that causes the body to destroy its own pigment. It was that Michael Jackson disease. I called my sister to give her the news. The specialist had said vitiligo could be hereditary, so my sister began a search of her body for spots. She noticed that her fingernail beds were not as dark as they used to be and made an appointment. It was confirmed again. Vitiligo.

Vitiligo is not life threatening, but it is life changing. Losing my color has meant losing an important part of my personal identity. It has meant losing grip of my self-esteem, and some days, my mind. As an African-American woman, I have had to re-define exactly what makes me black. It can no longer be my skin color.

As a black man, Michael Jackson struggled for decades with vitiligo, identity and public ridicule, and is still regarded as the greatest musician of all time. From his life and lyrics, I hope to glean strength and encouragement as I move forward. I want to believe him when he said, “it don’t matter if you’re black or white.”

June 25th is World Vitiligo Day. VITFriends is an organization raising awareness about vitiligo and offering emotional support.

 

For more about Mrs. Davis’s treatment and struggle with vitiligo, please read here

Rick Baker Auction Nets More than $1 Million

Sources: Makeup Mag – By Chris Koseluk | All Things Michael

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It was a long day—more than nine hours by Brandon Alinger’s estimate. But in the end, all 417 make-up effects pieces in the Rick Baker auction sold. And when all the winning bids were totaled, proceeds topped $1 million.

“We were very pleased with the sale results,” said Alinger, Chief Operations Officer of the Los Angeles Prop Store, the memorabilia company that coordinated the auction with Baker. “Rick was happy. All the collectors I’ve talked to were very happy about the pieces they acquired, and that’s what it is all about.”

Held on May 29, 2015 at the Hilton Universal City in Los Angeles, the auction attracted more than 600 online and phone bidders from 17 countries. Though the crowd varied in size throughout the day, at any one time, about 50 bidders were vying for collectibles onsite. Baker himself was on hand to watch the action.  “There was a lot of press coverage in the run-up to the sale,” continued Alinger. “People seemed to pick up on the story that Rick was retiring.”

The Prop Store and Baker began putting the auction together last May. Items had to be chosen, organized and photographed. A few needed restoration. Then a catalogue had to be created. The collection was so enormous, the Prop Store’s facility wasn’t big enough and another location had to be found. The Prop Store even created some short videos (appropriately, a Baker’s dozen) about the process for its YouTube channel.

The exact tally was $1,069,085. But Alinger says that may drop slightly, as, in the heat of the moment, accidents can happen. “There are always a couple of glitches where a high bidder says, ‘Oh, I hit it by mistake,” he said. “We generally then offer it to the underbidder.”

Some of the hot items included the full-size Big Joe head skin, chest, arms and hands from 1998’s Mighty Joe Young; the winning bid was $27,500. The insert head with controls for the title character of 1987’s Harry and the Hendersons fetched $14,000. Michael Jackson’ lifecast molds, created for the 1988 Moonwalker film, went for $11,000.

Michael Jackson Body Lifecast and Molds MICHAEL JACKSON: MOONWALKER (1988)

Michael Jackson Body Lifecast and Molds
MICHAEL JACKSON: MOONWALKER (1988) sold for $11,000

But the day’s biggest take was for Men in Black’s Mikey, which sold for $32,500. “We had that on the cover of the auction catalogue,” continues Alinger “The display is 7-and-a-half feet tall. The actual costume was worn in the film, then Rick mounted it on a body cast. He had it in his showroom at Cinovation for years.”

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G.H. Bass & Co And Hunter Gather Team Up For Limited Edition Revamp Of The Weejun Penny Loafer Loved By MJ

Sources: Fashionbeans | G.H. Bass & Compnay |All Things Michael

Michael Jackson Billie Jean Loafers

G.H. Bass & Co, the creator of the original penny loafer, has teamed up with British label Hunter Gather to produce a limited edition design for the summer.

Inspired by the American brand’s original ‘Weejun’ model, worn and loved by the likes of Michael Jackson, the collaborative design sees Hunter Gather’s signature branded plectrum applied to the front of the iconic silhouette.

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Original Bass Weejuns

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Crafted from premium black leather, the Larson Weejun is finished with a solid, slightly heeled sole and neat stitching detail for a classic penny loafer that still looks as slick today as it did when it was first created back in 1936.

This isn’t the first footwear collaboration for London-based label Hunter Gather, having teamed up with British heritage label Grenson in the two and a half years since its inception.

Founded by fashion editor and stylist David Bradshaw in December 2012, the brand continues to offer practical and masculine pieces for the contemporary gent.

The G.H. Bass x Hunter Gather Larson Weejun loafer is available now exclusively at Hunter Gather’s Redchurch Street, Shoreditch store, priced at £125 a pair.

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Guy Asks Choir To Help Him Invite Girl To The Prom With “The Way You Make Me Feel”

Sources: Choir! Choir! Choir | All Things Michael

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Choir! Choir! Choir! (C! C! C!) is a dedicated and passionate membership of inspired singers from in and around Toronto, Canada. The group is open to anyone who likes to sing new arrangements of pop songs.

C! C! C! received an endearing email from Dean, a high school student from Welland, Ontario, asking them to help make a prom-posal video. They happily accepted his request, hoping that Emily would say yes to his invite….

And she did!

Congratulations Dean!

Find out about more C! C! C! here.

Hawaiian High School Stuns Crowd With Amazing Top 40 Dance Medley During Graduation

Sources: Daily Mail | ET |All Things Michael

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Graduation is a fairly unforgettable experience to begin with – and a Hawaii high school decided to take that quite a few steps further.

Dance steps, that is.

The class of 2015 at Kahuku High and Intermediate School – on the North Shore of Oahu – put on quite a song and dance at their memorial ceremony, and now the video has gone viral.

The well-choreographed performance featured a medley of hip hop and pop hits – from Wiz Khalifa’s ‘See You Again’ to Bruno Mars’ ‘Uptown Funk’, ‘Wrecking Ball’ by Miley Cyrus and ‘ABC 123′ by the Jackson Five – and went for almost 10 minutes.

According to the video description ‘they performed the ‘Kaipahua Kura’ which is their very own ‘Haka’ or ‘war dance’ from the Maori people of New Zealand’.

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Everything is par for the course until the students start rhythmically swaying in the bleachers. Then they break into a version of Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again,” with the lyrics changed to thank their parents and teachers.

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Then Jackson 5’s “ABC” kicks in and the dance party really gets going:

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They do some “Uptown Funk” and a little Miley Cyrus “Wrecking Ball”:

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And get things real turnT with the whip, the nae-nae, and the stanky leg:

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It ends with a traditional haka or “war dance,” inspired by the Maori people of New Zealand and created specifically for the Kahuka Red Raiders by a Maori cultural specialist.

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“Ko Wai Matou? Kaipāhua Kura” translates to “Who are we? We are the Red Raiders” with other lyrics saying, “We are unified we are one / For our families and Community (Who have been through much) / We will stand as Warriors (For them) / We will stand Brave.” (You can read more about the haka here.)

Oh, and they learned the entire thing in just two days.

No wonder the Kahuku class of 2015 is so proud of themselves:

Sources: Daily Mail | ET |All Things Michael

Club Plans Clearing House Party For Record Giveaway (Includes MJ)

Sources: Now. Here. This. | All Things Michael

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We can all agree that club nights are often over-priced and lacking in free stuff, right? Here to change that are vinyl-enthusiasts Tim and Aaron, who are taking over Bloomsbury Lanes for one night only, when they’ll be giving away every single vinyl they’ll be playing on the night.

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Expect loads of disco, funk, soul, Motown, dance, hip hop – oh and Michael Jackson fans will be pleased to know there’s about 30 copies of ‘Don’t Stop til’ You Get Enough’ ready to be flung into the crowd, along with loads of other 7″ singles. Tickets are only a fiver and as well free records, there’s craft beer and the usual seven lanes of bowling if you fancy a break from the dance floor. Don’t forget to bring a bag for your 7″ swag.

The house clearance house party is on May 16 at Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes, WC1H 9EU. Advance tickets £5, or £6 on the door before 11pm/£8 after.

Find out more about the event and book your tickets here.

 

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