Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish Drive Universal Music Group to Highest Market Cap in 12 Months
Universal Music Group is having a moment. The company hit its highest market cap value of all time this week, clocking in at $49 billion during the trading day on Oct. 10. The company’s recent financial success has been driven by the elevated sales of its roster of top-tier talent, which includes the likes of Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Drake, Bad Bunny, and SZA. UMG is expected to distribute a substantial dividend to its shareholders on Oct. 27.
SAG-AFTRA Abandons Talks Amid Strike
Once more, the talks have stalled in Hollywood. Conversations between striking actors and major studios have stalled after the two sides were unable to come to an agreement around some of the most substantial issues on the table. Following the resolution of the writers’ strike last month, many were hopeful that the actors would follow shortly behind. However, after the most recent round of negotiations, representatives from SAG-AFTRA accused studio executives of “bully tactics” and have abandoned talks with no date on the horizon to return.
Bipartisan 'NO FAKES' Act Targets AI's Use in Music
The Drake deep fake “Heart On My Sleeve” may have changed the future of music after all. The AI-created track made waves, inspiring Drake himself to speak out against it and spark a larger conversation about the role of artificial intelligence in music production. Now, it’s inspired a bipartisan bill, Nurture Originals, Foster Art, and Keep Entertainment Safe Act, aka, the NO FAKES Act. Delaware democratic senator Chris Coons introduced the bill, which he co-authored with Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina), and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee).
Amazon's Prime Days Brings Big Boost in Sales for Second Straight Year
This week brought the return of Prime Days to Amazon, with the internet retail giant hosting a second iteration of its beloved event. The two-day sale took place on Tuesday and Wednesday, and early reports signal that sales outpaced the inaugural edition. Amazon shoppers took home more than 150 million items, favoring everyday basics over big-ticket items. The initial figure is 50% more than the 2022 haul.
The Weeknd's 'Avatar' Track Submitted by Disney for Grammy Nomination
Disney is looking to reap all the awards for its billion-dollar blockbuster Avatar: The Way of Water. Disney Music Group has confirmed that it submitted “Nothing Is Lost (You Give Me Strength)” for Grammy consideration. The announcement comes as a bit of a surprise, as the song’s artist, The Weeknd, has openly boycotted the Grammys since 2021 after expressing concerns about nefarious processes in the nomination practices. Additionally, his HBO production Live at SoFi Stadium also got submitted via a mystery nomination. The news comes just one day after Drake’s collab album with 21 Savage was submitted despite his previous boycott.
Paramount Donates $1M to Humanitarian Relief in Wake of Middle East Attacks
In the wake of the current conflict in Israel, Paramount distributed a $1 million donation to benefit humanitarian aid. The Hollywood Reporter obtained an internal memo in which Shari Redstone, non-executive chairman, and CEO Bob Bakish, condemned the attacks. The memo stated that the donation signaled Paramount‘s commitment to “stand united against all acts of terror and hate.”