Showbiz Sandbox 337: Streaming Comes to the Rescue of the Music Industry (Sort Of)

September 26, 2016


After more than a decade in decline, the sale of recorded music in the United States is set to grow for the second straight year thanks to increased revenue earned from music streaming services such as Spotify. Even so, the music industry is taking in half of what it earned at its peak late 1990s because streaming revenue hasn’t made up for the falloff in actual sales.

Meanwhile, the Dalian Wanda Group continues its invasion of Hollywood by cutting a deal with Sony Pictures to market movies in China. Wanda can practically guarantee the success of a new release given that it controls the largest movie theater chain in China ensuring a film will be scheduled heavily when it opens.

There is no sure bet at Viacom however as the media giant’s leadership remains in turmoil. It’s interim CEO is stepping down sooner than expected and the vice chairman of Paramount Pictures is also exiting. Then last week the company announced it would take a $115 million loss on a movie that hasn’t even been released yet.

Of course we also cover the week’s top entertainment news including a new law requiring websites like IMDb remove an actor’s age upon request, the BBC gets into a bake off battle and why Netflix is getting more original every day.


comScore Announces Official Worldwide Box Office Results for Weekend of September 25, 2016

China Box Office: ‘Odyssey’ Clings to Top in Quiet Weekend

Feng Xiaogang’s ‘Madame Bovary’ Release Delayed

TimeWarner Chief Jeff Bewkes on their DC Movies: “There’s Room For Improvement”

Disney CEO Bob Iger Deems ‘Star Wars: Rogue One’ “an Experiment, of Sorts”

Sony and Wanda Team Up to Market Films in China

AMC Theatres CEO Blasts NATO Head for Attacking James Murdoch

The Music Industry Is Finally Making Money on Streaming

iHeartMedia Announces Plans for Its Entry Into Paid Streaming

Facebook Is Ready To Do Some Global Music Licensing

Record Labels Welcome Rise from Streaming, But Songwriters Aren’t Smiling Yet

Songwriters Sue Justice Department Over Licensing Rules

BookFilter: Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

Matt LeBlanc Signs New Deal to Host BBC’s ‘Top Gear’

BBC could launch Bake Off rival before Channel 4 show, source says

California Enacts Law Requiring IMDB to Remove Actor Ages on Request

Amazon is Doubling Down on Retail Stores

Iranian Horror Movie ‘Under the Shadow’ Selected as U.K. Foreign-Language Oscar Entry

TMZ Beats Jared Leto’s Lawsuit Over Taylor Swift Curse Video

YouTube Is Looking for Volunteers to Improve Its Site

Jane Pauley to Become Anchor of CBS Show ‘Sunday Morning’

Lionel Shriver’s Address on Cultural Appropriation Roils a Writers Festival

‘Hand to God’ to Have 13 Productions This Season

The Top 10 Most-Produced Plays of the 2016-17 Season

Netflix Wants 50% of its Library to Be Original Content

Viacom’s Interim CEO Tom Dooley to Depart; Dividend Cut in Half

‘Monster Trucks’ Leads Viacom to Take $115M Write-Down

Paramount Vice Chair Rob Moore to Exit

Curtis Hanson, Director of Wicked Noir ‘L.A. Confidential,’ Dies at 71

Bobby Breen, a Child Star Who Hit a High Note in the 1930s, Dies at 87

Arnold Palmer, the Magnetic Face of Golf in the ’60s, Dies at 87


  • Michael Giltz

    Check out our latest podcast on the entertainment biz where we point out how the new California law saying IMDB must hide actor ages is clearly unconstitutional and cheer on the music industry, which is doing great thanks to streaming…they just need 50 million more people to sign on for Pandora and Spotify and Apple at $10 a month and everything will be looking up 🙂