Gaming the system: How select artists dominate the music industry

On the fourth episode of her new Beats 1 radio show, “Queen Radio,” Nicki Minaj called out Travis Scott after his “ASTROWORLD” (2018) stole the top Billboard 200 spot from Minaj’s “Queen” (2018). Scott accomplished this by selling ticket-bundling album packages — a common practice in today’s music industry. The difference was that Scott bundled “ASTROWORLD” […]

Is This Thing On? Spotify vs. Apple

Anyone who knows me could tell you that I am very passionate about one argument: Spotify vs. Apple Music. In economics, we often talk about substitutes, or completely interchangeable products. At face value, that’s what they are. Spotify and Apple offer almost identical music-streaming services. The pricing tiers, the music available, the features… so why […]

Shrouded in mystery, dvsn delivers a beautiful debut with ‘Sept. 5th’

On September 5, 2015, then-unknown R&B artist dvsn (pronounced “division”) released two songs, “The Line” and “With Me,” to the popular music streaming website SoundCloud. Fast forward to this spring, when dvsn has released its aptly-titled debut album “Sept. 5th” — exclusively on Apple Music on March 27 and elsewhere on April 1 — through OVO (October’s Very […]

Ryan Adams’ ‘1989’ covers give Swift’s music new life

“1989” (2014) was perhaps Taylor Swift’s biggest step away from her country singer-songwriter roots and toward the world of pop. She collaborated with high-profile pop producers like Max Martin and Shellback to create hits including the chart-topping “Shake it Off” and “Blank Space” and showed that album sales are not necessarily a thing of the past.  “1989” sold almost 1.3 million copies during […]