Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.
U.S. keeping music licensing decrees that help Spotify, others
The U.S. Justice Department’s top antitrust official said on Friday the administration will not scrap decades-old agreements with music licensing groups ASCAP and BMI that hold down costs for Spotify and others. The department’s review of the matter had been closely watched since scrapping the 1941 consent agreements could upend the business of licensing music to online companies like Spotify and Pandora as well as movie companies, commercials, bars and restaurants.
Siegfried Fischbacher of Siegfried & Roy Dies at 81
Siegfried Fischbacher, who worked with Roy Horn to create the famous animal training and magic duo of Siegfried & Roy, has died, according to the Associated Press and German outlets. He was 81. Fischbacher died after a battle with pancreatic cancer. His death comes eight months after Horn died due to COVID-19 on May 8, 2020. Horn was 75.
Anne Hathaway races to release ‘Locked Down’ COVID-19 rom-com
As the rest of the world was shutting down to stave off COVID-19, U.S. star Anne Hathaway found herself starting up a whole new movie project – a rom-com heist caper set in the pandemic still raging around her. «I don’t think either of us quite know how we pulled it off,» Hathaway told Reuters as she sat down with her co-star Chiwetel Ejiofor to talk about «Locked Down», the result of their labours that started streaming on HBO Max on Thursday.
Mick Fleetwood goes same way as others with music catalogue deal
Mick Fleetwood has become the latest in a series of rock musicians to cash in on their work by agreeing on Thursday to sell his back catalogue to music major BMG. The deal gives BMG, owned by German media company Bertelsmann AG, a share in the royalties from over 300 recordings including «Dreams» and «Go Your Own Way», two of the biggest hits from Fleetwood Mac, the band he co-founded in 1967.
British maestro Rattle seeking German citizenship after Brexit
Star conductor Simon Rattle, who this week announced he was cutting short his tenure at Britain’s leading orchestra to return to Germany, said on Friday he had applied for German citizenship after Brexit. The Liverpool-born musician, 65, lamented the barriers thrown up by Britain’s departure from the European Union to the careers of young musicians who had grown used to performing freely to the continent’s music-hungry public.
Apple plans to launch new podcast subscription service: The Information
Apple Inc is discussing launching a new subscription-based podcast service, the Information reported https://www.theinformation.com/articles/apple-plans-podcasting-subscription-service-in-threat-to-spotify on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter, in direct competition with Spotify’s podcast offerings. Apple did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez will take the stage at U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony in Washington next week alongside others in what his transition team said would showcase a diverse America. The two will perform at the Jan. 20 event for the incoming 46th U.S. president, which will also feature remarks from a black firefighter from Georgia, a former Youth Poet Laureate, a Catholic priest, and a pastor from Biden’s hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.
(With inputs from agencies.)