Facebook Has Minimal Impact on Music Discovery, Sales

For the last few years, so-called "social media" has been inescapable. The music industry has been arguably one of social media's biggest proponents, with musicians like Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson and Rihanna frequenting the top spots on most social channels. Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and the like are indisputable forces for engagement and visibility, but what about beyond that?

The market research firm NPD Group recently released additional data showing that social media's role in music discovery is actually minor compared to other formats. Elder platforms like AM/FM radio, TV, and of course person-to-person recommendations still rank superior to Facebook campaigns.

According to NPD's findings at the end of 2011, 60 percent of active consumers still discover their music selections via traditional radio; 49 percent cite television (awards shows, singing competitions, serial shows, etc.) as highly influential. Online radio (such as Spotify, Pandora) hovered near 10 percent, while around two percent of consumers said a post on social media influenced them to listen to--much less buy--a specific song or album.

Data released just last month now shows why Facebook's recent partnership with music streaming service Spotify was a wise choice. According to NPD, online radio and streaming is at staggering heights among consumers aged 18-25, but showing the most growth among the 36- to 50-year-old age group. Overall, online radio is the fastest growing music listening option.

While streaming is driving down file sharing, it's not exactly driving up music purchases. Only 12 percent of Facebook users actually opt to listen to music directly through the social platform or indirectly via hyperlink, and they are most likely to listen to music they already know.

While the numbers may be new, the facts are steady. Social media remains a powerful way for entertainers and brands to interact with fans directly--something most musicians can't afford to ignore, but most research shows the social network's effect in driving sales is still minimal at best.

“There’s no doubt that Facebook has helped drive music listening and discovery,” says Russ Crupnick of NPD. “But what is not yet clear is the platform’s importance, in terms of ongoing music usage and purchasing."

NBC Renews 'Community' for 13-Episode Season

It's not what fans had hoped for, but it's better than nothing. The little show that could, NBC's Community, has been renewed for next season with a 13-episode order. The short order comes as no surprise, given recent speculation about the networks plans to inject its fall lineup with gobs of new programming.

The renewal makes Community the second of NBC's comedy block to be confirmed for the 2012-13 season. 30 Rock was renewed earlier Thursday, with The Office looking good for next season after three of its stars locked in new contracts. No official news has been made regarding Parks and Recreation (also likely to receive a small order).

Chevy Chase's future with the show remains to be seen, given his recent feud with showrunner Dan Harmon. Co-star Joel McHale recently stated he believes Chase will return.

Ed Helms, John Krasinski & Jenna Fischer in for More 'Office'

There are definitely some eleventh hour deals being made over at NBC, as the network is scheduled to make its 2012-13 upfront presentation first thing Monday morning.

Ed Helms (Andy), John Krasinski (Jim) and Jenna Fischer (Pam) have reached deals to return next season for what many anticipate to be the final bow for The Office, NBC's veteran comedy. BJ Novak (Ryan), who serves as actor/writer/executive producer has not sealed his contract yet. No word yet on Rainn Wilson, although his future with the series depends on the fate of a possible Office spin-off.

Although The Office will have to accomodate Helms' and Krasinski's busy film schedules, having them secured for the show's ninth season is important to producers. Mindy Kaling, whose pilot It's Messy just got picked up to series at Fox, may not be returning.

According to Deadline, producer Paul Lieberstein (who also plays Toby) will likely depart for the spin-off he co-created with Wilson. NBC has not named a possible replacement and The Office has yet to be officially renewed, although is all but certain now.

Mindy Kaling Comedy Gets Picked Up for Series by Fox

After months of waiting, Mindy Kaling's TV project is no longer just a pilot. According to Deadline, it has been picked up for series next season by Fox.

The single-camera comedy, now titled It’s Messy, was created by and stars The Office standout Kaling as a Young Bridget Jones-type doctor trying to navigate both her personal and professional lives. Industry observers predict the network will likely pair it with this season's breakout hit, New Girl.

Meanwhile, the fate of Kaling's current series, The Office, remains uncertain as NBC has yet to announce renewals for several of its comedies. BJ Novak, who portrays Ryan on The Office, served alongside Kaling as executive producer for the pilot of It's Messy.

More to come...

Keane: Modern Music Charts Full of 'Fake Pop'

On the heels of Keane's new album, Strangeland, the band is speaking out against the state of modern music charts, saying that they are full of "fake pop." Insisting that it is not possible for "real music" to pass into the top 10, singer Tom Chaplin says: “The charts are in a sorry state. It’s all just noise to me. I put on MTV occasionally and it’s just a racket."

"Fake pop has taken over," Chaplin tells the Daily Star. "Terrible Europop and s--t R&B that makes me think, 'What's going on? Didn't this rubbish sound tired in the '90s, let alone now?'"

Claiming many up-and-coming artists suffer from a lack of exposure, the singer continues: "There's loads of great stuff out there now which hasn't a hope of making the Top 40. There's an exciting world underneath the charts but the Top 40 is so disappointing these days."

Coincidentally, Keane's Strangeland released yesterday (May 8) and could crack the U.S. top 10--though it will certainly be in the top 20. It is also on course to claim the No. 1 position in the U.K.

Watch the video for Keane's new single, "Silenced by the Night."

Adele's '21' Still Contender for No. 1 After 63 Weeks in Top 10

Despite having released more than a year ago, Adele's 21 has never dropped out of the top 10 of the Billboard 200 during its entire run of 63 consecutive weeks. Now industry watchers say the still-popular album has a shot at reclaiming the No. 1 crown on next week's charts.

Although a handful of popular artists--such as Keane, Karmin, Mary Mary and Silversun Pickups--released albums yesterday (May 8), so far Pickups' Neck of the Woods is the only new release aiming for north of 40,000 sold before the end of the tracking week on Sunday, May 13.

With Mother's Day this Sunday, 21 will be competing against the current No. 1, Carrie Underwood's Blown Away, as consumers seek out the perfect gift for mom. While 21 is inching towards the impressive 9 million U.S. sales mark, the album continues to find new ears, making it a strong contender against the country singer's latest release.

Regardless of actual numbers, it does appear likely that Adele and Underwood will place in the Nos. 1 and 2 spots next week, but the exact placement remains to be seen.

Gotye at No. 1 for Fourth Consecutive Week

Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" featuring Kimbra stays on top, remaining at No. 1 for a fourth consecutive week on Billboard's Hot 100. The track, which continues to dominate radio and digital, is also No. 1 on the Alternative Songs chart and Dance/Club chart.

"Somebody" sold 348,000 downloads in the April 30-May 6 tracking week, according to Nielsen SoundScan, which keeps it at No. 1 on the Digital Songs chart. It is the week's biggest gainer for radio airplay with 124 million in all-format audience (up 24%), according to Nielsen BDS. The song also commands streaming formats for a fourth week, with 1.4 million on-demand streams.

Overall, the Hot 100 does not change much this week, with the top three songs identical to last week. fun.'s "We Are Young," featuring Janelle Monae, keeps steady at No. 2 for a fourth week and Maroon 5's "Payphone," featuring Wiz Khalifa, stays at No. 3.

Although the week's top songs are constant, "Somebody" makes history this week for being the first song to top the Hot 100, Alternative and Dance Club charts simultaneously.

Norah Jones No. 2 Behind Carrie Underwood, Adds Tour Dates

Carrie Underwood's new album, Blown Away, tops the charts this week with 267,000 sold according to Nielsen SoundScan. This marks Underwood's third No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

Norah Jones' fifth studio album, Little Broken Hearts, debuts at No. 2 with 110,000. Jones has previously topped the chart three times, and despite positive feedback from critics, the new album's debut sales week is the smallest for any of Jones' studio offerings since her very first LP. Still not too shabby.

Read more on this week's top albums

Although Jones' Hearts comes in second this week, the latest project is definitely earning the artist some of the highest praise in her long-running career. In addition to U.S. charts, the album debuts in the top five in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany and the U.K., as well as No. 1 in Austria, Belgium, France, Japan, Switzerland and Taiwan.

EMI announced Wednesday morning a string of new tour dates to go with Jones' existing worldwide tour. See the full dates below.

2012 TOUR (October dates are newly-added):
May 25 – Olympia Theater – Paris, France
May 26 – Alte Opera – Frankfurt, Germany
May 28 – Carre Theater – Amsterdam, Netherlands
June 1 – Royal Festival Hall – London, United Kingdom
June 2 – Royal Festival Hall – London, United Kingdom
June 20 – Murat Theater – Indianapolis, Indiana
June 22 – Mud Island Amphitheater – Memphis, Tennessee
June 23 – Fox Theater – Atlanta, Georgia
June 24 – Ryman Auditorium – Nashville, Tennessee
June 27 – Wolf Trap – Vienna, Virginia
June 28 – Mann Center – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
June 29 – Kodak Hall – Rochester, New York
July 1 – Bank of America Pavilion – Boston, Massachusetts
July 2 – Oakdale Theatre – Wallingford, Connecticut
July 3 – Central Park SummerStage - New York, New York
July 6 – Massey Hall – Toronto, Ontario
July 7 – Montreal Jazz Festival – Montreal, Quebec
July 14 – Lucca Festival – Lucca, Italy
July 16 – Neumunster Abbey – Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
July 17 – Stadtpark – Hamburg, Germany
July 19 – Dalhalla – Rattvik, Sweden
July 20 – Moldejazz Festival – Molde, Norway
July 22 – Pori Jazz Fest – Pori, Finland
August 7 – Santa Barbara Bowl – Santa Barbara, California
August 10 – Hollywood Bowl – Los Angeles, California
August 11 – Outside Lands Festival – San Francisco, CA
August 12 – Harvey’s Outdoor Arena – Lake Tahoe, Nevada
August 15 – Les Schwab Amphitheater – Bend, Oregon
August 17 – Edgefield Winery – Portland, Oregon
August 18 – Marymoor Amphitheater – Seattle, Washington
August 21 – Red Butte Garden – Salt Lake City, Utah
August 23 – Red Rocks – Denver, Colorado
October 7 – Orpheum Theatre – Minneapolis, MN **on sale Friday, 5/11 at 11 a.m.
October 8 – Riverside Theater – Milwaukee, WI **on sale Friday, 5/11 at noon
October 9 – Chicago Theater – Chicago, IL **on sale Saturday, 5/12 at noon
October 11 – Civic Center – Des Moines, IA **on sale Friday, 5/18 at 10 a.m.
October 12 – Orpheum Theatre – Omaha, NE **on sale Friday, 5/18 at 10 a.m.
October 13 – Midland Theatre – Kansas City, MO **on sale Friday, 5/18 at 10 a.m.
October 15 – Peabody Opera House – St. Louis, MO **on sale Friday, 5/18 at 10 a.m.
October 16 – Brady Theatre – Tulsa, OK **on sale Friday, 5/18 at 10 a.m.
October 20 – Bayou Music Center – Houston, TX **on sale Friday, 5/18 at 10 a.m.
October 22 – McFarlin Auditorium – Dallas, TX **on sale Friday, 5/18 at 10 a.m.
October 23 – Mahalia Jackson Theatre – New Orleans, LA **on sale Friday, 5/18 at 10 a.m.

'30 Rock' Very Close to Sealing Deal for Final Season

It's TV renewal week.

Ahead of the networks' upfront presentations, Deadline is reporting that 30 Rock is close to securing contracts to lock up a final--although abbreviated--season.

NBC's long-standing comedy, starring Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin, has closed deals with key writers, including co-executive producers Jack Burditt and Josh Siegal & Dylan Morgan. The comedy's writers room will also return for what would be a shortened 13-14 episode final season.

Next season could be another rough one for the folks at NBC, whose big hit The Voice still isn't enough to carry the network. Veterans 30 Rock and The Office both look likely to wrap up if they are renewed for the 2012-13 season.

Status of other NBC comedies:

- Whitney: Doomed. Staple members of the crew and showrunners have moved on.
- Up All Night: Most insiders say it's 50/50. Exec-producer Jon Pollack has committed to another series, but it isn't over yet.
- The Office: Ed Helms (Andy) recently signaled he is optimistic and onboard for a new (likely last) season. Much of the cast is all over the place, though, and it could be a crazy last year if the show does return.
- Community & Parks and Recreation: These are both considered "bubble shows" but many observers predict both shows will return, unless NBC is working on The Voice spin-offs already...
- Best Friends Forever: Honestly, no one knew this show existed. And NBC already cancelled it.

Kimbra First '90s-Born Woman to Top Billboard Chart

As Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" continues to dominate charts and airwaves, guest vocalist Kimbra is making a mark of her own. According to Billboard, she is the first female artist born in the '90s to top the Hot 100 chart. Kimbra was born in New Zealand on March 27, 1990.

Miley Cyrus previously held the distinction of highest Hot 100 rank for a female born in the '90s. Cyrus, who was born on Nov. 23, 1992, rose peaked at No. 2 in 2009 with "Party in the U.S.A."

Two males both born in the '90s (Sean Kingston and Soulja Boy Tell'Em) have topped the Hot 100 prior to Kimbra, whose U.S. debut album, Vows, is set to release on May 22.

Sleigh Bells Announce New Tour Dates

The noise pop duo Sleigh Bells have announced a new summer headlining tour. Class Actress and Jel will support. The tour begins July 2 in Burlington, Vermont, finishes in Pittsburgh on July 18.

The Brooklyn-based Bells are currently on the road finishing up their tour opening for the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

2012 tour dates:
5/12 Atlantic City, NJ - House of Blues
6/01 Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound
6/02 London, England - Field Day Festival
7/02 Burlington, VT - Higher Ground
7/03 Boston, MA - House of Blues
7/05 Montreal, Quebec - Corona
7/06 Ottawa, Ontario - Lebreton Flats Park
7/07 Buffalo, NY - Town Ballroom
7/09 Cleveland, OH - House of Blues
7/10 Grand Rapids, MI - The Intersection
7/12 Kansas City, MO - Beaumont Club
7/13 Louisville, KY - Forecastle Fest
7/14 Chicago, IL - Pitchfork Festival
7/16 Atlanta, GA - Center Stage
7/17 Raleigh, NC - Lincoln Theater
7/18 Pittsburgh, PA - Mr. Smalls
7/19 Philadelphia, PA - Making Time 12th Anniversary
7/22 Washington, DC - Merriweather Post Pavilion

The Weeknd Opening for Florence and the Machine

Florence and the Machine announced a third leg of U.S. tour dates, which carry into mid-October. Also announced was that The Weeknd will open for five of the fall dates.

2012 Tour Dates:
05/08 – New York, NY @ Radio City Music Hall
05/11 – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena
05/12 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Borgata Events Center
05/17 – Perth, AU @ Burswood Dome
05/20 – Melbourne, AU @ Rod Laver Arena
05/22 – Adelaide, AU @ Entertainment Centre
05/24 – Sydney, AU @ Entertainment Centre
05/26 – Brisbane, AU @ Riverstage
05/28 – Auckland, NZ @ Vector Arena
06/22 – Scheeßel, DE @ Hurricane Festival
06/23 – Neuhausen ob Eck @ Southside Festival
06/24 – London, UK @ Hackney Weekend
06/29 – St. Gallen, CH @ Open Air
06/30 – Arras, FR @ Main Square Festival
07/01 – Werchter, BE @ Rock Werchter
07/06 – Kinross, UK @ T in the Park
07/08 – Dublin, IE @ Phoenix Park
07/12 – Benicassim, ES @ Benicassim Festival
07/14 – Lisbon, PT @ Optimus Alive! Festival
07/20 – Burnaby, BC @ Deerlake Park
07/21 – Auburn, WA @ White River Ampitheater
07/22 – Troutdale, OR @ Edgefield
07/25 – Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Ampitheater
07/27 – Somerset, WI @ Sound Town Festival
07/29 – Indianapolis, IN @ The Lawn and White River State Park
07/30 – Cleveland, OH @ Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica
07/31 – Detroit, MI @ Fox Theater
08/02 – Toronto, ON @ Molson Ampitheater
08/03 – Montreal, QC @ Osheaga Music Festival
08/05 – Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza
08/08 – Oslo, NO @ Oya Festival
08/09 – Gothenburg, SE @ Way Out West Festival
08/22 – Belfast, IE @ Tennet’s Vital
08/25 – Reading, UK @ Reading Festival
08/26 – Leeds, UK @ Leeds Festival
09/14 – Mansfield, MA @ Comcast Center
09/15 – Wantagh, NY @ Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
09/16 – Saratoga Springs, NY @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center
09/18 – Camden, NJ @ Susquehanna Bank Center *
09/19 – Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion *
09/21 – Raleigh, NC @ Raleigh Ampitheatre
09/22 – Atlanta, GA @ Music Midtown
09/23 – Pensacola, FL @ DeLuna Fest
09/25 – Tampa, FL @ USF Sun Down
09/26 – Sunrise, FL @ Bank Atlantic Center
10/01 – Kansas City, MO @ Starlite Theatre
10/04 – San Diego, CA @ Cricket Wireless Ampitheatre *
10/05 – Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Ampitheatre *
10/07 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl *
10/10 – Albuquerque, NM @ The Pavilion at Hard Rock Casino
11/20 – Milan, IT @ Mediolanum Forum
11/22 – Munich, DE @ Zenith
11/24 – Amsterdam, NL @ Heineken Music Hall
11/25 – Antwerp, DE @ Lotto Arena
11/27 – Paris, FR @ Zenith
11/28 – Luxembourg @ Rockhal
11/30 – Dusseldorf, DE @ Mitsubishi Electric Halle
12/01 – Berlin, DE @ Area Treptow
12/02 – Frankfurt, DE @ Jahrhunderthalle
* = w/ The Weeknd