Demi Lovato Hints at ‘Big Things Coming’ With G-Eazy

Big things are brewing in Demi Lovato’s house, and G-Eazy is involved.

The “Confident” singer posted a pic on Instagram, accompanied with a cryptic message.

“Big things coming….. no literally swipe left and see how tall this mf is,” reads Lovato’s note, with G Eazy’s handle tagged on the end.

Indeed, a separate image shows the Bay Area rapper and producer towering over Lovato (he’s listed at 193cm or 6’4”).

Lovato and G-Eazy (real name Gerald Gillum) are friends going way back.

In June, the pair were reportedly spotted shooting a music video. A taster from their collaboration, titled “Breakdown,” features in the trailer for the new Netflix reality series, Titletown High.

G-Eazy recently posted a pic of the pair, along with the message “Well well well what do we have heeeeere,” and confirming the collab would be “coming sooooon.”

This song “perfectly captures the roller coaster of emotions in the show and the intense feelings brought on by the pressures of successes and failures in life,” G-Eazy explained in a statement. “Hearing this song with their stories brought the meaning behind the lyrics to a whole new level. We’re hella excited to be a part of this series!”

50 Cent’s Branson Cognac Sued by Remy Martin Over Bottle Design

50 Cent is in hot water after famous French distiller Remy Martin sued the G-Unit rapper last week. Filed in a Manhattan federal court on Friday (Aug. 13), the lawsuit alleges that 50’s Branson cognac brand infringes on Remy’s trademark and patented “jewel-shaped glass cognac bottle design.”

According to Reuters, the complaint made against Branson goes far enough to call their design a “blatant attempt” on Remy’s branding. The lawsuit also describes the bottle as having a “circular array of raised flat and angled quadrilateral facets,” which helped the company reach worldwide notoriety after 35 years. On the other hand, the complaint states that Branson’s branding of their bottle is “nearly indistinguishable” and is a “near-exact reproduction.”

In 2018, Sire Spirits launched Branson. The bottle has been available for purchase since 2020. Upon hearing about the lawsuit, 50 went on Instagram to share his thoughts.

“They are afraid of me already,” he said. “Branson Cognac is the new wave. REMY is #2 Behind Henny and worried about Branson Smh. I’m just getting started.”

Check out 50’s IG post below.

Tencent Music Reports Strong Quarter Before Regulator Crackdown

While Chinese regulators were placing strict control upon the country’s tech sector this spring, its local music streaming giant Tencent Music Entertainment improved revenue and subscriber numbers substantially. In the period from April 1 to June 30, the parent company to steaming services QQ, Kuguo and Kuwo saw music revenues climb 32.8% to 1.79 billion RMB ($277 million) and subscribers jump 40.6% to 66.2 million, compared to the prior quarter, according to the company’s second-quarter earnings report released Monday (Aug. 16). For a company with a 77% market share in the country, it’s a testament to the rapid pace of growth in China’s hot music market. (That’s far greater gains on both accounts, in percentage terms, than Spotify achieved in same time span — 17% and 19.6%, respectively — for example.) TME’s total revenue, which includes social entertainment, grew 15.5% to 8.01 billion RMB ($1.24 billion).

Those encouraging numbers are from a different era, however. They’re from before TME’s ensnarement in the Chinese government’s scrutiny of some foreign-listed companies — Tencent Music trades on the U.S. New York Stock Exchange — and key areas such as technology, healthcare and education. In April, regulators made international headlines by handing out harsh penalties to major tech companies, such as an 18.2 billion RMB ($2.8 billion) antitrust fine levied against Chinese e-commerce giant Ali Baba. Then in July, the Cyberspace Administration of China opened an investigation into ride-hailing app Didi, just days after its initial public offering raised $4.4 billion, and ordered app stores in China to remove Didi’s app. So far, the Chinese government has unleashed at least 50 regulatory actions — mostly affecting tech companies — in recent months, according to The Economist.

In July, Chinese regulators demanded that Tencent Music end its exclusive licensing agreements with record labels. It could have been worse: The company was spared any massive fine, app store ban or forced sales of any of individual streaming service. Still, TME’s statement on Monday was quick to address regulators’ concerts about its market dominance by saying it “sincerely accepts the decision issued in July by the regulator pertaining to exclusive music licensing arrangements. We are committed to fully complying with all requirements in a timely manner … [and] promoting the long-term, healthy development of the digital music industry.”

Ironically, the government’s claim about Tencent Music’s market power had the unintended consequence of hurting the company’s main competitor. Amid the regulatory uncertainty and the resulting weakening of the Hong Kong IPO market, Netease, the maker of China’s second-most popular streaming service, Netease Cloud Music, dropped its plans to spin off the music service and raise up to $1 billion, according to reports.

It is unclear how the regulations will impact Tencent Music’s fast-growing business and the country’s streaming marketplace. The company would only state the regulations will have “some impact” to business operations. The earnings call on Wednesday (Aug. 16) at 8 a.m. EST will give Tencent Music an opportunity to expand on Monday’s statement and provide details into the regulator’s requests.

In the meantime, however, investors appear wary. Shares of Tencent Music fell 9% on Monday after dropping 6.3% the previous week. Tencent Music’s stock price has fallen 43.5% since July 26 when Chinese regulators ordered an end to the company’s exclusive licensing agreements.

Financial metrics (Q2 2021 vs. Q2 2020)

  • Revenue: 8.01 billion RMG ($1.24 billion), up 15.5%
  • Online services revenue: 2.2 billion RMB ($343 million), up 32.8%
  • Music subscription revenues: 1.79 billion RMG ($277 million), up 36.3%
  • Gross margin: 32%
  • Net profit: $135 million

User metrics (Q2 2021 vs. Q2 2020)

  • Subscribers: 66.2 million, up 40.6% (up 5.3 million from Q1)
  • Music mobile monthly average users: 623 million, down 4.3%
  • Average revenue per music user: 9.0 RMG, down 3.2%
  • Social mobile monthly average users: 209 million, down 13.3%

Stock market

  • Share price change in August: -15.6%
  • Change since all-time high on March 23: -83.8%

Key events in Q3 2021