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ARE NEW EXPANDED RANDOM PLALISTS REALLY THE FUTURE OF RADIO?

From The Chicago Sun Times " Calling it a 'redefinition' of its alternative rock music format, WKQX-FM is expanding its playlist from 200 to nearly 1,000 songs and reaching back over 25 years in the genre. Starting at 10 a.m. Friday, the Emmis Communications station will declare that its music is 'on shuffle' -- evoking the jargon of iPods embraced by its primary target audience of listeners between the ages of 25 and 34."

Radio_3 "The format adjustment comes just days after Q-101 posted an all-time low 1.4% audience share in the latest Arbitrends."

"Mike Stern, vice president of programming for Emmis Radio Chicago... emphasized that the playlist expansion has more to do with changing lifestyles and new technology..."

"'As consumers become used to having a wide variety of choices available to them, radio has to find ways to step up
to that challenge and remain relevant to our listeners' lives,' Stern said..".

"Q-101 tested the 'on shuffle' playlist concept last weekend and reported overwhelmingly favorable listener response."

HYPEBOT: We've been reading about these kind of expanded playlist formats and recently listening to a more "classics" version of it in LA (JACK-FM formerly The Arrow) and we have to admit that it's fun to hear a broader mix of songs and that the random or shuffle concept leads to some interesting combinations.  But we've heard nothing about how these formats will mix in new music; and isn't it sad that a random computer can mix music more creatively than the jocks and PD's?

Xmradio_15 These new experiments are interesting and even fun; but they are not the "great radio" needed to keep people tuning in.  The seeds of our bet on the future of broadcast radio can be heard (without commercials) on some of the better XM channels and on a few Internet stations like RadioParadise where the purposely play the Stones next to a new alternative band with some world music in between and make it all make sense.  It is in sharing these kind of moments of discovery that lies radio's best hopes for the future.  Just like in the early days of AOR; listening to radio needs to feel like joining and exclusive club again.


Read the full article here.


Intel & Bertelsmann Collaborate On New Media Download & Sharing Service

Columnlogo21203 According to DigitalMeriaWire, "Chipmaker Intel and German media conglomerate Bertelsmann have announced they will collaborate on the design of devices that will be compatible with a planned Bertelsmann downloading and media-sharing service for music, movies and games, Reuters reported on Wednesday. Intel said it will design chips for computers and cell phones that will support the Bertelsmann service. "One of the major environmental changes in the electronics industry is this convergence -- a combination of computing, communications and content," Intel CEO Craig Barrett told Reuters."

More info @
http://tinyurl.com/5hclx 
http://www.arvato-systems.com 


RADIO STATION WEB SITES: A MISSED MARKETING OPPORTUNITY FOR RECORD LABELS

From ClickZ.com: "Local advertising spend on online radio Web sites increased 94% from 2003 to 2004, but there's plenty of room for growth, preliminary results from a Borrell Associates study show. The figures indicate radio stations' sites grew ad revenue from $17 million to around $33 million."

"They bode well for new initiatives reportedly underway at Clear Channel Communications and Infinity Broadcasting. Infinity recently began streaming audio content on the Web sites of a number of its news/talk stations. Many news reports indicate Clear Channel will provide downloadable content in the form of podcasts, as well as live streams of Internet-only concerts..."

HYPEBOT:  Wouldn't a radio station's web site be a smart place for record labels to advertise?  The ads could click through to listen to a song, get more info or buy the music.  Makes sense to us, but a quick survey of music stations web sites found no label advertising at all.  Stop buying stroke ads in the trades boys and girls and try spreading it around to places music lovers actually congregate...

Read the full article here.


AN OPEN LETTER TO STARBUCKS FROM COALITION IF INDY MUSIC STORES HEAD DON VANCLEAVE

Dear Starbucks,

Hey guys. I actually think it is a great thing for you to be actively selling new releases. You have the right kind of customers that are a dream to those who are marketing music to adults. I mean, how many copies of the recent Ray Charles did you actually sell? 500,000? 600,000? That is really a powerful testament to your marketing savvy and shows a really great understanding of your core Cims_3 customer. This industry needs more outlets selling music at a profit. Good job.

When I travel, which is usually every week, I often slip into your stores because I am assured of a really strong wireless signal that lets me stay in touch. I know that I should really shop Indie since that is my job, but, sometimes you are just so damned right on the corner I am on. I usually will buy a Venti coffee of the day with room for cream, fire up the laptop, and spend 30 minutes dealing with firedrills.

One thing I started noticing over the past few weeks were your attractive browser racks forHome_cardtop_logostart  compact discs. Usually they are stocked with your artist pick compilations which are excellent. Last week I saw that those were replaced with Madeline Peyroux, John Legend and Beck. BECK? Hey wait a minute, I was thinking. Street date is not till NEXT week. And almost instantly, the cell and Blackberry started blowing up. Indie store owners were losing their minds. Don, Starbucks is breaking street date on my most important release of the first quarter!!!! SHIT, another firedrill.

After some frantic phone calls and emails to Interscope, UMVD, and Beck's management team, I was assured that everyone was on it. Seems that the Starbucks stores got their Beck product all sealed up with a clear sticker that said DO NOT SELL UNTIL MARCH 29. I guess when you have thousands of stores in the US and you get them into a new business, snafu's are bound to happen. Some managers can't read. Some managers just don't care to read. I get it.

As of Friday, the problem seemed contained. But, then the questions started.

How did Starbucks get their product so damn early? How come some indies did not have Beck even yesterday, which was streetdate? How many did they sell?

Are they Soundscan? Will Beck show up in this Wednesday's chart?

While I am chatting with you, I also have to say that your Alanis plan is not very cool. You showed the world how bad ass you are in moving units with the Ray Charles. Securing yourself a six week window of exclusivity on the Alanis before everyone else gets it is only gonna make you a moving target.

The Ray model was correct. The Alanis is not.

So, Starbucks, welcome to the music industry spotlight. If I am an artist manager or a product manager with an artist that you choose to push, I would be a happy camper. But, you have to be careful to play by the rules and not piss off the rest your retail partners. Then, instead of being seen as a GOOD thing for the industry, you just become a big ugly bully like Best Buy.

Love,

Don

CLICK BELOW FOR THIS WEEK'S CIMS CHART

Continue reading "AN OPEN LETTER TO STARBUCKS FROM COALITION IF INDY MUSIC STORES HEAD DON VANCLEAVE" »


Supreme Court Grokster Suit Update

DigitalMediaWire reports from Washington that "oral arguments were presented to the Supreme Court on Tuesday in MGM v. Grokster, the landmark copyright infringement case pitting the entertainment industry against makers of peer-to-peer file-sharing software."

"CNET News.com reported that while the justices "were critical of the entertainment industry's proposal, which would hold companies 'predominantly' supported by piracy liable for copyright infringement," they also "showed little sympathy for the file-swapping companies' business model."

The Associated Press reported that justices "wondered aloud whether such lawsuits might have discouraged past inventions like copy machines, videocassette recorders and iPod portable music players," while also asking "whether profits from trafficking in stolen property can rightfully be used to help finance a young technology business."

"The Los Angeles Times reported that Justice Sandra Day O'Connor "suggested a software firm could be sued and put out of business if it drew customers by touting its system as a way to obtain free copies of copyrighted music," a compromise short of allowing lawsuits against any peer-to-peer software company. Outside the court, a group of Nashville musicians protested on behalf of the entertainment industry, while file-sharing advocates carried signs with messages such as "Save Betamax."

Some related links:

http://www.freep.com/news/latestnews/pm3470_20050329.htm
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A8684-2005Mar29.html
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-032905fileshare_lat,0,5047457.story
http://www.eff.org/IP/P2P/MGM_v_Grokster


How A Computer Company Saved The Music Business

From ther UK's Observer newspapar, "The Apple iTunes store has been selling a million tracks a day, it was announced recently. And no, that is not a misprint: a million a day...Quite why the music industry didn't spot the opportunity will be the subject of innumerable MBA dissertations in the years to come. "

"But for now the significant thing to note is that it was a computer manufacturer and not a recordIpod_5  company that cracked the problem of providing legal music downloads. On a global scale, you might say that the inadequacies of record (and movie) companies is a trivial issue. They make a lot of noise and command much public attention, but actually they are relatively small beer compared with, say, computers, energy or cars."

"...Why didn't record company executives spot the revolutionary potential of the technology to distribute their product? It was partly due to ignorance. Most of those who ran record companies in the 1990s knew little about the net They knew a lot about media and showbusiness, but nothing about communications technology. And the people in their organisations who did understand it were low-status techies with poor lines of communication to board-level folks. So those at the top failed to spot what was happening because it was going on in a universe they didn't inhabit."

"The entire industry, in other words, suffered from a serious knowledge deficit. This was fatally reinforced by the dominance of lawyers and accountants in large media companies - especially in the US."

Read the entire article here.


Mark Cuban On Funding Grokster's Defense

Entrepreneur Mark Cuban on his decision to fund file sharing software firm Grokster's Supreme Court fight against MGM and the entertainment industry:

"This isn't the big content companies against the technology companies. This is the big content companies, against me. Mark Cuban and my little content company. Its about our ability to use future innovations to compete vs their ability to use the courts to shut down our ability to compete. its that simple."

Read is full blog posting here.


Supreme Court To Here File Sharing Suit & Mark Cuban Backs Grokster With $$$

From DigitalMediaWire: "The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments tomorrow in MGM Studios v. Grokster, the landmark file-sharing case that will likely determine once and for all whether developers of file-sharing software like Grokster, Morpheus and Kazaa can be held liable for copyright infringement committed by file-swappers. The major record labels and movie studios filed the appeal after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in August 2004 that the companies that produce such software are not liable, citing in its decision the 1984 Supreme Court "Betamax" precedent that legalized sales of the VCR in light of their "substantial non-infringing uses." Those backing the entertainment companies include the U.S. Solicitor General's office and the Christian Coalition, while the American Civil Liberties Union and Consumer Electronics Association have sided with the file-sharing firms; groups of artists have voiced opinions on both sides of the issue. Dot-com billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has also announced that he will finance Grokster's defense of the lawsuit, after being approached by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and others. "If Grokster loses, technological innovation might not die, but it will have such a significant price tag associated with it, it will be the domain of the big corporations only," Cuban wrote in his blog on Sunday. The Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling in the case in June."

A link to Mark Cuban's blog posting.

Other related articles:

http://www.wired.com/news/digiwood/0,1412,67010,00.html 
http://tinyurl.com/6sa92 
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-grokster28mar28.story
http://tinyurl.com/6gxyw 


Motorola Goes Silent On iTunes Enabled Phone

BlackberryThe Associated Press reports for some reason Motorola abruptly changed course, "...just as it was going to unveil a new cell phone featuring the iTunes music download service from Apple"

"Motorola initially said it acted alone, then quickly pointed to Apple, citing the computer company's long practice of never unveiling new products until they're actually available to buy."

"Many industry players, however, suspect that a wireless service provider intervened, essentially telling Motorola that, 'I'll be darned if I'll sell your phones to my customers if it means they can buy songs through Apple and Motorola without giving me a piece of the pie."

"...The rush is on to deliver music and video to mobile phones, with wireless providers and device makers jockeying for position to grab their share of the payday, all parties mindful of the surprising billions being spent on musical ringtones."


UPDATE: CLEAR CHANNEL RADIO'S NEW NET STRATEGY

Clearchannel300_2 There is an update on Clear Channel Radio's internet plans in a Rueter's story posted on the CNNMoney  "...radio conglomerate Clear Channel Communications Inc. plans to transform video into the next radio star starting Monday. The San Antonio, Texas owner of over 1,200 radio stations in the U.S. plans to add original video programming to some 200 local radio stations' Web sites to tap into the burgeoning market for online advertising, an executive said."

"The debut of online videos is part of a larger overhaul of its Internet strategy led by Evan Harrison, executive vice president of Clear Channel Radio's new online music and radio division, whose goal is nothing less than putting an end to chatter about the medium's imminent demise."

"As early as July, Clear Channel plans to take on some of its toughest critics with an aggressive new digital strategy. It may begin offering subscription online radio services, the ability to buy songs digitally or in CD format, or even ringtones directly from their Web sites. Perhaps most surprising of all, Clear Channel also plans to make some of its live morning shows available for downloading, commonly known as 'Podcasting.'..

"Harrison told Reuters in an interview this week... 'Online is radio's for the taking.'..

"...Boosting production in its online radio services could help it tap into a lucrative market for online ads, which are seen growing about 25% this year, Harrison said."

"The moves reflect a media industry-wide trend as companies are building and buying Internet properties to boost virtual advertising real estate in order to offset slower growth in traditional media advertising. To Clear Channel, online ads on its local Web sites are
now being viewed as a 'daypart,' Harrison said, referring to advertising industry parlance for commercial time or space.

See previous Hypebot story below.

Read the full CNNMoney story here.


Clear Channel Radio Ups Web Stakes With Free Live Concerts

The NY Daily News reports that Clear Channel Radio is hatching a plan to use there broadcast clout to drive fans to related internet by using exclusive live concerts.

"Rob Thomas, the superstar frontman for rock band Matchbox 20, has agreed to do one of the first Stripped performances to promote his upcoming solo album "Something To Be."

Clearchannel300_1"The shows are set to air for free on Clear Channel's 1,000 radio station Web sites starting in May... names like John Legend, Gavin DeGraw, and Jesse McCartney also have signed on."

"None will receive a penny for their appearances - to be shot live, with no frills. They are banking on the concerts to stoke their record sales."

"Clear Channel plans to find one national and one local advertiser for each event and is said to be close to inking its first deals. The radio giant declined to comment."

"Hit hard by competition from iPods and satellite radio, radio stations are being forced to chase listeners where they can find them."

"Radio companies see big cash online at a time when their own sales are flagging. While the radio biz is set to grow just 2% to 3% this year to $22 billion, Internet ad sales are expected to surge by 30% to $11 billion. "

"Clear Channel recently got serious about the Internet, stealing away online music guru Evan Harrison, who was the brains behind AOL Music...Along with Yahoo Music, AOL has become the most popular music destination on the web."

"Clear Channel's banking on Harrison to reinvent its Web sites, which now do little more than collect contest entries and rebroadcast radio programing from its stations.

"But it remains to be seen whether the radio giant can topple AOL Music, which lures nearly 20 million visitors a month."

"Harrison is already playing hardball. From now on, Clear Channel - which has a reputation for strongarming competitors - will no longer promote the events of AOL and other music sites on its radio stations, sources said."


Elvis Costello And Others @ SXSW Discuss The Last Days Of The Music Industry

In a report about SXSW and the future of the music business, WashingtonPost.com's Robert McMillan writes in his Random Access column that "The Who declared that rock is dead, so long live rock. Elvis Costello named the murderer -- high-speed Internet."

"Liverpool's second-most acerbic pop star isn't the first person to make this Sxsw_3 observation, but after nearly three decades of paying the rent on vinyl, tape and silicon, he is familiar enough with the way the music industry works to know when the vital signs are off. Costello, who made his remarks at the just-concluded South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin, Texas, said the end was nearer than many think."

"As soon as broadband is big enough, the record (retailing) business is over," Costello said, according to the Hollywood Reporter. "They will have to change or die ... It's going to be about five minutes to the end. All bets are off." Costello also said that "music chains like Tower Records had 'let the spirit go out of it.'"

Teen_laptop "...the artists and industry bigwigs who gathered at SXSW last week certainly accomplished much hand-wringing in the few hours a day they weren't hitting the music clubs along Sixth Street, as Michael Grebb reported for Wired.com. "In some cases, talk focused on opportunities. But in many other instances, panelists warned about the perils and uncertainty that face both the artistic and business sides of the industry -- especially when it comes to peer-to-peer file sharing," Grebb wrote."

"It's a familiar lyric for anyone who's followed the whole file-sharing/P2P/piracy debate over the past few years. There's the concerned voice of the music industry, claiming also to speak for the poor (or rich) artists trying to make or keep their daily bread: "It's stopping new artists from coming forward, and it's killing mid-level artists across the board," said Jay Rosenthal, a music attorney at Washington, D.C.-based Berliner, Corcoran & Rowe and a board member of the Recording Artists Coalition. And then there's Wendy Seltzer from the live-free-or-die school at the Electronic Frontier Foundation who, Grebb reported, said "lawsuits against those who trade or enable the trading of copyright music files online will continue to have little effect on P2P traffic."

"...all the posturing and arguing at events like SXSW is well-intentioned but ultimately irrelevant. I'm not a lawyer. I don't compose or play music for money and my livelihood doesn't depend on the survival of the music industry, so I'm at liberty to be cavalier about this: Composers will continue to compose, musicians will continue to play. The smart ones among them will find ways to get rich or at least make a living, and smart businesspeople will find new ways to exploit the ones who can read a score but not a balance sheet. That in turn will preserve the centuries-old tradition of singers writing songs about getting screwed because they're singers. And that will give Jay Rosenthal, Wendy Seltzer and others like them reason to keep fighting over the future."


Got Pizza Music Cafes To Open Following Starbuck's Hear Music Model

Blue Moon Group, a company whose subsidiaries include Blue Moon Records and Nebulous Records has announced plans to open three new Got Pizza Music Cafe locations in Chicago, and aims to open 20 stores by the end of 2005 before starting a national franchise in 2006. The restaurants borrow from Starbucks' Hear Music Coffeehouses, where patrons can browse PCs loaded with licensed music and create custom compilation CDs, although the Got Pizza chain will mainly promote artists on Blue Moon's owned record labels.

Read the full press release here.


iTunes AAC Format Hacked

Norwegian programmer Jon Johansen, aka "DVD Jon," who famously broke the anti-copying technology on DVD discs several years ago, has now released software that enables downloading of songs from Apple's iTunes Store without any added copyright protections. Users of the "PyMusique" software first have to purchase the songs from iTunes, but when downloaded they arrive in the unprotected AAC format instead of Apple's protected FairPlay digital rights management software. Apple says it has blocked the PyMusique "security hole," and that 15% of iTunes users will need to upgrade their software in order to maintain the ability to purchase songs from the store.

The hack can be found here.

Hypebot does not support illegal activity and is not responsible for any liabilty caused by the user.


SXSW Update

Sxsw_2Hypebot's spies at SXSW called this year's confab one of the best ever with lots of great music. The HollywoodReporter.com wrote, "Seeing the Texas-bred act Los Super 7 seemed an appropriate way to close out the 2005 South by Southwest Music Conference & Festival. The Tex-Mex act -- whose SXSW incarnation included such regional luminaries as Joe Ely, Raul Malo, Ruben Ramos and Rick Trevino -- wrapped up Saturday night's festivities with a 1 a.m. set at the cavernous outdoor venue Stubb's. It was a perfect reminder that an all-encompassing music event like SXSW, which closed Sunday with its annual barbecue and softball tournament, could only take place in Texas, where they grow everything big. But the conference's visibly weary managing director Roland Swenson noted Saturday that SXSW has clearly expanded far beyond state boundaries in its 18th year in existence. "It still reflects Austin and Texas," Swenson said. "But from the start it was always about reaching out beyond Austin and Texas. That's why we started it. ... It was always about the rest of the world. We started out trying to create something for people who were interested in music but didn't live in Los Angeles or New York or Nashville."


FIONA APPLE CD A HIT AND FANS CAN'T BUY IT

Wired_8 In yet another chapter in the continuing saga of dumb moves by label and artists that encourgae unauthorized downloading, Wired.com reports that "songs from Fiona Apple's latest album are widely available on the internet and are being played on the radio, but much to the chagrin of fans, the album can't be bought for love or money.

Apple apparently finished Extraordinary Machine in 2003 but it was never released by her record label, Epic Records. (Epic is a subsidiary of Sony BMG Music Entertainment).

Recently, a radio DJ in Seattle obtained a copy of the album and has been playing Fiona it on 1077 The End. The tracks are also available on peer-to-peer networks, and have been downloaded thousands of times.

Fiona fans are thrilled to hear the recordings but baffled that they can't buy the record anywhere.

Apple's last album, When the Pawn, was released in 1999. The recording went platinum, as did her debut album, Tidal. In 1997, Apple won a Grammy for her single, "Criminal." She's also famous for calling the music industry "bullshit" at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards...

BigChampagne, which monitors songs available on file-sharing services, found that at any one time about 38,000 users in the United States are downloading songs from Extraordinary Machine. The most popular track is "Please Please Please," with more than 20,000 simultaneous downloads, according to the company.

When questioned about the situation, an Epic representative e-mailed a statement, which didn't address questions about the album's availability on the radio and online. In addition, the statement indicated Apple has yet to deliver the album.

Music industry observers said the situation illustrates a missed opportunity for record labels, the fans and the artist alike.

"You can't buy what they won't sell you," said Eric Garland, CEO of BigChampagne. "The whole (music) migration online is still one huge unrealized opportunity."

In 2001, Wilco parted with its record label over creative differences related to the band's album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Reprise Records had wanted the band to make changes to the album in order to increase the recording's marketability, but the band refused and eventually streamed Yankee Hotel Foxtrot from its website. In the end, Nonesuch Records picked up and released the album, to great critical acclaim.

Dave Kusek, a vice president at the Berklee College of Music and author of a new book, The Future of Music, said the situation sheds light on one of the pitfalls of the recording contracts that artists sign.

"You work, you deliver ... and then the company decides not to release it," Kusek said. "This is something that I think needs to change. If the label doesn't want it, the artist should get it back."

Read the entire Wired.com here.


Ring Tone Revenue To Hit $724 Million In 2009

Phone_1 (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) JupiterResearch, a division of Jupitermedia Corporation, released the results of its annual wireless forecast, "Wireless Market Forecast, 2004 to 2009," which forecasts mobile phone adoption in the U.S. through 2009 as well as revenue from consumer messaging applications and premium content such as ring tones, games and icons, among others. According to the report, ring tone revenues were $91 million in 2003, more than doubled to $217 million in 2004 and will reach $724 million in 2009. Mobile games revenues were $24 million in 2003, tripled to $72 million in 2004, and should reach $430 million in 2009.

Despite this rapid growth, ring tones and games accounted for just 10% of carriers' non-access data revenue in 2004, partly because ring tone and game capable handsets have not yet achieved very high market penetration. Overall, data services revenue, including ring tones, games and messaging services, still represent only single-digit percentages of carriers' consumer revenue. But given the rapid recent and projected growth, U.S. carriers have reason to be optimistic.

"During the next five years, the mix of data services will evolve, but messaging will still account for 65% of non- voice, non-data access revenues," according to Julie Ask, research director at JupiterResearch. Carriers' premium content revenue mix will continue to diversify with the growing popularity of games, wallpaper, content and productivity applications. Ring tones will remain the largest revenue stream for carriers in the premium content category, but will not dominate as they have in previous years. --Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen


LEGAL DOWNLOADS AT 5 CENTS A SONG PROPOSED

Toronto's Globe & Mail Newspaper reports that McGill University scholar and music industry vet Sandy Pearlman has proposed a plan that he thinks would help stop unauthorized music file sharing: put all recorded music on a search engine, and charge five cents a song.

Pearlman postulates that if songs are only 5 cents, "people would download exponentially more music," resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars (or more) for musicians and those who own the publishing rights to the songs.

As you can imagine the recording industry hates the idea...

Read key experts in RAIN.

With free sign on read the Globe & Mail's full article here.


Front Line CD's For $5.99 @ YourMusic.com

Yourmusic_1In a move reminiscent of the old record clubs like BMG Music and Columbia House YourMusic.com is offering 14,000 new CD titles at $5.99 each (many of them top new releases) including free shipping.

Here is how it works according to the site:

Yourmusic.com is an exciting music subscription service that's as simple as it is inexpensive. All CDs are just $5.99 each and shipping and handling is always FREE!
Here's what you can look forward to when you subscribe to yourmusic.com.
  • 1 CD from your Music Queue for $5.99 a month
  • Access to buy unlimited CDs at the same low price
  • FREE shipping on all purchases

No matter what type of music you're looking for, you're guaranteed to find it at yourmusic.com. When you find the CDs you want, simply add them to your Music Queue or purchase them immediately!

Your Music Queue is where you create and customize a list of the CDs you want to add to your collection. You can add, remove, or shuffle the order of the CDs in your Music Queue at anytime.

You are eligible to receive your first available Music Queue choice as part of your subscription! Every month thereafter we'll send you your next available choice. Remember, your credit card will be charged $5.99 each month, even if you do not have a CD in your Music Queue.

THE SAME RECORD LABELS WHO ARE BITCHING ABOUT ILLEGAL DOWNLOADS AND BURNING ARE DE-VALUING THEIR OWN FRONT LINE PRODUCT WITH $5.99 PRICING!

HOW CAN THIS BE SMART?


New Tech Allows Satellite Broadcast Over Wi-Fi Nets

From Brighthand.com: "Calypso Wireless has developed a new patent-pending Xmradio_14 technology that will allow users of handhelds and mobile phones to listen to broadcasts from XM Satellite Radio or Sirius Satellite Radio."

"The technology allows receivers to automatically switch from receiving signals directly from a satellite to getting the broadcast over Wi-Fi when the user enters a building...

Sirius_radio_7 "'The next logical step is for (satellite radio service providers) to... try to offer ways for their subscribers to be able to receive their signals in more places, like in their homes or at work and via all types
of mobile devices, such as PDAs, iPods and cell phones... Subscribers would no longer have to worry about weak or lost satellite radio signals when they go into buildings as long as there is an available broadband network or Wi-Fi access point that their mobile radio or device equipped with Calypso's technology could jump synch with, making a seamless jump from their provider's satellite... ' says George Schilling, President and Chief Executive Officer of Calypso Wireless, Inc."

Read the full article online
here.


MP3 Players Top Increase 57% This Year

After a blockbuster year in 2004 which saw sales more than doubled, sales of digital music players are projected to increase 57% this year, according to a report from El Segundo, Calif.-based market research firm iSuppli. The total number of MP3 players is projected to grow from 36.8 million in 2004 to 132 million in 2009. Hard drive-based players like Apple's iPod -- which saw shipments rise 116% in 2004 -- are expected to grow from 27% of the market and 9.8 million in unit sales in 2004, to account for 43% of the market and see 56.2 million in unit sales in 2009. Currently, the market is still dominated by flash memory-based MP3 players, which cost much less than hard drive-based players, but do not hold nearly as many songs. The report from iSuppli also cautioned manufacturers against adding too many features to their designs. "Simple, elegant products that perform a few functions with easy-to-use interfaces have sold well in the marketplace, while the do-everything approach has failed."


Music Video Download Service WatchMusicHere.com Launches

Hollywoodreporter_logo_2003_2According to The Hollywood Reporter.com "Fans will be able to build libraries of their favorite music videos because of deals set to be announced today involving digital entertainment companies CinemaNow and MediaPass Network. CinemaNow announced agreements with Warner Music Group, Epitaph Records and TVT Records to sell music videos on a download-to-own basis. This marks the first time music videos will be made available specifically for Microsoft's Windows Mobile-based secure devices, a category that includes Portable Media Centers, Pocket PCs and Smartphones from many different manufacturers. The videos also can be viewed on PCs and laptops. The Watchmusichere company is set to launch its new service WatchMusicHere.com today with 75 music videos but is scheduled to add more than 1,500 additional titles by December. Both new and catalog videos will be offered, including Jane's Addiction's "Been Caught Stealing" and Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" along with videos from the Hives, Alanis Morissette, Dwight Yoakum and others. Prices range from $1.99 to $2.99."


Bono Attacks Record Industry "Business As Usual" At Rock Hall Induction

Hits Magazine reports that In his speech at the Rock 'n Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony, Bono "admonished the bigwigs in the audience, telling them that they need to reinvent the way the operate if they want to survive and pointing out that U2, Springsteen and Neil Young would have been uncerermoniously dropped well before achieving greatness if they’d come along in recent years. “There would be no U2 the way things are now—that's a fact,” he said. Later, during the band's performance, Bono went into the audience and grabbed glasses of champagne off the tables, but he somehow resisted the temptation to douse the record execs he’d lectured, flinging the champagne at his fellow bandmembers instead."


Creative Commons Rewrites Licensing and P2P Rules

From WashingtonPoat.com: "When Chuck D and the Fine Arts Militia released their latest single, "No Meaning No," several months ago, they didn't try to stop people from circulating free copies on the Internet. They encouraged it."

Washington_post170w_1 "They posted the entire 3-minute, 12-second song and its various vocal, drum and guitar components online and invited everyone to view, copy, mix, remix, sample, imitate, parody and even criticize it. "

"The result has been the creation of a flood of derivative work ranging from Teen_laptop classical twists on the hip-hop piece to video interpretations of the song. The musicians reveled in the instant fan base. They were so pleased that they recently decided to publish their next entire album, due later this spring, the same way, becoming the first major artists to do so."

"No Meaning No" was released under an innovative new licensing scheme called Creative Commons that some say may be better suited to the electronic age than the hands-off mind-set that has made copyright such a bad word among the digerati.""

So far, more than 10 million other creations -- ranging from the movie "Outfoxed" and songs by the Beastie Boys to the British Broadcasting Corp.'s news footage and the tech support books published under the O'Reilly label -- have been distributed using these licenses..."

Interest in Creative Commons licenses comes as artists, authors and traditional media companies begin to warm to the idea of the Internet as friend instead of foe and race to capitalize on technologies such as file-sharing and digital copying."

"...many of the innovators who touched off the file-sharing revolution are seeking to win corporate support for their work. Shawn Fanning, who as a teen developed Napster, is now working on software that would let copyright holders specify permissions and prices for swapping. Vivendi Universal is a backer."

"Perhaps the most significant cooperative effort, however, is the set of innovative new licensing schemes under which "No Meaning No" was released."


US Music Marketers Could Learn From UK

British_flag I'm on the way back from the ILMC (International Live Music Conference) in London and during this, my second brief visit to the city, I was struck by how much more pervasive and creative music and music marketing is throughout the British media than in the US.

Most US industry pros are familiar with the numerous live performance opportunities for music on British TV as well as the diverse Indy label and club scenes.  But I was stuck how much farther the Britts also seem to take their music marketing than we do in the US. 

At least three of the daily papers we're giving away great 10 or so track sampler CD's stuffed inside their expansive entertainment sections.  One featured mostly new music (The Killers, etc) where as another was more thematic - pop crooners if I remember correctly - and features a bunch of classic tracks by the like of Dobie Grey and Chaka Kahn.

Cell_photo_1 A sizable upstart cell phone provider named 3 has centered their entire marketing pitch around the ability of their network and phones to deliver music (in the form of mp3 downloads and streaming full length videos) and sports (news and videos of game highlights) to subscribers.  In fact, later this month they are streaming an entire concert by up and comer Natasha Beddingfield exclusively via the 3 mobile network.  I don't know how many people will actually watch a full concert on their phone, but it certainly seems like a win for all concerned promotionally.  Wouldn't it make sense for some savvy US provider (T Mobile?) to target this same market and for US labels and artists to trade content for direct to consumer exposure?

At the ILMC I also heard a lot about efforts to improve the fan experience (much like what we're hearing about in the US from Clear Channel) including providing Instantlive (and charging for) value added services that go beyond the usual premium seating to a things like a ticket that includes an InstantLive post concert CD's or downloads.  Floated was the idea of exclusive pre-show backstage video delivered to ticket holder's mobile phones in the lead up to the performance or during breaks.

The overall result in the UK seems to be that music is a much more pervasive and important part of daily life than it us in the US.  To try to achieve that here, it seems that US music marketers could learn a lot just by looking across the pond and around the world.


Village Voice Profiles Mega-Fileswapper

This week's The Village Voice includes an account of an Internet music file-swapper, Nick Mamatas, who became one of the nearly 9,000 individuals that the Recording Industry Association of America has sued for copyright infringement. "For me, the experience of settling with the RIAA was almost painless -- except for the thousands I agreed to pay. Dragging my 'shared' folder to the trash icon, promising not to download anymore, and acknowledging that illegal downloading is wrongful were easy enough," wrote Mamatas. "And downloading? Well, I'm done with it now, except for legal amazon.com freebies, but even my close friends haven't been scared off."

Read the full article here.


Publishers Finally Consider Blanket Net License Of Music

Hollywoodreporter_logo_2003_1 From HollywoodReporter.com "A thaw might be brewing in the long-running dispute between music publishers and Internet distribution companies over royalty payments as the head of the publisher's trade association told Congress on Tuesday that it would consider a single mechanical royalty for some online song delivery services. National Music Publishers Assn. president and CEO David Israelite told the House Judiciary Committee's copyright subcommittee that publishers were willing to consider a "blanket license" for many new forms of music delivery. "We're willing to consider everything between the goal posts of radio and pure sale," Israelite told reporters after the copyright subcommittee's hearing on the issue. "Everything under the umbrella of subscription services."


SXSW Offers Free 240 Song Download Sampler

Sxsw_1"Music fans don't have to be in Austin, Texas, to hear hundreds of new songs from the South by Southwest music festival," reports Wired.com

For many years, SXSW, as it's known, has provided on its website a library of free MP3s of bands participating in the conference. This year, the festival is making it even easier to listen by providing a huge BitTorrent file (2.6 GB) of more than 750 songs. The songs can be downloaded for free using the BitTorrent peer-to-peer file-sharing application.

"For added convenience, the music is integrated with a new application called SXSW4Pod from CitizenPod. Instead of carrying around the schedule of SXSW bands and venues as a dog-eared brochure, festival-goers can download the lineup electronically and transfer it to an iPod."

"At the festival, which starts next week, fans can search for shows by time, venue, genre or band name, and then listen to a full-quality MP3 of the band to see if they're any good..."

"We wouldn't have been able to do this without using BitTorrent, because this is such a huge file and it would have taxed our bandwidth resources beyond our capabilities," said David Rose, webmaster of the SXSW site."

"For the bands, providing a free MP3 of their music is optional. Of the more than 1,350 bands scheduled to play the festival, 758 offered an MP3. The songs can also be downloaded individually from the conference website."

Read the full Wired.com article here.

Download the SXSW file here.


Warner Music Group IPO To Raise $750 Million To $1 Billion Within 30-60 Days.

Warner Music Group is expected to file for an initial public offering this week or next, sources calim/ The New York-based company is backed by a group of investors that includes the company's chief executive, Edgar Bronfman Jr., as well as private equity firms Thomas H. Lee Partners, Bain Capital and Providence Equity. The offering is predicted to raise from $750 million to $1 billion and could happen in 30-60 days, pending regulatory approval, according to The New York Post.

Hypebot:  OK they have a great catalgue but $1 Billion ?