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Infinity Broadcasting Bets On Cell & Net Delivery

Infinity_150x50From The Chicago Tribune, "Joel Hollander, chief of radio giant Infinity Broadcasting, thinks he has seen the future--and it's already in your pocket or purse."

"What happens when you're running a big media company, you have to make bets on the future," Hollander said in an interview Tuesday. "The bet I'm making is cell phones."

"Chicago's WBBM-FM 96.3 looks to be among the first beneficiaries of a deal Infinity cut earlier this year for Visual Radio, a service from Nokia and Hewlett-Packard that enables listeners to receive local FM radio on their mobile phones synchronized with interactive text and graphics."

"...New to the U.S., Visual Radio already is in use in Germany, Sweden, Finland and the United Kingdom. Combined with Infinity's forays into digital broadcasting and Internet streaming, it offers a sense of how the Viacom-owned outfit thinks it will hold its own against competition from iPods and satellite pay services."


Xmradio_25 "One satellite service, Sirius (which gets Infinity morning moneymaker Howard Stern at the end of the year), just did a cell-phone deal with Sprint. Another, XM, has an Internet arrangement with AOL."
"...Infinity's podcasting experiment with making Steve Dahl's WCKG-FM 105.9 show available for download--minus commercials--is going forward but is 60 to 90 days away...And Infinity's embrace of HD Radio, which provides multiple channels and improved audio, has resulted in WUSN-FM 99.5 adding a second channel."
Read the full article here.

WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE? CD Sales Dive And P2P Usage Stays Steady As Supreme Court Rules And RIAA Brings More Suits

Two articles in Digital Music News seem strangely related:

Cd_1"Album sales in the US took a bath last week, with several high-profile releases coming off of their peaks. Overall, sales levels were down 12.2 percent over the previous period, with a total of 10.5 million units sold.

Compared to the same period in 2004, the latest figures lagged by 16.7 percent. Chart-toppers included Coldplay, Mariah Carey, the Foo Fighters, and the Black Eyed Peas, though none crossed the 200,000 sales threshold. Meanwhile, overall 2005 sales levels remain significantly behind comparable

2004 totals, with a 7.6 percent gap reflecting two disappointing recent quarters. Data was compiled by Nielsen Soundscan."

And...

Courthouse_1The RIAA has issued a new wave of lawsuits against 784 individual file uploaders, with users on Kazaa, Limewire, and Grokster targeted. The latest round brings the total number of lawsuits to well over 12,000 since the legal campaign began in September, 2003...The organization also pointed to a stepped-up educational effort..."

...casual file-sharers seem mostly unaware or uninterested in the (recent Supreme Court ) ruling. According to data supplied by BigChampagne, between 5.2 million to 5.4 million people were actively swapping files on peer-to-peer networks Tuesday, the day after the trial. That is indistinguishable from previous days, despite heavy press coverage following the Supreme Court ruling..."

When will the labels and the RIAA learn that their efforts are too little too late? People have learned to love free music and will find ways to get it.

And what other industry makes friends with their customer base by suing them?


Coalition of Independent Music Stores' Top 200 for Week Ending 6-26-05

Cims_12

Label Pos. Artist|Title

CAP 1 COLDPLAY|X&Y

RCA 2 FOO FIGHTERS|IN YOUR HONOR

V2 3 WHITE STRIPES|GET BEHIND ME SA

VRGN 4 GORILLAZ|DEMON DAYS

ATLG 5 TRANSPLANTS|HAUNTED CITIES

WAR 6 CORGAN*BILLY|FUTUREEMBRACE

GEFN 7 COMMON|BE

RTEN 8 CLUTCH|ROBOT HIVE/EXODUS

COL 9 SYSTEM OF A DOW|MEZMERIZE

NWWT 10 HIATT*JOHN|MASTER OF DISASTER

AAM 10 BLACK EYED PEAS|MONKEY BUSINES

INT 12 BECK|GUERO

HLCT 13 DROPKICK MURPHY|WARRIOR'S CODE

MERG 14 SPOON|GIMME FICTION

INEP 15 AUDIOSLAVE|OUT OF EXILE

UNJJ 16 JOHNSON*JACK|IN BETWEEN DREAMS

WAR 17 COODER*RY|CHAVEZ RAVINE

GEFN 18 WEEZER|MAKE BELIEVE

MBL 19 AS I LAY DYING|SHADOWS ARE SEC

NWWT 20 YOAKAM*DWIGHT|BLAME THE VAIN

GEFN 21 MORRISON*VAN|MAGIC TIME

RCA 22 MATTHEWS*DAVE B|STAND UP

COL 23 OFFSPRING|GREATEST HITS

SUBP 24 SLEATER-KINNEY|WOODS

ISL 25 KILLERS|HOT FUS'

#26-200 CLICK BELOW

Continue reading "Coalition of Independent Music Stores' Top 200 for Week Ending 6-26-05" »


WILL ROCK RADIO SURVIVE?

Rain_logo_7In today's RAIN newletter there is a report from last week's Radio & Records Convention adressing the question: "How does rock radio address its core demo's eager adoption of a "new media" lifestyle?"

Radio_and_record_1 "Discussion during both the alt-rock "New Media: Alternative Choices For Survival" and the active rock "Active Rock: Between A Rock And A Hard Place" panels seemed to point to the idea that the Internet has become more effective than terrestrial radio in catering to the passions of young rock listeners."

Aolmusic"Jack Isquith of
AOL Music told the alternative panel, "Radio has ignored people under 30 for the last 10 to 15 years." Explaining how radio may not be a primary new music source for the younger demo, he said, "Songs are also breaking out of TV commercials and from films..."

"Meanwhile, moderating the active rock session, WAAF/Boston PD Keith Hastings said, "Rock radio sucks. We're getting our a---s kicked by iPods. Where did all this s--t come from?" Reprise's Raymond McGlamery thought the problem may be the format's lack of support for new music. "If a kid is on the Internet and finds out there's a new Disturbed song out, and you're not playing it, why would they want to listen to you?"

Xmradio_24"Looking to solutions,
XM Satellite Radio's Lee Abrams suggested to the alternative panel that the key lies in content. "You need to stay aggressive in order to keep things fresh," he said..."


MORE COMMENTARIES ON SUPREME COURT GROKSTER RULING

CourthouseUPDATED 6/28 @ 5AM

From Bob Lefsetz / The Lefsetz Letter: "...If you think the Grokster decision is a referendum on P2P, you just haven't read it. Rather, it's a referendum on SCUMBAGS!"

"That's what Grokster and Streamcast are. Shawn Fanning was eager to create a system for people to acquire music. Grokster and Streamcast just wanted to sell advertising..."

"The problem with the major labels is they equated the illegal behavior with the technology. The court in the Napster case did NOT say it was illegal to distribute songs via P2P networks, just that you couldn't do it without a LICENSE! So, armed with this ruling, you'd think the labels would establish LICENSED P2P. But NO!! They believed they'd stopped the future, and could confidently retreat into the past. And if there WAS any further distribution of music online, it was going to be on THEIR terms. You could either RENT IT, or...

'Well, that's ALL they wanted to do until Roger Ames met with Steve Jobs and bullied Universal into licensing the iTunes Music Store before suing file-traders..."

"...The lesson of Grokster is NEXT TIME there's a technological breakthrough, don't try to sue it into submission, rather, MONETIZE IT! But, throughout history old, decaying empires fight to hold on to what they possess rather than enter a scary, unclear future..."

From former RIAA head Hillary Rosen for the Huffington Post:  "Wow. We won big. Unanimous. That doesn't happen very often...For today, I hope all sides will take a deep breath and realize that this Supreme Court decision doesn't change one bit their responsibility to move forward together on behalf of their consumer."

And written just prior to the decision: "So why won't this case matter now in the marketplace? Because by now SEVERAL HUNDRED MILLION copies of this software that the entertainment industry would like to vanquish have been downloaded to individual computers around the world. They go by names like Grokser, Morpheus, Limewire, eDonkey, Bit Torrent, Kazaa, etc.) And each time, there is a successful enforcement or a new way to catch the developers with copyright liability, they reinvent themselves and generate another two or three year court proceeding. And now, a majority of them are hosted outside the United States. There is no court ruling whose enforcement can keep up with this..."

From DigitalMusicNews.com - Resnikoff's Parting Shot: Grokster Bites the Dust, Sony Betamax Intact "The Supreme Court ruling in MGM v. Grokster puts both Grokster and SteamCast Networks in the hot seat, with both found to be blatantly encouraging copyright infringement... But the court left Sony Betamax intact, focusing instead on whether the P2P firms in question intended and encouraged copyright violations...That makes the victory a qualified one, and another chapter in the battle between content owners and technology firms. For the technology industry, the decision is fairly targeted towards file-sharing firms, with technologies like the iPod able to defend against accusations of knowingly contributing to infringement (despite evidence of heavy use of the devices for housing illegally-obtained tracks)..."


Towerlogo_1According to Digital Music News, Tower Records "...last seen heading into bankruptcy 16 months ago, has resurrected itself and is moving into the future with surprising vigor. The company has launched an aggressive new ad campaign, and is opening remodeled flagship stores in key markets, with plans to renovate the entire chain. Tower is also laying groundwork for expansion in the digital realm..."

"When Tower filed for Chapter 11 in 2004, many industry observers wrote the retailer off for good, a victim of stiff competition from big box stores like Wal-Mart and Best Buy as well as nascent digital operations like iTunes. Tower was even viewed by some as the canary in the digital music coal mine, its demise a sign of things to come for CD sales in general."

"...Signs of things to come can be seen at recently opened superstores in Seattle and Tempe, Ariz., which feature touch-screen listening stations and a DVD selection that rivals the CD inventory in numbers and depth..."

"Though the new Tower has made its first moves in the brick-and-mortar world, it is also planning a digital initiative. The company is staying tight-lipped as to the specifics of that push, but some details have trickled out. In-store CD burning kiosks will be converted to digital download stations, where customers can fill up their MP3 players with music, for instance..."

Read the entire Digital Music News article by news analyst Michael Baker here.

Continue reading "" »


NARAS APPLAUDS SUPREME COURT

NARAS GLOATS AS ROME BURNS

"Today is a good day for music fans and the 17,000 musicians, composers, artists, engineers, producers and songwriters that are the members of the Recording Academy.  By unanimously upholding the rights of creators, the Supreme Court has defended an environment for legal online music services to thrive.

As the National Academy of Recording Arts AND Sciences, our membership embraces new technologies that deliver their music to fans in innovative ways. The court is forging the way for the legal digital services — those that compensate the creative professionals — to enable music fans to hear their favorite artists wherever, whenever and however they want.

The unanimous Supreme Court opinion sends a clear message to those who use technology to encourage copyright infringement, while recognizing the importance of honest, legitimate innovation that fosters protection of the rights of creators of music.

Previously The Recording Academy submitted an amicus brief on behalf of the creative community, which depends on sales of its works to earn a living.  We thank the Court for its insight into this important case and for the protection of music makers.  The Academy will continue to defend its members’ rights wherever and whenever necessary.”

The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc. (The Recording Academy) represents 17,000 musicians, composers, artists, engineers, producers and songwriters.


Supreme Court P2P Ruling Commentaries

Some comments about the Supreme Court P2P ruling:

From former RIAA head Hillary Rosen for the Huffington Post:  "Wow. We won big. Unanimous. That doesn't happen very often...For today, I hope all sides will take a deep breath and realize that this Supreme Court decision doesn't change one bit their responsibility to move forward together on behalf of their consumer."

And written just prior to the decision: "So why won't this case matter now in the marketplace? Because by now SEVERAL HUNDRED MILLION copies of this software that the entertainment industry would like to vanquish have been downloaded to individual computers around the world. They go by names like Grokser, Morpheus, Limewire, eDonkey, Bit Torrent, Kazaa, etc.) And each time, there is a successful enforcement or a new way to catch the developers with copyright liability, they reinvent themselves and generate another two or three year court proceeding. And now, a majority of them are hosted outside the United States. There is no court ruling whose enforcement can keep up with this..."

From DigitalMusicNews.com - Resnikoff's Parting Shot: Grokster Bites the Dust, Sony Betamax Intact "The Supreme Court ruling in MGM v. Grokster puts both Grokster and SteamCast Networks in the hot seat, with both found to be blatantly encouraging copyright infringement... But the court left Sony Betamax intact, focusing instead on whether the P2P firms in question intended and encouraged copyright violations...That makes the victory a qualified one, and another chapter in the battle between content owners and technology firms. For the technology industry, the decision is fairly targeted towards file-sharing firms, with technologies like the iPod able to defend against accusations of knowingly contributing to infringement (despite evidence of heavy use of the devices for housing illegally-obtained tracks)..."

There is also a good summary piece on Wired.com.


MUSIC INDUSTRY CHEERS AS SUPREME COURT RULES AGAINST GROKSTER IN P2P CASE. BUT DOES IT MATTER?

From a HollywoodReporter.com bulletin:" In a unanimous decision that marks a big win for the entertainment industry and intellectual property rights, the Supreme Court on Monday ruled that file-sharing services may be sued for copyright infringement if they encourage customers to download files illegally. The case, MGM v. Grokster, pitted a Hollywood studio against one of the most-popular peer-to-peer services that many blame for hurting the music and motion picture industries....Justices said there was enough evidence of unlawful behavior for the case to go to trial."

HYPEBOT COMMENTARY: It may be bad news for Grokster and slow the tide illegal downloads for a few days or weeks but in the end it means nothing. There are many ways for those that want free music to get it and they'll learn to use them.  Not until the labels stop spending energy on suing their potential customers and start developing new talent as well as creating g value for the customers (extra content, lower prices, videos, related web content, etc) will music sales grow again.

For additional related news and opinions click below:

From TheStreet.com

From The Inquirer

From ZDNet

WATCH THIS SPACE FOR UPDATES AND MORE INDUSTRY COMMENTARIES.


DIGITAL MUSIC NEWS WEEK IN REVIEW

  • Perhaps the biggest news this week didn't happen at all, with a widely-expected Supreme Court decision now scheduled for Monday morning. That made this week the calm before the storm, with Monday certain to be an intense day.
  • - Verizonwireless_2In the mobile music space, Verizon pointed to a music service by the end of the year, and Japanese mobile operator KDDI counted its 10 millionth full-song, over-the-air download. Meanwhile, Sprint has slowly started to open its closed network, leading to speculation that Verizon will soon follow suit. And BT started testing a mobile service that will deliver tv and radio streams, with Virgin Mobile part of the initial rollout.
  • Xmradio_23Satellite radio also saw some activity this week, with both XM and Sirius getting a green light to open services in Canada. That will be a tricky rollout for both companies, with a large number of Canadians already tapped into the US-based services. Meanwhile, Sirius inked a deal to transmit BBC Radio 1 broadcasts.
  • BigchampagneIn the P2P world, BigChampagne joined forces with Yahoo Music, further widening its reporting breadth. And StreamCast unveiled an upgraded Morpheus application, timed to coincide with the imminent Supreme Court ruling. And in the lab, Microsoft continued to tinker with a next-generation peer-to-peer concept, with its Avalance system emulating aspects of the BitTorrent protocol.
  • In online music, MySpace pointed to possible e-commerce relationships with Napster and RealNetworks. And New Jersey approved a sales tax on internet content, effectively raising the price of an iTunes download to $1.05.
  • Several regulatory proposals also surfaced this week. In Canada, a bill was introduced that would update various parts Canadian copyright law to better address digital formats. In the US, Register of Copyrights Marybeth Peters proposed an overhaul of Section 115 of the Copyright Act.

Acoustic Morissette CD Sets Starbucks Record

Alanism(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) It is yet to be seen how much impact a Canadian record store boycott will have on her new album, but sales of Alanis Morissette's acoustic disc at Starbucks have already set a new record for the coffee chain.

Selling more than 61,000 copies in the week after its release on June 13, "Jagged Little Pill Acoustic" set the mark for the biggest single-week CD sales in the short history of the Starbucks Hear Music project. The original alternative rock "Jagged Little Pill" album, released 10 years ago, sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.

In a unique agreement between Starbucks and Maverick Records, the record is being sold exclusively through the coffee shops in the United States and Canada for the first six weeks of its release, to coincide with Morissette's acoustic tour, "The Diamond Wink Tour." Record stores have reacted angrily, including Canadian nationwide chain HMV, by pulling her music from shelves.

- by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers


R & R Convention Mulls Future Of Radio

Radio_and_recordThe Radio & Records convention is happening this week in Cleveland and the challenges facing radio are at the top of the agenda.  Two articles in R & R Magazine offered some suggestions as to how programmers can continue to compete:

- Broadcasters were urged to persue a multi-media/new media future.

"WTOP/Washington Internet Operations Manager Stephen Dolge told the crowd at today's R&R Convention Technology session that radio stations must embrace new delivery methods and find new ways to reach listeners in an emerging digital marketplace." 

Read the full article here.

- Panel of experts preach that radio must innovate to compete.

"A top-notch group of experts told those at today's Jacobs Media Summit at R&R Convention 2005 in Cleveland that technology is evolving at such a fast rate that no one can seem to keep up with it. Among those in on the discussion were Wired Features Editor Thomas Goetz, Electronic Arts Worldwide Executive/Music Steve Schnur, AOL Music Executive Director Jack Isquith, iBiquity VP/Marketing Dave Salemi and Vibes Media exec Jack Philbin...Radio is in better shape than the other media because consumers like radio, they already have it and they use it. They just need to choose it." He also urged radio to avoid the fate of TV and the music industry by "experimenting, innovating, adapting and staying tuned."

Read the full article here.


Popularity Of Shared Mixes Grows As Music Filter

"Music fans once turned to radio DJs to expose them to new music. But as music grows on the net,Wired_16  listeners are relying on friends and strangers to feed them...Fan-built playlists and mixes are taking over the way people get their music," writes Wired.com

Ipod_11"Apple Computer, for one, promotes user-generated iMixes and celebrity playlists at the iTunes Music Store. And the popular iPod shuffle is designed around the idea that people like pairing reggae and pop with country and jazz. "

"But music fans are ahead of corporate-endorsed playlists, putting their own clever twists on mixes by holding mixing contests, auto-generating playlists from blog posts and collaborating with others to build theme mixes."

Webjay_logo_zenguin"...Mix tapes and playlists are really the new container for music," said Lucas Gonze, creator of Webjay, a site that allows visitors to build playlists from free (and legal) MP3s compiled from sources all over the web. "They're dirt simple, they're social and they work."

"...It solves the problem of, 'How do I find good stuff?'" Gonze said. "You are surrounded by (music) you can buy but there's no way to get through it all. If you go to magazines, commercial TV and the radio, you're going to learn about bands (with) well-funded marketing budgets."

"...Tiny Mix Tapes, a music news site, has an Automatic Mix Tape Generator feature: Music fans write in and ask for a mix based on a particular theme...Volunteers post a new batch of finished mixes weekly."


NET RADIO BROADCASTING TO CELL PHONES INCREASING

Rain_logo_6Internet radio stations on your cell phone are already a reality according to an article in today's RAIN newsletter "Orban/CRL has announced that several Internet netcasters are now streaming high-quality stereo audio programming to 3GPP mobile devices via Orban’s OPTICODEC-PC aacPlus streaming software. Groove Salad, Secret Agent, and Indie Pop Rocks from San Francisco netcaster SomaFM and Santa Fe, NM’s Blu 102.9 FM are all streaming using 3GPP streaming technology in addition to their normal aacPlus audio streams.

Cell_photo_3 "According to Rusty Hodge of SomaFM, '3GPP aacPlus streams can actually sound better than FM radio. With these netcasters using this innovative technology, it is sure to help set the pace for more high quality streams and content to become available to the exploding wireless communications market.'...

"These stations join the many other netcasters who are listed on www.tuner2.com, a free streaming directory listing site for OPTICODEC-PC aacPlus netcasts. 3GPP streams are now also listed at www.tuner2.com/tuner/tuner2.wml for WAP browsers.

"Compared to MP3 and Windows Media Audio, these stations have found that OPTTICODEC-PC’s advanced aacPlus codec can reduce their bandwidth costs by almost two-thirds while increasing the audio quality they deliver to their listeners..."

HYPEBOT: It's all a bit technical for us. But new software that lowers bandwith requirements while increasing sound quality therefore making broadcasting to cell phones possible and bandwidth costs for all net broadcasting lower, then we're damn excited.


New IFPI Report Says 1 In 3 Music Discs Sold Worldwide Are Pirated

International music trade gorup the IFPI says in a new report that one in three music discs sold worldwide is an illegal copy, creating a US$4.6 billion music pirate market that destroys jobs, kills investment and funds organized crime. Despite the huge scale of the problem, some governments have taken encouraging steps to address music piracy in the last 18 months, according to the recording industry Commercial Piracy Report 2005 published by IFPI today.

Ifpi_1A total of 1.2 billion pirate music discs were sold in 2004 - 34% of all discs sold worldwide. But growth in disc piracy has slowed to its lowest level in five years, partly thanks to stepped up enforcement efforts in countries including Mexico, Brazil, Hong Kong, Paraguay and Spain. Industry and government enforcement efforts are also reaping results. The past year saw record levels of pirate production taken out of action, while seizures of commercial CD burning equipment in 2004 were twice the levels of 2003.

Cd Sales of pirate music exceed the legitimate market in a record 31 countries in 2004 - including, for the first time, Chile, Czech Republic, Greece, India and Turkey.

Spain is one of ten top priority countries named by the IFPI report, where piracy levels are at unacceptable levels and where additional government action is urgently needed. They are: Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan, Paraguay, Russia, Spain and Ukraine. It also highlights four other countries - Bulgaria, Canada, Korea and Taiwan where piracy, both physical and on the internet, is a special focus for the international recording industry.

For more on the IFPI report including the Top 10 offending countries click below.

Continue reading "New IFPI Report Says 1 In 3 Music Discs Sold Worldwide Are Pirated" »


Yetnikoff Sounds Off On Sorry State Of Music Biz At Commotion Records Event

Hollywoodreporter_logo_2003_6Chris Marlowe writes on HollywoodReporter.com that, "Attendees at Commotion Records' event at the Grove in Los Angeles Tuesday evening got a double-barreled look at the music industry."

"...the former president of CBS Records Group during the highflying '80s (and Commotion co-founder), took the floor, and it became "The Walter Yetnikoff Show."

"...An unholy terror at the height of his power at CBS, he has mellowed into an almost avuncular figure..."

Commotion_logo"...During a question-and-answer session, the outspoken Yetnikoff vented his spleen about the contemporary music business. "When you set out just to make money, you often don't," he said, noting the biz's ongoing decline. "Today's music industry bores me because it's run by conglomerates. ... Today's pop music is mostly really boring, because it's a copy of a copy of a copy."

"He added, "Would Bob Dylan get a contract today? I don't think so -- he sings funny." He pointed out that Bruce Springsteen was allowed to take a big chance with his now-classic solo 1982 album, "Nebraska." Yetnikoff said, "The patience (with Springsteen) paid off. In today's climate, I'm not sure the record executives would be that patient."

"So who does Yetnikoff like in music these days? "The White Stripes -- it's original," he said."

Read the full story including much more in the indy film soundtrack business here.


WALL STREET SPANKS WARNER MUSIC GROUP

According to Digital Music News, "Top analysts continue to be cool on Warner Music Group, with a new set of opinions driving the stock down further. Goldman Sachs led the negativity, rating the stock "in-line/neutral" despite being one of the lead underwriters in the recent IPO.., Merrill Lynch...took the pessimism a step further, rating the stock a "sell" ...Wall Street drove the stock downward..."

"The recent opinions largely fall in line with previous sentiments from investors, with Warner Music suffering a rather lackluster IPO in May. Soon thereafter, the company released a mediocre quarterly earnings report, though digital revenues are steadily increasing..."


Coalition of Independent Music Stores' Top 200 for Week Ending 6-19-05

Cims_11

Label/Pos./Artist / Title

CAP 1 COLDPLAY|X&Y

RCA 2 FOO FIGHTERS|IN YOUR HONOR

V2 3 WHITE STRIPES|GET BEHIND ME SA

VRGN 4 GORILLAZ|DEMON DAYS

MBL 5 AS I LAY DYING|SHADOWS ARE SEC

GEFN 6 COMMON|BE

AAM 7 BLACK EYED PEAS|MONKEY BUSINES

INT 8 BECK|GUERO

MERG 9 SPOON|GIMME FICTION

COL 10 SYSTEM OF A DOW|MEZMERIZE

EPIC 11 LIFE OF AGONY|BROKEN VALLEY

WAR 12 COODER*RY|CHAVEZ RAVINE

GEFN 13 MORRISON*VAN|MAGIC TIME

INEP 14 AUDIOSLAVE|OUT OF EXILE

NWWT 15 YOAKAM*DWIGHT|BLAME THE VAIN

SUBP 16 SLEATER-KINNEY|WOODS

UNJJ 17 JOHNSON*JACK|IN BETWEEN DREAMS

OHB 18 PRINE*JOHN|FAIR & SQUARE

EPIT 19 MOTION CITY SOU|COMMIT THIS TO

RCA 20 MATTHEWS*DAVE B|STAND UP

LHWY 21 ADAMS*RYAN|COLD ROSES

RYKO 22 ENO*BRIAN|ANOTHER DAY ON EARTH

INT 23 NINE INCH NAILS|WITH TEETH

GEFN 24 WEEZER|MAKE BELIEVE

EPIC 25 OASIS|DON'T BELIEVE THE TRUTH

Click below for the rest of the chart.

Continue reading "Coalition of Independent Music Stores' Top 200 for Week Ending 6-19-05" »


In Europe Internet Drowning Out TV And Radio...But There Is Hope For Music.

Tv_215-24 year olds across Europe are spending less time watching TV and listening to the radio as a result of using the Internet, according to research from the European Interactive Advertising Association (EIAA), the pan-European trade organisation for sellers of interactive media.  Almost half of 15-24 year olds (46%) are watching less TV, preferring instead to browse the web while 22% are listening to less radio. A third of those questioned are even reading less, choosing to consume information over the Internet.

Activities done less as a result of using the Internet:
  • Watching TV                           46%
  • Talking on the phone               34%
  • Reading newspapers                33%
  • Reading books                         32%
  • Listening to the radio              22%
Across Europe, this key target audience is spending almost a quarter of their media time (24%) online, more than reading newspapers (10%) or magazines (8%). In comparison, the average European devotes 20% of their media activity to the Internet. Among 15-24 year olds, TV continues to represent the largest share of media time at 31% with radio just ahead of the Internet on 27%.
Motorradio_1Music dominates online activity for this age group with the Internet providing a cheaper and more convenient means of purchasing and downloading tracks. A quarter of 15-24 year olds are now buying music online having previously purchased it in the shops. Almost half of those questioned (47%) would be prepared to pay for music download services, while 52% of youths listen to music online now instead of elsewhere.
Read more about the study here.

Radio On Your Cell Gains Steam

Businessweek_online236x40_1According to BussinessWeek.com, "A small deception is being practiced in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. In those cities, 300 people who might look like typical headphone-wearing commuters are listening to the radio while stuck in traffic or holding on as their overcrowded train chugs along in the morning rush hour. But they carry a secret."

"They aren't listening to music on their portable radios, nor playing podcasts of homebrewed radio programs on their iPods. They're grooving to the radio, all right, but it's flowing from an unexpected source: their cell phones."

Motorolalogo_1 "This small army of testers is checking out Motorola's iRadio service, expected to launch by yearend. And these listeners won't be on their lonesome for long. Scores of handset makers, wireless carriers, Web portals, and even satellite radio companies are starting up services that offer radio over cell phones -- betting that the market for such services could be as big as camera phones and ringtones."

"...And many users want that addition. According to surveys conducted by America Aolman_1 Online, a unit of Time Warner, more than half the respondents say they would listen to the radio on their phones. AOL is in talks with wireless service providers to offer its online radio stations on mobile phones within months..."

Nokia_1"Cell-phone radio might have greater appeal than mobile video. Handset maker Nokia is currently testing cell-phone video over a new network, but it has discovered that many consumers end up using the video broadcasts as radio. They listen to them most of the time, instead of squinting at the phones' two-inch screens..."

To learn more about the companies exploring broadcasting to cells and the struggle over finding the correct delivery technology, read the entire article here.


Live365 Launches Indy Label Podcast Series

Rockridghe_1Rock Ridge Music, an artist development company/label that launched last year, is taking part in new podcast series on Live365.com called "Live365 SPOTcast."  This series of weekly podcasts will be released this summer, with each week focusing on a different independent label and hosted by the award-winning programmer of BAGel Radio, Ted Leibowitz . Rock Ridge Music’s featured SPOTcast debuted on Friday, June 17th and includes tracks and interviews from label artists and clients. Listeners can download or subscribe to the XML here.

Live365_5Live365.com is the world’s largest internet radio community, with thousands of stations and three million listeners a month.  The initial podcast series focuses on independent alternative and indie rock and highlights new digital labels and forward-thinking established independent record labels. As one of these tastemaker companies, Rock Ridge has put together a varied and stellar podcast which features: Sinch ("All That’s Left Behind" and interview), Sister Hazel ("World Inside My Head"), Stroke 9 ("Set You Free" and interview), and Love.45 ("Don’t Ask Me" and interview).

Launched last summer, Rock Ridge Music offers its artists a label, artist management (if needed), national distribution, and a place to develop and maintain a solid career in the music business. Rock Ridge Music can be found online at here.


V2 RECORDS vs. HITS MAGAZINE: A Unique Glimpse Inside The Changing Record Industry

arlier this month, after the president of V2 Records read a widely viewed website of the influential music publication Hits Magazine, he typed a short e-mail and launched a small war."

"Hits' website had joked that V2, the label releasing the new White Stripes album, "ought to be renamed V 1/2 as the understaffed company makes a desperate attempt to set up the most critical release in its brief history…. If V2 was a functioning record company, the Stripes release would be much-much bigger, critics criticize."

"V2's president, Andy Gershon, thought he had a pretty good idea why his label, once praised by Hits, was now in the magazine's cross hairs: He no longer was paying the publication's owners for advertising and promotional services."

"You trash people that don't pay you. Pure and simple," Gershon wrote to Hits' editor, Lenny Beer, in an e-mail copied to scores of music executives and journalists. "You used to be nice and write nice things, WHEN we paid you…. You are nothing more than a two bit hustler at the end of the day, relying on strong arm tactics of fear."

Hitslogo2 "A Hits executive called Gershon's e-mail an untrue and inappropriate personal attack, insisting that the publication did not slam those who refused to purchase Hits' services."

"But that's not the predominant perception among many industry insiders, who are relishing what they see as the publication's long-overdue comeuppance."

"...The increasingly public criticism of Hits is a sign of how much things have changed in the way power is wielded and information flows in the music inustry..."                  

...(Hits did acknowledge that) "...we do support people who support us....It's one of the things that all industry magazines do, in our industry and lots of others."

"Not so in the case of the industry's premiere trade publication, Billboard magazine. Tamara Conniff, co-executive editor, said Billboard had a strict policy of separating editorial content from advertiser influence."

For the complete article click here.


AOL Offers Free Content

Today (Tuesday) is the day that AOL opens the doors for free to much of it's once "subscriber only" content.

Aol_10Jonathan Miller, America Online CEO, is heading this shift in the company's approach seemingly influenced by his time as an entertainment executive and relationship with parent corporation Time Warner. He described AOL's plans to remake the company from internet content provdier to true media conglomerate to The Hollywood Reporter.
Hollywoodreporter_logo_2003_5The full interview can read online here.

Lefsetz Letter Urges Record Labels & Radio To Invest In New Business Model Or Die

Lefsetz_1Excerpted from a recent Lefsetz Letter: "Now, you record companies fiddling with the CD should take note. You're living in a terrestrial world, and that's why you're fucked...But that's not why I'm beating you up here. I'm beating you up because you live by the mantra of giving people what they want.

"I'm not sure when things flipped. When art became about money instead of expression. When instant sales were seen to triumph over long term sales..."

"The record companies' business has been declining for half a decade. Is this about piracy, or is this about a failed business model? Could it be that if the labels focused on signing and promoting artists of value, who were in it for the long haul, their business would INCREASE??"

"Talk to the man on the street. You'll hear it again and again. Radio sucks."

"Radio used to be the MOST adventurous medium, that's why it continued to prosper after the advent of television. But now listenership is down and revenues are too...Could it be that a new model must be employed? That instead of playing fewer records, they should play MORE? That's what the Jack format is about. However, Jack leaves aside one of the selling elements of radio, personality. But...where are the NEW greatest hits coming from?...Unless radio invests in itself, it's going to die. Unless the labels invest in themselves, THEY'RE going to die.

Subsribe to free Lefsetz Letter here.


Study Predicts $11.3 Billion Mobile Music Market In 5 Years

According to Digital Music News: "Just how big will the mobile music market be in 2010? Certainly, things will look a lot different than they do now, with a new market being shaped by beefier devices, faster delivery networks, surging interest and more robust batteries. That has most research groups asking just how high this market will rise, with Informa Telecoms and Media projecting an $11.3 billion market by 2010. Realtones will account for $6.8 billion of that total, outpacing polyphonic tones next year. Current ringtones sales, including both real and polyphonic tones, account for an estimated $4.9bn this year according to the research."

Phone_5"While Informa sees a painful death for the iPod as the mobile music market evolves, the Apple devices are currently enjoying a nice reign...Ringtone sales themselves could start to feel a pinch, with many still amazed at just how much money one tone can fetch. That offers an interesting opportunity for companies like Xingtone and Primetones, which both other do-it-yourself ringtone creation tools...Meanwhile, many newer phones offer embedded ringtone creation tools, posing another major threat for existing ringtone revenues."


INDY SHANACHIE FINALLY JOINS DIGITAL DOWNLOAD WORLD WITH THE ORCHARD

Shanachielogo200605(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) - The Orchard has signed independent label Shanachie Entertainment for exclusive worldwide digital distribution and marketing. The Orchard will leverage Shanachie's artist roster globally for distribution to all leading digital music stores and services and the major wireless carriers through The Orchard's numerous mobile partnerships.

Shanachie joins the ranks of other major labels, including Lookout! Records and Saregama, that have partnered with The Orchard to market and sell their music digitally. The Orchard has digital distribution and marketing relationships in place with over 100 of the world's leading digital music stores globally, including iTunes, eMusic, Napster, MSN, MusicMatch, Real/Rhapsody, and Yahoo! In addition, The Orchard maintains distribution partnerships with industry-leading mobile companies around the world, including Sprint, Dwango Wireless, Zingy, 9 Squared, HIFI Ringtones, IAM Mobile, Securycast, Arvato Mobile and Hudson Soft.

Founded as a small traditional Irish music label in 1975, Shanachie has grown into a dominant independent that releases 50-70 titles each year with a strong catalogue encompassing blues (through its Yazoo imprint), folk, world music, reggae, smooth jazz, Americana, Latin music, rock, funk, jazz, klezmer and more.

Shanachie's catalogue features releases by contemporary jazz artists Kim Waters and Chuck Loeb, reggae trailblazers Augustus Pablo and Black Uhuru, African trumpeter Hugh Masekela, juju master King Sunny Ade, Pakistani artist Nusrate Fateh Ali Khan, bluegrass artists The Stanley Brothers and many more.

Continue reading "INDY SHANACHIE FINALLY JOINS DIGITAL DOWNLOAD WORLD WITH THE ORCHARD" »


TOP MUSIC INDUSTRY LEADERS HOLD TWO DAY RETREAT

On Thursday the leaders of key music organizations completed a two-day CEO retreat near Napa, CA focused on issues confronting the industry as well as strategies to ensure a healthy future for the U.S. music community.

The retreat brought together the top leaders of virtually every component of the music industry to engage and share information and perspectives on issues of the day. A broad range of topics was discussed, and the impending Grokster Supreme Court decision and concerns regarding music piracy figured prominently and engendered great cooperation and unity of purpose.

Entertainment attorney John Frankenheimer, who served as the moderator/facilitator for the retreat, stated: "It is clear that there is commonality of interests across a broad series of issues within the industry. This was an invaluable opportunity for the music industry's leadership to candidly exchange ideas and perspectives and identify common ground."

Organizations whose attended included The Recording Academy, Recording Industry Association of America, The Songwriters Guild of America, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, American Association for Independent Music, American Federation of Musicians, Church Music Publishers Association Action Fund, Gospel Music Association, Harry Fox Agency, National Association of Recording Merchandisers, National Music Publishers' Association, Recording Artists' Coalition, R&B Foundation, SESAC, and SoundExchange.

A commitment was made both to future meetings and continued cooperative effort.