« August 2005 | Main | October 2005 »

DIGITAL MUSIC NEWS - WEEK IN REVIEW

Week In Review

  • P2Ps have been feeling the heat since a round of RIAA cease-and-desist letters. eDonkey this week indicated that it will comply with RIAA demands, and is taking some steps to move towards a sanctioned, closed system. Others are also reportedly moving in that direction as well.
  • Memory cards got their day in the sun this week. SanDisk will now release the latest Rolling Stones album on its microSD card, while V2 and Disney also announced their own album releases on the memory card format.
  • Xmradio_35In the satellite sector, GM rolled out its three millionth XM-compatible dashboard, while XM itself surpassed five million total subscribers. The company expects to cross 6 million by year end.
  • The verbal sparring continued over iTunes pricing this week. Elsewhere in the online music space, MusicNet reached two million tracks in its catalog.
  • In the mobile world, Nokia delayed the launch of its much-anticipated N91.
  • And MTV was very active, inking relationships with both Warner Music and Sprint Nextel. Meanwhile, Apple executives expressed reservations over device convergence.
  • Elsewhere, Universal Music announced a new live concert relationship with Instant Live, a division of Clear Channel Entertainment. Instant Live offers CDs of a just-completed performance to concertgoers.


Universal Music Forms Infomercial Division

Tv_4From The HollywoodReporter.com: "Universal Music Group has founded a new TV venture, Universal Music Media, which will produce and distribute full-lenth music Universallogo_8 and video infomercial programming worldwide. UMM's first production will be "Soul 70's Collection," a 30-minute program hosted by vocalist Isaac Hayes. The show, which begins airing immediately, will promote a like-titled nine-CD set and will feature hits of the era by such acts as Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, the Jackson 5, Barry White, Al Green, the Commodores, Gladys Knight and Earth, Wind & Fire."


Major Labels Finally Try To Make Some Money From Videos

From Forbes.com: "Here's a lousy deal for you-give away your product, help a new business grow from zero to multiple billions and get nothing in return. That, in a nutshell, is what the music companies did with their promotional music videos more than two decades ago when they supplied then-upstart network MTV with free programming..."

Mtv_10"But new media is giving the music labels a chance to learn from their mistakes. The music video format, which no longer figures heavily on MTV's flagship network, has found new life online, where fans download or stream the mini-movies to their computers. The model is beginning to find traction on mobile phones and now the labels are beginning to cash in..."

"The most recent example is a pact announced today between Warner Music Group and Viacom's  Wmg_logo_lr_9 MTV in which the cable network will have access to the music company's video library to create new clips it will serve up over wireless phone networks..."

"The real news here is that both companies have agreed that whatever revenue is generated will be shared by both sides. That's different than MTV's traditional model, where labels pay to create the videos and the network shows them for little, if any, payment to the labels..."

Read the full Forbes.con article here.


Internet Surpasses Radio As Prime Music Source For Youth According To New Study

From MediaPost.com: "THE INTERNET HAS SURPASSED RADIO as the preferred medium for music Yahoo_10 among youth in all countries, according to a study of 13- to-24-year-olds in 11 countries to be released today by Yahoo! and OMD Worldwide. While the preference is more pronounced in other countries, 47 percent of young U.S. consumers prefer the Internet for music, compared to 27 percent who prefer radio."

"...music is possibly the single greatest mechanism by which youth facilitate their three needs," according to the report, which specifies those needs as community, self-expression, and personalization."

"The study, "Truly, Madly, Deeply Engaged: Global Youth, Media and Technology," based on research conducted earlier this summer, found a remarkable degree of multitasking among today's youth. Globally, the generation dubbed "My Media" by OMD and Yahoo! finds itself faced with more tasks than time to accomplish them on a daily basis, and as a result, has become highly adept at multitasking and "media meshing."

"A key finding from this study is that members of the My Media generation can fit up to 44 hours of activities in just one day..."


Hypebot's Digital Music QuickNews:

Two out of every five Americans have broadband net access at home, according Nielsen/NetRatings. 120.8 million people, or 42% of the U.S. population, had high-speed connections in August, up from 103.8 million in January.  Fewer net surfers are using dial-up connections down by 10% since August last year, from 60.6 million to 54.3 million.  Read more here.

XM Satellite Radio announced that it has signed multi-platinum hip-hop artist Ludacris to host a weekly music show on XM. Launching in January, "Disturbing Tha Peace Presents Ludacris' Open Mic" will feature music hand-selected by Ludacris.


Backlash Over CD Copy Protection And DRM Grows

The backlash  to CD copy protection and overly restrictive Digital Rights Management technologies continues with an increasing number of consumers having experienced some level of frustration when the music they've legal bought doesn't play in certain players or is not a portable as they have become accustomed to.

Is the music industry actually driving away business.  Some certainly think so.

Npr_2There was an insightful piece on NPR recently that can be hear here.

"The music industry hopes to contol illegal file sharing by putting digital locks on music, but some consumers suffer unintended consequences when the technology for copy protection acts unpredictably."

And musician Kristen Hersh of Throwing Muses and 50 Foot Wave writes openly about it on the band's website here.

"It just struck me this morning, maybe especially, amid the horrifying stories in the news Kristin_hersh right now how ridiculous this idea of music piracy is. The idea that ultra-rich media companies and even ultra-rich "rockstars" can't bear to have their own fans (people who genuinely derive pleasure from listening to their music) make copies of their CDs, for fear of lost revenue."

When will the music industry learn to make friends again with the people who buy their product and work to give them quality and value instead of trying to punish them?


Lefsetz's Power Top 10

Music commentator Bob Lefsetz's Power Top 10

1) Steve Jobs "It's kind of like the Beatles, the best is the BIGGEST!..."

2) Eric Garland  "The RIAA is a disinformation organization. As bad as any Third World government entity..."

3) Coran Capshaw (Dave Mathews, MusicToday, ATO Records) "God bless the entrepreneur....Coran Capshaw built his own. No one can take it away from him. No one can fire him..."

4) Jimmy Iovine

5) Michael Rapino (Clear Channel Live/Spinco)

6) Q Prime / Front Line (managers Cliff Bernstien & Peter Mench)

7) Pitchforkmedia.com

8) Yahoo/AOL "Their both disasaters..."

9) Roger Ames

10) Hugh Panero (XM)

Excerpted from The Lefsetz Letter.


MusicGiants Offers Higher Quality Downloads

Musicgiants_1MusicGiants.com launched a new music download service yesterday designed to stand out in a crowded market by appealing to high-end listeners. The company has reached licensing deals with all the major music labels including EMI, Sony/BMG, Universal and The Warner Music Group for its service, which it claims is the first to offer music files in Microsoft Corp's Windows Media Audio "lossless" format which has up to seven times the sound quality of downloads from other commercial music services according MusicGiants. The tracks will be priced at $1.29 each, rahter than the industry norm of 99 cents. Customers must first register online, get the software via download or CD-ROM, and open an account by paying a $50 annual fee. MusicGiants then credits new customers the full $50 each for future music purchases.


COALITION OF INDY MUSIC STORES CHART

Cims_25Label Pos. Artist|Title

COL 1 COHEED & CAMBRI|GOOD APOLLO,I'

WAR 2 DISTURBED|TEN THOUSAND FISTS
ATLG 3 DEATH CAB FOR C|PLANS
GEFN 4 SIGUR ROS|TAKK
DEF 5 WEST*KANYE|LATE REGISTRATION
UNIV 6 MARLEY*DAMIAN|WELCOME TO JAMRO
VRGN 7 ROLLING STONES|BIGGER BANG
COL 8 AQUALUNG|STRANGE & BEAUTIFUL
OVCT 9 IRON & WINE/CAL|IN THE REINS
CAP 10 MCCARTNEY*PAUL|CHAOS & CREATIO
RCA 11 GRAY*DAVID|LIFE IN SLOW MOTION
VRGN 12 GORILLAZ|DEMON DAYS
ISL 13 BON JOVI|HAVE A NICE DAY
MERG 14 ARCADE FIRE|FUNERAL
SYL 15 WALL*PAUL|PEOPLE'S CHAMP
LAVA 16 BUTLER*JOHN TRI|SUNRISE OVER S
UNIV 17 KAISER CHIEFS|EMPLOYMENT
KILL 18 DECEMBERISTS|PICARESQUE
CAP 19 RAITT*BONNIE|SOULS ALIKE
CEME 20 GOD FORBID|IV: CONSTITUTION OF
VRCS 21 BLOC PARTY|SILENT ALARM
CAP 22 COLDPLAY|X&Y
VRCS 23 BLOC PARTY|SILENT ALARM REMIXE
RHI 23 AUSTIN CITY LIM|AUSTIN CITY LI
VRGN 25 PRETTYMAN*TRIST|T W E N T Y T

CLICK BELOW FOR THE WEEKLY COMMENTARY AND #26-200.

Continue reading "COALITION OF INDY MUSIC STORES CHART" »


XM Chief Speaks As Service Tops 5 Million Subscribers

Xmradio_34 Interesting interview in USA Today with XM CEO Hugh Panero just as the satellite radio service hit 5 million subscribers:

"We're reinventing radio the same way cabl reinvented television. So hitting 20 million subscribers by 2010 — some analysts say that satellite radio could be at 40 to 50 million by then — is really just a matter of us executing and expanding the places where satellite radio can go. We want to be everywhere..."

"...what people really love is music. We have 125 music directors dedicated to putting passion into our music channels. That's different than our competitor, who treats it more like FM. And advertising is not part of our music lineup."

"...And now we've added MP3 capabilities to our devices. People who are very busy don't have two hours to sort through a lot of music. They want someone to be their concierge service, which is what XM does."

Read the full USA Today interview here.


Hypebot's Digital Music QuickNews:

XM Satellite Radio recently surpassed 5 million subscribers, increasing its lead as Xmradio_33 the nation's number-one satellite radio company. "With more than five million subscribers today, XM continues to expand its position as the leader in the satellite radio industry," said Hugh Panero, XM Satellite Radio president and CEO. "We are on track to have more than six million subscribers by the end of this year."

MusicNet has expanded its catalog of licensed music to 2 million tracks - the largest available in the industry today for subscription and purchase. MusicNet, whose distribution partners include Yahoo!, HMV, Virgin Digital, AOL, iMesh, Cdigix, and Charter, RCN and Adelphia (through Synacor), offers a suite of fully customized digital music experiences, including the ability to buy digital music subscriptions, portable subscriptions and downloads.

Orchard_1The Orchard has announced two major achievements stemming from its marketing efforts. First, the distributor notched its 25,000th successful promotional placement in a digital music store.  The Orchard achieved this milestone with its placement of Art Brut’s full length debut album, Bang Bang Rock & Roll (Fierce Panda), on UK Napster.  Second, the company achieved sales of over one million digital downloads on independent music retailer eMusic.

The Digital Rights Agency, a digital music distributor, has signed distribution agreements with Stony Plain Records, Ecko Records, Fearless Records and BCD Music Group. The deals add key titles by top blues, rock, punk and hip-hop stars including Ronnie Earl, Elvin Bishop, Duke Robillard, Maria Muldaur, Muddy Waters, Roy Rodgers, Jay Geils, Rufus Thomas, Denis Lasalle, At The Drive-In, Plain White Ts, Lil Jon, Lil Flip and Snoop Dog & Friends.

SanDisk Corp. is launching their new secure media format with "A Bigger Bang." The album from the Rolling Stones is the first release on SanDisk's new Gruvi Music Cards, small portable flash cards that let consumers play music and other entertainment products on appropriately equipped mobile phones, laptops and other devices.


Universal Music, Clear Channel Form Concert CD Partnership

According to Digital Music News, "Universal Music Group has recently finalized a live concert deal with Instant Live, a division of Clear Channel."

Instantlive_1"Instant Live offers concertgoers a CD memento of the show immediately after the performance conclusion. The company can deliver a recording of the just-completed performance six minutes after the last note is played. Now, Universal Music will position a number of its artists within the Instant Live offering, and capture some of the excitement and revenue..."

"Financial details of the arrangement were not revealed, but the move is part of a steady move byUniversallogo_7  majors to widen their business model. The Big Four have traditionally earned most of their revenues from the sale of pre-recorded CDs, and not....merchandising, live concerts, and sponsorships. But decreasing disc sales are putting more pressure on the labels to widen their outlook, and repair what has been a flawed business structure..."


Emusic Launches Online Magazine

Download subscription service eMusic is launching eMusic Magazine with some heavy hitting rock writers exploring eMusic's huge collection of independently releases music.

.

Emusic_5The online magazine will be updated daily and includes such features as "Review of the Day"; "Spotlight" feature articles penned by genre specialists; and eMusic Dozens, catalogues of the 12 most essential albums across many different artists and genres with accompanying essays from one of more than 100 top rock journalists.

For the launch of eMusic Magazine, best-selling author and eMusic editor-in-chief Michael Azerrad has expanded his editorial team to include MTV News' Kurt Loder, Harvey Pekar, Neal Pollack and Thurston Moore. They join eMusic’s existing roster of well known rock critics, editors and writers like Simon Reynolds, Pulitzer Prize winner Justin Davidson, former New York Times pop critic Ann Powers, and founding fathers of rock criticism John Morthland and Lenny Kaye.of nearly one million songs. Subscribers can now read a favorable review of an artist they've never heard of before then instantly hear it. "eMusic has a vast and incredible catalogue so deep and captivating that it requires a world-class team of music experts to guide you through it," said David Pakman, president and CEO of eMusic.

With the launch of eMusic Magazine, eMusic's aim is to offer a way to navigate their music collection.

Check out the first issue here.


Listen In On Today's MTV And Warner Music Mobile Partnership Conference Call

Warner Music Group and MTV Networks today will announce a new mobile content partnership. The agreement is reportedly a global licensing deal for MTV Networks worldwide to use music videos from the Warner Music catalog to create original mobile programming.

An announcement is planned for this morning at 10:30am EST. Top execs from both companies will be on the call. Dial (888) 810-3140 to enter the conference call (outside the US 1-210-234-0021). The passcode is "Warner Music".


Amazon To Offer Music Service

According to FutureMusic.com Amazon "will launch a digital music service in the near future featuring individual songs for download, as well as a subscription service. Amazon has had licensing discussions with all the major labels and is currently evaluating several digital distributors including MusicNet. "

Amazon_12"...The long term strategy for Amazon.com definitely includes offering a large quantity and variety of digital content. However, like the rest of the online music stores save Napster, the short term strategy is not sales."

Some speculate that Amazon just does want to be the last person in this field and  others think  their using it as a loss leader to build traffic and sell other things.  But when there is no inventory and most of the promotion will be to existing customers; why can't the small margin download business still be profitable?  And if Amazon wants to be a one-stop shop doesn't it almost have to offer a music service?  In fact we wonder why their moving so slowly...


Real Rock Isn't Dead. It's Just Headed South And Smart Music Marketers Are Following.

Remember how we all scratched our heads as Shania Twain had huge hits on country radio that sounded a whole like rock songs?  She was even produced and essentially re-invented by the king of arena rock Mutt Lange. That appears to have been the start of a trend. An article in the New York Times chronicles the trend and starts by asking, "What ever happened to arena rock?"

"...It went South. These days, if you want slick rock 'n' roll sing-alongs and triumphal power ballads, your best bet is probably country music"

Bonjovi"Maybe Bon Jovi has already figured that out. Because as aol.com broadcasts the Nokia Theater concert online, the country-music cable network CMT is running a different Bon Jovi concert. This week fans can watch Bon Jovi in the latest installment of the CMT concert series "Crossroads," which matches rock stars with like-minded country stars. "Crossroads" is one of CMT's cleverest shows, a smart way to acknowledge the increasing overlap between old-fashioned rock 'n' roll and new-fangled country."

For its "Crossroads," Bon Jovi has been paired with the country trio Sugarland, and the two acts perform onstage together, trading vocals on songs from two not-very-different repertories....This alliance between Bon Jovi and CMT is a clever marketing idea. It's also an acknowledgement of the current rock 'n' roll reality..."

"It's been almost 15 years since people first started talking - semi-accurately - about the rise of melancholy grunge and the fall of exuberant hair-metal..."

"...Meanwhile, in Nashville, there has been an unexpected resurrection. Garth Brooks taught a generation of country stars how to rock arenas, and acts ranging from Toby Keith (he did a "Crossroads" show with Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, plus others) to Brooks & Dunn ("Crossroads" with ZZ Top) have perfected their own bombastic, rock-influenced live shows. Kenny Chesney ("Crossroads" with John Mellencamp)...is essentially a cowboy-hatted arena-rock star, unafraid of oversized gestures. And then there's Keith Urban ("Crossroads" with John Fogerty)..."

"...There's no reason, after all, why a pop song can't crunch and twang at the same time..."

Read the full New York Times article here.  Free registraion may be required.


MORE FROM DIGITAL HOLLYWOOD

Digitalhollywood_8Panel Report:The Artists Strike Back - Will DRM & Anti-Piracy Initiatives Destroy Digital Music?
Ken Hertz, Senior Partner, Goldring Hertz & Lichtenstein LLP
Albhy Galuten, Vice President, Digital Media Technology Strategy, Sony Corporation of America
Dave Jaworski, CEO, Passalong Networks
Ty Roberts, founder & CTO, GraceNote
Kelli Richards, President, The All Access Group, Moderator

This panel on Digital Rights Management ably moderated by tech author/consultant Kelli Richards provided a number of view points with Sony Corp Digital VP Alabhy Galuten summingSony_logo_1  up this panel's  viewpoint best by saying simply , "DRM is not  the enemy".  He and others on the panel presented their various approached to monetizing music ownership and listening.  Nothing earth shattering here, but some good ideas and honest banter. I was disappointed that no one discussed the effects that too much copy protection has on the consumer.

Panel Report: Music Industry Innovates and Morphs: Radio, Blogs, P2P, Ad Revenue Concepts, Cable/TV Innovation
Marc Morgenstern, VP, General Manager of Loudeye, Digital Media Asset Protection Business
Michael Weiss, President & CEO, StreamCast Networks
David Frerichs, Vice President & U.S. General Manager, Coding Technologies
Ted Cohen, Senior Vice President, D3 – Digital Development & Distribution, EMI Recorded Music
Stephen Taylor, CTO, Mashboxx
Bill Moore, CEO, RadioTime
Rick Doherty, co-founder and Director, The Envisioneering Group, Moderator

I had high hopes for this panel. We all know that most of what drove music marketing just 5 years ago no longer works. So what is coming along to replace it? The list in the title showed promise, but as is  too often the case on music industry panels the discussion quickly deteriorated into the legality and illegality of various tech innovations.  So we all know stealing music is bad for our business and usually if not always illegal.  But here's the secret: We can't make it go away! Moderator Rick Doherty provided some valuable historical perspective but failed to keep the discussion on topic. A real discussion of what innovations are and aren;t working in the industry failed to happen here.

CONFERENCE SUMMARY:  A worthwhile trip.  Any time you can get the head of Morpheus and a VP of EMI in the same room without any lawyers is a good thing.  And while I wish some of the panelists could have been more informative and a bit less self-serving; isn't this what these conventions are all about: Sell ling your product, seeing who else is selling what, and most of all trying to figure out if you've got a real business model or just a great idea. 

I heard lots of great ideas: Passalong (great potential for viral music marketing) Yahoo! Music Passalong_logo_2 Unlimited (who finally are getting music pricing right), and even Mercora (if by any chance it's actually legal).  Let's see how many are  still in business to attend next year's Digital Hollywood.

Page down for more Digital Hollywood coverage.


DIGITAL MUSIC NEWS - WEEK IN REVIEW

From Digital Music News:

Several developments emerged this week in the mobile music sector. Sprint Nextel inked a Real_7 deal with RealNetworks to feature Rhapsody stations on its deck. And Cingular was active, pointing to a download store in 2006 and inking a retail relationship with Musicland.

The P2P sector was especially intense this week. The WinMX website went dark, reflecting a possible reaction by owner Frontcode Technologies to an RIAA cease-and-desist letter. Meanwhile, chatter focused on a possible acquisition of Grokster by Mashboxx.

The RIAA faced a negative ruling over its handling of minors, potentially altering the role that parents will play in future lawsuits. And Hollywood studios banded together to offer a new anti-piracy consortium.

In the portable MP3 sector, Dell threw some new devices into the arena, including a flash-Dell_2 based competitor to the Apple shuffle.

The volleys between Apple and labels continued, with Steve Jobs criticizing the majors for being "greedy" by seeking a-la-carte price increases. Amazon has reportedly been hot and cold in its bid to begin a digital music store, and eMusic inked a content partnership with Emusi_4 AIM. And Sony BMG artists Switchfoot publicly railed against new CD copy-protections.


Marketer Seth Godin Tells Radio Broadcasters To Change Before It's Too Late

Rain_logo_11From Kurt Hansan and his online RAIN newsletter, "...Seth Godin - famous for his books "Permission Marketing," "Unleashing the Ideavirus," and "Purple Cow" - delivered the keynote speech this morning at the NAB Radio Show in Philadelphia, telling broadcasters that they are at a critical fork in the road and urging them to change their direction."

"With the web and satellite radio and WiMax, radio's not going to be one-way communication any more -- it's going to be two- or three-way," Godin told the several hundred attendees in the audience. "You're either going to embrace it or not...."

"...The FCC is the reason you exist," Godin said. "It's about limited spectrum. If there were a millionSeth_godin_1  FM stations, you couldn't sell any advertisements." But with the advent of TiVo, Xbox, DVDs, Yahoo!, Escient, home theaters, 400 TV channels, 10,000 magazines, and more, "the TV-industrial complex is going away. What are you going to do about it?"

"...He challenged his audience,"How many podcast subscribers do you have?", notingthat one New York City station has 50,000 subscribers now and will someday have 500,000 subscribers - "and each one of them is someone who's not listening to you...."

He also asked, "How many anticipated, personal, relevant ads do you deliver?" Responding to the speakers before him -- the NAB's Eddie Fritts and Jefferson-Pilot's Don Benson, both of whom extolled the value of radio's localism -- Godin noted, "Local doesn't necessarily mean local on a map; it can mean local based on interests...."


CD Sales Continue To Decline

According to Digital Music News,  "Album sales in the US remained soft last week, heightening fears of another bearish fourth quarter. Approximately 10.4 million units were shipped during the most recent period, a drop of 3.1 percent over the comparable period in 2004. Overall, cumulative units sold this year edged upward to 396 million, an 8.5 percent deficit over the same total at this point last year."

"Meanwhile, 2004 itself was a mediocre sales year, despite a strong start in the first and second quarters. Chart-toppers last week included Paul Wall, Kanye West, and Switchfoot, which recently created a major stink over copy-protections on its latest CD release (see Hypebot story below)..."


Mark Cuban Commentary: The definition of insanity...The Music Industry

Billionaire Mark Cuban wrote a commentary on the music industry back in July that has been making the rounds and mentioned previously here in Hypebot.  His comments have been quoted and mis-quoted so often we thought is would be useful to print it in it's entirety:

There is an old saying that the definition of insanity is, “Doing the same thing over and over again expecting the outcome to change”

I think of this saying everytime I hear about music industry efforts to impact piracy.

Insanity is thinking that kids with more time than money will stop finding ways to get music for Cd_6 free. Even if the industry found the end all be all DRM solution that stops 100 pct of duplication, kids will sit in front of their radios with recording capability or redirect digital music from any source to their hard drives and then spend the time to pick out the music they like and burn it.

Insanity is thinking that piracy is the reason music sales are down and then focusing most of your  business on selling music to the exact demographic that has the most time to spend on finding free music and most energy to spend on cracking whatever protections you introduce.

Insanity is ignoring year after year, the demographics with more money than time. Those who aren’t willing, or don’t have the time to troll through the net to figure out which network has the most music to download, searching for songs, picking out which peers to try to download from and then hoping it all worked out right. Those who would prefer to just buy music in the easiest way possible so they can get on with enjoying their music and their lives.  Isn’t that why we buy bottled water? It’s easy and convenient?

Hire someone from Starbucks who understands selling music to demographics who are happy to buy the music they want in a setting they enjoy.
here to visit Mark Cuban's blogmaverick.com blog.

Click below to read the rest of the commentary and click

Continue reading "Mark Cuban Commentary: The definition of insanity...The Music Industry" »


Coalition Of Independent Music Stores' Top 200 for Week Ending 9-18-05

Cims_24Label Pos. Artist|Title

GEFN 1 SIGUR ROS|TAKK

EPIC 2 FRAY|HOW TO SAVE A LIFE

OVCT 3 IRON & WINE/CAL|IN THE REINS

ATLG 4 DEATH CAB FOR C|PLANS

CLICK BELOW FOR #26-200

DEF 5 WEST*KANYE|LATE REGISTRATION

RCA 6 GRAY*DAVID|LIFE IN SLOW MOTION

VRGN 7 ROLLING STONES|BIGGER BANG

UNIV 8 MARLEY*DAMIAN|WELCOME TO JAMRO

CAP 9 MCCARTNEY*PAUL|CHAOS & CREATIO

XLXL 10 BANHART*DEVENDR|CRIPPLE CROW

CAP 11 RAITT*BONNIE|SOULS ALIKE

SYL 12 WALL*PAUL|PEOPLE'S CHAMP

CAP 13 DANDY WARHOLS|ODDITORIUM OR WA

CPDR 14 MCMURTRY*JAMES|CHILDISH THINGS

ATLG 15 LITTLE BROTHER|MINSTREL SHOW

OLE 16 NEW PORNOGRAPHE|TWIN CINEMA

VRGN 17 GORILLAZ|DEMON DAYS

BARS 18 NADA SURF|WEIGHT IS A GIFT

COL 19 DYLAN*BOB|NO DIRECTION HOME: T

ATLG 20 CHAPMAN*TRACY|WHERE YOU LIVE

COL 21 CROWELL*RODNEY|OUTSIDER

RCA 22 STELLASTARR|HARMONIES FOR THE

COL 23 SWITCHFOOT|NOTHING IS SOUND

BPR 24 SEXTON*CHARLIE|CRUEL & GENTLE

CAP 25 COLDPLAY|X&Y

Continue reading "Coalition Of Independent Music Stores' Top 200 for Week Ending 9-18-05" »


Rockers Switchfoot Encourage Fans To ByPass Sony DRM Anti-Piracy Technology

Switchfoot_1Alternative rockers Switchfoot are so upset over new anti-piracy digital rights management technology (DRM) on their new Sony CD that they've been informing fans of various schemes to by-pass it and allow CD burning, use with iTunes software, etc.

Thanks to Bob Lefstez and his newsletter for these related link:

http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2142471/band-tells-fans-round-drm

http://forums1.sonymusic.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/716102313/m/5201067064

http://forums1.sonymusic.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/716102313/m/8611091364

http://forums1.sonymusic.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/716102313/m/1331071454


Hypebot Report From Digital Hollywood

Digitalhollywood_4I spent most of the day at Digital Hollywood - an annual gathering of the geek tribe involved in all forms of digital entertainment.

Of course as with all good business people monetizing the mess and promise caused by broadband, P2P and related technologies was first and foremost on the minds of those in attendance.  Various schemes including digital rights management technologies, subscription services, and ad supported networks were all discussed in great detail with panelist and questioners alike taking whatever vision of the future their particular business was vested in.

Some random thoughts and opinions from the various panels I attended and conversations that I had:

- Subscribers to the various services (Yahoo, Napster, Rhapsody, etc.) are also avid purchasers of paid downloads.  That may change as various portability issues are resolved by the subscription services.

- Subscribers and downloaders are mostly adults who have "more money that time" accordingYahoomusiclogos_10  to Yahoo! Music VP David Goldberg. But they may make up only 1"0% of the potential audience" according to Universal VP David Ring.

- Ring and others stated that a lack of easy (or better yet universal) system of publishing clearances and higher royalties sought by publishers slows growth and innovation in the Universallogo_6 digital music sector.  No one in attendance seemed to offer much hope for change in the immediate future.

- Mp3.com site director Laura Hess implored labels and content providers to give consumers "added value" with the purchase of CD's in the form of exclusive access to online content, videos or "perhaps even an online concert broadcast."

- Hess also encouraged content providers to build community to help consumers cut through the mass of content to find things that match their tastes.

- Within a few years broadcast radio will be all talk and information as new audience Mtv_9 measurement technologies show advertisers how often listeners flip stations when a song they don't like comes on, predicted Yahoo's Goldberg. As proof he reminded attendees that MTV cut back on videos when  measurement tools showed that viewers switch channels the second a video they didn't care for aired. 

The smallish trade show area was a bit of a disappointment.  It always surprises me when high tech companies try to get you excited in a flashy and sometimes complex product with only a lap top of 17 inch monitor in on an almost bare tabletop with a cheesy banner behind and a glossy one sheet. Come on guys and gals.  This may not be the CES show but if you want to be worth a few million $'s you've got to look and feel like it.

Passes to Digital Hollywood at the Lowes Hotel in Santa Monica, CA are still available at the door with a number of strong music panels schedule for Wednesday.  In fact, I'll probably be back there tom morrow.  - Bruce Houghton for Hypebot.com


Music Choice Deliver Content Via New VOIP Phones

With the interenet telphone sector growing in leaps and bounds, it was only a matter of time before someone harnessed that market to deliver music and other entertainment content.

ViseonMedia, the exclusive source of TV programming to VisiFone Multimedia digitalMusic_choice home telephones, today announced that Music Choice, will provide music content for the upcoming U.S. VisiFone slated for early 2006 release . The new VisiFone Multimedia digital telephone for VoIP is capable of displaying fully interactive video and digital audio without the complexities of a personal computer, in addition to being a digital telephone/videophone. Music Choice will deliver a wide variety of non-stop audio music channels, including R&B and Hip-Hop, Hit List, 80s, 90s, Country, Rock, and much more.  In addition, Music Choice will offer "Music Choice News," a daily dose of music news and artist gossip, to ViseonMedia, who will in turn format and broadcast the content to VisiFone homes throughout the United States.  The Music Choice network joins other leading consumer content providers including ABC News, The Weather Channel Interactive, Court TV, Discovery Networks, Fox News Channel, College Sports Television, AccuWeather, Expo TV and many others soon to be announced.

Music Choice also delivers music programming via many cable systems, stattelite TV providers, broadband and the new Sprint PCS Vision cell phones.


Passalongs OnTour Application Offers Smart Concert Recommendations

According to DigitalMusicnews, "...OnTour is a small application with a big appetite, linking music Passalong_logo_1 on your hard drive with concerts nearby. Artists with upcoming shows in the area are listed at the top of the window. Click on a link and details appear below with concert dates. Buttons that link with Mapquest, the venue schedule and Ticketmaster are at the bottom of the window. Choose "Recommended Artist" from the drop-down list and the application compares your artist list with data gathered from thousands of other music lovers to make recommendations."

"The application is exactly the kind of thing that good user experiences are made of - it's small, a fast download and easy to use...."

"Meanwhile, PassAlong is well invested in the legal trading environment, and has developed a system that rewards users for sharing WMA-protected tracks."


Digital Hollywood Opens Today

Digitalhollywood_1This week HYPEBOT will be reporting live from the Digital Hollywood gathering.  Learn more about this industry event here.  Passes are still available including an incredibly affordable $10 pass to the trade show only.  The agenda looks impressive.

HERE IS AN EXCLUSIVE INVITATION FOR HYPEBOT READERS ONLY:

Hypebot, if you or your readers want to attend a great session --contact me via email at joycecom@aol.com and I'll arrange for a special one-session only comp to the panel I'm moderating : Tuesday, September 20
3:50 PM - 5:00 PM
Track II:
Next Generation Entertainment and Media Realities: DTV, PVR, Broadband and Hollywood This session is about the future of entertainment, media and technology. The convergence is in progress and we are trying to make sense out of it. Stacy Jolna, Senior Vice President, General Manager, TV Guide Television Group
Cory Treffiletti, SVP, Managing Director, Carat Interactive
Cory Mitchell, Executive Vice President, Business Development, National Cinemedia
Sinbad, comedian, actor & producer
Ritch Colbert, Program Partners -- see you there....P.S. if you email me tell me you saw my note in Hypebot's blog!!!

Joyce Schwarz, JCOM Emerging Entertainment Marketing, Moderator

Email: joycecom@aol.com
URL: http://www.joycecom.com
IP: 71.105.76.233


Analysts Critical Of RIAA's Continued P2P Lawsuits

Acccording to Digital Msuic News, "Common wisdom says that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Following an aggressive legal move by the RIAA against several leading P2P applications, that could be the case once again for P2P file-sharing. "Every time they have a press release or there's news about it, the number of P2P users grows," Yankee Group Senior analyst Mike Goodman recently told TechKazaa_3NewsWorld. Statistics seem to agree. Monthly P2P traffic has almost tripled worldwide since the RIAA began initiating individual lawsuits in 2003. And the latest stab against operators could further that, part of what Goodman calls "the P2P marketing campaign."

GartnerG2 research director Mike McGuire voiced it another way. "It seems to be like trying to  manage Jell-O,"...From the perspective of the RIAA, the latest salvo was designed to eliminate some of the top services and entrepreneurs from the game, while also discouraging new entrants. But users are notorious for jumping from one service to another, opening the door to new entrants all of the time..."


More Flom Fallout: Lava Folded Into Atlanic

Surprise, surprise! According to Billboard.biz Lava Records, home of Simple Plan, the Click 5 and Antigone Rising, and others has been folded into Atlantic Records. Lava staffers, outside of personnel in the A&R and promotion departments, will be exiting.

Warner_music_group_logo_4The departure of Lava founder Jason Flom as CEO of the Atlantic Records Group last month left Lava's future in doubt. Lava had been a joint venture between Flom and Atlantic, but became a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlantic after Flom's departure.

Dave Roberge, manager for O.A.R., whose next Lava album comes out Oct. 4,  yold Billboard, “we're extremely sad that we had a great team who believed in the band who won't get to finish what they started, but we're equally excited about embracing a new team and what they can offer."

A statement from Atlantic indicated the goal of the restructuring is to "create a consolidated, exceptional team to take Atlantic Records into the future, and to focus the company's energies on the core strengths of this great label." 

Yeah, right...