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Could Live Nation Be The Next Record Label?

Concert giant Live Nation has just completed its purchase of music merchandiser Trunk and made some key executive appointments.  The move now positions the publicly traded company as a gatekeeper in the two arenas of the music industry that provide artists with the most revenue - touring and merchandise sales.  Livenation221205

Live Nation also just announced that jam rockers Government Mule, known for allowing free taping at their shows, has surpassed 1 million paid live downloads via Live Nation controlled Music Today. Music Today also offers fan ticketing and other services to enhance the artist/fan relationship.

In the shifting music business paradigm, could Live Nation become the new record label financing artist development and coordinating marketing and revenue streams?  At a recent Pollstar Concert Industry Consortium panel Live Nation's forward thinking CEO Michael Rapino hinted that such ideas are being explored.


iTunes Moves Towards DRM Free

We've been critical of Apple in recent weeks for not getting serious about going DRM free and making Itunes available the hundreds of thousands of great tracks that indie labels already sold without copy protection on eMusic and elsewhere. 

Now comes word that iTunes has informed partners that "they would soon be able to offer DRM-free music and DRM-free music videos to customers through iTunes".  "Soon" is a bit vague for my taste but it appears Jobs should be applauded for doing more than just talk the talk.


New Music Business Briefing: Canada Down 35%, Crimea Gives It Away, Amazon A "Sleeping Giant" & More

Canadaflag >>> Canadian CD sales dropped a whopping 35% last quarter.

>>> Successful UK act Crimea is going to give away it's self-financed sophomore release for free and the band's indie promotion and marketing team is reportedly waiving upfront payments (horrors!) in hopes of a bigger share of revenues later.

>>> The IFPI has announced a new European plan to make cross boarder music licensing easier.

Amazon >>> Jupiter analyst Mark Mulligan calls Amazon the "sleeping giant of digital music" on his blog. (here via Coolfer)

>>> Sound Exchange has responded negatively to the new bill before Congress aimed at rolling back higher royalty rates for net broadcasters.

Zune3 >>> Microsoft's Zune is planning new players but analysts predict a tough market ahead as the iPod continues to dominate.

>>> THIS WEEK:  We promise our series on eMusic. We're just digging deep and trying to get it right.

>>> R.I.P. - The "Monster Mash" man Bobby Boris Pickett at age 69.


New Music Business Week In Review

Emi >>> EMI brought in industry veteran Roger Ames to oversea its North American operation and added two senior execs to its digital team.

>>> Circuit City aligned with Napster for a download service but the retail giant will continue to also market eMusic and iTunes.

Applelogo >>> Apple had a huge week reporting an 88% jump in sales. Hypebot spent much of the week calling on Steve Jobs to walk his talk and go beyond the EMI deal to offer DRM free tracks from indies on iTunes sparking lots of great discussion in our comments sections. On Friday word came that iTunes may drop DRM on more many tracks soon. Details so far are sketchy.

>>> A new study showed shifts in the use of social networking sites like MySpace during a growing average of seven hours each week online.


Steve Jobs Again Uses Press To Signal Labels

Apple's Steve Jobs has once again masterfully used the press to send a message. This time it was directed at major labels who had been prepared to push for the steady revenue of an iTunes music subscription Applelogo service during renewal talks this month.

Job's message: "Never say never, but customers don't seem to be interested in it," Jobs told Reuters in an interview . The subscription model has failed so far."  He might as well have just said to the majors: "Next subject, gentleman."

If you're an Apple or Jobs fan don't miss our recent stories on how Apple really doesn't want a  DRM free music world (here and here)  Be sure to read and add to the lively debate in the comments section.


New Music Business Briefing: Net Radio Gets Billed, Paradign Finds Past, Fest Links & More

Carolinedistirbution >>> The downward spiral continues as Caroline drops its entire regional sales staff.  Smaller sales lead to smaller staff lead to even smaller sales.  The duties will now be handled by parent EMI's field staff who already have enough of their own problems.

>>> An "Internet Radio Equality Act" bill, has been introduced into Congress that would save broadcastersRadio_tower from new higher rates that are scheduled to go into effect May 15th and that many say would put them out of business.

>>> Meanwhile net broadcasters are organizing a day of protest that would see many top streams go silent for 24 hours on May 8th.

>>> Booking agency Paradigm has tapped industry veteran Ed Micone to head a new adult contemporary and casino music division. (press release) Interesting that it was done outside of their existing ownership of hugely successful music agency Monterey.

Festival >>> The Live Music Blog has great links to some of this summer's top festivals all in one easy to use article.  Be prepared for the time suck as you try to figure out how many you can fit into your summer vacation.

>>> The Who's Pete Townshend has introduced software that turns everyone into a songwriter. (FutureMusic).  But doesn't almost everyone already think they are anyway?


Roger Ames To Head EMI North America

Emi As some have predicted for months, record industry veteran Roger Ames will head EMI North America with Jason Flom and other US label heads reporting directly to him.  Ames had already been advising the label for more than a year.

Roger Ames was appointed chairman and chief executive officer of Warner Music Group in August 1999, four months after he was appointed President of Warner Music International.  Upon leaving the Warner Roger_ames_2 Music Group in August 2004 Mr Ames was appointed senior advisor to Time Warner and to EMI Music. Mr Ames began his career in the music industry with EMI UK in 1975.

In 1979, he joined PolyGram UK and in 1993 he was named Chairman and CEO of PolyGram UK, responsible for all of PolyGram’s activities in Ireland and the UK. Ames was named executive vice president of PolyGram and president of the PolyGram Music Group in 1996.


Good News For Apple Means Bad News For Music

Yesterday Apple beat expectations with a whopping 85% increase in sales in the second fiscal quarter powered in large part by increased iPod sales.  The great news came only a day after federal Applelogo investigtors signaled that a probe into stock backdating was essentially over leaving a few execs scarred but the mighty Steve Jobs unscathed.

These victories only strengthens Apple's hand just as they sit down with major labels for a round of important renegotiations. Labels had hoped for concessions from Jobs including variable pricing and better track and product bundling.  Some execs had even boasted that they were going to demand a royalty on iPod sales similar to one they receive from Zune.

Now, none of what labels sought - or at least none that Jobs wasn't planning anyway - is likely to happen according to sources.  And why would Jobs give in when he controls an 80% Stevejobssmile_2share of the digital music market?

Apple is in such a strong position that he can publicly berate important content providers for not dropping DRM while in actuality doing little to drop copy protection from his own iTunes store.  As Hypebot pointed out earlier this week; there are more than a million indie music tracks available for DRM downloads on other services today. Why doesn't Jobs offer those tracks DRM free? 

(Two posts in our comments section of the earlier Apple article claim that iTunes is asking for tracks to be re-delivered DRM free at higher bit-rates hinting at a pending move.  But we could not find a single provider who had been asked by Apple to also take the essential and time consuming step of revising their contracts to allow DRM free sales onIpod iTunes.)

Jobs also sits on the board of Disney which controls Hollywood and Disney records.  If he cared about a DRM free music world, those tracks could be unleashed in days.

But Jobs and Apple don't really want DRM free music.  Unprotected tracks means that downloads bought at other stores would finally play on iPods; thus opening the closed iPod/iTunes loop which Jobs so masterfully created.  With sales souring and record labels on their knees begging for help; why would Apple change course?


New Music Business Briefing: ASCAPs Greed Checked, AOL To India, MusicNet Wants Cash & More

Legal >>> GREED LOOSES ROUND 1 - A federal judge has ruled that there was no validity to ASCAP's assertion that downloads should carry a performance royalty as well as a payment for the mechanical rights.

Aol >>> AOL has launched a portal for India and refreshed its internal music offering across continents.

>>> MusicNet who provides the downloads for Zune, Urge and others is rumored to be asking labels for a surcharge for handling large catalogs. (Coolfer)

Other >>> NYC's hip retailer Other Music has launched it's indie download store.

>>> Spinal Tap has reunited to fight global climate change.  Somehow I feel safer...

Mouse >>> WORTHY CLICK: Idiomag is a very promising UK based online music/lifestyle magazine with cool format.  Content can be customized to fit your taste.  Worth checking out.


Coalition of Independent Music Stores Top 200 for Week Ending 04-22-07

Pos.  ARTIST   |   Cims TITLE
1 NINE INCH NAILS|YEAR ZERO
2 BRIGHT EYES|CASSADAGA
3 WINEHOUSE*AMY|BACK TO BLACK
4 MODEST MOUSE|WE WERE DEAD BEFO
5 KINGS OF LEON|BECAUSE OF THE T
6 BLONDE REDHEAD|23
7 ARCADE FIRE|NEON BIBLE
8 YOUNG*NEIL|LIVE AT MASSEY HALL
9 LAVIGNE*AVRIL|BEST DAMN THING
10 GRINDERMAN|GRINDERMAN
11 SHINS|WINCING THE NIGHT AWAY
12 FOSTER*RUTHIE|PHENOMENAL RUTHI
13 CARLILE*BRANDI|STORY,THE
14 WILLIAMS*LUCIND|WEST
15 LCD SOUNDSYSTEM|SOUND OF SILVE
16 BIRD*ANDREW|ARMCHAIR APOCRYPHA
17 FRATELLIS|COSTELLO MUSIC
18 BUTLER*JOHN TRI|GRAND NATIONAL
19 PETER BJORN & J|WRITERS BLOCK
20 HELLYEAH|HELLYEAH

Read the entire CIMS Top 200 and newsletter after the jump.

Continue reading "Coalition of Independent Music Stores Top 200 for Week Ending 04-22-07" »


New Business Briefing: Yahoo Slapped By Chinese, Blender Brands In NYC, Apple Rumors Churn & More

Yahoo_3 >>> A Chinese court has ruled that Yahoo!violated music copyrights by offering links to illegal downloads.

>>> Bertlesmann and WMG have settled an ancient lawsuit dating back to the original Napster.

>>> In a unique piece of branding Blender Magazine has grabbed the naming rights at NYC's hot new 600+ seat Gramercy music club booked by Live Nation now dubbed Blender At The Gramercy.

Applelogo >>> Just in case you missed it check out our post yesterday "Does Steve Jobs Really Want DRM Free Music?" (here) and be sure not to miss the comments section. If one of the posters is to be believed, higher bit rate mp3's are right around the corner at iTunes. And you have to wonder just how those Apple/major label negotiations are going...And then there's that darn stock backdating thing that just keeps making the news.Emusic

> >> Lots of great emails helping out with our upcoming series on eMusic which may be delayed until next week. But please keep those public and private comments coming. And stay tuned.

Mouse_2 >>> WORTHY CLICK: HipHopPress.com aggregates all the lastest press releases from the world of hip hip.  Now it's not ProHipHop.com, but it's still very useful.


Does Steve Jobs Really Want DRM Free Music?

Applelogo_2 There is growing chatter in the press about Steve Jobs working hard to force the major labels to follow EMI's lead and go DRM free. Many also point to his recent manifesto calling on the industry to end the use of copy protection.

But here's an inescapable fact that everyone seems to be missing:Stevejobssmile

If Steve Jobs really wanted to sell music on iTunes DRM free, he could start offering more than a million unprotected tracks tomorrow.

There are thousands of independent labels representing as much as 30% of the retail market who are already selling unprotected downloads via eMusic, InSound, 7Digital and others.  Those that I've talked to would love to have a competitive advantage over the majors on iTunes by selling DRM free.

Come on Steve. You've talked the talk. Now walk the walk.


Study Shows Shifts In Social Networking

MySpace and Isobar have just released a survey that shows that social networks have caused a fundamental shift in the way younger people interact with each other and media. More than 70% of Americans 15-34 actively use online social networks spending more than seven hours a week there and driving growth in overall time spent online.Myspace

The research also showed sites taking a stronger foothold in the primetime hours with users believing that they are enhancing existing relationships with family and friends and exploring new brand connections.

More than 40% of all social networkers said they use the sites to learn more about brands or products, and 28% said that a friend has recommended a product to them. That's good news for music promoters who have just recently become more savvy about using MySpace, Facebook and other services to spread the word. (more)


New Business Briefing: Yahoo Gets Lyrical, Qtrax Adds SonyBMG, EMI Swirls, Apple Stands Tough & Much More

Yahoo >>> Yahoo! and Gracenote have joined forces for a lyric search offering. Previous efforts have been hugely successful but powered by unlicensed content. (Reuters)

>>> Ad supported Qtrax has added Sony BMG to its growing list of agreements.  The service which feels like a P2P is set to launch on late summer or Fall and allows 5 add supported plays before forcing a buy for continued listening. (press release)

Amazon >>> More and more press is confirming what we've been telling you for weeks, Amazon is close to the launch (probably May) of an mp3 only digital download offering.

Emi >>> The EMI waters keep swirling with  WMG and private equity groups reportedly  preparing fresh bids and the London based major label unveiling plans to suspend dividends and borrow against its huge and profitable publishing catalog. (UK TimesOnline)

Rumors >>> Rumors have Apple sticking with its usual aggressive stand in major label negotiations just getting underway.  Jobs is said to be demanding DRM free tracks but unwilling to budge on any of the features like variable pricing and bundling that the labels seek.

>>> Russell Simmons shares his plans to clean up hip hop. In brief: No mo bitch, nigger or ho. (press release) Simplistic maybe, but an important start.

Mouse Worthy Click - If you want to stay in top of new releases, spend a few minutes with the LA Weekly's Digital Jukebox.


EMI Adds Nichols And Crosswaite To Global Digital Team

As part of an ongoing restructuring, Mark Nichols and Matthew Crosswaite have both been appointed to new roles as vice presidents of business development in EMI Music’s global digital team, reporting to global head of digital Barney Wragg. In their new roles, Nichols and Crosswaite will be responsible for exploiting new digital income streams and coordinating EMI’s local business development teams across the world.
Emi_3
Mark Nichols was formerly a  director at 3UK where he oversaw the network’s multimedia content services, managing 3’s relationship and negotiations with music companies, film studios, TV broadcasters, sports rights holders and other media outlets.

Matthew Crosswaite joins from EMI Music UK, where as vice president of commercial digital media he worked closely with all of EMI’s digital partners across mobile and online. He has worked for EMI for eleven years. (Read the press release after the jump.)

Continue reading "EMI Adds Nichols And Crosswaite To Global Digital Team" »


Circuit City Grabs Napster As Retailers Continue Search For Digital Success

NapsterUPDATED: Circuit City + Napster is the name of a new service launching April 29th that has the retail giant marketing Napster's 3 million track library. (press release here) This is a major expansion of Circuit City's marketing of the Napster To Go subscription service. It is unclear Circuit_city if the retailer will also continue to also promote eMusic as it has in the past. eMusic tells Hypebot that Circuit City will also continue to promote and sell iTunes as well as eMusic's popular indie music subscription service including a Digital Starter Kit.

Other big box retailers continue to flirt with digital attempting to find the winning mix.  TransWorld via its Fye brand recently began marketing a new PassAlong produced service thatFye_2 smartly puts 2 million DRM free mp3's from Indies alongside WMA tracks from the majors.  For now at  least EMI's catalog is only delivered with DRM even though iTunes will soon begin offering the major's catalog as unrestricted AAC files.
Walmart
WalMart seems content to compete on price with an 88 cent per track offering and internet retailer Amazon is reportedly about a month away from its own digital store launch.  The web powerhouse's mp3 only offering (which may or may not include much major label product) alsoAmazon has some potential to shake up the marketplace.

But consumers don't understand record labels as brands. Nor or they happy when the tracks they purchase are not easily portable across platforms and devices.  Fans willing to pay want what they want when they want it. Thus is may be that until all songs are available in a universally portable format digital adoption will not see real growth beyond that that which the powerful iTunes and iPod  combination can provide.


New Business Briefing: MP4's Leak, eMusic Responds, Cartel Bubbles & More

>>> Labels may want to turn music videos into a revenue stream, but once again the internet has other plans as a new wave of video bloggers begin posting free mp4's including some in advance of release. (Reuters) Sorry Beyonce. No more new bling this month.

>>> In an extensive interview with Forbes.com eMusic CEO David Pakman paints a very upbeat pictEmusicure of eMusic's continued growth and the its status as the dominate indie music digital clubhouse. He also claims that eMusic is currently not for sale.

>>> Meanwhile our buds at the Live Music Blog are lamenting the slim pickins @ eMusic Live.

>>> Hypebot's own indepth series on eMusic begins later this week.

>>> Napster is partnering with NTT DoCoMo to offer over the air downloads in Japan. 

Mtv >>> Rockers The Cartel will be recording their next CD sealed inside a transparent bubble on NYC's Pier 54. MTV will capture the activity with DR Pepper sponsoring. Live webcams provide the 24/7 view via www.drpepperbubble.com. (Hollywood Reporter)

>>> Over the weekend AnywhereCD bit back at WMG asking a court to allow them to continue to sell CD/mp3 combos from the major's catalog.


New Music Business Week In Review

Emi_2 >>> EMI says business will be down 15% in 2007 and spins a plan to borrow against it's extensive publishing income.

>>> The Copyright Royalty Board rejected net broadcasters pleas to rollback large royalty increasesWmg. Now the broadcasters are uniting to fightback.

>>> Warner Music Group may buy major management firm Frontline in an effort to broaden its revenue base.

>>> Anywhere CD began selling CD/DRM free download combos including product from WMG. Now the courts are being asked to decide is an agreement between to two allows it.

>>> Amazon is opening more niche music stores as rumors grow that a digital store will open nextEmusic_2 month.

>>> eMusic adds subscribers and labels, but will growth continue? We'll explore this more

>>> The Digital Music Group has grabbed more established catalog for online monetization.


AnywhereCD Answers WMG Attack In Court

Anywherecd_2 AnywhereCD has filed a court complaint Friday against Warner Music seeking a declaratory judgment that AnywhereCD had not as WMG alleged breached its agreement with and has the rights to sell MP3 albums of Warner Music artists. The company is also seeks damages for business defamation, trade libel and breach of contract.  The complaint is available online here.

Michael Robertson, CEO of AnywhereCD and founder of mp3.com says in a statement, "AnywhereCD hWmgas the utmost respect for the Warner Music Group (WMG) family of artists and we want to distribute their albums through our service. Unfortunately, we ran into a contractual disagreement that necessitates the help of the courts and ultimately the oversight of a judge. We hope to settle this matter quickly, and move forward with our stated business of selling the world's best music as MP3 Albums."

If  Robertson wins the judgement, it would be another major step towards forcing all major labels to drop DRM.  As of Saturday AnywhereCD was continuing to sell WMG product as CD/mp3 combos.


New Music Business Briefing: SoundExchange Softens, mtvU Expands, iPhone On Target & More.

Soundexchange >>> Royalty collection agency SoundExchange may be softening its stance slightly on higher royalty rates that many net broadcasters say will put them out of business.  Yesterday they issued a press release calling for dialog. They did not however offer any particular remedies.

>>> mtvU, the on-campus and online college network created by MTV, is partnering with online video services provider ROO to be offer multi-channel branded video payers and content  to the 500 college newspapers in mtvU’s College Publisher network.

Iphone >>> Apple's iPhone is on target for a June launch and a new survey says a staggering 1 in 10 US adults wants one.

>>> Don't miss the big stories that we posted late yesterday. Page down for:

  • WMG may buy major management firm Frontline in an attempt to diversify.
  • Digital distributor Digital Music Group has grabbed more established catalog.
  • EMI sales are down 15% as they spin a plan to borrow against it's lucrative publishing catalog.

Emusic >>> NEXT WEEK: We’re hard at work on an in depth multi-part series on eMusic, If you or your company is or ever has worked with eMusic or even if you’ve just got a strong opinion please email us at hypebot@skylineonline.com.


WMG May Buy Major Management Firm

"... a big industry player is closing in on another type of union that would tap into new Wmg revenue outlets -- and if it's successful offer a new economic model for the major record companies.

"Warner Music Group...is inching toward a deal to acquire Front Line Management, the nation's largest artist management firm, owned by the famed manager Irving Azoff (and Howard Kaufman). The firm represents a slew of big-name artists, everyone from Christina Aguilera to Van Halen to Aerosmith. The deal has been rumored for months within the industry, but sources tell me that talks have lately gained momentum."  - Fortune/CNN via Coolfer

With revenues falling, major labels are smartly looking at new models. Since in a digital landscape distribution matters much less, labels are trying to figure out how to better monetize their other asset - Money_2 marketing muscle.

"If the investment required to establish a band is the same, but the rewards to record companies are dwindling, than we have to be willing to explore new economic relationships," says Entertainment Atty. Fred Davis. "That may include participation in other non-recorded music streams of income."

Can two sides that have traditionally been adversaries live under one roof?  How protected is an artist if so much of his career is controlled by a signal entity? Would it make more sense for managers to add labels as Nettwerk and The Firm have?

What do you think


Digital Music Group Grabs Established Catalogs

Digitalmusicgroup Digital Music Group, a content owner and digital distributor, has acquired a batch of music and video content from a number of established artists including Todd Rundgren, The Alarm, Dwight Twilley, Richard Clayderman, and Wayne Newton.  The varied deals total 3000 tracks including some previously unreleased recordings. (Press release after the jump.)

Continue reading "Digital Music Group Grabs Established Catalogs" »


EMI Stock Up After Profit Warning And New Anti-Takeover Plan

EMI stock rose 8% yesterday on the London Exchange after reporting profits of $349 million exceeding analysts expectations.  At the same time the company forecast that despite impressive 59% gains in digital Emi sales (did a $5 million advance from Apple help a little?) overall music revenue would be down 15% for the year.

EMI also unveiled plans to borrow against the future earnings of it's profitable publishing catalog to fund operations and new initiatives.  Analysts say that the move also creates a "poison pill" making any merger or takeover by the Warner Music Group or others that much more difficult.


Amazon Explores Niches With Specialty Music Stores - "Go Indie" Opens

Amazon is making it easier for its customers discover new music with an increasing number of specialty mini-sites that offer discount pricing and group releases in interesting ways.  Examples include Classical Blowout, Music For Entertaining - "Your Tunes Set The Tone", and now Go Indie including a "Music You Should Hear" podcast series which is amusingly offered via iTunes. (There are after all other ways to distribute a podcast than via a competing music store.) Go Indie features 700 releases (150 on sale at $9.99) and Amazon videos from the Black Keys, Air, The Shins, Sam Bush, Robyn Hitchcock and CéU.

“In this day and age, it’s rare that a retailer carries the full range of our releases, so thank God for Amazon.com,” said Andy Kotowicz, VP of Sub Pop Records. More than 30 music labels are participating including: Alligator Records, Anti, Astralwerks, Barsuk, Beggars Group, Bloodshot Records, Compass Records, Domino Records, Epitaph, Fat Possum, Hellcat, Koch Records, Matador, Megaforce, Mute, New West, Putumayo, Rykodisc, Sci Fidelity, Silva, Six Degrees, Smithsonian Folkways, Spin Art, Sub Pop, Sugar Hill, Touch N Go, Ultra, Vagrant, World Music Network and Yep Roc.


New Business Briefing: MTV Shifts, Clear Channel Settles, Sansa Shakes & More

Mtv >>> MTV is reshaping itself as channel aimed straight at multi-tasking teens adding more shows with user generated content and online and cell based participation.(LA Times) Is the "people" control the content does this mean more or less indie content will sneak in? 

>>> Clear Channel has accepted a new $19 billion bid for its radio and billboard empire.  ASnsa_shaker stockholder vote on the offers has been postponed until early May. (FMQB)

>>> SanDisk adds the $39.99 Sansa Shaker aimed at tweens to its line of portable music players.

>>> Ornette Coleman has broken classical music's stranglehold on the committee and won theYahoo 2007 Pulitzer Prize.

>>> Yahoo! quarterly earnings fell 11%.

>>> NPR looks at Palei and Podington, two prolific writers who chronicle their lives in daily song diaries that they share almost instantly with fans. (NPR story and audio)


Hip Hop Business News From ProHipHop

>>> In the wake of the Imus disaster, talk turns to hip hop and even Oprah's getting in on the action as hip hop's money men seek damage control. UC's Hastings Schools of Law holds a panel discussion on Rap Lyrics as Evidence in Criminal Prosecutions and Beyond.
>>> TurboTax announces the winners in the Tax Rap Contest.
>>> Marc Ecko Enterprises is now supplying urban fashion for FreeStyle Street Basketball, an online game.
>>> Recent hip hop related endorsements and sponsorships range from Pharrell designing a Pepsi can to Chamillionaire and Energizer holding an online contest.
>>> Ford shows the 2008 Ford Expedition Funkmaster Flex edition at the New York International Auto Show.

It's Official: CD Sales Down 13% In '06

We really didn't need a study to tell us that business sucks. But just in case, the RIAA's recent year end report shows overall 2006 CD sales down 13% - the worst single year decline in the modern era. So for most Riaa reports have 2007 declines hovering around 20%. Less profitable digital sales are not coming close to covering the losses.

Like any good trade organization, the RIAA tried to find a positive spin. "Today's music marketplace has challenges, but it also offers reason for hope and optimism," RIAA chairman Mitch Bainwol said in a statement. "The appetite for music is as strong asCds_color ever. . . .the record companies continue to develop additional new business models and revenue streams like mobile and online videos."

Brainwol is right about one thing. Thanks to the internet and new media the appetite for music is stronger than ever.  Now the RIAA and major labels need to figure out how to get people to believe that music has value.  Variable pricing, value-added bundling, and subsription models may each offer a solution.  Suing college students and children does not.


New Music Business Briefing: You Tube Gets Filters, Universal Gets BMG, Limewire Gets Music Store, Johnny Legend Says "Get Marketing" & More

Youtube >>> Google CEO says YouTube will begin filtering content soon. But some think the system wont work (PC Magazine) and we think the  it could kill the service's popularity.

>>> Universal appears close to winning EU approval for its purchase of BMG Publishing for $2.2 Billion. (Bloomberg)

Limewire >>> P2P LImewire is exploring opening a music store. (Wired Listening Post)

>>> RoyaltyShare, a provider of digital royalty solutions has expanded processing of sales from mobile music services.  Labels with content available through major mobile music services including Sprint, Verizon, Cingular, and others can consolidate data from digital music download, ringtone, ringback and other revenue streams.

>>> R&B Crooner Johnny Legend and some young industry execs talk Music Business 2.0 at a recent Fast Company conference. (video - click on Innovation)Festival

>>> A look at how the UK live music scene is thriving and how technology and new media are driving it. (BBC  News)

>>> New study shows once again that students don't understand copyright law. (Broadcasting & Cable) Should we expect dfiiferently?

>>> R.I.P. - Don Ho. It's never too late for "Tiny Bubbles".