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Join The Debate: MySpace Takes Back Band's URL

Myspace After two years on MySpace and just as the marketing and tour for a new CD was in full swing, the Montreal indie band Mobile got a notice that their MySpace URL was being changed. 

Hypebot readers are debating the situation in some very emotional terms.  Is this another example of a big corporation stepping in the little guy or is MySpace just protecting its brand? Learn more about the controversay and join the debate here.

Music Industry Week In Review: (RED), WMG Profits, MySpace Music, Layoffs & Much More

It was a holiday week in the U,S., but there was still a lot of activity in music and tech. Here are the highlights:Red_about_red_09_03sflb

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Rockfree Takes Aim At Guitar Hero With Free Beta

Aklaimgraybg_2 New Aklaim Games title Rockfree takes aim at Guitar Hero and Rockband with a free, browser-based, multiplayer, PC rock game. A sneak-peak of will be availaRock_bandble to the public Saturday, November 29th at www.rockfree.com with an official launch in the 1st quarter of 2009.

In the game players can create custom rocker avatars, open a rock club and battle against other people around the world. In the end it’s all about who rocks, who sucks and more importantly, who gets the coveted title of Rocker God.

WaveGroup, Warner Music, Sony and EMI will provide music for Rockfree. This early sneak-peak will provide a taste of the music line-up to come, providing three licensed tracks; Iron Man, Fat Lip and Woman. Additionally there are more than 40 new songs being produced for this game.

After Two Years, MySpace Hijacks A Band's URL

UPDATE: Band Gets MySpace URL Back With Apology!

magine that for two years you've dilegently updated your MySpace page, invited friends and communicated with fans. You're an indie band on a budget; so MySpace and the friends you've made there are an important part of your marketing plan.  But just as things start rolling, you get this email from MySpace telling you that your MySpace URL is about to be changed. (click on image to enlarge)


That's exactly what happened to the Montreal band Mobile two months into their second album release just as they left on tour with Chris Cornell. I'll let the band's manager Don Affleck take the story from here:

We equip our bands with the tools to make community development online simpler. Our main goal is to ensure our bands are connecting directly with fans and that their online communities are active and nurtured BY THE BANDS!

So last wednesday one of our bands (Mobile) receives an email from the Myspace "Team" saying:

"Greetings MySpace member,

We are in the process of making MySpace better which requires the use of the URL you have chosen. MySpace will reset your URL within 48 hours...

Continue reading "After Two Years, MySpace Hijacks A Band's URL" »

Track Music Stocks On Hypebot

Stock_market_2 Given the wild ride that the stock markets have been taking lately, I've added a new stock quote widget to Hypebot near the top of the right hand column that tracks music stocks. The data comes via Forbes with a 15 minute delay.

So far the widget follows Apple, Live Nation, The Orchard, Sirius XM, Live Nation, Ticketmaster, and the Warner Music Group.

  • What other music stocks should we be tracking?
  • Would you be interested in a music industry stock index that combined the results of all the top companies in the sector?

Note: Despite the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday which effectively shuts down the music business, the U.S. stock markets are open Friday.

Friday's Music Briefing: Danes Block Pirate Bay, (RED) Launch, DRM Free iTunes & More



  • A Danish court has declared Pirate Bay illegal and ordered its ISP's to block it. (IFPI)Red_about_red_09_03sflb
  • Watch for a big launch on Monday from (RED), Bono's new vehicle for raising funds to fight HIV in Africa and its (RED)wire music subscription service.  (Hypebot, Billboard)
  • More DRM free tracks from the majors are finding there way onto iTunes. (Listening Post)
  • "Jarvis Cocker has devised a new show to celebrate the indie record label Rough Trade's 3Radio0th birthday.FT)
  • Radio is headed for its worst year financially since 1954. (FMQB)
  • "Cadillac Ranch" tells the story of Chess Records. Covers of blues songs from Etta James, Muddy Waters and others fuel the film. (Hollywood Reporter) It will be interesting to see if the original artists get a sales bump or are fans satisfied with the new cover versions.
  • A look at record labels that have made the move into full-fledged brand consultancy, and the opportunities that creates for partnerships with agencies and production companies. (Boards)

10 Songs For A Modern Thanksgiving

A little holiday fun for our annual Day of Thanks that seemed to be a hit when I posted it last year:

  1. Turkeyj "Alice's Restaurant" - Arlo Guthrie
  2. "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" - Sly & The Family Stone
  3. "Thank You" - Dido
  4. "The Thanksgiving Song" - Adam Sandler
  5. "Thank You For The Music"- Abba
  6. "Thank You Lord" - Bob Marley
  7. "Thank You" - Led Zeppelin
  8. "We Are Family" - Sister Sledge
  9. "Thank U" Alanis Morissette
  10. "Thank You Girl" - The Beatles

Last.fm Asks UK "Hackers" To Help Extend Reach

Contest Offers  £1000 Prize

Last_fm Last.fm will host “Hack Day” on December 14th at Corbet Place Bar, East London.  At the event which is hosted in partnership with CodePlex, Microsoft's open source project hosting web site, developers will be invited to utilize Last.fm’s free open source web services in a one-day competition to build a new Last.fm application.  The winning developer will receive a grand prize of £1000, with additional prizes for the competition’s runners-up including Xbox 360s.

Available since the site’s inception in 2002, Last.fm’s web services, which developers can use to extend the Last.fm experience beyond the site, have been utilized by third parties to create a host of music applications showcased at Build.Last.fm. One popular application, a mash-up titled “LastTube”, utilizes listener data from Last.fm to recommend YouTube video clips.

Continue reading "Last.fm Asks UK "Hackers" To Help Extend Reach" »

Band Metrics Gets Angel $'s For Music Analytics

Band_metrics_logo_and_tagline_wit_2 Despite an economic downturn that has frozen many new investments, Band Metrics has closed an angel round of financing led by Allen Graber, a technology investor and entrepreneur who will also join the company's Board of Directors. A TechCrunch50 2008 semi-finalist, Band Metrics provides a first-of-its-kind semantic web application for the music industry that collects, analyzes and displays artist's dynamic popularity.

The company's music intelligence and analytics are achieved through patent pending technology which assists artists in understanding large amounts of data relative to their music, fans and shows, while also helping them manage their digital identity. (Register for a private beta account here.)

"Global music content is increasing at unprecedented rates, as DIY tools and social networks are allowing artists to easily create, distribute, and share their music online." said Allen Graber. "However, there is presently no effective way for artists to then measure activity...

Continue reading "Band Metrics Gets Angel $'s For Music Analytics " »

MySpace Names Holt. Do Indies Stand A Chance?

Myspace_music_logo_2 As rumored for weeks, Courtney Holt has been appointed the President of MySpace Music. Holt will relocate from his NYC MTV office to new digs in LA beginning January 5th.  In the meantime, you can friend him of his very own MySpace page.

Courtny_holt Holt could probably use a few friends in the independent music community. MySpace Music got off to a rough star with indies when the service, which in many ways was built on the backs of independent musicians, launched without offering them the same equity stake that it used to lure the majors.  Like a bride left at the alter, many indies cried foul. "It certainly makes (MySpace CEO) Chris DeWolfe’s public statements, that the 'indie bands are really the heart of MySpace', ring extremely hollow," indie trade group Merlin CEO Charles Caldas said on launch day.

Merlin_logo_no_txt Since then, The Orchard, IODA and a few others have forgone equity and signed on.  But thousands of labels represented by Merlin including many larger indies like Beggars and Koch have yet to make deals. MySpace Music has also not offered a d.i.y. sales or income solution for artists not affiliated with a label or distributor.

Could new leadership offer new hope for independent music on MySpace? On the surface, Holt's resume at MTV Networks and as SVP of New Media at Interscope Geffen A&M suggests that his point of view is decidedly mainstream and major label. But indies, who have privately complained about the pace of negotitions, will at least know that someone who understands music is finally in control.

A Beatle Goes D.I.Y. With A Little Help From Topsin


You know the music industry is changing when former Beatle and multi-platinum solo artist Paul McCartney decides to self-release an album with the help of a Santa Monica based tech start-up and an international network of independent labels.

McCartney and producer Youth (Killing Joke) recorded 13 songs in 13 days releasing them under the moniker The Fireman. First the album went direct to fans via The Fireman’s website using the Topspin Media platform. A few days later the album hit retail through a worldwide network of independent labels including ATO in the US and One Little Indian in Europe.

Thanks to Topsin, fans can stream the album in its entirety from The Fireman’s website. Purchase options include digital in a variety of formats including CD, vinyl and a $79.99 deluxe package. All options come with an immediate download of the album.

The Social Music Evolution - Part 2

Evolution2 In the final of part of this two part essay, frequent Hypebot contributor Kyle Bylin continues his look at the on going evolution of the music industry. The essay is inspired by the work of Talcott Parsons, a former Harvard professor who wrote that society was in a natural state of equilibrium or balance.  When changes occur in one part of society there must be adjustments in the others. Bylin examines how the music industry is evolving using the same four distinct processes that Parson used to illustrate how change occurred in societies. Read Part 1 here.

Stage 3 - Inclusion occurs when groups previously excluded from society are now accepted. 

  • The possibility for the full inclusion of The New Musical Middle Class in a music industry that allows more sustainability and a more proven financial future.  If not the inclusion of The New Musical Middle Class, what else?

Stage Four - Value Generalization is the development of new values that tolerate and legitimate a greater range of activities which leads to increasing the legitimization of the ever more complex system. 

  • The music industry reaches a state of equilibrium and the newly formed parts coexist with the main system.

Conclusion: Where Is The Musical Middle Class?

Continue reading "The Social Music Evolution - Part 2" »

Wednesday's Music Briefing: Atlantic's Digital Milestone, Ad Supported Doubts & More

Despite what is for many in the US music industry a 4 day holiday break, Hypebot will publish throughout.Myspace



  • Atlantic Atlantic Records says that more than half its revenue is coming from digital sources. (International Herald Tribune) This is a milestone for a major label. Parent WMG only derives 27% of revenue from digital.
  • Lisa Loeb records an exclusive EP for the LimeWire store. (press release)
  • On eve if the US's biggest annual shopping day a new survey suggests a mixed forecast for consumer technology and media sales. (more)
  • On its 25th anniversary, a look inside the ongoing success of folk indie label Red House. (AP)
  • Ad supported music models got a critical look at Australia's Dot Bleep Conference. (Billboard.biz)
  • NAMM and Making Music Magazine share the Top Musical Gift Picks for 2008 Holiday Season. (press release)
  • Adidas is giving its lifestyle brand, Originals, its first U.S. TV advertising. The 30 second spot features Katy Perry, DMC of Run-DMC and Method Man cavorting with sport stars David Beckham and Kevin Garnett. Watch it below.

Continue reading "Wednesday's Music Briefing: Atlantic's Digital Milestone, Ad Supported Doubts & More" »

Metal Blade Records Joins INgrooves Distribution

Metal_blade_records_2 Digital distributor INgrooves has added Brian Slagel's seminal home to all things hard, Metal Blade Records to it's roster.

Label catalog includes early releases by Slayer, Metallica, Cannibal Corpse, GWAR and King Diamond.  Upcoming Metal Blade releases include new albums from Austrian Death Machine, Architect, Kill What I Adore, Woe Of Tyrants and Cattle Decapitation.

The Social Music Evolution

PART 1 OF 2: I teased this essay from music industry philosopher and frequent Hypebot contributor Kyle Bylin with a graphic yesterday,"One View Of The Musical Middle Class". Today Kyle delivers on his promise with a thoughtful look at the on going evolution of the music industry. Set some time aside as we all slow down for the holidays to absorb what Kyle has to say. It's a worthy read. READ PART 2 HERE

Talcott Parsons, a former Harvard professor, believed society was in a natural state of equilibrium or balance.  In reference to his equilibrium model, when changes occur in one part of society there must be adjustments made in the others.  If this does not take place, the equilibrium of society would be endangered and tension is placed on its social order.  Parsons goes onto illustrate how society changes by dividing evolution into four distinct and inevitable processes.    Evolution_3

1. Differentiation
2. Adaptive Upgrading
3. Inclusion
4. Value Generalization

Using these four processes, I will reflect on how they relate to what social changes have been occurring in the music industry.  This is an attempt to move away from the concept of The Digital Music Revolution and begin the exploration of the four stages in The Social Music Evolution. 

Stage One - Differentiation, also known as division, refers to the increase in complexity of social organizations which in turn creates functional subsystems from the main system.

In The Fall Of Communization And The Rise Of The Music Fan I elaborated on what professor Mike Wesch called a cultural inversion and found that his insights in An anthropological introduction to YouTube brought forth a perfect example of how the way people interact with music has changed. 

  • As a society we've developed very diverse and complex listening habits...

Continue reading "The Social Music Evolution" »

WMG Reports Higher Profits On Lower Sales

Despite declining CD sales and an increasingly dismal economy, WMG managed to meet analysts' expectations and hold its own.

  • Wmg 2008 fiscal year revenue grew 3% to $3,491M, and declined 2% on a constant-currency basis. 34 revenue totaled $854M a decrease of 1% from the prior-year quarter or 5% on a constant-currency basis.
  • 2008 digital revenue rose 39% to $639M or 18% of total. Q4 digital revenue was $167M or 20% of total revenue up from $166M in the third quarter of fiscal '08 and up 28% from the prior-year quarter. Full-year 2008 digital revenue rose 39% to $639M or 18% of total revenue.
  • Operating income from continuing operations declined 20% to $66 million...

Continue reading "WMG Reports Higher Profits On Lower Sales" »

Bono's (RED) Preps For Monday Launch


Red_about_red_09_03sflb_3 Bono lead fundraising vehicle (RED) is ramping up for an official launch on Monday December 1st, the 2Oth Anniversary of World AI  A growing list of retailers including Dell and iTunes have signed on to donate a share of profits from special co-branded products.

But the flagship offering is (RED)wire, a $5 per month subscription which includes weekly email delivery of one song each from a major and developing artist plus additional content. The effort could redefine how music can be vehicle for change.


A star studded cast including U2, Coldplay, the Killers, the Dixie Chicks, John Legend, R.E.M. and Bob Dylan have signed on and MSN will host the launch starting Monday at a specially created online destination. Take an pre-launch peak @ (RED), (RED)wire and RED.MSN.com.

Hip Hop News From ProHipHop

From ProHipHop

Tuesday's Music Briefing: Buyout Rumors, Amazon MP3, Bye Bye Blender? & More

Hypebot_favicon HYPEBOT FEATURES:



  • Facebook is trying to buy Twitter.
  • iLike is for sale with Ticketmaster and Facebook likely bidders.
  • imeem is in search of a buyer.
  • TechWorld News names the new Amazon MP3 store one of the 5 Bold, Brilliant Tech Gambits of 2008. (TWN)
  • NexTune has launched a new music promotional vehicle.  site for musicians where they can link song files to their NexTune web page and sell them with automatic links to Amazon.com, iTunes or provide their own custom link to download songs. NexTune offers their artist memberships free of charge to established and independent artists. (more)
  • Winners of the first African MTV Awards. (press release)
  • McCartney says talks to bring the Beatles to iTunes have stalled. (paidContent)
  • The once mighty Blender and Maxim may be turned over to creditors. (MediaBistro)

Pete Ganbarg Joins Atlantic As EVP A&R

Atlantic Early A&R Successes Included Vanilla Ice And Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Pete Ganbarg has joined Atlantic Records as Executive Vice President of A&R, based in New York. Ganbarg, has previously served as an A&R exec at SBK/EMI, Arista, and Epic. Most recently he lead his own consulting company, Pure Tone Music.

Since beginning his music industry career in 1989...

Continue reading "Pete Ganbarg Joins Atlantic As EVP A&R" »

Layoffs At Buzznet. Bloody Holidays Ahead.

Buzznet_logo Music destination Buzznet has let go of at least 10 of its 89 staffers according to Valleywag. Some rumors suggest a higher number.  Buzznet properties which include Idolator, Stereogum and Absolute Punk are monetized almost entirely by advertising which is taking a hit in the tightening marketplace.

Year end layoff are a fact of life in the music industry, but expect Christmas 2008 to go down as the bloodiest ever with the unique hurdles faced by all ventures in the music space (tough licensing, limited monetization options and fickle consumers) colliding with a rocky global economy.

imeem Upgrades Android App. Adds Mobile Ads.

Imeem_3 Social music site imeem, has added a mobile advertising platform and several upgrades to its Android, Android mobile platform. imeem is already among the 10 most popular applications for the Android and the comoany may be hoping to duplicate the adoption and advertising success that Pandora has found on the iPhone if the Android platform takes off.

Kia Motors America is the first advertiser to use the new platform for its Kia Soul compact SUV launching next spring in the U.S. New features in the upgrade, available through the Android Market, include:

  • Androidlogo2_2 Location-based streaming featuring the most popular music in the user’s city
  • Detailed artist bios
  • Artist recommendations
  • Seasonal stations

View an Android demo video:

Continue reading "imeem Upgrades Android App. Adds Mobile Ads." »

One View Of The Musical Middle Class

Frequent Hypebot contributor Kyle Bylin has added a great deal to Hypebot's exploration of marketing guru Seth Godin's latest book "Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us" and power of music tribes as artists enter the new musical middle class. Later this week Kyle will further add to the discussion with a new essay "The Social Music Evolution." Until then here's Kyle's view of the musical middle class.


Monday's Music Briefing: MySpace Music CEO, Austin Struggles, Japan's Downloads Jump & More

Hypebot_favicon HYPEBOT FEATURES:

MORE NEWS:Myspace_music_logo

  • MySpace Music to name MTV executive Courtney Holt as CEO this week. (cNet)
  • Austin fighting to keep its title as live music capital. (Houston Chronicle)
  • Japanese music downloads jumped 30% in the 3rd quarter. Ringtone sales slumped. (PC World) 91% of Japan's music download market is mobile.
  • Google is shutting down its virtual world Lively. (ars)
  • Karlheinz Brandenburg, one of the inventors of the mp3 has joined with a German development bank to invest in DJTunes, a European music download site offering house, techno, trance and electro tracks.(paidContent)
  • The big winners at last night's American Music Awards were Chris Brown who won three awards including Favorite Artist of the Year and Alicia Keys, Rihanna and Kanye West each taking home two AMA trophies. (Full list of winners after the jump.)

Continue reading "Monday's Music Briefing: MySpace Music CEO, Austin Struggles, Japan's Downloads Jump & More" »

YouTube Broadcast's First Live Event

UPDATED: YouTube is broadcast its first major live event this Saturday featuring a number of music and video stars that are popular on the site. Musicians like Kate Perry (OK, we're using the term musician loosely), Akon, Joe Satriani and Wil.i.am were joined by internet video phenoms like the Mythbusters. Watch it at YouTube Live.

Could user generated live video like the increasingly popular Ustream be next?