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Artist advocacy group The Future Of Music Coalition has released a new report "Same Old Song" confirming that indie music is not getting its fair share of airplay on broadcast radio.
In April 2007, the FCC found widespread payola and ordered the four largest U.S. radio groups (Clear Channel, CBS, Citadel and Entercom) to pay $12.5 million in fines and work with the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) to draft 8 “Rules of Engagement” and an “indie set-aside” including 4,200 hours of unsigned and indie label music.
But FMC's new survey of Mediaguide airplay data shows little has changed in the 2 years since the FCC decree. Indie music did make slight gains at AAA Non-comm. and Country radio. But at all 5 other dominant radio formats (AC, Urban AC, Active Rock, CHR Pop, and Triple A Comm.) the share of indie music played remained stagnant at 78-82% despite ndies comprising 30-40% of the marketplace.
Not surprisingly, the FMC also found that there were very few slots for any new music .There too, new major label songs typically receive more spins than indies. Finally, FMC looked at the indie labels...
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Former TMZ GM lan Citron has been named president of Buzz Media (formerly Buzznet). He will oversee programming, marketing, engineering and product development at the company, whose portfolio of more than 30 sites includes Stereogum, Absolute Punk and a recently marginalized Idolator.
The move could signal a chain in the tone at Buzznet's online properties towards TMZ's more gossip and celebrity focused offering. Citron’s appointment also comes as part of an expansion of the Buzz Media management team. Anthony Batt, the company’s founder and former President, will become COO and Karina Kogan has been upped to EVP, Marketing.
BONUS TIP: Follows Others - Social networking doesn't happen in a vacuum. If you want to be followed you must also follow others. Suggestions: Hypebot, Nettwerk's Terry McBride, The Byrd's Roger McGuinn, pundit Bob Lefsetz, Derek Sivers, Music Think Tank's Andrew Dubber, PR queen Ariel Hyatt and anyone else that you want to network with.
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Kyle Bylin, Associate Editor
In part two of my interview with Ali Partovi, CEO of iLike, we talk about today's music, filtering, and dependence on delivery mechanisms. (Read Part One)
Q: Do you think that today’s new music has less “staying power” than the hits of the “golden era?”
Ali Partovi: I think the problem with the new generation of up-and-coming music is that the labels are becoming short-sighted and gravitating towards one-hit-wonders with formulaic appeal rather than trying to develop a new artist over a period of years. This is understandable if you’re hoping to recoup your investment on record sales alone.
But it leaves an opportunity for somebody who is willing to invest in talent with a longer-term view to fill the traditional role of record labels in nurturing, investing, and developing artists – presumably to recoup that investment not just on record sales but also touring, merch, publishing, etc. I think we’re going to see new entities emerge – whether you call them labels, promoters, managers, or something new – who see this opportunity and invest in it. Until then, today’s new hits will have trouble rivaling the longevity of the U2s and Rolling Stones of the world.
INgrooves has inked Telarc and Heads Up International, both divisions of Concord Music Group for digital distribution worldwide excluding the US and Canada. The wide ranging Telarc and Heads Up catalogs include jazz icons like Dave Brubeck, McCoy Tyner and Stanley Clarke, the blues of Taj Mahal and Tab Benoit, contemporary jazz from the likes Candy Dulfer and Victor Wooten and world music from Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba and Zap Mama. Current artists include bassist/singer Esperanza Spalding, Hiromi, Take 6, and guitarist Mike Stern.
As part of the shakeup that ousted co-founder Chris DeWolfe and ushered in former Project Playlist and Facebook's Owen Van Natta as the new CEO, MySpace has expanded its management team with two key hires. Michael Jones who comes from Userplane and AOL has been named Chief Operating Officer and Jason Hirschhorn joins as Chief Product Officer after a stints at Sling Media and MTV Networks.
From the press release:
Today, I had the pleasure of speaking with Ali Partovi, who is the CEO of iLike. In this interview, Ali talks about the future he imagines for his company, pay-for-play business models, social discovery, and what’s working for artists on the site.
(Read Part Two)
In a perfect world, where innovation isn’t stifled and prolonged by a room full of lawyers…
Q: What does the future you’re trying to build for fans and artists look like?
Ali Partovi: In an ideal world, talented new artists should get discovered based on merit. And not just the mass-appeal stars: a talented artist with narrow appeal should be able to reach fans within a niche genre. Fans want more diversity; they want the mass-appeal stuff, but they also want more variety that fits their tastes.
Growing up, the first medium that I developed a relationship with was radio, because it was free and it was the first personal electronic device that owned...
People's supports commerce in multiple countries includinig the UK and US. But the problem I saw with the site back in January was lack of selection, and the Universal deal goes a long way towards solving that...
Classical Record Industry Down 30% In '09, Harmonia Mundi Up 9%
All this week on Hypebot, we're exploring how the double whammy of falling sales and the global economic downturn is effecting the music industry. This guest post by Charlie Dahan, which first appeared on his Center Of The Indie Label Universe blog, shows how one indie label is using old fashion A&R to thrive in tough times.
You think the pop record industry is having a hard time of it - look at the classical music industry. Product has been devalued by labels like Naxos to be a budget line item, stores are closing, radio is disappearing, funding from the private and public sector is drying up and the audience is graying. Most labels have closed their classical division and sales are down over 30% for 2009.
Not for French indie, Harmonia Mundi. They have seen an increase in their sales in 2009 of nearly 10% by recording new music, signing new artists and getting the hell out of their way and letting them develop over several records - sounds like a winning formula. They have also developed a loyal customer base, who trusts the brand and is willing to give anything with a Harmonia Mundi stamp on it.
Read about them and listen to their NPR interview here. Even if you don’t like Classical music, you can learn a lot from their business model and practices.
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MP3 search and play site Seeqpod has been down since Friday, but vows to return. "SeeqPod is in the process of moving a few servers... We'll be back up shortly", said SeeqPod CEO Kasian Franks on Sunday.
Seeqpod is in acquistion talks with "a large media company that was a competitor to Apple" according to MP3 Newswire. Any suitor would have to be willing to get involved with several pending rights holder lawsuits against the company.
COMMENTARY: Sadly, it's probably over for Seeqpod; or soon will be. If true, the major labels will have scored another victory that will prove pointless as imitator after imitator goes online. Seeqpod hosted no content, but proved immensely popular despite a very limited marleting budget because it struck a chord with fans. Once again, instead of monetizing that consumer interest; the labels have tried to control it. And once again, they will fail.
Lucinda Williams says she knows how tough it is out there. She also knows that the fees attached to her concert tickets are making things even tougher for fans. Since Williams cannot control ticketing fees, she wanted to do something to offer some kind of relief to her fans.
"I cannot, in good conscience, sit back and watch my fans get blatantly gouged." says Williams. "As an attempt to offset these fees, we are going to offer a standing credit at our merchandise table to everyone attending our upcoming US shows in 2009." Each fan who attends a Williams show this year will get a credit on merchandise. The discount of about $7 on clothing and $5 on CDs will also be valid online through July for fans who went to a show earlier in the year.
"I understand that this may only be a small gesture and in no way solves the problem long term, but I feel that it is important to try and do something to make it a little easier during this time," Williams adds.
The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band and the growing audience that comes to see them could care less about the stock market crashing. But they do know what it's like to loose a job or worry about paying the doctor bills. This recent CNN interview and concert footage gives a glimpse of The Reverend's unique blend of rough music for rough times.