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It Was A Gleeful Week At Music Retail

Glee & A Rolling Stones Reissue Boost Music Sales

“This is an interesting and vibrant time for the entertainment industry, music in particular, with the top four albums this week outselling last week’s number one,” said Eric Weinberg, President, Nielsen Entertainment. “We continue to see solid consumer demand for digital music sales, including full-length albums, with more than 40% of this week’s best selling album purchased digitally. Our data also shows independent retail music store sales up 10% for the week, driven by the reissue of the Rolling Stones’ classic “Exile On Main Street” and new albums debuting from the Black Keys, Damian Marley & Nas, Band of Horses and LCD Soundsystem, and the attraction for vinyl remains high.”

Exploding Glee

image from 3.bp.blogspot.com The growing Glee franchise also contributed greatly to the up week. Following its season premier in April, the music-themed TV show saw track downloads from its four compilations jump from 50-350K in the first week. The show’s latest “Showstoppers” album topped the Billboard  charts this week as digital sales of all “Glee”-related songs exceeded 500K. Songs from the show posted 4.1 million track sales in 2009 and 3.2 million so far this year  (2.5 million of those tracks in the past six weeks alone).

Nielson Chart Tracks Glee's Download Growth:

Continue reading "It Was A Gleeful Week At Music Retail" »

BuzzMedia Adds 6 Major Music Blogs: The Hype Machine, PureVolume, PopMatters Gorilla vs. Bear, Concrete Loop and RCRD LBL

image from www.shootonline.com

FULL UPDATE: The Story Behind BuzzMedia & The Music Blogs

(UPDATE 3) BuzzMedia has added today 6 major music blogs. PureVolume, PopMatters, Gorilla vs. Bear, The Hype Machine, Concrete Loop and RCRD LBL join Stereogum, Buzznet, Idolator and Absolute Punk in the web entertainment publisher's music portfolio.

UPDATE: BuzzMedia tells Hypebot that HypeM, RCRDLBL and Pop Matters are partnerships. "All sites will retain their own editorial control."

Each of the blogs have been considered major independent voices in music. Together they reach five million fans per month and with the existing Buzz properties may make the growing online company the largest independent publisher of music content on the Web.

Will Each Blog Retain An Independent Voice?

While details of Buzz's plans were not included in the official announcement, each of the current editors will stay at the helm of their respective blogs.  But if their recent stewardship of Idolator is any indication, Buzz will not hesitate to make changes - at least with the blogs that it owns - if future traffic does not meet expectations.

Stay tuned for more details.

More Music Industry News: Music Connection, Sirius Android, Boxee, Visas & More

  • image from www.billpere.com Michael Dolan exits Music Connection Magazine after 33 years at the helm. He has stepped down as both the president of the company and co-publisher/executive editor. The MC co-founder sold his half of the company to partner Eric Bettelli,who will assume the mantle of CEO effective immediately. 
  • Sirius XM adds an Android streaming app. Try it free for 7 days.
  • Boxee has added archived concert streams to the TV from Wolfgang's Vault
  • Android Music Versus iTunes: When Open Isn’t Quite As Open As It Might Appear. (Forrester's Mark Mulligan)
  • Why
  • World music's great visa fear - Intimidating forms, biometrics, illegal immigration paranoia – Robin Denselow on why new visa rules might take Britain off the world music touring circuit. (Guardian)
  • Time To Live In Reality: People Are Going To Copy; So Build A Better Business Model (Techdirt)

REWIND: The Music Industry's Week In Review

Hypebot FaviconIntroduce yourself to the Hypebot.com community. Shameless plugs encouraged!

Introduce Yourself To The Hypebot Community

It's become a tradition for Hypebot to host occasional online holiday networking parties.  For those readers outside the U.S., this time it's Memorial Day Weekend and the music business here shuts down here for three days. (F.Y.I. Hypebot will be publishing, though on a bit lighter schedule.)

This is one of those days when many of us are tied to our desks, but have no desire to do any real work.  So as a constructive solution to the pre-holiday work day blahs...


In the comments section below, tell us a little about yourself, what you're working on and what excites you (PG-13 only).  Include links that you think might be of interest to others and I suggest adding your name and email or some way that other Hypebot readers interested in collaborating can find you. Shameless plugs are allowed.

Don't be shy. Tell us about yourself...

Imogen Heap: "So expensive to tour!"

Is Another Source of Income Shrinking?

Touring was supposed to be the savior of music. Live concerts are something fans can't download, the story went, and thus will provide a reliable source of artist income to offset slumping profits from recorded music sales.  But while some artists do still make their livings from live performances, it's not always the panacea that some would have you believe.

At least that's what UK artists Imogen Heap, a successful artist by most measures, told her fans in a short series of tweets earlier this week.

image from playhappy.files.wordpress.com "So expensive to tour! Just had a rather depressing meeting with tour manager. Record sales low (across the industry) really impacting me."

"Sad truth is touring US especially such a monopoly. Audience end up paying double ticket price to the venue @Seattle_D. Huge mark up."

"This may be the last tour in a while. A bit emotional. Ugh. Not easy keeping afloat in this climate!"

Musicians & Health Insurance: Taking The Pulse

image from futureofmusic.org image from cdn.pitchfork.com A new Future Of Music Coalition study Taking the Pulse found that, of the 1,451 musicians who responded, 33% said they do not have health insurance. This is nearly twice the national average of 17% uninsured, as estimated by the Kaiser Family Foundation. (pdf of full report here.)

With that as a backdrop, the FMC is continuing its campaign to help musicians understand their health insurance options under the new health care law. Efforts include HINT, an online Health Insurance Navigation Tool, as well as, free phone consultations with trained experts. 

Earlier this week, they also assembled a panel of health insurance experts at their DC Policy Day. Here is full video via Ustream:

Continue reading "Musicians & Health Insurance: Taking The Pulse" »

LimeWire Fights Court Ruling

Earlier this week, LimeWire filed a motion arguing that the court's analysis of liability, including the company's ability to stop copyright infringement was flawed. The brief also argued that the court reached its conclusions without considering some conflicting evidence and giving the company the benefit of the doubt,  which is standard in most summary judgment proceedings. Here the full text of the filing:

Limewire Motion -

More Music Industry News: EMI, ReverbNation, Muziic & More

Hypebot Favicon (UPDATE 2) Monday is a holiday in the U.S., but Hypebot will be publishing any breaking news. And please participate in our online meetup. Use this chance to blow your own horn and get to know other members of the growing Hypebot community. Some interesting collaborations have resulted from past online meetups.
  • EMI appoints Global Digital Marketing SVP. (Billboard.biz)
  • image from www.coresound.net ReverbNation one-ups TuneCore and several other digital distributors by offering free weekly sales trending reports to their distribution customers. TuneCore and some others charge weekly for the reports and that can add up over a release cycle. (ReverbNation)
  • Muziic has released Muziic DJ which allows user to mix and match YouTube videos to create DJ-style playlists using two virtual turntables. (Muziic DJ)
  • EMI may be considering the sale or partial sale of its publishing division. (NY Post)

The Nimbit vs. Topspin Smackdown

image from 
megashareslink.comScott Feldman is a marketing consultant for artists and music companies including Nimbit where he serves as their Director of Marketing. So I'll admit that I was  more than a little skeptical and concerned when he told me that he'd started an experiment using both Nimbit and Topspin to help market a band and blogging about his successes and frustrations with both tools. I was skeptical that Scott could remain neutral and concerned that he'd still have a job if Nimbit didn't end up the clear winner.

Scott assures me that everyone's cool with the experiment and that he's going to do everything that he can do be transparent with the results. I'm taking him at his word and will be monitoring his progress.

NOTE TO SCOTT: Keep your resume updated, buddy.

TweetDeck Adds Foursquare, Google Buzz, TwitVid

Twitter desktop and iPhone utility Tweetdeck, a popular time saver for managing your presence across multiple social networks, has released an upgrade which includes:

  • image from www.techpetals.com Foursquare integration
  • Google Buzz integration
  • Maps
  • Global Filters
  • Custom Twitter APIs
  • Custom URL shorteners
  • Scheduling updates
  • Upload to TwitVid from file or webcam
Video Introduction To The Tweetdeck Upgrade:

Continue reading "TweetDeck Adds Foursquare, Google Buzz, TwitVid" »

IODA Expands In Asia With Love Da Partnership

image from www.thefilmcollaborative.com Digital distributor IODA has formed a Pan-Asian partnership with Hong Kong's Love Da Records to bring its labels to emerging markets including Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan.

Love Da will distribute and market music from IODA's 2 million track catalog to digital music retailers as well as offering consumer marketing and physical distribution across the Asia-Pacific region. The announcement was made yesterday at the Music Matters conference in Hong Kong.

More Music Industry News: Retail Stats, Imogen Heap, Facebook Q&A, The Orchard & More

  • image from sherunsbrooklyn.files.wordpress.com Amazon & Walmart Tie For #2 U.S. Music Retailer (Hypebot)
  • Imogen Heap says touring's too pricey as record industry sales slump. - Wasn't touring meant to be the panacea for falling album sales? Except that the British singer-songwriter and Novello award-winner isn't finding it like that. (Guardian)
  • Q & A with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerman on the new privacy settings and more. (Bits)
  • LimeWire Begs Music Industry for Second Chance (Wired)
  • Apple passes Microsoft as the world's most valuable tech firm. (NY Times)
  • Facebook just updated its guidebook for more effective Facebook. advertising.
  • High-tech vinyl records find new life. (Medill)
  • The Orchard reaches 1.2 billion mobile customers across Asia. (press release)
  • Denmark'a Supreme Court Rules Pirate Bay Must Stay Blocked - More than 2 years ago the IFPI and other copyright groups brought action against Danish ISP Telenor demanding that it should block its subscribers from accessing The Pirate Bay. Following a hearing which began a week ago, the Supreme Court in Denmark has just ruled that The Pirate Bay must continue to be blocked, upholding previous rulings by lower courts. (TorrentFreak)
  • Ellen Signs YouTube Sensation Greyson Chance to New Record Label (Mashable)

Facebook Rolls Out New Privacy Features

All New Features Now Live On Facebook

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg today announced changes to its confusing and often controversial privacy settings. All the new features are available now and users will be informed via an announcement on the home pages.
  • image from www.kliaekspres.com A single control to change content viewing permissions. Options include friends-only, friends-of-friends, or everyone
  • Settings apply to past and future posts
  • A simpler method to control how people can find you
  • Easier opt-out of new personalization features and sharing info via third-party sites

Amazon & Walmart Tie For #2 U.S. Music Retailer

image from blog.timesunion.com iTunes Still #1 As Digital Grows

iTunes continued to be the top retailer of music with 28% of all music purchased by U.S. , up 4% since Q1 2009 according to researcher NPD. Amazon gained 3% to tie Walmart's shrinking music department for second position at 12%

Sales of digital tracks and albums accounted for 40% overall music sales in the first quarter of 2010, up 5% from Q1 2009.* 

iTunes Flat For Last 4 Quarters

Continue reading "Amazon & Walmart Tie For #2 U.S. Music Retailer" »

Big Changes For Zune, Xbox Team

Two Top Executives Exit

image from www.terminally-incoherent.com Microsoft has confirmed that two key executives of the team responsible for Zune, Xbox, Windows mobile phones and other entertainment initiatives are leaving the company. The departures come at a critical time for Microsoft with Zune still falling to gain traction against iTunes and other competitors and several major new products nearing launch.

Leaving are Robbie Bach, a 22-year Microsoft veteran that led the division as president since it was formed in 2005; and J Allard, an 18 year company veteran who was one of the technical and creative minds behind both the Xbox and Zune. The entertainment division accounted for 11% Microsoft's revenue and 3% of its net income in the most recent quarter.

RouteNote Exits Last.fm Citing Low Royalties

image from routenote.com Digital music distributor RoutNote is pulling it's clients tracks from music site Last.fm because it says royalty payments have been too low.

"The majority of our artists love to sell their music on the worlds largest stores like iTunes and Amazon, which make up the majority of their revenues," RouteNote wrote its users in a post titled GOODBYE LAST.FM. "Sometimes we have other services that just dont seem to generate the revenues expected... (Last.fm's) results in terms of revenues hasn't been what we expected." Artists can still join Last.fm and receive royalties directly from the service.

Reid Benditt on Music Choice

(UPDATED) This guest post was submitted by Reid Benditt, an On-Air Host at Y-Rock on XPN, a former News Writer for Consequence of Sound and an idealist.


When it comes to music consumption it's obvious that we have an abundance of choices.  There are a seemingly infinite number of methods for both listening to music and getting advice.  If anyone would be able to quantify the number of music blogs that are out there then maybe the world would seem flat, but the truth is that nobody can see the other side.  It's a similar case when it comes to the way people listen to music. 

Sure it's easier to put a number on the amount of online stores, music formats and listening devices that exist, but when you tie them all together you get a thousand more possibilities than a game of Clue (Col. Mustard pirated the MP3, uploaded it to his Zune, and plugged it into his car's aux jack).  The number of combinations could make your head swell.

With choice comes responsibility, and when the number of choices are overwhelming like the case is here then it is the fans’ responsibility to create their own filters.  It is simple personal choice: deciding what it is that you do or don’t want to hear.  With a thousand and one blogs out there you just have to be a little more objective now in your everyday reading and listening sessions.  The only tough part may be deciding what it is you are actually looking for.

Continue reading "Reid Benditt on Music Choice" »

Feds Investigating Apple's Control Of Music Industry

image from www.hypebot.com The U.S. Department of Justice is in the early stages of an investigation into how Apple runs its digital music business, according to several reports. While the probe is broad in scope, reportedly of particular interest to the Feds are alleged heavy handed tactics used against labels that participated in Amazon's Daily Deal promotion, which Hypebot reported in early March.

In 2009, Amazon began asking labels to give it a 1 day exclusive and digital marketing support as part of the Daily Deal package. "When that happened iTunes said, enough of that shit," and began threatening to bury releases that had been featured on it competitor.

Once a beloved and scrappy upstart, the DOJ investigation is further confirmation that Apple's image is shifting to that of corporate behemoth. According to NPD Group data, Apple is the dominant retailer of music downloads in the U.S. with 69% of the market and Amazon is second with just 8%. When physical product is factored in, Apples is still #1 with 26.7% of sales.

“Certainly if the Justice Department is getting involved, it raises the possibility of potential serious problems down the road for Apple,” Daniel L. Brown, an antitrust lawyer at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton told the New York Times.

Inside Amazon's Daily Deal

Continue reading "Feds Investigating Apple's Control Of Music Industry" »

Gigsby Launches Electronic Music Network


Hypebot Has 50 Beta Invites

Gigsby.com launched recently in private beta as professional network for the Electronic Music Industry.  The sote includes the basic social networking features including profiles with integrated feeds for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Soundcloud and others. In addition, Gigsby provides gig collaboration tools including automated artist booking requests, gig pages with file storage, conference lines and message boards.

The first 50 emails to info@gigsby.com with Hypebot in the subject line get in for Gigby.com's private beta.  NOTE: Gigsby was having some email server troubles on Tuesday morning. If you had an trouble registering, please try again.

Gigsby Promo from Gigsby on Vimeo.

iTunes Top 10

For the week ending May 24, 2010

Top 10 Singles    image from www.daveshorr.com

    1. "California Gurls (w/ Snoop Dogg)," Katy Perry
    2. "OMG (feat. will.i.am)," Usher
    3. "Airplanes (w/Hayley Williams)" B.o.B.
    4. "Can't Be Tamed," Miley Cyrus
    5. "Not Afraid," Eminem
    6. "Your Love Is My Drug," Ke$ha
    7. "Alejandro," Lady GaGa
    8. "Young Forever (feat. Mr. Hudson)," Jay-Z
    9. "Break Your Heart (feat. Ludacris)," Taio Cruz
    10. "Billionaire (feat. Bruno Mars)," Travie McCoy

Top 10 Albums

Continue reading "iTunes Top 10" »

More Music Industry News: Facebook Revamps, Glaser Gets Job, BlueBeat, Slingshot & More

  • image from www.tcd.ie Facebook will announce simpler privacy controls today, responding to consumer demand. (NY Times)
  • RealNetworks' founder and chairman Rob Glaser is becoming a partner at venture capital firm Accel Partners. (CNet)
  • Controversial website BlueBeat gets an iPhone app - The Californian website injuncted for selling Beatles catalogue downloads at 25 cents a pop last year has refused to let a little legal difficulty hamper its progress and has expanded its reach to the iPhone.(Register)
  • MySpace to shut down social media incubator Slingshot. (Valleywag)
  • Chinese music translation service 88tc88 has partnered with Grooveshark. (press release)
  • Next BIG Nashville and Leadership Music Digital Summit have united to create a week-long conference and festival. The combined events will take place September 28 – October 2 in Nashville, TN. (American Songwriter)
  • Democrats in the U.S. House and the Senate have announced plans to "update" the Communications Act, following recent debates over who has authority over the nation's rules governing the communications industry. (FMQB)
  • Android Music Versus iTunes: When Open Isn’t Quite As Open As It Might Appear. (Mark Mulligan)

#FMC10 DC Policy Day - A2IM On Piracy: "It's Not The Kids, It's the Companies"

Overheard at today's Future of Music Coalition DC Policy Day:

  • image from cdn.pitchfork.com "It's not kids, it's companies. People are making money off this piracy" - Rich Bengloff of A2IM
  • "Oh joy there apparently are NO provisions in ACTA advising artists & creators of their rights. (only a campaign to 'educate' public)."
  • FMC's Health Insurance Navigation Tool for musicians: http://bit.ly/OlFeH
  • "About 70% of people in Nashville didn't have flood insurance. They were not in flood plane so they didn't buy it."
  • Austin Schlick, General Counsel of the FCC on the FCC's authority over the internet and the third way "w/o broadband oversight, FCC cannot modernize USF, protect privacy on broadband, promote access for those with disabilities."
  • Watch the rest of today's conference live on Ustream here.

A Record Collection Of Links

Collecting In The Age Of Streaming Music

The guest essay comes from Robbert van Ooijen, a graduating master student New Media & Digital Culture at the Dutch University of Utrecht. It's based on a research paper he wrote at the wonderful Dutch start-up Twones and asks what remains of the intimate relationship between collector and collection in the age of streaming music. van Ooijen also blogs @ HaveYouHeard.It.

image from farm4.static.flickr.com
The world is about to embrace streaming music and and a lot has been written about the technical specifications of several streaming music services already. What is often still underexposed however, is the way this new era of consuming music is affecting the way we listen, organize and collect music. The music lover is standing on the threshold of a collection that consists only of links to streams. In the era of streaming music, what is left of the relationship between the collector and his collection?

Why Collect?

In the 1930s the German culture philosopher Walter Benjamin wrote about collecting and the relationship between the collector is his collection in the famous essay .Unpacking my library'. When Benjamin unpacks his books after moving to another house, he recalls the places where he bought his books and the memories that are connected to them. For all of us, this is a recognizable feeling. The first single that was bought, the album that was played often with a young lover and the CD that accompanied the whole summer holiday.

The collector is connected with the separate parts of his collection and without the owner, the collection also loses the biggest part of its meaning. A collection therefore is more than a chaotic gathering of stuff, it is a way to structure and visualize images and memories from the past. It's a reflection of someone's life and his identity. How often do we look at someone's music collection to find out what kind of person he or she is?

The End of Tactile Information Carriers

Continue reading "A Record Collection Of Links" »

Will MySpace Music Stay Free? It's Up To The Labels

At yesterday's TechCrunch Disrupt conference, MySpace co-presidents Jason Hirschhorn and Mike Jones were interviewed about the future of the struggling social networker.

image from blogs.sfweekly.com On falling numbers -"We have 120 million unique visitors worldwide. US numbers have been fairly flat. Page views are down… substantially by design. MySpace used to have processes that took 10 page views that should have taken 1."

How important is music? "It’s incredibly important. The pedigree of MySpace is around musicians. Free streaming access from record labels. We’re building out all sorts of tools for musicians. Dashboards, presence management."

On reports that MySpace loose $10 million monthly on free music - "That’s not correct. The model works for us. At some point, we look at all different kinds of models. There will always be free music on MySpace... We’re constantly talking to the record labels... Right now, we’re a valuable music discovery service for them.”

Join Us Now For The Future Of Music DC Policy Day 2010 Interactive Webcast

image from futureofmusic.org(UPDATED) Watch live here via Ustream & join the discussion.

The Future Of Music Coalition's DC Policy Day 2010 begins at 11 EDT today and will be carried live on the web. A new administration and a changing technological landscape have brought a number of important issues to the forefront. Today discussions will  include the FCC’s authority to regulate the internet, international copyright concerns, and the impact of health care reform on the music community.Policy Day 2010 will also examine how the creative industries are faring under current Washington leadership as we head into a new election cycle.

I encourage Hypebot readers to join me in participating in today's interactive web cast here.

There's some confusion about the exact URL for the webcast. Check this post online later this morning for the latest link.

What Happens When Everyone's A Music Maker?

Are we moving from an era of media consumption to one where were are all creators? Blogs enable us all to be writers.  Cameras on mobile phones have turned us into photo journalists. Now new apps are bringing music creation to the masses. Dave Hayes explored this phenomenon and predicted an interesting future during his recent presentation at TedxCardiff.

UPDATE: I had some trouble with the code (Sorry to those that it effected yesterday.), so go check it out at Duncan Freeman's IndieMusicTech.

More Music Industry News: Twitter Takes Control, $97 iPhone 3GS, Lady Gaga, Topspin API & More

  • image from lisarussell.org Twitter is starting to boot off competing ad networks and taxing app and other developers that are making money form the 140 charracter social network, writes Media Memo. 
  • Music Download Sales Slowing In Japan. (Nekkei)
  • In further proof the the iPhone 4 is on the way, Wal-Mart is dropping the price of the iPhone 3GS to $97. (Mashable)
  • Is Twitter a fail for music? (Sandbox)
  • Appbistro Is Building An Application Marketplace For Facebook Page apps. (TechCrunch)
  • Lady Gaga Says No Problem If People Download Her Music; The Money Is In Touring. (Techdirt)
  • JinglePunks get a big round of equity financing for it's music placement, licensing and publishing venture. (press release)
  • image from indieuniverse.files.wordpress.com Topspin has released its fourth major public API to developers - this one a Flash API. (Topspin)
  • Aerosmith Getting $1 Million To Play New York State Fair. (Starpulse)