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New Video iPod and iTunes Video Download Service Presents New Opportunities For The Music Industry

Apple Computer Inc. has just unveiled anew iPod capable of playing videos evolving the music  device into a multimedia platform.

IpodvideoVideos will now be sold alongside songs on Apple's iTunes Music Store providing a huge potential revenue stream for record labels. But which will be smart enough to jump on the bandwagon with creative products like "the making of" interview clips sold alongside classic songs?  Or will the labels simply recycle old videos.  Not that that is bad, but it doesn't begin unleash the potential for fan satisfaction and revenue that this new device and iTunes video downloading presents.Itunes_8

Related to the new iPod release Jobs also announced a groundbreaking deal with ABC TV allowing the online iTunes store to sell episodes of hit shows like "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost" for $1.99 each, making them available the day after they air on television.  Could video Podcasting be far behind?


Coalition of Independent Music Stores' Top 200 for Week Ending 10-9-05

Cims_26Label Pos. Artist|Title

EPIC 1 APPLE*FIONA|EXTRAORDINARY MACH

ATO 2 MY MORNING JACKET|Z

EPIC 3 FRANZ FERDINAND|YOU COULD HAVE

AANC 4 BROKEN SOCIAL S|BROKEN SOCIAL

WAR 5 YOUNG*NEIL|PRAIRIE WIND

RHMS 6 ATMOSPHERE|YOU CANT IMAGINE HO

ROAD 7 NICKELBACK|ALL THE RIGHT REASO

LHWY 8 ADAMS*RYAN|JACKSONVILLE CITY N

ATLG 9 DEATH CAB FOR C|PLANS

GEFN 10 SIGUR ROS|TAKK

DEF 11 WEST*KANYE|LATE REGISTRATION

LAVA 12 O.A.R.|STORIES OF A STRANGER

WAR 13 DISTURBED|TEN THOUSAND FISTS

WAR 14 DEFTONES|B-SIDES & RARITIES

UNIV 15 MARLEY*DAMIAN|WELCOME TO JAMRO

ANIT 16 BLACKALICIOUS|CRAFT

VRGN 17 ROLLING STONES|BIGGER BANG

RCA 18 GRAY*DAVID|LIFE IN SLOW MOTION

AAM 19 CROW*SHERYL|WILDFLOWER

ATLG 20 TWISTA|DAY AFTER

WAR 21 CREAM|ROYAL ALBERT HALL LONDON

SUBP 21 WOLF PARADE|APOLOGIES TO THE Q

OVCT 23 IRON & WINE/CAL|IN THE REINS

COL 24 THREE 6 MAFIA|MOST KNOWN UNKNO

BNTE 25 MONK/COLTRANE|THELONIOUS MONK

Click below for #26-200 and the weekly commentary.

Continue reading "Coalition of Independent Music Stores' Top 200 for Week Ending 10-9-05" »


Indy Powerhouse Sanctuary Lays Off 175 in North America

SancgrouplogoAccording to the Hollywood Reporter, "Sanctuary Group, the world's largest independent music label, said Monday it will cut 175 jobs, 25% of its workforce worldwide. Home to such artists as Axl Rose, Elton John and Beyonce, Sanctuary said the cuts were part of a fundamental review of its business but did not envisage further job losses. Sources say most of the reductions will be in North America."

While Sanctuary does a lot of things right including attacking the under-served adult market, they have lagged behind with the kind of innovation in the digital world possible and even necessary for an Indy label.  And new artist development seems hardly on their radar.  Can any music company expect to survive when they aren't embracing the digital future and developing tomorrow's stars?


Hyebot Named to cNet's News.com Blog 100

Newslogo_220x70Hypebot.com is proud to be named to publishing and internet giant CNET's News.com hot new Blog 100 list !

What is the Blog 100?  As they put it:

With more than 14 million blogs in existence and another 80,000 being created each day, how is a person supposed to find the ones worth reading?

That is the question CNET News.com is attempting to answer with our first Blog 100 list.

Hypebot has been selected as part of the News.com Blog 100, a feature in which News.com editors and reporters are helping find the best news and views on the Web for the convenience of our readers

They went on to describe Hypebot as an "Excellent chronicle of how the music world is responding to the digitization of its industry, from satellite radio to flash memory."

Thanks to CNET's News.com for helping us spread the word about Hypebot and the how digitization and the Internet are revolutionizing the music industry !


MYV Launches Net Only UBER "Your Channel. Your Way". Are Other Niche Music Net Channels On The Horizon?

Just as listening to music has migrated towards the web and purchasing it is following, so now are videos and music TV.  Yahoo and it's Launch service and Real were among the first to offer video on demand several years ago, but MTV has become a leader in almost television like programming via the Internet.

Mtvuber_logo_betaAOL may have outdone MTV with much more complete event coverage of Live8, but MTV is striking back with ongoing niche channels like their new mtvU Uber targeting the college crowd.  It's basically an update to its already existing MTVu service which runs on campus cable systems and the internet. But with unique MTV and student produced programming and a wide selection of videos all presented on demand plus the slogan "Your Channel. Your Way", MTV is stepping out front with a format likely to capture this key demo.

And with the announcement of MTV's new Tempo channel aimed at the Caribbean music market both on the islands and here, you have to wonder what kind of niche net driven channels will follow.  If the net can support audio streams devoted to folk, smooth jazz, world music and even polka why not net delivered music television for these genres?


Andy Lack's Days At Sony BMG Numbered

Bmg_logo_3According the the New York Times, "Bertelsmann, the German media giant, has notified Sony , its corporate partner in the music business, that it does not want to renew the contract of Andrew R. Lack, the chief executive of the two companies' global joint venture, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, executives involved in the discussions said yesterday."

"...Bertelsmann is not able to independently fire Mr. Lack, a former NBC television executive whoSony_logo_2   had never worked in the recording industry before he was handed the reins..."

"But it is unlikely that the two companies would retain a chief executive who did not have the backing of both sides..."


Yahoo Jumps Into Podcasting. Music Industry Lags Behind

Yahoopod_1Reacting as every digital savy company must do, Yahoo "...just launched a beta podcasting service, complete with search capabilities and neatly organized subject areas. The new site, available at podcasts.yahoo.com, also compiles recommendations from Yahoo editors and Yahoo_11 fans." according to Digital Music News. "The entrance follows a major podcasting push by Apple..."... and investors have bet $8.85 milliom on PodShow a "start-up created by "podfather" Adam Curry that aims to be a key distributor for the format."

Insiders are predicting Google will be the next big palyer to jump into podcasting which now has about 5 million somewhat regular users of this time-shifting technology.  Record labels and other music comoanies are eyeing podcasting too cautiously as they alweays do with new trends.  Rhinocasts Songwriter and other royalties remain an issues, but smart music marketers need to find creative ways to jump into the space as Rhino has with their podcasts by music commentator and historian Bob Lefsetz.

Check out Yahoo podcasting here.

Sirius Hits 2.17Million Subsribers

Siriuslive_8(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) - Sirius Satellite Radio added more than 359,000 new net subscribers during the third quarter of 2005, reflecting continued strong demand for its service. The third quarter net subscriber gain represents a 97% increase in net subscribers over year-ago quarter net additions of approximately 182,000. Sirius ended the quarter with over 2.17 million subscribers.

Sirius expects to reach three million subscribers by the end of 2005. - Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen


UNIVERSAL REBRANDS ITSELF AS A MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY

Universallogo_10In a case of smart re-branding done just as the record label ship continues sinking,  Digital Music News reports that at an investor presentation given last week in London by Universal Music, the company  "...emphasized several new revenue areas, including ringtones, paid downloads, subscriptions, advertising, and even fashion branding. In short, Universal will be diversifying and broadening away from a “record company” and into a “music entertainment company”. Pointing specifically to digital downloads, mobile-based formats, and subscriptions, the company traced a steep adoption increase. "Revenue from these businesses grew from essentially nothing in the first half of 2003 to over 100 million euros [$121.6 million] for the first half of 2005.."

Universal has also been "making some interesting new deals, including a partnership and investment stake in mobile entertainment upstart amp’d Mobile. In the presentation, UMG also outlined strategies to take advantage of new formats like podcasting, ad-supported audio and video sites, and peer-to-peer technologies."

With digital revenues still very small (a few % of total gross sales) this announcement may be early but at least Universal is trying to stay out front in a rapidly shifting marketplace.

For a PDF provided by Digital Music News of the full Universal Music presentation click here.


DIGITAL MUSIC NEWS - WEEK IN REVIEW

A new paid download milestone was reached this week, as Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" crossed the one-million mark. And overall, an IFPI report showed that global paid download volumes for the first half of the year tripled when compared to the same period in 2004.

But the results weren't so rosy in the physical sector. Both the RIAA and IFPI reported Cd_7sizeable  declines during the first six months of this year, and cumulative yearly CD sales in the US now lag 10.5 percent behind comparable figures from 2004. Meanwhile, P2P file-sharing cooled a bit in September, though volume has increased tremendously when compared to the same month last year.

Universallogo_9In the dealmaking corner, Universal Music Group licensed its content to the upcoming Motorola iRadio service. And licensing negotiations between Microsoft and the Big Four came to an abrupt halt.

In the satellite radio sector, Sirius tacked on 239,000 new subscribers in the third quarter, perhaps fueled by Howard Stern fans.

The EU appeared to inch closer to a pan-European digital music licensing process. And the RIAA faced a countersuit from an accused file-sharer, who opted to use RICO laws against the music trade group (Atlantic v. Andersen).

But perhaps the biggest news this week wasn't news at all, as Apple fanned the flames once again with the announcement of a special unveiling next week. Many are pointing to the release of a video-enabled iPod.


Hypebot's Digital Music QuickNews:

The record business overall experienced a 10.4% drop in album sales in the first nine months of 2005.

DIGITAL SALES TRIPLE TO 6% OF INDUSTRY RETAIL REVENUES AS GLOBAL MUSIC MARKET FALLS 1.9%; Booming Demand For Music On The Internet And Mobile Phones Nearly Offset The Decline In Physical Formats.

Digital music has achieved its first million-selling single track — Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl”. Taken from her debut solo album. The track has achieved over one million download sales since itsdebut last year

Who needs to pay for satellite radio when free internet radio will soon be available everywhere?  Philadelphia yesterday announced a plan to build the biggest municipal wireless Internet system in the nation, the latest of a growing number of cities to treat high-speed Web access as a basic municipal service like water, electricity and trash collection.  Any music marketer who is  not staking out his or her space in the internet radio landscape is missing a huge opportunity. 

Wednesday and Thursday Kurt Hanson’s RAIN newsletter will look at the different delivery methods, including WiMax and 3G (among others) that are set to compete for the mass of mobile subscribers ready to harness the capabilities that these systems promise to deliver. Read it all at http://www.kurthanson.com.


MTV Video Music Awards' Net Offerings Explode Even As TV Viewers Decline

Digital Music News reports that MTV's broadband site for the Video Music Awards "... received 13 million streams within a 30 day window, and MTV.com received a record 45 million pageviews on the day after the show. The site, which was layered within the MTV Overdrive broadband offering, was stuffed with artist videos, event footage, and bonus content."

Mtv_11"The MTV approach represents a diversification away from traditional, linear programming. While Live 8 will be remembered as a watershed for live, streaming entertainment, MTV quickly adapted in time for the VMAs. Now, the company is also pushing into mobile programming, and has recently inked wireless content relationships with Warner Music Group and Sprint Nextel."

"Meanwhile, overall audience numbers on the cable-based VMA broadcast were somewhat disappointing, with 8 million tuning in. While that represented a strong percentage of the younger viewing demographic, it is a slide from previous year totals of 10.3 million, and an even stronger decline from 11.95 million viewers in 2002."