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Allman Brothers & Cheap Trick Vs. Sony BMG Comments & Commentary

The Allman Brothers and Cheap Trick have filed a class action suit against Sony for allegedly under paying artists for digital downloads (story here).  Is this another nail in the coffin of the major labels?  Our readers and the industry speak out:

Cds_color_4"Major labels aren't going to die. They may end up paying more royalties on digital downloads, but they're certainly not going to die." - Glen from Coolfer

"The big labels will die... Sonybmg_28 1. They don't have the technology to compete
2. people don't like them
3. They pick wrong enemies (Microsoft, Apple)
4. Their upper management is incredibly thick.
5. more importantly, they don't have the next generation artist. They are too busy doing 'Prince' rehash or American idol. Lucrative at the moment yes, but nobody else care.            6. and ... I won't even mention hilarious business tactic similar to shooting themselves in the foot for short term profit." - squashed

It's about time someone woke up and yelled about this. How many acts are stilLegal_2l stuck taking reduced royalties on the experimental CD format, and higher deductions because of the CD's more expensive manufacturing process?  I wonder what the return rate is on ringtones? - Boston Music Attorney Rob Falk

Money_1"Record companies have screwed artists from the dawn of the recorded music era. That IS NOT going to stop...But the digital era gives ACCURATE sales numbers. So, what do they do? Pay bupkes. Essentially nothing, for those yiddish-challenged...

The Allman Brothers and Cheap Trick are not going to get any more significant money. But now the average person is gonna know on a 99 cent download the artist doesn't even make a nickel. And that just gives them more incentive to steal. Hell, the artists are not getting paid ANYWAY!"  - Bob Lefsetz in the Lefsetz Letter

Add your own comments by clicking below.

Allmans And Cheap Trick File Suit Against Sony That Could Change The Industry

Two veteran rock acts have joined together in a lawsuit that could help many artists receive greater royalties and in the process may radically change a profit structure at established record labels that has been based on catalog sales for decades

In a Class Action lawsuit filed yesterday, The Allman Brothers Band and Cheap Trick allege on behalf of themselves and others that Sony Music is not paying its recording artists 50% of the net licensing revenue received from Apple and other providers of digital downloads as they believe Sony is contractually obligated to do.

Legal_1Instead of paying its recording artists the approximate 30 cents of the 70 cents it receives for digital downloads after deducting payments to music publishers, the suit alleges that Sony treats each download like a sale of a physical CD only paying on 85% of such "sales"  on the theory that there is "breakage of product", deducting a 20% fee for container/packaging charges associated with the digital downloads, and reducing its payments by a further 50% "audiofile" deduction, yielding a payment to the artist of approximately 4 1/2 cents per download. Ipod_23

According to the complaint, The Allman Brothers and Cheap Trick and other members of this class  action have been damaged in the amount of millions of dollars through the loss of royalty payments .  "Sony Music is presently engaged in a widespread attempt to underpay its recording artists; with the technological advancements in the music industry, where many people download songs to their iPods and other portable devices, it is essential that artists receive the royalty income to which they are entitled," stated Brian Caplan, one the attorneys for The Allman Brothers Band, Cheap Trick and the class in this action.

The suit which on the surface appears to have merit could mean a devastating loss of income for labels and be a huge windfall for older artists.  More than a decade ago when the CD was introduced some artists were able to renegotiate contracts and receive a better deal for CD's. Label lawyers then reworked contracts to try to cover any and all future ways that music might be manufactured or distributed, but they could not imagine the changes that the digital revolution would bring.  New contracts signed within the last 3-5 years treat digital downloads differently and would probably not be effected by this lawsuit.

AL RESOURCESPress release from the law firm, an LA Times article, and tech viewpoints from WebProNews and,

WSJ Columnist Calls On Music & Broadcast Industries To Evolve. Says Record Labels "Are Coping The Worst".

In his RAIN online newsletter Kurt Hanson has written a summary of a keynote address at last week's National Association Of Broadcaster's convention by Wall Street Journal tech columnist Walt Mosseberg. The instructive speech's bullet points include:

  • Media have to evolve when new competitors arrive.
  • Generic_headphone_computer_2"Internet" won't be an "activity" in a few years - it will be like the electric grid all around you delivered and used by a multi-tude of devices in almost infinite ways.
  • The internet is coming to your car and wide variety of portable devices.
  • Of all industries record companies are coping the worst.   He called most DRM and other restrictions "absurd".
  • Radio needs to use new tools to beat the iPod. “Your job is not just to string together a bunch of songs in a row, but to put on exciting new programming to attract new listeners and beat the iPod,” he told broadcasters.

Read more here and share your feedback.

New Federal Law Would Outlaw MP3 Streaming

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has discovered that a provision buried in the new PERFORM act now being debated in Congress would essentially ban streaming via the mp3 format favored by most Efflogointernet broadcasters ranging from Live365 to KCRW.  The new statue would require more protective DRM style technology that prevents recording and copying if the broadcaster is using the statutory SoundExchange license.  The move may anger some consumers used to the time-shifting that unrestrictive technology allows.

Restrictive technologies can lead to consumer distrust and stifle technological advances.  This is particularly true in a market segment as new and rapidly changing as internet broadcasting.

We'd love to get reader comments on this topic which we will share with industry leaders and politicians.

Worthy Clicks - Music & The New Music Industry Online

Mouse_2Encore - Subscribe to a free touring and music entertainemnt trade newsletter from CelebrityAccess

MusicStrands - A free music organization, playlist, and reccomendation serivce.

MixTapeMovies - One ver smart unsigned hip hop act's extension of the mix-tape/mashup genre to music videos.

Prohiphop - relaunched last week as a trade blog focusing on the marketing of hip hop and the use of hip hop in marketing.  Good reading. (Hit refresh if film fails to launch.)

Hypebot's New Music Industry Briefing For Thursday April 27, 2006


- Nokia has unveiled the N series. Various cell models include superior video, a 3.2 mega pixel camera, large strange capacity, stereo speakers, an FM tuner, and mp3/AAC software and a steak sandwich. (Endgadget)

Motorola has launched StudioMoto where users to create custom ringtones, graphics, animations and even video mashups of developing artists for their mobile phones.

Top Canadian recording artists have formed the Canadian Music Creators Coalition to protest RIAA style tactics against their fans.  The CMCC opposes lawsuits against individuals, DRM or "locks" on songs and wants more government support for Canadian artists.  Outspoken RIAA critic Teri McBride's Nettwerk management roster is heavily represented with Bare Naked Ladies, Sum 41, Avril Lavigne among the founding members.

- The Electronic Frontier Foundation has gathered 85,000 signatures on an anti-RIAA petition towards it's Cds_color_3100,000 signature goal.  (Digital Music Weblog) Read the petition after the jump.

- Recording studios are having to adapt to shrinking label budgets and home recording. (Boston Globe)

- First ringtones, then ringbacks and now text tones?  Major labels are said to be eying selling short 4 second song snippets that play when a text message arrives.  The text tones could be customizable to fit the sender's identity. (Digital Music News)

Continue reading "Hypebot's New Music Industry Briefing For Thursday April 27, 2006" »

Senate Hears Testimony On Proposed Royalty Hikes

Representing opposing viewpoint record labels and new media companies testified before a U.S. Senate committee on today regarding new legislation that would force emerging music resellers such as satellite, cable, and Internet radio to pay more royalties to the music industry.  Digital and satellite outlets already pay rates greater than traditional broadcasters and argue that higher fees are unfair. (Red Herring and FMQB)

Hypebot's New Music Industry Briefing For Wednesday April 26, 2006

Sirius_3 - Prickly and insightful digital, film, and sports entrepreneur Mark Cuban is bring his opinions to the airwaves via a weekly show on Sirius. Cuban has often been on the cutting edge of thought about the new music and film industries. (

- Atlanta is going to make hip-hop a key part of it's marketing efforts.  They see it as a way to get A2im060905_4passed images of the Old South.  (Listen here from NPR)

- The BBC is radically revamping it's web site with video and audio on demand, more  MySpace style interactivity and user-generated content including personalized radio stations and an unsigned band contest. (Bloomberg)

- The American Association Of Independent Music (A2IM) met with the FCC demanding equal access to the airwaves for Indie labels and came away optimistic. (mi2n)

Universal_14 - Universal's International Music Feed video channel which currently airs on Dish Network will now have offerings via Sprint as well.  Universal has also inked a ringtone deal with Thumbplay , one of a growing number of non-cell companies selling add-ons.  Dubbed the "off-deck market", these transactions account for 80% of the European ringtone market. (Digital Music News)

- Court filings show that the RIAA tried to sue a 66 year old womanfor downloading gangsta rap....and if that weren't enough...she was dead.

Audio & Music 2.0 Companies On The Web

We recently published a list of Web 2.0 music related companies that got a lot of attention and feedback.  Here's another 2.0 list that we found via Coolfer.  There are some interesting new additions and omissions from the previous list:


· Bebop - Compare music calendar against your iTunes catalogue.

· Clickcaster - Record, license, publish & promote your radio show.

· Difm - Radio community.

· Dottunes - Share your iTunes.

· Enablr - Transcribe podcasts, Text2Snailmail, ...

· Fluctu8 - Create & share your sourcelists.

· Gcast - Podcasting tools & hosting.

· Genielab - Explore, recommend & rate music.

Continue reading "Audio & Music 2.0 Companies On The Web" »

Survey Shows Portable Players Doing Major Damage To Radio

Ipod_vs_radio_1A new study by radio consultancy Jacobs Media confirms what broadcasters have feared: iPod/MP3 players are a large and growing threat.  From the 2005 to 2006 iPod/MP3 ownership has risen sharply, from 21%-35% - which translates to 67% growth year-to-year. No other media activity has shown anywhere near that type of dramatic increase according to the study and time spent listening to the radio is the big looser.

Ipodsurvey Rock radio is the biggest loosee with more than 50% active rock fans owning and using a portable player.  22% say they also download an listen to podcasts.

Click on images to expand. Read the full Jacobs Media survey here.

Hypebot's New Music Industry Briefing For Tuesday April 25, 2006


- URGE, the new MTV/Microsoft download service, will be unveiled to the press in a private viewing late next week. (Digital Music News)

- RIP: Phil Walden, the founder of Capricorn Records and former manager of Sam Cooke.

- Skype has cut a deal with EMI that follows a recent pact with Warners that should expand the Voice Over Internet phone provider's dominace in the VOIP ringtome market and paves the way for a related download service. Will Skype's parent Ebay get into the game as well? (P2Pnet)

Applelogo_14- Apple will add advertising to the iTunes web site, according Advertising Age and to content partners who have been briefed on the plan. The introduction of ads could be the first step in allowing ads in other areas of their web sites and on iPod podcasts.

- Music Choice announced a deal with Universal Music Group, the world's leading music company, to add their extensive music video library to Music Choice's broadband music service. The service also features exclusive music shows & interviews, live performances, daily music news, and dozens of interruption-free audio music channels.

Emusic_6- eMusic is jumping beyond the typical "card on a peg" offered by other digital music retailers with a packaged set of eight specially designed collector’s cards on independent artists that include a taste of eMusic’s editorial content, a "how-to" download guide, and detailed information about eMusic’s discovery features. The CD jewel-box size kit is priced at $14.99 and offers consumers a "starter subscription" to eMusic with 65 downloads per month plus 25 free downloads at sign up.

Blog Chronicles MySpace As "Failure Of Humanity"

MySpace is often touted as the savior of the music industry. But the viewpoint of an amusing and insightful study by the Moneydick blog concludes that MySpace demonstrates a "failure of humanity".

"I’m not debating whether Myspace offers a good system or service, I’m only lamenting the place it has become thanks to its user base. There are good and bad uses for social networking websites. Most are useless and waste more time without contributing to the social good. Myspace is the worst."

Myspacecrap Music on MySpace:

"With 1.4 million bands hosted for free, MySpace has by nature of its massive youth saturation made itself a venerable resource for musicians. A heaping mound of steaming dung becomes a whole different animal if it also links people with artists in a democratic medium. Thankfully, many bands have a user-oriented sense of style when designing their page that does not afflict their fans with a rare form of mental stigmata due to illegible flashing abortions."

Clear Channel Debuts 75 Niche Formats

Clear Channel Radio's format lab and Premiere Radio Networks are set to market an eclectic mix of Clearchannel75 radio formats to other broadcasters for HD radio or internet broadcasts including 7 country formats from classic to new to rock to artist-driven. Rock has 18 including indie, metal, new alternative, classic alternative, soft, hard, mainstream, active, and an updated free-form FM.  There are 7 ACs, 7 top 40s, 10 flavors of R&B/hip-hop and 5 jazz and blues. Others break ground not heard on broadcast or satellite including a workout channel, a make-out channel, and a party channel billed as “a never-ending bar mitzvah.” (Radio Monitor)

Village Voice Update: Cristqau Still In

Village_voiceFired Village Voice music editor Chuck Eddy’s replacement will be Rob Harvilla of the East Bay Express. Gossip blog Gawker, however, admits that it was premature in announcing that famed and feared music critic Robert Christgau’s departure from the Voice. "No confirmation yet that he was axed, and, in fact, a source at the paper is under the impression that Xgau is still kicking — tho the source also acknowledges that no one quite knows what’s going on there anymore".

Read fired critic Eddy's farewell letter below.

Continue reading "Village Voice Update: Cristqau Still In" »

Hypebot's New Music Industry Briefing For Monday April 24 ,2006

Emi_5Wmg_4London's Sunday Times reports that EMI/Warner Music Group merger talks are on again with financial advisers on both sides being briefed now preparation for merger talks. “This deal’s going to happen. The only question is timing,”  one adviser told the Times. Some sources see Apple eying EMI as well as they do the music division of BMG which is on the block. (Times UK)

- Neil_youngNeil Young's new anti-war CD is debuting via the net on April 28 with free full album streaming at his own web site.  On May 2 it hits the download services and a week or two later Warner's expects to have the CD in the stores. (Reuters)

- A San Francisco judge appears to believe that the major labels illegally attempted to fix download prices and is reopening a major probe closed in 2003. (LA Times)

Xm_4We reported it last week, but now it's official: Opie & Anthony to replace Roth on CBS stations in former Stern slot, but also continue XM slot. (Plain Dealer)

- Indie Jazz labels are hoping that paid downloads may be the great equalizer giving obscure product equal digital shelf space to hit product. (Billboard)

- The Jammys, the annual jam band awards and concert, rocked NYC last week highlighting a diverse scene. (AP)

- 80,000 marched in Brussels in honor of a 17 years old killed over his MP3 player. (MediaCorp)

Indie Label Trustkill Tries To Give Fans More

Rock indie label Trustkill  (Real Bands. Real Music. Real Life.) is bringing back old fashioned baseball-style trading card in a promotion that has kids buzzing about the label's bands.

TrustkillLabel founder Josh Grabelle told Billboard, "...Right now, there's one card for each of Trustkill's 15 acts inserted at random in all of the label's CDs. Up next will be individual cards for each band member...(and they are) thinking of offering a complete set as a value-added item for fans who purchase more than one Trustkill CD."

UP next?  "...When it releases the debut album from Long Island, N.Y.-based hardcore act This Is Hell on May 16, initial pressings will contain a coupon for a free T-shirt, redeemable only at the band's live shows."

"It's getting harder and harder to break a band and develop an artist, and kids are getting spoiled," Grabelle says. "They expect something extra if they buy a CD."  (Billboard via Yahoo!). 

Good label web site worth visiting.

Hit Product Dominates Download Sales

Wired Editor Chris Anderson took a look on his blog at NARM figures showing that much like CD's a small percentage of available tracks account for a large percentage of sales:

  • 0.2% of the catalog (2,600 tracks) represents 50% of the sales
  • 1.5% of catalog (22K tracks) is 77% of sales
  • And the tail: 88.2% of the catalog is just 7% of the sales

Long_tail_coverAnderson coined the term "The Long Tail"  (also the title of his forthcoming book)for the net created sales phenomenon where profits will come from selling smaller numbner of more product of a longer period of time.  The figures above would seem to contradict that theory, but Anderson says the exact oppsite is true.

"...the effect of a massive increase in inventory is always to make sales appear more concentrated in percentage terms. So, for example, if you have 1,000 titles and the top 10% (100) account for half the sales, and then you expand that to 10,000 titles, the exact same sales of the top 100 now mean that it's just the top 1% that accounts for the same half of sales. It's actually no more concentrated, but the bigger denominator makes it appear that it is.

More anaylsis after the jump.

Continue reading "Hit Product Dominates Download Sales" »

Judge Believes Major Labels Attempted To Fix Download Prices To Protect CD Sales

LegalA San Francisco judge appears to believe that major US record labels lied to the courts during a 2001 anti-trust case on download price fixing according to an investigative piece by LA Times reporter Joseph Menn.

The government was, "...investigating whether the labels had conspired to fix the terms for distributing digital music through two jointly owned services, MusicNet and Pressplay. The officials were concerned that the five big labels were colluding to discourage people from downloading popular music in an attempt to protect CD sales."

Universal_13The investigation was dropped in 2003, "...but the Justice Department's decision was influenced by two detailed "white papers" — one submitted by EMI Group and MusicNet, the other by Universal Music Group and Pressplay. In a ruling made public Friday, U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel found that those papers were "deliberately misleading."  The judge has ordered that all relates paperwork including the files of the original lawyers be turned over for further investigation. (LA Times)

Is It Time To Bring Back The DJ ?

We're living in the age of consolidated radio groups, computerized song selection, voice tracking and random-play Jack formats.  And people are tuning out in droves...

Radio_20 "Is it time to bring back the DJ?", asks Jesse Walker in the Radio Business Report.  "...Aside from a few creative outlets scattered around the country - Indie 103.1 in Los Angeles, KPIG in Freedom, California - you aren't going to hear a knowledgeable jock who picks (or at least plays a role in picking) his own music. Someone who knows how to mix old records and new ones, classics and Indie_1031_1 obscurities, songs that obviously fall into a station's genre and left-field choices that fit in unexpectedly. Someone who has a personality that's made for the intimacy of radio...a sense of how to experiment without turning people off..."

"That's something you'll never get from an iPod on shuffle...Radio is a medium with unique strengths - why not use them instead of burying them?"

In an increasingly fractured listening marketplace with literally thousands of choices available, an old-school thing like "personality" may be just what radio needs to stop it's decline.

The Hot LG 550 MusicPhone

Just in case you're not convinced that there a convergence of cell phones and portable music players going on check out this photo of the LG 550 musicphone complete with a MicroSD and 1.3 mega pixel camera.


Doesn't the front controller look familiar?

And just in case you thought ringtone revenues might save the music industry, it's got built in software that let's you create your own by singing into the handset.

Expect it in stores soon...


20060420_viv_logorvbAt the annual meeting held yesterday in Paris, the shareholders of Vivendi Universal approved the company's name change, to just Vivendi.  "A new chapter in the history of the company begins with the adoption of a single name, Vivendi, according to a company press release. 

No word yet if Vivendi Universial 's music group will be changing their name or if division head Doug Morris should now only be called only Doug...or perhaps "the CEO formerly known as Morris".

Hypebot's Music Industry QuickNews For Friday April 21, 2006

Applelogo_13A variety of sources are reporting that the major labels seem ready to temporarily give up on their fight for variable download track pricing at iTunes. Its a big reversal for the labels who have been demanding the option for almost two years, but should come as no surprise since Steve Jobs' company controls 80% of the download market. (NY Post)

Opie & Anthony will replace a departing David Lee Roth in NYC and some other CBS radio markets in Howard Stern's former slot.  Stern is now heard only on Sirius satellite and CBS's move would be a coup for rival XM since O & A have and will continue to be heard daily via XM as well. (via Rain)

Cds_color_2CD sales in general may be down, but US shipments of Latin CD's jumped in 2005 to 53.1 million or a 14.4% increase according to the RIAA. Music DVDs were 5 % of the  total. Regional Mexican and Tejano music accounted for about half of the purchases and new sub-genre Reggaeton helped fuel much of the growth. (Digital Music News)

Just in case you wondered how important Apple is shares of PortalPlayer dropped 50% on Thursday after it said Apple Computer Inc. would not use its chips in some new iPod Nano devices. (Reuters via Yahoo!)

Worthy Clicks - What's Happening Online

Indie Download music site FreshTracksMusic is offering unlimited un-protected downloads for as little as $4.95 a month.  Coke has also tapped the outlet for a special promotion. During a quick tour of the clean site we heard some great music, but not one act we've ever heard of and found nothing close to eMusic's great selection.

Established used CD buy/sell site puts a new twist on the transaction by now also taking "old" media -- CDs, DVDs and video games - in trade for new digital downloads and players like iPods.

iSeeradio creates online video content for radio stations including live streaming designed to increase ad revenue and new opportunities for fan interaction.

FCC Launches The Largest Payola Probe Since The 1960's

Talks between the FCC and major broadcasters appear to have broken down as The LA Times reports that the government agency has formerly opened the largest payola investigation since the Money 1960's. Formal requests for documents have gone out to Clear Channel, CBS Radio, Entercom, and Citadel Broadcasting "over allegations that radio programmers had received cash, checks, clothing and other gifts in exchange for playing certain songs without revealing the deals to listeners, a violation of federal rules".

The probe comes on the heals of criticism from NY Attorney General Elliott SpitzerFcc_1  who is in the middle of his own probe of radio and the record labels and who feels the FCC has been soft on broadcasters.  The new probe could be a far greater threat to broadcasters than Spitzer's since the FCC is free to investigate nationally and in addition to fines the FCC can pull valuable licenses if serious violations are proven.  Few expect that to happen any grand scale, but the probe promises difficult days ahead for an industry already battered by competition from iPods, satellite radio, and the the internet. 

And what this all means for indie music on the radio or perhaps even tighter playlists from scared programmers is anyone's guess.

EMI & Universal Tell Stock Market There's A Good Year Ahead

Emi_4EMI offered the stock market a first quarter financial preview covering the full year ahead. Combined revenues from music and publishing are expected to increase 4% for the fiscal year. Revenues at EMI Music to inch to 2% aided by digital growth which they predict will be 150% over the year to $196 million or 5.5% of overall EMI Music revenues. The EMI Group overall projected a 12% rise in yearly profits including cost savings of $53.5 million. Official results will be released May 23rd.

Universal_2UMG also released preliminary revenue reports for the first quarter as part of a preview by parent Vivendi Universal.  Vivendi revealed that overall UMG revenues hit 1.125 billion euros ($1.139 billion) for the quarter, a jump of 8.25 percent over the year-ago quarter. They credit digital sales, strength in the Japan, and publishing revenues for the rise.

Hypebot's Music Industry QuickNews For Thursday April 20, 2006

  • Applelogo_12Apple reported that profits in the last quarter surged 41% from a year ago to $410 million driven in part by hot iPod sales. (AFP)
  • Reggatone stumbles?  "In at least three markets -- Las Vegas, Dallas and Miami -- stations that gambled on the music's growing popularity have since switched back to more traditional formats. And in perhaps the most worrisome sign yet, turnout was disappointing for a reggaeton concert last month at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., headlined by Daddy Yankee, the genre's superstar, and rapper Snoop Dogg." (Tribune Newspapers)
  • Just in case you missed the Nashville shocker we reported yesterday, is saying that RCA and Sony and RCA's Nashville divisions are merging into one unit led by Joe Galante.

Two Become One As Sony and RCA Merge In Nashvile is reporting that RCA Label Group in Nashville (which includes the country divisions of Arista, RCA and BNA) and Sony Nashville will be merged into one company with Joe Galante as head.

Sonybmg_26A memo obtained by Billboard and written by new Sony BMG head Rolf Schmidt-Holtz says that the company is "combining the resources of its two Nashville operations in order to create a single powerhouse entity, which will be known as SONY BMG Nashville. With this move we will be better positioned to intensify our efforts in the areas of A&R and artist development, and to meet the challenges of a constantly evolving and highly competitive marketplace".

Galante, who previously served as the chairman of RCA Label Group, will head the combined group as chairman, and Sony Music Nashville president John Grady will exit April 21. Key artists effected include Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood and Sara Evans from the RLG side. Sony Music Nashville acts include Gretchen Wilson, Bertelsmann_logo_01_3Montgomery Gentry, and Van Zant.

How a combined label group might complicate the rumored sale of the Bertelsmann's music assets to  an outside party is unclear.

More Proof That Concert Business Is Up

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) The North American concert business shows signs of emerging from its two-year slump in the first quarter of 2006, with nearly $375 million in grosses and 7.3 million in attendance, according to CelebrityAccess/Billboard box scores.

ConcertcrowdThe success was fueled by major tours by artists such as Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, Coldplay and Aerosmith, who helped raise grosses by 28% over one year ago, and attendance by 19%. International figures, aided by the U2’s monolithic Vertigo tour, are up about half that amount in both categories.

Festival_4 The elevated numbers are not just the product of a higher volume, as the number of shows in Q1 ’06 is nearly the same as the number in ’05 for North America. This year, 2,595 shows were reported from January to March, compared to 2,525 for the same period last year, while the average attendance per show is up nearly 16%.

“Touring will always be cyclical,” Randy Phillips, CEO of AEG Live, told Billboard. “The numbers are completely dependent upon who is on the road.” - by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers