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No More Mailed Promos From Matador

MatadorIndie Matador has decided to heck with the US Mail and is experimenting with delivering promo and review copies via download. Hypebot knows of some "digital only" labels that have gotten resistance from reviewers and resorted to limited promo pressings.  But as much as the record store that buys your "used" promo copies may hate it, Matador's move is the waive of the future.

From the Matador web site:

Chavez - Better Days Will Haunt You
Chavez_brothersWelcome to 2006...! Well, we sat around and decided that we waste too much precious intern time mailing you advance CDs. So, starting with the fantastical Chavez redux 'Better Days Will Haunt You', this will hopefully be the norm rather than the exception. The link below will download .zip file you may with 11 advance mp3s from "Better Days...", a hi-jinx clip from the DVD that will be packaged with the double-CD, a music video for "Unreal Is Here", band photos, a pack shot and all the bios from Chavez past. We hope you enjoy the experience and email us will any praise, critiques or Chavez missives. If you want to listen to streams while you wait for the download, go to and promo mp3s are at the band's label page.

Zune Update: Oops The Press Release Was Wrong!

We opened the Hypebot inbox this morning to find this note from Microsoft Zune central that read simply:

Zune_logo_19Slight error in the release we sent this morning.

FM Tuner – built into the deviceZune3_4 

FM Transmitter – accessory for the car

The attached release reflects this now.

Reas the full corrected press release after the jump.

Continue reading "Zune Update: Oops The Press Release Was Wrong!" »

Hypebot's New Music Business Briefing For Friday September 29th, 2006

Rogermcguinn "...the management team hired a guy from Vegas to teach us choreography. We were to wear suits with velvet collars and do dance steps. We didn't go along with it, and he said, 'You don't have what it takes to make it in show business..." -  Roger McGuinn of The Byrds

The Byrds look back with a great new box set. (CNN)

Ipod_40- Podcasters beware: Apple is trying to stop any other company from using the word pod. What's next Steve? Is it OK to call what I do a "Job"?  (Daily Mail) Apple also just announced a fix designed to end complaints about it's iTunes 7 upgrade. (

- And on a related note...anti-DRM lobby Defective By Design is planning a day of protests on October 3rd. (here)

- Mecora launches new mobile music service that promises to transform the Smartphone into a wireless, socially connected music player with:

  • Over the air access to your music library
  • Socially connected access to friends' music (coming soon)
  • Over 100,000 channels of digital radio
  • Search by Genre, Style or Artist
  • Brilliant CD-quality sound Capital_reocrds_tower_2

Zune_logo_18 - Need Zune details? We got 'em. (Hypebot)

- EMI is selling the Capital Tower and leasing it back. (Hypebot)

- Talent agents CAA grabs two top UK agents and open London offices. (Hypebot)

CAA To Open UK Music Office With Top Agents

Mike Greek and fellow Helter Skelter agent Emma Banks will be leaving the company to open a London office for Creative Artists Agency. There has been rampant speculation about major changes in the UK agency scene, with this move coming as the first major shuffle to be made official. Other rumors floating around the industry include talks of William Morris following suit, with former Dire Caalogo Straits manager Ed Bicknell at the helm of a London headquarters.

The departure of Banks and Greek leave the Sanctuary-owned Helter Skelter in a weakened state, as major acts such as Alicia Keys, Franz Ferdinand, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Arcade Fire, Nine Inch Nails, the Dandy Warhols, and David Grey are expected to be announced on the new CAA London roster. The company took a hit in January of 2005 as well, when veteran agents Jeff Craft and Ian Huffam left to start X-Ray Touring with Martin Horne and Scott Thomas from ITB. - Celebrity Access

EMI To Sell Famous Capital Records Tower

Capital_reocrds_tower_1EMI has entered into an agreement with Argent Ventures, the New York-based commercial property owner and developer, to sell the Capitol Records Tower and adjacent properties to Argent for $50 million.  As part of the agreement, EMI has entered into a long term lease with Argent, which will enable the Capitol Records label and Capitol Studios to continue their operations at these facilities for many years to come.

The record album shaped tower was built in 1956.

Zune To Launch November 14th And Hypebot's Got The Details

Zune_logo_17The Zune digital media player and online service will be available to consumers in the U.S. on Nov. 14th and the Zune device will retail for $249.99. Features include:

·        Zune3_2  30GB digital media player equipped with wireless functionality for Zune-to-Zune sharing of music, pictures and home recordings; a bright, three-inch LCD video screen that works in portrait or landscape mode to view pictures and videos; and a built-in FM tuner. The device will be available in three colors: black, brown and white.

·        A selection of preloaded content including songs, music videos and film shorts are installed on the device’s hard drive to help consumers discover new artists and entertainment.

Zune Marketplace:

·          Zunemarketplacemusic service will be continually updated with new content and experiences. The Zune Marketplace lets users browse and purchase songs individually.

·        A Zune Pass subscription gives consumers access to millions of songs for $14.99 per month.

·        Users can purchase songs individually using Microsoft Points for 79 points per track. Similar to a pre-paid phone card, Microsoft Points is a stored value system that can be redeemed at other online stores including the Xbox Live Marketplace. Zune_wallpaper_1

For a backstage pass to the official Zune virtual press room to read the press release and product fact sheets click here and you'll find a full list of pre-loaded content and accessories after the jump.

Continue reading "Zune To Launch November 14th And Hypebot's Got The Details" »

Hypebot's New Music Business Briefing For Thursday September 28th, 2006

- They say that being in a rock band is just like being married.  The LA Times looks at band members that actually are. (LA Times)

Applelogo_43- Nordic consumer regulators met with Apple over iTunes' closed DRM.  Movement seems possible. (Reuters)

- Soundscan had to juggle the charts as Best Buy sales went unreported. Indie Megaforce claims Mushroom's sales were cut in half. (FMQB)

- Streamcast found to have encouraged copyright infringement bu US District Court. (

Yellow_bikini- The man who co-wrote the song "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" had the unsettling experience of reading his own obituary — the result of an impostor who went through life claiming to be the author of the 1960s smash hit. Still unanswered: Who did SoundExchange send the check to? (AP)

Coalition of Independent Music Stores Top 200 for Week Ending 9-24-06

  • Cims_62Pos. ARTIST |  TITLE

Read the fukk CIMS Top 200 After The Jump

Continue reading " Coalition of Independent Music Stores Top 200 for Week Ending 9-24-06" »

Barenaked Ladies Score As Indie

The Barenaked Ladies grossed $978,127.99 in revenue from intellectual property in its first week music sales from their new album, Barenaked Ladies Are Free (Desperation Records/Nettwerk Music Bnl Group).

Understanding this sales figure requires looking beyond the numbers on the charts, according to Terry McBride, band manager and CEO of the Nettwerk Music. McBride notes BNL released their album on their own artist-run label, Desperation Records, in multiple formats, from physical CDs to digital albums, deluxe editions, USB flash drives, ring tones, multi-tracks for remixing, streams, etc. Not only is revenue generated from all of these outlets, but also the percentage the band actually sees is significantly higher since they own their Intellectual Property.

Additionally, when the digital sales of Barenaked Ladies Are Me and Barenaked Ladies Are Me Deluxe Edition are combined, BNL actually hit as the #4 digital seller in the US and #3 in Canada.

Continue reading "Barenaked Ladies Score As Indie" »

Network Live Falls Apart As Control Room Launches

Network Live, the company that promised to take live concerts across all platforms including the web, cell phones and satellite radio has dissolved. Started after an impressive Live8 debut the company floundered when big numbers did not materialize for other broadcast events. 

Festival_11But that hasn't stopped founder Kevin Wall who the same day he announced that AOL, XM and others were pulling out of the partnership revealed that Microsoft is jumping into a new similar partnership dubbed Control Room.  A strong selection of content is already on tap.

Former Network Live partner and concert producer AEG is expected to run a more limited concert broadcast service using the Network Live brand.

Hypebot's New Music Business Briefing For Wednesday September 27th, 2006

Wmg_30- WMG's Edgar Bronfman is calling on EMI investors to convince them that a hook-up with WMG makes sense despite recent European Union signals that any merger might not get regulatory approval. (TimesOnline UK)

- It looks like Cingular will get the exclusive when the iPod phone launches early next year. (Think Secret)

Nokia_music_edition - Nokoia has unveiled several powerful new music enabled phones and Recommenders an online destination which will position David Bowie and others as guides to new music. (press release)

- Shakira dominates the Latin Grammy Nominations. (AP) Click here for a full list.

- An interview with Ruthless mogul Jerry Heller on Rap, the business and his new memoirs. (LA Times)

-  A look at trends in music consumption in Asian-Pacific market.  (Sun2Surf via Future Of Music )

Live Nation Takes On Ticketmaster Over High Fees

Livenation221205_12 We've been hearing rumors of this for several months, but now the riff has gone public.  Concert giant Live Nation is fighting with Ticketmaster to lower ticketing fees as part of an overall effort to bring prices down and encourage more concert attendance.  Current Ticketmaster fees can add 25%- 35% to the price of a ticket. LA Times.  "We can grow this industry by lowering prices." But Tickemaster has exclusive contracts Concertcrowd_5with most of the nations concert venues and seems in no hurry to give up the more than $1 billion in fees that it collected last year. 

"Seventy percent of people didn't go to a concert last year, and even the average concert fan only attends about two shows a year," Live Nation head Michael Rapino told the

On the other hand Live Nation controls the concerts and owns some of the venues, and last month bought into MusicToday which has it's own fan-friendly ticketing system.  A less well-known part of the Live Nation portfolio is the Next Ticketing system (re-named Live Nation Ticketing) which it purchased several years ago as part of Boston's Tea Party Concerts headed by Don Law.  This system already handles a number of venues in new England and it's underlying technology could be used to expand nationally. 

Fader To Publish Japanese Edition

FaderjpnFADER music magazine today announced the launch of FADER Japan.  This comes on the heels of the announcement that the FADER was the first magazine to be made available in its entirety on iTunes.

The new magazine will be issued six times a year and distributed through a licensing deal with Japanese Blues Interaction. The first issue is a compilation of features from 2006, offering a primer for the Japanese audience, including profiles of Lupe Fiasco and Cat Power.  Future issues will contain a combination of past FADER articles and original features on emerging Japanese music and culture.

m-Venue Brings Music & Texting To McDonalds

McdonaldsStarbucks is not the only retailer whose figured out that music can be powerful part of the consumer  experience.

Mvenuem-Venue enables control via cell text messaging of the music and videos playlists at a public locations like a restaurant or mall food court and in early tests McDonald's is lovin' it.  Expect more video/music entertainment sections McDonalds and other locations in the coming months.

Sources: m-Venue, Businessweek

Hypebot's New Music Business Briefing For Tuesday September 26th, 2006

With this installment of our daily briefing we're replacing the term "New Music Industry" with "New Music Business" in the title. In the new paradigm which we're writing so much about commerce must be driven by the music rather the other way around. And while we're fine with the idea that we're all running businesses; the term industry suddenly seemed to reflect exactly the kind of corporate thinking we believe has to stop.\

- Axl rose to the oocassion as Guns And Roses ripped it up at the KROQ Inland Invasion. (Hollywood Reporter)

Mtv_26- MTV has launched MTV Tr3s a new cable channel and online destination aimed at the growing Latino market. (Reuters)

- A look at the pirate radio and how it's taking root across America. (AP via Wired)

Woxy_2- Will the rich founder of CD trading site save internet station (WOXY via Live Music Blog)

Mouse_18Worthy Click: Who needs iTunes? AllWebco Design sells code that can be dropped into any web site and enables mp3 download sales with payment via PayPal. (click)

SoundExchange Holding Royalties For Hard To Find Artists...Like Tone-Loc and T. Bone Burnett

And those artists are just in the "T's"...

SoundExchange collects royalties from performances in digital media like online and satellite radio stations. Kind of a BMI or ASCAP for digital media. For months they been warning that artist that did not sign up by December 15th would loose any royalties due them from Feb 1996 to March 31, 2000.  But until recently they've refused to provide a public list of artists owed the money claiming Soundexchange_2they did not want middle men coming in to grab a percentage of the artist royalties.

But a quick look at the list makes one question just how hard SoundExchange even tried to find these artists or who is heading the search.  In addition to platinum selling artists like Tone Loc and recent Grammy winner T-Bone Burnett a quick glance at the list found several hundred recognizable Money_4 names that could be tracked via various labels, agents, managers and publishers if anyone had bothered to try.

Jumping around the alphabet here are a few names that we found SoundExchange claims they could not find:

  • A Flock Of Seagulls
  • Ace Frehley
  • Andy Gibb (OK he's dead but...)
  • The Archies
  • Blue Cheer
  • Booker T & The MG's
  • Dinosaur JR
  • Dishwala
  • Jimmy Vivino and The Rekooperator (He's on TV every night in the Conan band)
  • Joe Henry (another recent Grammy nominee)
  • Molly Hatchet
  • Mountain
  • Rossington Collins
  • Susan Tedeschi (a Grammy winner)

Read the full list here.

New Releases: Solomon Burke, Jerry Lee Lewis, Amos Lee

While we had trouble prying the wonderful new Ray Lamontagne CD out of the player, we knew we had to check out a few of the new releases hitting stores tomorrow and next week:

Solomonburke_5SOLOMON BURKE's "Nashville" finds the king of rock and soul in fine form on this Buddy Miller produced disk.  Burke is joined by guests like Emmy Lou Harris and Dolly Parton, but it's really Burke's amazing voice that can soar from touching sweetness to stunning growl in a single phrase that takes center stage.  As other great voices of his generation have faded,  Burke's talents on seem to only grow stronger. (In Stores 9/26)

Jerry_leeGuests play a stronger role on JERRY LEE LEWIS' comeback disk "Last Man Standing". While the radical rocker is still in great form; it's hard not to be upstaged by guests like Neil Young, Jimmy Page, Van Morrison and more.  This CD is a very worthy tribute to one of the pioneers of rock and roll. (In Stores 9/26)

INSIDER TIP: Rumor has it that Burke is scheduled to be in NYC this week taping a Jerry Lee Lewis tribute special for PBS with many of the guests from the CD.

Amos_lee_1AMOS LEE - This young singer songwriter's sophomore effort shows growth beyond his sometimes under-rated debut.  More than ever Lee proves that there is a bridge between John Prine and soul legend Bill Withers both of who he sites as early influences.  Amos Lee has every chance of being one of th few new artists we'll still care about 20 years from now. (In Stores 10/3)

We also had a chance to screen the documentary Before The Music Dies which is being prepared for wider release.  We'll write more about this look at how the music industry is failing to serve artists soon, but in the meantime keep your eyes peeled for it to hit your hometown.

UK Indies & All 4 Majors Support Gnab Download P2P Combo

Arvato_logoLaunched earlier this summer gnab owned by leading European mobile entrainment provider arvato enables online retailers to combine a centralized library of downloadable content with a fully licensed P2P system and an online entertainment store. Visitors to online stores utilizing gnab have the ability to browse music, videos and other content from computers of gnab users within a particular country as well as from a centralized server. The service is currently limited to Europe and Japan but has pans for expansion.

Aim_logoThis week at Germany's Popkomm music convention gnab signed deals with the 900 labels of the UK's AIM trade group and deals with all four major label groups are already in place.

Gnab_logoGnab gives users receive credits to their accounts for sharing files (with the appropriate DRM key) with rewards for content shared set by each retailer. The service which already seems to be innovating ahead of its American counterparts can also accommodate dynamic pricing models for both individual tracks and bundles. The Indies hope that variable pricing will prove useful on enticing consumers to sample the more obscure and eclectic acts fostered by UK labels.

Sources: gnab, arvato, , AIM, press release

Hypebot's New Music Industry Briefing For Monday September 25th, 2006

Neil_young_oldNeil Young is set release the first in his Archived Performance Series on Nov. 14 vie Reprise with Young and Crazy Horse "Live At The Filmore East 1970". The disc will also be available in a CD/DVD edition featuring "a high-resolution audio mix, photos from the show, Young's handwritten song lyrics and press articles from the era". - Billboard

- The Orchard adds Brazil’s Trama label and pop hitmaker Daniela Mercury to it's digital distribution clients.

American_music_assoc - A recap pf Friday's The American Music Awards in Nashville (AP) and a look at the state of Americana Music through the eyes and career of writer and musician Jim Lauderdale. (Tennessean

- Vinyl is showing signs of making a comeback thanks to rising single sales and special editions. (cNet UK)

- TV created band Supernova forced to change name after lawsuit. (Pretty please...could changes in Mylo_2the music be next?) (Reuters)

- Sony targets teens with new Mylo device. (AP)Mozes

Mouse_17 Worthy Click: Mozes - A free text messaging client designed to artist to fan communications. (Watch Hypebot for a complete look at Mozes.)

Former Clash Manager Says Music Industry Must Change Or Die.

"Rapid, consistent and complex change has enveloped the global music industry...the era of mass markets turning into an era of masses of niche markets is very real and exciting, with huge implications for the structures of the industry...the growth of social networking websites such as MySpace could significantly change the way artists interact with their record labels...labels could be forced to give up much of their control."

"The current record company model might well morph into that of venture capitalist licensors, working in partnership with artists to develop their businesses."

- Peter Jenner in The Gaudian Ulimited

Hypebot's New Music Industry Briefing For Friday September 22nd, 2006

Popkomm- Online digital music royalty tracking service Royalty Share grabs top honors at the Popkomm Innovation In Music & Entertainment Awards. (press release), The huge European music convention is now underway in Berlin. (Popkomm)

- Hey if the Grateful Dead can do it...The Philadelphia Orchestra has launched a download store offering reasonably priced live performance downloads. (here)

-Buyout News: MTV buys music game producer Harmonix (Guitar Hero) for $175 million. (NY Times) Yahoo! is also reported to be eying Facebook for around $1 billion.

Mouse_16WORTHY CLICKS: provides powerful and affordable tools to provide bands to manage and grow their email lists.

ReverbNation Answers Usage Agreement Critic With Promise Of Change

Thanks to an alert Hypebot reader, new artist centered music community ReverbNation is changing it's usage agreement before it's official launch. Earlier this week Hypebot wrote a deservedly glowing report on ReverbNation and their efforts to create an artist empowering music community. But one Hypebot reader using the name "Free" took exception to ReverbNation's usage agreement. He wrote:

"the biggest FREE in this case appears to be the FREE usage eminor gets of artists (and fans) work for whatever purposes deemed fit, with no obligation to make any payment, and no way for users to ever opt out.." (more)

We've written extensively on how MySpace and other user generated content sites have had to deal with these legitimate concerns while still give them the right to use the content in the ways their business model requires. (Put ads on your page for example.)  And because ReverbNation is design intended to be musician friendly it is particularly important that they address these concerns.  In a prepared statement ReverbNation replied, in part:

Reverbnation_logo_1"It has never been ReverbNation’s intent to use the artists’ content in an unfair or self-serving way...Prior to responding to your post, we wanted to verify that our TofU was constructed properly to help us meet our goal of serving the artists, and that it was not unnecessarily onerous to artists...After this review, we determined that we can and should revise the language regarding the music content...Thank you for pointing this out to us...We have the required updates to the TofU in the pipeline, and it will be ready in the very near future..." (more below)  - Jed Carlson ReverbNation

Read ReverbNation's full reply after the jump.

Continue reading "ReverbNation Answers Usage Agreement Critic With Promise Of Change" »

Hypebot's New Music Industry Briefing For Thursday September 8th, 2006

Orchard_17- Forging ahead of the majors again, indie digital distributor The Orchard has cut a deal with China's leading digital distributor (Read the details in a press release after the jump below)

- It looks like January for the Apple iPod phone. (ThinkSecret)Sirius_7

- The Metropoltan Opera as made a deal sith Sirius to launch an opera sattelite channel. (Reuters)

- LI, NY indie record store Looney Tunes isn't going anywhere after 34 years. (Newsday via Coolfer)

- UK's Output Recordings calls it quits and goes out with a rant against the industry. (FutureMusic)

Continue reading "Hypebot's New Music Industry Briefing For Thursday September 8th, 2006" »

Coalition Of Indie Music Stores Chart for 9-20-06


Read the entire CIMS 200 and a great commentary after the jump.

Continue reading "Coalition Of Indie Music Stores Chart for 9-20-06" »

WMG's Bronfman's Touts Digital Revolution And Predicts Ad Supported Future

Warner Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. is again singing the praises of the net and digital music claiming digital growth has outperformed expectations.

Wmg_28With words designed to be music to Wall Street's ears Bronfman told the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference, "Physical has been a little bit weaker than expected, but digital has grown faster" than WMG had predicted.  He sited the future of ringtones, SMS tones and a new deal with YouTube. "Music creates a passionate relationship with users, and we (the music industry) have never monetized that with ads. Shame on us!" said Bronfman.

Is Bronfman referring to ad supported download services like SpiralFrog and QTrax?  Or perhaps he means community and viral sites like MySpace and YouTube? Does the WMG head have something else in mind, or is it just the same kind of vague "ad-supported" promises that many Web 2.0 companies give to investors when they lack a solid business plan?

Listen to a replay of Bronfman's entire presentation here.

Yahoo! Offers Another MP3 Download. But Why Not Offer More?

Yahoomusic_4Yahoo!Music chief David Goldberg has been very vocal that downloads should be DRM free mp3's and he inches that agenda forward with a second major label mp3 offering.  Disney's Hollywood Records is offering Jesse McCartney's album in both mp3 and WMA via Yahoo! following and earlier Jessica Simpson test.Hits_10

Thumbs up to Hollywood  Records (who may just be looking for any viral advantage in a crowded marketplace) and to Goldberg for stating the obvious so publicly. Thumbs down to the majors for  being so slow to understand the consumer.7digital_logo_3

But if Goldberg and Yahoo! are serious about the format, why not offer indie labels and artist the option of mp3 downloads as well as WMA files as the UK's 7 Digital already Emusic_12 does for hundreds of hits acts.  Certainly the many indies that have embraced mp3 downloads via the widely successful eMusic service would jump at the chance to please their fans and get a leg up on the majors.

Are you listening David?

Hypebot's New Music Industry Briefing For Wednesday September 20th, 2006

Soapbox- A first look at Microsoft's YouTube competitor Soapbox. (cNet)

- Sony Ericsson will launch a new service on its cells that would allow full song downloads call M-Buzz that initially focuses on new artists. (Reuters, press release)

Amazon_20- It's now cost effective to sell product from even the smallest niches.  Amazon is offering an on demand CD publishing for music and audio content via it's CustomFlix service. CD/DVD combos are also available. Amazon will handle sales and fulfillment as well. (press release)

- Fuse TV offers an  unsigned band video contest. (Fuse)

Mouse_15- Read It & Weep: A guide to staying anonymous when downloading via P2P. (DMF)

Worthy Click: The AOL Indie Music Blog gives you links to full length listening streams for new releases. (click)

ReverbNation Builds Community By Empowering The Artist

Last week I had a chance to test drive music community and indie artist empowerment tool ReverbNation and was impressed by what I saw.  Still in beta and launching October 31st, Reverbnation_logo ReverbNation borrows heavily from MySpace, PureVolume, and others, but with two fundamental difference. 

First, the hub of activity for fans of any artist should be on the act's own web site. ReverbNation acknowledges this with free and useful widgets.  Widgets_for_beta_1Virtually everything that a band stores or creates on ReverbNation (tour dates, blogs, etc) can be dropped with ease onto their own or other web sites and blogs.  Not only is the approach great for the artist and fun for the fans; it drives traffic back to ReverbNation.

Second, ReverbNation acknowledges that a bands fans are their own and unlike MySpace doesn't lockFanreach_for_beta their "friends" list behind the corporate wall.  They have created a free yet powerful fan mail tool called FanReach and ReverbNation not only says "you own that fan list and can export it"; they reward the artist for any monetization of their fans.

ReverbNation would at first glance appear to be a little late to the music community party.  But with their fair and artist-centric approach and an attractive and intuitive interface, this newcomer should go far. Beta test it here.