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Music Industry Week In Review: Album Only, EMI, BMI, Limewire & Much More

Broken_record > Are album only releases an answer to industry woes?

> Jim Kempler named new COO of EMI A&R .

> Teen retailer Hot Topic's Shockhound partners with TuneCore to offer indie music for sale.

> Free secondary ticketing site Live Stub grabs funding.Bmi

> BMI collections up 7.2% to a record $901 million.

> Hypebot's Artist Dish Podcast #3: Will Pandora and Muxtape survive?

Limewire > Limewire's P2P store doubled in size with the addition of product from The Orchard.

> The top 5 free music industry ebooks.

> Join in as Hypebot readers introduce themselves and network.

Jeff Kempler New EMI A&R COO

Emi Jeff Kempler has been appointed to the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer, A&R Labels – North America, UK & Ireland at EMI Music.  He will report to Nick Gatfield who joined EMI last month as  President of A&R Labels.  Kempler was formerly COO of EMI’s Capitol Music Group and in his new role will help Gatfield oversee the company’s A&R, as well as, "develop experimental and new commercial models and revenue streams".

Kempler's Bio:

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Try To Look Busy Today...

You know and I know that you don't feel like working today.  In fact, studies show this is the second slowest business week of the year. To help you feel (or look) like you're working without breaking a sweat, I've featured something  "worthwhile" every day on Hypebot to fill your time:

DAY 5 - Today we sink even lower on the "I don't feel like working" scale with a few music related videos. So tell the boss (or yourself) that you're doing important research, grab some popcorn, put your feet up and enjoy:

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Friday's Music Briefing: Napster Exits Edu, Sellaband + AOL & Much More


> Napster will phase out its university subscription program. (P2P Blog)

> Sellaband has partnered with AOL. The former gets some tech; the later some new music and content for its EU sites. (NMA)

Bbc > BBC Worldwide is planning to launch an ad-supported subscription music service based on the content in its cast archives. (NMA)

> MySpace has passed Yahoo! in online display ad views. (Comscore)

Beg_2 > Please Buy My Record:. The Futility Of Flogging Your Own Music. It's a bit lengthy, but for any d.i.y.or indie musician, the slog through is worth it to get to the punchline (and lesson) at the end. (Music Think Tank. Thanks to Bruce Warila for the tip.)

> Latvian BitTorrent tracker has been taken down and two arrested. (TorrentFreak)

Is "Album Only" The Answer To Anything?

iTunes vs. Kid Rock and The Music Industry

The Wall Street Journal took a look at why some artists are keeping their music off iTunes. Because the store does not allow full album only downloads, Kid Rock, AC/DC and others have opted out. Some acts like Radiohead did it to protect the artistic integrity of their work while others are clear that their motivation is money. Single tracks don't net the same profits that albums do.

Beatles_logo "Since the beginning of 2006, only the Beatles have sold more "catalog" albums in the U.S. than AC/DC -- also without licensing their music to iTunes. Among the six best-selling catalog artists during that period, the act that sold the most individual songs digitally -- the Rolling Stones -- sold the fewest albums, digital or Rollingstones physical. That is important because while the Stones' six million single tracks sold may seem impressive, they represent low-cost, low-profit transactions. Album sales, on the other hand, are much more profitable."

It would be easy to conclude that many more album only releases would benefit the industry. While clearly an option for some super star acts, album only releases also inhibit music discovery. It's a lot easier to be impulsive at $.99 than at $9.99; and if the only ways a fan can get the single track they want is to pay $10 or to grab it free via P2P; which one do you think they'll do?

The staggered release could...

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Thursday's Music Briefing: RIAA, Bandstock, G 'n R & More

Riaa_toiletpaper > As a new school season begins, a look at how various colleges and the RIAA are getting along. (ars)

> Bandstocks launches in the UK as a competitor to Sellaband in the fan funded release space. (Guardian)
> The music video is reinvented on the web. (AP)

> The blogger who posted tracks from the unreleased Guns & Roses album has been arrested by the FBI. (LA Times)

> Cloudspeakers has gotten funding from Veronica Holdings.  The Dutch site aggregates only legal music content (music, videos, reviews) from Pitchfork, Yahoo and across the web. (press release)

> Royalty clearing house and financial services firm Talent Clearing House passes theChinese_flag $20 Million mark. (press release)

> A contrary view of the iTunes vs.China mess and the media's coverage of it. (Music 2.0)

The Producer As Manager?

Eric Beall offers an interesting spin on my Hypebot post "Where Have All The Good Managers Gone?" on his blog for the Berklee College of Music suggesting that producers might make the best managers.  After all, they are the ones who often discover new talent; so doesn't it make good business sense for them to also offer services to develop it?

Recording_studio "As music sales drop, producers need to expand beyond their core business of making records," writes Beall. "It’s equally clear that managers and management companies are increasingly dominating the industry– they are taking the leadership position once held by the record labels. Finally, everyone in the business is bemoaning the lack of good, new managers. Put it all together and what do you get? You get the future business model: a production/management company hybrid, that allows producers to discover talent and make hit records, and then pass the artist to a separate division of the company, which provides the day to day management service."

Phil_spector_2 Not every record producer is equipped to become a good manager; nor is this the only answer to the shortage of new managers. But it does seem like an idea worth exploring. What do you think of the producer as manager?

LimeWire Store Doubles With Orchard Deal

Limewire Orchard_logo Lime Wire has added The Orchard's digital music catalog of more than 1.2 million songs to its P2P based mp3 store bringing the total number of available tracks to 2 million.

The LimeWire Store launched in the spring of 2008 selling 256kbps DRM-free MP3s from Redeye, Nettwerk Music Group, IRIS and others. The store also offers features exclusive releases and targeted marketing opportunities.

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Wednesday's Music Briefing: Muxtape, China, RIAA & Much More

Muxtape > Muxtape remains down and is silent about its future, but a similar service 8Tracks stays up and running because it takes a difference approach.  Listening Post has an interview with founder David Porter. (Wired) Another service, Opentape has also just launched to replace Muxtape with features certain to draw the attention of the RIAA. (ars)

Chinese_flag > Chinese Mobile says membership in its mobile music service now tops 80 million. (PC World)

> China is no longer blocking iTunes, but its minus the pro-Tibet album page. (SF Gate)

> The RIAA wins a closely watched file sharing case after its revealed the defendant tampered with their hard drive. (cNet)

>, the online, community-based, video-streaming music media site celebrates its first anniversary. (press release)

> UK affinity card Nectar has launched an mp3 download store which includes major label product.  Cardholders can trade points for tracks. (press release) ...If I could only trade in some of my misc. frequent flyer and hotel points this way.

Hot Topic's ShockHound Partners With TuneCore

Shockhound_2 Youth retailer Hot Topic's has exclusively partnered with TuneCore so any artist can get their music into the Shockhound online store. All artists are welcome. ShockHound  carries MP3s from the majors, and thousands of indies alongside band merchandise, exclusive interviews and videos and a community of music fans.

TuneCore customers can have one album, EP or single delivered into the store without the usual $.99 delivery charge. To take advantage of this offer, artists and musicians will follow a link from to a special co-branded ShockHound/TuneCore page.

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Top 5 Free Music Business eBooks

Asleep_while_reading Welcome to Day 2 of the second slowest business week of the year.  Admit it, you're not really working too hard this week. Summer is in its final days and half the world is on vacation. Yesterday, I asked readers to introduce themselves  and got a great response.  It's not to late to tell us  who you are and what you're up to. Add your profile here and let the networking begin.

To help you at least look productive today, here are links to 5 free e-books that I consider required reading for those of us navigating the choppy waters of the new music industry. Tomorrow I'll share some favorite music business videos. Until then: Hypebot's Top 5 Free Music Business eBooks.

  • The Word Of Mouth Manual Vol. 2 by David Balter. Not just about music, but an essential guide to word of mouth marketing. (pdf)

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Live Stub: Secondary Ticketing Goes Free

Livestublogo_2 The internet has created an expectation of free - from music and movies via P2P to Google's latest application or service. Free,  however, did not extend to the re-sale of concert tickets; the so called secondary ticket market.  Sites like StubHub tacked on as much as 20% for the privilege of reselling your extra seats.

Concert_ticket's goal is to change ticket resales with a free online service that also makes the transaction more transparent; and Morten Lund, the Dane whose early investment helped propel Skype, is putting his financial muscle behind it.

The success of a site like this comes with increased usage which thus far is light in some locales, but the potential is huge given the value that the sites functionality the site delivers.  And how long will it be before some smart artist (are you reading this Trent?) eschews kickbacks, pleases fans and makes LiveStub the exclusive official reseller, The site's features include:

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BMI Collections Up 7.2% To $901 Million

Bmi_2 BMI has collected $901 million in revenues for its 2008 fiscal year which ended June 20th/ This marks the first time a copyright organization has topped $900 million mark for music performance revenues and represents a 7.2% percent increase.  BMI will disperse $786 million to the 375,000 songwriters and publishers it represents, an 8% percent increase over the prior fiscal year.

Growth came from music in cable, satellite radio and television contributing $208 million or...

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Tuesday's Music Briefing: Hype Machine, EMI Sues, WiFi & More

Hypebot_favicon HYPEBOT FEATURES:

> MP3 aggregator the Hype Machine gets Valleywag's "Cute Startup" of the week award. (VW) Didn't Hype Machine start-up a couple of years ago?  They must be looking for money.

Chinese_flag >
EMI has sued Chinese site over 73 titles. (JLM)

> CORRECTION: China The British censor a verse of a "Whole Lotta Love" during the Olympic closing ceremony. (Music 2.0)

Radio > A post-sale Clear Channel ups four key executives and signs the to multi-year deals. (press release)

> Watch out terrestrial radio!  Chrysler has added wi-fi in some new models. (Inside Music Media)

> International philanthropic act the Green Children signs with Universal and prepares a US launch. (press release)

> 19 iPhone music apps and hacks. (Garagespin)

> YourMinis offers yet another free widget creation solution. (YourMinis via MediaFurturist) If you're not using minis to spread content and artist news, you should be.

Podcast #3: Pandora and Muxtape

Podcast Our ArtistDish podcast #3 is now available. It's a discussion about fair royalty payments and the possible closures of Pandora and Muxtape. We think that this is one of our best shows yet, so you definitely want to listen now, or subscribe and add the ArtistDish on iTunes.

Special thanks to Dirk Prysby of Rubber Clown Car for providing their song “Coward” for the intro and outro. Your music can be featured ArtistDish. All you have to do is send us an email for consideration.  Also, if you would like to suggest a topic for discussion on the ArtistDish, just let us know and we’ll give you props on the show as well. Stay tuned for the next show in about 3 weeks.

Introduce Yourself To The Hypebot Community

AsleepondeskWelcome to Day 1 of the second slowest business week of the year.

Admit it, you're not really working too hard this week. Summer is in its final days and half the world feels like its on vacation.

So why not take a minute to introduce yourself to the rest of the Hypebot community?  I've always wondered who reads Hypebot and perhaps we can make some interesting connections.

I'll started things off with my own short bio. CLICK HERE and briefly tell us about yourself.

Tomorrow: Some interesting reading for the second slowest business week of the year.

Disc Makers Elite's Concierge For Label Refugees

Discmakers_2 Disc Makers has launched Elite Artist Services, a new division aimed at major artists who want to go independent. It will offer manufacturing, distribution via Sony RED, download distribution, promotion and e-commerce infrastructure..

With artists like Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails and Tori Amos leaving their labels in increasing numbers, going independent has shed any stigma and is now seen as a major profit opportunity for established artists. Elite is designed to serve artists that have already sold 100,000 records,and there's a calculator that compares the revenue potential of going independent versus staying on a label. But don't forget to add in the cost of marketing

Monday's Music Briefing: Newbury Comics, iTunes, Amazon Deals & More

Newbury_comics UPDATED:

> Boston record store chain Newbury Comics is bucking is bucking the trend by opening 2 new stores including a mega-branch in a former car retailer. (Boston Herald)

> Apple is investigating why iTunes store is being blocked in China. (AFP)

> DJ Micro is relaunching techno remix indie Caffeine Recordings. (press release)

Amazonmp3 > Amazon appears to be scoring with its low cost one day download specials. This morning I grabbed Steel Dan's entire Aja record for $.99. (Amazon) You can track the daily deal on an Amazon MP3 Facebook page and  Twitter. I'm not even sure I really like Steely Dan, but for $.99....

> Sony Ericsson adds DRM free downloads to its mobile store. (PC World) Download stores that ignore over the air do so at their own peril.

Twitter > Speaking of Twitter, Hypebot has a feed there as well if that's how you prefer to stay on top on breaking industry news. We're also on Friendfeed.

> Join The Debate:  Should the music industry support lowering the drinking age to 18?  Vote in a quick poll here; then add your voice to the discussion.

> Did you miss anything?  Hypebot's New Music Business Week In Review.

New Music Industry Week In Review: Pandora, iTunes, 18 Drinking Age & More

Pandora > Panodra may be forced to shut down

> Does the music industry need to support a lower drinking age?

Applelogo_2 > Rumors surface of an iTunes subscription music service. Why it won't happen.

> China blocks iTunes over pro-Tibet release

> Muxtape was shut down by the RIAA

> Ringback revenue is rising

> Commentary: Is Music 2.0 At A Crossroads?

> Affilliate advertising comes to indie music.  A blues guitarist pays fans to help sell new CD.

> An interview with Ko Kawishima of Brands + MusicIfpilogo190105

> All four major labels withdrew from the IFPI in Hong Kong

> A Bandwidth 2008 Conference Recap

> Music Income 2.0: Cover Videos

> A trick for turning mediocre YouTube videos into a asset

QUICK HITS: Warner Music Partners With MusicMakesFriends, CD Baby Pacts With RightsFlow For Artist Services, RoyaltyShare Buys Broad St. Digital's Rightsrouter, OurStage Adds More Indie Gig Opportunities, Oh Wouldn't It Be Nice? Brian Wilson + USAToday, Topspin Delivers Byrne Eno Exclusive Album 

Affiliate Advertising Finally Comes To Indie Music


Bonnammassa_3 Affiliate advertising has been the rage on blogs for years. Place an ad on your site like the Amazon Go  Green or Indie Venue Bible ads in the right hand columns on Hypebot and get paid a few dollars when anyone clicks and buys. I've wondered how long it would take affiliate marketing to come to music sales. Fans are asked to post band widgets and banners on their blogs and social networking pages. Why not pay them for doing it?

Fans of blues rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa can join his affiliate program, attach a unique link to any mention of the artist or a variety of banner ads like the one here and get paid $2 for every click that results in a sale.  As a bonus, the fan that sells the most music a $6000 limited edition Gibson guitar.

Any artist or label can easily set up their own affiliate program using...

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iTunes Subscription Rumored. Don't Bet On It.

Itunes_girl_2_2 Several tech blog yesterday were reporting that iTunes may unveil a $130 per year music subscription service in October. Similar rumors have been around for months. This time "iTunes Unlimited" would only include about half of iTune's catalog at launch because new deals needed to be struck. A buy to keep feature would also be included.

Applelogo_3 But Silicon Alley Insider claims to have contacted a variety of label execs that deny even being in talks with Apple. Intuitively I agree that there will not be an October surprise from iTunes.  It's possible that the label execs were honoring Apple's strict non-disclosure agreements or that some labels have granted these rights already in their last iTunes contract round. And it certainly would make a great iPhone app. But more likely Apple is too smart to want to enter a sector which has yet to gain traction. It's also not their style to do anything half way - or in this case with only half the catalog. Maybe someday, but I'll bet there's in no iTunes Music Unlimited in October.

Interview: Kawashima On Brands + Music

Brandsmusic Ko Kawashima, music marketing pioneer, entrepreneur, and co-founder of BPM (brands+music), spoke to Laurence Trifon for Hypebot at last week's Bandwidth Conference. As the environment continues to shift, the branding strategy expert sees tremendous opportunity for artists and brands to help each other grow.

HYPEBOT: What does BPM (brands+music) do?

Brands_2 KAWASHIMA: Back in the Renaissance era, the Medici family was a patron to artists, supporting them in their musical endeavors. In the same way, we’re looking to have brands utilize their resources to support artists. What we do differently from other businesses is that we look to work with the brand to identify where they come from, where they are today, and where they want to go. We then create a program of music that fits them. We don’t have a roster of artists that we just use to try to fit a brand’s needs. We’re actually going to go out and apply something that is appropriate for who they are. And for the artists that we do identify that are appropriate for the brand, we enable them to utilize the brand’s resources in the way of finances and distribution.

HYPEBOT: What’s the most important factor you consider when pairing brands and bands?

KAWASHIMA: Our idea is not for this to be a first date. There have been plenty of other brand-band...

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Friday's Music Briefing: Ticketmaster Debut, Blender, Burning Spear & More

Ticketmaster> Ticketmaster debuts as an independent company on the stock exchange...just a few months beofre it looses Live Nation as a client. (LA Times)

> Sheryl Crow is giving away album downloads to the first 50,000 people who get three others to register to vote. (AP)

> Blender's publisher is ousted. (Daily Swarm)

> I missed this one while on vacation but Dmitri Vietze from rock paper scissors pointed it out: D.I.Y. isn't just for the indie set. Reggae legend Burning Spear is grabbing control of his copyrights and his career. (Listening Post) For years this act has done management, booking and new recording in-house and doing a decent job of all three. It's good to see them successfully taking control of his older income streams as well.   

Turning Mediocre Fan Videos Into Promo Gold

Tv From the one of the Scandanavian labels behind the the Swedish Model (more on that soon, but think "fan and tech friendly label consortium" ) comes a way to turn those lousy fan videos that get posted on YouTube into something you and your fans might actually find worthYoutube watching.

It's simple: choose the best and put them together in a virtual concert. In this case, Sweden's Moto boy put together something too long for YouTube so he posted it on Vimeo. Video after the jump...

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Majors Withdraw From IFPI Hong Kong

Ifpilogo190105 In a sudden announcement in Hong Kong yesterday, all four majors revealed that they were pulling out of the IFPI in Hong Kong and they will be setting up a parallel organization to manage their rights.

In a press conference yesterday attended by management representatives from Universal Music, Sony, Warner Music and EMI/Typhoon, they announced their formal withdrawal from IFPI Hong Kong and proclaimed it an appropriate time for what they call a commercial decision – a decision that our sources say had been in the making for the past 2 months. More from Hypebot's eyes in Asia, Maths of Music 2.0 here.

China Blocks iTunes Over Tibet Album

Songsfortibet_cd China has blocked internet users from accessing the iTunes Music Store after a group of atheletes downloaded the Songs For Tibet protest compilation while housed in the Olympic Village near Bejiing.

The Art Of Peace Foundation, who produced the album, encouraged the atheletes to download the album to show how "compassion and non-violence can overcome intolerance and oppression - beautiful ideals to be associated with the Olympic spirit". More than 40 Dalai_lama athletes downloaded the album which includes songs by Sting, Rush, Damien Rice, Dave Mathews, Alanis Morissette and others.

Apple has just opened its first Chinese retail store and Steve Jobs, who is a practicing Buddhist, is negotiating with mobile companies to brin the iPhone to the country. Officially sponsored claims that...

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Warner Music Partners With MusicMakesFriends

Musicmakesfriends Warner Music International and the popular European online music community, MusicMakesFriends today announced a content and revenue partnership. Warner Music’s catalog of will be available on MusicMakesFriends’ streaming platform in France, Germany, UK, Spain, Belgium, Ireland, Austria, Luxembourg and Switzerland. Under the terms of the deal, both companies will share in revenues generated by ads and subscriptions services.

MusicMakesFriends is a music community created by music fans in their own language (English, French, German and Spanish).  The ad-supported streaming service allows

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