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French Ready To Nab 50,000 Infringements Every Day

Is The U.S. Next?

image from pimoo123.files.wordpress.com Recent French vows to stop illegal file sharing have new teeth with the anti-piracy outfit Trident Media Guard being chosen to track and report illegal file-sharers . The company, also known seeding of file-sharing networks with fake data, will provide much of the evidence needed to prosecute users under France's tough new 3 strikes laws.

image from torrentfreak.com TMG's system can capture as many as 18,250,000 infringements per year or 50,000 every day. “Our agreements provide that TMG should be able to provide 25,000 incidents per day for music, 25,000 for audiovisual. This goal will be preceded by a phase of increasing power to calibrate the process,” according to Thierry Desurmont from the French collection society SACEM.

The U.S. music and film industry's trade groups have recently stepped up efforts to pass similar 3 strikes legislation, and at least some in Congress are signaling their approval.

Spotify Payments To Artists Grow 8X

image from www.palimpalem.com Reports coming from Swedish performing rights groups show that Spotify's payments to artists appear to be growing exponentially. Swedish songwriters association STIM spokesperson Susanne Bodin confirmed an "eightfold increase" in payments to its members over last year.  STIM had reported that last June's payments were 500,000 kroner with the latest payment rising to 4 million kroner ($512,280) according the TheLocal.se.

Just how much revenue Spotify can generate has been among the major concerns preventing the major labels from allowing the service to launch in the U.S.  

Eminem Taps Fallen ShamWow Informercial Star To Promote "Recovery" Release

This whole "Recovery" thing seems to be working for Eminem and perhaps he's hoping a second chance and a little 12 steppin' will also help fallen infomercial star Vince "Sham Wow Guy" Shlomi make his own comeback. 

Getting into a fist fight with a prostitute might almost be good for Eminem's cred, but it destroyed Shlomi's. He's back, however, thanks to his rapper buddy, in this quite un-amazing parody promoting Em's new album release.

More Music Industry News: VEVO iPhone App, Ticket Slump, Facebook Fans & More

  • image from www.wired.com VEVO’s Location-Aware iPhone App Debuts in July (Mashable)
  • High prices hit ticket sales. - Paul McCartney among stars suffering from dip in live music sales as experts say prohibitive prices threaten stadium rock. (Guardian) Lilith Fair is canceling gigs in West Palm Beach, Tampa, Birmingham, Houston and Dallas due to poor ticket sales.
  • Lady Gaga and Barck Obama race to become the first person with 10 million Facebook fans. (CNet)
  • Musicians – This Is How You Create A Great Looking Facebook Page. (TechCrunch)
  • An interview with Jakob Lusensky, CEO of music and brands agency Heartbeats International. (Music Void) Heartbeats produced the fabulous Manual - a free guide to attracting brands to your music.
  • Artist management and marketing firm The Artist Farm is launching an Advisor service. 10 bands will receive a hands on combination of business/life coaching and music business mentoring. The service is targeted toward bands that do not yet have managers but do have some level of success. More info here.
  • REWIND: The Music Industry's Week In Review

REWIND: The Music Industry's Week In Review


This Week On Music Think Tank:

10 Years Later, GarageBand.com Closes

After more than ten years of operation, the online music community Garageband.com has announced that on July 15th they are shutting down.  Users can register for an account on the social music discovery site iLike to have their page contents and song files automatically transferred over.  Anyone who has purchased music on the site and believes they deserve a refund can contact the company to request one, but it must be done before July 31st.

Here's the letter sent to subscribers:

Continue reading "10 Years Later, GarageBand.com Closes" »

Sound Exchange Distributes Record $54.8M

SoundExchange announced that it will distribute $54.8 million to artists and right holders for the second quarter of 2010. It's a record for the non-profit performance rights organization appointed by Congress to collect digital royalties. Their previous top quarter was the $51.7 million paid out in Q1image from musformation.com Each quarterly distribution includes royalties earned through play on Internet radio, satellite radio, cable TV music channels and increased revenue from foreign societies. Digital royalties are on the rise across the board, but SoundExchange also credits increased efforts to clean poor  reporting data, as well as partnerships with other organizations, for increasing the total distribution. 

Some Call For More Transparency

Continue reading "Sound Exchange Distributes Record $54.8M " »

PRS' Will Page Weighs In On Too Much Debate

(UPDATE 2) In response to my recent essays on music choice, Will Page, Chief Economist at UK performing rights society PRS for Music, sent over this video from a few years back, where he delves into the deeper economic explanation of the less is more argument.

Friendly Music: Add Legal Songs To Online Video


Friendly Music, an online store that allows users to buy copy-protected songs for use in online videos for $1.99 a piece, has launched.

The fee enables video creators to non-commercial, unlimited views rights in perpetuity.  The store is backed by music licensing store RumbleFish and YouTubeTheir hope is that they will provide an easy solution to users who would like to add music to their online videos and don't want to worry about infringement.  The service could provide another revenue source for indie artists.

More News: Lallapa-Lawsuit?, Ticketfly, ASCAP, Apple Tracks You & Thanks For Your Kind Words

  • image from radiofreechicago.typepad.com Lollapalooza's exclusive grip on bands draws anti-trust scrutiny. (Chicago Tribune)
  • Ticketfly has acquired the web-based ticketing platform Gigbot to expand their technological and social networking offerings.
  • Kickstarter Conundrum: Money Changes Everything... But What If It Doesn't Let You Change Enough? (Techdirt)
  • ASCAP is raising money to fight Free Culture. (Boing Boing)
  • Let Apple geo-track you or forget the downloads - Congressmen query Apple on privacy policy changes. (CNet)  Read Hypbebot's coverage of the issue here.
  • image from www.hypebot.comThank-you to everyone for your kind and encouraging words about Hypebotassuming the stewardship of Music Think Tank. We hope to live up to your expectations and encourage you to participate in both great communities.

Pandora: "The Kleenex Of Music Discovery"

In a new report from Edison Reseach, Tom Webster writes that Pandora is poised to be "the Kleenex of music discovery".  They asked a representative sample of Americans who had ever listened to Internet-only audio what brands they could recall in the space. Amongst all Internet-only radio listeners, Pandora was on top, with 28% of the sample recalling the online music service. However, amongst frequent social networkers, this unaided recall figure soared to 40%.

Webster emphasizes:

"PandoraLogo-smallThe secret to owning music discovery online isn't about the music - it's about the data around that music. In the case of music recommendations online, the data that will increasingly give music meaning is going to be context, not collaborative filtering. That context is going to come from my friends... Facebook and Pandora have given those content creators the tools to easily "like" music and share it... We may be rapdily approaching the day when "let me Pandora that to you" becomes as common as "let me Skype you" or "you can just EBay that." Pass the Kleenex."

See The Chart After The Jump.

Continue reading "Pandora: "The Kleenex Of Music Discovery"" »

Labels Tell Google: Stop Linking To Pirate Bay

IFPI_Logo-300x182The IFPI, international trade organization of the major record labels, has told Google to "remove search results that link to infringing content made available through the Pirate Bay." Rather than asking Google to remove specific files from its search index, the IFPI is, for the first time.  demanding that entire sites be de-listed from the engine. In response, Mike Masnick of TechDirt asserts:

Continue reading "Labels Tell Google: Stop Linking To Pirate Bay" »

Hypebot Assumes Stewardship Of MusicThinkTank.com

We're honored to share today that we've assumed the stewardship of the respected Music Think Tank web site.  We believe that the combined sites create the web’s most viewed independent source of news and commentary serving artists, labels and the music technology sector.image from www.musicthinktank.com

Over the last two years, MusicThinkTank.com has become the go to site for thoughtful essays exploring the rapidly evolving business of making and marketing music.  Founded by tech entrepreneur Bruce Warila and music business pundit Andrew Dubber, along with regular contributors Ariel Hyatt of Ariel Publicity and CD Baby founder and thought leader Derek Sivers, MusicThinkTank draws on their expertise; in addition to other regular contributors and invited experts. There is also an active MTT OpenMTT Radio forum where anyone can add to the conversation with their own essays and comments, as well as, where independent artists post music and gain exposure.

image from a3.twimg.com "We've built a very active and thoughtful community," co-founder Bruce Warila commented, "and we are pleased to pass it along to someone who can help it grow even further.“

Bruce Houghton press2.12.09 "Bruce, Andrew, Ariel and Derek have built a unique site and community which we all believe serves as the perfect companion to Hypebot's daily chronicle of the new music business," states Bruce Houghton, Hypebot.com founder and Senior Editor. "We're going to change very little, but readers will be treated to greater content diversity and the combined readership should enhance the already lively conversation.”

image from www.ipr.eduAs regular Hypebot readers already know, music essayist Kyle Bylin has joined as full-time as Editor for both sites. Hypebot founder Bruce Houghton, who also heads parent company Skyline Music, remains Senior Editor and a daily contributor.

ALSO: Bruce Warila on: My Last Day On The Job. Thank You.

The Death Of The Live Album


Though this topic strikes me as something to be less than worried about, it still seems worth pointing you to this article where reporter Andrew Dansby asks, “Is the live album dead?”  Likely, there are far many more issues that demand attention than the question as to whether not live albums have lost their cultural significance, but I can’t help but to think about Thunderstruck by AC/DC.  The live version is something else.  Same goes for Hollow Years by Dream Theater.

From my perspective, I’m not sure what to think about the so-called “death of the live album.”  Chances are, it’s going to happen.  At least to the extent that it makes no longer makes sense for artists to release strictly live albums that don’t have some kind of multimedia experience tied in.  Dansby’s take:

Continue reading "The Death Of The Live Album" »

Hewlett Packard Pays $30M For Music Streaming Service Melodeo

Is HP Music In The Cloud Coming Soon?

Just as when Apple recently bought Lala.com, yesterday's purchase of music streaming service Melodeo by computer giant Hewlett Packard points straight towards a cloud based media offering. But unlike Steve Jobs, HP executives were not so silent:

image from gizmopassion.com "Melodeo is one of the only companies which possess the technology to aggregate a consumer’s digital media, manage it in the cloud and stream it to the user on any device, along with additional streams of content," said HP spokeswoman Mylene Mangalindan in a statement. "While it is premature for us to unveil specific plans as it relates to Melodeo, we expect to use this technology to deliver digital content across multiple devices and platforms."

Melodeo's Killer App: Effin Genius

Continue reading "Hewlett Packard Pays $30M For Music Streaming Service Melodeo" »

Paradox or Paradise: Music Choice in the Digital Age

In my new essay on our sister blog Music Think Tank, I expand the scope of my previous essay , The Paradox of Music: Is More, Really Less, and explore the paradoxes of choice overload in culture. I try to determine whether or not the web has created a “paradise of music” for fans.  The answer is surprising and slightly disconcerting. - Kyle Bylin


From The Essay: When combined, these paradoxical effects of choice overload in culture provide insight into why it is that, by and large, most fans in the digital age are still characterized by their passive consumption of music especially at a time when many artists are trying to provide them with endless opportunities to become actively engaged in their careers.  If the future of the record and music industries depends on increased prevalence of actively engaged fans then it’s worth asking:  Is there such a thing as a “paradise of music?”  Find out the answer here.

Free Manual: How To Attract Brands To Your Music

International communication and branding agency Heartbeats International has released a manual for bands and artists on how to build a successful strategy to attract brands Jakob Lusensky, CEO & Founder of Heartbeats, and his team authored this insightful report.

"Working in the field of brands and music we have seen a need for education of not only brand people, but also of artists and the music industry," says Lusensky who also blogs at Sounds Like Branding. "There are many pitfalls to avoid, and working with brands is not the way for all artists or bands. Within ‘The Manual’ we present a model for how bands and artists can position themselves in order to attract brands, and take control over their musical careers."


Click Here To Get The Manual In Exchange For A Tweet.

Court Says YouTube Not Guilty Of Infringment In Viacom Case

A U.S. District Court has issued a summary judgment in favor of YouTube in the longstanding $1 billion case brought by Viacom. The decision granted YouTube safe harbor under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). It follows similar court decisions that grant online services like YouTube protection as long as they work with copyright holders to  manage infringment.

Viacom may appeal, but given similar recent judgments in other courts, could choose not to. "This is an important victory not just for us, but also for the billions of people around the world who use the web to communicate and share experiences with each other," wrote Kent Walker, Vice President and General Counsel of YouTube parent Google on the company's blog.

Read the full Viacom vs.YouTube judgment.

More Music Industry News: IFPI Shakeup, New Zune MP3, Free Bronfman, TuneCore + Spotify & More

  • John Kennedy steps down and Frances Moore is the new CEO of the IFPI.
  • image from www.scottmoore.is-a-geek.com Microsoft has revamped its Zune mp3 music store.  No more Zune credits - just a straight credit card purchase. (paidContent). Viacom says it will appeal but this is a major victory for YouTube.
  • Court says YouTube not guilty of infringement in Viacom case. (Hypebot)
  • French prosecutor: Ex-Vivendi execs Messier and Bronfman should be acquitted of charges of duping investors. (AP)
  • The Harry Fox Agency is providing royalty administration services for MediaNet Digital.
  • TuneCore has added Spotify to the list of digital music platforms to which it can deliver music.
  • The music industry is singing the blues over piracy and a massive decline in revenues. Two startups - MOG and Rdio - are looking for opportunity amidst all of the chaos. (Portfolio)
  • How Warner Music and Its Musicians Are Combating Declining Album Sales. (Fast Company)
  • Nashville indie label Golden Music is shutting down. (Music Row)
  • The new iPhone 4 is getting rave reviews. Here NY Times tech critic David Pogue weighs in.
  • NPR Music keeps growing. (NY Times

Apple: Be Geo-Tracked Or No Downloads From iTunes


Apple is now geo-tracking users of iPhones, iPads and computers.  Its privacy policy has been updated to include the ability to collect and store user and location data.  Now, in order to download apps or media including music from the iTunes store, users are prompted to agree to the new terms and conditions.  If they refuse to, they cannot download anything

Though Apple states that the data is anonymous and does not enable the personal identification of users, they are left with little choice but to agree if they want to continue buying from iTunes. 

Read the new privacy policy.

RealNetworks Cuts 85, 25% Of Executive Staff

image from www.seeklogo.com Even after the recent spin-off of Rhapsody, RealNetworks continues to struggle. Today the company announced another round of layoffs that include 85 jobs or 6% of the total workforce. The cuts include 25% of its executives and will shrink offices in Europe, Asia and its Seattle headquarters. Real also consolidated its Technology Products and Solutions and Media Software and Services business units.

Continue reading "RealNetworks Cuts 85, 25% Of Executive Staff " »

Jonathan Coulton: Does Net Famous Mean Famous?

Off The Internet & Onto The Stage

Those of us who work in and write about d.i.y. and the new music business are always interested in artists who have built careers outside the major label system. Jonathan Coulton, who has never been on any label but his own, is clearly a poster child for modern music success. He works at his career daily and is one of its more articulate spokespersons. He's also generous with what he's learned both in interviews and his work with open source music marketing tools developer CashMusic.org

Singer songwriter Jonathan Coulton was a former computer programmer whose used his quirky and often fun music as well as his technological knowledge to build an impressive following (46K+ on Twitter) who flock to his live shows - a gathering of the geek tribe. Some of this video interview for Big Think, like the exploration of his songwriting, will clearly be enjoyed more by true Coulton fans. But he also explores topics like "Does 'Internet Famous' Mean Famous?" and "Off the Internet, Onto the Stage?".

Watch The Video

Continue reading "Jonathan Coulton: Does Net Famous Mean Famous?" »

Perez Hilton On The State Of The Music Industry

image from www.babble.com Perez Hilton's recently offered his highly insightful comment that "The Music Industry Is Still Hurting! BADLY! He cites the statistic that, "U.S. sales of CDs plummeted 20% in the first 3 months of 2010."

His reaction was "Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!"  and he asked his "faithful" readership, "What can be done to turn things around????" Their answers:

  • "We keep getting one hit wonders, talent show winners and crappy artists shoved down our throats." 
  • "Get off the old business model and maybe embrace the digital age. & "It's called ITunes."
  • "Quit promoting inexperienced and label-extruded pop acts." & "scour the landscape for some real musicians..."

This Week's iTunes Top 10

for the week ending June 21st
image from www.daveshorr.com Top 10 Singles
1. "California Gurls (w/Snoop)" Katy Perry
2. "Airplanes (feat. Hayley Williams) B.o.B.
3. "OMG (feat. will.i.am)," Usher
4. "Billionaire (w/Bruno Mars)," Travie McCoy
5. "Not Afraid," Eminem
6. "Cooler Than Me," Mike Posner
7. "Your Love Is My Drug," Ke$ha
8. "My First Kiss (feat. Ke$ha)," 3OH!3
9. "Rock That Body," Black Eyed Peas
10. "Find Your Love," Drake
Top 10 Albums
1. "Thank Me Later," Drake
2. "Recovery," Eminem
3. "Laws of Illusion," Sarah McLachlan
4. "Glee: The Music, Journey to Regionals"
5. "To the Sea," Jack Johnson
6. "Mojo," Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
7. "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (Soundtrack)
8. "The Adventures of Bobby Ray," B.o.B
9. "Glee The Music, Vol. 3 - Showstoppers"
10. "American Slang," The Gaslight Anthem

How To Measure The Carbon Impact Of Your Tour

Julie’s Bicycle, a broad coalition of music, theatre and scientific experts committed to making the music industry green, has released a thorough study on the on the greenhouse gas emission impacts of international touring. 

In the three volume report, Moving Arts: managing the carbon impacts of our touring: Bands, Orchestras and Theatre,' they measure the impacts of touring and identify 11 priority recommendations aimed at those responsible for all aspects of a tour. These involve environmental planning to sit alongside artistic and financial contributions, and sharing the data on emissions produced on tour.


To help everyone do their part and create a greener touring industry, they have launched a free online tool which will measure the carbon impacts of tours.

More Music Industry News: Vringo's $11M, Bing Finds Music, Rdio, 3M iPads, US 3 Strikes & More

  • Vringo, a provider of video ringtones has priced its IPO at $11 million. It's expected close on our image from musically.com about June 25th. (press release)
  • Bing adds music features to it's search engine. (Music Ally)
  • Why MySpace failed. Or when you kill the user experience, you kill yourself. (Wesley Verhoeve)
  • image from cdn.venturebeat.com Music Reports has a new deal with Rdio, the new social music service from the founders of Skype and Kazaa, to administer the mechanical licensing and royalty accounting for Rdio’s music subscription service in the United States. Rdio's iPhone app also won approval.
  • Google Needs to Decide Which Side of the Music Industry Fence It Is On.(Forrester's Mark Mulligan)
  • VEVO is partnering with Schick Hydro to launch a channel dedicated to showcasing emerging artists. (press release)
  • Jammie Thomas lawyer not hopeful on mediation, (CNet)
  • One man's struggle with Universal, YouTube and the DMCA. (SiliconAngle)
  • Apple sells 3 million iPads in 80 days. (Apple)
  • Sonos announces a very cool looking iPad app for its music syatem. (TechCrunch)
  • US Department of Justice dismisses criticism of Live Nation Ticketmaster merger. (Billboard)
  • Why Digital Music Is a Terrible Business That Google Should Embrace. (MediaMemo)
  • Major Labels Begin Major Astroturfing Campaign To Get 3 Strikes In The US. (Techdirt)

Google Music Downloads Coming, Subscription Next

In what could prove to be a welcomed move for music labels, Google Inc. is planning to release a music download service that’s tied to its search engine later this year. The Wall Street Journal is also reporting that Google will introduction of an online subscription music service sometime in 2011.  Many hope that this will cause Apple’s dominant market position to be shaken.


Initially, it’s expected that Google’s music service will permit fans searching for music in their engine to be linked directly to a Google store where they could then buy and download tracks.  It is believed that the store would enable Google to position themselves in as a cloud-based subscription service, allowing users to stream music directly from the internet to their mobile phones.

When VEVO & Ad Supported Music Go Too Far


Ads Creep Onto Official Artist Web Sites

image from www.jsu.edu As easy and often justified as it is to criticize the major labels, I've also always tried to maintain a sense of balance. These are, after all, also the companies that helped bring us some great music; and they are often staffed by decent people desperately trying to figure out how to shift their large corporate ships before the changing winds sink them.

So when Universal and Sony launched VEVO, as a way to control and monetize the videos they were producing, I was skeptical but sympathetic.  Sympathetic because it seemed as if Google's YouTube and everyone except the labels were making money from these videos, and skeptical that the net income generated would not offset a legion of turned off fans. But why pre-judge? Why not wait to see what happens?

What happened is advertising on the artists' own web sites.

Continue reading "When VEVO & Ad Supported Music Go Too Far" »

Andrew Dubber: Shut Up And Listen To Your Fans

image from www.4thringroad.com image from www.garagespin.com

As someone who once spent the better part of an internship solving captcha puzzles and spamming ‘potential fans’ for artists on MySpace, I found Andrew Dubber’s recent article on Social Media Reversals to be quite refreshing.

In it, he contends that since the online marketing default strategy of many artists appears to be “to do whatever it takes to get followed and increase your audience size,” perhaps, they should consider listening more than they talk.  In this respect, artists are using the web as more of a broadcast medium to help them broaden the reach of their message.  When what they should be using it as is a conversational medium to actively engage their current and potential fans

To inspire artists to shift their mentality and approach to online marketing, Dubber argues that rather than encouraging their fans to 'Like' them on Facebook and 'Follow' them on Twitter,  artists should consider having a form where the fan fills out their own contact information. Beyond that point, it’s up to the artist to craft a personal, timely, and relevant message that the fan would want to receive.  In order to send such a message it would require an artist listen to the conversations that their fans are having and then determine the best possible way to reach out to their new fans.

Continue reading "Andrew Dubber: Shut Up And Listen To Your Fans" »