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Radiohead's Thom Yorke Shares Details Of EMI Split Plus Live Video.

From Radiohead.comThomyorke

F Y I_____ if you care
for your information>>>

we did not ask for a load of cash from our old record label EMI to re- sign.
that is a L I E.
The Times in the UK should check its facts before it prints such dirt.

whAT we WANTED WAS some control over OUR WOrK and how it was used in the future by them-
that seemed REASONAblE to us,
as we cared about it a great deal.

Mr Hands was not interested.
So neither were we.

We made the sign of the cross and walked away. Sadly.

Continue reading "Radiohead's Thom Yorke Shares Details Of EMI Split Plus Live Video." »

Music Bloggers Share Their Best Of 2007 Lists

Some of the 30 bloggers on the b5 media Music Channel shared their Top of 2007 lists today. Here's a sample.

What we're your top albums, songs, concerts and industry events om 2007?

Bad Days Ahead At EMI

Emi New owners Terra Firma are enforcing tight restrictions on new artist signings and promotion budgets at EMI and major job cuts will follow according to the Financial Times and other sources. 

Deep job cuts among EMI's 5,500 person workforce can be expected in 2008. Sources say that the cuts will come primarily from what Terra Firma sees as overlapping marketing and administrative bureaucracies at individual labels and not at A&R.  Effected managers and artists are already expressing displeasure at delivering new releases to a diminished staff who may be unable to promote them properly.

Has Guy Hands forgotten that return on investment first requires investment?

COMMENTARY: While cuts in expensive middle and upper management are needed at most major labels, Terra Firma appears to be creating creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure.

Diminished marketing staffs leads to lowers sales and falling profits. Only by ramping up marketing, particularly in new and social media, does EMI have any hope of breaking new artists and saving its core business.

Monday's Music 2.0 Briefing: More RIAA Insanity, Ringtone Market Shrinks & More


  • In a new lawsuit the RIAA call ripping purchased CD's to your own hard drive anRiaa_toiletpaper "unauthorized use". (Slashdot) Read the original Washington Post piece that started theuproar here.
  • In Maine, law students are defending their peers against RIAA lawsuits. (Listening Post)
  • One blogger asks if 2008 will be the end of the RIAA. (WinExtra) Sadly, while the labels may stop funding these stupid lawsuits, the RIAA will live on.

> Wal-Mart has gotten out of the movie download business. (DMW) Are downloads next?

The global market for ring tones is shrinking. (NY Times) But full track download slaes are growing.

Over at OurDigitalMusic I've written a "Top 10 Digital Music Stories Of 2007" from the consumer's point of view.

> cNet has their digital music predictions for 2008. (cNet)

Hypebot's Music 2.0 Week In Review: Sales Down 21%, WMG MP3's To Amazon, Jay-Z Leaves & More

This may have been a slow holiday week, but it didn't stop a few major music industry stories from breaking...

Santa_sad > Holiday music sales were down a whopping 21% from last year.

> The Warner Music family of labels (Warner, Elektra, Atlantic, Rhino and Nonesuch) started selling its catalog as DRM free mp3's on Amazon.com leaving Sony BMG the last major label group adding unpopular copy protection. Our commentary dug into what this means for the music industry and consumers.

> Jay-Z announced he is leaving his executive post at Def-Jam. Stay tuned...

> A new study showed that marketing online is far more productive than TV or even print. There was a hint of hope for music magazines.

> The RIAA appears to be feeding its own anti-piracy "news" stories to local TV.

> OurDigitalMusic has a list of sites that claim to sell legal mp3 downloads cheaply but who have no deals with the major labels.

What WMG MP3's On Amazon Really Means

Wmg COMMENTARY: With the addition of Warner Music Group product to its 2.9 million track DRM free mp3 catalog, Amazon is poised to to take on the mighty iTunes. The final piece of the product puzzle, Sony BMG, will inevitably be forced to join the other three major labels in freeing their downloads of unpopular and restrictive "copy protection". 

Inevitably too, other digital retailers like Rhapsody, Napster and even iTunes will soon be allowed to sell WMG product without DRM. Universal compatibility also means that player manufacturers are now on a more equal ground when selling next to the iPod; although competing with consumer love of all things Apple will be difficult.

Amazonmp3logo_2 By giving Amazon a sales exclusive, WMG also joined Universal in attempting to counter the download sales dominance of iTunes. But while this is a coup for Amazon, Warner's real blow to iTunes came from the act of dropping DRM itself and and is incomplete unless it makes its mp3's available to all retailers. 

Applelogo Apple's stranglehold on download sales came in large part from its own proprietary DRM which effectively forced millions of iPod owners to use iTunes exclusively.  Only when consumers are certain that any track they purchase anywhere can be played on any device, will many feel safe leaving the Apple cocoon.

WMG's other major contribution yesterday was in tipping the scales. By being the third of four major label groups to from DRM, Warner's has forced any stragglers to do the same.

Of course the real winner is the consumer who will finally be able to buy music without restrictions from competing digital stores.  And both consumers and the music industry will benefit from new innovative applications that are sure to blossom in a more open environment.


Friday's Music 2.0 Briefing: 21% Holiday Sales Drop,

Downarrowgig > Music sales during the holiday shopping season were down 21% from last year. From the week of Thanksgiving through the day before Christmas Eve, 83.9 million albums were sold, a decrease of 21.38 million from 2006's 105.28 million. (Variety)

> Listening Post's Eliot Van Buskirk decided that DRM free music is so ubiquitous that he can cancel his subscrptions to to Napster, Yahoo and Rhaposdy. He shares why and how it went. (Listening Post)

> Apple's srock hit a new high yesterday powered in part by strong iPod sales. (NY Post)

> People who who got new music players as holiday gifts should steer clear of some sites that claim to offer legal music but don't have licensing agreements, according to the Center for Democracy and Technology. (InfoWorld)

Amazon Adds MP3's From Warner Music Group


WMG has joined EMI and Universal in making its downloads available as DRM free mp3's, and at least for now Amazon has the exclusive. Noticeably no plans to sell WMG product without DRM on iTunes or other services was mentioned in the announcement.

The company's entire digital catalog is available starting today on Amazon MP3, Amazon's all mp3 digital music store. In addition, Amazon and WMG will make available exclusive digital music products like album bundles containing exclusive tracks. Amazon now offers for 2.9 million songs asDRM free MP3's from over 33,000 record labels.

Continue reading "Amazon Adds MP3's From Warner Music Group" »

Study Shows Online Engagement Growing As Print And TV Fade

A new study offers holiday cheer to Music 2.0  startups and needs to be heeded by music marketers. The study shows clearly that more ad dollars and marketing muscle should be spent online and less in traditional media. Surprisingly music magazines still also deserve a look.

  • Viewers watching ads in online video are 47% more engaged than those watching TV
  • People are 18% more engaged in ads online as opposed to print versions
  • They are 15% more engaged in magazine articles online than in print
  • People who visited sites 2-6 times a week are much more responsive to ads there than less frequent visitors
  • For magazine readers, that the most engaging medium, but the size of the print media audience is declining.

This study by Simmons was based on 74,996 interviews with U.S. adults ages 18-54 was conducted online and via telephone between October 2006 and September 2007.

Thursday's Music 2.0 Briefing: Radiohoead's N.Y.'s Eve Surprise, No Surpise: P2P Use Up, Apple Soars & More

Radiohead_photo > Radiohead will ring in New Year's Eve with an exclusive TV performance of  "In Rainbows" on Current TV. The pre-recorded performance will include all of the tracks from "In Rainbows" plus some "other bits". (Current TV via The Daily Swarm)

> Limewire and Bittorrent popularity continues. (ars)

> CNBC asks if iLike is the "Next Big Thing". (CNBC)

> A look at Apple's substantial influence over music beyond iPod sales in 2007. (MacWorld)

> POLL: Is Apple worth is current share price of just under $200? (DMW)

Mouse > TheOneLove.org was created as for two reasons: "to shed a positive light upon all types of music and... to raise money for various charitable organization."  Each of the bloggers on the site  has a charity they support, and 100% of the ad revenue that their blog generates gets donated to it. Worthy stuff.  (More at OurDigitalMusic.com)

Wednesday's Music 2.0 Briefing: Ticket Sales Slump, Virgin Closing Stores, True North Sold & More.

Concert_ticket > Despite some major classic rock tours, the live concert industry experienced a 15% overall decline in 2007 sales. (Reuters)

> Concert promoter Live Nation's artist services division Artist Nation, who recently made headlines signing Madonna to a 360 deal, has released its first DVD set, "The Adventures of Mimi." featuring Mariah Carey. The double-DVD set will retail for $19.99 and be distributed exclusively through  Best Buy.

> Variety is reporting that the Virgin Megastore in LA is closing next year and the NYC store may follow.

> Linus Entertainment is taking over True North Records, the long standing Canadian label founded Bernie Finkelstein and home to Bruce Cockburn and others.  Bernie will step down as president but remain chairman. Expect more indie label consolidation in 2008.

> New IPod and iPhone technology is designed to lower volume automatically to protect hearing. (Daily Mail)

> One Tallahasse, FL indie retailer LP's Music & More is holding his own...for now.  (Talahassee Democrat)

> A different view of the Yahoo! China court decision from Music 2.0

> R.I.P. - Jazz pianist Oscar Peterson and indie/clasic rock promo and marketing specialist Paul Yeskel.

Jay-Z Exits Def Jam

Jayz Shawn Jay-Z Carter will step down as president of Universal's Def Jam.  The rapper, who was named Def Jam president in 2005, said in a statement that it is "time for me to take on new challenges." Universal says he will continue to release his own music through Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam. Jay-Z co-founded Roc-A-Fella Records with Damon Dash in 1995 later selling it to Def Jam.

Earlier this month Def Jam cut a number of staffers including several top A&R execs. (details here)

The rumor mill has long speculated that the serial music entrepreneur was restless with the struggling major label model and exploring starting a more cutting edge music company.  Live Nation/Artist Nation are among those mentioned as potential partners.

More: NY Times, Reuters

Monday's Music 2.0 Briefing: Radiohead FLAC, Idolator On The Block & More

While others rest Hypebot just keeps on working...

7d_logo_newsletter > The UK's 7digital will be selling Radiohead’s ‘In Rainbows’ as a high-quality FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) download starting December 31st.

> Wired Listening Post has its Top 10 Music Stories Of 2007.

> For a review of last week's top industry stories, read out Music 2.0 Week In Review.

> Gawker Media's music news and gossip web site Idolator appears to be for sale. (Portfolio)

> cNet News looks at the digital music services that launched in 2007.

> Just in case you missed it, here's a strong NY Times piece on the generational divide in copyright morality. (NY Times)

Is RIAA Writing Its Own "News" For Local TV?

Tv The RIAA announced that it has launched a holiday season anti-piracy campaign (press release) recently and now come unconfirmed reports that the RIAA is following the lead of corporate America and feeding pre-packaged news stories to local TV stations as part of the campaign.

Riaa Popular tech bolg ars techinca fist published the story with links to video host LiveLeak. Neither we able to verify the source of the astoundingly bad video which you can watch here.

Hypebot's Music 2.0 Week In Review: Blog Award Winners, Ticketing Shift, Universal's Toll Booth & More

> Hypebot announced the winners of its 2007 Best Music Blogs contest.Concert_ticket

> Concert giant Live Nation shared details of its plan to move its ticketing from Ticketmaster.

> Warner Music Group settled its lawsuit with XM over the Pioneer Inno radio.

Xm > WMG's year-end deal followed a similar settlement between Universal Music and XM as that major label group continued to pursue its "toll booth' strategy of charging device manufacturers for music use.

> Hip Hop dominated AT&T's Top 10  Ringtones of 2007.

> A look back at how well Hypebot and other music industry pundits did with our predictions for 2007. What are your predictions for the music industry in 2008?

> Paul McCartney commented on his split with EMI.

> Our sister blog OurDigitalMusic shared "10 Musicians I Want To Invite To My Office Christmas Party".

Hypebot's Holiday Publication Schedule

Newspaper_boy Unlike many other blogs, Hypebot WILL be publishing throughout the holiday period. Because there will be less new news, our popular daily Music 2.0 Briefing will only publish when there's enough to share.

But you can expect to find breaking music industry news and analysis here on Hypebot right through the holidays. 

WMG Settles With XM Over Inno

Xm XM Satellite Radio and Warner Music Group today announced that they have resolved the lawsuit brought by WMG over XM's Pioneer Inno, a portable satellite radio with  recording features. The companies did not disclose the terms of the deal.

Wmg_4 A similar agreement between XM and Universal was announced on December 17. Both agreements are multi-year deals that cover current and future XM radios. Sony BMG and EMI remain parties in the original lawsuit against XM.

COMMENTARY: This deal happened just in time to show up on WMG's balance sheet this quarter. But Wall Street didn't seem to care; pushing the stock down another 3.54% to $6.00 in mid-afternoon trading. Thats a 5% drop from the 52 week high of $24. (Track the up to the minute stock price here.)

Top Ringtones Of 2007

From AT&T

    1.  Shop Boyz - "Party Like a Rockstar"Cell_marley
    2.  Mims - "This Is Why I'm Hot"
    3.  Soulja Boy - "Crank That (Soulja Boy)"
    4.  Nickelback - "Rockstar"
    5.  Akon - "Don't Matter"
    6.  T-Pain - "Buy You A Drank (Shawty Snappin)"
    7.  Hurricane Chris - "A Bay Bay"
    8.  Sean Kingston - "Beautiful Girls"
    9.  Huey - "Pop, Lock & Drop It"
    10. Fergie - "Big Girls Don't Cry"

Friday's Music 2.0 Briefing: SonyBMG Flirts With DRM Free, Can Groban Save WMG? & Much More

Sonybmg > SonyBMG will be mp3 gift cards  as part of an initial foray into selling DRM free. (Billboard) This is a major shift for  the major label group.  But as we wrote a few weeks ago "The Slow March To DRM Free Has Become A Sprint"

Wmg_2 > Josh Groban's "Noel" is selling like hotcakes and breaking records.  But doesn't it seem a bit desperate when the press release comes from WMG's Investor Relations department? Warner Music Groups stock opened Friday at $6.20 off a 52 week high of $24.

> Sony BMG UK is telling senior staff that regular blogging is now required.  (Register)They don't care if yo can write...but you must blog? And who is the editor?  This feels silly...

> Yahoo China lost an appeal in the "deep links" music case. (DMW)

Verizon > Verizon has grabbed the wireless exclusive for Guitar Hero III.

> Hypebot's 2007 Music Blog Award winners.

> Share your predictions for the music industry in 2008 here. Please comment if for no other reason than I need help with my list :>)...

> Radiohead gets widgetized:

Music Blog Awards 2007 Winners

Our readers have spoken and here are the 2007 winners of Hypebot's Music Blog Awards:

Awardwinner Best Music News Blog

Best Music Discovery Blog

Best Niche Music Blog

Congratulations to our winners!  They are an eclectic group that proves that at least for Hypebot readers bigger (or most popular) does not mean better.

Find links to all of the nominees, see the how the voting went and other details here.

Live Nation Announces Ticketing Plans

Livenation221205 Live Nation announced this morning that it will utilize CTS Eventim to launch its own ticketing business on January 1, 2009. The worldwide concert giant will exclusively license the Eventim platform in North America and Eventim will provide back office ticketing services in the UK and ticketing services across Europe. It has been known for months that Live Nation would exit its current deal with Ticketmaster.

The new deal with Europe's largest ticketing service allows Live Nation to launch its own ticketing without having to start from scratch.  Now the company can control its own customer data, create enhanced ticket-based concert products and capitalize on expanded distribution channels and sponsorship opportunities. It will also spur traffic at the company's hub LiveNation.com

Concert_ticket The Eventim platform includes interactive seating maps, mobile distribution, integrated primary and secondary ticketing, alternative access models (auctions, lottery), print-at-home, radio frequency identification (RFID) ticketing and robust customer relationship management (CRM).  It is anticipated that Live Nation will offer the service to outside promoters who are expected to resist sharing data with their biggest competitor.

Live Nation will host an investor call in early January to present the details of the partnership.

Continue reading "Live Nation Announces Ticketing Plans" »

How Did The Pundits Do Predicting Music 2007?

As I prepare my predictions for 2008, I decided to take a look back on how well the crystal ball did last year. Yesterday I showed you my 2007 music industry predictions, (OK, I didn't do that badly). Today let's take a look at what some other pundits predicted for the year that just was.

Bob Lefsetz's predictions included:

  • Emi_59 EMI headed for big trouble
  • Billboard getting thinner and thinner
  • Band managers growing in importance
  • (more)

Digital maven Rags Gupta's predictions:

  • Emusic_16 Last.FM and Pandora will get bought by Google, Clear Channel or Viacom
  • eMusic will file an IPO
  • The Sony BMG merger case will be favorably resolved by the EU courts.  EMI and Warner Music will try to merge again
  • (more)

Blogger J Herskowitz's predictions included:

  • Spiralfrog_7 Mecora gets sued
  • SpiralFrog launches with a thud
  • Zune starts to make inroads
  • (more)

Click here for Hypebot's 2007 predictions.

Thursday's Music 2.0 Briefing: Player Sales Slump, Roberston Skewers Imeem, DMX To Bodog & More

Creativezenvplus > Non-iPod player sales were down 16% in the pre-Christmas weeks as fewer new buyers showed interest in portable players. (TechWeb) Is this a sign that phones are gaining traction as portable music devices or that interest is peaked? Or is that that no manufacturer offered a quantum leap forward that would drive sales?

> Google's annual search rankings show the rise of social networking and the fall of Shakira. (Google Zeigeist)

> New study says 50% of Mac users likely to purchase downloads vs. 16% of PC users. (NPD Group)

Imeem > Serial digital music entrepeneur Michael Robertson lambastes imeem's deals with Universal and  the other majors as death sentence for the star-up. (Mike's Minute)

> Bodog Music, the label arm of web gambling firm Bodog Entertainment has signed rapper DMX.

> Yangaroo has a new deal with Indie911 to deliver D.I.Y. artists digitally to radio. Itunes

> Sellaband opens a dedicated music store on Amazon UK. (Guardian UK)

> Is a lossless download store in iTune's future? (cNet UK)

A Look Back At Our Music Industry Predictions For 2007

As the the year draws to an end and I begin work on my predictions for 2008, I thought I'd take a look back at the predictions for 2007. Below is an unedited reposting.

Tell us what your music industry predictions are for 2008.

  • Amazon_3 2007 will be the year that the mp3 format will gain much greater acceptance from record labels. Consumer dissatisfaction is growing daily, but the real action will begin in March when the new Amazon download store launches and gain momentum throughout the year.
  • The mp3 momentum will hurt iTunes but not effect iPod sales which will remain veryNapster_2 strong through 2007.
  •   Napster will finally run out of money and be sold at a bargain basement price.
  • It will be a good time to own an indie record label as majors labels, investment firms, and even some tech companies go shopping.
  • The other major labels will follow WMG's lead and start trying to sound and act like tech start-ups.
  • Touring will continue to gain in importance both for income and promotion.
  • Tight profit margins force consolidation within the download distribution sector.
  • More artists at all levels and in all genres will go D.I.Y. and direct to the fans and the cottage industry to facilitate this transition will boom.

Share your predictions for 2008.

Wednesday's Music 2.0 Briefing: EMI Acts Unhappy, Indie Class Action, Nonesuch Online & Much More

Emi > Two of EMI's biggest artists - Robbie Williams and Joss Stone - are expressing disillusionment with Terra Firma's new management of EMI. (Times UK)

> Indie rockers file a class action suit against Rolling Stone Magazine and Camel Cigarettes. (Daily Swarm)

Nonesuch_3 > Nonesuch Records is launching its own download store. Buy a CD and you can instantly download it at no charge. The tracks are DRM free and a choice of 320 kbps or 128 kbps. A $2 delivery fee for CDs will be waived if you buy more than one.

> Canadian digital music delivery to radio provider Yangaroo is struggling to gain traction in the US. (Globe & Mail)

> Boost Independent Music launches with a 50/50 model, 69 cents downloads and a goal of being the go to place for indie and unsigned artists.

> Soundbuzz has opened the first high quality download store aimed at Asia. (DMW)

Doug's Universal Toll Booth Collects From XM

Universal_2 Universal Music Group has settled a lawsuit against XM over a player that records XM programming by extracting a per unit fee from the satellite radio service similar to the per unit charge it gets from every Zune sold.


Doug_morris_cartoon Never one to be daunted by falling sales, Universal's Doug Morris seems determined to shore up  his eroding bottom line with payments from others who profit from their association with music.

Internet radio and satellite broadcasters are being asked to pay more by all the labels. Devices manufacturers from Microsoft to Nokia are cutting special revenue sharing deals with Universal as are services like YouTube. Then there's Morris's broader initiative to have all device manufacturers pay Universal and the other major labels for a "Total Music" subscription built into each player sold.  Sounds interesting, but the devil is usually in the details and thus far Morris has not provided any.

EXTRA CREDIT: "Universal Bans Song Streams, Cuts Nokia Free Music Deal. WILL THE REAL DOUG MORRIS PLEASE STAND UP?"

Tuesday's Music 2.0 Briefing: Rhapsody On Facebook, Universal Licensing, MTV Discovers Music & Much More


Rhapsody > Rhapsody on Facebook is a new app that embeds free full song playback of up to 25 tracks (more is you subscribe) on a personal or band page. (NYTimes) At a time when Universal is cutting song playback on MySpace to 90 seconds, FacebookFacebook and Rhapsody have delivered the goods as well as combined to popular services.

> Denon's new networked audio systems now offer direct access to Rhapsody. Kudos to Rhapsody for the many recent partnerships.

Universal >
Universal appears to be combining departments to offer global song and download licensing from a single source. (Listiening Post) Long overdue. Now if only indie efforts to do the same like Merlin could gain traction.

> iTunes Plus DRM free offerings are finally growing with the addition of Koch Records.

> MySpace has launched its 20th localized site in Brazil. Google's Orkut currently dominates social netowrking in the country. (cNet) I wonder how many music marketers or indie artists are using these localized sites to promote  in other territories.

Mtv > MTV is finally giving music appearing in its programming more credit on the web. (example) Rumor is that soon more songs and act will be identified on screen via overlays. Why don't the web lists link to MTV;s partner Rhapsody for downloads?

Sony is offering European Walkman buyers a free music subscription for 3 months. (Design News) Nothing revolutionary, but another sign that in the future music may be sold as service more than a commodity.

Social networking and entertainment business services site Cornerworld.com will now offers members full access to Napster’s digital music catalog.

> Digital jukebox service eCast has launched a monthly chart of the most popular new releases.  See the first R&B dominated BarPulse chart after the jump.

Continue reading "Tuesday's Music 2.0 Briefing: Rhapsody On Facebook, Universal Licensing, MTV Discovers Music & Much More" »

10 Musicians I Want To Invite To My Holiday Party

Some holiday fun from our sister blog OurDigitalMusic.comOfficeparty3

  1. Leonard Cohen - Talk about intelligent cocktail conversation
  2. Ozzy Osbourne - Is it really a party without Ozzy?
  3. Ziggy Marley - Somebody has to bring the....
  4. Ray Lamontagne - I just want to try to make this guy smile
  5. Dr. John - To add a little New Orleans spice to the party gumbo
  6. Willie Nelson - Because he's so dang cool
  7. Prince - To get the dancing started
  8. Ringo Star - Every rock party should have a Beatle and Ringo seems like a lot more fun than Paul
  9. Robert Plant - Just so I can find out if Zep is really gonna tour or not
  10. Polyphonic Spree - There are like 30 people in this band so at least it'll make the room look full.

HONORABLE MENTIONS (as in I wish they were still around to invite...) TO: Janis Joplin,  Rick Danko of The Band (I knew this gentle soul and I miss him) and John Lennon.



Continue reading "10 Musicians I Want To Invite To My Holiday Party" »