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Apple loses exclusivity in FranceFrench legislation is currently being considered that would prevent Apple from having any sort of exclusivity with its iTunes service or iPod product. The bill would force Apple to make iTunes downloads compatible with other mp3 players and any mp3 compatible with the iPod. While Apple is obviously not a fan of this legislation, other European countries are watching closely and considering similar laws.

Understandably upset, Apple can credit marketing with the initial popularity of their products, but the exclusivity is what has ultimately propelled the iServices to where they are now. iTunes exclusives and incompatible file formats ensured users had to iBundle everything together. For casual downloading and music listening, Apple has taken the lead and is hands down the most popular service, however for those more ‘involved’ in music, iTunes tends to be more trouble than its worth, requiring additional scripts and workarounds for advanced functionality.

Competition generally leads to higher quality products and services and drives down prices, which is great for consumers, but probably not ideal for Apple. The legislation goes to final vote next week, and although Apple may end up losing a few Francs, they always have those thousand dollar bills to wipe their tears away with.

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Coolfer reports that Island/Def Jam dropped Fefe Dobson. Her first album, Fefe Dobson, was released in December 2003 which has sold 304,000 copies. Her second record Sunday Love has been pushed back several times over the past year and now is permanently shelved.

Several failed releases have cost The Sanctuary Group. According to Hits The Sanctuary Group revealed that losses in its record division will be worse than expected for the company’s fiscal year.

Hits also reports the recent changes at Columbia. Staff producer Steve Lillywhite and Chairman Steve Barnette are in the process of setting up a new creative team.
Lillywhite claims that the department will consist of a “fresh creative team that’s enthusiastic and opinionated about music.� He further stated that “Columbia is a big company, and it needs to be a place where art and commerce can be married.� It seems that rock acts will continue to have its place at the label.

Tool’s Vicarious lands #1 on the active rock charts with Red Hot Chili Peppers, Three Days Grace and Buckcherry trailing behind.

According to Forbs satellite radios sales is slowing down. Possible reasons include high gas prices and the decrease in hype surrounding Howard Stern’s move to Sirius. Forbes also suggests other reasons causing the lull in sales could be lack of advertisements, product delays and slower MP3 demand. 

Tower Records is finally entering the digital era and is adding a digital download store to its retail offerings, with the launch of tower.com/digital on Tuesday June 27. The store will offer 1.2 million tracks.

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 I never got into it for the music. I got into it for the business,� 50 Cent is reported to have told Forbes.
Rappers are still branding themselves with corporations. A recent article in Forbes magazine claims that 50 Cent and his manager Chris Lighty of Violator management are negotiating the branding deal with Apple Computer, reports AllHipHop.com. 

XM is not sitting quietly as the RIAA filed a lawsuit against the company in May. In fact, XM has enlisted it’s 6.5 million listeners and subscribers asking them to voice their opposition to both the Senate and the record industry’s lawsuit. Read the full article here

Sprint and Interscope Records will launch a mobile music series June 23 with Vagrant/Interscope artist Dashboard Confessional. The promotion will run every Friday for nine weeks. Other artists to be featured include Busta Rhymes, Mobb Deep and Wolfmother.

Although mixtapes have always been important to hip-hop culture it seems they are getting bigger especially among unknown artists. It seems hip hop artists are losing faith in the labels who are profiting at the expense of the artist. You can make a record and get it out on the streets in days while making a healthy profit.

Jadakiss is a perfect example. He has never gone platinum, but he has sold almost 500,000 on the street alone. So the argument becomes if I can sell 300- or 400,000 copies of my album on the street, then what can I do exclusively (on a mixtape),” Hill says. There’s been a recent evolution on the Internet, with sites like http://www.mixtapekings.com/ providing international exposure for mixtape DJs and their work. Read the full article here.

 

 

 

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Busta Rhymes – 206,733
Dixie Chicks – 130,242
AFI – 103,562
Three Days Grace – 78,073
Blue October – 22,228
Buckcherry – 20,014
Hoobastank – 10,832
Pink – 10,049
Hawthorne Heights – 5,160

Hoobastank who failed to deliver a solid first single dropped -13% with a total of 110k. Pink’s record “I’m Not Dead” never really took off despite strong video rotation and radio play. The record hasn’t even gone gold yet. Three Days Grace is doing well at radio, thus had a good opening week landing on the #5 position on Billboard top 200. Hawthorne Heights who encouraged their fans to help them achieve the #1 position fizzled out rather quickly selling only 5,160 with total sales of 373,104.

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Anyone working at Columbia and Epic has a reason to be nervous. Several A&R’s have already been let go. A new President will bring a new “regime” consisting of his old  buddies and friends to make him look like a pro. This cycle repeats itself over and over.  Even the Ataris wanted to avoid “the hoopla” and split from the label. It seems that the days are gone when A&R’s and label execs were excited to discover and nurture new talent.

The U.S. government has joined forces with the entertainment industry to stop the global epidemic in pirated movies and music, pressuring foreign governments to crack down or risk incurring trade barriers. The once popular Kazaa has half as many users as it did at its peak three years ago.

The Movie Industry is aiming to succeed where the music industry failed and force Steve Jobs to change his mind over the prices of flicks he wants to flog online. Apple wants to start selling movies for video iPods online and according to Variety magazine Jobs is personally entering into negotiations with the movie studios.

Former Warner Brothers CEO Mo Ostin may be close to returning to the label in a consulting capacity after months of talks with current Warner chairman and CEO Tom Whalley.

Former American Idol” winner Ruben Studdard received $2 million in his lawsuit against his ex-manager for misappropriating the singer’s money and credit cards. He filed suit last year against against ex-manager Ronald W. Edwards and Edwards’ promotions company, Sez Inc. Supposedly the poor ol’ manager used Studdard’s money to repay a $10,000 bank loan.

A&R executive John Kalodner is retiring after 35 years in the music business. Kalodner is credited with reviving Aerosmith and Cher’s careers. Among the many other acts he worked with are Genesis, Phil Collins, Yes, AC/DC, Santana, Bon Jovi, XTC, Shawn Colvin, Yes, etc.

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