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Edgar Bronfman Jr., CEO of Warner Music Group, announced a new “e-label” his company is planning to launch that would sign new and niche artists and release their music only online. Artists who don’t have mass market appeal could release small groups of songs every few months and Warner Music Group will avoid the large cost of producing an album-length CD, he said.

Artists signing with the e-label will retain ownership of recording masters and the copyright to their music. “An artist is not required to have enough material for an album, only just enough to excite our ears,” Bronfman said, during a speech at the Progress and Freedom Foundation’s Aspen Summit. The conservative think-tank focuses on promoting free-market solutions for technology and other industries.

Warner’s e-label is one of the ways the technology and entertainment industries can work together on new business models following several years of disagreements, Bronfman added. He offered this olive branch to the technology industry following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in June that P-to-P vendors Grokster Ltd. and StreamCast Networks Inc. can be sued by the entertainment industry for encouraging their users to violate copyright law.

Bronfman urged technology companies and the entertainment industry to resurrect a relationship that goes back to the earliest days of recorded music. Recorded music has long shaped itself to the distribution technologies available; for many years, pop songs clocked in around 3 minutes because that’s as much music as a 45 rpm record could hold, he said.
“Technology shapes music,” he added. “Music drives technology adoption.”

(Full Article)

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Some older news as in 36 hours, but still big news that we all knew was about to happen.

EMI Group  ended a third effort to buy Warner Music Group and form the world’s second-biggest music company following a European Union court decision that
damped prospects for regulatory approval. EMI shares fell. EMI has decided not to pursue a combination with Warner Music for the time being, the London-based company said today in a PR Newswire statement. “The board will review this
position in the light of future developments.”

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XM Radio reports big lossesWhen it rains, it pours. XM reported an even wider loss for the second quarter on Thursday. In the past 3 months (ending June 30), the company reportedly lost $231.7 million, a significant drop compared to this time last year where they lost $148.8 million. Although XM pulled in nearly double the revenue of last year ($227.9 million), they have yet again lowered their estimates for full-year subscriber accounts.

The company blames “current marketplace dynamics” as the culprit, however the charges absorbed for restructuring their massive debt certainly played a part. Last year it was an issue with product availability and soft retail sales. It’s anyone’s guess what the finger will be pointed at next year when the losses are even greater. Hey! Maybe they’ll blame KOAR.

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  When we go to the post office to mail a letter, we can choose how we want the post office to rank our mail compared to other mail in the queue.  We can buy a first class mail stamp, but if it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight, we would turn to Federal Express or its competitors.  We would expect to pay a premium in exchange for the carrier ranking our mail above someone who didn’t pay that premium. 

  For example, when we purchase a book from Amazon.com, we are given several options for how we want our book shipped to us.  If Amazon were to offer us the option to buy a book at a few percentage points off of the retail price we might pay if we went to a bookstore without the convenience of near immediate delivery, Amazon would be at a competitive disadvantage to, say, Barnes & Noble, Book People, or your local independent bookseller.  If all the books had to be shipped at the lowest rate, e.g., the book rate (remember that?) there probably would be no Amazon.com.

  The Internet, on the other hand, ranks every piece of traffic at the same priority and that priority is the “going� rate, which often is the slowest rate unless you’re on a virtual private network (one of the several examples of violations of “net neutrality� that demand in the marketplace has already created).  This is one of the definitions of “net neutrality�, meaning that ISPs treat each piece of traffic in a “neutral� manner, meaning ISPs do not let anyone jump the queue and wouldn’t let you if you wanted to—even if you were willing to pay more for the benefit. CONTINUE READING

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“I feel that it makes everyone look smaller, not bigger. Take for example, when you see some joe schmo artist who has a well known band in his
top 8. If you are a complete unknown and you have U2 in your top 8 it makes them look smaller.”

Throughout the entertainment industry it is getting harder and harder for acts to define their market. On paper, one would think that with so many available resources and new avenues to get heard, record companies should be able to really up the ante, however it is becoming apparent that much of the problem is indeed stemming from the “artists� themselves.

(You can find Phaze 9 promoting themselves daily drowning out comments on mainstream bands myspace pages including SOAD, Flyleaf and 10 Years.  Phaze 9 consist of a family including mother, father, and seven year old son. They purchased a Friendbot)

 

There is more than one issue to address, the first being that there simply seems to be a lack of quality acts in general, but why is that?  Maybe kids are too quick to pick up the Playstation controller over the axe. But beyond a lack of inspiration there is a major shift in this country that is happening right before our eyes: the insatiable lust for fame. Now, even my 40yr. old balding next door neighbor thinks he is going to be famous. The two biggest contributing factors of this in my opinion are Myspace.com and American Idol. American Idol has paved the way for thousands of fairly talentless people to take the mainstream airwaves. At best, the majority of these people are closet singers that ordinarily couldn’t draw their best friends out to come see them perform at a karaoke bar,
and now they really have a “voice� with this Myspace craze. Myspace.com is really interesting because it takes all the allure and mystique away from the artist. Back not too long ago you would only have a few outlets to get your “fix� on the band in which you craved. You invested your time to see them perform, to see the video on MTV, or you went to the store to buy the magazine they were featured in…there was an investment. These days you can know what band ate what for breakfast this morning, what brand of toilet paper they use, and what their favorite TV show is- there is no mystery. Everything about our culture and where it is headed is the antithesis of Rock-n-Roll. What rock band back in the day would post a journal on their daily life…are you kidding me? CONTINUE READING

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