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Switchfoot will head back into the studio in November to record a new record. The last record “Nothing is Sound” sold a disappointing 526,000 while its predecessor “The Beautiful Letdown” sold 2.6 million. Some say The album got off to a rough start when it was one of 15 titles recalled by Sony BMG because software on the CDs behaved like spyware. C’mon!…The new record was mediocre and the lead off single failed to react which was probably the main culprit rather than the spyware program.

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Digital downloads are beginning to level off according to 2 new reports. This isn’t great news for the music industry which depended on the growth of digital downloads to offset a major decline in compact disc sales which were down 25 percent from a peak of 942 million in 2000. Read the full article here.

Island Def Jam has laid off several employees including sales people and A&R’s. The label will also continue to slash underperforming acts from their roster.

According to Reuters EMI is seeking private equity backing to mount a bid for Bertelsmann’s music publishing holdings. This would allow EMI to retain the resources to bid separately for Warner Music.

British consumers are rewarded being the first in the world able to purchase songs instantly as they listen to them on digital radio by utilizing a new download service from UBC Media.

Koch Distribution has announced exclusive North American agreements with three independent record labels. Koch will handle releases from HBD Label Group which focuses on urban and electronic, gospel label Worldwide Music, Inc. and reggae label Taxi Records.

KOAR Higher Learning artist Fermata will be playing a sold out show at the Whiskey tonight (June 27), open to industry. Sony, Hollywood and TakeOver confirmed for attendance. Fermata has also picked up a slot on The Warped Tour, playing the Ventura, CA date on July 11.

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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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