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Alain Levy was once struggling to save a firm that was so badly run it was nicknamed “Every Mistake Imaginable�.  Now the head of recorded music of EMI is claiming that the company will survive even if the deal with Warner fails to close, EMI is now strong enough to thrive on its own.
According to Levy EMI’s bid to take over Warner Music is designed to create a company with the best new artists and the best back catalogue.

“It’s a fantastic way to build a future . . . and become the best music company in the world,� he said.

The EUROPEAN COMMISSION IS A THREAT TO THE DEAL

Levy conceded that the European ruling could make it nearly impossible to convince the European Commission to approve a deal although he refuses to give up.

WOULD LEVI BE FORCED TO QUIT?

Rumours began to spread that Warner head Edgar Bronfman had offered EMI’s chairman, Eric Nicoli, a job in any combined company but had frozen out Levy. According to Levi 

“There has been no discussion like that,� he said. When he first heard the rumours he thought they were so funny that he e-mailed Nicoli to tell him he’d heard that he, Nicoli, had got a job as Bronfman’s chauffeur.

“Would I like to be here for the next five years continuing to build what I have built out of something that was in pretty bad shape? I have a total passion for my job.

LEVI WOULD SUPPORT THE WARNER TAKEOVER GIVEN THE RIGHT PRICE.

Levy also said that if a Warner takeover of EMI created greater shareholder value than an EMI takeover of Warner, he would support it. “I am paid to create shareholder value, but the price has to be right. What Warner can’t do is try to buy us on the cheap.�

EMI ONCED FACED A GRIM FUTURE

EMI was once struggling to cope with illegal digital downloads, CD piracy and falling CD and singles sales. It was overstaffed, and budgets were, by Levy’s own admission, bloated. Between January 2000 and September 2001 the company lost 65% of its market value. After firing 1,800 staff and 400 artists, slashing £150m off the company’s annualised fixed costs and cracking down on illegal downloading while embracing new legal digital distribution systems — notably Itunes and Napster, ringtones for mobile phones and soundtracks for computer games — EMI’s revenues returned to growth last year for the first time since 2000.

EMI IS NOW IN THE CLEAR AND IS ABLE TO SURVIVE

Like the music industry in general, EMI is now, Levy said, out of the woods.

“We have taken the lesson that you cannot ignore the consumer. There is a business model. People want more music. But they want the music in different ways. We have to find ways to monetise it.�

Even if the deal with its new dance partner does fall through, Levy insists that EMI will still thrive. “A deal would create value but, if it doesn’t happen, we’ll create value in a different way to become the best music company in the world. There’s nothing structurally wrong. We have a 14% market share, so we are sitting at the top table.�  (Timesonline)

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Not too many unsigned bands have the opportunity to perform in front mid sized crowds on a consistent basis. This isn’t the case for Matchmaker who have been playing to about 250+ crowds in Jersey and were on the main stage at Bamboozle and they recently performed the punk rock campout with MXPX. Matchmaker released their first album Lights, Camera, Re-Action, that consists of melodic choruses and punkish anthemic sing-a-longs. Several labels recently have been poking their nose around this 4 piece NJ native act. For more information contact Roy Lamanna (908)-601-8260. Check out the track Victory For A Smile.

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Radio is dead…yadda yadda. So let’s talk about the internet for a second, iTunes specifically. iTunes has become the new radio. And by ‘radio’ I don’t mean the place people turn to for new music, since radio hasn’t been that for over 10 years. By ‘radio’ I mean the place labels turn to for promoting new music and where they focus their money to give the illusion of popularity. It’s singles-focused like radio, and dominated by major labels like radio. Being #1 on iTunes is just as important and just as bull as being #1 on radio, although neither one in many cases translates into retail sales. You’d think a service where people are paying for the songs the jump to retail sales would be an obvious one, but that has yet to prove to be the case.

**send your demos and new music to KOAR. We want to hear your new music.

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Business mogul Damon Dash, former head and co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records, says he no longer has time for the music industry, and instead will focus on the fashion world and other enterprises.

“The music business isn’t so profitable, especially not hip-hop,â€? Dash recently told Contact Music. “I couldn’t buy what I wanted to buy. I’m talking cooks and drivers. I got into clothes to make money.â€? “The people in this business all think they’ve made it because they’re in charge of their little record labels. I’m like, this isn’t even my main source of income. I already did this business – and I made movies and I designed clothes and I got my own vodka and my own Swiss watch maker.

Damon Dash is  known for his Roc-A-Fella/Rocawear venture with partners Jay-Z  Kareem “Biggs� Burke. (Read full article)

You can thank the oil companies (price gouging) for killing the touring artists. Many artists are unable to tour due to the high gas prices. Brett Holman who manages the Allman Brothers has estimated that gas is costing the group at least $50,000 more this year than last year and at the end of the day it’s coming out of the band’s pocket. It cost’s Dashboard Confessional 90,000k to fuel up three tractor trailers and three buses. The cost will eventually be passed down to the consumer. (Rolling Stone)

We would like to retract our post that claimed Hawthorne Heights bragged about the #1 position on the top 200. It wasn’t them who created this “tacky” campaign around their release of “If You Were Only Lonely”. We forgot for one moment that Victory Records releases their records.

EU court overturned the European Commission’s approval of the merger between the music units of Sony and Bertelsmann AG on Thursday, forcing the companies to request clearance for the deal again.

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It was a bad week for record sales with no big releases. Johnny Cash entered the top 200 with sales of 88,336. Hmmmm….
Let’s pick on Hawthorne Heights who broke the rock n roll code by bragging about the possibility of entering the top 200 with the #1 position.  Victory shipped 850K and they sold less than 400k. Learning lesson? Be humble and thankful for every record bought in today’s climate.

According to Coolfer Clive Davis signed fourth-place “American Idol” finisher Chris Doughtry. His record is due out by years end.

Nielsen Soundscan numbers for the first half of 2006 came out last week and much of the press focused on the upward slope of the digital sales curve and the downward slope of CD sales. Album sales went down from 282.6 million this time last year to 270.6 million for the midpoint of 2006, while downloaded tracks soared 77% to 281 million in the first 26 weeks of 2006.

The new Deftones album will be titled Saturday Night Wrist and will be out in October.

Goodbye Tomorrow, who features former Terminal frontman, Travis Bryant, has inked a deal with Equal Vision. (Decoy)

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