The modern music industry is a business of numbers. Number of records sold, number of shows played, price of guarantees, number of radio spins, number of downloads, etc etc. All of these values are maintained with the hopes of calculating the odds of success with any given band. In this paradigm, the artists that rise to the top are either extremely talented musicians with a good sense of melody and hooks, or extremely talented business people with a good sense of marketing and promotion. Either way, the numbers must add upâ€¦to something.
Similar to beefing up a resume for a new job, a one-time gig pay out of $500 at a friendâ€™s birthday party, a third pressing of a cd due to stolen boxes, being the 10th caller on a radio station, or an opening spot in a â€˜sold outâ€™ benefit gig can greatly increase a smaller bandâ€™s worth when spun right. This small scale fuzzy math only gets bigger and more complicated the higher up you go. A platinum selling artist doesnâ€™t have to sell a million copies. A number one radio song in the country can sometimes be attributed to less than 20 stations. Somewhere, there is a cluster of intern computers with 10 thousand copies of a particular itunes exclusive. Surveys and tests that claim a random sampling are usually anything but, and results stay in line with whatever the conductor was out to prove in the first place. Ever notice how every radio station is #1? Everything from the collection of the data to the results can be manipulated and skewed in whichever direction youâ€™d like.
Most people know this goes on and they turn a blind eye, if for no other reason than complete disinterest. The â€˜bandwagonâ€™ strategy seems to work better on music executives than most music listeners. I donâ€™t care how many copies of â€˜Glitterâ€™ Mariah shipped to retail, or how much she paid for the chart position, I know sucks when I hear it. After factoring in spin, payola, human error and hype, numbers become virtually pointless. So the real question is, if numbers donâ€™t really mean anything, how is anyone to know if a new band is good or not? Your guess is as good as mine.
In other news, Kings of A&R is ranked the #1 music site in the history of the internet according to our latest poll of staff members.
Satellite Party, which features ex-Janes Addiction frontman Perry Farrell and ex-Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt,Â recentlyÂ signed a deal with Columbia Records.Â
Despite strong album sales, the Dixie Chicks tour is struggling in several markets. Pre-ticket sales are below expectations and several dates will be postponed or cancelled. Initial ticket salesÂ are averaging 5,000k in 15,000 capacity venues. I doubt it is the political stance that is contributing to poor ticket sales and more or less blame the struggling economy.
Study: Web is the No. 1 media
Web media is the dominant at-work media and No. 2 in the home, according to a new report from the Online Publishers Association. 50 million Americans per day in 2005 used the Web as their primary news source.
Radio Advertising Continues to Shrink
According to Media Week the radio industryâ€™s advertising slump continued with revenue dipping 5% compared to last year.Â National ad sales fell 7%, while local sales decreased 4%. Agency buyersÂ point to the increasing number of alternative and new media options available. While radio isnâ€™t the only medium losing dollars to the new media, itâ€™s probably being hit the hardest.
Red Hot Chili Pepper’s “Dani California” isÂ number oneÂ on both the active rock chart and the alternative chart. They had another great week on the charts selling 87k TW.
Breaking Benjamin’s new single “Diary of Jane“ went for adds and will no doubt hitÂ number one the active rock charts in given time. After listening to the record the band will take homeÂ a gold record if not platinum.
The new AFI record “decemberunderground“Â that dropped yesterday is expected to sell 200k+ first week. Thirty year old frontman Davey Havok is intriguing and mysterious. He is a cut above the rest and knows how to work the stage and the camera. If you haven’t seen the Miss Murder videoÂ check it out hereÂ which was directed by Mark Webb.
Speaking about Mark Webb, this director is a wanted man by every major and indie. He changed the platform for MTV. He is responsible for the best directed videos including My Chemical Romance “Ghost of You“, All American Rejects “Move Along” etc.
ThreeÂ alternative acts have been creating an industry buzz within the last several weeks. If you have been reading KOAR daily youÂ know exactly who they are; Liam and Me, My Favorite Highway, and Ludo. Ludo, as well as Liam And Me have several offers on the table and are currently entertaining more. My Favorite Highway continues to garner attention with sold out hometown shows and a sold out pre-release.
Nathan Asher and The Infantry are making their impact at radio, picking up spins on Alternative and Triple A stations across the country with their album Sex Without Love. The band is conversing with multiple booking agencies while on their way to the NXNE festival in Toronto, kicking off their northeast tour of the US, with a couple dates in NYC. Keep checking KOAR for more information. Check out the tracks Sex Without Love and Storms.
Australian-born female singer songwriter Vassy who just signed with CAA booking is in Los Angeles this week meeting with major labels and publishers. Vassy is signed to Fly/ABC in Australia which is owned by the Australia Broadcasting Corporation. Vassyâ€™s track â€œWanna Flyâ€? is a licensing magnet which was recently featured on a national Diet Sprite radio campaign, and appeared in the hit ABC television series â€œGrayâ€™s Anatomyâ€?, while being prominently featured in the year-long 2006 national TV campaign for Hilton Hotels. For more information get in contact with Alan WolmarkÂ or
Nick Ferrera. Â
Big news last week in the music industryÂ Chairman Donnie Ienner and President Michele Anthony exiting Sony Music Group. Its also heavily rumored that President Steve Greenberg has exitedÂ Columbia Records. Same news all over again, nothing changes with the constant executive shuffle; the old proverb says it best, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” According to sources the fact is “The Sony labels’ acts are not selling records at the moment. “The company is pretty cold, and the BMG side isn’t,”(HR 2/13). Don’t forget to mix some politics into the equation, and with that said…welcome to Disney World ladies!
The market is still talking about XM Satellite and its recent troubles. It appears that Sirius Satellite Radio is making some right decisions as XM is making all the wrong moves. During the month of May, Sirius’ stock price declined only 5 percent to $4.41 while XM’s dropped a more precipitous 21.5 percent to $14.69. Quoting from the NY Post “We think the market has lost faith, and unfortunately, what used to be XM’s premium over Sirius (confidence in its management) has been eroded,” adds Peck. If the divergent path of Sirius stock continues, XM’s share price premium may soon be eroded as well.
Believe it or not, there is a Russian web site that allows visitors download albums for less than $1 US. Supposedly it’s a smash with music buyers — but not with U.S. trade and music industry officials.
Viral video sharing is the new nemesis for the music biz. YouTube, MySpace, Google Video and iFilm have sparked a new revolution. The distribution taking place is happening without the approval of record companies. According to reports the Recording Industry Association of America has been stepping up its efforts to stop sharing of popular videos on such sites, particularly on the rapidly expanding YouTube, which now claims more than 6 million visitors and 40 million streams daily. “The RIAA recently issued cease-and-desist letters to YouTube users sharing videos from the likes of Nelly Furtado, Beyonce and Rihanna.” “The RIAA estimates that sales of music videos topped $3.7 million in three months, after being introduced in October. Meanwhile, the major labels also are sharing in the profits of ad-supported video-on-demand offerings from AOL, Yahoo, Music Choice and others”
Unsigned 80’s influenced Los Angeles based A Kiss Could Be Deadly that consist of 4 bored punk kids recently completed a 5 song EP titled the Point Noise Sessions. Think Berlin meets early No Doubt. This 4 piece is fronted by young new comer Lauren Baird that had only sung karaoke in front of a few people and supposedly completed all of her vocal parts in only a few takes. Recently picked up my All American Rejects Management. For more information email
Ryan Kuper. Check out the tracks Only in Darkness, The Exit, and
And So it Ends.
June 2nd Huntington Beach, CA – The Marlin
June 9th Riverside, CA – Babylon
June 10th Riverside, CA – Under The Grind
June 14th Long Beach, CA – Que Sera
June 18th Los Angeles, CA – the Knitting Factory