Breaking Bendeth: Q Prime who represents some of the biggest acts including Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Shania Twain has added producer
David Bendeth to their roster. Bendeth has produced platinum selling artists including Paramore, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and Breaking Benjamin.
Radio Remains Relevant: 72% of adults are listening to the radio about the same amount or more than they did five years ago, according to American Media Services‘ latest “Radio Index” survey. 73% still usually turn on the radio when they get in the car. “The findings are interesting from many standpoints,” said AMD Chairman Edward Seeger. “They show that ‘regular’ radio remains a strong industry even while other audio devices are available.
Also, radio offers an experience unlike playlists on the iPod. I personally like to be suprised and I don’t mind sitting through a bad song.
Imeem Acquires Snocap: Snocap which has been struggling over the past year has been bought by Imeem. The Snocap/ Myspace widget stores never caught fire with the MySpace artist community. Many artists complained Snocap charged excessive per-track fees, which led to high-priced downloads to fans and leaving little left for the artist.
A Good Year: Virgin Megastores had one of the most successful years the U.S. chain of stores have ever had. Sales for DVD’s, Fashion, Video Game and Books were up. “Virgin Megastores are being recognized as a lifestyle entertainment shopping destination, rather than solely a music retailer,” says CEO Simon Wright.
A Victory for Victory Records: Hawthorne Heights who has been in a long cold war between labels and managers have finally come to a peace agreement.The label and the band have settled its differences and Victory Records will release Hawthorne Heights new studio album in late summer according to Hits.
Home copying – burnt into teenage psyche: A new study says 95% of youngsters are illegally copying music. Many record label executives see the piracy problem getting worse before it gets better. Some say new business models that adapt to consumers taste will put an end to the rapid growth of illegal downloading.
Ultimately it has to get better … At some point musicians and songwriters have to make enough money out of it otherwise they stop doing it,” he said.
New Music Streams: Alternative rock band 10 Years will be releasing their new record ‘Division’ through Universal Republic in May. Their new single Beautiful is climbing up the alternative and active rock charts and they just completed a video shoot with director Paul Boyd who has worked with Sting, Lenny Kravitz and Shania Twain. A couple of new tracks can be streamed here.
Recommended Listening: Room on Fire By Say it Twice
The Kings of A&R: SLASH of Guns N’Roses said there are no more identifiable guitar players and that emo sucks. We have an answer to that. It’s called the lack of musicianship. Being influenced by Fall Out Boy won’t lead you to the pearly gates. Those who listen and are influenced by artists pre-dating 2000 will generally have a better idea of musicianship and songwriting. If you want a career or at least a HIT, begin writing songs with dynamics. We want to hear a real vocalist this week. A vocalist that has a wider range than almost any other rock vocalist. Email Tips@kingsofar.com with a link to your myspace.
Both Harp magazine and indie rock mag Resonance which catered to the indie demographic have gone belly up. Those two outlets really spoke to our consumer,” says John Biondolillo, general manager at Dave Matthews’ ATO Records. This could have long term consequences for or indie labels promoting triple A and alt-country acts.
Many labels are taking their ad dollars to the web rather than magazines, mainly because the net is cheaper. ‘Indie sites charge between $1,200 and $3,300, while print publications like Harp and No Depression charged between $1,825 and $2,295 for a full-page color ad’.
Advertising only on the net isn’t the answer either and has its limitations. “It’s hard to see publications for the non-teen and twentysomething demographic go because they are the group that still buys physical CDs and keeps the record stores open,” Wittman says. “They are not the people that are reading (music Web site) Stereogum all the time.”
Allocating advertising dollars is not an easy decision, more so now, in the fact that distribution and media channels have become fragmented. There’s like fifty bazillion places to advertise on the internet while radio advertising is expensive for only a second clip . Some labels like ATO are focusing on old school advertising like Cable TV.
“All of this is really a symptom of a larger problem,” Hoess says. “It’s a lean time for everyone. Labels’ revenues are drying up, and record sales are down, which leads to smaller ad budgets. For us, losing Harp and No Depression is the print equivalent of Tower Records closing — we are an eclectic label, and we are losing coverage outlets.”
Internet Changing: Can you imagine the internet becoming obsolete? Well, it may not be far off. The scientists who pioneered the net have built a lightning-fast replacement capable of downloading entire feature films within seconds. At speeds about 10,000 times faster than a typical broadband connection, â€œthe gridâ€ will be able to send the entire Rolling Stones back catalogue from Britain to Japan in less than two seconds.
Blog Till You Drop: The around-the-clock Internet economy that demands a constant stream of news and comment are causing bloggers to go insane. Bloggers complain of weight loss or gain, sleep disorders,Â and exhaustion which are caused from nonstop strain of producing for a news and information cycle that is as always-on as the Internet.
â€œThereâ€™s no time ever â€” including when youâ€™re sleeping â€” when youâ€™re not worried about missing a story,â€ said Mr. Arrington the co-editor of TechCrunch. The â€œpay-per-clickâ€ economy has put the emphasis on reader traffic and financial return, not journalism.
This Week Sales: R.E.M.â€™s Acclerate first week sales are expected to top 100k according to Hits. They need it as the band’s relevancy was in jeopardy by having a long period of weak album sales. I’m rooting for R.E.M, I believe the new single Supernatural Superserious is the perfect comeback song to put them back in the public eye.
New Music: South Florida’s hard rock band Stonehigh has posted a brand new track from their upcoming album “This Calling” at this Clear Channel Radio Site. This is quite good actually and a bit refreshing which modern rock desperately needs. The album is due out May 20th, 2008.
Music services pay high price to labels: SpiralFrog, an advertisement supported service, paid more than $3 million in advances to Universal Music Group (UMG) before it went live. Ever since, it has paid even millions more in licensing fees. Imeem is rumored to have paid $20 million in advances and also gave labels equity in the company. “What was once considered a major advance — $500,000 or $1 million — is becoming a $2 million or $5 million advance and really over-the-top requests for equity,” EMI digital executive Ted Cohen said.
MTV Picks Up Puppet Series: MTV has picked up “Fur TV,” an adult comedy series about a group of foulmouthed, sex-mad puppets, made by Warp Films, the U.K. shingle behind BAFTA-winning feature “This Is England.” This is more or less a spin off of Beavis and Butthead, but this time involving puppets. How exciting! Watch the silly segment here.
Mariah Makes History: Mariah Carey scores her 18th No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 this week with “Touch My Body”. Download sales of 286,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan, top the previous record set by Rihanna’s “Umbrella,” which shifted 277,000 last June.
Myspace Finally Forms Music Venture with Major Music Labels: MySpace finally formed an online music venture with three major recording companies in a challenge to Apple. MySpace Music will offer free music and video streaming supported by advertising, paid-for MP3 downloads, ringtones for cell phones, concert ticket sales and merchandise. MySpace Music is seen as a potential rival to iTunes, which takes more than 70 percent of digital download sales.
New Music Streams: Chicago metal act Disturbed is streaming new songs on their myspace including Inside the Fire and Perfect Insanity. The new record will be titled Indestructible and will be released through Reprise Records.
Recommended Listening: Choices and Crowded Streets by Winter Ransom
Trends: Paramore has spawned a throng of female fronted bands. Take Florida band Blake for instance who will be performingÂ a series of Warped Tour dates. Is there room for two? Probably not!
Policing Internet ‘not ISP’s job’: The head of one of Britain’s biggest internet providers has criticised the music industry for demanding that he act against pirates. The BPI, asked internet service providers to disconnect people who ignore requests to stop sharing music. If the ISP’s do not help with the fight against music piracy, then the government will bring in legislation to make them cooperate.
Taylor Swift Leaves CAA for WMA: William Morris Agency has signed country singer-songwriter Taylor Swift for representation in all areas. “Her future is limitless. She is the kind of person that I think can clearly go for decades and decades,” Oswald said. “All of the God-given gifts and tools are there. She writes ’em, she sings ’em, and she backs it up from a very real place, which means what happens down the line is pretty much in her control.”
Signings: Fearless Records signs Eye Alaksa. Eye Alaska will be performing at Bamboozle on Saturday, April 5 at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, CA. Los Angeles based melodic pop-rock/new wave band War Tapes have signed to Sarathan Records which is distributed by Fontana/Universal. Vagrant Records has signed pop punk band School Boy Humor.
New Music: Streetside Symphony has posted some new tracks on their myspace. Our favorite track is Sundowner.
Popular celebrity blogger Perez Hilton is boycotting SonyBMG acts because the label is suing him over the use of song streams on his site. Sony BMG’s Zomba and Jive labels, are suing Hilton for streaming several songs that turned out to be by Britney Spears. Does Hilton really think that any of these acts are going to sell less music because he doesn’t write about them?Â And when Whitney Houston finally gives birth to Justin Timberlake’s love child; how long will his little SonyBMG news blackout last?
Yahoo Music exec leaves for start-up: Ian Rogers, vice president of video and media applications at Yahoo, is leaving the company to launch a start-up. His new company, Topspin Media, is a venture-funded start-up that aims to help independent artists make a living. The company will focus on web applications that enable distribution and marketing of digital content.