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When the New Pornographers’ fourth album goes on sale in August, fans will have already streamed the songs on their computers and received bonus tracks that won’t be on the album, and will own a live recording from the band’s coming tour in the fall.

Matador Records, hopes that an extra dose of songs — some available now and some later, will help stem the flow of illegal copies of the new album and drum up a bit of extra revenue.

Record labels have stepped up already aggressive campaigns to lure consumers with unique downloads, bonus videos, special vinyl versions and music that hasn’t been recorded yet.

The people who go out to the record stores on the first day of a release deserve something extra,” said Paul Cardillo, who handles sales for North Carolina-based Merge Records, whose top-selling artists include Arcade Fire and Spoon. “And for those people who may be interested in a record, you want to give them a reason not to download it illegally.”

“We are being very aggressive,” said Patrick Amory, Matador’s general manager. “It seems we have to reinvent our business plan every six months, maybe even with every new release.”

In addition to trying to halt piracy, the label is doing the promotion in an effort to take advantage of the publicity a band gets before an album is released.

“At the time we are promoting the record, when the biggest buzz is going on about the record, people can’t buy it,” Amory said. “But they can often download it for free” from an illegal file-sharing site.

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Matchbox Twenty Rob Thomas and EMI Evan Lamberg start a label with no Economic Pressure…..

Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty and EMI publishing Exec Evan Lamberg will be starting a label called R Tel Records that will develop, and make long-term commitments to, new songwriter/artists.
Under a deal with Sony BMG’s Epic Records, Thomas and Lamberg will consult with Epic president Charlie Walk and others at the major label. If R Tel and Epic agree they love an act, then the major will fund the project, releasing the record through RED or Epic. The first act funded under this deal is British songwriter/artist Garfield Mayor, whose release is expected this fall.
While Thomas says he hopes to have two to three releases each year, R Tel isn’t under any delivery or time constraints to keep that benchmark.

“If you sell 30,000 records, we don’t blink,” Lamberg says. “We’re making a second record. That’s where patience factors in. We’re not under the rule that we’ve got to ship a bunch of records in the next 90 days or our cash flow won’t be right –there’s no economic pressure.”(Billboard)

Very smart, working out the financials when the artist and the bank can be successful moving 30,000 units instead of 3 million units.

EMI paid ousted Music Chief Alain Levy 4.6 Million who was forced to leave….

Levy was given “compensation” or loss of office of £2.5m and a £1.1m “incentive remuneration” alongside his basic salary of £912,100, nd his benefits have continued beyond him leaving the embattled company on January 11. (Guardian)

UK Buys More CD’s than US……

Music fans in the U.K. are top of the world CD buying charts for the fourth year in a row, despite the nroads being made by downloading songs from the Internet.
Figures produced by the IFPI for international CD sales point to the U.K. population buying an average of 2.7 discs per head, beating the United States and Norway who were joint second with recorded sales of 2.1 discs per head.

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The Crue Sues. Motley Crue claims Carl Stubner mismanaged Tommy Lee’s Career, damaged the Motley Crue brand, and diverted revenue…….

Motley Crue filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court charging that one of its managers, Carl Stubner, who also represents the band’s drummer Tommy Lee, orchestrated a campaign of “self dealing” to “divert revenue” from the Band; the suit states that the Defendants “promoted Lee’s solo activities to the detriment of the Band, and at the same time, mismanaged Lee’s career so as to harm the Motley Crue brand
and Lee’s reputation as a musician and Band member.”

Named as defendants in addition to Stubner are three companies he’s associated with: Carl Stubner Productions, Inc., Sanctuary Group, Inc. and Sanctuary Artist Management, Inc. Neither Tommy Lee nor the Band’s other managers, Allen Kovac/Tenth Street Entertainment and Bert Stein, are defendants.

The lawsuit states: “Stubner’s motivation was greed. He has brazenly said as much. Stubner stated that he received significantly higher commissions on Lee’s solo projects because he did not have to share his take with the other managers. He claimed that it was a ‘no brainer’ to promote Lee’s projects over those of Motley Crue. Because favoring Lee’s personal interests to the Band’s was such a ‘no brainer,’ Stubner stated that he would only make Lee available for tour dates if the Band and the other two managers agreed to increase his commission quotient. Stubner also demanded 100 tickets per show for free which he then resold at ‘scalper’ prices.”

The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages of more than $20 million for lost earnings, lost profits and diminished brand and goodwill value resulting from the Defendants’ actions. The lawsuit also requests punitive damages because, as claimed in the lawsuit, the defendants’ “despicable” actions were undertaken “fraudulently, maliciously and oppressively.” (Business Wire)

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Traditional Media USA Today is now picking up on Rap’s Demise. Although CD sales are obviously down this year, rap sales are down 33% from 2006, twice the decline for the industry overall, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Established rap stars no longer are sure things in sales. During the past nine months, Jay-Z, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, Diddy and Nas released albums, but only those by Jay-Z and Ludacris have sold at least 1 million copies in the USA, and only Diddy is still on the charts.

There are signs that many music-buying Americans — particularly the young, largely white audience that can make a difference between modest and blockbuster sales — are tiring of rappers’ emphasis on “gangsta” attitudes, explicit lyrics and tales of street life and conspicuous consumption.

Rap pioneer KRS-One, who just released Hip Hop Lives with fellow legend Marley Marl, offers a blunt explanation: “The music is garbage,” he says. “What has happened over the past few years is that we have traded art for money, simple and plain, and the public is not stupid.”

In 2006, rap sold 59.1 million albums, down 21% from 2005 and 27% from 2004. Sales are trailing those for country albums (75 million) and heavy metal (61.6 million) — genres that rap formerly overshadowed.

Rap is no longer a dominant player in the industry. This year’s top-selling albums thus far are by American Idol rocker Chris Daughtry’s band and jazz chanteuse Norah Jones

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Universal has agreed to buy Sanctuary Group for ($88 million). “The Sanctuary business will be a good strategic fit for us,” UMG CEO Doug Morris said in a statement.

Several people in the radio department and promotion have been let go from the Warner Music Group in a restructuring move.

More than 428,000 tickets for the 24 Ozzfest dates have been given away through LiveNation.com—the largest number of free tickets ever given out in the domestic concert business.

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Coolfer makes a good obversation. Everybody is moving to Nashville these days. Jon Bon Jovi has crossed over to country. Darius Rucker (Hootie and the Blowfish) signed to Capital Nashville and Jewel is shopping record produced by Big & Rich’s John Rich

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