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The Top of the Heap: The music biz is treating Leona Lewis very nicely. She has debuted at No. 1 on this week’s U.S. pop chart, selling 205,000 copies of her Syco/J Records debut, “Spirit” and has become the first British solo artist to ever debut atop the Billboard charts.

New Music: The Austin alternative band, Dawn Over Zero has posted a new track titled Circulation which was produced by Matt Novesky of Blue October. Listen to Circulation as well.

Musical Chairs: Nick Gatfield who has just stepped down as president of Island Records UK, will take the position as head of A&R at EMI for North America and the UK.

War on Piracy: The Pirate Bay, the illegal file sharing site is threatening to seek damages from music industry lobby group The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) for blocking access to its website.

A Mega-Star in the Making: Miley Cyrus who is only 15 years old earned herself $18.2 million last year. Plus, we like her sense of humor because she found Madonna’s 4 minutes song silly which shows in this youtube video that can be viewed here.

Fake It Till You Make It: Myspace just makes things to easy for the average joe band. Labels, promoters and music critics use to check a band’s MySpace page to see how many plays they have but they have come to realize (or at least we did) it’s generally a poor indicator in evaluating the overall success of a band.

According to Wired, a company called TuneBoom Pro claims it can artificially inflate MySpace play counts over a thirty day period for any artist, charging on a sliding scale:

$147 for 1K plays
$417 for 5K plays
$747 for 300K plays

A TuneBoom Pro representative said they even have worked exclusively for the majors up until about a year ago when we offered our services to the independent artist and labels. This isn’t suprising because everybody at one point thought the number of Myspace plays held some type of value but everybody came to the realization that it doesn’t contribute to the overall bottom line. If a relatively unknown artist is getting over 10k plays a day on a consistent basis, then its worth checking into for sure. At the end of the day, it all comes down to GREAT songs….

PluggedIn: Will Smith and his entertainment company called Overbrook Entertainment has unveiled a music video site called PluggedIn featuring thousands of videos from EMI, Sony BMG, Universal and indies. Users can create their own personal profile pages on PluggedIn, but these videos cannot be embedded on outside sites.

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The 2008 Lineup: Austin City Limits Music Festival, scheduled for Sept. 26-28 has announced its lineup and can be viewed here.

New Music: I’m not a particular fan of metal, especially the passionless digitized-sounding metal that came in the year 2000 that left Metallica sounding like the Beatles. I do like the track Isabella’s from the metal band
Destroy The Runner, it has a solid melody.

Motley Crue and Live Nation? Motley Crue is expected to make an announcement in Los Angeles tomorrow, and sources have told what that big announcement is. Motley Crue is expected to be the next 360-deal signing to Live Nation Artists, adding to the pool that includes Madonna and Jay Z.

Ticketmaster Boasts Virtual Friends: Ticketmaster has created fake Facebook profiles to boost fake popularity and somehow has garnered nearly 157,000 fans on Facebook and created thousands upon thousands of fake accounts according to Valley Mag. How funny!

TuneCore Payout: Brooklyn-based TuneCore paid participating artists more then $1 million in January, according to Digital Music News. According to the company, the bulk of revenues are coming from smaller, unsigned acts, and the most successful is Josh Kelly, who earned $135,000 though TuneCore.

Hip-hop ‘wrong’ for Glastonbury: The Oasis guitarist said having rapper Jay-Z at the festival was the reason ticket sales have been sluggish and had not sold out this year. He said it was “wrong” to have a hip-hop headliner and added that organisers had changed things too much.

Chrysalis Ends Talks With EMI: Chrysalis rejected a £104 million takeover offer from EMI and said that it was no longer talking with potential buyers.

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Still Working: The 2,000 employees who were suppose to be let go at EMI months ago still have a job. Why? Because sources say EMI needs more money to cover the restructuring costs, which are running higher than anticipated. ‘Once source said Terra Firma is looking to possibly raise another $60 million for EMI to help pay for the cuts’.

Beating The Odds: Buckcherry who released their record “15” through Eleven Seven Music has been certified platinum and will likely double all previous sales – during the worst decline the music business has ever seen. The record was released in April of 2006, it was eventually upstreamed to Atlantic Records and so far has spent 91 weeks on the Billboard top 200 thanks to multi-format hit singles including ‘Crazy Bitch’,’Next 2 You’ and ‘Everything’.

Despite the continued decline of record sales nationally, Buckcherry have succeeded in increasing their own sales on “15”. Their 1999 debut, which spawned the #1 hit “Lit Up,” has sold 775,000 units – most of which when the music industry was at its peak.

“Few bands are savvy enough to write hit songs that aren’t just the flavor of the week says fellow Eleven Seven Music label mate, Sixx: A.M. and Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx.

AC/DC in the Studio: AC/DC is currently recording with Brendon O’Brien and will release the new studio album via Columbia Records. Brendon O’Brien has worked with some of the biggest artists including Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, and Rage Against The Machine.

New Music: Have you heard of Elisa Jordana? We believe she was the former member of Cobra Starship. Her myspace profile tags her as pop/hip hop/ and club. These types of tracks lose their luster quickly because it’s programs and samples, but we recommend listening to Dark Side of The City and Hangman.

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Major music labels are cutting their staff, yet publishers are doubling the size of their film/TV licensing departments. In fact, total revenues earned by sync income is increasing at a rapid rate as publishing companies are pushing their copyrights through new media.

Television programs including The Hills, Weeds, and Grey’s Anatomy are music driven and of course a publishers dream. Also, the increase of reality TV shows are a benefit to newer acts while shows like American Idol and Dancing With the Stars benefit older artists and create enormous exposure for their catalogs.

‘In addition to the sync fee, publishers can see a boost in sales for the original title after the usage. After David Archuleta performed “Imagine” on “American Idol” earlier this season, downloads on the John Lennon classic increased more than 600% the next week. Similarly, after since-deposed “Idol” finalist Amanda Overmyer sang “Carry On My Wayward Son,” iTunes sales for the Kansas song increased 60%, according to Tami Lester, EMI Music Publishing’s director of film and TV music’.

Television licensing fees for copyrights range from as little as $150 for a basic cable usage to as much as $25,000 for a network or premium cable usage. Of course a well-known song that a show desperately wants, the fee can soar into the six figures.

Of course, many shows have a limited budget and it’s always the job of the publisher to get the highest price. In this respect, there is a growing a divide between publishers and labels – labels want the fee to be lower since they are counting on the TV usage to boost CD sales.

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