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I think we all know that “exposing” new music is getting harder and harder. Everybody is getting sucked into the sea of the long tail. How do you expose “great” artists in the sea of mediocre artists? This reminds me of communist Russia, nobody wins, both artists and labels. In fact, labels should be extremely concerned with the current state of radio. Overly tight playlists does not give labels motivation to sign new artists, it’s demotivating.

Radio consolidation is shrinking playlists and creating a homogenized musical landscape, several singers and songwriters told the Federal Communication Commission on Monday.

“Big radio is bad radio,” Rick Carnes, president of the Songwriters Guild of America, told FCC commissioners in the second of six public meetings nationwide. “You can drive I-40 from Knoxville to Barstow, California, and hear the same 20 songs on every country radio station.”

Grand Ole Opry star Porter Wagoner said “clear channel” used to mean a powerful coast-to-coast radio signal like the one that used to broadcast the Opry.

But he said when you say it now, people think about Clear Channel Communications, the media conglomerate that owns hundreds of radio stations and other media outlets.

Wagoner also said radio consolidation restricts the ability of both veteran and new artists to be heard.

“The days of an artist receiving airplay as a new act are gone,” Wagoner said.

He recalled how his former duet partner, Dolly Parton, scored a huge country and pop hit with the song, “Jolene,” and he said, “The chance of that happening today is almost slim to none.”

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  • R&B virtuoso, J. Valentine signs with Clive Davis’s J Records
  • No Women in Rock
    Only two women with VP stripes currently sign acts at major labels: Wendy Goldstein, senior vice president of A&R/urban for Capitol Records, and Jolene Cherry, senior vice president of A&R for Universal.
  • A New YouTube.
    News Corp.’s Fox, Viacom, CBS, and NBC Universal are in talks about creating a video Web site to compete with Google’s YouTube. The companies aim to cash in on the market of Web video advertising
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Executives of Sirius Satellite Radio are again hinting at a potential merger with XM Satellite Radio that they say would bring strong gains for investors.

Sirius executives mentioned “significant benefits” and “value creation” from a combination of the two radio companies.

“Consolidation creates value . . . particularly when you are in the same industry as anothercompany to be able to combine,” Sirius chief executive Mel Karmazin said

XM and Sirius are both facing slowing subscription growth and huge debt. Neither company has yet earned a profit.

“Both Sirius and XM could prosper much more easily if they took up the fight against terrestrial radio operators, rather than against each other,” Moran said.

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Google has completed the development of radio advertising system and begun a limited test allowing customers to buy ads via its online ad-buying system.

Google Audio Ads is working with more than 700 radio stations covering more than 200 metropolitan U.S. markets. Analysts expect Google Audio Ads to shake up the $20 billion annual U.S. radio advertising industry by offering a simplified Web-based purchasing process for radio ads to its existing base of hundreds of thousands of text advertisers

One executive at a big radio company said last month the industry was moving cautiously in its dealings with Google. 

Bank concurred, saying: “There’s a real mixed emotion among radio operators.” On the one hand, Google’s entry may turn radio advertising into more of a commodity. “A disaster could occur if people who were buying spots offline started buying online at a lower pricing level,” Bank said.

Google is seeking to expand beyond the pay-per-click Web search advertising market it dominates to offer advertising across a range of traditional and new media formats ranging from newspapers to online video.

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  • Sevendust and their record label, 7Bros. Records, have partnered with Asylum Records, which is part of Warner Music Group’s Independent Label Group.
  • Imogen Heap has been nominated for Best New Artist (even though she’s been around for ten years)…good for her.

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