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Coolfer: Billboard (the print version only) offered details of Korn’s two-album, revenue-sharing deal with EMI (the article is republished at Korn Underground, via from Blabbermouth). EMI purchased a 30% stake in Korn’s revenues (touring, merch, recorded music, etc) for $25 million. The deal goes through 2010.

“To date, Billboard projects it has generated around $15 million on the sales of ‘See You on the Other Side’ (based on worldwide sales of about 2 million units and estimating a net of about $7.75 per album after manufacturing and distribution costs, based on an $11.45 wholesale price).The band has also pulled an estimated $4 million after fees from additional sales of digital downloads, ringtones and the ‘Unplugged’ album. On top of that it has netted a projected $7 million-plus after expenses in touring-related revenue from the 2006 Family Values Tour and a 20-date U.S. theatre tour and selected European dates that grossed more than $11 million in box-office receipts.

Tour sponsorships and merch pulled in another estimated $2.2 million. That leaves the band still needing to earn another $20 million-$30 million in profits by 2010.”

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Hannah Montana debuted with 323k units this week on Billboard

and

Kelly ClarksonMy December’ closely followed with 300k. Both artists had solid opening weeks. Good music and great entertainers can still captivate the public.

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After months of controversy Russian download store AllofMP3.com has been shut down. Since the closure of AllofMP3.com another identical site has already emerged. The Mp3Sparks.com site looks virtually identical and claims to offer thousands of albums by popular artists for around 15 US cents per song. (TimesOnline)

Which album will peak #1 on Billboard this week? Controversial Kelly Clarkson or Disney teen queen Hannah Montana. Its a close race.

The name Clive Davis is no where to be found in the liner notes on Kelly Clarkson’s My December. Regardless, play nice. Also, KOAR listened to My December. It’s ok. The first single Never Again is the strongest song on the CD, guaranteed.

Matchbox Twenty will be entering into the studio with producer Steve Lillywhite. Matchbox Twenty’s three albums to date have sold more than 28 million copies worldwide.

Warner CEO Edgar Bronfman is now the subject of an insider trading probe according to a French newspaper. Bronfman was allegedly grilled by Paris authorities for dumping significant shares of Vivendi stocks in 2002. (DMN)

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Fergie is set to make £2 million by promoting a US clothing firm in her songs. Fergie has become the first star to agree to product placement in her songs, will write and perform tracks endorsing fashion company Candie’s on her second solo album. (Coolfer, Post Chronicle)

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EMI is the first major label to strike an agreement with Snocap. EMI will now sell DRM free high quality MP3’s through the Snocap stores. (Snocap)

Kelly Clarkson who was formerly managed by the Firm has signed with Nashville based Starstruck Entertainment. Starstruck is the home to Reba Mcentire and Blake Shelton. CEO of Starstruck and McEntire’s husband will serve as Clarkson’s personal manager. (Billboard)

Los Angeles continues to lose indie record stores….
Clifford says that when he opened up shop in 2001 he used to love customers. “Now when customers come in, I’m like, ‘Just buy it and leave,’ ” he says. “This isn’t a job where I should wake up and say, ‘I don’t want to go to work. (CNN)

Lastly,

KOAR has picked up several new releases recently.  When you hear the first single on a new record, it can be rest assured that it doesn’t get better than that. Back in the good ol’ days the first, second, and third singles were all on even par. In some cases the third single could have been the strongest. We have not picked up a decent record in months. So sad, a creative drought.

Also, many of the new releases are just simply tame and lame, no passion and intensity. The iPhone has recieved way more attention than any records has gotten. So why are indie retailers burning out? see above.

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Universal Music Group notified Apple that it will not renew its annual contract to sell music through iTunes, according to executives briefed on the issue who asked for anonymity because negotiations between the companies are confidential.

Instead, Universal said that it would market music to Apple at will, a move that could allow Universal to remove its songs from the iTunes service on short notice if the two sides do not agree on pricing or other terms in the future, these executives said.

It appears Universal is aiming to regain some leverage.  Sources claim that major record labels are discouraged and feel that Steve Jobs CEO of Apple has created a monopoly in the digital sector.

If Universal were to pull its catalog from iTunes, Mr. Jobs would lose access to record labels that collectively account for one out of every three new releases sold in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan data.

If Apple were to decide not to carry Universal’s recordings, the music company would likely sustain a serious blow: sales of digital music through iTunes and other sources accounted for more than 15 percent of Universal’s worldwide revenue in the first quarter, or more than $200 million.

Some industry observers have cautioned against taking on Mr. Jobs directly. “When your customers are iPod addicts, who are you striking back against?,” said Ken Hertz, an entertainment lawyer who represents artists like Beyoncé and the Black Eyed Peas. “The record companies now have to figure out how to stimulate competition without alienating Steve Jobs, and they need to do that while Steve Jobs still has an incentive to keep them at the table.”

Other music industry executives say the major labels must take a harder line with Apple at some point if they are to recalibrate the relationship. In particular, they say, it is unfair for Mr. Jobs to exert tight control over prices and other terms while profiting from the iPod. Mr. Jobs, in February, noted that less than 3 percent of the music on the average iPod was bought from iTunes, leading music executives to speculate that the devices in many instances are used to store pirated songs. (Of course, users can also fill their players with songs copied from their own CD collections.)

The final results will be interesting. This is a struggle for power and pricing. 

(NYT)

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