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Jay Z To Partner With Apple? Rumors are spreading across the net that Jay-Z may launch a new record label with Apple where music releases would take place on iTunes.

Ten Likely Scenarios: Business Week discusses Ten Likely Events in 2008. Among those include CD’s, Social Networking Sites and Web 2.0. – we couldn’t agree more with the prediction.

Facebook Fatigue
Social network fatigue will set in as people tire of getting yet another invitation from so-called friends to join yet another social network. And, in the wake of Facebook’s fumbled social ads initiative, it will become even more apparent there’s no obvious way to pitch products on these sites without turning off members. Social features will wend their way into all kinds of Web services, from search to news, but the gold rush in social networks themselves will begin to wane.

Web Crash 2.0
If a recession finally hits, Web 2.0 companies will find there are neither enough ad dollars out there for all of them to survive on, nor enough big corporate buyers such as Google, Microsoft, and traditional media companies to buy them all out. What’s more, venture capitalists may decide that momentum looks better for clean-tech investments than for Web startups that depend on a cyclical business like advertising. So more will join the “DeadPool,” as the Web startup blog TechCrunch calls its list of failed companies.

Fox News columnnist Roger Friedman brutally ripped into Warner Brothers: “Warner M. Group (the M used to stand for Music, now it’s Millstone) finished Wednesday at a new stock low: $5.81. A year ago, before it was totally pillaged and raped by its owners, WMG was at $23.92. If it were a weight loss program, WMG would be a hot deal. (Suggested name: Weight Management Group.)”

“Recently, one Wall Street analyst downgraded WMG based on declining CD sales and lack of interest in the medium. The analysts don’t seem to get it, so I will spell it out again: WMG’s lack of CD sales is not because of downloading or sudden public apathy about pop music. It’s because in order to gut out remaining revenue, WMG ceased being a music company and simply committed suicide. It’s that simple.” (Full read here)

Lastly..

KOAR will be UNLEASING new artists in the upcoming month. It will be worth the wait…

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Today many consumers still purchase CDs rather than digital music files and digital albums. Hundreds of millions of CDs are still bought every year. Unlike digital albums CDs offer content including liner notes, photos, extended album art and lyrics.

As music formats have changed, album artwork has suffered, lyric pages once found in a CD booklet are now nonexistent and liner notes are a thing of the past.

People want the music along with the artwork and the extras and they are not getting it.

‘Fans downloading full albums from BitTorrent sites almost universally choose files that include scans of the CD booklet over those that don’t. ‘

eWeek says it best – buy a digital album today and all you get are a list of tracks and (maybe) a thumbnail image of the album cover that you can’t even read.

According to Eweek, Apple plans to make nice with its label partners by offering a bit more with each download, such as lyrics and more interactive album art.

The truth is major music companies need to offer their own iPod plug-in that will import better album art, liner notes and lyrics directly from the label or artist and ported into iTunes and the iPod.

This is the year that companies need to bridge the gap between old-school CDs and the digital future.

Read ‘Apple, Microsoft to Tangle over Music Extras‘ ..

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In 2008, major music companies will continue issuing contracts to artists that involves all types of revenue stream including tickets and t-shirts known as 360 deals. I can’t think of another deal that is going through as much scrutiny as the 360 deal.

Billboard asked some music lawyers how they will respond to 360 deals in the upcoming year.

GARY GILBERT: Labels having a piece of things like touring, where bands can make money without having a hit record, makes no sense if they don’t sell (enough) records.

ANDY TAVEL: Labels need a different mind-set to pull it off. I want them maximizing income and focusing on the artist’s career as a whole, not only on marketing and selling records. Read more here…

More articles on 360 deals.

Sean Diddy Combs On 360 Deals

The New Deal: Band as Brand

If The Old Music Business Is Dead, What’s Next?

Legal – The 360 Deal Records Revisited

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Label reps said the split between Radiohead and old label EMI was a result of them asking for deal valued at 10 million dollars.

Radiohead responds with…

we did not ask for a load of cash from our old record label EMI to re- sign.
that is a L I E.
The Times in the UK should check its facts before it prints such dirt.

whAT we WANTED WAS some control over OUR WOrK and how it was used in the future by them-
that seemed REASONAblE to us,
as we cared about it a great deal.

Mr Hands was not interested.
So neither were we.

To bedigging up such bullshit, or more politely airing yer dirty laundry in public,
seems a very strange way for the head of an international record label to be proceeding. (full response here)

Lastly, the band defends high ticket prices.

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The Future of Hip Hip: A recent column ‘The Shrinking Market Is Changing the Face of Hip-Hop‘ that appeared in The New York Times discusses the future of Hip Hop.

“Because hip-hop is so intensely self-aware, and self-reflexive, it came to be known as big-money music, a genre obsessed with its own success. Newcomers arrived with big singles and bigger hopes, only to fall off the charts after selling a few hundred thousand copies, if that.

The 1990’s brought a series of breakout stars including Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Tupac Shakur, the Notorious B.I.G but rappers today seem like underground figures, for the first time in nearly two decades. For instance the genres biggest star 50 Cent recent album “Curtis” (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope), has only sold 1.2 million copies while his 2005 album, “The Massacre,” sold more than five million. If we are now entering an age of diminished commercial expectations, that will inevitably change how hip-hop sounds too.”

EMI Culture Changes: A person close to Terra Firma said it had made three significant culture changes at EMI. EMI is now demanding that employees submit business plans and secure senior executives’ approval before signing new artists, asking for detailed marketing plans before any promotional activity and changing bonus plans to encourage executives to focus on EMI artists’ global potential rather than local markets alone. Also, Terra Firma has instructed executives to shift their focus from television advertising to promotions that emphasise digital music. (EMI Faces Tigher Budgets)

Why Did Radiohead Really Leave EMI? Radiohead left label EMI because they refused to agree to a deal worth 10 Million dollars. According to The Times, Radiohead was offered £3m to resign with the label which they found unacceptable. A spokesperson for the label said “Radiohead were demanding an extraordinary amount of money and we did not believe that our other artists should have to subsidise their gains.”

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