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Music sales during the Christmas shopping season were down an astounding 21% from last year.

From the week of Thanksgiving up through the day before Christmas Eve, 83.9 million albums were sold, a decrease of 21.38 million from 2006’s 105.28 million.

Still, plenty of people love celebrating Christmas and Josh Groban was immune from the slump. Groban’s “Noel” has crossed 3.5 million in sales to become the top-selling disc of the year and claimed its fifth straight week at No. 1. (Variety)

Warner Ends Struggle and Partners With Amazon: Warner Music who held out on selling music online without copy protection, caved in and began selling music on Amazon in the MP3 format without the digital rights management. (Wired)

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empty.jpg2007 was a troubling year for the US concert industry. According to Pollstar The top 20 tours generated $996 million, down 15.6 percent from the year before. The previous low was $951.1 million in 2004.

The concert industry is beginning to feel the shockwaves of the record industry. Its hard to sell tickets with the lack of NEW acts. How many times can promoters re-package high priced reunion tours with the same ol’ bands that haven’t delivered new music in years? It may work for today, but it won’t work for tomorrow.

Even high-priced reunion tours by the Police, Van Halen and Genesis didn’t fill seats. Consumers eventually want something new and exciting. These are the future problems what will plaque the music biz and the concert business. Its back to ground zero which is a good thing.

Apple Trades for $200: The Apple stores continue to be jammed pack while the shares of Apple hit the $200 mark for the first time on Wednesday. Apple released new lines of iPods that can play videos and the iPod Touch which has the touch screen like the iPhone. The iPod along with Guitar Hero was the top seller during the Christmas season. The iPod occupied 5 of the top 10 spots on Amazons best selling electronic list.

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Times are changing and the chairs are rotating. Jay-Z said Monday that he will leave his post as president of Universal Music Group’s Def Jam Records label after his contract expires this year.

The rapper, who was named Def Jam president three years ago, said in a statement that it is “time for me to take on new challenges.

He will continue to release his own music through his record label, Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam after his contract expires Dec. 31.

Jay Z took over Def Jam in December 2004 in an incentive deal that was reportedly valued at up to $10 million. (AP)

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Apple to launch iPod with automatic volume control: Critics of the iPods have claimed the device can cause serious hearing loss. Apple is developing an automatic volume control and the next iPods and iPhones will most likely calculate how long a person has been listening and at what volume, before gradually reducing the sound level.

Trent Interview: Once Again, Wired Magazine interviews Trent Reznor and the discussion centers around the state of the music biz. Uh! Our new years wish is more music less bull.

Signings: Pop Rock band After Eight who hails from Oklahoma has signed to Tooth and Nail Records. The will be recording their debut album with producer Aaron Sprinkle (Anberlin, The Almost, Kutless) in Seattle.

Anti-Piracy: The RIAA is launching a “holiday anti-piracy campaign” that “offers shoppers innovative gift ideas and tips or avoiding pirate product.” The campaign is set to focus on 15 cities with “exceptionally high piracy rates”. This anti campaign video is floating around the net and may be used by the RIAA to educate and warn consumers.

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KOAR would like wish our readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah!
Peace Be With You….

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Virgin Megastore: The Virgin Megastore’s space in Manhattan’s Union Square is being offered by a real estate broker for 2009 availability. As of now its unclear if the company plans to move its downtown location to another space, or if it will shutter the store altogether. Oh no!, not another one.

Fearless Records have signed indie pop band The Morning Light.

Soundscan – week ending 12/16

Josh Groban 669,161k
Alicia Keys 292,273k
Eagles 241, 104k
Taylor Swift 139k
Daughtry 59k
Nickelback 53k
One Republic 37k
Foo Fighters 30k
Finger Eleven 20k
Seether 19k
Flyleaf 12k

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