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Both Jamiroquai and Oasis are not contracted to record labels and are rumoured to be considering following Radiohead by offering music for free, according to industry sources.

Google say that searches for Radiohead have increased tenfold this week as fans log on to the band’s site, with the majority – according to the band’s spokesman – spurning the opportunity to download the album for as little as 45 pence and instead signing up for the £40 box set, which includes vinyl records, CD and artwork.

The Charlatans are also offering fans their next album completely for free if they visit the site of radio station XFM.

The performers that give away their music for free are expected to make their money from sales of concert tickets and merchandise.

The Bottom Line: KOAR was expecting this to happen. Older acts trying to capitalize off this press. Do you really think Oasis is going to WOW the press like Radiohead? Oasis is an older act that primarily generates revenue through touring not record sales. Also, the only decent Oasis records were ‘Definitely Maybe and (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?. I have a good feeling that Oasis knew that they will never deliver another sucker punch record like they did in 1995, therefore deem it as a “worthless” promotional piece. See you on the road Noel!

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Radiohead continues to make noise even a week later when they encouraged fans to “Pay What you Want”. Blogs, papers and Fox News are continuing to cover the story. Prince didn’t even receive this kind of press when he gave away his Planet Earth CD to a Sunday newspaper. Radiohead + Press = Mission Accomplished.

‘Radiohead generation believes music is free’: All my friends are web-literate and regularly download music. They are unwilling to fork out what is generally considered to be an unreasonably high price for albums. However, they will buy an album if the band means a lot to them. Radiohead, on the other hand, simply do not need the money so I only gave them 9p. I haven’t lost any sleep over it yet.” (Full article)

‘Embrace Digital Or Die, EMI Told’: In response to Radiohead – Guy Hands, the financier whose private equity group, Terra Firma, bought EMI emailed the staff that the industry had been too slow to embrace the digital revolution. “The recorded music industry… has for too long been dependent on how many CDs can be sold,” he wrote. “Rather than embracing digitalisation and the opportunities it brings for promotion of product and distribution through multiple channels, the industry has stuck its head in the sand.”

The Bottom Line: Both these headlines are silly and are very slanted, refusing to look at the broadscope of the musical landscape. They are simplistic views. Guy Hands is a little late to the party. He goes onto say that labels didn’t embrace the digital age. Well..no duh! The reason why labels didn’t embrace the digital age because they couldn’t control it. Major music labels knew music was going to be free.

The tough guy Tim Burgess, the Charlatans’ lead signer, told The Sunday Telegraph: “I want the people to own the music and the artists to own the copyright. Why let a record company get in the way of the music?”

Sorry Tim, owning the copyright means nothing when music is free. Where is the ownership when something is free ? Isn’t this basic business? The only way it could work is that if you are giving away something and promoting a product that one has to buy.

More News…

The Next Big Thing: The ringtone business has spilled billions in revenues, though it appears to be slowly dying down. Although Mobile music is still less than one percent of the industry, It’s been a great ride for everybody said Dave Ulmer, at Motorola Media Solutions. What’s Next?

Will the iPhone popularity attract viruses?: Some say the phenomenal visibility of Apple’s iPhone may spell the end of the cell-phone industry’s age of security innocence. Mobiles have been largely immune to the viruses and other “malware” now inflicted on PCs at the rate of 15,000 per day. Security experts worry that all the excitement surrounding Apple’s new device will work on hackers like a red cape to a bull.

Facebook to Launch platform for musicians: Facebook is said to be launching an artist platform to compete with MySpace’s profile pages. Paidcontent says that the platform includes iTunes integration for buying music through Apple’s store, special profiles for bands, and unique widgets for music promotion, tour dates, and more, all within the clean Facebook interface.

Kid Rock sits down with Larry King: Although KOAR called out Kid Rock’s ridiculous lyrics in his new song So Hot, he still provided an impressive interview with Larry King. Kid Rock who says he is a confused artist also claims that he comes up with the creative vision, album art, lyrics, etc. We like his honesty and his ‘pull no punches approach’. He is more of a ‘rock star’ than todays up and coming acts. Check out the clip from the interview.

New Music coming soon….

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Guilty verdict in music file-sharing case: Minnesota woman Jammie Thomas, accused of illegally sharing music files on Kazaa, has been found guilty of willful copyright infringement. The jury ordered single mother Jennie Thomas to pay $9,250 for each of the 24 songs she was found to have shared, though they could have awarded as much as $3.6 million or as little as $18,000. Is justice served?

Microsoft visionary Bill Gates offers his opinion on the
future of the music biz:
He suggested that music labels should push harder to sell all-you-can-eat subscriptions that let users download much more music that they keep as long as they continue paying. Microsoft is one of a handful of companies that have been negotiating with the music industry over a subscription-based program known as Total Music. “Subscriptions have absolutely been a mixed story and are not the mainstream thing today,”Mr. Gates said.

People are going to listen to a lot more music because it’s going to be easy to find neat new exciting music, its going to be easy to have your music with you, in the car, when you’re running,” he said. “It seems like there ought to be a way to translate that into an opportunity.”

More Radiohead Shakeups: “This feels like yet another death knell,” emailed an A&R executive at a major European label. “If the best band in the world doesn’t want a part of us, I’m not sure what’s left for this business.”

“That’s the interesting part of all this,” says a producer who works primarily with American rap artists. “Radiohead is the best band in the world; if you can pay whatever you want for music by the best band in the world, why would you pay $13 dollars or $.99 cents for music by somebody less talented? Once you open that door and start giving music away legally, I’m not sure there’s any going back.”

The Bottom Line: I believe many are blowing this Radiohead frenzy out of proportion. Remember, it’s a game and press. I respect the fact that Radiohead is thinking outside the box and creating this discussion and chatter. Its genius. Regardless, the “Pay What you Want” model is not the future, but, it was perfectly fitting for one the biggest cult bands.

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Rascal Flatts Hits third No. 1: the country trio that saw the highest sales week and highest sales for a single-act disc last year, has scored its third consecutive No. 1 album selling 546k. “Still Feels Good” set a download record for a country disc, with 44,000 digital copies of the album sold. The Flatts also sold an additional 93,000 tracks as individual downloads.

Foo Fighters’ “Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace”: moved 168,000 and opened at No. 3. Not surprisingly sales were about half the first-week total for their last album, 2005’s “In Your Honor.”

Reba McEntire’s “Reba Duets,”: took a 57% slide, selling 130,000, and slid to No. 6.

Overall sales of albums are down 14%: from last year at 337.3 million albums sold. Of that total, 300.6 million were CD’s. The number of digitally downloaded tracks has risen 46% from the same period in 2006 to 612.2 million.

Consumers believe sales are down because: music sales are down 14% because there is NO GOOD MUSIC. A CD with 2 good songs and 12 pieces of crap does not constitute an album. It constitutes a money grab. There are maybe 10 artists in the country right now who make CD’s that play well from beginning to end. The rest suck.

Check out digital expert Chris Castle’s blog Fix it or We’ll Fix it For You“: in which he admonish universities to clean up their act ala illegal downloading.

Does illegal Downloading benefit artists? :

Castle says…

There is so little data on the benefits to artists from downloading that it’s hard to point to anything but anecdotal evidence. The best example I know of is an Austin band called Two Guy Trio that had the most downloaded track on Kazaa at one point, over 1 million downloads.

Not ONE extra sale, no worldwide inquiry of where can I get the record, please come play in my town, none of the behavior you’d expect from that much “promotional” activity.
Garbage in, garbage out.

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Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and Target plan to make significant cuts in the amount of floorspace they devote to CDs: Predictions of cuts that range from 20% to 40%, with Wal-Mart making the most aggressive pullbacks. A retail cutback could be much more damaging than any single year revenue decline. It may just be a DEATH SPIRAL – retailers stock less music, so consumers have less to choose from, and then buy even less, causing retailers to stock even less. (read full article)

The Bottom Line: KOAR is sick of this gloom and doom news. The downfall of Britney Spears is talked about on every single news station. This culture is more interested in personal lives than music itself. Personal lives took the front seat and music took the back seat. What on earth is more pathetic than the celebrity tabloid business and the people that buy into it? We believe that great music can stay on the forefront of people’s minds, if its great, then anything is possible.

Send KOAR great music and tell us how well its reacting and email tips@kingsofar.com

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Jamie Thomas (above) tells reporters “I never downloaded anything,” said Thomas. “I have CDs of everything I listen to.”

A single 30 year old mother Jammie Thomas who spent hours stealing music could be forced to pay nearly $4 million in damages. She’s accused of unlawfully uploading 25 copyrighted works from some of the biggest names in the industry.

Online investigators at SafeNet that specialize in security and encryption technologies found 1,702 files shared under a Kazaa account being used by Thomas.

Her defense is simple – She didn’t do it and the industry must prove she was behind the internet protocol (IP) address the RIAA says was used to share 1,700 songs on the file-sharing site Kazaa in 2005.

Attorney Richard Gabriel, addressing 12 jurors in a dimly lit cement-block courtroom, said, “The record companies are made up of real people.” Thomas’ attorney, Brian Toder told jurors. “The best that they can come up with is somebody out there in cyberland … offered on Kazaa some copyrighted material.”

Jammie Thomas is the first of 26,000 people sued by the RIAA to have their case come to trial.

Virgin Records, Capitol Records and Warner Bros. Records are among the labels involved in the suit against Thomas.

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