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Both Sirius and XM are trying to win over the public and the FCC in the event of a merger by offering a variety of services.

Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio said the companies plan to offer a la carte plans to consumers starting at $6.99 for 50 channels.

Under the a la carte option, customers will be able to buy additional channels for as little as 25 cents each. A second a la carte option will allow subscribers to choose 100 channels and will allow Sirius customers to select from some of the best of XM’s programming and XM subscribers to choose from some of the best of Sirius’ programming.

In total, the companies plan to offer eight plans costing up to $16.99 per month.
A la carte programming will be available beginning within one year following the merger, and the other programming options will be available beginning within six months following the merger. (Yahoo Biz)

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Kelly posted this blog on her website.

“There has been quite a bit of controversy surrounding the release of “My December,” much of which has focused on a supposed feud with my record label, in particular, Clive Davis. I want to set the record straight on this by saying that I want my band, my advisors, those close to me and my record label to be one big, tightly knit family. Like any family we will disagree and argue sometimes but, in the end, it’s respect and admiration that will keep us together. A lot has been made in the press about my relationship
with Clive. Much of this has been blown way out of proportion and taken out of context. Contrary to recent characterizations in the press, I’m well aware that Clive is one of the great record men of all time. He has been a key advisor and has been an important force in my success to date. He has also given me respect by releasing my new album when he was not obligated to do so. I really regret how this has turned out and I apologize to those whom I have done disservice. I would never intentionally hurt anyone. I love music,
and I love the people I am blessed to work with. I am happy that my team is behind me and I look forward to the future.”

- Kelly

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iPhone Flaw Lets Hackers Take Over, Security Firm Says…..
A team of computer security consultants say they have found a flaw in Apple’s wildly popular iPhone that allows them to take control of the device.

Lloyd Weber, the next Simon Cowell?
Lloyd Weber has signed with WMA, taking his first Hollywood agent ever because he wants to make a network deal for an American reality show that he’ll topline, searching for a young unknown to star in one of his stage musical productions. Weber has two hit reality shows in the UK. (Variety)

Terra Firma Makes Final Bid for EMI. The offer has been extended for a fourth and final time, until July 29.(WSJ)

Kansas City female fronted indie act Vedera has signed with Epic Records.

Check out the New York Times article on Prince “The Once and Future Prince

According to sources singer/songwriter Universal Republic artist Colbie Caillat will have a strong opening week that could top 50k.  Colbie is the daugher of Fleetwood Mac producer Ken Caillat.

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The private equity firm Terra Firma hoping to buy EMI has again extended the deadline for its bid by 10 days. EMI shareholders have until July 29 to accept Terra Firma’s offer.
(BBC)

It has been rumoured that Starbucks is set to sign Joni Mitchell to their Hear Music label. Paul McCartney released ‘Memory Almost Full’ through Starbucks in June and was his highest charting US

Independent and unsigned artists will no longer have to waive digital rights to gain airplay on Clear Channel Radio affiliates. Clear Channel was under scrutiny when it asked artists to forgo their online royalties, particularly as they related to online station simulcasts and on-demand offerings (DMN).

More reading on this topic: Blackmail, Radio Giant Clear Channel Accused Of Making Indie Artists Forfeit Performance Royalty

Prince distributed nearly 3 million copies of his latest album in the UK. According to the paper, 2.81 million copies of the paper were purchased, nearly a record-breaking result. Sony BMG UK, dissolved its one-album contract with Prince following the discovery of the Mail on Sunday plan.

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Walt Disney takes creative action to reverse declining of CD Sales..

Walt Disney music label Hollywood Records is offering a new CD format with extra features to encourage CD purchases in an effort to reverse declining CD sales. Hollywood Records recently unveiled its new CDVU+ (CD View Plus) format with digital magazine extras, song lyrics, band photos and other extras to boost fan loyalty.

The new format also replaces the traditional CD booklet and plastic jewel case with recyclable packaging. Teen pop punk band Jonas Brothers will be the first act to use the technology when they release their  album on August 7. (Reuters)

Bottom Line: It’s about time a music label offered a new CD format despite the digital revolution. It needed an overhaul.  Although it may not significantly spike CD sales, the standard CD  jewel case is cheap and certainly not sexy. Again, hit records and artists will benefit the most.

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Warner takes over EMI in market share while Universal Music remains the leader with a 25.7 percent in 2006 for physical and digital music markets. (Reuters)

Also, Warner Music confirmed that it has “decided not to make an offer for EMI” at this time.

Sony’s Sir Howard Stringer used the word ‘greed’ to describe Apple CEO Steve Jobs. According to one audience member, Stringer said it’s funny that Jobs accuses record companies of greed because they want to get paid for music downloads. Stringer said Jobs, who just launched the iPhone, is the “greedy” one because he wants a world where only he makes money. (NY POST)

As odd as it seems – the singing sensation Paris Hilton wants to return to the studio and give it another go ’round. She reportedly signed up for vocal lessons. The press and publicity stints for the famous for being famous and socialites are slowing dying. It’s less interesting.

Top Current Albums

Smashing Pumpkins
Zeitgeist
TW 144,760

Hannah Montana
Soundtrack
TW 126,230
Total 641,891

Interpol
Our Love to Admire
TW 73,223

Kelly Clarkson
My December
TW 58,593
Total 463,426

Linkin Park
Minutes to Midight
TW 54,082
Total 1,356,033

Nickelback
All the Right Reasons
TW 41,777
Total 5,588,980

Velvet Revolver
Libertaid
TW 37,172
Total 130,962

Paramore
Riot!
TW 13,737
Total 101,844

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Some say the US Media Blitz Backfired on Victoria..

The New York Post gave the show a damning zero-star review, slamming the pop-star turned fashion figure as “relentlessly self-promoting” with “vapid, condescending behavior” in a show described as “an orgy of self-indulgence.” Tom Cruise arranged the arrival of David and Victoria. The EVENT was held in Los Angeles that some described as bigger than 9/11.

The New York Times was no more forgiving in its write-up, describing Victoria Beckham as being “somewhat famous for being sort of famous, and is photographed a lot in Britain.”

America suffering from a ‘Creative Drought‘ makes it difficult for mainstream media to concoct a story that captivates the American public. The ratings are down across the board. More importantly, one needs to ask how we got here? If you want to correct a problem, then you need to trace it back to the root.

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Tracing the drought back to its original root is easy. The root was the INTERNET. The INTERNET which was originally used for the military was introduced to the general public. Thats when the Flood Gates opened. The flood gates opened itself to amateurs that produced amateur content. The amateur content diluted professional content causing chaos and havoc.

The result of this mayhem is amateur content Victoria and David Beckham ‘famous for being famous’…..

Another attribute that the INTERNET produced was the ‘lust’ for being famous. When one is consumed with lust it is highly probable that creativity will suffer. The simple definition of lust is having a self-absorbed desire for an object, person, or experience. When one is in lust, they place the object of desire ABOVE ALL things. That means creativity holds second place to lust. With that said, would it surprise you that blockbusters HITS are Scarce? Would it surprise you that Hollywood can’t sell a MOVIE?

Everybody can have a myspace, a facebook, CD’s, merchandise, promotional tools, etc. It doesn’t require thought or creativity, it just requires action. Time Magazine named ‘YOU’ as the MOST IMPORTANT PERSON of the YEAR.

Steve Jobs knew the flood gates were opened and made a fortune on the word ‘i’ that ultimately means ‘YOU’. The iPOD, iMAC, iTunes, iPhone…..Translation? yourPOD, yourMAC, yourTUNES, yourPHONE.

Why is the American Media whoring Victoria and David to the public? Because they want to capitalize on YOU. They are banking that ‘WE’ want to be ‘THEM’, that WE want our initials to be engraved on a BENTLEY, that WE want an entourage of hairstylists, 200 million contracts, plastic surgery. In all honesty, the people who want to be THEM will LOSE. They will never become famous, the lust will only allow them to DREAM about it.

Is the Media out of touch with American Public? Lets hope so. If the Media is not out of touch then the creative drought will continue. The solution is to call it out and find a way to spark creativity.

Bottom Line: As long as the public continue to view this new ERA of self proclaimed idols (Paris, Victoria, Britney), creativity will take a backseat. We cannot replicate our lives through them. Although entertainment is meant to escape, this goes beyond the boundaries and true creativity will be lost. If you don’t believe me, then go find me a MOZART.

More reading…..

Ego Monsters of the WEB – Washington Post

One in 5 people on Earth has Internet – Guardian

How the internet took over the world – USA Today

Famous for being Famous 

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New Music and recommended listening:

Up and Coming New artists….

Northern RoomWe’re On Fire
The OctoberLost since Graduation
LennexDriftin Away
March - I will Be

National artists….

Yellow CardLight Up The Sky
Glenn PhillipsRise Up
The BraveryTime Won’t Let Me Go

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