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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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Wasn’t the ipod-generation that bought music online suppose to kill off CD’s and no doubt the vinyl?

Latest figures show a big jump in vinyl sales in the first half of this year, confirming the anecdotal evidence from specialist shops throughout the UK.

According to a report, Teenagers and students are developing a taste for records and are turning away from the clinical method of downloading music on to an MP3 player.

7in vinyl sales were up 13% in the first half, with the White Stripes’ Icky Thump the best seller. (data released by BPI)

Two-thirds of all singles in the UK now come out on in the 7in format, with sales topping 1m.

Record Stores are preparing for this new trend….

“The student population seem to be loving the 7in,” says Stuart Smith, who runs Seismic Records in eamington Spa, Warwickshire. He sells 300-600 records a week and is preparing to launch an online store.

I’m still not sure about the MP3 generation. You can have a full hard drive and nothing to show for it. Record collections are very personal. You can view into a person’s soul really,” he says.

The White Stripes’ ‘Icky Thump’ has just touched the highest weekly sales for a 7in single for more than 20 years.

It’s not unusual for fans to buy a 7in but have nothing to play it on, says Paul Williams at industry magazine Music Week. “It’s about the kind of acts that have very loyal fan bases that want everything to do with that act,” he says. “They maybe will buy the download to listen to, but they get the vinyl to own. It’s looked at like artwork.”

“Labels have realised that it’s cool for bands to release their music on vinyl, especially in limited edition form, which makes it highly collectible,” he says.

Bottom Line: I believe consumers who are loyal fans will buy vinyls as collector items. In fact, it could be a good idea for ‘some’ artists’ to sell vinyls at live shows along with other merchandise. Of course, this will only work with credible artists’ that have built a loyal community.

(The Guardian)

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The new album by Prince is being launched as a free CD with a national Sunday newspaper that has drawn widespread criticism from music retailers.

If you study the history of Prince, you will realize that he took full reigns of his career. If he failed, it was because of him alone.

In the beginning, he signed a three-album deal and blew the budget for all three albums on the first one, and this after insisting that he play all the instruments himself, record all the vocals himself – and produce it himself. He had assumed full artistic control from the off and he has never relinquished it.

Prince also had a bizarre fashion sense. He performed in Y-fronts and fishnet stockings, and took the stage once wearing a violet mackintosh, black pants and stockings and stiletto ankle boots.

Why is Prince Giving his new CD away?

A spokesman for Prince said: ‘Prince feels that charts are just music industry constructions and have little or no relevance to fans or even artists today. Prince’s only aim is to get music direct to those what want to hear it. Prince famously took a stand against Warner Records in the Nineties when he went on strike and appeared with the world “slave” drawn on his cheek. Subsequently, he regained control of the publishing right to his work and broke down the existing system through his innovation.’

He never really took to the traditional label-artist relationship.

In 1995 he told an interviewer: ‘Once the internet is a reality the music business is finished. There won’t be any need for record companies. If I can send you my record direct, what’s the point of having the business? I don’t even have a manager any more. Would you want somebody living off your work?’

When record company executives warned him against releasing Sign O’ The Times as a double album, he ignored their wishes and it became his most critically acclaimed work.

‘These are the same people who would tell Mozart he writes too many notes or say that Citizen Kane is a long movie,’ he said at the time

(Daily Mail)

More Here…..

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Janet Jackson has followed her boyfriend Jermaine Dupri from Virgin to Island Def Jam, according to Billboard. “She’s on Island, but it’s more or less [Def Jam CEO Antonio "L.A." Reid's] project,” Dupri says. “I let him deal with that on a day-to-day basis. He’s going to A&R that project, too. Janet’s record is one that he’s wanted to do for a long time. He’s very passionate about it. Jackson left Virgin after her two records failed to react with the public. Will her third record be any different? Will Janet come back on a steam boat?

AFI has a side project called Blaqk Audio that will be release August 16th. Check out the track Bitter for Sweet.

Its been said that Live Nation and Madonna have finalized a touring, merchandising, and recording arrangement. Live Nation model continues to move past live performance revenues. (DigitalMusicNews)

The stars of American Idol have landed their own jeans line. The heads at FreeMantle Media have struck a new deal with Lyric Jeans to create a lyric-inspired American Idol branded apparel line for department stores.

The European Commission cleared Terra Firma’s takeover bid of EMI

Microsoft has applied for a patent titled “Off-line Economies for Digital Media” that allows owners to generate revenue by sharing music. According to the patent, Microsoft would like to erect a system by which pirated music can be transferred to other Zune devices, and the sender can be paid a sales commission. The system would allow illegal music converted into legal music. (Coolfer)

Good news for web casters, or at least temporary good news. SoundExchange will not enforce the new royalty rates. Webcasters will stay online, as new rates are hammered out.

Bad Religion who will be performing at Vans Warped Tour recently released a new disc called “Maps of Hell”. Pick up the new record for sure. Check out the track Honest Goodbye.

Warner Music will now stream All Its music online for free….
Warner Music and online community Imeem have partnered to stream ad-supported music and video on Imeem’s free social media networking site.

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Kelly Clarkson who insisted on writing her own songs despite Clive’s recommendation to use professional songwriters cannot hold back any longer.

In the August issue of Blender, Clarkson says she told Davis: “I don’t know you very well, and I am not a bull-[bleep]er. I get [that] you don’t like the album. You’re 80; you’re not supposed to like my album.” She also said: “I literally got told to my face that it wouldn’t sell more than 600,000 copies. And I got lied to. One reason I don’t like working with people at the label is that they lie . . . If you’re going with the flow and not fighting, that’s settling. I can’t take that. Life is just too short to be a
pushover.”

Clarkson also fired her manager and cancelled her summer tour.

This is probably one of the most heated controversy between artist and label head in recent memory.

(NYPOST)

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