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When the New Pornographers’ fourth album goes on sale in August, fans will have already streamed the songs on their computers and received bonus tracks that won’t be on the album, and will own a live recording from the band’s coming tour in the fall.

Matador Records, hopes that an extra dose of songs — some available now and some later, will help stem the flow of illegal copies of the new album and drum up a bit of extra revenue.

Record labels have stepped up already aggressive campaigns to lure consumers with unique downloads, bonus videos, special vinyl versions and music that hasn’t been recorded yet.

The people who go out to the record stores on the first day of a release deserve something extra,” said Paul Cardillo, who handles sales for North Carolina-based Merge Records, whose top-selling artists include Arcade Fire and Spoon. “And for those people who may be interested in a record, you want to give them a reason not to download it illegally.”

“We are being very aggressive,” said Patrick Amory, Matador’s general manager. “It seems we have to reinvent our business plan every six months, maybe even with every new release.”

In addition to trying to halt piracy, the label is doing the promotion in an effort to take advantage of the publicity a band gets before an album is released.

“At the time we are promoting the record, when the biggest buzz is going on about the record, people can’t buy it,” Amory said. “But they can often download it for free” from an illegal file-sharing site.

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Matchbox Twenty Rob Thomas and EMI Evan Lamberg start a label with no Economic Pressure…..

Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty and EMI publishing Exec Evan Lamberg will be starting a label called R Tel Records that will develop, and make long-term commitments to, new songwriter/artists.
Under a deal with Sony BMG’s Epic Records, Thomas and Lamberg will consult with Epic president Charlie Walk and others at the major label. If R Tel and Epic agree they love an act, then the major will fund the project, releasing the record through RED or Epic. The first act funded under this deal is British songwriter/artist Garfield Mayor, whose release is expected this fall.
While Thomas says he hopes to have two to three releases each year, R Tel isn’t under any delivery or time constraints to keep that benchmark.

“If you sell 30,000 records, we don’t blink,” Lamberg says. “We’re making a second record. That’s where patience factors in. We’re not under the rule that we’ve got to ship a bunch of records in the next 90 days or our cash flow won’t be right –there’s no economic pressure.”(Billboard)

Very smart, working out the financials when the artist and the bank can be successful moving 30,000 units instead of 3 million units.

EMI paid ousted Music Chief Alain Levy 4.6 Million who was forced to leave….

Levy was given “compensation” or loss of office of £2.5m and a £1.1m “incentive remuneration” alongside his basic salary of £912,100, nd his benefits have continued beyond him leaving the embattled company on January 11. (Guardian)

UK Buys More CD’s than US……

Music fans in the U.K. are top of the world CD buying charts for the fourth year in a row, despite the nroads being made by downloading songs from the Internet.
Figures produced by the IFPI for international CD sales point to the U.K. population buying an average of 2.7 discs per head, beating the United States and Norway who were joint second with recorded sales of 2.1 discs per head.

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The Crue Sues. Motley Crue claims Carl Stubner mismanaged Tommy Lee’s Career, damaged the Motley Crue brand, and diverted revenue…….

Motley Crue filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court charging that one of its managers, Carl Stubner, who also represents the band’s drummer Tommy Lee, orchestrated a campaign of “self dealing” to “divert revenue” from the Band; the suit states that the Defendants “promoted Lee’s solo activities to the detriment of the Band, and at the same time, mismanaged Lee’s career so as to harm the Motley Crue brand
and Lee’s reputation as a musician and Band member.”

Named as defendants in addition to Stubner are three companies he’s associated with: Carl Stubner Productions, Inc., Sanctuary Group, Inc. and Sanctuary Artist Management, Inc. Neither Tommy Lee nor the Band’s other managers, Allen Kovac/Tenth Street Entertainment and Bert Stein, are defendants.

The lawsuit states: “Stubner’s motivation was greed. He has brazenly said as much. Stubner stated that he received significantly higher commissions on Lee’s solo projects because he did not have to share his take with the other managers. He claimed that it was a ‘no brainer’ to promote Lee’s projects over those of Motley Crue. Because favoring Lee’s personal interests to the Band’s was such a ‘no brainer,’ Stubner stated that he would only make Lee available for tour dates if the Band and the other two managers agreed to increase his commission quotient. Stubner also demanded 100 tickets per show for free which he then resold at ‘scalper’ prices.”

The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages of more than $20 million for lost earnings, lost profits and diminished brand and goodwill value resulting from the Defendants’ actions. The lawsuit also requests punitive damages because, as claimed in the lawsuit, the defendants’ “despicable” actions were undertaken “fraudulently, maliciously and oppressively.” (Business Wire)

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Traditional Media USA Today is now picking up on Rap’s Demise. Although CD sales are obviously down this year, rap sales are down 33% from 2006, twice the decline for the industry overall, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Established rap stars no longer are sure things in sales. During the past nine months, Jay-Z, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, Diddy and Nas released albums, but only those by Jay-Z and Ludacris have sold at least 1 million copies in the USA, and only Diddy is still on the charts.

There are signs that many music-buying Americans — particularly the young, largely white audience that can make a difference between modest and blockbuster sales — are tiring of rappers’ emphasis on “gangsta” attitudes, explicit lyrics and tales of street life and conspicuous consumption.

Rap pioneer KRS-One, who just released Hip Hop Lives with fellow legend Marley Marl, offers a blunt explanation: “The music is garbage,” he says. “What has happened over the past few years is that we have traded art for money, simple and plain, and the public is not stupid.”

In 2006, rap sold 59.1 million albums, down 21% from 2005 and 27% from 2004. Sales are trailing those for country albums (75 million) and heavy metal (61.6 million) — genres that rap formerly overshadowed.

Rap is no longer a dominant player in the industry. This year’s top-selling albums thus far are by American Idol rocker Chris Daughtry’s band and jazz chanteuse Norah Jones

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Universal has agreed to buy Sanctuary Group for ($88 million). “The Sanctuary business will be a good strategic fit for us,” UMG CEO Doug Morris said in a statement.

Several people in the radio department and promotion have been let go from the Warner Music Group in a restructuring move.

More than 428,000 tickets for the 24 Ozzfest dates have been given away through LiveNation.com—the largest number of free tickets ever given out in the domestic concert business.

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Coolfer makes a good obversation. Everybody is moving to Nashville these days. Jon Bon Jovi has crossed over to country. Darius Rucker (Hootie and the Blowfish) signed to Capital Nashville and Jewel is shopping record produced by Big & Rich’s John Rich

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Lou Pearlman Mug Shot (courtesy of AP)Boy band mogul and scum bag extraordinaire, Lou Pearlman, is no longer on the run. Pearlman had been hiding out in an Indonesian hotel when immigration officials informed him that he is not welcome in their country and turned him over to US officials. He was escorted by the FBI to Guam, a US territory, where he was immediately arrested. In February, all of Pearlman’s Florida properties and documents were seized and he is now facing numerous federal charges and civil suits.

While the federal charges remain publicly unknown, Pearlman has been charged in both state and federal court with civil complaints alleging widespread fraud in an “employee investment savings account ” program he ran for more than two decades through his Trans Continental Airlines company.

The civil suits, including one from the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, have alleged he received more than $317 million from more than 1,800 investors who were told their money was going into safe, secured, high-interest accounts. They money instead fueled a huge, long-running Ponzi scheme, in which later investments were used to keep earlier investors happy, the suits allege. In addition, a dozen banks have sued him after foreclosing on more than $130 million in loans.- Orlando Sentinel

Pearlman fell off the radar in January, but popped up on German television in support of boy band US5, who was touring throughout the country at the time. He then disappeared again, leading the FBI on a global chase before being turned over by Indonesian authorities and expelled from the country. Pearlman is currently being held in Guam and could remain there for weeks. With fraud claims exceeding a half billion dollars, Pearlman could be facing a minimum of 30 years in prison.

Click here for a list of Pearlman’s many, many lawsuits over the years.

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While the major label industry is up in arms about collecting royalties from streaming internet stations, many artists are asking the question, “Why make internet pay when terrestrial NEVER has?” The newly developed MusicFIRST Coalition is a partnership between artists and a number of industry organizations aimed at succeeding where the RIAA has failed- protecting musicians and fighting for fair practices. A number of big name artists are participating in the coalition including Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, John Legend, Don Henley and many more, however the rights they are fighting for are intended to compensate everyone from songwriters to back up singers, major label acts to unsigned ones.

The first order of business is collecting royalties from corporate radio play. “Of all the ways we listen to music, “Corporate Radio” is the only medium that refuses to pay performers even a fraction of a penny for their voice and creativity,” said Mark Kadesh, Executive Director of musicFIRST. “This campaign is about making sure everyone, from up-and-coming artists to our favorites from years-ago, is guaranteed fair treatment when their music is played.”

The RIAA has proposed a “performance tax” for local radio, a proposition the National Association of Broadcasters has sworn to “fight aggressively.” NAB argues that radio exposure makes millions of dollars for labels via record sales, and should therefore be seen as ‘free promotion.’ They also call out singer John Legend for being a part of the coalition, but appearing in a NAB ad campaign years ago thanking radio for their support. Whatever.

With radio losing such a big portion of their audience over the years and record sales declining across the board, does NAB have a leg to stand on with this issue? Should terrestrial radio be paying out royalties for the music they play?

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My goodness, the news just keeps on coming in on Kelly………

Due to the recent woes in Clarkson’s camp, her summer national tour has been postponed. This news comes days after firing her management company and less than 2 weeks before her album release.

Kelly wrote: “I can’t tell you how much I’ve been looking forward to getting out there to perform for y’all. In the craziness of the music business, performing is what I look forward to doing the most, so it really is disappointing for me to have to tell you that I won’t be coming out to tour this summer. The fact is that touring is just too much too soon. But I promise you that we’re going to get back out there as soon as is humanly possible to give you a show that will be even better. Thanks for all of your love and continued support.”

LiveNation CEO Michael Rapino, who was promoting the tour:
“It is mind-blowing when you stop to think about what Kelly Clarkson has achieved during her young career. But ticket sales have not been what we anticipated and we came to the realization that we had bit off more than we could chew. In the end, we are in the Kelly Clarkson business and for that reason we believe that this decision will only benefit her and her fans in the long run.”

Added Another Planet CEO Gregg Perloff: “Kelly is a spectacular artist and an incredible performer who undoubtedly has what it takes to sustain a long and prosperous career. The day when she will play in sold-out arenas is, no doubt, coming, but for now her fans should look forward to seeing her in a more intimate concert environment. Kelly deserves a tremendous amount of praise for her courage in not only being a part of, but in supporting, this difficult decision.” (Source)

Future concert dates become available, current ticket holders will be invited via email, mail or phone notification, to purchase tickets through an exclusive presale, which will take place prior to the general on sale date for each concert.

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