Not too long ago A&R’s signed bands on gut instinct. That is what they were paid for. These days A&R’s look for “indicators” because they no longer know what to sign. Meaning, if some unsignedÂ artist wrote a comparable album to GNR’s “Appetite For Destruction” and didn’t have 50,000 friends on myspace, the band would be looked over. This is idioicy at it’s best considering we know several methods of collecting thousands of friends on myspace every hour. Of course “out of touch” A&R’s just dont know these techniques.
The good news is that the labels just cleaned house and a small number of A&R’s who are left are anxiously hanging on to their jobs.
The bad news is that you still have “out of touch” older execs steering the ship into icebergs like the Titanic. They are more concerned clinging to their prestige than looking for new ways and platforms to break new artists. How is it that all the employees are let go except the ones making all the bad decisions? The problem never seems to be eliminated.
Of course its hard to find great artists that write compelling music, but older execs signing hardcore/screamo bands believing they are going to take over the world is a scary scenario. I’ve witnessed Presidents and CEO’s watching these recycled garage bands in smelly clubs saying “Wow, aren’t they great?”.Â My jaw dropped to the floor. Who’s fooling who? What is so funny dumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into a band that has a frontman that can’t hum a tune? After 10 flops and wasting other peoples money you would think these cats would learn, but insanity has gripped this industry like no other. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Artists and label employees being victimized by “label politics” is at an all time high. President fighting against president is like watching kids in a sandbox fighting over buckets and shovels. Welcome to amateur hour.
What we need is a 50 foot Tsunami traveling at 500mph hitting the East and West Coast taking out Los Angeles and NYC and cleaning up the rest of the mess. Then the real rebuilding may take place.
PS: Just in case, GNR stands for Guns and Roses.
At this point, most industry experts agree to the fact that EMI and Warner will pair up.
EMI recently raised the bid for Warner and rejected the counteroffer. EMI said it had increased its bid for Warner to $4.6 billion, from $4.2 billion in May, and also said Warner had turned the tables and bid about $4.6 billion for EMI on Tuesday. Neither company is welcoming the other’s bid. EMI said today that Warner’s proposal is “wholly unacceptable.” If these 2 companies combined “it” would own 25% of the global music business.
Analysts estimate there are several hundred million dollars in costs that could saved if the groups combined. If this happens, expect major lay-offs. Remember, that “mergers” don’t exist. “Mergers” are a myth. A merger is a dressed up word for takeover. Read the full article in the NY Times.
NBC who told YouTube to take “Saturday Night Live” clips off its site has made friends with the free video site YouTube. NBC cut a deal with YouTube to preview and promote it’s Fall broadcast line-up.
“The distinction between television and video is becoming murkier and murkier,”Â John Miller, chief marketing officer for the NBC Universal Television Group told AP. “Rather than putting our heads in the sand and saying this doesn’t exist, we’re trying to jump in and embrace it.”
As the record labels are currently removing their content on YouTube, NBC is embracing it. Good Move! (Lefsetz)
Every week KOAR will bring you an in-depth article byÂ veteranÂ music attorney and digital music expertÂ Christian Castle. Enjoy!
There are many legal and business problems that have slowed development of digital music services.Â One of them is clearing the rights for songs for music subscription services that permit on-demand streaming of sound files.Â
Â Â The same problem exists for permanent downloads.Â However, record companies have agreed to take responsibility for mechanical licenses for permanent downloads on U.S. based online services, the so-called â€œpass throughâ€? license that is so despised in publisher and songwriter circles.
Â Â Record companies have not, however, agreed to assume responsibility for the payment of royalties for on-demand streaming as their lawyers donâ€™t believe their rights under mechanical licenses and the Copyright Act extend that far.Â CONTINUE READING
Switchfoot will head back into the studio in November to record a new record. The last record “Nothing is Sound” sold a disappointing 526,000 whileÂ its predecessor “The Beautiful Letdown” sold 2.6 million. Some say The album got off to a rough start when it was one of 15 titles recalled by Sony BMG because software on the CDs behaved like spyware. C’mon!…The new record was mediocre and the lead off single failed to react which was probably the main culprit rather than the spyware program.
Digital downloads are beginning to level off according to 2 new reports. This isn’t great news for the music industry which depended on the growth of digital downloads to offset a major decline in compact disc sales which were down 25 percent from a peak of 942 million in 2000. Read the full article here.
Island Def Jam has laid off several employees including sales people and A&R’s.Â The label will also continue to slash underperforming acts from their roster.
According to Reuters EMI is seeking private equity backing to mount a bid for Bertelsmann’s music publishing holdings. This would allow EMI to retain the resources to bid separately for Warner Music.
British consumers are rewarded being the first in the world able to purchase songs instantly as they listen to them on digital radio by utilizing a new download service from UBC Media.
Koch Distribution has announced exclusive North American agreements with three independent record labels. Koch will handle releases from HBD Label Group which focuses on urban and electronic, gospel label Worldwide Music, Inc. and reggae label Taxi Records.
KOAR Higher Learning artist Fermata will be playing a sold out show at the Whiskey tonight (June 27), open to industry. Sony, HollywoodÂ and TakeOver confirmed for attendance. Fermata has also picked up a slot on The Warped Tour, playing the Ventura, CA date on July 11.
French legislation is currently being considered that would prevent Apple from having any sort of exclusivity with its iTunes service or iPod product. The bill would force Apple to make iTunes downloads compatible with other mp3 players and any mp3 compatible with the iPod. While Apple is obviously not a fan of this legislation, other European countries are watching closely and considering similar laws.
Understandably upset, Apple can credit marketing with the initial popularity of their products, but the exclusivity is what has ultimately propelled the iServices to where they are now. iTunes exclusives and incompatible file formats ensured users had to iBundle everything together. For casual downloading and music listening, Apple has taken the lead and is hands down the most popular service, however for those more â€˜involvedâ€™ in music, iTunes tends to be more trouble than its worth, requiring additional scripts and workarounds for advanced functionality.
Competition generally leads to higher quality products and services and drives down prices, which is great for consumers, but probably not ideal for Apple. The legislation goes to final vote next week, and although Apple may end up losing a few Francs, they always have those thousand dollar bills to wipe their tears away with.
Coolfer reports that Island/Def Jam dropped Fefe Dobson. Her first album, Fefe Dobson, was released in December 2003 which has sold 304,000 copies. Her second record Sunday Love has been pushed back several times over the past year and now is permanently shelved.
Several failed releases have cost The Sanctuary Group. According to Hits The Sanctuary Group revealed that losses in its record division will be worse than expected for the companyâ€™s fiscal year.
Hits also reports the recent changes at Columbia. Staff producer Steve Lillywhite and Chairman Steve Barnette are in the process of setting up a new creative team.
Lillywhite claims that the department will consist of a â€œfresh creative team thatâ€™s enthusiastic and opinionated about music.â€? He further stated that â€œColumbia is a big company, and it needs to be a place where art and commerce can be married.â€? It seems that rock acts will continue to have its place at the label.
Tool’s Vicarious lands #1 on the active rock charts with Red Hot Chili Peppers, Three Days Grace and Buckcherry trailing behind.
According to Forbs satellite radios sales is slowing down. Possible reasons include high gas prices and the decrease in hype surrounding Howard Stern’s move to Sirius. Forbes also suggests other reasons causing the lull in sales could be lack of advertisements, product delays and slower MP3 demand.Â
Tower Records is finally entering the digital era and is adding a digital download store to its retail offerings, with the launch of tower.com/digital on Tuesday June 27. The store will offer 1.2 million tracks.