Thursday, January 10, 2008

Artists 'must benefit from touts'

Artists and sports bodies should share profits from tickets resold on internet auction sites, MPs have said.
In a report on touting, they have stopped short of calling for a ban, but have told online touts to "clean up their act" because they exploit fans.

They also criticised event organisers and promoters, saying they helped to feed the market with non-existent or inadequate returns services.

The MPs' report calls for a voluntary industry code of conduct for reselling.

The Culture, Media and Sport select committee said up to 40% of tickets were being sold on the internet.

Dozens of UK venues and promoters gave evidence to MPs for the report, which concludes that "some secondary sellers indulged in dubious or suspect practices".

'Voluntary solution'

Committee chairman John Whittingdale said it was "neither practical nor in the interests of consumers" to ban ticket sales through the secondary market - where tickets are sold on.

Instead, the MPs are calling on representatives from all sides to come together to provide a "voluntary solution".

Mr Whittingdale said that if they failed to reach agreement on such a code, government legislation would be used as "a last resort".

The committee's report also said:

The internet had made it easier for people to profit from selling on tickets. It concluded this was unfair.
Organisers wanted to protect their industry, saying they could just inflate prices if they wanted to boost profits.
Organisers should let people get refunds in some circumstances.
There should be an "across-the-board commitment" that the "distasteful" sale of tickets for free events and charity events - such as Concert for Diana - will be stopped.
There should be a ban on reselling tickets given free to children or people with disabilities.
Mr Whittingdale said giving event organisers a share in profits from resold tickets was the "middle way".

"This represents a way forward which could benefit all concerned, and we call on all those involved in the debate to work together to develop it on a self-regulatory basis," he added.

The Arctic Monkeys are among those calling for a levy on resold tickets
The Resale Rights Society (RRS) - representing the managers of the Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead and Robbie Williams and more than 400 other acts - has already said it would support a levy being added to resold tickets.

A spokesman said the existing situation, where big profits can be made by touts with nothing going to the organisers or rights owners, was "unfair and must be addressed".

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Radiohead-like business model has disappointing results

Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor admitted that he is "disheartened" by the results of a new music business model he attempted.

As producer of rapper Saul Williams' new album 'The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust', Reznor decided to employ a similar business model to that of Radiohead, which gave listeners the option of paying nothing for a download of the album, or $5 for higher-quality MP3s.

In a posting yesterday (January 3) on Nine Inch Nails' website, Reznor revealed the sales figures, saying, "Perhaps by revealing of all our data -- our 'dirty laundry' -- we can contribute to a better solution."

Giving the background that Williams' 2004 self-titled album sold 33,897 copies, Reznor revealed the following data.

"As of 1/2/08, 154,449 people chose to download Saul's new record. 28,322 of those people chose to pay $5 for it, meaning: 18.3% chose to pay."

Reznor added: "Is it good news that less than one in five feel it was worth $5? I'm not sure what I was expecting but that percentage -- primarily from fans -- seems disheartening."

On the positive side, Reznor pointed out that they hardly spent any money marketing the album, adding, "Saul's music is in more peoples' iPods than ever before and people are interested in him. He'll be touring throughout the year and we will continue to get the word out however we can."

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Wal-Mart shuts online video shop

The world's biggest retailer, Wal-Mart, has closed its video downloading service less than a year after it started selling films online.
It stopped the service on 21 December, according to a message on the discount chain's video download website.

Wal-Mart said the decision had been forced by Hewlett-Packard withdrawing the software running the site.

The move ends a challenge to Apple's iTunes store, Amazon and Netflix to win customers who rent films over the web.

Hewlett-Packard spokeswoman Anna Ichel Buxbaum said the company had dropped the service because it "has not performed as expected" and would be looking at other digital entertainment ventures to invest in.

"The broader internet video space continues to remain highly dynamic and uncertain," Buxbaum said in a statement.


The service had launched in February offering 3,000 films and episodes of popular television shows to US customers to watch on a PC or a portable device compatible with Microsoft Windows Media Player.

The Wal-Mart downloads do not work on standard DVD players or on Apple computers or iPods.

The market for online video downloads has become very competitive with video rental chain Blockbuster buying Movielink over the summer to expand into this area.

Fox films 'for rent via iTunes'

Apple and 20th Century Fox studio are to announce a deal that will allow consumers to rent the studio's films through iTunes, media reports say.
They will have a limited time to watch films downloaded from the iTunes store, a source told the Financial Times.

If the reports are true, this looks like a new assault on the video and movie market, says BBC News technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones.

Apple shares traded above $200 for the first time on Wednesday.

Major event

The rumours about Apple's products and software to be unveiled at the company's major event of the year, MacWorld 2008 in San Francisco on 14 January, are swirling around, our correspondent says.

It looks like video could be a new key theme for Steve Jobs' Apple
Video sales on iTunes have been sluggish and the Apple TV - a set-top box linking the computer to your television - has failed to win a place in millions of living-rooms.

Besides, the big players in television and in Hollywood have been wary of doing deals with Apple, after seeing the position of strength that Steve Jobs' company has built up in the music business.

So the negotiations with the studios over movie rentals on iTunes have reportedly been tortuous.

Now it looks as though Fox, owned by News Corp, has decided Apple is the only game in town when it comes to getting movies onto new platforms, our correspondent says.

Legal way

Particularly interesting is the idea that Fox would sell DVDs with Apple's Fair Play DRM protection, making it possible to put a movie onto an iPod.

Of course, millions of people have already found ways of doing that, but this time, it would be legal.

Apple and Fox will be hoping this will have the same impact on consumers as the arrival of the iTunes music store, which encouraged some of the millions who were swapping songs on the internet illegally to start paying for music online, our correspondent says

Friday, December 28, 2007

Warner agrees to use MP3 format

Warner Music Group is making its music available for US downloads from Amazon in MP3 format without copy protection.
Warner had been holding out against using the format because MP3 tracks are easier to share between users and may be freely burned onto CDs.'s download store is a major US competitor to Apple's iTunes, which uses Digital Rights Management (DRM) to restrict the use of some of its tracks.

Warner's artists include Led Zeppelin, Aretha Franklin and Sean Paul.

Sony BMG is now the only major recording group not signed up with's download service, which is only available to US customers at present.

"By removing a barrier to the sale and enjoyment of audio downloads, we bring an energy-sapping debate to a close," Warner Music chief executive Edgar Bronfman said in an e-mail to Warner employees.

Amazon launched its US download store in September after reaching agreements to sell unprotected tracks from Universal Music Group and EMI.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Death To Music Gives Away 10 Releases For Free Download

posted Tuesday, December 25, 2007 at 10:43:30 PM by deathbringer.

DEATH TO MUSIC prodcutions have fulfilled all "anti-contractual obligations" by providing 10 releases (albums & EPs) for free over the past few months - available via the official website,

Death To Music productions is the new "anti - record label" founded by James Fogarty - previously of experimental metal project Ewigkeit, also a former founding member of Black Metallers The Meads Of Asphodel, and was launched in order to release music for music's sake rather than the usual money-driven route of labels / distros / magazines in order to get music heard.

"...all these fucking labels and other vampires of the music industry are just not neccesary anymore for artists writing and releasing music in more underground styles - for me and many, many other hard-working musicians & bands, our music is first & foremostly about getting your stuff heard by people, and certainly not about working your arse off to make money for other people..."

" a statement of intent, I have now given away everything I have ever recorded, and now look forwards to working with new projects and artists on Death To Music....."

James was tired of having to deal with record labels who didnt treat their artists fairly, and subsequently burnt all his record contracts and reclaimed the music.

The first physical release is out now in the form of James Fogarty's new politico-industrial metal project The Bombs Of Enduring Freedom's self-titled debut album. You can check out some of their material on the band's MySpace page.

2008 will see the release of more projects who are choosing to collaborate with Death To Music productions in order to get their music heard, rather than the usual route of labels / distros / magazines.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Radiohead, W/C In Digital Licensing Breakthrough

Radiohead and its long-time publisher Warner/Chappell Music have launched a unique "all rights" digital licensing service for the alternative rock band's new album "In Rainbows," can reveal.

The music publishing giant has created a global "one stop shop" solution for the critically-acclaimed set, which will enable potential rights users worldwide to secure licenses from a single destination, effectively side-stepping the label and traditional collecting societies networks.

For the new album, Warner/Chappell will administer all digital rights, including mechanical, performing, synchronisation, lyrics, master recordings, image and likeness, and will license synch rights for both publishing and master rights for TV and film synch uses in the offline world.

Jane Dyball, senior VP, European legal and business affairs, Warner/Chappell Music describes the new digital licensing development as an "experimental solution" which should benefit the Radiohead while "providing all their licensees with a new, highly flexible service."

Radiohead blazed a new trail when the band recorded the album independently, and released it digitally through its official Web site from Oct. 10, allowing downloaders to name a price to own a virtual copy.

The "honesty box" trial will conclude Monday, ahead of the album's tradition release through XL Recordings internationally on New Year's Eve. ATO Records Group will issue the album the following day in the United States, while Hostess Entertainment has a license agreement to release the album Dec. 26.

Live Nation, CTS Team For Ticketing Platform

Live Nation is entering the ticketing business. The live music giant has struck a long-term agreement with CTS Eventim, the Bremen, Germany-based ticket marketer and promoter, to launch a worldwide ticketing business, with effect from Jan. 1, 2009.

Through the initiative, unveiled today, Live Nation will exclusively license the Eventim platform in North America, while Eventim will provide back office ticketing services in the United Kingdom and ticketing services throughout Europe. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In a statement, Live Nation president/CEO Michael Rapino described the development as "a monumental step forward in the evolution of Live Nation into a next generation music company."

Rapino continued, "Eventim is the most technologically sophisticated ticketing platform in the world. Live Nation will use its most important asset, the concert ticket, to build artist careers and customer relationships, forge innovative sponsorship deals, create a fan and artist friendly secondary ticketing platform and provide a ticketing alternative for third-party venues. We believe that our partnership with Eventim will allow us to execute on this transformational vision."

Live Nation notes that the new ticketing platform will allow it to control customer data to create "enhanced ticket-based concert products," and capitalize on expanded distribution channels and sponsorship opportunities.

Meanwhile, Ticketmaster will handle ticketing for Live Nation's venues and thousands of events through the end of 2008. The contract between Ticketmaster and Live Nation dates back to 1998 and Live Nation's predecessor, SFX Entertainment. (Venues acquired as part of Live Nation's House of Blues acquisition last year are contracted with Ticketmaster through 2009.)

Sony BMG To Embrace MP3s

Sony BMG Music Entertainment is about to make its first foray into the MP3 format when it launches artist-specific digital download album cards in mid-January, sources say.

Apparently modeled on the iTunes digital download album cards, Sony BMG will place 40-50 album cards in about five large retailers. The cards will be a select mix of hit and catalog titles from artists such as Bob Dylan, Pink and Bruce Springsteen, as well as a few compilation releases.

The cards, which sources say are priced at $12.99, will come with a code that can be redeemed at a Sony BMG download store, which is expected to be called Currently, no such site is live on the web.

Sony BMG is using an intermediary company, Incomm, which specializes in gift cards, to cut the deals with accounts. Sony BMG's move towards testing MP3 has been in the works for the last few months, sources say. They also add other MP3 tests are being contemplated by the company.

Sony BMG declined to comment.

Thom hits the Radiohead treble

Thom Yorke has revealed the enormous success of Radiohead's download-only new album "In Rainbows".

The singer says the group have made more digital income from the release than from the rest of their back catalogue put together.

Earlier this year, Radiohead left EMI Records and decided to release the follow-up to 2004's "Hail To The Thief" themselves.

Yorke says it's been a rewarding financial venture for them, helped by the fact that their former label had been taking a large proportion of download revenue.

He explained: "In terms of digital income, we've made more money out of this record than out of all the other Radiohead albums put together, forever - in terms of anything on the 'net.

"And that's nuts. It's partly due to the fact that EMI wasn't giving us any money for digital sales. All the contracts signed in a certain era have none of that stuff."

Speaking to, Yorke also revealed the inspiration behind the idea to give the album away back in October.

"It wasn't nihilistic, implying that the music's not worth anything at all, it was the total opposite. And people took it as it was meant. Maybe that's just people having a little faith in what we're doing.

"It was simply a response to a situation. We're out of contract. We have our own studio. We have this new server. What the hell else would we do?"

"In Rainbows" is released on traditional formats on December 31.

Thursday, December 20, 2007