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SAEOnLine: A Learning Revolution In Game, Film And Music Production Begins August 16, 2009

Posted by David W. King in Digital Music, Education, tecnology.
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SAE is the world’s biggest private educator with more than 50 campuses around the globe. Many thousands of students have enjoyed the superb facilities and expert tuition offered at them. Now anyone with an internet connection can get an SAE education as the company launches SAEOnLine, a revolution in on-line education. It will bring SAE’s expertise in music production, games programming (from SAE’s sister company Qantm who specialize in superb game-based courses) and film production to homes in far flung places around the world or to people too busy to take on a full time educational course.

SAEOnLine currently offers 22 courses (see http://saeonline.com/catalog/all-courses), expected to rise to 25 and beyond over the coming weeks. There are 16 Learning Advisors on hand to offer help and advice, and students are encouraged to use the site to interact with these Advisors and fellow students, sharing music, ideas and show reels. Courses are available in English, Spanish, Italian and German, and the International Graduate College is integrating with SAEOnLine to offer a Masters degree, in conjunction with Middlesex University.

For more information:

DigiMusicBids.com Ushers In The Music Industry’s First Online Marketplace August 16, 2009

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DigiMusicBids.com, the music industry’s first online marketplace and auction site, now gives independent musicians and music industry professionals these same benefits and opportunities to purchase high-quality goods, plus professional services, such as music lessons and studio time.

Additionally, DigiMusicBids.com’s robust platform helps musicians and industry professionals connect, network and collaborate to advance the careers of independent musicians, producers and labels, and help them effectively compete with major corporations.

In recent years, many musicians and music industry professionals have utilized sites such as eBay.com, Craigslist.org and Elance.com to find affordable equipment, services and other resources. Designed for mainstream consumer use, these sites can be cumbersome for music industry professionals seeking resources specific to their craft

To mitigate this problem, DigiMusicBids.com provides streamlined access to the resources musicians and music industry professionals most commonly search for on the web.

“We’re committed to helping independent musicians, labels and small businesses thrive, and look forward to helping advance the way musicians and music industry professionals do business online.” Said Marlo Frierson, chief executive officer of

For more information or to register for DigiMusicBids.com, visit http://www.digimusicbids.com.

Ringtone Sales Fizzling August 16, 2009

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Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), an organization that collects royalties for song writers and publishers, is forecasting that overall ringtone sales in the US will fall 7 percent in 2008 to approximately $510 million.

“The ringtone market continues to decline as the novelty phase wears off,” said Richard Conlon, BMI’s vice president of new media and development.

Major music companies have been counting on sales of digital products – ringtones included – to offset sinking CD sales.

Album sales, including downloadable album bundles and CDs, are off 11.8 percent year to date, following a 15 percent drop in 2007, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

However, record company executives cautioned that BMI’s numbers don’t tell the whole story.

“I don’t think we have quite hit the ceiling yet,” said Amanda Marks, executive vice president and general manager of digital distribution for Universal Music Group Distribution.
She argued that ringtone sales could yet see an uptick if all carriers made it easier to shop for ringers and other mobile music products.

Meanwhile, Conlon said that despite the problems for ringtones, there are other promising mobile music products that could help expand overall mobile music revenues for the industry.

Topping that list: Sales of ringback tones, songs that a person making a call hears in place of a tradition ringing sound, which are expected to grow 50 percent to $210 million in 2008

The Orchard Partners With Powerful China Telecom Network August 16, 2009

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The Orchard announced that it has entered into an exclusive, multi-tiered marketing and licensing partnership with China’s leading next generation mobile infrastructure and services provider, ZTEMT.

Utilizing The Orchard’s top one hundred thousand songs, ZTEMT and The Orchard will power and program the English language genre sections of China Telecom’s new version of the service, iMusic.

With this deal, the Orchard becomes the first international digital music distributor to introduce such a large selection of western music to China’s massive 388 million internet and mobile internet users.

FCC Seeks Comments On MusicFIRST Petition August 16, 2009

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The Federal Communications Commission is seeking comments on the petition filed by the musicFIRST Coalition. The petition details how radio stations across the country refuse to air musicFIRST ads, threaten artists who support the effort to create a fair performance right on radio and continue to run misleading ads produced by the National Association of Broadcasters – all in an effort to further their own private commercial interests at the expense of their public interest obligations.

“We are pleased that the FCC has taken the first step in response to the musicFIRST petition,” said Jennifer Bendall, executive director of the musicFIRST Coalition. “Since we filed the petition in June, corporate radio’s spokespersons have not only confirmed the charges made in the petition, but boasted that they will continue to use the public airwaves to misinform policy makers and the public and punish artists and musicians for speaking out in support of a fair performance right on radio while refusing to run musicFIRST’s ads.”

The FCC is seeking comment on these actions and, according to the FCC notice, “whether and to what extent broadcasters are engaging in a media campaign, coordinated by NAB [National Association of Broadcasters], which disseminates falsities about the PRA [Performance Rights Act].”

Facebook Crushes MySpace, Twitter in July August 16, 2009

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Increasing its unique visitor count by more than 10 million in one month, Facebook dominated social networking rivals MySpace and Twitter in July, according to new data from ComScore.

Facebook generated a whopping 87.7 million unique visitors in July, an increase of about 14 percent from the 77 million it posted in June. Top rival MySpace saw its unique visitor count fall by about 168,000 during the same period, dropping from 68.4 million in June to 68.3 million in July, according to data ComScore shared with us today.

Some industry observers continue to view Twitter — an open social network that limits users to posts of 140 characters or less — as the top threat to Facebook. But Twitter’s traffic represents less than one quarter of Facebook’s count, with the micro-blogging site drawing 21.2 million unique visitors in July, up from 20.1 million in June.

But Twitter’s 1.1 million new unique visitors in July is impressive. The site, which was created in 2006, has posted huge traffic gains in the last year, building its unique visitor count up from 783,000 in July 2008.
Fox Interactive Media’s MySpace was once the dominant social networking site, but it peaked at 76.3 million unique visitors in October 2008. Visits to MySpace have steadily decreased since then.

CMX v Songparts August 16, 2009

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The four major record labels have been developing a new digital music album format, “CMX,” that will combines songs, lyrics, artwork and videos into a single file, the Times Online reported.

Sony Music, Warner Music, EMI and Universal Music are said to have approached Apple 18 months ago about joining the project, but were rebuffed by the iTunes Store operator — which is itself now working on a new digital album format called “Cocktail.”

“Ours will be a file that you click on, it opens and it would have a totally brand-new look, with a launch page and all the different options. When you click on it you’re not just going to get the ten tracks, you’re going to get the artwork, the video and mobile products,” a “senior record label insider” told Times Online.

The CMX format is expected to launch in November, but will not be heavily marketed by the labels.
Songparts vs CMX: Two different approaches
Over the past week or so vague details have been appearing about a new digital music format being developed by the 4 major labels which is tentatively called “CMX”. Both CMX and a competing format being developed by Apple dubbed “Cocktail will bundle such rich media elements as videos, song lyrics, interviews and album art along with music tracks in what one can only guess is an attempt to bring back the golden era of people buying full albums.
On one hand it’s nice to see the record industry finally realizing that they need to offer some sort of value proposition in order to make people feel like forking over their money. On the other hand, a concerted effort to bundle things together at a time when digital consumers like to increasingly get their content a la carte seems a bit misinformed.