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Opposition To RIAA Performance Tax Tops 250 In House, Reaches 25 In Senate September 23, 2009

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A bipartisan group of 251 House members and 25 U.S. Senators are now on record in opposition to a performance tax, NAB announced.

The overwhelming Congressional opposition comes as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) continues to lobby in support of legislation that would require local radio stations to pay an additional fee for every song aired free to listeners.

Meanwhile, Universal Music sent an email this week to local radio stations, thanking them for the free airplay provided for musicians Taylor Swift and Jaysean.

“Thank You Radio For Simultaneous #1 Tracks @ Top 40 and Rhythm!” reads the email.

The record label’s recognition of the unparalleled promotional value of radio airplay contradicts statements made by recording industry representatives in Washington who have characterized radio airplay as “a form of piracy.”

“Support in both the House and Senate for free and local radio continues to grow, despite an unprecedented lobbying campaign by RIAA,” said NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton. “We’re hopeful that Congress ultimately rejects this bill and preserves the ability of local radio to freely expose new artists and new music to 235 million listeners every week.”

Sens. Mary Landrieu (LA) and John Thune (SD) and Reps. Dennis Cardoza (CA-18), John Boccieri (OH-16), Brian Baird (WA-3), Joe Sestak (PA-7) and Daniel Lungren (CA-3) are the most recent co-sponsors of The Local Radio Freedom Act (H. Con. Res. 49, S. Con. Res. 14), a bipartisan resolution expressly opposing the record label-led performance tax effort.

The Local Radio Freedom Act is now supported by a group of 251 House members and 25 U.S. Senators.

“Congress should not impose any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge relating to the public performance of sound recordings on a local radio station for broadcasting sound recordings over-the-air, or on any business for such public performance of sound recordings,” reads The Local Radio Freedom Act, which was unveiled at a February Capitol Hill event hosted by the Free Radio Alliance. The resolution was introduced by Reps. Gene Green (TX-29) and Mike Conaway (TX-11) in the House and by Sens. Blanche Lincoln (AR) and John Barrasso (WY) in the Senate.

So Big Corporations Don’t Take Control of the Web, FCC Outlines Actions To Preserve The Free And Open Internet September 21, 2009

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Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski outlined the concrete actions he believes the Commission must take to preserve the free and open Internet at a speech at The Brookings Institution.

“The Internet is an extraordinaryplatform for innovation, job creation, investment, and opportunity. It has unleashed the potential of entrepreneurs and enabled the launch and growth of small businesses across America,” said Chairman Genachowski. “It is vital that we safeguard the free and open Internet.”

The Commission previouslyembraced four open Internet principles affirming that consumers must be able to access the lawful Internet content, applications, and services of their choice, and attach non-harmful devices to the network. These four principles guide the FCC’s existing case- by-case enforcement of communications law.

In today’s speech, Chairman Genachowski proposed the addition of two new principles. The first would prevent Internet access providers from discriminating against particular Internet content or applications, while allowing for reasonable network management. The second principle would ensure that Internet access providers are transparent about the network management practices theyimplement. The Chairman also proposed clarifying that all six principles applyto all platforms that access the Internet.

Chairman Genachowski will seek to begin the process of codifying the Commission’s existing four open Internet principles, along with the two additional principles, through a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) at the October meeting. The NPRM will ask for input and feedback on the proposed rules and their application, such as how to determine whether network management practices are reasonable, what information broadband providers should disclose about their network management practices and how the rules apply to differing platforms, including mobile Internet access services.

“I look forward to working with my Commission colleagues on this important initiative,” Chairman Genachowski said. “Commissioners Copps, McDowell, Clyburn, and Baker each bring a unique and important perspective to the complex issues at stake and I look forward to getting their input and insight when we kick-off the rulemaking process next month.” As part of Chairman Genachowski’s commitment to openness and transparency, the FCC launched a new website, http://www.openInternet.gov to encourage public participation.

For more information:
http://www.openInternet.gov

Independent Festivals Put £Millions Into UK Economies September 20, 2009

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The huge value and contribution of UK festivals to the British economy has been quantified in an overreaching survey of 3,300 festival goers undertaken by the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF).

AIF member festivals alone, which include Secret Garden Party, WOMAD and Glade, attracted around 340,000 people this summer. Spending an average £408 per person, they contributed in excess of £135 million into the UK economy.

With 60% of festival goers staying for 3-4 days in the area surrounding the festival, spending on average £48 each, an additional £16.3 million was directly inputted into local economies.

Ranging in size from Glasgowbury at just 1,000 people to Creamfields with over 40,000, AIF’s 19 member festivals generate on average £1million each for local towns and businesses. Bestival making £600,000 for ferry companies alone each year, and the non camping festival Evolution estimated to boost the economy of the twin cities of Newcastle and Gateshead by £2.9 million.

With over 300 festivals having taken place in the UK this summer, the total amount of revenue generated across the whole festival landscape for local businesses is projected to be staggering.

The survey also highlighted the types of people who go to festivals and the diversity of entertainment on offer. Often perceived as just being for music aficionados, over 60% of festival goers said that the main reason they attended festivals is for the atmosphere, with 42% spending less than half of their time at the festival watching music, a percentage that rises to 70% in the case of the Secret Garden Party.

With audience travel being the greatest source of festivals’ greenhouse gas emissions, attention was also paid to the modes of transport used by festival goers. 60% of respondents travelled by car, of which 44% travelling with 3 or more people per vehicle.

Claire O’Neill, AIF general manager and co-founder of A Greener Festival said: “It is clear that independent festivals make a significant contribution not only culturally, but also to the local and UK economy. It is also good to see the positive steps being taken by events to minimise the environmental impact of events. We adhere to keep stepping in the right direction.”

Hugh Phillimore, founder of the Cornbury Festival said “Not only do we fill every B&B, pub and hotel within a 10 mile radius; lots of local shops stay open to benefit from the extra custom. Cornbury not only makes a huge contribution to the local economy but also supports fundraising for local schools, brownies, and scouts.”

http://www.aiforg.com/news.php

Grab The Live Nation Club Passport for One Low Price and See Every Show at Live Nation Clubs in Your City for Rest of the Year–No Catch, No Extra Fees September 20, 2009

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For a limited time only, concert fans can buy The Live Nation Club Passport for $49.99, All-In and No Fees, and see every show at Live Nation clubs in their city for the rest of the year, subject to availability. If you’re a Live Nation Club Passport holder, and the show’s not sold-out, you’re in! The Live Nation Club Passport is available only at http://www.livenation.com.

Here’s how it works. Concert fans go to LiveNation.com and purchase a Club Passport. A list of participating shows will be immediately available. Every Monday thereafter, Passport holders log on to LiveNation.com/Passport or follow LiveNation on Facebook or Twitter to see the list of participating club shows in their city and to reserve their ticket. From here, Club Passport holders just bring their Live Nation Club Passport number and photo I.D. to the club’s box office and get right in, no extra charges, no hassles.

“This summer we helped concert fans save more than $14 million on nearly 800,000 tickets to shows in our amphitheaters through our weekly ‘No Service Fee’ offers,” said Michael Rapino, President and Chief Executive Officer of Live Nation. “Since then, I’ve heard from fans and artists alike saying they’d like us to make it just as easy and affordable to discover new artists in our clubs. With The Live Nation Club Passport we’re doing just that, helping fans discover up-and-coming artists, and helping those bands build new audiences.”

The Live Nation Club Passport is valid for participating shows at the following venues:

VENUE CITY
Avalon Los Angeles, CA
Bogart’s Cincinatti, OH
Egyptian Room at the Murat Theatre Indianapolis, IN
The Fillmore Auditorium Denver, CO
The Fillmore Charlotte Charlotte, NC
The Fillmore Miami Beach Miami Beach, FL
The Fillmore NY at Irving Plaza New York, NY
The Fillmore San Francisco, CA
The Fillmore Detroit Detroit, MI
Gramercy Theatre New York, NY
Hollywood Palladium Hollywood, CA
House of Blues Anaheim Anaheim, CA
House of Blues Boston Boston, MA
House of Blues Chicago Chicago, IL
House of Blues Cleveland Cleveland, OH
House of Blues Dallas Dallas, TX
House of Blues Houston Houston, TX
House of Blues Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV
House of Blues Sunset Strip West Hollywood, CA
House of Blues Myrtle Beach North Myrtle Beach, SC
House of Blues New Orleans New Orleans, LA
House of Blues Orlando Lake Buena Vista, FL
House of Blues San Diego San Diego, CA
Tabernacle Atlanta, GA
Theatre of Living Arts Philadelphia, PA
The Wiltern Los Angeles, CA

Online Publishers Association (OPA) Announces Results of Six Year Study–Consumers Are Spending The Lionshare Of Their Time Online With Content September 20, 2009

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Internet users continue to spend a majority of their time with Content sites, up from 34 percent of total time spent in 2003 to 42 percent in 2009, a 24 percent increase, according to the Online Publishers Association (OPA). The OPA announced a six-year analysis of its Internet Activity Index (IAI), a monthly gauge of the time being spent with Commerce, Communications, Community, Content and Search. And, while consumers may be spending significant time with Community sites, it’s coming at the expense of their time with Communication sites whose core capabilities are email and Instant Messaging (IM).

“In the six years that the IAI has reported on how consumers are spending their time online, we have seen some significant shifts, most notably the emergence of Community,” said Pam Horan, president of the OPA. “While Community has grown, data from the IAI proves that Content is still king; these sites continue to be a place where consumers spend the majority of their online time and provide an environment for brand marketers to reach and engage with consumers.”

The latest IAI report provides insights into how consumers are spending their time online, and how that has changed over the past six years. Based on the analysis, the OPA found that the percentage of time spent online with Web sites providing news, information and entertainment, like NYTimes.com, ESPN.com and Edmunds.com (Content sites), has grown even in the wake of Community sites like Facebook. Moreover, Communication sites offering email and IM have decreased in share of online time spent due to the ability to conduct these activities elsewhere.

“In 2008, we introduced the Community category based on the emergence and popularity of sites like Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn,” continued Horan. “These new sites have had significant impact on the Communications category, which saw a 41 percent decline, due to the fact consumers are using Community sites where they can conduct these same activities more efficiently.”

IAI’s share of time helps to provide further context. For example, Content consumption, as a share of online time, surpasses Communications as the leading way online audiences spend their time. Furthermore, although time spent with Search doubled, its share of time is very small and has only increased by two percentage points. Monthly time spent with Communications decreased by less than half an hour, but declined by 41 percent as a share of a consumer’s online time.

http://www.online-publishers.org/

eMusic Customers Already Purchase More Albums than Single Tracks–Data Shows That 72% Of Sales Are Albums September 20, 2009

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eMusic a leading digital music retailer, announced that over the past year full album downloads accounted for 72% of its worldwide sales. Single tracks accounted for 28% of total sales. Following the introduction of album pricing in July 2009, which enables eMusic customers to purchase selected albums for lower prices, album sales have risen to 75% of total sales, on average.

eMusic customers have consistently purchased more complete albums than individual tracks for the last several years, with full albums accounting for an average of about 69% of total sales worldwide since 2006.

This trend runs counter to data reported by other major sites, such as iTunes, and by Nielsen SoundScan. Although digital album sales continue to increase in the market as a whole, they lag significantly behind individual track sales. According to Nielsen SoundScan, in 2008 U.S. consumers bought more than a billion digital tracks, but only 65 million digital albums. Total album sales (including physical product) declined by 14% in 2008.

“While Apple and their major label suppliers continue to figure out how to make albums more appealing to music buyers, eMusic customers already purchase more albums than single tracks,” said Danny Stein, eMusic President and CEO. “Although the majority of our customers are over the age of 25, we encourage them to buy more music with subscription and album pricing and more musical context than any other service.”

eMusic encourages complete album purchases with editorial features that place albums in context, including career surveys of leading artist’s catalogues (“Icons”), examining an artist’s peers and influencers (“Six Degrees”), and overviews of genres, labels and favorites (“eMusic Dozens”). Additionally, eMusic’s album and artist pages include related artist information from YouTube, Flickr and Wikipedia. eMusic subscriptions offer MP3 downloads at prices ranging from 40 to 50 cents. Album pricing offers even better deals on selected albums.

http://bit.ly/TIbFM

Canada’s Private Broadcasters Call On Government To ‘Create A Digital Copyright Competitive Advantage’ September 20, 2009

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Canada’s private broadcasters are encouraging the federal government to create a ‘Digital Copyright Competitive Advantage’ for Canadian businesses and creators by introducing copyright legislation that creates a predictable and technologically advanced framework. This will support growth in Canadian media services.

In a formal submission to the federal government’s consultation process on copyright reform, the CAB called on the government to update Canada’s copyright legislation to ensure businesses are not excessively encumbered in the fast-moving digital media environment.

“Private broadcasters recommend that the comprehensive review of the copyright legislation proceed immediately to allow the media industry to function effectively in the digital economy,” said Margot Patterson, CAB General Counsel and Vice President, Legal Affairs. “CAB member companies have asked for a more stable regime, so that private broadcasters don’t have to face unpredictable and increasing layers of costs and rights clearance, particularly at a time when their focus must be on remaining innovative as content providers in the digital economy” stated Ms. Patterson.

The two core recommendations in the CAB submission are:

* that broadcasters not be forced to pay multiple copyright fees for incidental acts such as backing up their digital servers and making copies of the music files stored on those servers; and

* that along with new legislation, the federal government should overhaul the way that copyright is administered in order to strike the right balance between seamless access to content and fair payment to the owners of that content.

The CAB recommendations are aimed at creating a ‘Digital Copyright Competitive Advantage’ that will work for Canadians, the media industry and creators. The CAB considers that this will create clear and predictable rules that allow broadcasters to continue doing what they have been doing for decades – providing consumers with access to the best content Canada and the world have to offer.

Crest Digital And DMX Form Alliance Creating An In-Flight Entertainment First–But Will This Fly? September 20, 2009

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Two of In-flight entertainment’s most respected and experienced service providers, Crest Digital and DMX Inc., have formed an exclusive long term strategic alliance that will revolutionize the airline passenger experience.

Fl’air, a new division of Crest Digital, will offer distinctive customized audio programming and related entertainment services to airlines with all content and programming services provided exclusively by DMX. Crest Digital and DMX will allow airlines to offer compelling in-flight and promotional music programming for sale to passengers directly from the airline’s website.

Crest Digital and DMX are the first in the marketplace to allow passengers to download the custom audio programming played as part of their in-flight entertainment experience. Powered by DMX’s Sonic Tap digital music service, passengers can tap into the knowledge and passion of DMX’s professional Music Designers and be guided in the discovery of new and compelling music. In addition to making its in-flight music entertainment programming available for digital download, airlines can promote new destinations, special promotions, or any of the airline’s objectives, with custom music programs that will be made available through the airline’s website.

“Imagine a passenger asking if he can have a copy of the Jazz Channel playlist he heard while flying from New York to San Francisco? Or rewarding passengers traveling to Hawaii with a playlist featuring island favorites? Or a destination-specific music playlist promoting flights to new markets? Until now, airlines have not been able to meet their passengers’ requests. Through our partnership with DMX and its Sonic Tap digital music service, an airline can make its in-flight music entertainment and custom music programming accessible on its website for sale to passengers.” said Ron Stein, President of Crest Digital.

Barry Knittel, Senior Vice President, Business Affairs Worldwide, said: “In the highly competitive airline industry, brand differentiation and customer loyalty are driving airlines to improve the traveling experience of its passengers. We are very excited to partner with Crest Digital to provide a compelling in-flight entertainment experience. In addition, using our Sonic Tap service enables passengers to download their in-flight music entertainment experience directly from the airline’s website.”

http://www.crestdigital.com/

Music Producer/Drummer Loren Weisman presents his Realistic Music Careers 101 Seminar: Drum Clinic for Non Drummers on Saturday, September 26th, 2009 in Seattle, Washington September 16, 2009

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The Drum clinic for non drummers will be presented by Loren Weisman on Saturday, September 26th, 2009 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm at Elliott Bay Recording Company in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. The purpose is to help those that do not play drums communicate better with their drummers or the drummers that they hire when creating, performing and recording songs.

Many musicians and songwriters often complain about drummers not playing the right part or not playing the song the way they want it. This clinic is designed to empower and teach artists to use and extend their vocabulary of drums in order to better describe, explain and ask for what they want in a song or songs. This will be a great event for any artist that has ever felt frustration, confusion or a lack of knowledge in trying to communicate what they want with their drummer or a drummer they want to hire.

The clinic will include explanation as well as demonstration of different styles and mixture of styles. Different patterns and approaches, Different feels and applications for them, Fills, embellishments and dynamics and ostinatos, stickings and Linear playing simply explained. Dynamics, playing busy vs. playing simple as well as an overview on using sticks, brushes, mallets, different drums and cymbals. The simplest vocabulary, best phrases, words and ways to get the point across about how you want your song to sound along with working with a drummer on combining your ideas and their ideas to create the best song possible.

Loren Weisman is an accomplished music producer and drummer based in Seattle, Washington. Having worked on over three hundred albums, Loren has also worked on numerous television, film, video game and radio productions, from New York to Los Angeles, Boston to Seattle. Loren spent many years as a session, touring and substitute drummer for major and independent artists. Loren is the founder of Brain Grenade Entertainment LLC, and the author of the Freedom Solutions Recording Plan. Loren has also written “The Artist’s Guide to Success in the Music Business”, a book to help independent musicians achieve self sufficient and sustainable success.

Visit http://www.lorenweisman.com or http://www.braingrenademusic.com for more information on Loren Weisman and the Realistic Music Careers 101 Seminar: Drum clinic for non-drummers.

Contact: Jenée Arthur, Rellihan Satterlee.
3511 SW Henderson St., Seattle, Wa. 98126
PH: 206.588.1998 EM: jenart@relsat.com

Songbeat 360 Now Available For Download: “The Future Of Music!” September 16, 2009

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“Why should I pay for music when it’s available for free everywhere anyway? This is the question everyone is asking themselves today.” says Claudio Fritz-Vietta, CEO of Songbeat Distribution Ltd. “We have arrived at the future of music. Music is shifting from being a product to a service.” he explains. Until now there has not been a single software platform capable of optimizing the full potential of the widespread availability of digital tracks online; nor has the music industry adapted themselves to profit from this uncontrollable trend. Neither the conventional business models nor the already available music players have been properly conceptualized for the music market of the future.

Songbeat Brings it All Together
“Songbeat is a high-powered interactive music player with an integrated music search engine and a user interface that steps up in direction competition to iTunes.” says Friz-Vietta.
Songbeat Search locates millions of digital tracks from hundreds of thousands of artists, from all over the web. A groundbreaking innovation allows artists, labels and concert organizers to use the player free of charge as an advertising platform for promotion, ticket sales, merchandising and special offers. According to Fritz-Vietta; “In the future, all real turnover in the music industry will be made through these avenues of income.”

Grand Slam for Listeners and Labels Alike
Songbeat 360 is compatible with Windows, Apple, and Linux operating systems
The player offers labels and bands a platform for promotion and supports new modes of multichannel marketing and revenue earning.
In addition to the highly intuitive search function that accesses any and all music that is available online, Songbeat 360 offers a comprehensive Discover function which gives users backstage access to artists. Biographies, photos, recommendations for albums and much more are delivered directly to your desktop. Users can view real-time international search trends to check out what artists are most sought after.

And with the world’s first Bookmark function for music, users can bookmark musicians, tag them with their own comments and then hang them on their own virtual poster wall. Fans can use the Live function to see when and where their favorite artists are performing, listing everything from club performances to classical concerts. With the conveniently-located twitter function, users can tweet from Songbeat 360 to let friends know what track they are listening to, or to send personal messages.

Up to 2,500 Tracks Included
The Songbeat 360 player is now available for free download in a public beta at http://www.songbeat360.com. The download includes 50 free credits granting users access to as many as 2,500 tracks to stream or download directly. One credit equals one search, each search showing up to 50 results. Additional credits can be purchased any time, at €10/$15 for 1,000 credits – providing up to 50,000 tracks.

Like other search engines, Songbeat 360 only provides links to files that are already available online. It does not host actual digital tracks. It does not keep track of user download or listening behaviour. Users are not involved in filesharing, do not provide music to other users and do not participate in P2P filesharing.

Url: http://www.songbeat360.com/