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Warner Bros. Entertainment Announces Re-Branding Of In-House Label To WaterTower Music January 18, 2010

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.
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Warner Bros. Entertainment is re-branding its in-house music label as WaterTower Music, it was announced by Toby Emmerich, President and COO, New Line Cinema.

Formerly New Line Records, WaterTower Music will begin operating under its new name immediately under the leadership of Jason Linn, who created the label in 2000 at New Line Cinema. Linn will be based in Los Angeles and report to Emmerich and Paul Broucek, President, Music, Warner Bros. Pictures. The re-branding will allow the label to clearly communicate its role in supporting all divisions within Warner Bros. Entertainment as a premiere full-service music label.

“The notion of marketing music hand-in-hand with film has always been exciting to us,” commented Emmerich. “With both divisions now under the same umbrella, the sky is the limit. This is the vision Jason and I shared when we launched the label 10 years ago, and we’re thrilled to be given this opportunity to expand within Warner Bros. and serve a multi-divisional agenda.”

The label’s most recent successes include a Grammy nomination for “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” a Golden Globe nomination for best original score for “The Informant!” and a Broadcast Film Critics nomination for “Sherlock Holmes.” Additionally, WaterTower’s upcoming soundtrack to “Valentine’s Day” will feature the brand-new song “Today Was a Fairytale” from multi-platinum sensation Taylor Swift, to be released February 9th.

“It has been a pleasure working with the WaterTower team on the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ soundtrack,” said award-winning composer Hans Zimmer. “They have a resourceful, aggressive and thoroughly modern approach to marketing music.”

“This past summer Jason and the WaterTower Music staff delivered the highest chart position ever held by a Harry Potter soundtrack,” said film producer David Heyman. “We’re all impressed by their passion and creativity and look forward to more collaborations – and Grammy nominations – in the future.”

Under the New Line Records moniker, the label has released over 70 titles, including the film soundtracks to “Hairspray,” “Sex and the City,” “Elf,” “The Notebook,” “He’s Just Not That Into You,” “The Departed,” “Wedding Crashers,” “Sideways,” “The Hangover,” “Rock of Ages: Broadway Cast Recording” and “Invictus,” among others. WaterTower is actively developing music projects for popular Warner Bros. brands such as DC Comics, Scooby Doo and Looney Tunes, as well as for the television shows “Supernatural” and “The Mentalist.” Its 2010 release schedule will also include “Sex and the City 2,” “Inception,” “Going the Distance,” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”

Neurotic Media Signs Indie Labels To Hosted Model January 18, 2010

Posted by David W. King in digital distribution, mobile entertainment, online entertainment, Uncategorized.
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Neurotic Media, the leading provider of online and mobile entertainment download solutions, announced that it was selected by E1 Entertainment, Madacy Entertainment/Countdown Media, and Curb Records for “Hosted Model” digital distribution services. The “Hosted Model” is a term coined by record companies for a digital distribution model whereby they host their digital catalogs with a vendor (i.e. Neurotic Media) that allows them to control and administer their distribution relationships in the marketplace directly, hands-on, in a self-managed manner.

Using Neurotic Media’s do-it-yourself admin platform, content owners such as record companies and distributors manage their digital assets on a project-by-project basis, including both business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) initiatives and direct-to-consumer (D2C) projects.

Content owners use Neurotic Media to launch brand and retail partners quickly using either Neurotic Media’s Neurolinq API tools or Neurotic Media’s do-it-yourself, template-based services. Additionally, content owners use Neurotic Media’s platform to execute and manage their in-house needs, such as empowering artist websites’ download stores, widgets, give-away campaigns, and solutions for corporate partners. Neurotic Media’s platform provides its content owner clients with an easy path to increase distribution and sales revenues, a path that has been tested and proven by major record companies since Neurotic Media launched its enterprise-class platform in 2005.

Meredith Marconi, SVP of Sales & Marketing of Neurotic Media, comments: “We’re excited to add marquee independent record companies such as E1 Entertainment, Curb Records, and Madacy Entertainment/Countdown Media to our Software-as-a-Service (“SaaS”) platform. With the ongoing shift of revenues from physical to digital products, independent record companies are now able to recognize returns from using our system, which in the past were considered only major label domain. Our robust, holistic digital platform offers multiple online and mobile delivery capabilities that touch many departments and initiatives within a record label or distribution company. We are proud to empower leading independent distributors who can now yield strong returns from shifting certain operations, services and programs to the digital domain.”

Universal Audio Announces Partnership With Dunlop January 18, 2010

Posted by David W. King in Acquisition, Guitarists, Guitars, Mergers, Producers, Uncategorized.
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Universal Audio, a manufacturer of high-quality vintage audio hardware and award-winning UAD Powered Plug-Ins for Mac and PC, announced a partnership with Dunlop, a leading manufacturer of guitar stompboxes and studio-oriented effects under the Dunlop and MXR brands. Under this partnership, Universal Audio will deliver a range of unique and classic effects to the ever-growing family of plug-ins available on the UAD-2 platform.

“Dunlop and MXR have innovated and defined classic effects sounds for decades,” said Matt Ward, President of Universal Audio. “We hope to extend this reputation by painstakingly modeling authentic Dunlop and MXR effects for the UAD-2 platform. Guitarists and producers have embraced these effects for decades, so we’re very happy about this partnership.”

“Universal Audio and Dunlop Manufacturing both have a commitment to maintaining a tradition of true analog gear for musicians,” commented Jimmy Dunlop, Vice President of Dunlop. “When it came time to create plug-ins of our classic electronics, we knew there was only one company to turn to. We know our customers will be pleased with the level of quality and performance that UA will be offering.”

For more:
http://www.uaudio.com/

MIDEM Launches Mobile App, Website Adds Live Content January 18, 2010

Posted by David W. King in Apple, Apple Store, Cannes, iPhone, Twitter, Uncategorized.
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Following the buzz at MIDEM 2010 just got easier, with the launch of the new MIDEM mobile app, available on iPhone and downloadable on Apple Store, free of charge. And that’s not all. The MIDEM website will evolve as the show develops, thanks to videos of the conferences, live blogs and Twitter conversations from Cannes and beyond.

Already available, the MIDEM app provides details of the whole conference and concert programms, as well as the speakers and artists biographies. This new tool offers the opportunity to contact MIDEM attendees via their Twitter accounts. This app, developed by Mobile Roadie, also gives access to tweets, posts, blogs and articles about MIDEM, during and after the event.

From the beginning of MidemNet, on Saturday 23rd, the MIDEM website will share new content. Video coverage of all MidemNet conferences will be available online, along with the main MIDEM conferences. Internet users will be able to follow the different debates and react via the MIDEM blog – animated ‘live’ by a journalist from the UK consulting and research company Music Ally. The Twitter flux of comments about MIDEM will also be available on the show’s official website.

“MIDEM is adapting to new communication habits, especially when it comes to using interactive tools. The MIDEM iPhone app and the enriched website content will extend the market’s reach and enlarge the amount of content available on the web. The MIDEM mobile app is an easy way for delegates to plan their conference and concert agenda during MIDEM,” explains Dominique Leguern, MIDEM Director.

MIDEM app is available for download from:
http://bit.ly/5ulkmH

Groups Tell FCC Copyright Enforcement Shouldn’t Be Part Of Net Neutrality January 18, 2010

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.
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Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules to ensure an open Internet should not be used to enforce intellectual property law, six public-interest and business groups told the Commission.

The Commission’s proposed definition of “reasonable network management” under its Net Neutrality rules would allow telephone, cable and wireless companies to prevent the transfer of unlawful content and prevent the unlawful transfer of content. There is no need for those copyright-related exceptions because the proposed rules already provide that ISPs must treat lawful content in a non-discriminatory manner, the groups said.

However, the rules could lead to “excusing overbroad techniques that interfere with lawful activities,” according to a filing submitted by Public Knowledge, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Computer and Communications Industry Association, Consumer Electronics Association, Home Recording Rights Coalition and NetCoalition. A copy of the comments is here.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are “poorly placed to determine whether or not transfers of content are infringing or otherwise unlawful, a task generally reserved to attorneys, courts, and law enforcement,” the groups said: “In short, the issue raised by broadening the ‘reasonable network management’ exception to include copyright enforcement and the blocking of unlawful content is not whether ISPs may undertake these efforts, but rather whether they may inflict collateral damage on lawful traffic when they do so.”

There is “no evidence that lawful content or activities must be sacrificed in order to make headway against copyright infringement,” the groups said, noting that ISPs have other mechanisms that wouldn’t violate an open network, that content owners have their own tools and that there are stiff civil and criminal penalties for infringement.

SGA Warns That FCC Net Neutrality Proposal Could Enshrine Music Piracy And Devastate Creators January 18, 2010

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.
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Warning of potential devastation to music creators, the Songwriters Guild of America (SGA) Thursday filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) expressing its grave concern about a new proposed rule that could result in continued widespread music piracy and further loss of income to songwriters.

The FCC’s rulemaking proceeding deals with the controversial issue of ‘Net Neutrality,’ and the Commission’s proposed rule would codify six principles in an attempt to “preserve the free and open Internet.” In its comments, the SGA stated that while it shares the Commission’s overall goal, it strongly objects to the proposed fifth, ‘nondiscrimination’ principle. That proposal states that, subject to reasonable network management, a provider of broadband Internet access service would be required to treat lawful content applications and services in a nondiscriminatory manner.

“While the nondiscrimination principle seems harmless on its surface, we believe it will seriously impact songwriters and copyright owners, and we’re asking the FCC to revise or delete it,” said Rick Carnes, president of the SGA.

The SGA argued that the nondiscrimination principle addresses problems that are largely hypothetical and would enshrine actual practices that have led to the decimation of the music industry and the impending demise of the profession of American songwriting. The SGA urged the FCC to focus instead on the real issues — copyright piracy and bandwidth congestion.

The principal concerns of SGA are that the proposed nondiscrimination rule would lock the Internet into its current form — where continuous access to stolen works is the norm – and that it would prevent Internet service providers (ISPs) from developing technology to effectively combat piracy.

Technology that could discern lawful from unlawful content (including electronic fingerprinting and watermarking applications, central registry databases and commercial technologies such as Audible Magic and SNOCAP) is essential for a robust and safe Internet marketplace, but needs further refinement to ensure that it is reliable and does not frustrate the large number of Internet users who do not engage in digital piracy, the SGA noted. Adoption of the proposed nondiscrimination rule, however, would discourage further private investment in these technologies, stopping anti-piracy progress in its tracks.

SGA argued that it is unreasonable to ask ISPs or other private parties to innovate in an environment of legal ambiguity, not to mention one that may actually result in legal liability.

“Who would be willing to invest in a technology that seems to constitute ‘reasonable network management’ when the FCC or a federal court could decides it doesn’t? The answer is, no one. So, creators will continue to lose their livelihood to piracy — and the songwriting profession in this country will continue its downward spiral,” said Carnes.

Further, according to the SGA, the vague language of the rule would allow pirating of content to continue unabated. Under the proposed rule, copyright pirates could transmit small amounts of legal works in the public domain alongside massive amounts of illegal, infringed works, and an ISP network operator would be prevented from ‘discriminating’ against this lawbreaker.

Internet piracy of music, according to the SGA, has almost completely destroyed the profession of songwriting, and is slowly destroying the music industry. For example,

* According to the International Federation of Phonographic Industries (IFPI), in 2000, global recorded music sales were $30 billion. By 2008, these same global sales had fallen to $18.4 billion. This eight-year period coincides with the rapid expansion of unlawful file sharing.
* According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, songwriter income dropped 32% between 2003 and 2006 alone.

The entire text of the SGA response to the FCC can be read at http://www.songwritersguild.com/fcc.html.

SESAC Announces Strategic Alliance To Introduce Ruby Digsound (DS) Music Delivery System January 18, 2010

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SESAC announced a strategic alliance with Activated Content Corporation (ACC) and DigSound to launch Ruby DS, a web-based delivery system for watermarked audio files. SESAC, the most innovative and fastest growing performing rights organization in the U.S., continues to expand its edge by utilizing the latest advances in audio-recognition technology to improve the performance tracking, music licensing, and royalty distribution process.

RubyDS is a web-based system that delivers audio files via email. The track may be downloaded sercurely, with meta data identifying the sender and downloader attached via a unique watermark. Specifically, each downloaded track receives a unique watermark specific to the terms and conditions of the audio file’s digital transfer. Ruby DS provides a watermark that was previously only available through major labels and post production houses to anyone with a web browser.

Hunter Williams, Senior VP of Strategic Development at SESAC, said, “Technology is changing the way music is consumed at the B2B level. Creators need tools to authenticate and protect their IP as it travels through the digital domain. Copyright owners expect greater accuracy and transparency in accounting from their business representatives. Similarly, music consumers are looking for better efficiency in licensing content that they wish to exploit. The Ruby DS system responds to these needs in a very direct way.”

“The age of digital music has arrived, and RubyDS is a vehicle that takes it to the next level. Activated Content is committed to providing its cutting edge watermark technology to deliver audio files while protecting the content IP and allowing for efficient collection of royalties. We are grateful to be a part of this alliance with SESAC and DigSound which will result in cost savings while generating new revenue for artists and content owners,” said David Cannon, President of Activated Content.

“With so many advancements in digital technology, from broadband to mobile applications, the music value chain is evolving,” said Paul Martin Founder of DigSound. “RubyDS will enhance the ability to monetize content through innovative web 2.0 strategies and foster a more efficient marketplace for music creators,” he concluded.

SESAC, ACC, and DigSound are inviting parties to join the Beta Launch of RubyDS. It is not necessary to be a SESAC affiliate in order to participate. Those interested should visit DigSound.com or SESAC.com for more information.

CCIA Weighs In On Ticketmaster-Live Nation Merger January 18, 2010

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The proposed Ticketmaster Live Nation merger should not be approved without conditions to protect competition in the primary and secondary markets for live event ticketing, Computer & Communications Industry Association President & CEO Ed Black said in a letter to Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney yesterday.

Contrasting the highly competitive markets of e-commerce with the highly consolidated markets for live event ticketing, Black urged the Department of Justice to at a minimum impose conditions on the transaction. He said these conditions are needed to prevent the merged entity from using their ticket monopoly to charge any surcharge they want when someone buys a ticket and to put up roadblocks and add more surcharges if a ticket holder wants to resell their ticket online.

Those selling and buying online in the so-called secondary market have so far not had to pay additional “convenience” fees — but that could end with this merger.

“Much has been written about the impact of such a merger on the price people pay for tickets with no real competitor to encourage Ticketmaster to rein in extra fees. But the situation is even worse than people realize because of the blow to competition for those trying to resell tickets or buy online from individuals or other smaller vendors. The deal appears to make Ticketmaster master of the standards and e-commerce platform online, making it tougher for other ticket sellers to compete — and for consumers to avoid extra fees.”

“This is about ensuring that a ticket monopoly doesn’t choke off e-commerce, which helps consumers get more affordable tickets,” Black said. “You should have the right to do what you want to with tickets.”

“Right now customer A can buy a ticket online from Ticketmaster and pay a convenience fee. If she can’t make the concert and tries to resell the tickets online, she has a variety of sites to choose to list them and customer B can buy tickets without any involvement – or additional fees – from Ticketmaster.”

Black says the rules Ticketmaster is trying to put in place would switch the industry to a restrictive “model that more closely resembles airline ticketing – a dubious value prospect for any consumer familiar with modern air travel.”

VEVO Was Most Trafficked U.S. Entertainment-Music Web Network In December 2009 January 18, 2010

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VEVO, the new premium music video and entertainment service created in partnership by Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Abu Dhabi Media Company and powered by YouTube, was the most visited U.S. web network in the Entertainment-Music category last month with 35, 395, 000 unique visitors, according to comScore. VEVO’s number one ranking is even more impressive as the service’s December 8 launch means VEVO was not live for the full month of December, which comScore bases its results. comScore’s Media Metrix service is a recognized leader in measuring the digital world.

VEVO’s remarkable launch traffic is the result of the service’s VEVO Network strategy. The VEVO Network platform represents a ubiquity strategy where its content is available on VEVO.com (the service’s marquee destination site), YouTube and through a VEVO-branded embedded player, creating the largest music video audience network online.

“We are thrilled that the VEVO Network, which is still in its infancy, has debuted at the top of the comScore rankings for unique visitors across the Entertainment-Music category in the U.S.,” said Rio Caraeff (President and CEO, VEVO). “The interest and enthusiasm our users have shown has been both gratifying and inspiring. We are also proud to deliver such strong traffic results straight out of the gate to our content and marketing partners, which solidify their early belief in the VEVO vision. We listen very closely to all of our partners and fans, and have been incorporating their feedback to continue to improve upon the VEVO experience.”

Music videos from Beyonce, Justin Bieber, Drake, Lady Gaga, Jay Sean, Shakira, Britney Spears, Taylor Swift and Young Money are the most popular on VEVO this week.

The Top 5 U.S. Entertainment-Music networks on the web, according to comScore Media Metrix data, for December 2009 include: MySpace Music, AOL Music, Warner Music and MTV Networks Music.