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Film Industry Disappointed By Federal Court Ruling On Online Copyright Infringement February 9, 2010

Posted by David W. King in Australian Record Industry.
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34 film companies representing the Australian and US film industries today expressed their disappointment that the Federal Court found that iiNet was not liable for the copyright infringements by its customers on its network.

The Federal Court of Australia today found that despite findings of copyright infringement by iiNet customers, iiNet did not authorize the acts of its customers.

The ruling came after film companies including Village Roadshow, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Disney Enterprises, Inc. and the Seven Network, the Australian licensee of some of the infringed works, filed a legal action against iiNet in November 2008.

They commenced action against iiNet following a 5 month investigation that uncovered instances of copyright infringements by users of iiNet’s services.

Speaking on behalf of the Australian and US film companies that launched the action, Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft Executive Director Neil Gane said he was disappointed by the Court’s decision.

“Today’s decision is set back for the 50,000 Australians employed in the film industry,” he said.

“But we believe this decision was based on a technical finding centred on the court’s interpretation of the how infringements occur and the ISP’s ability to control them.

“We are confident that the Government does not intend a policy outcome where rampant copyright infringement is allowed to continue unaddressed and unabated via the iiNet network.

“We will now take the time to review the decision before making further comment on next steps,” he said.

Police Shut Down One Of Australia’s Largest Illegal Music Burning Operations In Melbourne February 9, 2010

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.
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Victorian Police have shut down one of Australia’s largest illegal music burning operations in Footscray, Melbourne. Working in conjunction with anti-piracy group Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI), police seized close to 100 CD burners and approximately 25,000 discs containing pirate music housed in a suburban CD store.

Illegal music titles being burnt and sold to the public included albums from artists Michael Jackson, ABBA and the Boney M and a wide range of self-made compilations, Asian music and karaoke.

A 32 year old Maribyrnong man is currently assisting police with their enquiries.

Sabiene Heindl, General Manager of MIPI, said: “This is one of the largest and most blatant illegal music burning labs that we have seen for some time. The decisive action taken by the Victorian Police in closing down this criminal operation is to be commended and sends a strong message to music pirates – you will be found and stopped.”

Criminal penalties for copyright infringement are up to $60,500 and five years imprisonment per offence for individuals, and up to $302,500 for corporations.

The Grammys Hit Highest Notes In Six Years February 9, 2010

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.
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CBS’s broadcast of THE 52ND ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS delivered the annual music event’s largest ratings in all key ratings measures since 2004, according to Nielsen preliminary live plus same day ratings for Sunday, Jan. 31.

From 8:00-11:30 PM, THE GRAMMY AWARDS posted a 14.3/23 in households with 25.80m viewers, 10.6/24 in adults 25-54, 9.8/24 in adults 18-49 and 9.1/24 in adults 18-34. From 8:00-11:00 PM, CBS dominated the competition in all key ratings measures.

Compared to last year’s broadcast (on February 8, 2009), CBS was up +28% in households (from 11.2/18), +36% in adults 25-54 (from 7.8/18), +32% in both adults 18-49 (from 7.4/18) and adults 18-34 (from 6.9/18) and added +6.75m viewers (from 19.05m, +35%).

This is THE GRAMMY AWARDS’ best delivery in households, viewers, adults 25-54, adults 18-49 and adults 18-34 since 2004.

ARIA Releases 2009 Wholesale Sales Figures February 9, 2010

Posted by David W. King in Airplay Charts, Australian Record Industry, Music, Music News, Music News Updates, Record Industy, Uncategorized.
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For the first time since 2003, the Australian record industry is growing. After six years of decline, the market has turned a corner and appears to be returning to growth.

In line with the trends observed in the middle of 2009, the wholesale sales of sound recordings and music videos for the full year 2009 have demonstrated the Australian market’s first annual period of growth since revenues peaked in 2003. Specifically, wholesale revenues over the full year increased almost 5% when compared to 2008. An increase in overall digital revenues was the key contributing factor to this growth, with digital albums demonstrating an increase of over 60% by revenue, more than offsetting the relatively modest decline in physical CD sales

Mr Ed St John, ARIA Chairman and President and CEO of Warner Music Australasia, commenting on the figures, said, “Today’s results prove beyond doubt that the Australian music industry is experiencing a healthy state of growth. The physical retail sector that sells CDs and DVDs has stabilized and sharpened its focus, whilst the digital retail sector continues to grow strongly. Music sales were very strong during the period of Christmas 2009 and they prove that music remains a key priority for many Australian consumers.”

Sales of physical product continued to decline across last year, although the decline in the volume of CD album sales was slight (less than 1%) and was more than offset by the increase in digital album sales. Two of the year’s biggest sellers, Susan Boyle’s “I Dreamed A Dream” and Michael Buble’s “Crazy Love”, achieved the greater majority of their sales via traditional physical retail outlets, making a significant contribution to the volume of CD albums sold through the year.

Unlike the CD album market, sales of CD singles were down over 60% in both volume and value. However, this decline was more than offset by the substantial growth in digital track sales, now up to almost 36m in volume, an increase of nearly 44% on the previous year.

Consumers continued to demonstrate their growing adoption and acceptance of the digital music format, producing overall digital revenue growth of 46.23%. Digital track sales were up 42% in value and digital albums up over 66%. In addition, digital albums now account for 7.5% of overall album sales by volume, up from 4.35% across the same period last year.

However, with respect to some artists, a substantially higher percentage of overall album sales are now occurring in the digital format. Examples during 2009 include La Roux’s self- titled debut, Mumford and Sons’ “Sigh No More” and Lisa Mitchell’s “Wonder” (with more than 20% of their sales being generated in the digital format), and The Temper Trap’s “Conditions”, The Script’s self-titled album, Paul Dempsey’s “Everything Is True”, Ladyhawke’s self-titled release and Gossip’s “Music For Men”, all in excess of 15%.

The ARIA 2009 Top 100 Singles and Album Charts proved a boon for local artists, with 18 local artists making the top 100 singles chart for the year, and an incredible 26 local titles in the top 100 album chart, lead by Hilltop Hoods at #12 with “State Of The Art”. The ARIA End Of Decade Charts featured Australian artists at the top of both the Top 100 Singles and Top 100 Album Charts, with Guy Sebastian’s “Angels Brought Me Here” and Delta Goodrem’s “Innocent Eyes” the highest selling releases respectively through the 2000’s.

Commenting on what 2010 holds for the business, Ed St John was cautiously optimistic, saying “We’re pleased with the figures that we’ve seen today, but have a tremendous amount of work to do to stem the tide of illegal file sharing, which continues to erode profits and hamper investment into the local industry. We remain hopeful that the ISPs will work with us to address this pressing problem and help the growth of the legitimate market, something that will, of course, also be to their benefit. In the meantime, music fans can look forward to many exciting new releases this year from established artists and new names. As an industry, we have a lot to look forward to across the year.”

The Nielsen Company And Billboard’s 2009 Canadian Industry Report February 9, 2010

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.
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Nielsen SoundScan Canada, the entertainment industry’s data information system that tracks unit point-of-purchase sales of recorded music product, and Nielsen BDS, the music industry’s leading music performance monitoring service – which power the Billboard charts – have announced their 2009 Canadian calendar year sales and airplay monitoring data, for the 52-week period January 5, 2009 through January 3, 2010.

2009 Canadian Year-End Factoids
* Total Album sales declined 2.2% compared to 2008, continuing a trend of declining music sales in Canada.
* Increased digital growth in 2009 did not offset the decline in physical sales.
* There were 9 million album sales during the holiday season (11/9 – 12/27), down 3.2% compared to 2008.
– Album sales during the holiday season accounted for more than 25% of the total album sales for the year (which is consistent with a year ago).
* 47% of all albums purchased were at a Mass Merchant/Non Traditional outlets compared to 42% in 2008, 37% in 2007 and 34% in 2006.
– The increase in the Mass Merchant/Non-Traditional strata is coming directly from the year-over-year increase in digital album sales.
– Digital album sales accounted for 14% of total album sales for the year vs. 9% in 2008.
* Retail (Chain/Indy) music stores accounted for 53% of all album sales, compared to 58% in 2008, 63% in 2007 and 66% in 2006.

Digital Factoids:
* More than 56 million digital tracks were purchased in 2009; an increase of nearly 40% over 2008 and a new record for track sales in a year.
* The top 200 digital songs accounted for 23% of all song purchases in 2009; 12.9 million sales compared to 8.2 million in 2008.
* Digital album sales increased nearly 42% compared to 2008 with sales of 4.8 million sales compared to 3.4 million in 2008.
– The top 100 digital albums accounted for nearly 20% of all digital album sales in 2009.
* The digital share of total album sales in Canada was 13.6% in 2009, compared with 20.4% in the U.S.
* For week ending December 27th of 2009 the following digital sales records were broken:
– Digital track sales set a new weekly high with sales surpassing the 2 million sales barrier for the first time with nearly 2.1 million digital track downloads. The previous weekly sales record was set during the final week of 2008 with 1.8 million sales.
– Digital album sales this week broke the 150,000 mark for the first time with album sales of 173,000; breaking the previous record of 142,000 digital album sales (12/28/08).
– Ke$ha’s Tik Tok set a new weekly sales record with 36,000 sales downloads; this was the second digital song to break 30,000 downloads for one week. The previous record was set earlier in the year (week ending 2/15/09) by Flo Rida’s Right Round which sold 34,000 downloads.
– The top 100 digital songs for the week posted an all-time high with 586,000 sales; breaking the previous record of 457,000 during the last week of 2008.

Best Seller Factoids:
* Susan Boyle’s I Dreamed A Dream which was released just six weeks left in the year, is the biggest selling album of the year with 319,000 sales; edging Lady Gaga’s Fame (315,000).
* After missing the top 10 a year ago, Michael Buble makes it back into the top 10 albums of the year with Crazy Love as the fourth best selling album of the year; 290,000 sales.
* Michael Jackson is the biggest selling artist with album sales of 651,000 in 2009.
– Prior to 2009, there had been just over 700,000 Michael Jackson albums purchased over the past 13 years in Canada.
– Note that the top 4 selling artists for the year in 2008 were all groups. In 2009, 4 out of the top 5 best selling artists were solo artists.
– The Beatles came in as the #4 overall artist in 2009 but the Beatles were the biggest selling group for 2009.
* Black Eyed Peas was the biggest selling digital artist with digital track sales surpassing 855,000 in 2009.
– Note that 5 out of the top 10 biggest selling digital artists in 2009 are female solo artists.
* Two native Canadian artists continue to hold the top two spots as the best selling artists in Canada during the Nielsen SoundScan era: Celine Dion (7.1 million albums sold) and Shania Twain (4.2 million albums sold).
* These same two artists continue to have the biggest selling albums for Canada in the Nielsen SoundScan era; Shania Twain’s Come On Over album has sold 1.9 million units and Celine Dion’s Let’s Talk about Love album with 1.5 million sales.
* The biggest selling digital artist during the Nielsen SoundScan era is Rihanna with 1,183,000 downloads. Black Eyed Peas and Lady Gaga are right on their heels with download sales of 1,178,000 and1,160,000 respectively.
* The biggest selling digital song during the Nielsen SoundScan era is “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas with 344,000 downloads. Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” and “Just Dance” come in at #2 and #3 with sales of 318,000 and 287,000 respectively.
* Coldplay’s Viva La Vida continues to be the biggest selling digital album in the Nielsen SoundScan era with more than 60,000 downloads.

Empress MultiMedia Inc Launch Online Distribution System For Artist, Producers, And Labels February 9, 2010

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.
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Email: nealkelley@empressmultimedia.com
Website: http://www.empressmultimedia.com/
Empress MultiMedia Inc has launched a revolutionary new website that will allow artist to promote, distribute, and sell their music using a low cost prepaid scratch off card. Artist can track demographics, sales, and market penetration. Services currently offered and in development are Empress Media Cards, Empress Ring Tone service, Empress Blast, and Empress Live.

Any Artist can use this service. There is no A&R process. Artist order the Empress Media cards from Empress MultiMedia,

Empress MultiMedia Inc launch online distribution system for indepent artist, producers, and record labels.

Our News
Empress MultiMedia Inc launch online distribution system for independent artist,… supply the artwork, and music. Artist artwork is on the front of the card, website information and scratch off pin number is located on the back of the card. Artists can sell cards for any price and keep 100 percent of the profit. All music downloaded is in a fully compatitable mp3 format!

Future projects:
Ring tone services that will be an included with all Empress Media cards. Empress Live is a service that will allow Artist to make their live show available for sale right after the concert. Empress Blast will allow Artist to reach their fan base through mobile phone text messaging. Artist can inform their fans about new album releases, concert dates, and new merchandise.

Visit Empress MultiMedia Inc at http://www.empressmultimedia.com or email NealKelley@EmpressMultiMedia.com for info.
# # #
We are collection of Technologist, Musicians and Producers committed to providing highly profitable, low cost solutions that will greatly benefit the independent record label, artist and producer.
Neal Kelley
CEO Empress MultiMedia Inc

Media Institute Opposes RIAA Performance Tax February 9, 2010

Posted by David W. King in Media Institute, Radio, Uncategorized.
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A proposed compulsory-license scheme that would force radio broadcasters to pay royalties to musical artists and record labels would impose an undue economic burden on broadcasters already racked by the recession. In addition, the plan would likely reduce broadcast radio diversity, especially among small and minority-owned stations. Those are the conclusions of a new Policy Views issue paper released by The Media Institute.

The paper notes that radio broadcasters and record labels have enjoyed a “mutually beneficial economic relationship” in which broadcasters play recordings available for free, thereby building audiences and ad revenue, while record labels get the benefit of that free airplay to boost record sales. One study puts the promotional value of broadcast radio airplay at $1.5 billion to $2.4 billion annually.

Imposing a royalty scheme on broadcasters would not only upset this equilibrium, but would likely force a significant number of stations into bankruptcy or off the air altogether. Black and Hispanic stations, many of which already struggle for ad revenue and financing, would bear the brunt of compulsory “performance fees” for sound recordings.

The loss of such stations would be particularly acute for Black and Hispanic communities where local radio stations are “a primary venue for the expression of minority and ethnic viewpoints,” the paper states.

“Performance Fees on Radio Stations: A Debacle Waiting To Happen” was written by Richard T. Kaplar, vice president of The Media Institute. The Policy Views paper is available on the Institute’s website at www.mediainstitute.org, and is also available in hard copy.