Maybe Gwyneth Paltrow Could Sell a High-Priced Digital Album…
-- In response to my post on a hypothetical breakeven point for a $900,000 Gwyneth Paltrow album deal, I got an e-mail from an executive regarding the profit margin on digital albums and CDs. If you want to dig deeper into the two formats' margins, read this section:
"The digital album margin is much better than CDs from my experience. It's hard to get more than $7.50 for a CD wholesale nowadays. On the other hand, the uptake on deluxe iTunes digital albums, which sell for several dollars more than the standard iTunes $9.99 price, is very strong. Take a look at the iTunes country chart and note that the deluxe version is charted higher than the standard version. And of course, no manufacturing, shipping or returns on digital. Lastly, many indie labels pay less for digital distro than they do for physical."
This person is correct. My example excluded deluxe digital albums and higher priced digital albums. In fact, many country artists do very well with these higher priced versions. Take a look at the current list of top country albums at iTunes and you'll see a number of albums priced well above $9.99: Zac Brown Band at No. 5 (deluxe edition for $14.99) and No. 12 (deluxe edition for $11.99), Taylor Swift at No. 6 (regular version for $13.99), Rascal Flatts at No. 7 (regular version for $11.99), Kenny Chesney at No. 13 (deluxe version for $13.99) and Darius Rucker at No. 17 (deluxe version for $12.99), to name just a few. In the cases where an artist is offering a deluxe version, it is ranked higher than the lower-priced, normal version.
YouTube Hiring 'Tons' of Ad Sales People
-- YouTube is hiring "TONs" of ad sales people for YouTube, according to Matt Rosoff at Business Insider. Actually, the list shows 94 job openings (although following the links to some postings reveal those positions have already been filled). The titles are usually Content Partner Manager, Partner Manager or Media Manager with some support roles thrown in, too. The locations of the openings are all over the globe. San Bruno, Calif., London, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, New York and Paris openings are common, but there are openings in Seoul, Hamburg and Dusseldorf, too.
As Rosoff notes, Google CFO Patrick Pichette had previously said that YouTube was going to increase its head count by 30% in 2011. It's getting more than two billion views per day and Credit Suisse estimated the YouTube division will earn $700 million on $1.1 billion of revenue this year. A Citigroup analyst forecasts revenue more than $1 billion this year, which may be possible if a Barclay Capital's analyst was right about the 2009 revenue estimate of $450 million. That's a lot of revenue and profit (especially considering the dour estimates the company had received in recent years). So YouTube obviously has a lot of ads to sell.
Songkick: Mayday Parade Hardest Working Band In 2010
-- Mayday Parade was the hardest working band in music in 2010, according to concert listing website Songkick. The London-based startup searched its database of concerts and calculated the distance between them. Mayday Parade traveled 71,000 miles to play its 194 dates. Electronic musician Caribou ranked No. 2 in dates played with 185 shows but required 139,000 miles to do them. Indie rock band Surfer Blood was No. 3 with 183 shows and 111,000 miles traveled.
Further down the list were the better-known names of Willie Nelson (No. 6 with 161 shows) and Lady Gaga (No. 7 with 159 shows). The band with the most miles traveled in 2011 was Vampire Weekend, which covered 150,000 miles to play 159 shows.