Opinion and analysis on the day's music business news.

Playlist.com Files For Chapter 11
-- Playlist.com (also known as Project Playlist) has filed for bankruptcy, according to a report by CNET. The company insists it will “conduct business as usual and emerge from Chapter 11 (bankruptcy protection) as quickly as possible.” The site offers free music streaming and allows users to create and share playlists. In 2009, EMI dropped its lawsuit against Playlist.com and licensed its catalog to the music service. Universal Music Group did the same in May of this year.
The music streaming site gets more media attention than its accomplishments seem to merit. It’s a fair enough product but one that has not gained serious traction in an increasingly crowded marketplace. For a five-month period the company was led by Owen Van Natta, who made Playlist.com just a brief stop between Facebook and MySpace, where he was CEO for less than one year. Playlist.com is backed by the Pilot Group, which has invested in the likes of Daily Candy (which was purchased by Comcast for $125 million), Business Insider and Stereogum. (CNET)


Ticketweb Launches Free App
-- Ticketweb released a free iPhone app at the iTunes app store on Saturday. The app allows users to view upcoming and past concerts, view fan photos, upload concert photos in real time, post comments on concerts and see what other app users are attending a show. Blue Haze created the app for the Ticketmaster-owned company. (Mobile Entertainment)


Connectivity Problems At Lollapalooza
-- For this year’s Lollapalooza festival in Chicago, which culminated its three-day run on Sunday, C3 Presents added to its festival app a friend finder function. The app featured the usual functions as well: lineups, personalized schedules, a map, news, artist info and Lollapalooza radio (programmed by Slacker). But a festival app is only as good as cellular and/or WiFi service will allow. Judging from Twitter comments left during the three-day festival, AT&T disappointed once again. AT&T is routinely criticized for its service at events that attract hordes of iPhone users – SXSW, for example – even though the company always takes extra steps to provide additional service to these areas.

To supplement AT&T’s cellular service, this year C3 had 100 acres of free WiFi sponsored by AOL Lifestream – after all, iPhone apps are not limited to cellular service. However, Twitter comments point to spotty-at-best WiFi service at the event. “Oh hey, AT&T,” one attendee wrote, “if you're going to make such a big deal about having wifi at Lollapalooza, maybe you should make sure that wifi doesn't suck.” (Lollapalooza blog, Twitter)


NAB Releases Settlement Terms
-- On Friday, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) released a list of terms it has proposed as a settlement with owners of sound recordings that would be entitled to a performance royalty if Congress passes the Performance Rights Act.
• Tiered rate of 1% or less for all net revenue (roughly $100 million for the industry) which is permanent and cannot be adjusted without changing statute or by mutual agreement;
• Permanent removal of Copyright Royalty Board jurisdiction for terrestrial and streaming;
• Streaming rate reduction from current rates;
• Inclusion of radio chips on all mobile phones;
• AFTRA issues resolved (agency commercial replacement on webcasts).

The settlement terms include a requirement that religious services (not religious music) be exempt from fees and stations’ incidental use of music (on news and talk shows, for example) would not trigger a royalty.

These are only potential terms. The NAB has not voted on the matter. The NAB’s Radio Board has met with musicFIRST and has had “a full of productive exchange of ideas,” according to a NAB spokesperson. (Radio World)


Assorted Links
-- A transcript of Warner Music Group’s fiscal third quarter earnings call from last Thursday. (TheStreet)
-- Philly’s live music scene seems to be doing fairly well this summer. (Daily News)
-- Twitter passed its 20 billionth tweet. (BBC News)
-- Building Lollapalooza (in pictures). (New York Times)