-- Want free advice from some of the industry’s leading direct-to-fan experts? During the “Your Fans Are Your Livelihood” panel on March 17 at SXSW, the four panelists will critique the direct-to-fan marketing efforts of two artists. Panelists are Ethan Bessey, manager of Band of Heathens; Patrick Faucher, co-founder and CEO of Nimbit ; Mark Montgomery, Entrepreneur in Residence, Claritas Capital; and Brian Peterson, co-founder and CEO of Bandbox . I (Glenn Peoples) will moderate the panel. If you are an artist or artist manager and would like to sign up, send an email to d2f2010@gmail.com with "SXSW Submission" in the subject. Please include the name and URL of the artist, a description of the direct-to-fan tools being employed and your goals for direct-to-fan marketing. We will chose artists who have their own Web site - not just MySpace or Facebook pages - and also use some sort of direct-to-fan tools. Most importantly, you need to be in attendance on March 17.

-- Liberty Media's tender offer to purchase up to 34,200,000 shares of Live Nation common stock expired on Tuesday. Shareholders had tendered only 311,000 shares at the offer price of $12 per share. Liberty's tender offer was an attempt to increase its ownership of Live Nation common stock to just under 35%. Upon the acquisition of those 311,000 shares, Liberty's ownership will increase to 14.5% from 14.3%. (Press release)

-- On May 1, Sony Music will become the first UK major to abandon CD promos and replace them with a digital system. This doesn't mean the CD is dead. It means Sony would rather save money than enrich the postal service by mailing stacks of CDs to journalists, retailers and marketers. Sony will use a digital e-card system it has developed and tested in-house. (Music Week)

-- Plan 9, a record store in Richmond, Virginia, has closed its Williamsburg location. Two Plan 9 stores remain after this - the third - closure. Plan 9 is a member of the Coalition of Independent Music Stores. (The Flat Hat)

-- Women use mobile social networking more than men, says Nielsen, and the the 25-54 age group accounts for 70% of all mobile social network usage. (Nielsen Wire)

-- Nokia has unveiled the C5, a smartphone for the masses. The device comes with Facebook and Ovi Maps built in, a 2.2" screen and a 3.2 megapixel camera. In announcing the C5, Nokia explained its naming system: C for low-end smartphones, X for youth and music, E for business users and N for the most advanced devices. (mocoNews)

-- Slacker Radio has teamed up with rock band AFI to create Slacker AFI, a radio station that mixes the band's favorite tracks - handpicked by the band - with commentary about the songs that influenced them. On the mobile app, the station can be found in the "Slacker Spotlight" section. (Slacker AFI)

-- The Fillmore in Silver Springs, Maryland, has an aggressive timeline for its opening. Residents worry about noise and parking. And the plans to build an office building and hotel on the site would be helped if the commercial development market improves. But the 28,000-square-foot, three-story Live Nation venue, seven years in the making, is inching toward a September 2011 opening. It will have a standing room capacity of 2,000 and the ability to install up to 750 seats. (The Gazette)

-- Bug Music Publishing has signed a new co-publishing deal with country songwriter Gordie Sampson for his future songwriting efforts. Previously, Bug had handled Sampson through his co-publishing agreement with Windswept. Artists who have recorded his material include Faith Hill, Keith Urban, Bon Jovi, Martina McBride and Carrie Underwood. -- by Ed Christman

-- The Royalty Network, an independent music publisher and administrator has granted a bulk license for its entire catalog to RightsFlow, a provider of bulk mechanical licensing and royalty services. The deal allows RightsFlow to more accurately identify, account, and remit royalties on behalf of their over 9,500 label, distributor, music service and artist clients. In other moves this year, RightsFlow joined the Digital Data Exchange (DDEX), which was formed in 2006 by major record labels, online music distributors and music rights societies to create standards to facilitate the exchange of metadata. -- by Ed Christman


For info on tomorrow's Music & Money Symposium, presented in association with Loeb & Loeb, visit Billboardevents.com. #MMBiz2010

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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