-- A report says EMI is likely to sell off the Olympic recording studio in southwest London. (Times Online)

-- Entertainment retailer Hastings reported net earnings of about $1.7 million for the three month period ended April 30, 2009. Revenues dropped 4.7% to $125.7 million. Comp sales from the music category were down 15.2%, a slight improvement from the 16% decline during the same period in 2008. (Press release)

-- A good interpretation of the recent study on P2P's long tail was made by Andrew Bud, executive chairman at mBlox. Since individuals don't make choices in a vacuum, there are going to be clusters around popular items. "An obvious answer is that it's through people chatting to each other and seeing the music talked about in the media. That's what culture is. So the fact we're seeing the log normal distribution here may point to the power of culture on people's choices. Chris Anderson's hypothesis of a Pareto power law would be much more about random, individual choices - people alone with their computers. So perhaps, this debate of 'thick versus fat' is really about the power of culture in determining demand." (The Register)

-- The BPI revealed that 9.5% of British consumers bought digital music in 2008, an increase from 5.1% in 2007. It also revealed that the value of the British music retail market dropped by 6% while its trade value dropped 5.3%. HMV is the largest retailer in the market at 24.1%. Tesco is second with 10.5% and iTunes is third with 5.7%. (The Telegraph)

-- The most important part of Napster's new strategy, as described earlier today by Billboard's Antony Bruno? Less emphasis on tethered downloads and more emphasis on streaming. Access (streaming) and interoperability (MP3s) has a better chance of success than trying to convince people they can load up on subscription downloads with DRM. (Billboard.biz)

-- In the Joel Tennenbaum file-sharing case, the defendant is arguing that previous courts' rulings in fair use cases make no difference. It does not appear to be a winning argument. "Tenenbaum's (proposed) brief was filed (.pdf) in response to the record labels' opposition to his effort to amend his answer to add a fair use defense -- a defense that even Tenenbaum's own proposed experts have said is a loser, and that one member of his legal team said has 'no real basis in case law.' And Tenenbaum's bald assertion -- with no citation to authority -- that previous courts' fair use decisions 'make[] no difference' is simply wrong. Looking to previous fair use decisions is precisely how courts determine whether the fair use defense applies in the case before them." (Copyrights & Campaigns)

-- Here's a recap of a panel, covering the old "Does anybody need labels anymore?" debate, at the Great Escape conference in England. Exhibit A was Ingrid Michaelson, the least representative independent musician in the business today. There will always be a few outliers. Ingrid is an outlier. Business models, discourse and solutions should not focus on outliers. Panels such as these make more sense when they address more common scenarios. There was also a lot of talk about the definition of a record label. Opinions will always vary, but the panelists agreed that artists can't do it totally alone regardless of who owns the masters. (Music Ally)

-- The limited amount of online advertising will shape online music business models. "Between 2006 and 2008, ad spending on traditional media dropped 4.8%, or $6.7 billion, to $132.2 billion, according to TNS Media Intelligence. Ad spending on the Internet rose by almost exactly the same amount, $6.6 billion, to $23.5 billion, estimates PricewaterhouseCoopers. The losers were newspapers and radio companies, which suffered almost all the erosion. The winners? Google and Yahoo, which took 47% of online-ad revenue in 2008, estimates eMarketer." (Wall Street Journal)

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