-- The dead CD format turns out not to be dead. It’s not a surprise to anybody in the music industry, but you’d have to excuse the general public, for years barraged by CD obituaries from the media (especially tech bloggers), for thinking the CD was all but extinct. MediaMemo’s Peter Kafka runs through some NPD Group research for the first half of 2009: CDs make up 65% of the recorded music market while downloads comprise 35%. NPD counted 12 downloads as one CD. (Those are obviously rounded numbers since there is no mention of vinyl, which is less than 1% in unit terms but more by wholesale and retail value.)

NPD’s numbers are the same as SoundScan’s mid-year data: 136 million CDs, 38 million digital albums, 613 million digital tracks. But then Kafka made a mistake similar to the one so often made by the “CD is Dead” contingent: He declared recorded music to be “once again a singles business.” By units, yes, but not by value. The combined wholesale value of CDs and digital albums is about three times that of digital tracks. Given the incredible advantage in selling bundles of tracks (albums) over individual tracks, it is no wonder that labels are working on a next-generation album format. Because of the huge implications to revenue, potential album buyers need to be dissuaded from instead opting for a few tracks. (MediaMemo)


-- Entertainment retailer Hastings felt the malaise of the American consumer in Q2 2009. The company reported a loss of $400,000 on revenue of $117 million, a 6.7% decline from the previous year. Comp store revenue was down 8.1% while comp store music sank 15.6% due to weak demand and reduced footprint in 38 stores. Electronics (which includes Blu-ray DVD players and accessories for MP3 players) rose 3.3% after jumping 25.7% the previous year. For the six-month period of the first two quarters, music was down 15.4%, slightly worse than the previous year’s 14% decline. (SEC filing)


-- Independent publishing company Combustion Music has formed a joint venture with New West Music. Under the arrangement, New West has acquired an interest in the Combustion catalog and will be the administrator for the new venture on a worldwide basis. (Music Row)


-- Boosey & Hawkes has signed a global synchronization deal with Savoy Jazz. The deal covers all Savoy Jazz label imprints, such as Savoy, 32 Jazz, Muse and Landmark. (Press release)


-- ARTISTdirect’s Media Defender is now doing business jointly with MediaSentry, which it acquired from SafeNet earlier this year, under the name Peer Media Technologies. In January, the RIAA announced it was dropping MediaSentry for the services of Danish tracking company DtecNet. Evidence from MediaSentry was presented in the recent Joel Tenenbaum file-sharing case, however. (The Hollywood Reporter)

-- An academic study, sponsored by Microsoft and Intel, outlines the degree to which digital music reduces carbon dioxide emissions over physical CDs. Digital delivery has clear savings, says the study, but those savings are offset by the energy and emissions associated with the network, data storage, recordable media and storage media. Since expected behavior of the consumer is taken into account, here are a few caveats. For example, if the consumer walks (or bikes, or skateboards) to the record store, a physical CD purchased at retail is “nearly equivalent,” given the variability in the model, in terms of carbon emissions to downloading the songs and burning them to a CD. (“The Energy and Climate Change Impacts of Different Music Delivery Methods,” via Green Inc)


Follow Billboard senior analyst Glenn Peoples on Twitter at twitter.com/billboardglenn.