Can anything be more pleasant than the holidays? If your bottom line depends on December, the answer is probably "Yes!" Music fans may flip through these pages and see great gifts. But the industry sees a frenzied workplace and a tough economy. Whatever your vantage point, and whatever you celebrate come December, consider this early gift: 20-plus pages detailing everything that will matter to the entertainment biz in the all-important fourth quarter. We think it beats a paperweight.

Christmas In July: The Fourth Quarter Forecast
With album sales down 15% year over year, the music biz needs blockbuster fall releases now more than ever. Can new albums from Kanye West, Usher, Mariah Carey, Kenny Chesney and James Blunt help pump life back into music retail in the next four months? Billboard profiles the upcoming releases that are dressed for success in the fourth quarter.
By Jonathan Cohen

Christmas In July: Best Of The Rest
More albums to add to your shopping list this fall.
By Jonathan Cohen

Christmas In July: An Uphill Battle
For all the perennial hype surrounding the promise of fourth-quarter sales, barring a Christmas miracle, many in the music industry may not be feeling all that jolly when December sales tallies start coming in.
By Brian Garrity

Christmas In July: Wii Are Not Alone
Although it's been dominating the videogame console market since its introduction last November, Nintendo's Wii this holiday season will face its first serious challenge once several high-profile games become available on competing systems.
By Antony Bruno

Christmas In July: Wi-fi Wonderland
The magic word for digital music devices this holiday season is Wi-Fi. To date, the enjoyment of digital music has largely been limited to the files stored on any given device, but no more. The addition of Wi-Fi wireless networking technology to several recent and soon-to-be released devices will give users an unprecedented ability to acquire, share or discover music from hardware that until now has only been good for simple playback. Beyond Apple's iPhone, here are five other new gadgets to keep an eye on this holiday season.
By Antony Bruno

Christmas In July: Big Game Hunting
While fanboys and analysts can argue all they like about which game console has the best features or will sell the most units, it's sometimes easy to forget what really matters: the games.
By Antony Bruno

Christmas In July: U.K.'s Oldies Online
Speculating on the race for the Christmas U.K. No. 1 single is as much a year-end tradition as roast turkey and Christmas pudding.
By Paul Sexton

Christmas In July: U.K.'s Carol Free
While those and other snow-capped 45s by Wizzard, Paul McCartney and Elton John still form the basis of endless in-store audio broadcasts during the British gift-buying season, they're less likely to feature significantly in radio programmers' plans.
By Paul Sexton

Christmas In July: After December
So now we get to the part of the year when everyone is gearing up for the Christmas holiday selling season. And with the way sales are going, I reckon the majors are tempted to put out every album coming down the pike before the year's out, in order to salvage their 2007 revenue budgets. Wait, don't do it!
By Ed Christman

Christmas In July: Holiday Touring's On Thin Ice
When booking a non-holiday-themed tour that will be out on the road during the holiday season, caution must be used—or Santa might well kick your ass

Christmas In July: Road For The Holidays
When it comes to routing holiday tours, it's never too early to start planning.
By Mitchell Peters

Christmas In July: Boxed Sets
The boxed-set lineup for the holiday selling season doesn't have any surefire big hits, but it looks like there will be something for everyone, merchants say.

Christmas In July: Let It Snow
It may still be scorching outside, but a number of holiday albums are soon to set the mood for the winter months.

Christmas In July: Not Quite Ready
Anyone who has received one too many ties, robes, pairs of slippers or fragrances can tell you we don't always get what we want for the holidays. So can the record labels, who pine for big releases—and as many as possible—leading up to December's gift-o-rama?

Christmas In July: Latin Quarter
No major Latin Christmas-themed releases are on the horizon for the fourth quarter, but a rich schedule of Latin music is slated through the end of the year, spanning a broad variety of genres. What follows is a quick snapshot of what to expect in the months leading up to Christmas, with approximate release dates and tentative working titles, where available.
By Leila Cobo and Ayala Ben-Yehuda

Christmas In July: Who You Gonna Call?
Based on by the hype surrounding the newly released iPhone from Apple, the rest of the more traditional mobile phone manufacturers are expected to take a decidedly high-end, multimedia approach to their products this holiday season.
By Antony Bruno

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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