Opinion and analysis on the day's music business news.
Live Nation Earnings Coming Today
-- Live Nation’s second quarter earnings call is after the bell on Thursday. The company’s stock has been inching up all week and closed at $9.72 on Wednesday. That’s up over 15% since its post-merger low of $8.44 on July 20. Since the company issued a preemptive warning about low ticket sales in its July 15 investors’ presentation, the financials probably hold few surprises. (Live Nation Investors Page )
News Corp's Lagging Business, What Does It Mean For MySpace?
-- “Other,” the News Corp. segment that includes MySpace, had an operating loss of $174 million in the second quarter and a loss of $575 million on the year. What exactly that means for MySpace is a question mark. MySpace is part of the Digital Media Group, which falls under the “Other” category. Also in that division are IGN Entertainment, Fox Audience Network, Photobucket, Beliefnet, and Fox Mobile Group. News Corp. does not break down the financials of each individual company in the group, nor does it give an indication how each company is weighted in the division’s financials. All it revealed is a lagging Digital Media Group played a part in the weak performance by “Other.” But if you read the news on occasion, you may have got the impression that MySpace is not exactly a financial juggernaut these days. (News Corp earnings release )
News Corp: Jamba For Sale
-- News Corp confirmed it is trying to sell the Jamba mobile content unit. The company bought 51% of Jamba for $188 million in 2006 and the remainder in 2008. Jamba specializes in ringtones, and ringtones just aren’t the business they used to be. The company had a big hit with “Crazy Frog.” It operates under the name Jamster in the U.S. and many other English-speaking countries. (paidContent )
A Strategic Look At Song Intros
-- Jay Frank always urges songwriters to hurry up and get to the point. Listeners give a song just a few seconds before moving on, he argues, so start a song off quickly and powerfully. Additional data to back him up can be found in a new Billboard Country Update article about Arbitron’s Portable People Meter (PPM). He cites this quote from Jon Zellner, senior VP of Programming at Clear Channel:
“Most listeners will decide within the first seven or eight seconds how they feel about a non-musical piece of content,” Zellner says. “They’ll decide in the first three to five seconds about a song.”
“Remember, this article was also printed up in the Country edition of Billboard,” writes Frank, “where the length of intros has averaged longer than seven seconds (more on that in a later blog post). This means some of the data (and presumably other formats like AC) is coming from the fact that many songs in their playlists have long intros by nature. My instinct is that radio will find adding songs and shifting libraries to tracks with shorter intros will lengthen that three to five seconds to five to seven seconds, just because they’ll be more successful at getting a touch more engagement from getting to vocals faster.” (FutureHit.DNA , Billboard Country Update)
Henley, DeVore Settle Lawsuit
Eagles frontman Don Henley, Mike Campbell and Danny Kortchmar have settled their copyright suit against Chuck DeVore, a former GOP Senate candidate, for an apology and payment of an undisclosed sum.
(Copyrights & Campaigns )
NAB Royalty Settlement Coming?
-- Radio execs who make up the NAB Radio Board are said to be meeting in Washington DC to decide if they should pursue a settlement on performance royalties. Broadcast Law Blog sums up what could come from a settlement:
“What's on the table? Reportedly a very low (perhaps 1% of revenue as reported in some of the trades) royalty for terrestrial radio, a royalty set in legislation for at least a several year period. In exchange, broadcasters would get a break on streaming royalties and a push towards getting working FM chips into cell phones - a potentially big audience boost for radio operators. But from all we have heard, this is not, by any means, a done deal.” (Broadcast Law Blog )
-- A new Spotify extension for Chrome allows users to search for music directly in their web browser. (Spotify blog )
-- Can Mayer Karl Dean’s music industry think tank rebrand Music City? (Nashville Scene )
-- Lower losses by Rock Band helped Viacom’s Media Networks division in the second quarter. (Earnings release )
-- EMI’s Blue Note Records has signed saxophonist, composer, and bandleader Ravi Coltrane. Coltrane's debut for the label is said to be released in Spring 2011.
-- Two titles have been added to the list of remasters due out Oct. 26 from Apple Records. They are "Come and Get It: The Best Of Apple Records," and "The Radha Krishna Temple," the self-titled album of devotional music produced by George Harrison.