Business Matters: Simon Cowell, S-Curve, Eminem and more

Opinion and analysis on the day's music business news.

Simon Cowell Using SEO To Improve Image?
-- Is Simon Cowell using search engine optimization (SEO) to improve his image? From the NY Daily News: “Cowell's U.K. spokeswoman Ann-Marie Thompson good naturedly says she smells a ‘conspiracy theory,’ but plug Cowell's name into Google and you have to wade through a good 20 pages of positive and innocuous links such as ‘Wayne Newton writes fan letter to Simon Cowell.’ Meanwhile, insiders say that online critics of Cowell can have an incredibly hard time finding their work on the Web. Or worse.”

Roger Ebert had a blog post critical of Cowell temporarily removed because it violated Wordpress’s terms of condition. Ebert investigated the problem and was led to an SEO company out of Bangalore, India, who is hired by a London-based company to monitor the news of a few celebrities.

SEO is typically defined as the practice of improving the visibility of a website or web page. Companies use SEO to assure their websites are listed high on a list of search results. (NY Daily News)

The Origin of 'I Buy Music'
-- The “I Buy Music” campaign, mentioned in Business Matters last week, was started by Absolutely Kosher Records founder Cory Brown. He talked with the SF Weekly about how it started. “We haven't stopped selling music, we're just selling less than before. The people who are keeping us in business and helping us pay our bands deserve to know what that means to us, not just to me and my label, but to the entire conduit that our releases travel. I think the industry as a whole has failed spectacularly to draw the line between buying music and supporting musicians and their supply line, without whom there would be no business. The message is simple, just in case they don't understand it: If you love music, you buy music.” (SF Weekly)

S-Curve Exits EMI Deal
-- S-Curve Records has left EMI Music Distribution and has inked a distribution deal with Universal Music Group Distribution for exclusive U.S. distribution. The deal also includes an exclusive license deal with Universal Music Canada. S-Curve has upcoming releases by singer-songwriter Andy Grammer, Care Bears on Fire and Diane Birch. Its catalog features releases by such artists as Joss Stone, Fountains of Wayne and We The Kings.

Eminem Hits Facebook Milestone
-- Eminem has surpassed ten million Facebook friends. On Wednesday morning the official count stood at 10,203,750. Personalized it’s not. Eminem’s millions of Facebook friends get a steady flow of run-of-the-mill marketing messages. “Pick Up Your Copy of Recovery for $9.99 at Target!” “Click here to get your copy of Recovery at or stop by your local Best Buy to get it now.” Numerous links to listen to audio or watch video of “Love the Way You Lie” featuring Rihanna.
Lady Gaga has over 15 million Facebook followers. Her feed is a far more interesting mix of personal messages and marketing messages. Other top music names: Justin Bieber has almost 9.3 million Facebook friends, Taylor Swift has nearly 8.8 million, Beoynce has almost six million, Kings of Leon have 4.4 million and Jay-Z has a bit over three million. (Eminem’s Facebook profile)

Assorted Links
-- Spotify’s chief designer is leaving to work at Facebook. (paidContent)
-- Neer is like Foursquare but much more private. (TechCrunch)

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