-- Live Nation's stock closed Thursday down 10.85% to $10.19. During the afternoon it was down as much as 16%. Investors fled when the company revealed the extent of its summer concert woes during an investor and analyst meeting, although the dip-and-recovery showed they had overreacted.

Before Thursday, a few analysts had recently lowered their short-term targets on the stock. Still, their targets are in the $15 to $17 range. At those values, the stock has considerable upside in the next 12 months. Even if they lower their targets again, the stock is likely to command quite a few buy ratings.
With more time to reflect, investors continued their exodus. In Friday morning trading, shares were down over 7% to $9.47.

-- The Swedish music industry is having another good year. Sales were up 1.7% in the first half of 2010, according to the IFPI. Revenues from CDs dropped 18% but digital, which now accounts for 33% of revenues, rose more than 100%. Revenue from streaming music increased 242% during the six months.

Last year the government's stricter copyright law went into effect. At the same time, popular music service Spotify was beginning to take off. As a result, Swedish recorded music revenues rose 11.9% in 2009, according to the IFPI. Physical sales rose about 1% while digital sales more than doubled and performance rights revenues increased nearly 20%.
(Swedish Wire)

-- Spotify CEO Daniel Ek told the Telegraph the hot music service is still on course to launch in the U.S. later this year. "We're still on track for launching it this year and I'm going back to the US all the time to meet with people."

These comments are on point with statements made earlier by Ek. In February, Ek told Billboard a U.S. launch was "looking pretty good," said the company was "in the final stages of setting up" and disclosed the company had already signed a contract with a data center here in the U.S.

The impression around the industry, however, seems to be that Spotify is not close to inking licensing deals with labels for a U.S. launch. If Spotify doesn't launch by the end of the year, it would hardly be the first time a music service launch was delayed. Then again, most music services don't come with the hype that follows Spotify.
(Telegraph, Billboard.biz)

-- Venture capital funds' investments in startups were up 34% in the second quarter to $6.5 billion, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association. That's the most money invested by venture capital funds since the fourth quarter of 2008. The funds were received by 906 startups, up 29% on the year and also the highest since the fourth quarter of 2008.

Only $18 billion was invested in 2008, a considerable drop from $28 billion in 2008 and $30 billion in 2007. If the present pace is held, investments are on pace to total over $24 billion in 2010. As Billboard noted earlier this week, 18 music startups received venture capital investments in the first half of 2010.
(AP, NVCA, Billboard.biz)

-- Free, ad-supported Guvera has unveiled a redesigned home page and some cosmetic changes to the search results page. The change to the home page is especially welcome. It now features a handful of new releases available at the site. Previously the home page had only a search field - it had all the music discovery usefulness of a search engine. The site is still in beta, so it understandably has room for improvement. Even so, Guvera desperately needs to improve the browsing and search experience. Visitors should be guided through a new, recommended and popular titles, not left to rely on their memory recall to find music.

Guvera launched in January of this year. The Australia-based company landed $20 million in funding from AMMA Private Investment.

-- Jon Healey of the Los Angeles Times wonders how much money major labels could collect if every song shared by Joel Tenenbaum resulted in a penalty. Spoiler alert: it would be the windfall of all windfalls.

"I sent the titles of nine of the songs Tenenbaum had shared to BigChampagne. Diving into the data it collects from file-sharing networks, it reported that those songs -- all rock and rap hits by the likes of Eminem and Nirvana -- were being offered by nearly 6.8 million file-sharing computers. At $22,500 per song, that's $152 billion -- many orders of magnitude more revenue than those songs could have generated even in a world with no infringement... Even at the reduced level set by Gertner -- $2,250 per song -- the extrapolated amount is staggering. If all 6.8 million file-sharers with those nine songs were dunned that amount, the labels would collect $15 billion."

That's people currently sharing those songs. The number of people to have ever shared those songs is certainly far greater. In any case, Healey's point is that he does not believe statutory damages should effectively punish an individual based on the total damages piracy does to the record industry. By applying Tenenbaum's penalty to all people currently sharing those same files, the relative amount of his penalties is put in a different perspective. So, yeah, it's a lot of money.
(Los Angeles Times)

Assorted Links
-- Coke's World Cup song, K'naan's "Wavin' the Flag," is a marketing winner - and it was re-written specifically for the occasion.
(Bloomberg BusinessWeek)
-- Tips for promoting your tour with social marketing.
-- Due to U.K. broadband network limitations, Spotify won't stream lossless.
(PC Pro)
-- A profile of In The Red Records.
(The Guardian)
-- The New York Times profiles Pitchfork.
(New York Times)