-- Not all record store owners are going to be happy about Universal Music Video and Distribution's new pricing scheme. Andy Schneidkraut, owner of Albums on the Hill in Boulder, Colorado is in the opposition. "They're suggesting I lower my prices to customers at a rate of around 10%, but they are not lowering my cost at an equivalent rate," Schneidkraut told Colorado Daily. He predicted volume will not increase enough to cover the lower price and pointed to what he feels were weak results for UMVD's previous price overhaul, JumpStart. As Billboard reported last week, UMVD is launching a new program called Velocity that will price frontline CD titles at $10 or less. Retailers contacted for that article were supportive of the program while some label executives were nervous and annoyed by UMVD's move. (Colorado Daily)

-- Fun Pandora facts from a recap of a New York City town hall meeting the company held on Tuesday: a trained musician takes 15 minutes to analyze a single pop song and 1.5 hours for a symphony; Pandora gets stumped on 0.4% of all artist and song searches; about one out of every four or five songs streamed gets a thumbs up or down rating. Song analyzers, who enter information about songs into Pandora's Music Genome Project, are paid $40 an hour and receive health benefits. For pop songs, that means every four songs cost Pandora $40 in wages and a few extra dollars in related expenses (health care, office space, computer, etc.). That comes out to $100 for a standard ten-song album. Basically, the Music Genome Project is a very expensive competitive advantage.
(Writing for the Living Web)

-- Music analytics company Next Big Sound has a list of the 15 fastest rising bands at last week's SXSW festival. The top three are, in order, Fang Island, Neon Trees and XV. To compile the list, Next Big Sound tracked how fast bands were adding people to their social networks. The spike in followers appears to be relative, not absolute, meaning an unknown band could have spiked more than a well-known band but still has far fewer followers. This list is a fascinating look at how analytics tools can quickly chart the impact of a big event like SXSW and how an analytics company can present the results in an attractive manner. Expect some eye-opening analytics from this new crop of companies in 2010.
(Next Big Sound)

-- The Raleigh Boutique Amphitheater will host its inaugural concert, Paramore, on July 23. The Live Nation venue has a capacity of 5,000.