Friday, April 18, 2008

This Week In News

ASCAP Launches 'Bill of Rights for Songwriters and Composers

To remind the public, members of the music industry and U.S. legislators of the central role and rights of those who conceive and create music, ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) today officially launched a "Bill of Rights for Songwriters and Composers." The full text of the Bill of Rights can be found here. According to a press release from ASPAC, the initiative is aimed at building awareness of songwriters' role in the creation of music. The declaration includes 10 core principles, such as "We have the right to be compensated for the use of our creative works, and share in the revenues that they generate."

Record Store Day is this Saturday!
Record store day has received plenty of press, but we'll plug it here as well. This is the first such event, designed to generate awareness of the plight of independent record stores. Indie stores around the country will have in-house performances, special sales, and other promotions. You can see a full list of participating stores at the event's official website.

Amazon MP3 store's gains not coming at iTunes' expense
Amazon's MP3 store is growing rapidly, and it appears that it's actually increasing the market for paid music downloads rather than just taking customers from iTunes. A new study indicates that just 10% of Amazon MP3 customers had previously downloaded music from iTunes. Of course, at this point Amazon has 1/10th the downloads of iTunes, but it's still an encouraging sign in the face of flagging CD sales.
Ars Technica, 4-15

In the US, 58% of music isn't paid for

Back to bad news: a new study indicates that 58% of music was acquired without paying in 2007, up from 52% in 2006. While paid downloads increased from 7% to 10% of all music, that wasn't enough to make up for CDs dropping from 41% to 32%.
Guardian UK, 4-18-08

TuneBoom Pro Apparently Inflates Artists' MySpace Plays
A company called TuneBoom Pro claims to inflate artists' MySpace play counts, offering various packages on a sliding scale that ranges from $147 for 1,000 plays to $747 for 300,000 plays. Also, artists could spend $50 for PacSys Traffic Master software and boost their count manually. TuneBoom claims to have worked with major labels to boost play counts for its artists. This casts considerable doubt on MySpace play counts as a measure of an artist's popularity.
Wired, 4-14

TV shows bring in the money for the music industry
While album sales may be in decline, revenue from TV licensing deals is exploding: one publisher says it's tripled in the last six years. The increase is due in part to reality shows, particularly shows like American Idol and Dancing With the Stars, which pay large fees. Further, they can boost sales: downloads on John Lennon's "Imagine" increased by over 600% after it was performed by an American Idol contestant.
Hollywood Reporter, 4-10-08

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