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Music Biz

THIS WEEK IN THE MUSIC BIZ
August 16, 2005 Edition


* FCC Responds To Sony BMG Payola
* Peer Impact Increases Payouts To Independent Labels
* Morpheus Introduces Peer Response Distribution Platform For Authorized Content
* MSpot Launches Interactive Music Radio For Java-Enabled Phones
* IODA Signs Worldwide Deal With Naxos Of America
* Recordare Releases Dolet 3 For Finale
* Digital Rights Agency Launches Bliptones Indie Ringtone Webstore
* Dwango Wireless And Beliefnet Providing Amy Grant Fans With New Exclusive Ringtones
* NARIP Launches San Francisco Bay Area Chapter

Statement Of FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein On Sony BMG Payola

I applaud the Chairman's decision to launch an investigation into the payola scandal uncovered by New State Attorney General Spitzer. The Commission has an affirmative, statutory obligation to enforce federal payola laws, and we should enforce them vigorously.

I believe this payola scandal may represent the most widespread and flagrant violation of any FCC rules in the history of American broadcasting. Mr. Spitzer's office has collected a mountain of evidence on the potentially illegal promotion practices of not only Sony BMG, but also other major record companies, independent promoters and several of the largest radio station groups.

The airwaves belong to the public, not the highest bidder. The vitality of radio is sapped when music is selected based on bribes rather than merit. Radio listeners are deprived of hearing the freshest music, local artists and creative genius because the labels are predetermining what they get to hear -- and paying to get it played. We owe it to the American public, music lovers and creative artists the ones who are hurt the most to end this deception.

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Statement Of FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin On Sony BMG Payola

I am very concerned about the activities that led the New York Attorney General to investigate Sony BMG Music Entertainment and ultimately resulted in a settlement agreement with that company.

The FCC has longstanding rules prohibiting payola. These rules serve the important purpose of ensuring that the listening public knows when someone is seeking to influence them. Broadcasters must comply with these rules. The Commission will not tolerate non-compliance. While payola may not be a widespread practice in the broadcasting industry, to the extent it is going on, it must stop.

I have directed the Enforcement Bureau to review the settlement agreement reached by Sony BMG and the New York Attorney General and investigate any incidents in which the agreement discloses evidence of payola rule violations. If the Bureau determines violations of the payola rules have occurred, the Commission will take swift action. In addition, if the Bureau is presented with evidence of payola rule violations outside of the Sony BMG Music Entertainment settlement, it is to thoroughly investigate those complaints as well.

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Peer Impact Increases Payouts To Independent Labels

Peer Impact announced that it will increase the amount it pays to independent labels whose works are downloaded over its legal peer-to-peer (P2P) network. This move will bring balance to what Peer Impact currently pays for major music label content.

"Independent label music is just as important to Peer Impact's subscribers as that represented by major labels," said Greg Kerber, Chief Executive Officer of Wurld Media, creator of Peer Impact. "Peer Impact's unique business model provides the best platform for distributing independent artists' music and this announcement proves our commitment to supporting the "Indie" community while providing the best variety of content for our members. This win-win for both customers and artists is why we are acting today to bring parity to payouts."

Enhancing compensation of independent artists is only part of Peer Impact's effort to expand its already large catalogue of music. Peer Impact has licenses with the four major record labels and recently signed agreements with the Independent Online Distribution Alliance (IODA), The Orchard and Koch Records to distribute the works of their artists, as well as offering MP3s from leading independent music labels over its P2P network.

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Morpheus Introduces Peer Response Distribution Platform For Authorized Content

StreamCast Networks Inc., makers of the popular Morpheus P2P file-sharing software, announced Peer Response, a platform designed to facilitate compensation for participating content creators and copyright holders.

"By connecting content creators with millions of interested users at the most powerful moments of the purchase cycle--when consumers are declaring exactly what they want, Peer Response leverages existing file-searching behavior to convert downloaders into customers," stated StreamCast CEO, Michael Weiss.

Morpheus' Peer Response platform will launch with a full slate of legitimate music, game, and video downloadable titles to try and buy that include: Halo 2, From Russia with Love, Monopoly, Tha Outlawz "Celebrate," Ms. Cherry "It's Whatever," and thousands more. Over one million video, music, game & software titles will be added in the coming months.

Peer Response is a flexible distribution platform that provides multiple methods of compensation for authorized digital media files that are returned within a peer-to-peer user's search results. For the first time, content owners can get paid through sale or sponsorship of a single download in an open and decentralized p2p environment, or simply gain exposure by allowing consumers to discover and download their content for free. Content can also be leveraged as an intermediary web page, giving consumers detailed information about the title, or offer a streaming sample, so users can make informed decisions on a future purchase.

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MSpot Launches Interactive Music Radio For Java-Enabled Phones

MSpot, a pioneer in premium mobile entertainment, announced the launch of MSpot Music Radio, an interactive streaming music service for Java-enabled mobile phones. Available now on the Sprint Nationwide PCS Network, MSpot Music Radio features 17 channels of commercial-free streaming music, a "Featured Artists" channel with a slide show of music videos and singles, exclusive music mixes from popular DJs, music reviews, celebrity news and interviews. In addition, MSpot Music Radio is powered by a seamless user experience that enables consumers to purchase CDs, Music Tones and screensavers as they listen to new music and favorite hits on MSpot Music Radio.

"With the number of Java-based mobile phone users reaching well over 120 million and climbing, the demand for multimedia content geared toward these devices has also increased," said Daren Tsui, CEO and co-founder of MSpot. "MSpot Music Radio meets this demand by enabling consumers to discover and sample new artists and bands, listen to streaming radio and then immediately purchase items related to the song they're hearing Music Tones, CDs, screensavers all with a touch of the key pad."

"Java-enabled mobile phone users are growing at an unprecedented rate," said John Burris, director, Product Marketing and Strategy, Sprint. "The addition of MSpot Music Radio allows us to offer a quality multimedia entertainment experience to more users than ever and extends our commitment to delivering cutting-edge features to our customers."

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IODA Signs Worldwide Deal With Naxos Of America

IODA the Independent Online Distribution Alliance announced a worldwide digital distribution deal with Naxos of America, America's leading classical music distributor. Naxos of America will use IODA's Digital Distribution Dashboard (D3) technology platform to distribute and manage its distributed labels' music online, in an agreement that also includes extended digital distribution of Naxos' renowned label catalog of more than 70,000 tracks to select digital service providers. The announcement was made at the NARM Insights and Sounds Convention, currently underway in San Diego. IODA founder and CEO Kevin Arnold is scheduled to lead NARM's Special Interest Group discussion on Digital Music and participate in the conference's Indie Seminar.

Naxos of America is the most recent independent distributor to sign on to IODA's D3 platform since its launch in June. D3 provides an easy, fast, and low cost solution for physical music distributors to offer comprehensive digital services to their label clients, powered by a proven, industry-leading digital distribution platform. Distributors enjoy the benefits of a custom branded implementation of IODA's unique Rightsholder Dashboard tools and distribution platform while maintaining their important label relationships directly. IODA takes care of all licensing, encoding and delivery, and accounting functions on behalf of the distributor and provides promotion and marketing support as well. Other current D3 include Allegro/NAIL, Synergy Distribution, Outside Music, Tonevendor Distribution, Inertia Distribution, MP3.com.au, Sonic Rendezvous, and KSD Music.

"D3 continues to help indie distributors make the leap from physical to digital distribution quickly and easily," said IODA founder and CEO Kevin Arnold. "We have seen outstanding success with classical music online and are pleased to be involved in helping Naxos of America make the most of their digital business initiatives."

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Recordare Releases Dolet 3 For Finale

Recordare LLC, an Internet music software and publishing company, has released version 3 of its Dolet plug-in for the Finale music notation program. Dolet 3 for Finale reads and writes MusicXML 1.1 files for the highest-fidelity translation available between music notation programs. Dolet 3 also includes batch translation features to automate the process of moving music notation files from one program to another. Dolet 3 supports Finale 2000 to 2006 on Windows and Finale 2004 to 2006 on Macintosh OS X.

Recordare's Dolet plug-ins serve as "universal translators" between music notation programs. While Finale 2006 and Sibelius 4 both read MusicXML 1.1 files, Dolet 3 for Finale is the first program that can write MusicXML files that include the new 1.1 formatting features. This provides better file transfer between Finale, Sibelius, and the many other programs that support the MusicXML format.

"Dolet 3 for Finale sets a new standard for high-fidelity exchange of music notation files," stated Michael Good, CEO of Recordare LLC and the inventor of the MusicXML format. "The formatting and batch features in Dolet 3 have long been requested by our customers. We expect the release of Dolet 3 to speed the adoption of MusicXML 1.1 throughout the music software industry."

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Digital Rights Agency Launches Bliptones Indie Ringtone Webstore

Digital Rights Agency, the leading worldwide digital music distributor, announced the launch of Bliptones (www.bliptones.com), the world's first indie-only ringtone webstore. Bliptones will feature more than 200 ringtones by top DRA client artists including Death Cab for Cutie, The Decemberists, Sleater-Kinney, At The Drive In, The Von Bondies, Chingy and Kid 606.

"Bliptones is an important step towards ensuring that DRA clients are the best positioned indie labels in the mobile entertainment space," Said Digital Rights Agency Managing Director Tuhin Roy. "By building the Bliptones brand through online and offline marketing and making it an outlet exclusively for our clients, we are providing our labels with an important leg-up in the mobile entertainment market."

Master recording ringtones purchased through the Bliptones site will initially be downloadable by customers of AT&T, Bell Canada, Cellular One, Cingular, FIDO, Rogers AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.

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Dwango Wireless And Beliefnet Providing Amy Grant Fans With New Exclusive Ringtones

Dwango Wireless, a leading developer and publisher of mobile entertainment content for top lifestyle brands, announced that music fans can download exclusive Amy Grant mastertones and images for their mobile phones through Beliefnet Mobile. Dwango Wireless' partnership with Beliefnet allows the pair to deliver spiritual-themed content to mobile devices.

What: Exclusive mastertones, which are high quality music clips for cell phones, from Grant's "Anywhere With Jesus" and "How Great Thou Art'" songs and two exclusive images of Amy Grant are now live at http://mobile.beliefnet.com/faces/beliefnet/web/index.

In addition to the exclusive mobile content, Amy Grant ringtones, mastertones and additional image choices are also now live at the site. The mastertones cost $2.99 each. Ringtones and images are $1.99 each and are compatible with a variety of wireless devices.

When: Available August 2, 2005 through August 31, 2005 About Amy Grant and her music: Grant's "Anywhere With Jesus" is featured on her newest and critically acclaimed project, Rock of Ages...Hymns and Faith. Rock of Ages is Grant's twentieth album and follows the recent Gold certification of her first hymns project, Legacy...Hymns & Faith, on which "How Great Thou Art" is found.

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SF Music Business Professional, Kerry Silverman, Prepares To Launch Bay Area Chapter Of NARIP

Kerry Silverman, an Artist Manager and president of her own company, Strive Management, is preparing for her next venture...bringing a NARIP chapter to the SF Bay Area. "We have a lot of good organizations here (NARAS, California Lawyers for the Arts, Fantasy Records/ Concord Music Group, Universal, etc...) and a lot of talented music industry professionals. I am hoping this branch of NARIP can bring all the Bay Area recording industry professionals together to flourish collectively in the industry as opposed to everyone always doing their own thing," says Kerry, president of Strive Management. Tess Taylor, President of NARIP, will be in town to speak at a workshop for the SFSU MRI program on Oct 15th so it was the perfect time to launch the SF Chapter that weekend.

The National Association of Record Industry Professionals (NARIP) exists to promote continued education, career advancement and collegiality among record industry executives. With an emphasis on becoming better informed and more effective executives, NARIP offers professional development opportunities, educational programs and seminars, the opportunity to meet and interact with peers, a job bank, a member resume database for employers, a newsletter and other services.

Kerry has always been a fan of the win-win business transaction and extremely artist-friendly in her "project management" style of artist management. However, Kerry is excited to get behind a company that is specifically designed to support (and restricted to) record industry professionals. "We should utilize eachothers strengths, knowledge and resources. I teach Artist Management at SFSU in the MRI Program and lecture frequently, so I am big on continuing education which is something NARIP really provides. Networking opportunities and staying in the know' are invaluable to all industry professionals and Tess has created a company that does just that."

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Provided by the MusicDish Network. Copyright © Tag It 2005 - Republished with Permission

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MusicDish Network Promotes 60's Love Child Astrella-Celeste


MusicDish, an Internet music magazine publisher and artist marketing/development firm, is proud to announce the addition of Pop/Jazz singer Astrella Celeste to the MusicDish Network roster. Combining a variety of online viral marketing strategies, the MusicDish Network will be coordinating a broad campaign in support of her debut album "Blue Star" (the Spanish translation of Astrella Celeste).
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MusicDish At MIDEM: J-Music Distribution, France

J-Music Distribution describes itself as "the very first European distributor of Japanese music whose activities link Japanese artists and their management, Japanese record companies, and European distributors together to provide a stable framework of distribution from artists to music retail store."

Formed in December 2005, J-Music Distribution representatives brought their business vision to "MIDEM, The World Music Market's 40th Edition" conference in Cannes, France.

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