Just a short note, but in July last year Apple CEO, Tim Cook, reportedly signed-up for a Fancy account for some reason. We didn’t know why, but I will say that when I looked at the all-new Apple Store App for the iPad (like Amazon but good) it seemed pretty clear he fancied some of the ideas he saw. That’s not to say Apple stole any ideas, but he was obviously looking for a graphically-rich, shareable, social-friendly inspiration for ideas to support the Apple Retail Store, and I think he drew some inspiration from The Fancy. And why wouldn’t he? He was responsible for the Apple Store at that time, as the company couldn’t find a decent man for the job (and they picked a very smart woman instead). Just a thought.
EMI Music has appointed one of the first wave of internet industry plus music visionaries, PeopleSound.com founder Ernesto Schmitt as president of its catalogue business, reporting to Elio Leoni-Sceti, EMI Music’s chief executive. He will join EMI next month.
Schmitt, 38, joins EMI from DSG International, Europe’s second largest consumer electronics retailer which operates the Dixons, Currys and PC World stores.
US album sales in October declined 19.4 per cent year on year, according to the latest SoundScan numbers as reported by Coolfer.
That’s steeper decline than 2008 has been as a year, but quite possibly attributable to a relatively weak summer release schedule (just watch the action hot up from mid-October on), the US elections and – principally – the economic downturn which will have a huge impact on music sales.
Why will recession have such an impact on music sales? Because years of litigation against customers has driven a schism between US music consumers and US labels, sadly to the detriment of all concerned, including the artists.
As expected, the battle of (digital media) in Britain is kicking off this Christmas – and with labels seeking to develop an (ahem) ‘more competitive landscape’ for such music sales, then the sequence of events could benefit music fans.
News now is that the Amazon Music Store will be launching in the UK by next month, offering a catalogue of DRM-free tracks in MP3 format, and (presumably) given a series of attractive price cuts on content in order that the labels can beat up on their one time friend, Apple and its iTunes Store.
BT has revealed the nominations for the 2008 BT Digital Music Awards, with Kylie Minogue and Bloc Party holding three nominations each.
Kylie faces Coldplay, Radiohead, Leona Lewis and British Sea Power for artist of the year, and is also nominated for best pop artist and best innovation for Kylie Konnect .
Bloc Party take on Coldplay, Ida Maria, Radiohead and The Futureheads for best rock/indie artist and are also up for best music community for Bloc Party Marshals and best artist promotion for the ‘Intimacy’ album release campaign.
A US music retailer trade body has railed against pre-release albums being made available for sale through iTunes, appealing instead for same day release of both digital and physical versions of new albums, presumably on the basis that delayed physical presence harms the interests of their members.
Established in 1958, the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) board states: “While recognizing the continuing shift in physical and digital album sales patterns, …(we)…remind the industry that the accepted practice is for all album releases, regardless of format, to come to market simultaneously on Tuesday.
“It is simply good for business that this practice is respected. If not, the Board feels we are opening the door for chaos in the marketplace as the significance of street date becomes meaningless and its competitive benefits are lost. Over the past few months, there have been instances where release dates for physical and digital versions of albums did not coincide, creating unnecessary and unwelcome marketing obstacles, consumer confusion and, most importantly, missed sales opportunities.
“The NARM Board urges all parties to make extraordinary efforts to limit or more tightly control any copies issued before the actual release date. In those isolated instances where an album’s digital release is advanced unexpectedly or unavoidably, retailers that are planning to merchandise the physical product should also be permitted to provide it to their customers immediately without fear of reprisal.
Artists, managers, labels, and distributors are urged to make every effort to embrace, endorse and execute release date parity. There is no “competition for earliest availability” that will be of any benefit to consumers. A singular street date will help stimulate competition on what matters: price, selection, quality, and service. The NARM Board feels that strict adherence to this strategy will benefit all segments of the business, especially consumers.”
The Association’s retail members operate 7,000 storefronts that account for much of the physical presence of music retail in the world’s largest music market. However, Apple’s continuing place as the biggest music retailer in the US means the digital music seller is now impacting the business of NARM members.