Make it up as you go along

Superthriller are not a typical band. They began life providing music for the experimental theatre company Shunt, blasting noise at befuddled audiences in vast caves beneath London Bridge station. The first gig they played was supporting Beck on his UK tour, where they performed around a giant white cube and disappeared within for unusual costume changes. This month, they release an album that, when you put it in your CD player, is entirely free of sound. It’s called, inevitably, The Blank Album, and it might just be the future of music.

AustralAsian Music Industry Directory

Our 37th edition, published July 20, 2006, is an online and print sourcebook for all the contacts in the Australian and New Zealand music markets plus Asia/Pacific Regional Offices–over 5000 listed companies & individuals in 70 categories updated twice yearly since 1988. All highly detailed listings consist of addresses, phone, fax and mobile numbers, emails & URLs (both hotlinked online) , complete staff rosters & enhanced details on many listings.

Record Labels Turn Piracy Into a Marketing Opportunity

A video clip from Jay-Z’s live concert in June at Radio City Music Hall is popping up on all sorts of illicit music-sharing hotspots. But Jay-Z isn’t upset.

Music industry files 8,000 new file-swap lawsuits

The music industry has launched a fresh wave of 8,000 lawsuits against alleged file sharers around the world, escalating its drive to stamp out online piracy and encourage the use of legal download services.

Music Industry Holds Stake in YouTube

Last month, HDNet chief and cable industry mouthpiece Mark Cuban attempted to scare investors and advertisers away from YouTube. According to Cuban, anyone who purchased the company was a "moron", since the company would soon be sued into oblivion by the entertainment industry for sharing their content illegally. Cuban has traditionally laughed at broadband as a video distribution medium, proclaiming it will never take off.

Music industry encouraged Visa to pull the plug on

We reported earlier this week that AllofMP3 has gone on a PR offensive, hiring Qorvis and giving their first press conference to members of the international media. While the conference itself revealed little that was new, a report appeared later that day which said that Visa would no longer process payments from AllofMP3. The timing of the announcement seemed unusual, but the situation has now been clarified somewhat: Visa acted at the instigation of the music industry.

Record industry takes P2P advertising

The record industry, having spent the best part of the last five trying to destroy peer-to-peer networks, has now realised that file sharers are also their biggest customers and has started to insert adverts into shared files.

Online Music Sales Picking up in Europe

The US is still leading in sales of digital music, but Europe is catching up, according to new figures from IFPI, representing the recording industry worldwide.

Visa and MasterCard Wrongly Disqualified Legal Online Music Service

Mediaservices today announced that the disqualification of the legalonline music service, AllofMP3, by Visa International and MasterCardInternational (MA) was based on preconceived notions about the company andthat the companies lack justification for the action.

The Long Tail: Universal’s Long Tail music experiment

Earlier this week Universal Music released some initial results from its experiment in tapping its deep archives to measure Long Tail demand for older music (European music, in this case). Unlike most traditional backcatalog re-release efforts, which lead with CDs, Universal made these tracks available only as downloads to keep the costs as low as possible. The aim was to go further down the tail than the economics of physical media and traditional retail would allow, which makes a lot of sense.

Reviving record store vibe

"The whole idea behind Lala is to sort of bring back that record store vibe," said John Kuch, Lala’s spokesman. "The record store was a social hub for music where you’d bump into people in the aisles and have these discussions about music. We’ve lost that in the age of big-box retailers where Wal-Mart sells one in every five records in the United States."

Without Copyright Extension, The Beatles Will Never Have Incentive To Write Another Song

The British Library is reasonably worried that all of this copyright stuff is making it nearly impossible to archive data for historical purposes. The longer copyright is extended for, the worse the problem becomes, as plenty of content will simply be completely gone or in unreadable formats by the time it goes out of copyright. It’s a terrible precedent for archiving items

Universal Music sues video sites

The world’s biggest record company, Universal Music, is suing two video-sharing websites in the US. The firm, whose artists include U2 and Mariah Carey, accuses both Grouper and Bolt of allowing "mass infringement" of copyright by letting users swap videos. It wants damages of up to $150,000 (£80,000) for each video distributed on the websites without permission.

Single on memory stick for Keane

Rock band Keane will be the first act to release a single on USB flash drives, their record label says. 1,500 of the gadgets will go sale with MP3 copies of the band’s latest single, Nothing In My Way, later this month.

Credit card firms shun MP3 site

Visa and Mastercard have stopped accepting credit card transactions for music downloading site AllofMP3, which is accused of illegally selling songs.

Apple profits soar on iPod demand

Global demand for the iPod music player and other Apple products helped the technology firm boost profits by 27% to $546m (£292m) in the fourth quarter.