Amazon Mp3 Launches UK Store on Wednesday

RouteNote partner Amazon has launched their ever popular music store Amazon Mp3 in the UK. Amazon Mp3 contains over 5 million DRM free tracks. On an individual track basis, the store has variable pricing, with songs starting at 59p, but other categories for tracks costing 60p-69p, 70p-79p, and over 80p. Albums are more variable, although £6.49 appears to be one popular price point for new albums. However, I have noticed at the moment they are pushing out major track downloads for only £0.29.

Amazon Mp3 for the UK was launched on Wednesday of last week without any press although British-based music blog MusicAlly was the first to spot it.

The increased competition brought about by a heavyweight like Amazon stepping into the ring may already have had an effect on music pricing in the United Kingdom. MusicAlly reports that as Amazon MP3 launched there, Apple dropped its prices on key albums in the British version of iTunes, including those by Oasis and Fleet Foxes, to under $6.

Who Are The Top Musicians on Twitter? Here Are The Twitter Music Charts

According to information assembled by data partner BigChampagne, these are the top acts with the most followers on Twitter (as of April 20th):

1. Britney Spears (995,807)
2. John Mayer (760,522)
3. Diddy (612,586)
4. Coldplay (542,764)
5. Sara Bareilles (424,737)
6. A Fine Frenzy (394,429)
7. Soulja Boy (350,114)
8. Jimmy Eat World (281,989)
9. Heidi Montag (247,120)
10. Ashlee Simpson (222,548)

There arent really too many surprises, but I dont really class Heidi Montag as a musician!

Make sure you head over and follow RouteNote on Twitter,

PRS Have Paid Out £117 Million for the First Quarter of 2009 to British Songwriters

PRS for Music has announced that its members will be paid their share of a record distribution of £117 million for the first quarter of this year, based on analysis of 19.7 million performances of more than 743,000 individual works.

UK royalties accounted for 65% of that, with the remainder coming from international markets.

In its announcement of the Q1 payout, PRS for Music says that talks between it and Google/YouTube “are yet to reach a satisfactory conclusion”. This coming after Google announcing that they were going to pull all their premium music videos from YouTube.

Study Finds Pirates Buy 10x More Music Online than Non-Pirates

A study from the BI Norwegian School of Management has found that those who download free music from services like BitTorrent are also the biggest legitimate consumers of downloadable music.

In fact, among all 1,901 Norway-based study participants (all of whom were over the age of 15), it was found that those who downloaded “free” music were 10x more likely to download pay music. In other words, music pirates are the music industry’s largest online consumers.

Note: “Free” music obviously implies pirated music, but it also encompasses legitimate free music download services.

The findings also included that, in the 15-20 age range, 50% of participants had bought a CD in the last six months. So that trusty format isn’t dead quite yet.

Since we relied on Google’s translation from the original Norwegian, anyone who speaks the language is encouraged to glean for more specifics and post them in the comments.

Source: Gizmodo

Pirate Bay – File Sharing Verdict

skull_and_crossbonesThe Pirate Bay’s trial in Sweden has resulted in their four founders being found guilty and sentenced to a year in prison each, on top of some horrific fines. While we understand that artists are being damaged by file-sharing, it’s certainly in the interest of consumers to obtain music through p2p channels, or they wouldn’t be doing it.

So who is actually at fault here? The Pirate Bay arose in response to a demand from music and media consumers that wasn’t being met by other retailers and content providers, and they were arguably only providing a roadmap for their users to find files that others had put up on the web. Their site was a tool capable of helping people make copies of files, like Microsoft’s Media Player is capable of allowing people to burn copied CD’s of other people’s music, or indeed music that they’ve copied from the internet. It’s not Bill Gate’s fault that millions of people have used Microsoft’s software to burn those CD’s, and it’s arguable that the Pirate Bay’s owners and operators are only providing a tool in the same way.

Whatever the morality of file sharing – it’s here to stay. The Bay have vowed to put up servers in countries all round the world, so that the site cannot be taken down as the result of a judgement in a single territory, and sites like mininova are not only taking down all the contested content, but also paying healthy lumps of tax to their native governments, making them much more respectable in the eyes of the law. What needs to happen is for a method to be designed that brings revenue back to the artists or other content originators from torrents or other file sharing methods, so that consumers can have their cake, and artists can eat it too. My suggestion? Sanctioned releases from labels or artists that are monitored by legit sites (like mininova) and funded by a combination of ISP’s taxing bandwidth, and the torrent tracking site’s advertising.

Universal Music Group and Google Partner for Vevo


The rumours are true and Universal Music Group and Google have announced their joint venture, Vevo – a video site offering UMG’s music videos, with advertising revenues shared between the two.

The full press release is below for you to digest, and naturally we’ll have more analysis next week.


VEVO – UMG’s Premium Music Service Powered By YouTube To Launch In Coming Months

NEW YORK, NY and SAN BRUNO, CA, April 9, 2009 – Doug Morris, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Universal Music Group (UMG), the world’s leading music company and Eric Schmidt, Chairman of the Board & Chief Executive Officer of Google Inc., today announced that UMG and YouTube, a Google subsidiary, are working together to launch VEVO, a music and video entertainment service that will feature UMG’s premium video content.

In addition to VEVO, YouTube has renewed and extended its successful partnership with UMG that allows users to continue creating and watching user-generated videos containing UMG sound recordings and Universal Music Publishing Group’s compositions on YouTube through various territories around the world. The two companies will also share advertising revenue on YouTube and VEVO.

Launching later this year, VEVO will be a premium online music video hub built for consumers, advertisers and content owners that will blend UMG’s broad catalog of top artists and content with YouTube’s leading edge video technology and user community. YouTube will provide the technology infrastructure that will power VEVO and host UMG’s extensive library of professionally-created music videos on the new site. On YouTube, this content will be exclusively available through and a new VEVO channel through a special VEVO branded embedded player.

“VEVO will bring the most compelling premium music video content and services to the world’s single largest online video audience,” stated Mr. Morris. “We believe that at launch, VEVO will already have more traffic than any other music video site in the United States and in the world. And this traffic represents the most sought after demographic for advertisers, especially as advertising dollars continue their shift from old media to new. VEVO will be uniquely positioned to monetize this opportunity and a host of others as we grow it to become “the” destination for premium music video content online. For music lovers who want the best in music videos, the VEVO experience will be second to none. At the same time, VEVO will expand the premium video marketplace, generate new revenue streams for content creators, and provide brand advertisers an unprecedented opportunity to get in front of a highly engaged audience. We couldn’t be more excited about the huge potential we see in the VEVO service.”

“Technology has allowed fans to discover music in endless ways while creating new business opportunities for artists and labels alike,” said Mr. Schmidt. “At Google, we are committed to promoting greater innovation and choice and are thrilled to be working with UMG in what will surely be an exciting new service for consumers, advertisers, content creators and the music industry at large.”
At launch, people will be able to access UMG’s entire catalog of premium music video content, including professionally-created and full-length videos on VEVO, as well as artist-generated content and user-generated content hosted on YouTube. VEVO will also serve as a syndication platform, expanding the reach of the VEVO brand. This innovative platform is aimed at providing consumers the very best in digital music content while further extending UMG’s lead in the direct-to-consumer market.

Presently, UMG’s YouTube video channel has more than 3.5 billion views, making the UMG channel the most watched on YouTube.

Garageband – Music Discovery and hosting

garagebandGarageband is a really interesting peer-review and music discovery site. Artists submit music to be hosted onsite, which is then sent to 20 other artists, who review it. If they like the song then it tends to rise up the GarageBand chart and get more plays, reviews and ratings. Reviewing songs earns you entry into competitions that the site runs for various prizes, giving a continual incentive to help out other producers and artists with advice and peer review, and provides the opportunity to get free stuff and good press for your music.

Acid Planet – Music Producer Forum

acidplanetSony’s Acid Planet is a website primarily intended for users of their Acid software. There’s a thriving community of electronic music producers there, with contests and song battles, track downloads from site users and Sony’s featured artists, a forum and music software downloads. If you are using Acid, (the software kind) or you’re an electro, dance or other solo producer then there’s a load of help here for you, and yet another forum for you to shout about yourself and promote your music. Of course if you happen to mention that we’re doing your digital distribution for you, then that would be lovely!

iTunes Releases Variable Pricing Model

The anticipation is now over, as music fans everywhere can now pay more for their favorite tracks on the iTunes Store. On Tuesday morning the iTunes store switched over to a variable pricing scheme with price points now at $1.29, 99 cents and 69 cents. This pricing model is aimed at increase the price of the most popular tracks on the iTunes store while at the same time decreasing the tracks that arent so popular.

Unsurprisingly, a number of top-ranked songs are now saddled with $1.29 tags.  That includes the top-three most-downloaded songs, specifically “Boom Boom Pow” by Black Eyed Peas, “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga, and “Right Round” by Flo Rida.  But a large number of popular tracks are retaining their 99-cent stickers, at least upon initial inspection.

Berklee College – Free Lessons

We’re going to start blogging a little more about stuff off our own site that will be useful to you guys, the contributing artists. First up is this series of online lessons from the Berklee College of Music. There are a load of tutorials on different aspects of production, using different software like ProTools, Ableton, Reason, pointers on recording specific instruments and so forth. It’s all a little basic, as they want you to sign up to study at their nice expensive college, but it’s a good place to pick up some tips if you’re starting out with a new bit of kit.