Radiohead Honor Veteren

Today the radio 4 programme “today” debuted Radiohead’s new single Harry Patch(in loving memory of) who is the last remaining veteran of world war one.

harrt patchThe importance of the song is the main driving force behind it and the inspiration for it will remain a major influence for the many individuals who have been touched by Harry’s story, including Thom Yorke. Thom was inspired to write the sombre tribute after hearing Patch talk about his radioheadexperiences of Passchendaele in an interview entitled “The last tommy”. The song is available for download only at Radiohead’s website an all proceeds will be donated to the Royal British Legion, a charity dedicated to former and serving British armed forces.

Amazon Launch Amazonmp3 wider EU market

amazon_logoAmazon are proud to announce that their current EU mp3 stores are now opening up to customers in additional countries. Whilst the list of countries is limited at the moment to just Germany, France and the UK, Amazon is planning to expand to a wider audience by executing their concept of a “marketplace”. Which their defining as a cluster of countries with a single catalogue all served by one store.

There will be one single catalogue available for each marketplace and ALL titles must be available for sale in ALL countries associated with that marketplace. This will not only maximise the sales of albums and music for Amazon but will also result in a broader range of customers being able to conveniently search for and buy music from Amazon and its partners

Disclosure: RouteNote is a retail partner with Amazon

Warner Music Group Announces Heavy Losses for 2nd Quarter 2009

In a report to shareholders this morning, Warner Music Group revealed that in the quarter ending June 30th, 2009, total revenue decreased 9.3% and operating income from continuing operations declined 51%. Total losses from continuing operations swelled to $37 million from $9 in the prior year quarter.

WMG improved its financial position during the quarter with a $1.1 billion offering of secured notes which the company used to pay off previous loans. But the new new notes carry a hefty 9.5% interest rate and come due in just 7 years

This morning’s SEC filing showed:

  • Total revenue of $769 million decreased 9.3 % from the prior year quarter.
  • Digital revenue was $175 million or 23% of total revenue in the quarter up just 1% from the second quarter and up 5%f rom $166 million in the prior year quarter.
  • Operating income from continuing operations declined 51% to $25 million compared to $51 million in the prior year quarter.
  • Operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) fell 22% to $90 million from $116 million in the prior year quarter.
  • Loss from continuing operations was $37 million or $.25 per diluted share compared to a loss from continuing operations of  $9 million or $.06 per diluted share in the prior year quarter.
  • Interest expense this quarter included $18 million or $.12 per diluted share of previously unamortized deferred financing fees related to the company’s senior secured credit facility. These fees were written off in the current quarter when the company repaid the credit facility in full in connection with its senior secured bond offering.

Read the full filing here.

Chili Peppers Drummer Solo Project

meatbat_01

Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith set a date for a solo album that will be in the shops to buy in the US in September 15th.

Smith has settled on the name, “Chad Smiths bombastic meatbats; Meet the meatbats”. Chad explains to the world that he is heavily influenced by all the now solid, veteran drummers that poured out of England during the 60’s and 70’s including Ian Pace of Deep Purple, Ginger Baker and Led Zeppelins John Bonham.

Other Chad Smith related projects include collaborations with Joe Stariani, Sammy Hagar and Micheal Anthony under the name Chickenfoot that came out July this year and topped billboards in America. No album release dates have been announced for bombastic meatbats in the UK.

Cheap Starter Drum Kits

Ion are quickly becoming responsible for the best value in versatile drum kits on the Internet. Excellent for both practicing in silence in the next room without annoying anyone, programming your own special effects for recording or even plugging in to a PA at a live event, the small packages that Ion deliver should come as standard issue whenever a drummer is born! Our recommendation for this convenience over the other similar products online is the price. You can find these on numerous site but the cheapest is TheMusicKing for £199 at the time of publish. elec drum kit £199

Ion supplies as standard with each kit 5 velocity-sensitive drum pads (which deliver the closes thing to bounce on a pad you can get without hitting a real drum skin!). The sound that you get from your own headphones while playing is as clear as glass and twinned with the 50 preset drum beats an the library of over 200 sounds that come with it that you can personally assign to the pads you’d be hard pressed to find anything better in that price range for those planning to learn the drums.

Initially their pack includes the 5 v-sensitive pads, a user friendly ICD display and interface, mIDI output for playing to external mIDI devices and a high quality 24-bit stereo and headphone outputs. Accessories can include drumsticks, suitable headphones and external hi-hat and drum pedals.

50p Microphones

Rode ics 50p

For the month of August only Rode are offering a generous range of microphones for 50p ($1). Thier offer includes the Rode M1 live dynamic mic, the M2 vocal condenser mic and the M3 half inch condenser mic to name a few, when you spend on another qualifying microphone. Weather your a seasoned professional looking for a bargain on kit that you can trust or an amatuer thats just looking to begin a bedroom music hobby take advantage of Rodes August offer.

Rode mics, especially the M1 (an its younger brothers the M2 and M3), are famous for being rugged and built like battle tanks. With solid housing cases with Rodes, what seems to be standard issue, skock absorbers and the extended garantee that comes with it people are prepared to convert from the SM58. But these things are not news to anyone, the internet is full of Rode loving microphoners. RouteNote are just amazed and awed that they are being sold for just 50P this month. If you only buy one thing online this month make sure its an investment on the Rode.

Heath Ledger’s Modern Mouse Video King Rat

heath-ledger

A new music video that was directed by the late actor Heath Ledger for the Modest Mouse song “King Rat” will premier online today. Ledger presented Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse with an idea to direct a video back in January 2007 while in Australia. Ledger’s intention for the video’s theme was to raise awareness about the issue of whales that are hunted down illegally for commercial purposes off the coast of Australia each year.

The video was fully conceived down to the last detail but unfinished when Heath passed away in January of 2008. The video company The Masses (a film and music company which Heath was a partner in), completed the video in his honor with the full support of Brock.

Proceeds from iTunes video downloads in the first month of release will go toward Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization organization committed to ending the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.

Spotify Raises $50 million in Funding on a $250 million Valuation

Has European music startup Spotify finally worked out the online music business? Rumors surfaced today that the company is raising a new round of financing of $50 million or so, at valuation of $250 million.

The new financing will bring in new “strategic” investors, which include rights holders in other geographic locations, according to our source. And while new investors are balking at the $250 million valuation, strong demand from venture capitalists is supposedly driving this deal to a close.

The company has yet to launch in the U.S., but boasts 2 million UK users, its biggest market. They are also launched in Germany and Sweden. Users can listen to music for free on a downloaded application with advertising, or pay a premium fee to remove the ads. Some labels are supposedly making more money now from Spotify than iTunes in the markets the service is available.

We have previously reported on the U.S launch as well as their upcoming iphone application.

Other sources that are confirming the investment include: techcrunch, venturebeat, paidcontent, arcticstartup and musically.

Pirated Tracks on YouTube are Boosting Sales!

Previously here at RouteNote we have been pretty critical about the PRS and how they go about their business here in the UK. On the other side of the pond it seems as though the BPI and other organisation are doing exactly the same and seem to be losing touch completely on music in the digital era. Im still unsure why companies like the PRS exist, I know they collect royalties for the song writers, but why arent the song writers collecting royalties when they sell their music to bands or whoever.

Over at Torrentfreak they have opened up the discussion again. Torrentfreak states:

Every day hundreds of thousands of clips are uploaded to YouTube, some of which use copyrighted music. Of course the major record labels argue that these illegal uploads are killing their profits as people buy less music when YouTube users add a track to a home made video.

Not everyone in the music business agrees with this assessment though. When the indie rock band Barcelona saw one of its latest tracks featured in a viral video with nearly a million views, they responded quite differently. They claim that the clip below actually boosted their album sales and concert visits.

So, instead of demanding that YouTube pull the video, the band posted a response to the ‘Kuroshio Sea’ video on the site, thanking their new found fans and the uploader who posted the original video.

Aside from the boost in record sales, the band says that they’ve also met some new fans who came to their concerts after seeing the video on YouTube. It is a great way of promoting music online, especially when it’s coupled to a great video.

Unfortunately for most artists, anti-piracy outfits such as the RIAA, BPI and IFPI are increasingly policing YouTube to get all copyrighted music taken off the site. One such artist to suffer recently is the unfortunate Calvin Harris, who clashed with the music industry lobby group BPI.

“IT’S MY FUCKING SONG YOU ABSOLUTE BASTARDS,” Harris wrote on Twitter when he found out that YouTube had removed a clip he uploaded himself, following a copyright complaint from the BPI.

“FUCK YOU ‘The BPI’ what have you ever done for anybody you useless shower of cunts,” he added. As if that wasn’t enough Harris labeled the BPI the “worst organization to ever walk the earth” and their online employees “massive retards.”

Like many other artists, Harris just wants his music to be heard, and he believes that putting a clip on YouTube might in fact introduce new people to his music. If people like what they hear, they might even buy his album or visit his gigs, much like what happened with Barcelona.

YouTube is free promotion for bands and artists, it has the potential to drive revenue instead of killing it. It is time for the major labels and anti-piracy outfits to listen to the artists for once, and perhaps ask them if they actually want to have their content removed or not.

It is good to see that other artists and organisations are having increasing trouble with the BPI, PRS and other such organisations. Hopefully artists and record labels will decided that these types of organisations are dated and they need to be replaced.

Spotify Sends In iPhone Application for Apple to Review

Previously here on RouteNote we wrote about how one of our newest partners Spotify is launching very soon in the US market. However, today Spotify has new news, they have sent in their iPhone application for Apple to review. It is not guaranteed that the application will be accepted into the iTunes App store, mainly because it seems as those Spotify is a direct competitor to iTunes and their application may slow music sales in the iTunes store. Anyways, here is a preview of the new application.