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DirectTV broadband users will get music from Listen.COM

Satellite broadcaster Hughes Electronics Corp.'s GMH.N DirecTV unit, is expected to announce a partnership with in a bid to increase subscribers to it Internet products, the Wall Street Journal reported today.

Slow sales -- and Internet downloads -- driving down retail CD prices

The Boston Globe published a front-page feature story, with a photo, documenting CD-by-CD competitive pricing which is driving down the cost of even new-release CD's in retail stores to $9.99 and lower. Blame the economic slowdown, anemic or shrinking sales -- and Internet free downloads -- for the price drops, theorizes the paper's Geoff Edgers.

Not much left of AudioGalaxy after settling with RIAA

Not much appears to be going on at AudioGalaxy's Austin, Texas, offices, an Associated Press reporter writes, a few weeks after the popular file-sharing site settled a lawsuit brought by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Janis Ian: Now a '60s counter-culture heroine tells labels to stop blocking free downloads

Remember Society's Child, Janis Ian's pop hit from the 1960s? Well, the lady has a new cause, and it isn't about the way society treats interracial dating, teen beauty and the thirst for money and position. Ian, who lives in Nashville, has penned a powerful trashing of the music industry's efforts to shut down the MP3 free-download movement.

Vivendi partner Emusic.COM offering big backlist in "open" MP3 format by subscription

The Emusic.COM partner of Big Five label Vivendi Universal will offer about 1,000 backlist albums -- artists like B.B. King, Jimmy Buffet, the Four Tops, Joe Cocker Ringo Starr and Stevie Wonder, as part of a 200,000-song subscription package in MP3 from $9.99 to $14.99 per month.

RESEARCH: Ipsos-Reid and downloader demographics

There are 41.5 million people in the United States who have downloaded music, according to a study by Ipsos-Reid: -- By age group: 12-17: 8.7 million; 18-24: 11.7 million; 25-34: 9.2 million; 35-54: 10.8 million; 55+: 1.2 million. -- By gender: 25% of males 12 and up; 14% of females 12 and up

FullAudio adds Warner Music to its stable of label partners

Now FullAudio has Warner Music on board for its trial streaming music service, offered in partnership with a Phoenix Clear Channel FM station. Bertelsmann joined up a couple of weeks ago, but the Warner deal apparently includes "burning" rights, and the Bertelsmann one did not.

Rhapsody: Listen.COM now offering MP3 downloads from all five big labels

All-you-can-eat access to "crippled" MP3 downloads at $9.95 a month -- with titles from all of the Big Five labels -- is now offered by Listen.COM's Rhapsody service directly and through Lycos.COM. But . . . you can't burn and you can't copy. Listen closed with Universal Music on Monday, July 1. Listen has 178,000 songs from more than 5,000 artists -- but hardly any of the Billboard Top 10 or major artists like Bob Dylan.

More reports of "attitude adjustment" by record labels;<br>Will music will be free as a promotion for artist, or 25 cents?

More and more stories are appearing suggesting the major record labels are undergoing a gradual attitude adjustment about selling tunes over the Internet. The latest pair of stories appear in today's San Jose Mercury News, and also in The New York Times. And The San Francisco Chronicle's take on the same subject focuses on a Listen.COM deal with major labels. Recorded music "will be used to promote the artist, and the labels will need to find other sources of revenue," predicted Starling D. Hunter III, an assistant professor at M.I.T, who studies the impact of technology on established industries, told The New York Times. The Times pieces theorizes that 25 cents a song may be the ultimate price for a download.

MusicNotes.COM distributing sheet music online via AOL

Musicnotes, Inc. has amassed rights to 14,000 digital sheet music titles from Warner Bros., BMG, Famous Music and others. Now it is putting the sheets on line -- but only via AOL and its own website.
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