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Published:May 23rd, 2009 11:05 EST
Strategic Alliances Redux

Strategic Alliances Redux

By Steve Meyer (Mentor/ Columnist)

DISC & DigitalAudioTechnology (Music & Digital Audio/Video News)
A New Media Newsletter For The Music Industry                                                                                                                                                    

Vol 7-#17- 5/15/2009 - Commentary - News - And More
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The Industry`s Inside Music, Digital Audio & Video News And Commentary Of Choice To Keep You Informed Since 2003

"Print It Out And Read It All!"

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THE `A-SIDE` - TRACK 1

 

Commentary and One Man`s Opinion

 

STRATEGIC ALLIANCES REDUX

"If you do not seek out allies and helpers, then you will be isolated and weak." -- Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"

After reading a New York Times article this week, `Despite Lower Ratings, `Idol` Rakes In The Cash` (referenced with link below in the news stories section), I thought it might be a good time to revisit an article I originally wrote in the third issue of the newsletter back in November of 2003.

Despite losing viewers in each of the last three years, "American Idol," is still the top-rated series on television, and it`s generating ever-growing profits for its creators and for Fox Broadcasting through brand extensions, marketing arrangements and licensing fees.

The show is now a model of what can be reaped from strategic alliances, and I touched upon these possibilities six years ago. Here`s the original piece:

"If ever there was a time for the music industry to seek symbiotic relationships, it`s now. The formation of these partnerships is becoming a key component in all corporate thinking and has been talked about recently in leading business publications. This from BUSINESS WEEK: "...companies should expand beyond their existing resources through licensing arrangements, strategic alliances, and supplier relationships." From FORTUNE: "Alliances have become an integral part of contemporary strategic thinking."

There is no such thing as having too many customers and no business is safe from shifting trends and changes in the marketplace today as consumers have more choices than ever where to spend their disposable income. Music companies have relied on mega-selling multi-platinum albums during their fiscal year to continually drive revenues and profits. With a healthy, diverse, and deep roster, that formula worked well for labels for quite sometime. Enter the Internet, technology to burn CDs, and the era of instant gratification and with it, disposable music, movies, and fashion. The public consumed "junk culture" like junk food and moved on to the "next thing" at an ever-increasing speed.

The most beneficial type of partnering companies can engage in, is partnering with other companies that can provide compelling benefits for their customers. If used properly, the partnerships can be used to gain customers, protect them from predation by competitors, and protect profit margins. Of course opening the doors to create such alliances means "thinking outside of the box" more than ever. But the rewards can be extraordinary.

I`ve often wondered why the big entertainment conglomerates like Universal, Warners, SONY, BMG, have not looked at the types of reward and loyalty programs used in the travel, hospitality, and other industries. By vertically integrating all the divisions within an entertainment conglomerate for maximizing customer acquisition, retention, and loyalty, the possibilities seem endless to me.

Imagine for example Universal creating a program whereby any customer purchasing a CD on ANY label distributed by the company, receives some form of "reward" points good for discounts on purchases of future CDs, DVDs, merchandise, theme-park admissions, films, etc. Imagine taking it one level up and offering the same rewards if you eat at McDonald`s or Burger King or Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, etc. One level up again...more rewards if you shop at certain supermarkets, department stores. Moving right along, more points when you buy gas, travel on certain airlines, stay at certain hotels. I think you get the idea...and I`ve just scratched the surface here. Steve Jobs has already made moves into this area by creating such alliances...his first will begin shortly with McDonald`s...and now Pepsi wants in. You`ve all seen how studios tie-in a big release (e.g. the just released `Cat in the Hat`) with myriads of partners for maximum exploitation. As I said, once the doors are opened...the halls will be flooded with more opportunities than ever imagined.

"The greatest change in corporate culture - and the way business is being conducted - may be the accelerated growth of relationships based... on partnership." - Peter F. Drucker.

One thing is certain. Doing business the old way ain`t gonna` work. Strategic partnerships are fueling the growth of the world`s most successful companies as the demand to deliver new products at lower prices increases. Such alliances also allow companies to enter new markets and expose products they otherwise wouldn`t do on their own. In other words, their marketing reach is extended across a much broader consumer landscape allowing for the possibility of increased market share and sales. A look at why successful Internet companies have generated real revenues online reveals most have created invaluable strategic alliances that have solidified and expanded their brand equity.

I could probably go on and on here about the potential explosion the industry will see when such alliances are established, but this isn`t an MBA thesis. I`m just trying to plant the seeds of opportunity in your minds. Music is one of life`s greatest pleasures and it carries with it so much of our emotions, our memories, and at its best, it provides comfort in times when needed. There`s no reason why labels can`t start mapping out a brighter future now to bring music to an even bigger audience than ever before. "

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THE `A-SIDE` - TRACK 2
FOLLOW-UP TO `BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR`

In my commentary last week I talked about the new pending legislation that would force radio stations to pay almost $500 million more to labels and the artists they represent. (And thanks to Jerry DelColliano who gave me the info that the $500 million figure came from a Sarah McBride Wall Street Journal piece last week)

I won`t repeat what I wrote last week about my thoughts on the subject except to say that a whole lot of artists are going to be very surprised when they don`t see their broadcast royalty checks increasing dramatically.

I received an e-mail from David M. Ross, a reader, and the publisher of Music Row Communications ( www.musicrow.com) in Nashville, that contained the following information:

"Steve - Watch carefully for the difference between money collected and money distributed…

ASCAP says it collects $933 million

http://www.ascap.com/press/2009/0309_financials.aspx

This next link is from BMI only it is for 2006-2007 (couldn`t find the new one) but it measures $732 and the current one is higher

http://www.bmi.com/news/entry/535402

Thanks David for that info.

That`s a whole lot of money being collected as you can see.

If labels think they are doing anything positive on their artists behalf to generate more money into the coffers, they should realize (again) that most radio stocks are in the one dollar range now and if radio can`t pay a whole lot more in royalties, it will have no alternative except to cut back on the amount of music it plays, and play even less new music, which in turn penalizes the news artists who need the exposure more than established artists who are already on radio and have been for some time.

It will be very interesting to see what happens when all is said and done.

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THE `A-SIDE` - TRACK 3
#1 SURE AIN`T WHAT IT USED TO BE

The new number one album in Billboard this week is "Epiphany` by Chrisette Michele. Congrats to Chrisette.

The album sold 85,000 copies to land at the #1 position. The top 10 combined album sales are just over 500,000 for the week.

No comment here…just facts about the realities of retail today in the industry.

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THE `A-SIDE` - TRACK 4
THE CONTINUING TWITTER UPDATE TO KEEP IT ALL IN PERSPECTIVE

From an article this week titled `Twitter Body Doubles: A Cautionary Tale` this week: "Marcus Leaver, president of Sterling Publishing Co. -- a sharp-witted Englishman in New York attempting to right a badly listing ship in an industry where the old-guard is used to jetting to trade shows set in far-flung locales like Frankfurt and London. He`s cut those bloated marketing budgets at Sterling, shedding the trade shows and catalogs, while increasing the title-by-title marketing spend by 66% over the last two years. And like many companies lately, Sterling has discovered Twitter.

Leaver is not a Twitter proselytizer, nor even an advocate. Safe to say, he is more of a cautioner. Now he`s got some folks at his company who love Twitter - before they heard about it on Oprah even - and they try to get everyone, authors, editors, even him, to tweet all day long. He tried it and didn`t really take to it, he said. So they got him a Twitter body double. And this is where the trouble starts. His Twitter body double wasn`t much danger to anyone, but, again, like many companies these days, Sterling employs people to tweet for public figures -- in this case authors -- who aren`t actually the supposed tweeter. " (Read it all here: http://tinyurl.com/pttmnw )

From another article this week titled `Twitter Users Ticked Off Over Feed Settings Tweak`: "Active users complain that a change to how "tweets" are displayed is effectively blocking conversation. This could be Twitter`s first large-scale user revolt. (Read about that here: http://tinyurl.com/rc77ed )

And if you haven`t already heard, multi-platinum artist Kanye West took on Twittter on his own website (see part of his rant in my `Quotes Of The Week` below) and basically told anybody reading his blog entry, that he thinks Twitter is a waste of time, and that despite tweets in his name, it isn`t him at all "tweeting" online. (Surprise, surprise) Amazingly, his rant contains some of the same things I`ve discussed here in the newsletter about Twitter. Never thought I`d find myself agreeing with what Kanye might say, but in this case, he`s spot on. (You can read all about Kanye`s rant here: http://tinyurl.com/q9q44b )

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THE `A-SIDE` - TRACK 5
ARBITRON VERSUS NIELSEN, THE GLOVES ARE OFF

Arbitron says the defection of radio broadcasters to Nielsen for diary-based ratings services will hurt Arbitron revenue by about $10 million per year starting in 2010. The statement, made in the company`s Q1 earnings report, may be too optimistic.

Clear Channel Communications and Cumulus Media have said they signed with Nielsen because of improvements in audience recruitment measures. However, the true reason might have more to do with costs -- Arbitron customers have long complained about its fees. To fight back, Arbitron is working to strengthen the sampling quality in its diary-based ratings, including adding cell-phone only households and promoting online options to paper-and-pencil non-responders.

But the truth is that radio broadcasters are more concerned with the cost of data collection than its accuracy. If Nielsen offers Arbitron customers cheaper audit fees to switch their dials, Arbitron will need to revise upward that expected $10 million in lost annual sales.

Read the rest here: http://tinyurl.com/pr8bav

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Apple`s Next Device May Be In The Works

The Wall Street Journal (and others) are saying that Apple might have a new nifty gadget in the works.

From the WSJ article: " Some people familiar with the matter say the device is a netbook, an inexpensive, shrunken notebook computer. Netbooks have been a growth segment for the PC market over the last year. Other people close to Apple, however, say the device will be more like an iPod Touch with a bigger screen that will make it easier to watch movies, play videogames, read electronic books and surf the Internet. "

Whatever the case may be, if the rumors are true, Apple will again take the lead in creating innovative new products that consumers love.

Read the rest of the WSJ article here: http://tinyurl.com/cdwe74

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Pandora`s Thriving iPhone Business

TechCrunch

Pandora, a streaming Internet radio service, still mainly makes its money through advertising, but TechCrunch`s MG Siegler notes that the company`s biggest growth driver is increasingly song referrals that spur downloads on services like Apple`s iTunes or Amazon`s MP3 service. According to Pandora`s CTO Tom Conrad, users are buying a million songs a month now from affiliate links; about 20% of those come directly from Pandora`s iPhone app. Says Siegler, "That`s really impressive considering that (the iPhone is) just one phone that a relatively small percentage of their users use."

Read the rest here: http://tinyurl.com/d3rouu

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Despite Lower Ratings, `Idol` Rakes In The Cash

New York Times

The question is: Can a television show with a shrinking audience actually increase its revenue?

In the case of `American Idol,` the answer is yes, and the manner that the show`s creators are going about it could change the way that producers and broadcast networks think about the longevity of reality television programs.

Despite losing viewers in each of the last three years, "American Idol," still the top-rated series on television, is generating ever-growing profits for its creators and, it appears, for Fox Broadcasting through brand extensions, marketing arrangements and licensing fees.

Read the rest here: http://tinyurl.com/pm8wqf

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Music Marketing Center Stage At iLike

Social music start-up iLike has come a long way from its early days as the way to "dedicate a song" to your friends on Facebook.

On Wednesday, the Seattle-based company plans to unveil some fresh new features for the set of tools it offers to artists who want to connect with current and potential fans. It`s hooked up the application program interfaces (APIs) of Twitter, YouTube, and MySpace to allow for more extensive content syndication from artists` iLike pages, and has released an iPhone app-creation product to boost their mobile presences.

Read the rest here: http://tinyurl.com/o5wg7s

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MySpace Music Failing to Sell Downloads

Ad Age

"MySpace Music hasn`t yet saved the digital-music business, and it`s a long way from adding to parent News Corp.`s bottom line," says Ad Age`s Michael Learmonth. Already, the record labels that are partners in the joint music venture are starting to get fed up. They`ve had high expectations that the social networking giant could help drive digital sales, but so far, MySpace Music has had a lot of success attracting visitors-27 million uniques in April- but not a lot of success selling downloads, which are by far the most lucrative revenue source for the labels.

"Without putting too fine a point on it, it has disappointed us so far," Warner Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman said on an earnings call last week. "MySpace Music has been slow to create monetization tools and to be able to impact in a revenue-generating way the massive audience that they have been able to attract, and that needs to change, quite frankly."

Read the rest here: http://tinyurl.com/qaxhcf

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Real Networks Moves Forward With DVD Copier

RealNetworks continues to hire engineers to work on Facet, a DVD player that copies and stores film discs despite allegations by Hollywood that the device violates copyright.

Real has posted a job ad on Craigslist asking for qualified Linux engineers to apply.

Read the rest here: http://tinyurl.com/p8b8sx

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Original Web Video Still Financially Underwhelming

Silicon Alley Insider

Original Web video is still mostly a bust, says Silicon Alley Insider`s Dan Frommer. Americans may have watched 14.5 billion online videos in March, according to comScore, but the top videos were undoubtedly clips of professionally produced content. So far, there simply aren`t that many Web-original hits -- and no Web producers are striking it truly rich yet.

According to YouTube, by far the most popular online video destination, "hundreds of YouTube partners are making thousands of dollars a month," but most YouTube producers still can`t quit their day jobs, Frommer says. Take FunnyOrDie, producer of "The Landlord," one of the most successful original online videos of all time: it has yet to find another hit, with its next-best video generating 1/6 of the views. Even Revision3, "arguably the most successful Web-first production shop," will be lucky to do $10 million in sales this year, Frommer notes. This doesn`t even come close to comparing with TV.

Read the rest here: http://tinyurl.com/p3avbg

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Music Is Good For The Heart…Literally

If you didn`t catch the white coat and the stethoscope, you might take Dr. Mike Miller for a middle-aged rocker, roaming the halls of the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.

For years, Miller, a research cardiologist, has been studying the effects of happiness -- or things that make people happy -- on our hearts. He began his research with laughter, and found watching funny movies and laughing at them could actually open up blood vessels, allowing blood to circulate more freely.

Miller thought, if laughter can do that, why not music? So, he tested the effects of music on the cardiovascular system. "Turns out music may be one of the best de-stressors -- either by playing or even listening to music," said Miller.

Read the rest here: http://tinyurl.com/p38dvg

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SINATRA BIOPIC GETS THE GREEN LIGHT: Director Martin Scorsese will make a biopic about Frank Sinatra. Universal Pictures and Mandalay Pictures will produce the film; the companies acquired both the life rights and music rights of the Chairman of the Board. "We have dreamt of making a movie about Frank Sinatra, and Marty Scorsese is undeniably the perfect vision keeper for this project," Mandalay chairman Peter Guber said in a statement.

REMEMBER WHEN MTV USED TO DO THIS KIND OF STUFF?: Eminem, who releases his new LP, Relapse, on May 19th, will be perform (in pre-taped fashion) on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live on May 15th. According to a press release, the rapper will be debuting new material from the album, his first in four years. The following week, Eminem will be back for two more appearances, booked for May 19th and May 22nd, when he will perform two tracks live from Detroit.

TAKE A LISTEN TO ONE THE COUNTRY`S BEST BANDS: Wilco are giving fans a (legal) alternative to downloading the album. Wilco: The Album, is streaming on Wilco’s official Website with a choice of either low or high quality for "Wilco: The Stream" as the band is jokingly calling it.

GREEN DAY OPENERS: Franz Ferdinand and the Kaiser Chiefs will be the opening acts for Green Day for the second half of their U.S. summer tour. The Kaisers will join Green Day from July 27th at New York’s Madison Square Garden to August 7th in New Orleans, with Franz taking over between Houston’s August 8th date and the tour’s finale, August 25th in Los Angeles.

CLEARED OR NOT, GET UP THE CASH: AllHipHop reports that Snoop Dogg has been cleared of charges related to the beating of a fan who jumped onstage during a 2005 concert. Video showed that the MC didn`t punch the victim during "Gin & Juice," however Doggystyle Records and rapper Soopafly will pay fan Richard Monroe Jr. $449,000 in damages.

LENNON IN NYC: "John Lennon: The New York City Years" opens to the general public Tuesday (May 12th) at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex in Manhattan

WHY SHOULD SHE PAY THE BILLS?: Britney Spears has asked a judge to order ex-manager Sam Lutfi, ex-boyfriend Adnan Ghalib and lawyer Jon Eardley to cover the approximately $300,000 in legal fees she incurred winning restraining orders against them.

POLAR PRIZES: Peter Gabriel and classical Venezuelan composer Jose Antonio Abreu will receive Sweden`s biggest music award, the Polar Music Prize, at an August 31st ceremony in Stockholm, the BBC reports. The prize committee stated Gabriel, "not only had a significant influence on the development of popular music - he has redefined the very concept."

INSTANT KARMA: Rihanna has been nominated for three BET Awards, while Chris Brown received none for the June 28th ceremony, which will be hosted by Jamie Foxx and feature a performance by Ne-Yo. Beyoncé leads all nominees with five nods.

BOY GEORGE RELEASED: Boy George has left prison after serving four months of a 15-month sentence for imprisoning a male escort in his home, BBC reports. The 47-year-old Culture Club singer will be monitored by an electronic tag for the next 11 months.

PASSING: Guitarist, songwriter and actor Stephen Bruton passed away last weekend after a two-and-a-half year battle with cancer. He was 60. Bruton worked with Kris Kristofferson for nearly 40 years and wrote songs recorded by Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Buffett and Willie Nelson. "He was blessed with the ability to express himself with music and he loved every moment he was making it," Kristofferson said.

PASSING": Lynyrd Skynyrd bassist bassist Donald "Ean" Evans died after a battle with cancer in Mississippi at age 48, the AP reports. Evans joined the band after Leon Wilkeson passed away in 2001.

PASSING; Monti Luftner, 78, the man behind Ariola Records in the `50s and `60s and later on, BMG in the `70s and `80s before the reign of Thomas Stein, Thomas Middelhoff and Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, died last Thursday (5/7) when he was hit by a truck.

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THE TOP 20 ALBUMS FROM THE BILLBOARD CHART
FOR WEEK ENDING 5/23/09

NEW - 1. Chrisette Michele, Epiphany
2. Hannah Montana, The Movie
NEW 3. Ciara, Fantasy Ride
4. Rascal Flatts, Unstoppable
5. Bob Dylan, Together Through Life
6. Lady GaGa, The Fame - Certified Gold
7. Taylor Swift, Fearless                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           8. Rick Ross, Deeper Than Rap
NEW - 9. Ben Harper & Relentless7, What Lies For Dark Times
10. Soundtrack, Twilight - Certified 2x Platinum
NEW - 11. The Devil Waers Prada, With Roots Above and Branches Below
12. Various Artists, Now 30
13. Nickelback, Dark Horse - Certified 2x Platinum
14. Jason Aldean Wide Open
15. Various Artists: Playing For Change

16. Kings of Leon, Only By The Night - Certified Gold
17. Kelly Clarkson. All I Ever Wanted
17. Jamie Foxx, Intuition
18. Beyonce, I Am Sasha Fierce - Certified 2x Platinum
19. Keith Urban, Defying Gravity
20. Keri Hilson, In A Perfect World

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TOP 10 MUSIC VIDEO
FROM BILLBOARD`S TOP MUSIC VIDEO CHART
FOR WEEK ENDING 5/23/09

1. Barbara Streisand: The Concerts
2. Wilco: Ashes Of American Flags
3. Lynda Randle: I`m Free
4. Stevie Wonder: Live At Last

5. Jeff Beck: Performing This Week... Live At Ronnie Scott`s
6. Bill Gaither: Reunion Volume 1
7. Celine Dion: Live In Vegas - A New Day - Certified 6x Platinum Video Sales
8. Vincente Fernandez: Primera Fila
9. Panic At The Disco: Live In Chicago
10. A New Hallelujah: The Live Worship DVD

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TV WASTELAND, IT`S ONLY TV WASTELAND...
WHAT AMERICA`S WATCHING

The Top 20 Network Primetime Report - Based On Nielsen Ratings
Network Primetime Averages by Viewers

Week of 5/4/09-5/10/09
[Show, Network, Total Viewers in millions]


1. American Idol (Weds), Fox, 23.5
2. American Idol (Tues.), Fox, 23.4
3 Dancing With the Stars, ABC, 20.7
4. The Mentalist, ABC, 16.7
4. NCIS, CBS, 16.7
6. Grey`s Anatomy, ABC, 15.4
7. Dancing With The Stars Results Show, ABC, 14.5
8. CSI, CBS, 14.9
9. Criminal Minds, CBS, 14.1
10. CSI: Miami, Fox, 13.7
11. Two and a Half Men, ABC, 14.1
12. CSI: NY, CBS, 13.3
13. Desperate Housewives, CBS, 12.2
13 Without a Trace, CBS, 11.8
15. Cold Case, CBS, 11.8
16. House, Fox, 12.0
17. Survivor: Toncatins, CBS, 11.9
18. Law And Order:SVU, NBC, 9.8
19. Rules of Engagement, ABC, 11.3
20. Michael J. Fox (Special), ABC, 10.2

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Quotes Of The Week:

"The fun part about Paula (Abdul) is watching her talk. You don`t need to hear what she`s saying." -- Anderson Cooper, admitting to fast forwarding through Paul Abdul`s Idol critiques, on The Tonight Show. We don`t need to hear what she says Anderson, but when she opens her mouth, it`s always so entertaining.

"I`ve decided to distance myself, and whatever happens, happens. It`s her life. It`s her career. It`s her decision." -- Amy Winehouse`s father, Mitch, commenting about the continuing problems in his daughter`s life. Smart move dad.

"I don’t like being single. I live a fantastic life, full of magical things, and at the end of the day all I want to do is share it with someone. I’ll probably end up with someone who’s a bit older and a few steps ahead of me †" I want someone I can learn from. It’s always been difficult [to find a boyfriend] because I’m so picky. And if I go to dinner with a guy, people automatically think we’re dating. And then when you do start dating it becomes a race to the altar." -- Katy Perry tells the new issue of UK Cosmo

"I DON`T HAVE A FUCKING TWITTER… WHY WOULD I USE TWITTER??? I ONLY BLOG 5 PERCENT OF WHAT I`M UP TO IN THE FIRST PLACE. I`M ACTUALLY SLOW DELIVERING CONTENT BECAUSE I`M TOO BUSY ACTUALLY BUSY BEING CREATIVE MOST OF THE TIME AND IF I`M NOT AND I`M JUST LAYING ON A BEACH I WOULDN`T TELL THE WORLD. EVERYTHING THAT TWITTER OFFERS I NEED LESS OF. THE PEOPLE AT TWITTER KNOW I DON`T HAVE A FUCKING TWITTER SO FOR THEM TO ALLOW SOMEONE TO POSE AS ME AND ACCUMULATE OVER A MILLION NAMES IS IRRESPONSIBLE AND DECEITFUL TO THERE FAITHFUL USERS. REPEAT… THE HEADS OF TWITTER KNEW I DIDN`T HAVE A TWITTER AND THEY HAVE TO KNOW WHICH ACCOUNTS HAVE HIGH ACTIVITY ON THEM. IT`S A FUCKING FARCE AND IT MAKES ME QUESTION WHAT OTHER SO CALLED CELEBRITY TWITTERS ARE ACTUALLY REAL OR FAKE. HEY TWITTER, TAKE THE SO CALLED KANYE WEST TWITTER DOWN NOW …. WHY? … BECAUSE MY CAPS LOCK KEY IS LOUD!!!!!!!!!" -- Kanye West on his website, denying anybody using his name on Twitter is a fake, and telling the world what he thinks of Twitter in general. And for once, I agree with the man.

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THE â€" B SIDE’

FROM â€" THE ONION’ †AMERICA’S FINEST (SATIRICAL) NEWS SOURCE (www.onion.com )

Mom-And-Pop Loan Sharks Being Driven Out By Big Credit-Card Companies

PHILADELPHIA†Frankie "The Gorilla" Pistone leans wistfully on his bat. Then, without warning, he picks it up, swinging it furiously toward his deadbeat client`s leg. Just before the Louisville Slugger makes contact with the man`s kneecap, he pulls back, as only a real pro can, leaving the $250-in-the-hole man gasping in fear and relief. "Just get it to me by tomorrow, because next time, I ain`t gonna let up," Pistone says.

As the thankful man scurries off, Pistone pulls the cigarette out of his mouth and drops it to the ground. "I`m going to miss this," he says.

Frank Pistone is part of the dying breed known as the American Loan Shark. Not so long ago, the loan shark flourished, offering short-term, high-interest loans to desperate people with nowhere else to turn. Today, however, Pistone and countless others like him are being squeezed out by the major credit-card companies, which can offer money to the down-and-out at lower rates of interest and without the threat of bodily harm.

Read the rest here and laugh: http://tinyurl.com/pcj5h2

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THE RADIO INTERVIEW on `THE AMERICAN PERSPECTIVE`

"Steve Meyer is on the front line of global music sales and distribution which he expects will soar to pocket-bursting levels. What`s more, he shares his insight and ingenuity with us. Steve gives us both historical perspective and futuristic vision as he chats with Judy about the love of his work, trends of the business and his personal points of view about success, happiness and blending life with the lust for life. Steve joins Judy and helps us discover the thrill of having it all with a sense of balance and purpose. "

You can listen to an interview I did with Judy Piazza of `The American Perspective` by clicking here: (It runs about 15 minutes)

http://thesop.org/index.php?article=10306

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Check out Jerry Del Colliano`s (the founder of INSIDE RADIO) daily blog, by clicking here: http://www.insidemusicmedia.blogspot.com

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Check out attorney Ray Beckerman`s website at: http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/ where he prints news about the RIAA`s ongoing activities

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Check out www.tinyurl.com where you can make a smaller URL that will work for any webpage you wish to link to or reference. (As you can see, I`m using it in my news stories above!)

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DISC&DAT is formatted and best read in Microsoft Outlook if you are receiving it via e-mail and not reading it online at: www.freewebs.com/stevemeyer where you can read the current issue, some past articles and interviews, my bio, and see some photos, or at the leading music industry website www.allaccess.com in the `Digital Technology` section.

DISC & DAT is meant to be your "Forum" as much as mine, so your comments are always welcome and I encourage all to be pro-active in contributing ongoing dialogue and/or commentary. I answer ALL questions asked via direct e-mail.

If you wish to be removed from the DISC & DAT newsletter and updates at any time, just reply to this e-mail with `Unsubscribe` in the subject line.

If you know of others who might appreciate receiving DISC & DAT, please forward it on or send me their e-mail addresses and I`ll add them to the list.

Smart Marketing Consulting Services has been in business sixteen years, and consults clients in the music, entertainment, attraction, media, and technology industry on branding, marketing, online exploitation, maximizing new media, and more.

And the beat goes on, the beat goes on ...drums keep poundin` rhythm to the brain.

"Work is life, you know, and without it, there`s nothing but fear and insecurity." -- John Lennon
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DISC & DAT - Weekly Edition †2009, online at www.freewebs.com/stevemeyer
Published By Steve Meyer
President/CEO - Smart Marketing Consulting Services
Editor, Digital Technology: www.allaccess.com
Las Vegas, NV
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I welcome and appreciate forwarding of the newsletters in their entirety or in part with proper attribution.

Unless otherwise expressly stated, all original material of whatever nature created by Steve Meyer and included in this newsletter and any related pages, including various news and other information, is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

ABOUT STEVE MEYER

Steve Meyer is a 38 year music industry veteran, having served in executive capacities at both Capitol and MCA Records before starting his own company, Smart Marketing, to consult clients in the entertainment, media, and broadcast industries. While at Capitol and MCA he was the recipient of several industry awards of recognition, including Billboard magazine`s award for Excellence.

In 2003, he started publishing the new media newsletter `DISC&Digital Audio Technology`, to address challenges the music industry was facing in the emerging online digital world. The newsletter is published every Friday, sent to almost 2,000 subscribers direct, and posted on the leading music industry resource www.allaccess.com and his own site www.freewebs.com/stevemeyer

Steve is also a freelance journalist and has also had articles published in various industry publications. He also guest lectures at industry events, colleges, and elsewhere when requested.

In October 2004, Steve was a featured speaker at the Community Broadcasters Association convention in Las Vegas. His speech, â€" Digital Wars In The Brave New World’ was reprinted on several industry websites.