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“Here’s what happens when a red-hot videogame franchise goes cold: You can buy the whole company for the same price as a single copy of the game.”
——All Things D’s Peter Kafka
DOT-DOT-DOT-COM:
FLAT IS THE NEW UP
Some Good News, Some Bad News,
Some Head-Scratching News
Sales of individual digital songs grew just 1% in 2010, down from 8% in 2009 and 27% in 2008, according to Nielsen SoundScan, which doesn’t release dollar figures.  “The vast majority of the top 200 digital tracks are now $1.29,” Nielsen’s David Bakula pointed out. “So while sales of singles are flat, their revenue is absolutely going up.” Said BigChampagne’s Eric Garland in an interview with the L.A. Times, “What's changed is that people are listening to vastly more free music without breaking the rules. That can have a cannibalization effect.” Garland is referring to the emergence of free and legal alternative sources such as YouTube, Vevo and Pandora. Interestingly, the 30% increase in the price of singles appears to have made $9.99 albums seem comparatively more attractive—digital album sales grew 13% last year, compared with 16% in 2009 and 32% in 2008… Retail e-commerce spending in the U.S. during November and December hit an all-time high of $32.6 billion, up 12% from a year ago, according to comScore stats. "The 2010 online holiday shopping season was a memorable one in which we saw spending rebound strongly from the recession of 2008 and 2009, and slightly exceed even our early expectations," said comScore topper Gian Fulgoni. "The season will be remembered for an exceptional Cyber Monday, which was the first billion-dollar spending day in history, and the first time we've witnessed Cyber Monday rank as the heaviest online spending day of the year."… Pink Floyd appear to have pulled a 180 in new their deal with EMI, with the U.K. media reporting that the band will now allow the label to sell individual tracks from their back catalog at the iTunes Store and other digital retailers—and this after spending the last 10 months in a legal battle over that very issue… “Here’s what happens when a red-hot videogame franchise goes cold: You can buy the whole company for the same price as a single copy of the game,” All Things D’s Peter Kafka wrote yesterday. According to Kafka’s sources, Viacom sold Harmonix—creator of the Rock Band franchise—for just $50 to Columbus Nova. The catch is that the buyer also assumed around $100 million in liabilities. Viacom reportedly received $50 million in tax benefits from losses on its 2006 investment of $175 million, and paid an additional $150 million in achievement-based bonuses, based on strong sales of the studio's music-based games… RootMusic, the developer of an app that enables bands to create Facebook pages, has raised $2.3 million in VC financing. The San Francisco-based start-up offers free and premium versions of its BandPages service, which can add SoundCloud-embedded songs, photos, videos and touring information to an act's Facebook page… We’ve been avoiding this piece of news all week, but more than half of the MySpace staff will be getting pink slipped, and News Corp. will attempt to sell off the beleaguered site by midyear, according to CNBC… More techy news in Rumor Mill, including Vevo LIFT, UMG vs. Troy Augusto and the latest viral videos.    
REPUBLIC UPS GOLDSTEIN TO WEST COAST PREXY
Smart move (6/26a)
ACADEMY ON THE "IRONY" OF SPOTIFY OVERPAYMENT CLAIM
They cannot be serious. (6/26a)
BLACK MUSIC MONTH: THE EVOLUTION OF "WHAT'S GOING ON"
Berry didn't hear a hit. (6/26a)
BLACK MUSIC MONTH: SELECTED '70S SONGS
The Me Decade was funky as shit. (6/26a)
TOP 20: TOO CLOSE
TO CALL
We did not see this coming. (6/26a)
THE DIVA PLAN
How pop stars from the pre-streaming era are finding a new groove.
RAINMAKERS RETURN
More of the folks who are making biz history now.
THE FUTURE OF ROCK & ROLL IS...
Hang on, we just need to throw this TV out the window.
AFTER COUNTRY TRAP
Is reggaeton death metal far behind?