Digital Briefs: MTV, AT&T, Diddy

- MTV’s president of global digital media Mika Salmi reportedly is leaving the company at the end of the month. His position will not be filled.

- MTV and ISP AT&T have joined forces to bring exclusive content from MTV’s archives to AT&T customers via an interactive campaign called the AT&T Music Vault. Music fans who correctly answer various trivia questions will have access to the « vault » of content-consisting of 15 new videos a day, provided by MTV.

- Sean « Diddy » Combs launched a video blogging service called P. Twitty TV, a mix of his Twitter feed and YouTube video blog.

By Antony Bruno, Denver

Report: ‘Guitar Hero: Van Halen’ In The Works

While it remains focused on building the highly anticipated « Guitar Hero: Metallica » game, franchise publisher Activision reportedly already has its sights set on its next artist-specific title with classic rockers Van Halen.

According to the game blog Joystiq, the game is expected to come out sometime after the Metallica installment, and will feature such songs as « Jump » and « Hot for Teacher. » Other songs expected include Judas Priest’s « Pain Killer, » Tenacious D’s « Master Exploder, » and « Dope Nose » by Weezer.

By Antony Bruno, Denver

Universal Music Group Beats Eminem Suit

Universal Music Group announced they won a jury verdict over digital
royalties in a lawsuit brought by FBT Productions LLC, who worked with
rapper Eminem early in his career. According to a source at Universal, the jury’s verdict was unanimous.

The Bass Brothers’ FBT Productions and Joel Martin’s Em2M filed a lawsuit in May 2007 against Aftermath Records, Interscope Records and others over the split of digital royalties due for Eminem’s recordings. The suit claimed that the labels should be paying half of the net receipts from downloads and master ringtones rather than the lesser artist royalty rate based on sales.

By Cortney Harding, N.Y.

THE BEST WAY TO PROMOTE YOUR MUSIC!!!WWW.MUSIXPROM.COM

Fiew more tips to Market Your Music

- Use Myspace, Tagworld, Frappr, Facebook and any of the good social networks and extend your fan base. Update on a regular schedule.

- Go beyond the social networks and sign up to the best indie and unsigned music artist sites. Add a full profile, good photos, your best music, update the info regularly and DO NOT REDIRECT them with only a little info to find out more at another site. These indie communities are built to attract music biz personnel as well, to browse for the talent needed for various projects. While you have the viewers attention and time, have the important info right there, don’t waste their time with a redirect link! Include a link to your main site, if they want to learn more they will go to it.

- Hand out your CDs (or demos). Have your web link printed on the CD. Include your band name and contact info as well. Remember, your name on the work is more important than the name of the work. Hand the CD to club owners that feature your type of music.

- Send press releases and reviews of your shows to local print newspapers, magazines and event papers. When writing press releases, read up on « press release tips » and the like to tweak your presentation.

- Professional photos mean you take yourself seriously. All photos in your press kit should be quality photos, not just your main bio picture. The money spent on a photographer that can capture your music « image » is money well spent.

- Collect addresses and email addresses (email is free!) to keep your fans current on what you are up to. When building your lists, try to list their location – city, state and zip with a bit of personal input about that fan. This is a great way to create a more personal and targeted mailing list without bombarding people that are too far away to attend a show.

- Practice and practice and practice. Longevity in the music business means learning new things, constantly creating, and always improving.
- Zero in on your target. Know where they hang out, where they shop, what they do for fun, and hit them where they live – online and off. Your audience is a specific crowd of people so don’t waste time being where they are not.

- Play, play and play some more. Get gigs in one part of town on Friday and another part of town on Saturday. Do mini tours outside of your town.

- Create your own support group of family, friends, and school mates – communicate well with them on your plans and goals to help spread the word on you, where you plan to go and how you plan on getting there. Delegate tasks to the appropriate people.

U2 Release Blunder Down Under

There won’t be any cigars for the staffers at Universal Music Australia who inadvertently made U2′s anticipated new album « No Line On the Horizon » available digitally more than a week before release.

According to reports, high-quality downloads of the album were briefly made available earlier this week on Getmusic.com.au, a digital store operated by Universal Music’s Australian affiliate.

« Horizon, » however, is not due for release down under until Feb. 27 and the tracks were promptly taken down when the error was noticed. Some bloggers have posted screen-grabs showing they had purchased the album for $19.80 Australian ($12.80).

To make matters worse for the music major, « Horizon » is now understood to be widely distributed via peer-to-peer file sharing networks.

A Universal Music spokesman declined to comment, and the culprit remains anonymous.

An internal leak of U2′s 12th studio set will have the band members and executives pulling their hair out, especially considering the great lengths Universal and U2′s management have taken to keep « Horizon » under wraps. Critics weren’t sent review copies, but were invited to listening parties where recording devices were banned.

The legendary Irish rockers’ manager Paul McGuinness sent shock-waves rippling across the music and telecommunications industries when he delivered a speech at the MidemNet conference in 2008 in which he urged ISPs to take responsibility for copyright violations. McGuinness’ tough words came from experience – his wards’ previous album, the nine-million selling « How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb » from 2004, was also leaked.

By Lars Brandle, Brisbane

Flo Rida Topples Single-Week Download Mark

Flo Rida breaks his own record for most weekly digital song downloads as « Right Round » debuts at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Digital Songs chart with 636,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The total smashes the mark he set with « Low » (467,000) in the January 12, 2008, issue, which took into account sales from that season’s post-Christmas week. The tally for « Round » also surpasses the opening-week download record set just last week by « Crack a Bottle » from Eminem, 50 Cent & Dr. Dre (418,000).

On the heels of its record-breaking sum, « Round, » which is based around Dead Or Alive’s 1985 No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit « You Spin Me Round (Like a Record), » will move 58-1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on the chart to be posted tomorrow (Feb. 19) on Billboard.com.

The track will be Flo Rida’s second to top that list, following « Low » which spent 10 consecutive weeks at No. 1. « Round » precedes Flo Rida’s second Poe Boy/Atlantic album, « R.O.O.T.S., » due April 7.

Meanwhile, Atlantic Records labelmate T.I. is one of many artists to parlay a Grammy Awards performance into increased sales as his collaboration with Justin Timberlake, « Dead And Gone, » will rise 9-2 on the Hot 100 with the chart’s largest week-to-week digital download spike (up 118,000).

While Atlantic Records recently held the top two slots on the chart for six weeks this past fall with a pair of T.I. tracks, this is the first time two different artists from the label have occupied the No. 1 and No. 2 slots in 20 years. In the March 18, 1989, issue Debbie Gibson’s « Lost In Your Eyes » led the list followed by Mike + The Mechanics « The Living Years. »

By Silvio Pietroluongo, N.Y.