Legal downloads shrinking, but George sets all-genre record Strait

Monday, April 28, 2008 at 1:58am

At the Leadership Music Digital Summit, held Tuesday at Belmont University, NPD Group VP/Sr. Industry Analyst Russ Crupnick presented a compelling entertainment industry look titled, Ten Years After: America & Digital Music.

Crupnick had sobering statistics for the industry audience of 500 attendees but started with some good news.

“Music consumption has grown by 32 percent between 2003 and 2007,” he stated.

According to NPD, the percentage of paid (legal) CD and digital downloads has been falling at an accelerating rate: 2003—60 percent, 2006—50 percent and 2007—40 percent. Not surprisingly, P2P illegal downloads have swelled from 2.5 billion songs in 2004 to 7.5 billion in 2007.

“Clearly a new paradigm is needed,” Crupnick warned. Urging increased attention toward marketing the shiny disk format (CD) during this era of digital transition Crupnick said optimistically, "The CD can still be a cash cow not a mad cow."

Strait’s 56th No. 1 sets all-genre record

George Strait now holds the record for more No. 1 hits in a single chart format than any other recording artist, from any genre. “I Saw God Today” is at the top of the Billboard/R&R Country Singles Chart, marking his 56th No. 1. His most recent album, and the 37th in his career, Troubadour, also debuted at No. 1.

Strait released a statement thanking fans and “I Saw God Today” songwriters Rodney Clawson, Monty Criswell, and Wade Kirby. He added, “To have a number one record is very special, whether it's your first or one of many.”

Chairman of UMG Nashville Luke Lewis, head of Strait’s longtime label MCA, stated, "It is a privilege [for us] to work with him at a time when his work has put him in the [Country Music] Hall Of Fame and he continues to shatter every record in the book."

BMI, ASCAP honor Christian songs

BMI saluted the writers and publishers of the past year’s most performed songs on Christian radio and television during its annual Christian Music Awards Saturday, April 19 at the company’s Music Row offices.

BMI named versatile hitmaker Ed Cash the 2008 Christian Songwriter of the Year, while his composition “Made to Worship” garnered Song of the Year honors. Universal Music Publishing was named Publisher of the Year.

A similar gala hosted Monday, April 21 by ASCAP at the Richland Country Club gave Jeremy Camp his third Songwriter Of The Year award. The Christian Song Of The Year award went to “Undo,” a hit by Rush Of Fools written by Scott Davis, Wesley Willis, and Kevin Huguley. EMI CMG Publishing was named Christian Music Publisher of the Year for the fifth year in a row.

Universal reveals royalty tracking site

Universal Music Publishing Group is preparing to launch near the end of 2008. The royalty administration tool, demonstrated last week in Nashville, will give a summary of songwriter’s earnings, payments, recoupments and more.

Chairman David Renzer and Sr. VP of Royalties Anthony Saragueta were in attendance with Sr. VP/GM Nashville Pat Higdon. “Serving our writers is the foundation of our company. This tool raises the bar and sets new standards for transparency,” Higdon said.

The gathering was packed with hit songwriters, artists and producers including Victoria Shaw, Tony Mullins, Rivers Rutherford, Jason Michael Carroll, Mark Wright and Buddy Cannon.

Sony/ATV extends Tomlinson’s term

Troy Tomlinson has re-upped his agreement with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, extending his position as President/CEO of Sony/ATV Nashville. The 20-year publishing veteran supervises all creative elements for Sony/ATV Nashville including the signing of new writers, catalogue exploitation, and contract negotiations.

Welding Service makes Swift launch

Video production company Todd Cassetty Welding Service, LLC (TCWS) is launching with the release of On The Set With Taylor Swift: Picture To Burn, premiering Thurs., April 24 (8 PM/CT) on GAC.

Opening TCWS was a natural evolution says Cassetty, who started interactive marketing company Hi-Fi Fusion seven years ago, marrying video with new media.

Copyright 2008, Music Row

Filed under: City Business