WARNER MUSIC has lost MADONNA from its stable of artists, in a high-profile deal that only adds to the record industry’s woes. Madonna has signed a deal worth $120 million with LIVE NATION, the concert promoter. The arrangement includes rights to three new studio albums, merchandising, and concert tours. The news follows a recent uptick in defections of popular artists. Radiohead released its latest album sans-label, and Nine Inch Nails has announced that it is also now label-free. Of course, the industry is focused on more important issues — suing school-children for lunch money and inventing The Ringle.
BOOZ ALLEN HAMILTON has conducted a new study of digital marketing, and found that it “still lags the shift in consumer behavior.” The consulting firm found that marketers only allocate 5% – 10% of their budgets to digital media, even though 80% of Americans are online. Less than 24% of the marketers polled felt they were “digitally savvy,” and many expressed confusion over how to properly measure digital advertising’s return on investment. The study will be presented at the annual ANA conference, which begins today.
EPORT has signed up several additional broadcast groups for its electronic ad exchange platform. Fox Television Stations, Hubbard Broadcasting, and several others will join the NAB-funded initiative, increasing total support to 37 broadcast groups and 448 stations. The service will roll out in November, allowing spot TV buyers to electronically submit orders for Q1 2008. By March ePort is expected to unveil the full suite of services.
FCC Chairman KEVIN MARTIN said he will not implement VERIZON‘s proposed revisions for the upcoming wireless auction. Specifically, Martin said the FCC would not change the open-platform requirement, which will force the winning bidder to allow any device or software to work on its network. Verizon has filed a lawsuit to block the Google-backed open access rule.
CBS has purchased a 10-month old website dedicated to celebrity gossip. Dotspotter was snapped up for around $10 million, just months after being seeded with less than $1 million. The success of online gossip rag TMZ.com may have influenced the purchase. TMZ recently launched a television show, and has shown early signs of success.