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More Than A Feeling

February 11, 2011

For a sporting event hailed for its sweeping appeal, last weekend’s Super Bowl XLV on FOX did not disappoint, attracting a record 111 million viewers to become the most-watched television program of all time

What can we suspect attracted non-footballers?  Plenty!  Be it the traditionally creative commercials, never uneventful half-time show, or smattering of celebrity citings, the Super Bowl has something for everyone. But what we take a particular interest in is how terrifically musical the event was this year.

Beginning the night with patriotic performances from Glee’s Lea Michele and RCA Record’s Christina Aguilera, and including original commercials with music star power by the way of Eminem, Faith Hill, Justin Bieber, Ozzy Osbourne and others, musical appetites were appropriately whet for the Black Eyed Peas’ eight song halftime set.  B.E.P.’s performance – which garnered more viewers than the last three year’s respective halftime shows – wooed fans with upbeat dance beats and surprise appearances from musicians Slash and Usher. 

The halftime show also boosted Peas’ music sales up 25 percent week-over-week, while songs played at the Super Bowl or in its commercials bumped the album sales of Eminem, Kenny G, Guns 'n' Roses, Elton John, Boz Scaggs and Usher up an approximate 20 percent, according to SoundScan figures reported in Variety.  Additionally, the special football-themed Glee that followed the game achieved the song-and-dance series’ highest ratings yet.

What does this all mean?  For one, it suggests that music’s appeal is as high as ever and an essential element to help drawing interest to other products and positioning them more favorably with consumers.  It’s also a reminder that fans today can find their next favorite song from a variety of diversified platforms. Labels today are forging media and tech partnerships to offer fans greater access to their favorite music than ever before, and every uptick matters.  Hear a song on a commercial, TV show or in a restaurant, use an app like SoundHound or Shazam to identify it, stream it via iLike, Pandora, Rhapsody, MOG or other streaming services or click the “buy” button on iTunes, Amazon or other download stores and in little to no time, the music’s all yours to enjoy.  It’s that easy access, anywhere-you-go-model that is putting modern music label offerings at the top of fans’ wish lists today.  And my friends, there’s so much more to come!

And while last weekend’s big event was a nice taste of live music, this weekend’s 53rd annual Grammy telecast will be a smorgasbord of entertainment.  Don’t miss music’s biggest night, airing at 8 PM ET/PT on CBS this Sunday, with live performances by Bob Dylan, Mumford & Sons, the Avett Brothers, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Cee Lo Green, Miranda Lambert, Arcade Fire, Dr. Dre joining Eminem and many more.  See you there!

Liz Kennedy, Deputy Director, Communications, RIAA


Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

February 07, 2011

The White House Office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) today delivered to Congress its Annual Report on Intellectual Property Enforcement, outlining numerous steps it has taken to protect and preserve American creation and innovation, or what President Obama recently called our country’s “single greatest asset.” It is a follow-up to the IPEC’s inaugural Joint Strategic Plan released in June 2010 that included 33 “action items” to improve intellectual property enforcement across federal, state, and local government levels. This new report takes an in-depth look at these items and the steps the Administration has undergone thus far to protect jobs and prevent online theft.

Here’s our take:

This comprehensive report extensively catalogues the impressive efforts of the Administration to date to help protect American jobs, innovation and the rights of the creative community.  Victoria Espinel deserves enormous credit for her work in helping spearhead the Administration’s various intellectual property initiatives and focusing the public conversation on the harmful impact of digital theft.
  
As the Administration noted, this report is no final capstone on intellectual property enforcement efforts – instead, it is a mid-course status update that emphasizes there is ‘much left to do.’  Despite the laudable steps undertaken by the Administration, the music community continues to suffer from unacceptable levels of digital copyright theft that kills jobs and stifles creativity.  We look forward to continuing our work with Congress and the Administration on a multi-faceted approach that recognizes that everyone involved in the online space has a role to play in encouraging the lawful enjoyment of music, movies and other creative works.

Mitch Bainwol, Chairman & CEO, RIAA