One-Day Sales: U2 Flies Into Stratosphere

Dreamworks Music Publishing Sold to Private Investment Firm

Bulletin Board

Reprinted with permission from Hits Magazine

November 24, 2004

Chalk this one up to inspired co-branding, superstardom and a buttload of TV advertising.

According to early reports from national accounts, U2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (Interscope) is poised to sell over 900k in its first week, with a solid shot at reaching a million before the holiday weekend is over. It's almost enough to give one, uh, vertigo.

Of course, U2 is ordinarily no sales slouch, with some 125 million albums worldwide to their credit, but the band's last album, 2000's All That You Can't Leave Behind (Interscope) sold 428k in its first week, meaning demand for this one has ramped up significantly. (Translation: "Apple apple iPod apple iPod, apple iPod iPod apple.")

One new factor likely to help drive U2's opening number up is that Best Buy will begin selling Bomb for $7.99 (along with some other titles) on Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Also headed for next week's chart are Gwen Stefani's Love, Angel, Music, Baby (Interscope), which early reports say has a shot at 300k; Fantasia Barrino's Free Yourself (J Records), currently looking like it'll do 250k or better; Creed's Greatest Hits (Wind-up), which could hit the 150k mark; Jessica Simpson's Re-Joyce: The Christmas Album (Columbia), looking just shy of 150k; the $59 list Nirvana box set With the Lights Out (Geffen), which should come in at around 100k; and Ruben Studdard's I Need An Angel (J Records), for the moment looking like 80k.

Bear in mind that the upcoming post-turkey shopping frenzy is a real wild card, making this one of the hardest weeks of the year to predict, according to our dedicated team of sales fetishists. All that means is that while we might be more wrong than usual, our excuses will be as strong as ever.

HITS magazine is the most powerful information vehicle in the music industry, and is read religiously by all the top executives and everyone else.

Top of Page

Reprinted with permission from Hits Magazine

November 11, 2004

The winner in the $50 million DreamWorks Music Publishing derby is a dark horse.

Private investment firm JDS Capital Management, Inc. has acquired the unit of the DreamWorks entertainment group which holds the rights to music such artists John Denver and The Byrds and popular tracks including "The Thong Song" and "Take the A Train."

A company headed by ex-Warner Music U.K. head Rob Dickins and music publisher Cherry Lane had sent the bidding soaring past the $45 million mark when JDS Capitol entered the fray.

DreamWorks, started more than a decade ago by media and music entrepreneurs Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen, disposed of the last of its music assets with the sale of the music publishing division.

DreamWorks was launched as an entertainment conglomerate spanning film, television and music, but its recent hits have largely been films. DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. was spun off from the movie studio last month, after striking success with the computer animated films Shrek 2 and Shark Tale.

DreamWorks last year sold its label, home to such performers as Nelly Furtado and Toby Keith, to Universal Music Group for an estimated $100 million.

N.Y.-based JDS, which has built a portfolio of digital music and music distribution companies, will fold 7,000 songs from DreamWorks' catalog into its Dimensional Music Publishing arm, according to JDS President Danny Stein.

JDS already owns digital music service eMusic and producer Richard Gottehrer's digital music distributor The Orchard, which supplies more than 200,000 tracks to top online music services and retail CD distributors.

"We think that we're in a cyclical trough with respect to the way that music assets are exploited," said Stein, who would not disclose the value of the deal.

HITS magazine is the most powerful information vehicle in the music industry, and is read religiously by all the top executives and everyone else.

Top of Page

By Kenny Kerner

Alanis Morissette and her long-time manager, Scott Welch, have parted ways. The two were together since 1990... Velvet Revolver, fresh off of their debut Number One album, is also looking for new managers.

Rapper Chingy is now being managed by Johnny Wright and Kenneth Crear. The duo also manages Backstreet Boys. Check out Chingy's new Powerballin' CD on Capitol Records.

Sum 41 and Good Charlotte are working on their co-headlining tour... Jessica Simpson will portray Daisy Duke in the Warner Bros. Pictures version of The Dukes of Hazzard... You don't wanna miss out on new CDs from Keith Urban, Tim McGraw and John Fogerty. Newcomer Jesse McCartney looks like the latest in a never-ending string of teen idols to debut high on the Billboard charts. This teen idol-diva stuff is a real shot in the arm for both fans and slumping record sales. May it rule forever!

Well, Britney has finally done it this time. It's been a couple of months and she's still married. How do you like her remake of the Bobby Brown hit, "My Prerogative."?

Check out the movie Ray if you get a chance. It's the story of Ray Charles, and the performances (not to mention the amazing soundtrack) are great. Can you say Academy Award?

Well, the industry is about to close down until the middle of January, 2005, when once again, anything is likely to happen. Look for more record company consolidations, more firings and more power for the independent labels and artists.

Have a safe and wonderful holiday and be sure to spend it with family and friends and all those who are dear to you. Peace.

Top of Page

See How TAXI Works

"I had the drive, and the passion. I just needed help, and you keep supplying it."
— Justin K.,
TAXI Member

"Thanks for your constant support of my work — I'm running out of compliments for you guys!"
— James Day,
TAXI Member

"Speaking to A&R people, getting inside info and some of the best advice I've ever had, was worth TEN times the cost of getting to The Road Rally."
— Mike Fitzsimons,
TAXI Member

"I recently got my first deal as a result of a submission to TAXI! I'm very excited to see that this actually works!"
— George Leverett,
TAXI Member

"I am in awe of the sheer volume of amazing ideas to help musicians that you not only come up with, but make into real opportunities."
— Mara,
TAXI Member

"Thanks to TAXI I no longer have a day job! The membership fee was a drop in the bucket compared to what I have earned because of TAXI."
— George Nelson,
TAXI Member