HITS Daily Double
The news that Tower Records was put on hold yesterday by all of the majors, continues to be the buzz in the halls.


Retail Minions Gather, Discuss and Order Adult Films From Their Rooms
NARM is under way and the halls are buzzing with all of the usual suspects.
This morning's opening session included a retail panel discussion with the likes of Best Buy's Gary Arnold, Hastings' John Marmaduke, Value Music's Rob Perkins, Dimples' Dilyn Radakovitz and Target's Darrell Tucker. They held court on any number of topics, including their bullish outlook on the future of physical retail despite the fact that music's footprint in their stores is shrinking. They also wrestled with the economics of staying with developing acts that have yet to catch fire with a truckload of new product coming their way each week. Marmaduke scolded the labels for giving retail so little to work with over the summer, then bombarding them with product in the fourth quarter, when games and movies dominate the retail landscape. Retailers in the audience cheered the comment. Most on the panel agreed that they have started to skew their product mix towards an older demo that still prefers physical CDs.
Capitol's Corinne Bailey Rae then wowed the jaded crowd with a seven-song set, followed by Google Head of Special Initiatives Chris Sacca, who delivered a keynote address that seemed very much like a self-serving promo. He boasted of their 59% worldwide search-share, their humble beginnings, their quest to get all five million terabytes of the world's information (we'll just have to take his word for it), and the wonders of working for Google, who despite their sparse office space, offer perks such as free car washes, haircuts, massages and meals cooked by three in-house chefs. You listening, Dennis and Lenny? He then finally swung the talk around to music, telling us that Google can start forecasting first-week sales with some 90% accuracy just the way that they currently are predicting box office receipts for movies. He also said that he was not there to announce a Google foray in the digital download business (although few doubt that's coming) saying, "We're already in the music business."
I got a chance to see Sony Music's yearly NARM reel boasting a huge upcoming fourth quarter. Releases included Jessica Simpson, Bob Dylan, Beyonce (as well as her Dreamgirls soundtrack), John Mayer, John Legend and a Tony Bennett duets album that truly looks like it could catch lightning in a bottle.
The news that Tower Records was put on hold yesterday by all of the majors, continues to be the buzz in the halls.