Amazon's Gaga Loss Leader Losses

Fans and music industry observers were taken aback last week by’s offering of the new Lady Gaga album for a mere 99¢. On Monday (5/23), the stultifying crowd of traffic severely compromised the Amazon servers. So to prove it could, “ramp up” to meet any demand, the online retail giant offered the mega-sale again on Thursday. According to various reports including and, Amazon sold approximately 440,000 Gaga units mostly all of which were at the sale priced price point.
According to Billboard, Amazon’s losses from the industry-rattling sale totaled about $3.2 million. For inquisitive readers, the math is spelled out below, but as important as the losses incurred are the benefits. Did Amazon benefit?
Unlike the popular economics joke—lose a little on each sale and make it up in volume—perhaps there were some pluses to be added to the Amazon ledger. The idea of a “loss leader” is nothing new for retailers. Increased traffic often means additional purchases besides the sale item. Also Amazon has its new Cloud Player service to promote. Buying a digital album increased the free storage substantially, so the Gaga consumers were also lured to become part of  the Music Beta. With added cloud competition arriving already from Google and expected to arrive soon from Apple, Amazon leaders may have felt this loss was a fair exchange for customer acquisition and awareness of its new service. And speaking of Apple, Amazon would like nothing more than to steal a few large bites from the Cupertino company’s iTunes market share.
The Math (unofficial): Interscope/Universal collects $8.39 per unit from retailers. Amazon sold the product for 99¢, leaving a loss of $7.40 per unit. Sales of 440,000 X $7.40 per unit equals a loss of $3.256 million. This number can be trimmed a bit to account for full price units and deluxe version sales. Billboard projects the album will sell overall, 1.15 million units. (iTunes reportedly shifted an estimated 200k units at full price.)

Reba And Blake Raise $500,000 For Tornado Victims

Reba and Blake Shelton raised $500,000 for victims of recent tornadoes in Atoka County, OK during two sold-out Tornado Relief Concerts in Durant on May 25 and 26. Susie McEntire-Eaton and Kelly Clarkson made a surprise guest appearance at the May 26 relief show.
The artists entertained for over two hours each night, opening with a duet of “Oklahoma Swing.” They took turns belting out hits and showcased their current singles “When Love Gets a Hold of You” (Reba) and “Honey Bee” (Blake Shelton). According to reports, Reba and Shelton sent their audience home with a sense of optimism after an encore performance.
Initially, news of the disaster prompted the stars to reach out with one fundraising event, but when it sold out in less than two hours, a second show was added. Both Shelton and Reba are Oklahoma natives and hail from towns neighboring the devastated areas.
All proceeds from both shows, as well as donations from The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and fans, will go towards Atoka County’s ongoing relief efforts through the Tushka Disaster Relief Fund.
In addition to the proceeds already raised, a special mobile fundraising campaign has been set up with The mGive Foundation. Fans can text “OKGIVE” to 27722 to make a one-time $10 donation.
For more information, visit,, and

Catalog Cast Picks A Song For Scotty McCreery

America got to hear newly crowned American Idol Scotty McCreery’s first single “I Love You This Big” on Wednesday (5/25), but he also recorded another song that has yet to be be released. Written by veteran hitmakers Tim Nichols and Jonathan Singleton, the song is “Out Of Summertime” and its journey to meet Scotty was an unusual one.
Not all great songs go straight from the writing room to the recording studio and into consumers’ hands. Many hang around in a publishing company’s catalog for longer, waiting to find a proper home.
Enter the BMI Catalog Cast, a Belmont University internship overseen by BMI’s Beth Mason Laird and Leslie Roberts. Ten Belmont juniors and seniors are chosen for the unique program that allows them firsthand experience with the publishing world, label A&R, and the song pitching process.

BMI's Beth Laird. Photo: Eric England

The students gather unrecorded songs from local publishers and discuss their merits during Wednesday night sessions. Laird and Roberts also invite a variety of guest speakers such as Rhett Akins, Mark Wright, Kent Marcus and Kella Stephenson to introduce students to the many sides of the business.
“Students also get to ask questions about how you find great songs, what makes great songs, and how you pitch them,” explains Laird. “They’re picking out songs they love and gaining knowledge.”
At the end of the semester, a compilation CD of the students’ favorite songs is created and they go out and make pitches to labels and producers. The Nichols/Singleton song “Out Of Summertime” landed on the most recent disc, and had been a student favorite from the beginning.
“There was immediate reaction,” says Laird. “All the students loved it. It’s actually the first song on the disc and the one they all unanimously voted on.”
So when 19 Entertainment’s Iain Pirie approached Laird about material for Idol hopefuls Scotty and Lauren, “Out of Summertime” was top of mind.
“I was trying to think of a great traditional country song for a 17-year-old, which is harder than you might think because you can’t talk about drinking and a lot of other things they talk about in traditional country songs,” laughs Laird. “I thought ‘Out of Summertime’ was perfect. I emailed it to Iain and he loved it.”
Only a few days before the Idol finale, Scotty was in the studio with producer Mark Bright cutting the single “I Love You This Big” and “Out Of Summertime,” and many believed that “Out Of…” was destined to be the one Scotty would perform on the show. It’s now unofficially rumored to be the followup single.
“Great songs that sit in catalogs do find their way,” says Laird. “We’re all so excited. This song has been on hold for a lot of people but for whatever reason hasn’t found the right artist yet. Hopefully that will be Scotty.”
Although the song has yet to climb the charts, the BMI/Belmont Catalog Cast is already a hit.

Billy Dean, Spokesperson for Naturipe Farms

Grammy Award-winning country artist Billy Dean has been chosen as celebrity spokesperson for Naturipe Farms.  Dean is currently writing and recording songs for their promotional videos and appearing at retail events and media tours throughout the year.  Dean’s “Earning our Place on Earth” and “A Seed” are featured on a five-song EP, sponsored by Naturipe.
“I am so honored for this opportunity to help spread Naturipe’s message of ‘great people producing great foods that are good for us,’ through my music,” says Dean.  “I truly believe in what they are doing and I believe it is very important for people to learn more about it.  And if I can help do that through writing songs, then I will.”
Naturipe Farms is a farmer-owned producer of fresh berries grown by local family farms offered at Kroger, Wal-Mart, Whole Foods Market, and other retail stores.
For more information, visit and

Otto Performs On StageIT

Everyone gets a front row seat at James Otto’s concert on June 2 @7p.m. CDT. Fans will have the opportunity to purchase virtual tickets to his CMA-Fest kick-off acoustic show which will be broadcast live from his home studio. Otto will give fans an exclusive sneak-peak of his brand new music that hasn’t even been recorded yet, and they will also have the opportunity to chat with him via web. Tickets, can be purchased by clicking HERE.
“I know lots of you crazy Ottomaniacs will be in Nashvegas for CMA Music Fest,” says Otto. “However, I also know some of you can’t make it–so I wanted to do a live intimate concert for ALL of you. Come check it out, I’ll at least be playing one new tune you’ve never heard before that I’ve just written, along with a couple old favorites.”
Otto will also be making appearances at CMA Fest at the Chevy and GAC autograph booths and will be performing at the River Stage on Thurs., June 9 @ 2:45 CDT.
StageIt is a virtual stage that allows artists to make money from LIVE, interactive experiences while offering their fans a front row seat to a backstage experience.

Seen And Signed

Songwriter Jason Mizelle recently signed a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell.

(L-R) Warner/Chappell's BJ Hill, ASCAP's LeAnn Phelan, Warner/Chappell's Phil May, ASCAP's Marc Driskill and Robert Filhart, Warner/Chappell's Alicia Pruitt and ASCAP's Michael Martin.

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NCC Editor Leslie Armstrong with Sara Evans.

The Nashville Country Club spoke with Sara Evans at her #1 Party for “A Little Bit Stronger” at Nashville’s Cabana Restaurant.

her Nashville Music Issue Hits Stands

(L-R): BMI's Kay Clary, BAD Mgmt's Virginia Hunt Davis, Lost Highway's Kim Buie, The Ryman's Sally Williams and songwriter Kylie Sackley

The June issue of her Nashville features Her Music City.  This month’s issue highlights five successful women, Kay Clary, Virginia Hunt Davis, Kim Buie, Sally Williams, and Kylie Sackley, who have made a name for themselves in the music industry. These leaders discuss everything from their humble beginnings to favorite achievements including what it takes to be a successful woman in the music business today.
The style section features members of Those Darlins, who earlier this year released their second album, Screws Get Loose, modeling the latest threads from several local Nashville clothiers. This issue also reviews some of the top organizations in the music business, including the CMA, NSAI, GMA and AMA.
For more information on this issue, visit
Her Nashville is a free monthly publication of Her City Magazine, LLC and is distributed throughout Nashville and Williamson County.

Weekly Chart Report (5/27/11)

Randy Travis (L) recently caught up with CMT Radio Live’s Cody Alan at the CMT studio to discuss his new album, “Anniversary Celebration.”

Nice girls rule, y’all. Taylor Swift’s “Mean” is the CountryBreakout Chart’s new No. 1 song, easing ahead of previous chart topper “You Lie” by nice girl-fronted The Band Perry. Blake Shelton’s red-hot and recently gold “Honey Bee” is at No. 3 and within striking distance. Rounding out the Top 5, both Toby Keith’s “Somewhere Else” and Justin Moore’s “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” pick up triple digit spin gains.
We’ve got a new country singin’ American Idol with Scotty McCreery, and the label powers that be aren’t waiting to get his music out there. In fact, the same applies to Idol runner-up Lauren Alaina. McCreery’s “I Love You This Big” and Alaina’s “Like My Mother Does” have been serviced to country radio, and the reports are starting to come in.
There hasn’t been any official word that Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood’s “Remind Me” is going to be a single, but programmers aren’t waiting for the memo. The superstar duo packed on the spins this week to become the highest debut at No. 61. Also debuting are Phil Vassar’s “Let’s Get Together” at No. 66, Ben Gregg’s “From Lonely To Love” at No. 79, and Jadi Norris’ “Workin’ Man’ Saturday Night” at No. 80.
Michael Jennings has taken over MD duties for KWWR/Mexico, MO following the exit of Mark Robertson. Previously Jennings manned the Afternoon time slot, and now he will shift to Middays. Contact him at [email protected]. Reach out to Robertson at 573-819-3816 or [email protected].

Upcoming Singles
May 31
Kenny Chesney feat. Grace Potter/You And Tequila/BNA
Bobby Dean/Rebound/Lamon
Jaron and TLRTL feat. Big Kenny/Beautiful Lies (Jaronwood/Universal Republic/Nine North)
June 6
Jerrod Niemann/One More Drinkin’ Song/Sea Gayle/Arista
Big & Rich/Fake ID/Warner Bros.
Craig Campbell/Fish/Bigger Picture
LoCash Cowboys/You Got Me/R&J Records
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New On The Chart—Debuting This Week
Artist/song/label — chart pos.
Brad Paisley feat. Carrie Underwood/Remind Me/Arista — 61
Phil Vassar/Let’s Get Together/Rodeowave — 66
Ben Gregg/From Lonely To Love/Cupit — 79
Jadi Norris/Workin’ Man’s Saturday Night/IGO Records — 80
Greatest Spin Increase
Artist/song/label — spin+
Brad Paisley feat. Carrie Underwood/Remind Me/Arista — 393
Kenny Chesney feat. Grace Potter/You And Tequila/BNA — 379
Lady Antebellum/Just A Kiss/Capitol — 353
Zac Brown Band and Jimmy Buffett/Knee Deep/Southern Ground/Atlantic — 296
Darius Rucker/I Got Nothin’/Capitol — 292
On Deck—Soon To Be Charting
Artist/song/label — spins
Sarah Darling/Something To Do With Your Hands/Black River — 193
Jerrod Niemann/One More Drinkin’ Song/Arista — 186
Jody Booth/Golddigger/Vigilante Music
David St. Romain/Twenty Years Late/Aria/Turnpike — 143
Kip Moore/Mary Was The Marrying Kind/MCA — 141
Most Added
Artist/song/label — New Adds
Brad Paisley feat. Carrie Underwood/Remind Me/Arista — 27
Darius Rucker/I Got Nothin’/Capitol — 18
Phil Vassar/Let’s Get Together/Rodeowave — 15
Joe Nichols/Take It Off/Show Dog-Universal — 14
Thompson Square/I Got You/Stoney Creek — 13
Jerrod Niemann/One More Drinkin’ Song/Arista — 12
Kenny Chesney feat. Grace Potter/You And Tequila/BNA — 10

Hunter Hayes (Atlantic/WMN) stopped into KSKS/ Fresno. His single “Storm Warning” is going for adds right now. (L-R): KSKS MD Jody Jo Mize, Hayes, and KSKS PD Mac Daniels.

Stealing Angels visit with John Sebastian of WWQM/Madison after performing in the area. (L-R): SA’s Caroline Cutbirth, John Sebastian, SA’s Tayla Lynn and SA’s Jennifer Wayne.

Easton Corbin played a lunchtime event at Toby Keith’s Bar and Grill Minnesota, just after finding out that KEEY/Minneapolis-St. Paul had come in No. 1 for ages 25-54. Champagne was in order. (L-R): KEEY’s Matt Tell, KEEY PD Gregg Swedberg, Corbin, KEEY’s JD Green, KEEY Mornings “Muss,” KEEY GM Mike Crusham

In Color: Photo Friday

Kellie Pickler, Trace Adkins, Nan Kelley, Craig Morgan, Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry, all who have made multiple trips to US military bases abroad to entertain troops, will appear on GAC’s Memorial Day edition of The Top 20 Country Countdown airing Friday, May 27, 7:00 p.m. CT. Viewers can also enjoy videos like Trace Adkins’ “Arlington,” Toby Keith’s “American Soldier,” Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Some Gave All” and Big & Rich’s “8th of November” during patriotic video blocks airing Memorial Day on GAC.

(L-R) Pickler, Adkins, Kelley, Morgan, Montgomery and Gentry

• • • •

Big Kenny joined the African Children’s Choir onstage during its uplifting  performance last week at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. The choir is traveling the world to raise money and awareness for the educational needs of children in developing African countries. Big Kenny visited with patients and their families after the performance, signing autographs and posing for photos.

Big Kenny with the African Children's Choir; Photo: Steve Green, Vanderbilt University

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Blue Guitar songwriters Blake Gray and David Kroll recently spent some time with the pre-schoolers at Kirkpatrick Enhanced Option Elementary School in Nashville, teaching a group of pre-schoolers the fine art of songwriting. The result was the soon-to-be classic “Janice the Fruit Bat.” Thanks to The CD Guys/the Halford Company and Blue Guitar, the writers returned a few days later with a pressed CD copy of the song, complete with art, for each child to take home, as well as a plush toy bat to commemorate their writing time together.

Pictured with the pre-schoolers, (L-R) Gray, Kroll


Friday Updates (5/27)

Tyler Reeve

>>>Tyler Reeve has signed with William Morris Endeavor for exclusive booking representation and Tenacity Management for personal management. Agent Henry Glascock will be the artist’s responsible agent at WME, while Mike Kraski, owner and president of Tenacity Management will handle his management duties. Reeve, who logs an average of 250 shows a year, has just completed work on his sophomore CD, working with writer/producer Jonathan Singleton on the follow-up to his well-received debut, Whiskey Down. Contact Kraski at 615-351-4449.
>>>Luke Bryan is partnering with LongHorn Steakhouse to invite fans and restaurant guests to “Go West with Luke.” Two grand prize winners will get airfare and transportation to Sundance, Utah weekend Aug. 5-7 at Stewart Mountain Lodge, and a private acoustic performance from the artist. Also included is an autographed copy of Bryan’s new album set for August 9 launch, Tailgates aand Tanlines. For complete entry rules visit

Michael Drexler

>>>BMI has promoted Michael Drexler to Executive Director, Business Development, New Media & Strategic Development Group. Drexler will continue to report directly to Sr. VP Corporate Strategy, Communications & New Media, Richard Conlon. Both are based in BMI’s New York offices. In his new role, Drexler will take on additional responsibility for digital business planning and sales development for new revenue streams in the mobile and broadband markets.  He was most recently Senior Director, Business Development, having joined BMI in 2010.