A lot happening on the digital music scene …
— Oceanic Time Warner launched OCTunes, a specialist online music store this week offering more than 3,000 songs from Pacific Islands artists alongside two-million tracks from the archives of Sony/BMG, EMI, Warner and Universal. Tracks are priced at 99 cents and an extra feature allows local artists to upload and sell tracks through the site via a non-exclusive license.
— Customizable, interactive music is becoming a standard part of videogames. In a new wave of releases: Vivendi Universal’s Scarface which will feature 120 songs and comes with a mix tape so that users can replace the set soundtrack with their own combination of mixes, and the Saints Row soundtrack changes with each character’s car. Though it’s a logical extension for games with interactive storylines – and increasingly expected among gamers – there’s concern over the growing expense of music budgets as games companies try to keep the unit cost under the average $60 price tag. One solution is selling add-on soundtracks for games, as Microsoft has done for Xbox games including Ridge Racer and Dance Dance Revolution. And the next step beyond that will be allowing users to integrate music from their own collections: “The capability is definitely there,” said Aaron Greenberg, group marketing manager for Xbox Live. “We’re just waiting for developers to take it to the next level and integrate it into the game experience.” Related: Microsoft’s Launches Tools For User-Gen Video Games; Rev Share For Creators
— Barrio Bros. Nab the Niche MTV Left Behind: Barrio 305 is a website that serves both as a social network for the diverse urban Latin scene and a platform for their original lifestyle programming…it is positioned at the center of the white-hot reggaeton movement, says the story.
— Dylan-AOL: Nothing like a new album to provide online content opportunities. AOL Radio will be simulcasting Bob Dylan’s weekly radio show from today (10 a.m. eastern), now available free to non-subscribers. ‘”Theme Time Radio Hour” started on XM Satellite Radio back in May this year; 18 of the shows will be broadcast back-to-back this weekend. (Release) There’s a new Dylan-iPod ad. All hype for his new “Modern Times” — getting plenty of promotional at the digital stores, too.
— Britain’s Music Piracy Blues: The British music industry reports it lost a projected $312.7 million due to CD piracy last year, according to the British Phonographic Industry; BPI called on the British police to make intellectual property crime a higher priority, claiming the Trade Standards Authorities lacked the duty, power, and resources to catch the copyright criminals.
This article originally appeared in MediaGuardian.