Sunday, September 27, 2009

Kara Samuels and lawsuit against Ochsner In vitro Fertility Clinic

My wife, Kara Hadican Samuels, is a very excellent plaintiff's attorney. She has been on the news this week regarding the In vitro fiasco at the Ochsner Foundation Fertility Clinic in the New Orleans area. Ochsner called a press conference on Friday and admitted that they had mislabeled and mishandled a number of embryos in their in vitro clinic and have shut down the facility indefinitely. Kara, who practices with the firm Gainsburgh, Benjamin, David, Meunier, and Warshauer, filed the first case, a class action lawsuit against Ochsner on behalf of her clients back in July. In the past couple days she has been interviewed on WWL (CBS), WDSU (NBC), WVUE Fox 8, NBC Nightly News, ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today Show. She also interviewed with the Times-Picayune, and CNN. I'm proud of her. Here are links to a few of them:

A 9/30/09 story questioning whether the embryologist was even certified:

10/12/09 10am CT
Live in studio interview with Jeff Crouere at WGSO 990 AM or
Podcast may be available HERE.

WDSU coverage of hearing regarding limiting correspondence.

New Orleans CityBusiness coverage regarding hearing to limit correspondence.

New Orleans CityBusiness article regarding possible use of Medical Review panel and Patient's Compensation Fund

Friday, September 25, 2009

Naked Chef Jamie Oliver Visits Kermit Ruffins

The Naked Chef, UK Chef Jamie Oliver visits with New Orleans' trumpeter/vocalist/chef Kermit Ruffins on Jamie Oliver's America. Watch behind the scenes video HERE. Kermit's latest CD is Livin' a Treme' Life. His first Christmas album, Have A Crazy Cool Christmas comes out November 10, 2009.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Kermit Ruffins and Treme in Fall 2009 Jazziz Magazine

Here is a link to the Fall 2009 edition of Jazziz Magazine. Pay particular attention to the table of contents and page 14 for a full page feature on Kermit Ruffins and his involvement in the upcoming HBO series, Treme.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Advanced Label Economics II: Digital Distribution

Please read post "Advanced Label Economics" below, before reading this post.

Digital Distribution
Approximate breakdown of dollars for a "typical" download:
$9.99 Customer pays digital store for an album
(digital store keeps $2.99)
$7.00 Digital Store sends to digital distributor
(digital distributor keeps $1.05)
$5.95 Digital Distributor sends to Label
$1.00 Label sends to songwriter/publisher (mechanical royalty)
$4.95 gross margin
The digital distributor makes sure that 100's of platforms around the world have our music, and provides us with a single payment and most important a single accounting by track of all payments each month. Not all digital stores pay based on downloads. Some digital stores are subscription based; some are based on ad revenue. Some are downloads and some are just streams. In some cases we receive much less than we receive for typical download.
Our gross margin is about $4.95, nearly the same as a CD. We generally receive the money 60-90 days after the sale. Advantages are that we don't have to carry excess inventory in our warehouse to be ready for demand, place extra inventory in stores in order to ensure enough visibility, or wait for returns. We also don't have to worry about whether the product is in stock at the store.
The downside is that there is no packaging which might include information about our website, our other artists, or biographical material about our artist to help the consumer become more familiar with the artist. Downloading also means that consumers can pick and choose tracks. For our artists, who work on creating an album, this is generally contrary to their artistic vision.
With digital distribution there is still a need to buy "shelf space" which is more like an ad on a page of the digital store or an email blast to the store's customers. There is also still obviously a need to pay for PR, advertising, and marketing.
As music has become digital, the transfer of it in bits and bytes through digital platforms like iTunes,,, Sprint, Verizon, LaLa, Shockhound, eMusic, Zune, or any number of other sites seems to be the future. We also like our own digital branded store. But...we hope CDs stay around for awhile.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Advanced Label Economics

I've taught this many times (at Loyola University, University of New Orleans, Ben Franklin High School, SXSW, Cutting Edge Music Business Conference, and more), but decided that tonight I would put it down on "paper".

Our "typical" CD Production Costs:
$15,000.00 Musician Fees (does not include our artist)
$10,000.00 Studio/Engineering/Mastering
$ 4,000.00 Producer
$ 1,500.00 Photography
$ 1,000.00 Graphic Design
$ 500.00 Liner Notes

Profit Advance to Artist
$ $$,$$$.00 In addition, we pay a profit advance to the artist on our label. If a project makes a profit we split the profits with the artist, but the artist keeps the profit advance regardless.

PR and Advertising Costs
$ 7,500.00 Press, TV, & Web Publicist
$ 3,000.00 Radio Publicist
$10,000.00 Advertising (print, web, radio)
$ 7,000.00 Buying shelf space at retailers (both brick and mortar & online)
$ 6,000.00 Mailing promotional copies of CDs to press, tv, web and radio

So, before we sell the first CD we "typically" have committed to spend $65,500.00, plus we have advanced the artist profit that we may or may not make.

Here is the breakdown of a $15.98 CD at retail:
$15.98 Consumer pays store
$10.30 Store pays distributor (Store covers its overhead with about $5.68/ CD margin)
$ 8.00 Distributor pays us (Distributor covers its overhead with about $2.30/ CD margin)

Of the $8.00 per CD that we receive we spend approximately:
$1.25 for manufacturing
$1.00 for mechanical licenses (payments to songwriters & publishers)
$0.30 shipping

That leaves us with approximately $5.45 per CD of what is called gross margin. We generally receive this money 90-120 days after the CD is sold.

That means that our break even is $65,500 in costs divided by $5.45 per CD gross margin = 12,018 CDs.

That's where you come in.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

What are You Doing to Offset Saved Energy?

Things You Can Do To Offset Energy Saved At Project30_90 Festival This Weekend

1. Leave your lights on all weekend
2. Leave your doors open and your AC on (set it to 60)
3. Every time you think of something you need, jump in your car and go get it
4. Leave your car running unnecessarily
5. Use your big oven to toast a single piece of bread
6. Ask for triple plastic bagging of your groceries

Leave your suggestions in the comments!
FYI, I fully support Project30_90 and saving energy.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Have A Crazy Cool Christmas (Coming 11/10/09)

Kermit Ruffins' first Christmas album, Have A Crazy Cool Christmas. Coming November 10, 2009. Ho Ho Heaux.


Preorders may be made now at

Email for info on bulk pricing.

We will celebrate the release at the Blue Nile in New Orleans on Friday, November 27th. See you there!

Pretty cool! We especially like part 2 History of New Orleans Music in 100 Tracks
Ted Gioia surveys the history of New Orleans music in 100 classic tracks. It's all here: Louis Armstrong, Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Dr. John, Sidney Bechet, Louis Prima, the Neville Brothers, Wynton Marsalis, Galactic, the Meters and so much more.