Steve Jobs Steps Down As Apple CEO
August 26, 2011
"I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come."-- Steve Jobs, in his resignation letter as CEO of Apple Inc. this week
The news about Steve Jobs was everywhere this week. I'm sure you've already read about it online at any one of the multitude of websites that broadcast his announcement within minutes, or on any one of the dozens of TV news shows.
Any reader of this newsletter for some time knows that I have been a very big fan of Steve Jobs. Not just because of his taking Apple to the loftiest heights possible (for a brief period a few weeks ago, Apple was worth more than Exxon), but because he rode it like the legendary Phoenix, higher and higher, rising from the ashes of a corporate past by developing new and better products for consumers. Products that changed everything each time one was introduced.
The iPod. iTunes. the iPhone. Pixar Animation and film. And now, the iPad. Each one completely dominant in the marketplace. Not because the public loved Apple, but because they loved each new product better than anything else in the marketplace and they reacted with their votes at the cash register.
There are still those who believe it was Mr. Jobs and iTunes that killed album sales by allowing consumers to "cherry pick" songs.
Really? Tell that to Adele, Lady GaGa, Taylor Swift, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Lil' Wayne, Lady Antebellum, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Eminem, the Zac Brown Bad, and any and all others who are selling multi-Platinum in the industry's most challenging times.
iTunes didn't kill album sales. Bad albums killed album sales and the public got tired of spending $10 on a CD with one or two good songs. That's why those multi-Platinum album artists I just mentioned are exactly that: multi-Platinum, and others aren't.
But I digress. Back to Steve Jobs.
What Steve Jobs has accomplished as Apple's leader and visionary, is something every leader of every business worldwide should study.
This sums it up in my opinion: "A leader should aspire to do more. A leader should claim to have left a legacy not just on their company but on all companies. Is it not more worthy to have changed civilization than the fortunes of a few? I believe that Steve Jobs has actually sought just that. He put it as 'making a ding in the universe.' This can be interpreted as developing products that 'change everything.' But if the thing that Steve Jobs should be most proud of is the creation of Apple Inc,. then how exactly could an Apple Inc. benefit the world? This is where Jobs' quote above strikes me as valuable. The lesson the world should take from Apple is that a company needs to become multi-dimensional. It needs to mix the core business with the disruptive innovation. It needs to combine the intellectual with the artistic. It needs to maintain within it the rational and the lunatic." -- From 'Steve Jobs' Ultimate Lesson For Companies' on the Harvard Business Review Journal Blog ( http://tiny.cc/2am6t ) by Horace Dediu, an independent analyst and founder of Asymco.com and formerly an industry analyst at Nokia, a software developer and manager in a startup, an IT manager, and a computer science researcher in an industrial laboratory.
For a very good five-minute retrospective of Steve Jobs career watch his video on CNET: http://tiny.cc/qhqr2
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
GROUP LISTENING ROOMS BECOMING MORE POPULAR ONLINE
From the article: "The club was dead. I'd almost forgotten I was there until someone started talking to me. But then the DJ played a new song and soon three people I knew were chatting amongst themselves, even though I'd never introduced any of them to each other. This didn't happen in some dingy meatspace dance club -- it happened on Turntable.fm.
Read how Turntable.fm (and other) "group listening services is just the latest indication that the future of the music industry lies somewhere in the cloud" here: http://tiny.cc/71gb3
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
MP3.COM PROTECTED BY DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act)
A New York district court ruled Monday that digital music lockers don't need permission from the record labels, a legal position both Amazon and Google have based their cloud storage services on. The decision has been a long time coming for digital music pioneer Michael Robertson and his company MP3Tunes, since EMI's Capitol Records filed the suit in 2007. The ruling wasn't a total victory for Robertson.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
CNET'S AUDIOPHILIAC STEVE GUTTENBERG ASKS "ARE ANY ROCK MUSICIANS AUDIOPHILES"?
If music plays such a large role in their lives, why are there so few musician audiophiles?
From the article: "That's strange, they invest weeks or months in studios trying to craft a sound. If all they were trying to do was record the music and words, they could do that in a few hours -- it's getting just the right sound that takes time. Too bad so few people ever really get to hear the fruits of the musicians' labor. Weirder still, why is it that so few musicians don't even try to hear it, either. Audiophiles and musicians are listening for different things."
Read the rest here: http://tiny.cc/35wsf
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
TERRIFIC ARTICLE BY MARC ANDREESEN ABOUT SOFTWARE AND TECH INDUSTRY
A must-read from the Wall Street Journal article, "Why Software Is Eating The World" by Marc Andreessen, co-founder and general partner of the venture capital firm Andreessen-Horowitz. He also co-founded Netscape, one of the first browser companies. (My thanks to reader Ken VanDurand for forwarding it to me)
From the article: "This week, Hewlett-Packard (where I am on the board) announced that it is exploring jettisoning its struggling PC business in favor of investing more heavily in software, where it sees better potential for growth. Meanwhile, Google plans to buy up the cellphone handset maker Motorola Mobility. Both moves surprised the tech world. But both moves are also in line with a trend I've observed, one that makes me optimistic about the future growth of the American and world economies, despite the recent turmoil in the stock market. In short, software is eating the world."
If you want to know where tech is headed, read it here: http://tiny.cc/c2c96
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
BLACKBERRY WANTS A MUSIC SERVICE
At a time when Research in Motion needs to sex itself up, the Canadian smartphone maker is in talks with the four largest record companies about launching a new music service to run on top of BlackBerry Messenger, the company's instant-messenger service, multiple sources with knowledge of the negotiations told CNET.
Whether or not this will help RIM regain lost smartphone market share is another question.
Read more here: http://tiny.cc/mrarz
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
HOWARD STERN REVELS IN WYSP'S DOWNFALL
Howard Stern is taking credit for the death of CBS Radio's long-time Philly FM rock station WYSP, which is switching to a simulcast of Sports-Talk AM station WIP. Stern said the station couldn't survive because of his syndicated morning show's move to Sirius XM a few years back.
Meanwhile, the station's final morning show host -- "Partridge Family" child star Danny Bonaduce -- boasted of his own prowess: "It's been made clear to me that I exceeded their [CBS'] expectations and they don't want to lose me," he told the Philadelphia Daily News' Dan Gross.
Read more here: http://tiny.cc/x0of0
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 8
MUSIC MATTERS ANIMATES BEATLES
The surviving members of the Beatles have thrown their support behind a grassroots campaign to fight against music piracy, allowing the enormously influential band's music to be used in a short animated video to help raise awareness of the value of original music, a publicist for campaign said.
"It's a campaign to get people thinking about the ethical choices they face when consuming music," said Stuart Bell, a publicist for the Music Matters campaign.
Watch the video here on the Music Matter website: http://tiny.cc/bebjf
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 9
CAN ANYBODY COMPETE AGAINST THE iPAD?
From CNNMoney: "In the pre-iPad world, skeptics predicted that consumers would have no need for tablets. Then Apple unleashed the iPad -- and immediately sold millions of them ...okay, the critics acquiesced, there's a tablet market after all. Apple's rivals raced to get into the hot new space. Most of those devices flopped critically and commercially, culminating in HP (HPQ, Fortune 500)'s move last week to kill off its 49-day-old TouchPad tablet.What if it's an iPad-only market, now and forever?"
Read the rest here: http://tiny.cc/a9urp
AND THIS NEWS AS WELL:
United Airlines said Tuesday it was replacing the hefty flight manuals and chart books its pilots have long used with 11,000 iPads carrying the same data. The 1.5 pound (0.7 kilogram) iPad will take the place of about 38 pounds (17 kilograms) of paper instructions, data and charts pilots have long used to help guide them, parent company United Continental Holdings said.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 10
JUDGE REDUCES AWARD TO $2,250 PER INFRINGED WORK IN CAPITOL RECORDS vs. THOMAS-RASSET CASE
From attorney Ray Beckerman's 'Recording Industry vs. The People' website comes this news: "In Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas-Rasset, the Court again reduced the verdict to $2,250 per infringed work, in a 43-page decision handed down on July 22nd. This time the decision was based on constitutional, due process, grounds. Judgment was immediately entered in that amount. Today, the RIAA appealed."
I ask every label executive again who reads this newsletter, is this how you want the RIAA to spend the money you give them year after year?
Between these ridiculous lawsuits and lobbying our politicians in Washington, D.C., the industry association that's supposed to help you (the labels) move forward into the future, is instead mired in the past believing these actions will actually help solve existing problems.
No legislation will ever make existing technology disappear. No lawsuit will ever change the fact that people who want to steal music (and I'm not suggesting Ms. Thomas-Rasset did) will do so.
The RIAA execs make big bucks in an industry that's been contracting for a decade. In the meantime, I will wait and see how the RIAA really might contribute to solving the industry's problems. As of yet, they haven't done a thing. (And any label execs who disagree are asked to please e-mail me with factual disagreement)
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 11
WATCH THE TRAILER FOR MARTIN SCORCESE'S HBO DOCUMENTARY ON GEORGE HARRISON
Scorsese traces the life of George Harrison in an intensely personal film, weaving together previously unseen archival materials, home movies, and interviews. "George Harrison: Living In The Material World" debuts in two parts on October 5th and 6th, exclusively on HBO.
Watch the trailer here on George Harrison.com: http://tiny.cc/gboam
GOODBYE TO ANOTHER GREAT RECORD MAN...
He will be most remembered as Michael Jackson's manager during Jacksonmania in the '80s and '90s. He was Tuddy Cicero in Martin Scorsese's 'Goodfellas.'
This week Frank Dileo died at the age of 63. The cause of Frank's death has not been made public, but he had recently experienced complications following heart surgery.
Frank had returned to work with Michael Jackson before his death in 2009, and he appeared on several TV shows after that to talk about the plans Michael had for the 'This Is It' concert and future music.
Frank was the head of promotion at Epic Records and oversaw the strategies for Jackson's singles from "Thriller" at radio. He and Michael obviously grew close during that period, and Michael asked him to become his manager in 1984.
I had the occasion to talk to Frank at every record convention we both attended back in those days when he was at Epic. He was always generous with his time, and a good friend to all who knew him.
A GREAT FUN EVENT IF YOU LIVE IN L.A.
In 1974, Allee Willis walked off stage in the middle of her own show. Now she's finally coming back.
The Grammy, Emmy, Tony and Webby award-winning and nominated songwriter, artist, singer, technologist, collector, and party thrower (and what great parties they are!) will come to the El Portal Theater in beautiful North Hollywood for one night only of songs, stories and party games. Sing along to Willis' greatest hits like "September," "Boogie Wonderland," "Neutron Dance," "What Have I Done To Deserve This" and "I'll Be There For You (theme from Friends)"! Win valuable prizes! Watch her as she attempts to get through the evening without walking off stage for another 37 years! (You can check out Allee and her incredible stuff on her website here: http://tiny.cc/dbyob )
If you live in the Los Angeles area and want a great fun evening, by all means save the date and info: Allee Willis' "Soup To Nuts Party Mix," Tuesday, Oct.18, 2011 at 8p., The El Portal Theater, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA.
Lobby opens at 7p. Lots of kitschy food and drinks and beer and wine available.
Limited seating, you can check here: http://www.elportaltheatre.com/events.html
And Now For Some News ...
AMAZON SELLS 1 MILLION BOOKS ON KINDLE:
Proof that books are still selling ... online that is. Amazon announced that they have a first single book title to sell a million Kindle copies, a milestone it reached with the help of nationwide promotions for the Dreamworks hit movie it spawned. "The Help," the 2009 novel by Kathryn Stockett, sold over one million e-book downloads.
GOING GAGA FOR GAGA SISTER:
Lady Gaga is an inevitable mainstay on fashion's radar, but she may have to get used to sharing the style spotlight. WWD recently announced that Natali Germanotta, a.k.a. "Baby Gaga," will create costumes for a new off-Broadway show, Simon Says, slated to premiere this fall.
SIMPSONS GO GAGA:
The Simpsons and GaGa are teaming up for a very special upcoming episode about self-esteem and sequins -- titled 'Lisa Goes GaGa.'
BARNEY'S GOES GAGA:
Lady Gaga will be the face of the Holiday 2011 Barney's campaign. With the help of artists Eli Sudbrack and Christophe Hamaide Pierson and personal guru/stylist Nicola Formichetti, she will also reinvent the men's floor of the Madison Avenue store as "Gaga's Workshop."
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE, DEPT:
Soul legend Syl Johnson is upset that he has not received proper credit for a sample of his song "Different Strokes" on Jay-Z and Kanye West's collaborative album, "Watch the Throne."
The latest in-theater music event from National CineMedia is 'Peter Gabriel: New Blood Live in London 3D', which screens nationwide on Sept. 6th and again on Sept. 12th, presented by NCM Fathom, Omniverse Vision, Eagle Rock Entertainment and Gabriel's own company Real World.
KEITH SELLS A MILLION BOOKS:
Keith Richards has written one of the best-selling rock memoirs of all time. The Rolling Stones guitarist's book, "Life," has sold over one million copies since its release last year, equivalent to going Platinum in the music world. (I highly recommend the memoir by Rolling Stone's original bass player Bill Wyman, "Stone Alone," for a great history of the band and loaded with information)
The legendary New York hotel is closing its doors after being in business for over 100 years. The 100-sq.-foot hotel was the place where Sid Vicious stabbed his girlfriend Nancy in room 100. It's where Jack Kerouac wrote "On The Road" and Leonard Cohen had an affair with Janis Joplin. The hotel was also home to Madonna in the early 1980s. The legendary hotel will be closing after new owners bought the property to tear it down.
WINEHOUSE TRIBUTE ON MTV AWARDS SUNDAY:
Tony Bennett, making his first appearance on the MTV Video Awards Show since 1994, will pay homage to Amy Winehouse Sunday night, MTV has confirmed. Bennett will introduce footage from the pair's duet on "Body and Soul," recorded five months ago in London, but the tribute may well climax with performances from major Amy fans Adele and Lady Gaga, both of whom are scheduled to perform on the telecast.
DECCA FINALLY GETS A BEATLE ALMOST HALF A CENTURY LATER:
Paul McCartney has been signed to Decca Records nearly 50 years after the label famously rejected the Beatles, claiming that the group had "no future in show business." Decca has partnered with McCartney to release the score of Ocean's Kingdom, his first ballet. The production will make its debut at the New York City Ballet's fall gala on September 22nd. The record is set to hit stores in England on October 3rd.
CHEAPER iPHONE ON WAY?:
Asian suppliers to Apple Inc have begun manufacturing a lower-priced version of its hot-selling iPhone 4 with a smaller 8-gigabyte flash drive, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
Jerry Leiber, one of the most important songwriters in the history of rock & roll - whose 60-year partnership with Mike Stoller produced "Stand By Me," "Hound Dog," "Jailhouse Rock," "Young Blood," "On Broadway," "Yakety-Yak" and countless other classics - died of cardiopulmonary failure this week. He was 78. Read a great article about Jerry's life and career here: http://tiny.cc/dbohl
Nick Ashford, who along with wife Valerie Simpson helped set the gold standard for R&B duets, both as songwriters and performers, died of throat cancer Monday in a New York hospital. He was 69. Ashford & Simpson penned and produced almost all of the '60s hits for Motown's Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, including Ain't No Mountain High Enough, You're All I Need to Get By, Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing and Your Precious Love. They also wrote hits for Chuck Jackson, The Shirelles, Maxine Brown and the Fifth Dimension.
The Music Industry Past, Present & Future, And The Internet I answer questions on EconTalk
I did an interview about the industry and the Internet at EconTalk with host Russ Roberts. Russ is also a professor of economics at George Mason University, blogs at Cafe Hayek, and has written three novels that teach economics. He's also the co-creator of the Keynes-Hayek rap video. (And if your understanding of the economic meltdown that occurred needs to be enlightened, this video will do it)
In the interview we talk about the evolution of the music industry, the impact of the digital revolution, and I give my reasons for believing in the virtues and potential of the Internet in enhancing the music industry. I point out, as I have many times here in the newsletter, that the internet allows numerous artists to make money from their music and it can enhance revenues from live performances by expanding an artist's base. We also discuss the challenges facing record companies and I suggest that the full potential of the Internet as a distribution channel has yet to be fully exploited. There's a lot of ground covered, but based on the comments already posted of those who have tuned in, they've enjoyed it.
Read more about it by clicking here.
Quotes of the week
"The reason that you're not making any money on bad movies is because they suck!,"
-- Rolling Stone's Peter Travers ranting against Hollywood studios, who are all confused as to why their big movies last weekend flopped - Spy Kids in 4D, Conan the Barbarian and One Day - even though they all sucked horribly
"When I'm really excited about something, I poop."
-- Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, sharing her dirty secrets, to PEOPLE. (And that makes sense since she, and other 'Jersey Shore' cast members, have sh** for brains)
"[Kate said] she will now devote more time to motivational speaking. Why not? She's already motivated millions of people to not have kids."
-- Jimmy Kimmel, on Kate Gosselin's new career following the cancellation of Kate Plus 8, in his opening monologue
"When Lady Gaga's record came out and she was doing TV all over the world, I would say it's five times more than Madonna did. If they're not saying 'You're overexposed,' then you're not doing your job."
-- Liz Rosenberg, Madonna's publicist for many years
"It's so hot, Bobby Brown called Whitney Houston just to get the cold shoulder."
-- David Letterman, from his Top 10 list 'Signs the Earth Is Too Damn Hot'
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Nation's Celebrities Not Famous Enough, Publicists Agree
LOS ANGELES-In a group statement released Monday to all known broadcast, cable, online and print news outlets, publicists from throughout the entertainment industry urgently warned that the nation's celebrities remain "dangerously under-famous" and need to become "much, much more" famous than they currently are.
Citing what they referred to as "an alarming lack" of buzz, heat, press, and word-of-mouth surrounding the country's celebrities, the consortium of publicists called for immediate action to help remedy deficiencies in celebrity name-recognition and career-awareness nationwide.
Read the rest here and laugh: Click Here.
The BlogsCheck out Jerry Del Colliano's (the founder of INSIDE RADIO) daily blog, by clicking here: http://www.insidemusicmedia.blogspot.com
Check out attorney Ray Beckerman's website at: http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com where he prints news about the RIAA's ongoing activities
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"Work is life, you know, and without it, there's nothing but fear and insecurity." -- John Lennon