TV Changes Coming Faster
September 30, 2011
"Entertainment is a thing of the past, today we've got television."-- Archie Bunker
Whether the broadcast network execs like it or not, things are happening at light-speed in new media that are making their jobs harder by the day. Now maybe they have some idea what the music industry has been going through for the past decade-plus.
This from Digital Media Wire: "ComScore Inc. just released its first comScore YouTube Partner Report, putting actual numbers behind some assumptions and expectations. There are few surprises for those immersed in digital media, but the data may be a wake-up call to traditionalist television executives. Take Machinima, for example. Its 17.7 million viewers in August exceeds the average number who watch NBC's Sunday Night Football. The mostly under-35, male-skewing Machinima audience sticks around, too, for a monthly average of 70 minutes per viewer. Only music videos reached more people on YouTube. Vevo attracted the most viewers (60.6 million), ahead of Warner Music (31 million), with average times of 60 minutes and 29.1 minutes respectively."
Read more about it here: http://tinyurl.com/6l4muvl
Here's something else that could make things painful: The broadcasters' biggest cash cow, their local newscasts, could lose lots of viewers as people discover that they can find the info they want more quickly and easily on mobile devices such as smartphones. That's one of the many sobering findings from a study that examines how people discover what's going on in their communities, out today from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Pew Internet & American Life Project with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Read more about that here: http://tinyurl.com/6yqqne7
Jason Kilar, the CEO of Hulu, made good on his promise that his streaming video service would have 1 million paying customers before the end of the year. Speaking at a Goldman Sachs conference, Kilar also said Hulu is spending more than $375 million for content during 2011. Subscriptions to the premium Hulu Plus costs $7.99 a month, and Kilar said Hulu is on track to hit $500 million in revenue alone this year. That's good news for Hulu, but it means more people spending time online watching content instead of their televisions.
Read about that here: http://tinyurl.com/3sw3dpj
In a Reuters article comes news the cable industry is finally reversing its longtime resistance to a la carte programming, "privately working on a plan to force programmers to unbundle their networks and allow customers to subscribe to channels on an individual basis," writes Yinka Adegoke.
Read that here: http://tinyurl.com/3wgtgta
I've already had several articles in the newsletter this year about televisions already available with Internet capability, and those coming very soon. Within five years, it's likely most TVs will have Internet accessibility included and built-in with minimal additional charge. The manufacturers want to move their TVs and if Internet capability helps move them faster because that's what consumers want (and it's obvious from their viewing habits, they do), then those TVs will get in stores right quick.
The good news for the music industry: Continuing reports show that a whole lot of the time spent on YouTube/Vevo/et. al., is time spent watching music videos.
As long as that trend continues, it means exposure for new music will continue to expand.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
DVDs MAY GO BYE-BYE FASTER THAN PEOPLE THINK
It's not just cable TV that's hurting from the likes of online streaming. Movie studios are beginning to make video digital delivery a serious priority, meaning DVDs will become obsolete that much sooner, according to an article in The Los Angeles Times by Ben Fritz, which lays out what this trend will mean for the consumer as well as the industry.
Because digital delivery is far from standardized and studios are experimenting with many different formats and price points, "people who connect their TVs to the Internet or buy iPads will face a vastly expanded but potentially confusing menu of options to access films from different sources in various ways," writes Fritz.
But "one thing is certain: People who like inexpensive movie rentals are going to have to get used to waiting longer than they do now. Studios are beginning to use the Internet to slice up the market so that people who are willing to buy a movie or pay more to rent it can get it sooner."
Read the rest here on The Los Angels Times: http://tinyurl.com/6kokhks
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
WARNER MUSIC'S OUTGOING DIGITAL MAN SEZ INDUSTRY HAS FINALLY FIGURED OUT FREE
Michael Nash, Warner's outgoing digital chief, says you bet the industry stumbled at times in the digital era but it's pointed in the right direction now: toward the cloud.
"Free didn't work before. It was once used to drive engagement with ads. What we're looking for now is for free to drive engagement with subscription services."
Read more on CNET here: http://tinyurl.com/6bqfgbz
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
CAN SPOTIFY HELP STOP MUSIC PIRACY?
Is Spotify -- which just debuted stateside -- curing the world of music piracy? TorrentFreak thinks so. When the streaming music service launched in 2008, TorrentFreak branded it "an alternative to music piracy." Now, a new report looking into online music consumption habits shows that, since 2009, the number of people who pirate music has dropped by 25% in Sweden. "The sharp decrease coincides with a massive interest for the music streaming service Spotify," the news site notes. "One of the main reasons why people switch to legal services is the wider range of material they can find there."
The report is just the latest from the Swedish music industry, which regularly polls the music consumption habits of thousands of Swedes between the age of 15 and 74. Over the last year alone, the research finds, piracy has dropped by 9% in Sweden. "The data further suggests that this downward trend is caused by the availability of improved legal services such as Spotify," according to TorrentFreak. But, will Spotify prove as affective at curbing piracy around the world as it has been in Sweden? For the United States, it's too early to tell.
Read the rest here on Torrent Freak: http://tinyurl.com/3plrdwe
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
TOP LISTENS CHART
You might want to check out the Top Listens Chart.
It's based on average Billboard/BDS/Mediabase reporting stations having 3,000 listens per spin, each. Not all stations are reporting stations. Only U.S. stations in markets #1 to #130 are included. No Canadian or International stations are included. No small-market or unrated market stations are included. Adding Canadian, International, non-reporting, small and unrated stations will multiply the total number of listens by at least two. Also, these are not cumulative listens. Cumulative is the way that YouTube and MySpace work, from day one. The numbers you see on the Top Listens chart are for just seven days.
Lastly, note that this Top Listens chart divides a single song into radio formats; so to get the total number of listens, you need to add up the listens of that song on all the different formats.
Check it out here: http://tinyurl.com/6xu646j
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
HERE COMES iPHONE 5 AND HERE COMES AMAZON'S TABLET
If you haven't already heard, Apple announced an event at 10a. PT next Tuesday at its Cupertino headquarters, where it will "talk iPhone." Read about that here: http://tinyurl.com/3v582uf
And a new survey from InMobi finds that 41% of mobile users in America plan to buy the iPhone 5, with half of them picking one up in the first six months after the phone's debut.
Read about that here: http://tinyurl.com/5thusl5
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
STILL UNHAPPY ABOUT NETFLIX CHANGES? HERE'S SOME ALTERNATIVES
Wired has taken a look at some of Netflix's (and Qwikster's) main competitors -- and judged each service accordingly. Do the rest offer enough to stand up to the best?
Check out the alternatives here: http://tinyurl.com/3vgtgee
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 8
A GREAT YOUTUBE CLIP FEATURING 'MAD MEN'S' DON DRAPER DOING THE FACEBOOK TIMELINE
Did you know that Facebook's new Timeline feature is remarkably similar to Kodak's old Carousel slide projector.
But don't take my word for it, when Don Draper's only too happy to give the sales pitch, thanks to a clever YouTube video which will surely quench your jones for 'Mad Men'.
Check out the clip here: http://tinyurl.com/6bf86yo
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 9
WHO WILL PAY FOR THOSE 3-D GLASSES?
A squabble between movies studios and theaters has already had an effect on the stock market, and may soon affect audiences as well.
It started when Sony Pictures Entertainment sent out letters that said it would no longer pick up the cost of handing out 3D glasses after May 2012. The National Association of Theater Owners reacted the way anyone would expect, and on Thursday 3D technology company RealD Inc. ended the day with its shares closing at $10.42, down 15%.
Now the question is, who will eat the cost? Is there any doubt ticket prices for 3-D films will increase to cover the cost if studios stop footing the bill?
Read the rest on The Hollywood Reporter here: http://tinyurl.com/3clqvaw
Short News Items ...
HALL OF FAME NOMS:
Guns N' Roses, the Cure, Heart, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Eric B. and Rakim, the Spinners, the Small Faces/Faces, Freddy King and Rufus With Chaka Khan are all on the ballot for the first time for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, joined by previous noms the Beastie Boys, Laura Nyro, War, Donovan and Red Hot Chili Peppers. The top vote-getters will be inducted on April 14th in Cleveland.
MUSIC VIDS STILL TOPS ON YOUTUBE:
Music videos are the most popular content on YouTube, and VEVO has the most viewers, according to the first comScore YouTube Partner Report, which has just been released. VEVO registered 60.6 million users, with average times of 60 minutes, while #2 Warner Music had 31 million at 29.1 minutes.
NEW AEROSMITH NEXT YEAR:
Steven Tyler tells Rolling Stone that the new album is almost done and will probably be released early 2012.
TIMBERLAKE TO PLAY CASABLANCA'S BOGART:
Justin Timberlake has signed on to star in Spinning Gold, a biopic based on the life of record producer and Casablancas Records mogul Neil Bogart. Timberlake will also serve as a producer on the film, which will be written and directed by Bogart's son Timothy Scott Bogart.
SLY STONE IS EVERYDAY PEOPLE FOR REAL:
Sly Stone has been living out of a white van in Los Angeles following a long downward spiral of drug abuse and financial mismanagement. "I like my small camper," Stone told the New York Post. "I just do not want to return to a fixed home. I cannot stand being in one place. I must keep moving."
Singer Melissa Etheridge and her ex-partner, Tammy Lynn Michaels, are battling over custody of their twins, division of property, child and spousal support, and visitation rights.
STAR WARS BLU-RAY BREAKS RECORDS:
The Star Wars new Blu-Ray disc set, featuring the entire "Star Wars" saga, is now the bestselling Blu-ray title of all time. The film made $84 million in its first week of availability.
CHEECH & CHONG TO HELP SELL BROWNIES? SURE, REMEMBER THOSE DAYS?
In a perhaps-inevitable latest iteration of marketers' use of '60s and '70s culture to woo Baby Boomers to food products with digestive and other health-oriented benefits, General Mills has launched videos featuring Cheech & Chong promoting its new Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownies.
BEACH BOYS REDUX:
After decades of bitter legal battles, The Beach Boys are reuniting to celebrate their 50th anniversary in a major way, with archival releases on the way, including the upcoming Smile Sessions (out November 1st). And the "Do It Again" session was filmed as a promotional video for a likely world tour next year.
THE CURE REDUX:
The Cure have announced plans to perform their first three albums -- 1979's Three Imaginary Boys, 1980's Seventeen Seconds and 1981's Faith -- in their entirety at a series of concerts in London, Los Angeles and New York City.
Mick Jagger may play a media mogul in Tabloid, a new film he is developing through his Jagged Films production company. The movie, which is being penned by A History of Violence screenwriter Josh Olson based on an idea by Jagger, will tell the story of a Rupert Murdoch-like mogul and a young journalist who is brought into the inner circle of his immoral media empire.
SUN SHINES ON GROOVESHARK:
Grooveshark will become the first music streaming service to offer recordings from the world-famous Sun Records, the indie label with some justification for its slogan, "Where rock & roll was born." Among the artists with music included in the deal are Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Roy Orbison.
THE WALL AGAIN:
Roger Waters is making plans to bring his highly successful Wall tour back to America in 2012. The show will hit venues he missed the first time around - as well as baseball stadiums in a few big cities.
GAGA SEZ NO NO AND SUES:
Lady Gaga has filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court against Excite Worldwide, a Chicago company that has been marketing a line of jewelry and cosmetics called Lady Gaga by Design. Despite the name, the singer has nothing to do with the products, and she wants to eliminate confusion in the market as she develops her own officially endorsed products, including candles, bags, lanyards, tattoos and wigs.
According to Internet Retailer, Amazon sold $1 billion in merchandise through m-commerce and its mobile apps in 2010, and it is on track to double that to $2 billion this year.
Sylvia Robinson, the producer of the Sugar Hill Gang's pioneering hip-hop single, "Rapper's Delight," died this week at the age of 75 from congestive heart failure. Robinson, a singer, musician, producer and label executive at Sugar Hill Records, began her career as half of the duo Mickey and Sylvia in the late Fifties
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
"Roger spent a lot of time afterwards saying how he would roll over gracefully for that one occasion, but it wouldn't happen again. Which strengthened my views: I understand how other people want that sort of [reunion] thing to happen, but I'm entirely selfish in thinking that I want to enjoy my declining years exactly the way that I want to do it. And that wouldn't be part of it."
-- David Gilmour, in Rolling Stone, talking about the possibilities of a Pink Floyd reunion.
"I think Roger (Waters) knew that it was something great in the making. But I don't think anybody else really had any idea. I think that perhaps the other three thought, well, this is the best Pink Floyd album yet, but who was to know that it was going to spend 700 weeks on the Billboard, or whatever it was?"
-- Alan Parsons, who engineered Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon" album, in Rolling Stone
"Remember to relax and have a good time while 12,000 live bloggers rip you to shreds."
-- Steve Martin, offering advice to 2012 Oscar host Eddie Murphy
"Jon Stewart's writing staff: 14 men and ... wait for it ... 2 women! Practically a NOW convention."
-- Nancy Franklin, former New Yorker TV critic, after The Daily Show won another Emmy
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Expiration Of Contract Allows Fergie To Put On Pair Of Pants For First Time In 5 Years
BRENTWOOD, CA-Black Eyed Peas vocalist Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson told reporters Wednesday her contract with the group has expired, legally allowing her to wear pants for the first time since 2006.
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
Smart Marketing Consulting Services
Smart Marketing Consulting Services has been in business sixteen years, and consults clients in the music, entertainment, attraction, media, and technology industry on branding, marketing, online exploitation, maximizing new media, and more.
"And the beat goes on, the beat goes on ... drums keep poundin' rhythm to the brain."
"Work is life, you know, and without it, there's nothing but fear and insecurity." -- John Lennon