Two Great 'Must Read' Articles On The Music Industry
October 28, 2011
"So you're Adele, the year's biggest pop star. Your songs stream on Spotify - or MOG, Rdio, Pandora or YouTube. You still sell downloads through iTunes and Amazon, and you still sell old-fashioned CDs in old-fashioned record stores. How much do you get paid? Rolling Stone talked to several sources in the music business and got several different answers."-- From Steve Knopper's Rolling Stone article, 'The New Economics In The Music Industry - How Artists Make Monet In The Cloud - Or Don't' ...Read it here: http://tiny.cc/d1vw0
"The original Napster -- which let users download practically any song for free -- may have died a decade ago, but its ghost still haunts the major labels. Unleashed in a dorm room in 1999 and killed in a courtroom in 2001, it taught a generation that music should be obtained with mouse clicks, not money. Music executives interpreted it differently: Allow people to share music online and they will never pay for it again. For much of the past decade, their attitude toward digital music and licensing has been driven by the fear that showing one bit of flexibility will summon Napster back from the grave to destroy what's left of their business. But that's changing now ... An orgy of free song-sharing seems to be exactly the kind of thing that the horrified labels would quickly clamp down on. But they appear to be starting to accept that their fortunes rest with the geeks. Or at least they're trying to talk a good game. 'I'm not part of the past-I'm part of the future,' says Lucian Grainge, chair and CEO of the world's biggest label, Universal Music Group. There's a new philosophy, a new way of thinking."-- From Steven Levy's Wired magazine article, 'Facebook, Spotify, And The Future Of Music'...Read it here: http://tiny.cc/vgq1u
The above quotes from the two articles referenced above are a must-read for anybody who is interested in knowing about how artists make money in music industry today, and about where the industry is headed.
If you have been a regular reader of this newsletter for some time (or since its inception some nine years ago), you have read many of the things discussed in these articles at various times. But both these articles are well worth reading, and both provide great reference information. The Rolling Stone article breaks down the realities of how much money artists really make these days in the digital world we live in, and as I've said many times, it's obvious the big money is no longer in the sale of their music. The really BIG dollars have to come from concerts, licensing, merchandising, and every other ancillary revenue stream.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
MORE ON STEVE JOBS
The Steve Jobs articles just keep coming, and will for some time. I'll try and reference the ones I think you'll find of value here in the newsletter.
The Wall Street Journal's article by Ed Nash, "How Steve Jobs Saved The Music Industry," echoes many of the same things I have said repeatedly about Steve Jobs in the literally dozens of articles I wrote about Jobs and iTunes. It's subtitled "Before iTunes, the stealing of MP3 files was rampant and seemingly unstoppable." (You need a subscription to read the article on the Wall Street Journal, but you can sign up for a free trial. The article starts here: http://tiny.cc/1yr35 )
PBS will be premiering "Steve Jobs - One Last Thing" on Nov. 2nd, a documentary the network describes as taking an unflinching look at Jobs's difficult, controlling disposition, and which seeks to learn how he became such an iconic, successful innovator in both business and technology. Read about it here: http://tiny.cc/yt473
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
THE IPOD ... A DECADE OLD AND PROBABLY GETTING CROWDED OUT OF A FUTURE
As Apple's iPod turns 10 years old this weekend, the device that rocketed Apple into massive profits and popularity has taken a back seat to Apple's newer products.
CNET's Josh Lowensohn writes about the iPod's past decade and says, "No doubt there will be a day when the iPod as we know it will cease to exist. But even then we'll still be able to look back on it as the product that helped build the foundation for the devices we have now, and the ones we haven't seen yet -- a value that's harder to quantify than sales numbers alone."
Read the rest here: http://tiny.cc/7gnq7
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
THE POST-PC WORLD
By the raw data traffic metric of bits and bytes, the Post-PC era that Steve Jobs and others promised may officially be here.
Media Post's Steve Smith writes "According to the latest Sandvine survey of fixed and mobile data operators worldwide, 55% of real-time network traffic in September from entertainment sources such as YouTube, Netflix and other on-demand video went to devices other than PCs and laptops."
Read the rest here: http://tiny.cc/uackw
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
SOUNDEXCHANGE SENDS OUT HIGHEST QUARTERLY PAYMENTS
Non-profit performance rights organization SoundExchange announced today that distributed nearly $88 million to more than 18,300 payees during the third quarter of 2011, the largest quarterly distributions since its 2000 founding. For perspective, total distributions made by SoundExchange in 2010 were $249.2 million, up from $155.5 million the previous year.
Read the rest here: http://tiny.cc/z7xtk
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
MORE BAD NEWS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE A PAID CONTENT MODEL FOR NEWS
I have been asked too many times over the past several years why I have never gone to a subscription model for this newsletter. My answer has always been the same: "I don't pay for the news I read, why should or would my readers?"
Now, a new Pew Research study says that while people like to read the news on tablets, most are still hesitant to pay for the privilege. And with the future for most of personal computing heading towards the tablets, that's not good news for those publishers hoping paid content might save them in the future. "Only 14% of those who grab the news through their tablets said they've paid for such content. Another 23% said they've subscribed to a print newspaper or magazine that includes digital access."
Read the rest here: http://tiny.cc/0202b
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
MORE ON THE NETFLIX MISTAKE
With clear implications for rival content streamers, things just went from bad to worse at Netflix on new warnings of higher subscriber attrition and mounting costs.
"The company said it would see more cancellations as it grapples with the fallout from a price increase and other unpopular moves, including a failed attempt to split its online and DVD services into two separate companies," Reuters reports. (Read that here: http://tiny.cc/jdhs1 )
"We believe the [Netflix business] model is unsustainable, as the company faces rising costs that it hoped it could pass on to its [subscribers]," Janney Capital Analyst Tony Wible wrote in a new research note on Market Watch. (Read that here: http://tiny.cc/dzof0 )
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 8
KEYBOARD THAT iPAD
Thinking about adding a keyboard to your iPad?Consider one of these keyboard cases or keyboard/stand solutions. Check them out here: http://tiny.cc/1c52c
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 9
SIRIUSXM IN DISPUTE WITH MUSIC ARTISTS OVER ROYALTIES
The music royalty issue has once again raised its head, and this time SiriusXM is the target.
Read the rest here: http://tiny.cc/7ezzo
Short News Items ...
SIGNS OF INTELLIGENT LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE:
As the "Jersey Shore" cast wrapped its drunken, scream-filled vacation in Italy, the show's ratings concluded lower than the previous season for the first time. Shore delivered 6.6 million viewers for its season 4 finale, down 13% from season 3's closer.
THE BOSS DOES STONE PONY AGAIN:
Bruce Springsteen revisited his old stomping grounds Saturday night, performing a 25-song set at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, N.J. He was backed by E Street Band members Roy Bittan and Max Weinberg, Asbury Juke Bobby Bandiera and a four-piece horn section. Also joining Springsteen on stage for five songs was J.T. Bowen, who was the lead singer for Clarence Clemons' Red Bank Rockers in the 1980s.
ALCOHOL KILLED AMY:
A coroner ruled that Amy Winehouse died as the unintended result of drinking too much alcohol. According to pathology reports, Winehouse had consumed a "very large quantity of alcohol" and was more than five times over the legal drunk-driving limit in Britain at the time of her death.
MATERIAL GIRL'S HOMELESS BROTHER:
Madonna's older brother, Anthony Ciccone, revealed that he is currently homeless in an interview with the Michigan Messenger. "My family turned their back on me, basically, when I was having a hard time," says Ciccone. "You think I haven't answered this kind of question a bazillion times, why my sister is a multi-bazillionaire and I'm homeless on the street? Never say never. This could happen to anybody." Ciccone attributes his circumstances to losing his job at his father's winery over a year ago.
Los Angeles pop duo Purple Crush are suing Lady Gaga producer Rob Fusari, claiming that he owes them money for production work for Gaga's album Born This Way. Though their work did not make the final record, the band say that they spent hundreds of hours working in the studio with Fusari and his clients without compensation. Purple Crush also claim that the producer promised to get them a record deal, though he never did.
ADELE VOCAL ISSUES:
Adele -- the bestselling artist of 2011 -- canceled her second run of U.S. dates this year on October 4th. A tour for sometime in 2012 will be scheduled when her vocal problems are resolved. In the meantime her fans will have to be satisfied with the "Adele Live at the Royal Albert Hall" concert film DVD/CD coming out on November 29th.
Leonard Cohen has been working on a new album for years, but it's finally hitting shelves on January 31st.
FOGERTY REVISITS CREDENCE:
For 25 years after Creedence Clearwater Revival's bitter 1972 split, John Fogerty famously refused to play any of his old band's songs in concert. For more than a decade now, though, he's been mixing the material into his set lists. And this fall, he's diving deeper than ever, performing the classic LPs Cosmo's Factory and Green River in their entirety during shows at New York's Beacon Theatre and Caesars Atlantic City in November.
Poison have been hit with a lawsuit from an obscure rock band who claim that the hair-metal icons plagiarized a handful of their songs over 20 years ago. The suit, filed by members of the band Kid Rocker in Illinois federal court on Wednesday, alleges that several of their songs were the basis for Poison hits such as "Talk Dirty to Me," "Fallen Angel" and "I Won't Forget You."
NEW JIMMY CLIFF:
Jimmy Cliff, winner of multiple Grammy Awards and the only living musician to hold Jamaica's Order of Merit, announced this week that he will release an EP titled Sacred Fire on Nov. 29, a five-song collection produced by Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong.
BUDDY HOLLY TRIBUTE:
PBS will premiere "Buddy Holly: Listen To Me/The Ultimate Buddy Party" on Dec. 3rd with performances of his songs by Stevie Nicks, Chris Isaak, Lyle Lovett, Graham Nash, Raul Malo, Paul Anka, Boz Scaggs and several others at a 75th birthday concert staged last month in Hollywood.
DIRECT TV TO iPAD:
DirecTV subscribers can now watch 38 channels on their iPads at home, thanks to the company's just-released upgrade to its free iPad app. Among those channels are TBS, TNT, USA, Bravo, MSNBC and CNN.
YIKES! NINTENDO DOWN BIG TIME:
During the six-month period ended September 30th, Nintendo saw its financial performance decline significantly, the company reported in a financial earnings released this week. Nintendo generated 215.7 billion yen ($2.84 billion) in revenue during the six-month period, representing a whopping 40.6% decline compared to the same period last year. Even more concerning, Nintendo's net loss hit $926 million, down significantly from the $26 million it lost in the six-month period ended September 30th, 2010.
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
"You know you're the only woman on the planet that would be OK with my wife doing that."
-- Nicole Kidman's husband Keith Urban, laughing about his steamy spoof video for his cologne, Phoenix, with Ellen DeGeneres
"From being a loser to going out with an Oscar winner? It's a giant leap. Let's face it. It's like winning the lottery."
-- Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, on hitting the marriage jackpot with wife Gwyneth Paltrow, to CBS Sunday Morning (And an Oscar winner for a film almost nobody remembers ... quick, can you name it?)
"I sit by myself and I watch Law & Order. I don't have a boyfriend. I don't even have like kind of a boyfriend. I don't have someone that I'm texting that is a guy that someday might be my boyfriend. There's like nothing going on right now."
-- Taylor Swift, talking to Ellen DeGeneres on her TV show
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Paul Simon Wondering How One Goes About Getting A Column On 'The Huffington Post'
NEW YORK-According to sources, acclaimed singer-songwriter Paul Simon visited The Huffington Post website Tuesday and wondered aloud about what a person needs to do to get a column with the popular online publication.
"So is this the kind of thing where they try you out for a few weeks and see how you do before letting you contribute regularly, or how does this work?" said the 13-time Grammy winner and 2001 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.
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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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.
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