Neil Young Gets It
February 3, 2012
"Piracy is the new radio. That's how music gets around. That's the real world for kids."
-- Neil Young, in an onstage interview at The Wall Street Journal's D: Dive Into Media conference.
A terrific article in this week's Wall Street Journal by Ethan Smith, 'Neil Young Defends Both Record Companies and Piracy' is a highly recommended read for all. His thoughts on both labels and piracy are revealing and sure to surprise many.
You can read it on the WSJ here: http://tiny.cc/dg35y
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
HERE'S BILLBOARD'S POWER 100 PEOPLE
Check out Billboard's 'Power 100' list. From the article: "Rankings were determined by a combination of key factors including market share, exclusive Billboard chart data/box score information, and revenue. A team of 15 top Billboard editors then analyzed the value of these metrics to produce the final results. The list is U.S. based. As well, the Power 100 puts a premium on the top decision makers at each company."
Artists on the Power 100 include Jay-Z and Beyonce as a power couple, Taylor Swift, U2, Jon Bon Jovi and Lady Gaga. There's a full-page of information about all the people picked.
See the list here: http://tiny.cc/g028d
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
ATTENTION ALL UNSIGNED ARTISTS ... THIS BOOK IS A MUST
This past week I had the pleasure of reading Jay Frank's new book, "Hack Your Hit."
Jay is now the Owner and CEO of DigSin ( http://tiny.cc/g3nig ), a new singles-focused music company that allows subscribing fans to obtain music for free. DigSin signs new artists to deals that leverage new platforms, social networks and analytics that expose music to a wider audience, building popularity outside of traditional methods.
Prior to forming DigSin, Jay was the SVP/Music Strategy for CMT, an MTV Network. Under his leadership, music video ratings reached all-time highs thanks to an aggressive multi-platform promotional strategy. He was also VP/Music Programming and Label Relations for Yahoo! Music, responsible for all the company's music programming. He was instrumental in the exponential growth of Yahoo's audience bringing in approximately 25 million people a month. He was also senior music director at The Box Music Network, worked in marketing and A&R for Ignition Records, managed a live music venue, programmed broadcast radio stations and created two local music video shows.
Jay is also the author of "Futurehit.DNA," a #1 songwriting book on Amazon and part of the college curriculum at a number of colleges and universities. The book explores how digital technology has changed the way people discover music and examines what an artist needs to make their song more hit worthy in the digital age.
I had the pleasure of meeting Jay at the CMA Awards show in Las Vegas, thanks to our mutual friend, Butch Waugh, and I have nothing but the highest respect for both of his books.
In "Hack Your Hit," Jay tells readers how to learn over 40 secret techniques on how to grow audience online and market music to increase the chances of scoring a big hit single. Some of the marketing tips he provides are a must for any and all emerging artists who hope to maximize their music locally, regionally, and nationally. The book is a roadmap for navigating to success in today's digital world and for maximizing exposure.
You can buy the book online here: http://tiny.cc/yqnyf
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
FACEBOOK MIGHT REPLACE YOUTUBE AS VEVO'S HOST
Facebook and Vevo have spoken about a possible partnership once Vevo's deal with Google runs out in a year, CNET has learned. A Vevo deal would enable Facebook to offer free music to users.
With millions of viewers at stake, music-video service Vevo is reportedly considering cutting ties with YouTube in favor of a deal with Facebook.
Read the rest on CNET here: http://tiny.cc/bt2ok
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
CAPITOL WANTS TO STOP RE-DIGI FROM SELLING "USED" SONGS
EMI's Capitol Records has escalated its legal battle with the start-up ReDigi by asking a federal judge in New York to order the company to stop selling "used" digital songs.
Read more here: http://tiny.cc/6ywar
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
GEE, MAJOR LABELS ARE THE MAJORITY OF WHAT'S HAPPENING IN EUROPE ... WHAT A SURPRISE ... NOT!
Major labels account for nearly 95% of airplay and downloads in Europe. The four-turning-three major labels utterly dominate the European musical landscape, according to a study just shared by Impala. And these are the eye-popping results of the group's 2011-focused report: 95 out of the top-100 downloads in 2011 came from one of the major labels; 94 out of the top-100 most-played songs on the radio in 2011 came from one of the major labels; more than 90% the top-1,000 most-downloaded and most-spun songs came from one of the major labels.
And that excludes one of the biggest successes of the year: Adele. "These results are very revealing, especially as they already factor in independent successes such as Adele," said Impala executive chair Helen Smith. "They send a serious warning about the dangers of concentration in music for diversity in Europe."
All of which is motivating Impala, an unexpectedly powerful group, to work towards blocking the merger acquisition of EMI's recording and publishing units, by Universal Music Group and a consortium led by Sony Corp.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
THAT VINYL THING AGAIN (AND AGAIN)
From the Wall Street Journal: "The digital revolution was supposed to do away with a lot of fusty old relics. First compact discs took their toll on the long-playing (and long-played) vinyl record; then iPods and digital downloads began doing the same to CDs. But long after the eulogies had been delivered, the vinyl LP has been revived."
Read the rest on the Wall Street Journal here: http://tiny.cc/7cltp
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 8
NETFLIX AND STUDIOS AT ODDS OVER DVD RENTALS
"Hollywood isn't ruining DVD rentals on its own -- Netflix is happy to help" -- but each entity has its own agenda in making rentals less convenient, according to ReadWriteWeb.
When Warner Bros., for example, makes renters wait longer after a first release to even put a title into their Netflix queue, the goal is for customers to buy instead of rent DVDs. Netflix goes along because it wants to move from a rental to streaming model -- an agenda the studios aren't seconding. Confusing and confounding for consumers, who can "expect more weirdness ahead" if they're still renting DVDs from Netflix, writes Dan Frommer.
Read the article on ReadWriteWeb here: http://tiny.cc/wosi1
THE 'A-SIDE' - BONUS TRACKS
* If you're a fan of Neil Young & Crazy Horse, you can listen to a new 37-minute jam he recorded with them on his website here: http://tiny.cc/bimnt
* If you're a Wilco fan, then you must check out their new video for "Dawned On Me." Artists Frank Caruso and Ned Sonntag have paid tribute to Wilco with a panel that features the Popeye, Olive Oyl, Bluto, the Wilco Brand Spinach Company and shows the band playing on a wharf as boxes of the product are loaded aboard a ship, also called the Wilco. (Elzie Segar, the originator of Popeye, is from southern Illinois, just like Wilco's frontman Jeff Tweedy) Check it out here on the interactive website: http://tiny.cc/zm0y4
* David Letterman celebrated his 30th year on late-night TV this week and now you can see the 30-year timeline on Facebook here: http://tiny.cc/bmevq
* The Pogoplug Series 4 is an adapter that lets you access any 2.5-inch hard drive, USB storage device, or SD card from anywhere online. It's easy to set up, attractively small, and smartly designed. Files can be accessed via browser or apps, and automatic backup of photos and videos from a phone or iPad using the Pogoplug app works surprisingly well, too. Check it out here: http://tiny.cc/45hy8
* If you watched the "X Factor," then you already know the winner, Melanie Amaro, has an incredible set of pipes. You can listen to hear single, "Respect," and see how Melanie turned the Aretha Franklin song into an incredible club-jam here: http://tiny.cc/rht2b (And yes, this is the song that will be featured in her Super Bowl ad -- and Sir Elton's in it, too)
Short News Items ...
WHITE SOLO LP SET:
White Stripes founder Jack White has been inked to Columbia Records for his first-ever solo album, "Blunderbuss," which will be released April 24 on his Third Man Records.
The Cult are set to release "Choice of Weapon," their ninth studio album, on May 22nd. The record is their first full-length work in five years
The Spice Girls will reunite for Queen Elizabeth's upcoming Diamond Jubilee, which marks 60 years of her reign.
Good-bye, judges Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger, and "X-Factor" host Steve Jones. All are gone and will be replaced shortly.
GUNS 'N' ROSES DATES:
Guns N' Roses will play three clubs around New York City in February. The mini-tour, timed to accompany Fashion Week, will include stops at Roseland Ballroom, Webster Hall and Terminal 5. The club tour will continue in mid-February with stops in Chicago, Atlantic City and Silver Spring, MD.
MADONNA DOES GOOD STUFF FOR AFRICA:
Madonna's Raising Malawi charity will soon break ground on the construction of schools in the impoverished African nation.
THE CRITICS BE DAMNED:
Lana Del Rey's just-released "Born To Die" album is on track to debut at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart next week. The set will perhaps sell between 60,000 to 70,000 copies by the end of the tracking week on Sunday, Feb. 5th as estimated by industry prognosticators. The album also just hit #1 on iTunes in 14 different countries. The list includes the U.S., UK, Italy, France, Germany, Finland, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, Greece, Belgium, Portugal, Mexico, and Luxemburg.
THE HOTTEST TICKET IN HOLLYWOOD:
Neil Young and Crazy Horse are going to play at the MusicCares Person of the Year Gala honoring Paul McCartney on February 10th at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Other acts on the bill of the Grammy weekend charity concert include Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Alicia Keys, Katy Perry, James Taylor, Alison Krauss, Tony Bennett, the cast of the Beatles LOVE, and McCartney himself.
WILLIE BACK TO SONY:
Willie Nelson: he has inked a deal to return to Sony Records, his label from 1975-1993. Nelson will record five new albums and re-release archival works via Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony.
BOSS SATELLITE RADIO:
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will perform a special concert at New York's Apollo Theater on March 9th to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of satellite radio. The show, which is being held just three days after the release of Springsteen's new album, Wrecking Ball, will air live on SiriusXM's all-Springsteen channel.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band have joined the lineup of live performers at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 12th.
Katy Perry is in talks with Paramount to create a 3D movie documenting the singer's live show.
FOO'S GROHL TO PRODUCE TV SHOW FOR FOX:
Foo Fighters front man Dave Grohl has signed on to executive produce a new half-hour comedy for FX starring comedian Dana Gould. The show, to be written by Gould, will be about a rock band on the verge of stardom which must go into therapy in order to keep themselves from breaking up.
BLACK SABBATH PROBLEMS:
The Black Sabbath reunion has problems. Last month Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi announced that he was diagnosed with lymphoma, forcing to band to move their recording sessions to London and reportedly pull out of a planned Coachella headlining slot. Now drummer Bill Ward has issued a long statement indicating that he will not participate in the reunion unless he is presented with "signable contract" that "reflects some dignity and respect toward me as an original member of the band."
NICKI'S VIDEO A NO-GO AT BET:
BET has reportedly banned Nicki Minaj's video for "Stupid Hoe." The video, which was directed by music video legend Hype Williams, includes a flashing image of a naked Barbie doll with an expanding backside along with colorful images of cars, jungle cats and the rapper in a variety of wigs and outfits.
LivingSocial, the DC-based daily deals company, suffered a net loss of $558 million last year, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by minority owner Amazon.
Don Cornelius, who created the long-running R&B and dance-music showcase, "Soul Train," was found dead in his home in Sherman Oaks, CA, this week. He was 75. Law enforcement officials suspect suicide; the body was found with a gunshot wound to the head.
Renowned contemporary artist Mike Kelley, who had close and lifelong ties to the experimental rock world, was found dead of apparent suicide on Tuesday at his home in South Pasadena, CA. He was 57.
King Stitt, a pioneer of reggae toasting, died on Tuesday in Jamaica. Stitt, 72, passed away in his home in Kingston after battling prostate cancer and diabetes.
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
"My goal is to try and rescue the art form that I've been practicing for the past 50 years. We live in the digital age and, unfortunately, it's degrading our music, not improving it. Steve Jobs [was] a pioneer of digital music, and his legacy is tremendous. But when he went home, he listened to vinyl. And you've got to believe that if he'd lived long enough, he would have done what I'm trying to do."
-- Neil Young, during a panel discussion at this week's D: Dive Into Media conference in Southern California
"I think there's a new currency that's emerging in the music industry, which is how many people have shared a given song or a given artist on Facebook. This currency is going to become the new way that people talk whether the music blowing up, and we're just at the beginning of that now."
-- Facebook vice president of Partnerships Dan Rose at Midem on Monday.
"Vanna [White] and I would ... have two or three or six [margaritas] and then come and do the last shows and have trouble recognizing the alphabet."
-- Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak, recalling his early years on the game show when the wheel wasn't the only thing spinning
"This was a bad business decision. I really didn't think following my heart would create this much backlash."
-- Kim Kardashian, talking about the negative publicity she received after ending her 72-day marriage to Kris Humphries (What kind of heart do you really have Kim if it was a "bad business decision"?)
"There's backlash about everything I do. It's nothing new. When I walk outside, people have something to say about it. It wouldn't have mattered if I was absolutely excellent. People don't have anything nice to say about this project. I'm sure that's why you're writing about it."
-- Lana Del Ray, talking about the backlash from critics on her SNL performances
"I'm going to [the] hospital. Treatment for depression. Not at all well. But they will put me back together quick."
-- Sinead O'Connor tweeting to her fans this week. (Gee, what a surprise she's "not at all well", huh?)
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Scientists: 'Look, One-Third Of The Human Race Has To Die For Civilization To Be Sustainable, So How Do We Want To Do This?'
WASHINGTON-Saying there's no way around it at this point, a coalition of scientists announced Thursday that one-third of the world population must die to prevent wide-scale depletion of the planet's resources -- and that humankind needs to figure out immediately how it wants to go about killing off more than 2 billion members of its species.
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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