A Different View Of Piracy
February 10, 2012
"We could learn a lot from the music industry and the rather terrible ways they've tried to combat piracy ...We took something from the music industry, which was to stop treating the customers as users and start treating them as fans. Today, we talk about how many fans we have, because if we lose that fan base, our business is done. But if we can grow that fan base, our business will grow."
-- Mikael Hed of Rovio Mobile, whose Angry Birds is among the most successful games of all time, in a comment came during Midem
Last week I linked to an article in which Neil Young said "Piracy is the new radio. That's how music gets around. That's the real world for kids." ( http://tiny.cc/dg35y ) This week I read the above comment from Mikael Hed and thought it would make a good follow-up.
Read the rest of the article, and more of Hed's comments on piracy ( including this one: "Piracy may not be a bad thing: it can get us more business at the end of the day.") in the article here: http://tiny.cc/wj9cc
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
GREAT INTERVIEW WITH INTERSCOPE GEFFEN A&M CHAIRMAN JIMMY IOVINE IN THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
"At heart, I'm a second engineer," says the producer-turned-executive, referring to the studio role of ProTools expert and audio nitpicker. "But I see recording as part of an ecosystem. How we deliver music and how people receive it is important to me."
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
THE "THIRD WAVE" OF TV IS COMING
According to Google video head Salar Kamangar, connected TV will usher in an era of programming that will allow viewers to interact with content on their screen. He discussed his thoughts on where video entertainment is headed at News Corp.'s D: Dive Into Media conference.
The changes will constitute TV's "third wave," in which smaller groups of people gravitate toward thousands of niche channels,
Read the rest on CNN here: http://tiny.cc/ecr0u
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
MORE ON THE MEGAUPLOAD BUST AND ONGOING PIRACY WARS
From Rolling Stone, "Possibly the biggest anti-piracy bust of all time took place on January 20th, when a global sting operation led by the FBI and the Department of Justice brought down the file-sharing giant Megaupload - and arrested its founder, the 38-year-old German hacker and playboy Kim Dotcom. "I defy anyone to go back and find something bigger than this," says a source at a major record label. "This makes LimeWire look like kindergarten."
Read the rest here: http://tiny.cc/g108o
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
CBS & GRAMMYS ARE UTILIZING DIGITAL FOR MAXIMUM EXPOSURE
Unlike the Super Bowl, the actual, real-time Grammy Awards will be available only on broadcast TV (CBS) this year, but there will be a host of digital extras available on Grammy Live, "a three-day orgy of live-streaming and social media beginning this Friday and continuing through Sunday," with such events as "host-anchored behind-the-scenes coverage (with talent including Alison Haislip and John Norris) and video of other events leading up to the awards," writes GigaOm's Liz Shannon Miller.
Read the rest here: http://tiny.cc/fs7t5
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
FLASHBACK: THE RCA VIDEODISC SYSTEM
Many of you probably don't remember that from 1981 to 1984 RCA marketed the CED VideoDisc system.
It never had a chance.
Read more from CNET's Steve Guttenberg here: http://tiny.cc/e25cf
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
INTERNET & E-COMMERCE GROWTH EXPANDING GLOBALLY
Interest in Facebook's pending IPO is huge -- and for good reason: New research from GlobalWebIndex shows that nearly 60% of the world's Internet users manage a social network profile on a monthly basis.
Research also found that e-commerce is big business in developed markets and growing in emerging Internet economies.
Read the rest on MediaPost here: http://tiny.cc/5ya6f
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 8
INTERNET-ONLY TV HOMES SURGE 22.8%
Characterizing it as a "development to watch," Nielsen issued a new report to clients showing that the number of U.S. households that bypass cable or satellite TV and subscribe only to broadband Internet access has grown dramatically in the past year, and not surprisingly, they spend dramatically more time watching TV over the Internet.
Read the rest on MediaPost here: http://tiny.cc/b2wop
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 9
REDBOX TEAMS WITH VERIZON FOR STREAMING VIDEO; NEW COMPETITION FOR NETFLIX, AMAZON, AND MORE
Spelling trouble for Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, Redbox is teaming up with Verizon to launch a streaming video service.
"The announcement comes at an opportune time for Redbox, which has long been expected to introduce a streaming service to complement its DVD business," Fast Company reports.
Due out by the second half of 2012, the service should also better position Redbox parent Coinstar for the digital age. Also, "roping Redbox into the [joint venture] ... makes sense, because it will give the unnamed service a digital-plus-physical option," says All Things Digital. ( http://tiny.cc/fgrzj )
Read more on Fast Company here: http://tiny.cc/9fit8
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 10
THE iPAD3 COMING IN MARCH
With more competition that ever -- and without the star salesmanship of Steve Jobs -- can the iPad hold its edge? We'll found out in March, when Apple is reportedly planning to unveil the latest version of its popular tablet.
"If 2011 was the year of the iPad 2, will 2012 be the year of the iPad 3?" asks AllThingsD? In response, an optimistic source familiar with the device said: "What do you think?"
Notes VentureBeat: "There's no word yet on when the iPad 3 will actually be available (or if it will even be called that), but we can expect it within a week or two after the announcement." "Would you be surprised if Apple released a new iPad the first week of March?" GigOmasks. "We wouldn't."
"While information provided by sources can often be miles from the truth, the details listed in [AllThingsD's] report match some of the most persistent iPad 3 rumors," according to msnbc.com. "On top of that, the AllThingsD writer has a solid track record when it comes to sniffing out Apple event timing."
Read the rest here: http://tiny.cc/wuzx6
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 11
PRINT MAGAZINE SALES DROP BIG TIME
The bad news keeps getting worse for print media. All but four of the top 25 U.S magazines suffered declines in newsstand sales in the second half of 2011, for a total of almost 10% overall, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
The biggest loser was O, The Oprah Magazine, which tracked a 32% decrease in newsstand sales for that period from the year before. Its publisher, Hearst, looked to Oprah's retirement from broadcast TV in May 2011 as a big reason for the decline.
Celebrity magazines were also hard hit. And even "People, the Time Inc. flagship that still ranks as the country's most profitable magazine, saw the newsstand portion of its circulation tumble 12.3% to 1,106,244," writes Keith Kelly.
Read the rest here: http://tiny.cc/ipb2f
THE 'A-SIDE' - BONUS TRACKS
* If you're a Paul McCartney fan, you can view a selection of videos from his four-decade solo career, including some of his biggest hits and best album tracks on Rolling Stone here: http://tiny.cc/pap4b
* How can you invest in Facebook? The frenzy around the social-networking giant's upcoming IPO has made lots of people wonder whether owning a piece of Facebook might be a good investment for them. But how do you get in? Read more here: http://tiny.cc/t5dtm
* If you're a Wilco fan, check out a great interview with Jeff Tweedy here in which he talks about the band starting their own label, the band's creative process, and more: http://tiny.cc/k566t
* Attention artists: Facebook is the new database marketing. In that context, fans are opt-in subscribers; ad units are e-mail campaigns; apps are landing pages; and the fan page is your website. However, Facebook's environment has special nuances that must be managed in order to ensure fan engagement and the success of any marketing or advertising campaign. Understanding how to market on Facebook is vital to monetizing your fan base. Download this Webtrends Playbook now and you will learn: The do's and don'ts of wall posts and why some encourage fan engagement and others get filtered out by Facebook's ranking algorithm; How the Custom Tabs feature can create a fully branded fan experience by keeping landing pages within the context of Facebook.
Download the white paper here: http://tiny.cc/fwsua
And Now For Some News ...
Short News Items ...
ONWARD WITHOUT THEIR DRUMMER:
Black Sabbath have responded to drummer Bill Ward's open letter pledging to leave the band unless he is presented with a "signable contract." In a statement on Facebook, Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler indicated they will carry on with their new album and reunion tour without him.
LAMBERT WILL FRONT QUEEN, BUT FOR WHAT AND HOW LONG?
Former "American Idol" runner-up, Adam Lambert, is reportedly singing with Queen, replacing his own late idol, Freddie Mercury. Lambert broke the news to the U.K.'s Daily Star. The Daily Star item only mentions that Adam may perform with Queen at Sonisphere.
AS EXPECTED, THE ALBUM EXPLODES:
Lana Del Ray's album debuts at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart this week (and #1 in England, outselling the next top 5 albums).
WB LOSES MORE IN Q1:
Warner Music Group on Thursday reported flat revenue and a slightly higher loss for its fiscal first quarter. The music company posted a loss of $26 million, compared with a year-ago loss of $18 million. Revenue was virtually unchanged at $779 million in the quarter. Digital revenue rose 17% to $219 million.
MOVES LIKE A RECORD MOGUL:
Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine has announced the formation of 222 Records and its first signing: Glee star Matthew Morrison. An album is due out in Spring, according to a release being issued today.
AND SNOOP DOG WASN'T IN THE CAR:
Suge Knight was arrested in Las Vegas on Feb. 8, Knight was driving a black Bentley when he was pulled over for making an unsafe lane change. When officers ran his name through the law enforcement database, multiple warrants came up for additional traffic violations.
RINGO'S LATEST LINEUP:
Ringo Starr has announced the lineup for the newest All Starr Band. It will feature Todd Rundgren, Gregg Rolie (Santana), Steve Lukather (Toto), Richard Page (Mr. Mister) alongside saxophonist Mark Rivera and drummer Gregg Bissonette. The tour launches June 14th at the Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls and runs through July 21st at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles.
OSCAR SNUBS BEST SONGS:
This year's Academy Awards ceremony will skip performances of the songs nominated for Best Original Song, a tradition of the annual telecast. Deadline Hollywood reports that both Fox and Disney, the studios behind the two nominated songs from Rio and The Muppets, have formally protested the decision to drop musical performances, but have been shot down.
Jack White, Beck and Bon Iver will headline the 11th annual Sasquatch Music Festival at the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Washington this Memorial Day Weekend. The festival will also include performances by the Shins, Feist, the Roots, Tune-Yards, Wild Flag, Spiritualized, St. Vincent, the Walkmen, Girl Talk, Tenacious D, Explosions in the Sky, Gary Clark Jr., Beirut, the Joy Formidable, the Civil Wars, Silversun Pickups, M. Ward and Blitzen Trapper.
GAGA TOUR INFO:
Lady Gaga has revealed the stage plan for her forthcoming Born This Way Ball tour, which is schedule to launch later this year and run through 2013. In a tweet posted at midnight this week, the singer showed off a black-and-white drawing of the stage, which includes a medieval castle in the staging, along with an enclosed runway through the audience
YOU KNEW THIS WAS COMING AFTER THE HALF-TIME SUPER BOWL SHOW, DIDN'T YOU?
Madonna has announced a world tour in support of her new album, MDNA. She will kick off the tour with a concert in Tel Aviv, Israel on May 29th, and from there will move on Abu Dhabi and Istanbul before making her way through Europe. She will eventually arrive in North America and conclude that leg in Miami
WELL, AT LEAST HE WAS AT A CHURCH:
Randy Travis was arrested early this morning in Sanger, Texas after police found him in his truck, apparently intoxicated, in front of a Baptist church.
HALL OF FAME MAKE-UPS:
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will make up for past oversights at this year's induction ceremony by admitting the backing groups of six first-generation rock stars. The honored groups include the Blue Caps (Gene Vincent), The Comets (Bill Haley), the Crickets (Buddy Holly), the Famous Flames (James Brown), the Midnighters (Hank Ballard) and the Miracles (Smokey Robinson).
SPRINGSTEEN ANNOUNCES CLARENCE'S REPLACEMENT:
Bruce Springsteen has announced that Jake Clemons -- the nephew of former E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons -- will be taking over sax duties for his late uncle on the forthcoming "Wrecking Ball" Tour. He will be performing with a 4-piece horn section.
BACK ON THE ROAD AGAIN:
Merle Haggard performs at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. NoÃ«l Vasquez/Getty ImagesCountry legend Merle Haggard is set to hit the road again after a bout with double pneumonia that cut short his tour in January.
WELL, SURE, HAVE A BABY AND THEN MAKE MONEY ON ITS NAME:
Beyoncé and Jay-Z have filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to protect the name of their infant daughter, Blue Ivy Carter. The new parents have plans to reserve their child's name for possible use as a brand name for a line of baby-related products, including carriages, diaper bags and baby cosmetics.
THE VOICE DEBUTS SEASON 2 WITH BIG NUMBERS:
Following its Super Bowl lead-in, NBC's "The Voice" tracked numbers that were well above its 2011 averages on a par with what "American Idol" has been doing this season. If "The Voice" can hold these numbers, it has a real shot of competing with "Idol" for the status of TV's No. 1 reality show.
METALLICA HEADS TO JERSEY SHORE:
Metallica will come to Atlantic City this summer with the Orion Music + More Festival. Set for June 23rd and 24th, the event will feature headlining sets from the band each evening, during which they will perform two of their most enduring albums in their entirety: their 1991 eponymous fifth release ("The Black Album") one night and 1984's Ride the Lightning the other.
COUNTING CROWS SAY LISTEN FOR FREE:
Counting Crows, who left longtime label Geffen Records in 2009 to make music independently, will release their first full-length in four years -- titled "Underwater Sunshine (or What We Did on Our Summer Vacation)" -- on April 10th. But fans will get a first listen long before, when the Bay-area band streams the covers album in its entirety through Spotify and elsewhere online, including select radio stations.
KATY PERRY TEENAGE DREAM REDUX:
Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" album which spawned a record-tying five No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, will be re-released as a special edition on March 27th. "Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection" will feature three new songs, as well as four re-workings of her "Dream" hits, along with the entirety of the original album.
Don DeVito, an influential and respected record producer best known for his work on two of Bob Dylan's finest albums -- 1975's "Blood on the Tracks" and the following year's "Desire" -- died of prostate cancer this week. He was 72. In addition to producing albums for Dylan, whom he reportedly met through close friend Johnny Cash, DeVito worked with such rock luminaries as Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, Billy Joel, Janis Joplin and James Taylor. He earned a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album in 1989 for "Folkways -- A Vision Shared: A Tribute to Woody Guthrie & Leadbelly," and following the terror attacks of Sept. 11th, 2001, he helped organize "The Concert for New York City."
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
"Lana Del Rey seems to be bothering everybody because she allegedly 'remade' herself from a folk singing, girl-next-door type into an electro-urban kitty cat on the prowl (of course I like her), and they feel she is inauthentic. I would argue that the uncomfortable feelings she elicits are simply the by-product of watching a woman wanting and taking like a man."
-- Liz Phair, commenting on the Lana Del Ray critics backlash in the Wall Street Journal. (And with the success of Ms. Del Ray's album, who cares what the critics think?)
"Ima be, Ima be singing at the Grammys."
-- Six-time Grammy nominee Adele, announcing her first post-surgery performance with a lyrical sampling from The Black Eyed Peas, on Twitter
"I would've liked to have kept her. She was very gracious, and I said that to her. She understands it's business -- it's never personal."
-- Simon Cowell, on Paula Abdul's being let go as a judge on the X Factor
"The tune and the lyrics seem dashed off, and the aggressive, assaultive spunkiness makes you want to run and hide. Not even the presence of two of the world's most reliably irrepressible pop stars, Nicki Minaj and M.I.A., can lift this party out of the doldrums. N-O, thanks: don't wanna."
-- Jody Rosen's review of the new Madonna single "Give Me All Your Luvin" in Rolling Stone
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Report: Watching Episode of 'Downton Abbey' Counts As Reading Book
WASHINGTON-According to a report from the U.S. Department of Education released Thursday, watching a single episode of the British TV series Downton Abbey is the cultural and educational equivalent of reading an entire book.
Read the rest here and laugh: Click Here.
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