Adele Continues To Roll In The Deep ... The Song Is The Thing, Part 2
February 24, 2012
"It's the songs and Adele's incredible vocal talent that drove her album to seven times Platinum and counting. There are no concept videos that make one scratch their head and wonder what they mean, and she doesn't perform with a stage show like many other artists, who do so to distract the audience from the fact that their songs are either weak, or the content is lacking."
-- From 'Oh, What A Night, The Song Is The Thing' - DISC & DAT, 2/17/12
Last week my commentary was about the Grammy broadcast and how the success of Adele and others was directly related to great SONGS. One week after the show, a year after here '21' album was released, Adele had her biggest sales week ever, selling over 730,000 units. Her '19' album also is now in the top five on the album charts as well. Quite a feat indeed for any artist, and something to be celebrated by all in the industry.
And all she did was get up on the stage and sing. No dancers, no special effects, no fireworks.
The album is now over 18 million sales globally. Yup, songs are powerful when sung by artists with real vocal talent.
It means that people are actually LISTENING to the SONGS and they don't care about the flashy videos when the songs engage them emotionally. It means that people are very willing to open their wallets and PAY for great music in huge quantities while piracy and illegal file-sharing are still rampant.
Yeah. The MUSIC and the SONGS.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
BERKLEE MUSIC OFFERS COURSE IN ROCK HISTORY
Discover the history of rock 'n' roll in more detail than you can imagine. Learn about the revolutionary artists and unsung heroes who defined rock. Study the musical and business trends, the major technological innovations, and the historical context that have shaped rock music over the past 60 years.
You will be encouraged to think independently by participating in online discussions about key trends and developments in rock history, in addition to completing assignments that require added research and exploration to gain new perspectives. We'll look at the past, but also where rock music is going, treating rock 'n' roll as a vibrant, fluid attitude where nothing is sacred or predictable.
To read more about the course go here: http://tiny.cc/mtcr0
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
GOOGLE GLASSES? READ ON...
Google appears to be moving full speed ahead with the release of heads-up display glasses.
"People who constantly reach into a pocket to check a smartphone for bits of information will soon have another option: a pair of Google-made glasses that will be able to stream information to the wearer's eyeballs in real time," reports The New York Times. (Read the New York Times piece here: http://tiny.cc/ktqza )
As CNet recalls (http://tiny.cc/1bmuz), rumors that the HUD Google Glasses were in the works have been brewing for the past couple of months. "After accounts that Google was finishing up the prototype in December, tech news site 9to5Google reported that a tipster actually saw the glasses."
The Next Web writes (http://tiny.cc/0t77c) that "Such a concept would allow you to check into a location -- as you can now do on Latitude's iPhone app and now on Google+ -- using the glasses, while services like Google Maps search would show locations that are around the wearer in real time."
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
AN INDIE SEZ IT'S 'TIME FOR VEVO TO PAY UP'
Songs Music Publishing CEO Matt Pincus says VEVO is systematically skipping payments to indie publishers. The bilk seems to be happening through highly-inclusive deals involving Vevo's major label and joint venture partners, according to the Pincus' op-ed (published in the Wrap).
Pincuz says ""What has gotten far less attention is the fact that independent publishers and the many songwriters we represent, have not received any money from Vevo. Ever. That's right. Vevo: $150 million. Independent publishers and songwriters: Zero."
Read Pincuz's argument here: http://tiny.cc/8cjyy
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
'AMERICAN IDOL' NOW #2 TO 'THE VOICE'
It looks like the love fest the judges on "American Idol' have every week might make the contestants happy, but the audience watching at home has definitely moved on. Yes, "Idol" still has big ratings and is a financial juggernaut, but NBC's "The Voice" is now the top-rated show of the season.
Read more here: http://tiny.cc/s4fwi
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
THE WHITE HOUSE REVEALS 'CONSUMER PRIVACY BILL OF RIGHTS'
Responding to widespread complaints about the privacy practices of Internet companies like Facebook and Google, the Obama administration unveiled its "Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights," a framework for protecting the personal data or web users.
Read the White House's official press release here: http://tiny.cc/0h2xg
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
RESTORM.COM AUTOMATES MUSIC LICENSING (WITH VIDEO)
Restorm.com this week launched rightclearing, a cloud-based music licensing platform, and disclosed that its initial partner is music licensing pioneer Rumblefish.
How does copyright work and why does music need to be licensed? How can you get your song into adverts, films or video games? How can you earn money with the usage rights to songs if you're an independent artist and don't want to join a big label? And how can you license music for your YouTube Video, so you won't be sent a takedown notice?
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 8
CNET'S LIST OF THE 12 BEST MUST-HAVE GADGETS
These are currently the 12 absolute coolest consumer tech objects money can buy.
They aren't the most expensive or the weirdest -- they are quite simply the must-have gadgets for tech lovers.
See the list here: http://tiny.cc/a1200
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 9
SMALLER iPAD BEING TESTED
An Apple tablet with a smaller display is undergoing tests, says a Taipei-based market researcher, which also released a 2012 tablet market forecast.
Read more on CNET here: http://tiny.cc/qy81c
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 10
COMCAST GOES AFTER NETFLIX WITH NEW STREAMING SERVICE
This week Comcast will roll out Xfinity Streampix, a streaming on-demand service available free to high-end subscribers, and for a lower-than-Netflix rate of $4.99 to users with more basic packages. Adding to the catalog of its previous Web and iPad streaming service, XfinityTV, the new offering will include "older, back-catalog content" through deals with Disney, NBC Universal, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros., writes Ryan Lawler.
"Importantly, Comcast has no plans to make Streampix available as a standalone service: To get it, you must subscribe to both Comcast's TV and broadband services," writes Lawler. "That means so-called cord-cutters or Internet-only subscribers, need not apply."
Read the rest on GigaOm here: http://tiny.cc/3ede6
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 11
ARE RABBIT EARS MAKING A COMEBACK?
From the Wall Street Journal come the news that rabbit ears could start breeding again as part of the cord-cutting trend against cable TV, reports Christopher S. Stewart.
"With an increased array of online-video programming now drawing viewers' attention, companies are starting to pitch consumers on complementing online video streamed from the Web with broadcast-TV signals as a way to save money on cable subscriptions," he writes.
Consumers are responding to this pitch to return to over-the-airwaves broadcast TV -- but "there are a lot of moving parts," to keep straight, as one source notes in the piece. Stewart analyzes the challenges to such a move -- including the fact that "the big media companies that own the major broadcast networks are generally eager to preserve the current cable-centric model."
Read the rest here: http://tiny.cc/qio7x
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 12
INTERNET MOVIE RENTALS ARE HURTING PAY-TV
Pay TV operators are starting to lose their long-standing dominance over movie rentals to services that give consumers more control, with 16% of all paid on-demand movie rental transactions going to their Internet-based competitors in 2011.
According to a report by the NPD Group "The emerging Internet video-on-demand (iVOD) movie market reached $204 million and is growing quickly, which may already be leading to consumers reducing their use of pay-TV VOD a-la-carte movie services. In fact, there were four million fewer pay-TV VOD users who paid additional fees to watch movies in August of 2011 compared to August 2010."
Read the rest here: http://tiny.cc/bzbal
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 13
STORES TO USE FACIAL RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY TO INCREASE SALES
"Advertisers will be able to "drill down" to specific demographics eventually. If you saw the film "Minority Report," you saw what the ultimate digital advertising dream is. Director Steven Spielberg consulted with many Madison Avenue executives for those scenes where commercials were shown aimed at Tom Cruise's character as he walks through a mall. So, the technology is in place and very shortly all traditional broadcast advertising/marketing as we now know it will go out the windows of the high floors in the hundreds of agencies that have Madison Avenue addresses." -- From the article 'The Media Is The Massage, And It's About To Massage Us Even More' in DISC & DigitalAudioTechnology, August 2004
Back in 2010 I reported that companies were already in the process of developing facial recognition technology ('Here Comes The Future Again', DISC & DAT August 5, 2010) and this week comes more news that it's a reality and about to happen.
Read about it here: http://tiny.cc/2skro
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 14
CABLE-TV IS GOING TO THE DOGS ... NO, REALLY
No, this is not from The Onion.
A cable channel that carefully avoids loud noises and, of course, that doggy nemesis -- cats? Yep, it's DogTV, featuring three-to-five minute programs designed to entertain stay-at-home pups, now available only in San Diego via Time Warner and Cox.
The network is currently free but will eventually charge a monthly subscription fee of $5, and is looking to expand into other markets. DogTV "can't exactly sell ad space," notes its co-founder. But what about ads targeted to times when dog owners are turning on the TV before leaving for work -- or coming home?
Read the rest here: http://tiny.cc/ifqyw
THE 'A-SIDE' - BONUS TRACKS
* The Audioengine 5+ powered speakers deliver excellent sound quality and provide a clutter-free way to listen to smartphones, iPods, or any other audio source. See why CNET gave these bad boys an Editors' Choice award. These are speakers you should definitely check out. Check them out here: http://tiny.cc/wl6ok
* "Mad Men" fans rejoice: The long wait is almost over, and new promos for the March 25 Season 5 premiere suggest Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and his New York City advertising cohorts will be up to their lusty shenanigans once again. Check out the trailers here: http://tiny.cc/kgavx
* Bruce Springsteen is previewing tracks from his 17th studio album, Wrecking Ball, on the backstreets.com website, which kicked off this week with "Easy Money." One new song will be rolled out daily until Friday (3/2), with the full release scheduled for Tuesday (3/6). "Shackled and Drawn" is already streaming on rollingstone.com. The rest of the songs stream as follows: "Jack of All Trades" (2/22), "Death to My Hometown" (2/23), "This Depression" (2/24), "Wrecking Ball" (2/27), "You've Got It" (2/28), "Rocky Ground" (2/29), "Land of Hope and Dreams" (3/1) and "We Are Alive"
* Comedian Lewis Black gave his review of media coverage of Whitney Houston's death on Tuesday's "Daily Show," and, not surprisingly, it was puns riffing off Houston's songs and Nancy Grace's (ugh) attempt to spark a murder mystery story that got his dander up the most. Watch it here: http://tiny.cc/91g5u
* Gmail is great and nearly ubiquitous, but with its recent redesign, some of its smartest and best features are hidden. These tricks and add-ons can help you make it better. http://tiny.cc/15snc
Short News Items ...
TOWNSEND SELLS HIS PUBLISHING:
On January 24th, Pete Townshend announced he was selling all of the publishing rights to his vast catalog of songs to the Spirit Music Group, a boutique firm that controls some or all of the rights to songs by acts from the Grateful Dead to Lou Reed, which now plans to place the Who's music even more aggressively in movies, TV and other media.
WELL, THAT WAS FAST:
Whitney Houston has barely been dead a week, and already several of her belongings -- including a pair of earrings and a vest that she wore in the 1992 movie "The Bodyguard" -- will go on the auction block next month in the Hollywood Legends auction, which will be held at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills on March 31st and April 1st.
PERRY HITS #1 AGAIN:
Katy Perry's "Part of Me" lands at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It's her seventh #1 single.
SABBATH REUNION TOUR RE-NAMED:
Black Sabbath's reunion plans have been put on hold for the time being, the band has announced it will now play just one European show, at the U.K.'s Download Festival in June. Due to guitarist Tony Iommi's ongoing treatment for lymphoma, the remaining European shows will be billed as "Ozzy & Friends."
IT WAS JUST A MATTER OF TIME:
The Beatles first ringtones were released this week on iTunes.
Simon Cowell says that when "The X Factor" returns for a second season, there will be two hosts to replace departed emcee Steve Jones.
JANET A JUDGE?:
Janet Jackson is in talks to become a judge on the next season of The X Factor, According to the Hollywood Reporter
MORE PROOF THAT YOU DON'T NECESSARILY HAVE TO HAVE MUCH TALENT ANYMORE TO CONTINUE TO GET SHOW-BIZ GIGS:
Lindsay Lohan will be hosting 'Saturday Night Live' on Saturday, March 3rd .
John Mayer released a snippet of a new single, "Shadow Days," on his official Tumblr page last week.
Bob Seger is hard at work on his first studio collection since 2006's "Face The Music" and hopes to have it out by late September.
"THE VOICE" JUDGES WILL ALL COME BACK:
All four "Voice" judges (Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Cee Lo) will return to the NBC hit for a third season that will air -- for the first time -- in the fall and go up against 'The X Factor' on Fox.
The producers of 'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark' have settled their legal dispute with a trade association representing the musical's former director, Julie Taymor. Under the agreement, Taymor will receive full royalty fees for work as a director through the production's duration, as well as undisclosed fees for her work in developing the show.
SONGWRITERS HALL OF FAME NODS:
Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Seger, Don Schlitz, Harvey Schmidt & Tom Jones and Jim Steinman will become the newest members of the Songwriters Hall of Fame at the organization's 43rd Annual Induction and Awards Dinner, slated for Thursday, June 14 at N.Y.'s Marriott Marquis Hotel
Adam Lambert has confirmed through Twitter that he will be performing with Queen this summer. The "American Idol" star will join guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor on July 7th, as Queen headlines the second day of the Sonisphere Festival at Knebworth Park in England.
NEW NORAH JONES COMING:
Norah Jones will release her new Danger Mouse-produced album, "Little Broken Hearts," on Blue Note/EMI, May 1.
SUPREME COURT REJECTS SPECTOR:
The United States Supreme Court has declined to review the murder conviction of Phil Spector. The court upheld Spector's second-degree murder conviction for the killing of actress Lana Clarkson, who was shot dead in Spector's suburban Los Angeles home in 2003.
NO GO FOR JACKSON'S DAD:
A judge has dismissed concert promoter AEG Live from a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Michael Jackson's father.
MOTORHEAD SEZ DON'T BUY THIS:
Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister is urging fans not to purchase The Complete Early Years, a 15-disc box set compiling the band's music that is being sold for over $600. "Unfortunately greed once again rears its yapping head," Kilmister wrote on the band's official website. "I would advise against it even for the most rabid completists!" (At $600 a pop, I don't think they'll be many people rushing out to buy it anyway, Lemmy)
ADELE WINS BRIT ALSO:
Adele received more honors this week at the BRIT Awards in London, where she took home the prizes for female solo artist and Album of the Year. Other Awards included singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, who won for male solo artist, and Lana Del Rey, who won the award for international breakthrough act. Coldplay won for British music group, and Foo Fighters won for international music group.
"The Descendants" and "Midnight in Paris" took home the top film awards from the Writers Guild of America on Sunday night. Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash won for their adapted screenplay to "The Descendants," while Woody Allen was honored for his original screenplay for "Midnight in Paris." Both are among the favorites for the screenwriting awards at this weekend's Academy Awards.
Michael Davis, 68, bassist for influential late '60s Detroit political rock band MC5, has died of liver failure, at Enloe Medical Center in Chico, CA, last Friday (2/17), after a month-long hospitalization.
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
"I'm done with being a bitter witch."
-- Grammys' golden girl Adele, sharing her plans to "never writing a breakup record again," to Vogue
"If you have to make a song called 'Stupid Hoe,' you must be a stupid hoe."
-- Lil' Kim, voicing her disapproval of Nicki Minaj's bizarre antics, on Bravo's 'Watch What Happens Live'
"I don't know how many people were in the stadium, but they didn't exist. All that existed was me and Madonna. In rehearsal, she said, "If you were working out more, you could lift me a little easier." Her biceps were way more cut up than mine. She was like, "Get a jump-rope.""
-- LMFAO's Redoo, talking about Madonna and his appearance with her during her Super Bowl half-time show
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Leaf From "Tree Of Life" Frontrunner For Best Actor Oscar
On Star Fix, entertainment insiders say this might be the year Hollywood's favorite leaf, which has appeared in more than 70 films, finally takes home the Academy Award.
Read the rest here and laugh: Click Here.
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