The Trend To Listen To Music Via Streaming Grows
June 22, 2012
"If I could reliably stream music for free to all of my portable devices I would use streaming sites exclusively."
-- Georgia Institute of Technology graduate McCall King, 23, who says she needs her music accessible all the time. (From the CNN article 'Young listeners opting to stream, not own music, you can read it : http://tinyurl.com/6u7p53z )
Back in 2005, I reported there was the speech by then Yahoo! Music VP/GM David Goldberg, in Las Vegas at NAB. "Goldberg predicted a lot of good things for music, consumers, and Internet radio (for which he said, 'what's very clear is that we're still early on in what is a pretty big opportunity.') But in his vision of the future of music, CDs will be replaced by a purely digital world of on-demand and subscription services; and he predicted eventually that music will no longer exist on broadcast radio."
I think Mr. Goldberg was very optimistic in his vision. After all, shortly thereafter Yahoo announced their new low-price music service, Yahoo Music Unlimited, which was priced at just $6.99 a month -- or $60 for a full year of service. We know how that ended up. It launched on May 11, 2005. The service was discontinued on September 30th, 2008.
Back in 2003, Steve Jobs said, "These [music subscription] services that are out there now are going to fail. Music Net's gonna fail, Press Play's gonna fail. Here's why: People don't want to buy their music as a subscription. They bought 45s; then they bought LPs; then they bought cassettes; then they bought 8-tracks; then they bought CDs. They're going to want to buy downloads. People want to own their music. You don't want to rent your music -- and then, one day, if you stop paying, all your music goes away."
As of yet, there hasn't been a successful subscription model that's worked for the music business, and I doubt one will ever take hold.
The article I reference above on CNN, only further evidences what I've known from doing the newsletter now for a decade and engaging in dialogue with a wide variety of readers: music is no longer considered as something special (as it was by all of us who grew up listening to the great artists from the 60's, 70's, 80's) by most consumers. Now it's just a part of their lifestyle, and it's a devalued commodity. It's nothing more that ear-candy/audio fashion statements.
Of course the availability to listen to a wealth of great music for FREE (and remember f-r-e-e is the best four letter word in the English language), is available online in a variety of places. More than the industry would like to acknowledge (all those offline Intranets keep growing, and the "darknets" are all over the globe)
And that's the problem in a nutshell. Free beats buying anything, right?
The economy has made a lot of people tighten their disposable dollar belts, and the young people who usually buy more music as active listeners, are being forced to tighten their as well. That makes streaming music whenever possible not only an option, but a choice that must be made.
I don't know if there will be any successful models that will emerge from those streaming music services that choose to make their future revenues from subscriptions. Right now, I just don't see it happening. It's hard to take money out of your pocket for something you have been used to getting for free.
And as people stream more for free (and still trade music online, burn copies, etc.), it will become increasingly harder to sell music to the next generation.
"The last time I bought a CD was probably in middle school, and I can't even remember what it was," said Sean Wilson, 21, of Atlanta, Georgia. "Ninety percent of my friends stream music. To be honest, I haven't seen someone use iTunes in a really long time."
There you go.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES: DIGITAL ROYALTIES FROM RADIO ARE STARTING TO ADD UP
SoundExchange, a nonprofit group that processes payments for online streams, announced that it has paid $1 billion to artists and record companies since its founding in 2000.
After more than a decade, the royalties for Internet radio and other digital music streams are finally starting to add up.
Read Ben Sisario's article in the New York Times here: http://tinyurl.com/8xoc2t3
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
CNET ASKS 'WHICH MUSIC SERVICE IS BEST FOR YOU?'
There are tons of online music services (Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, Mog, iTunes Match, Amazon -- the list goes on), but which ones deserve your time and money?
Read the article here: http://tinyurl.com/7cvf3vb
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
AMAZON'S MUSIC CLOUD SERVICE LICENSED WITH ALL LABELS
Amazon's cloud music service is fully licensed by the top-four record labels, numerous sources have told CNET.
The retailer has the licensing it needs to offer a scan-and-match feature similar to Apple's iCloud.
Read the rest here: http://tinyurl.com/7bju8t6
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
BREAKTHROUGH TRENDS IN THE INDUSTRY
This past week, Jay Frank had the pleasure of moderating a panel at New Music Seminar entitled "Breakthrough Trends Of The Music Industry." The panel was comprised of some of the brightest minds in the music business. These folks also know their statistics and where to get it.
The presentation had many amazing facts about where the music business is and where it's heading.
Check it out here: http://tinyurl.com/7ffsqkf
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
TOWER RECORDS HISTORY BEING ARCHIVED
Any of us that were lucky enough to experience shopping in a Tower Records store in the music business's "glory days" knew that when Tower finally closed their last store in 2006, it was the end of great music retail. The "big box" retailers steamrolled Tower and other great record stores out of business as labels sought bigger buy-ins on hit artists, and volume to increases the bottom line every quarter.
Now, Tower Records founder Russell Solomon has launched a new project to archive the history of the now disbanded Sacramento-based chain of record stores, reports USA TODAY. ( http://tinyurl.com/7z2wyyy )
Partnering with the Center of Sacramento History ( http://tinyurl.com/6o6xs2s ) Solomon has asked friends, fans and former Tower employees to donate objects of the chain's history (and for monetary donations). Solomon himself donated over 200 boxes of material, including "artwork, photographs, memorabilia, awards, business records and correspondence, office furnishings and even the neon signs from the first stand-alone store."
The actual processing, cataloging and archival process is expected to begin in September, with hopes of turning the project into a traveling exhibit by 2015. In 2006, Solomon was forced to close all of his 93 U.S. Tower locations after filing for Chapter 11 two years prior.
More details on the Tower Records Project are available on its website here: http://tinyurl.com/7qrx9zn
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
WARNER MUSIC SAY NO TO UNIVERSAL-EMI MERGER AT SENATE PANEL
Universal Music Group's chief executive told lawmakers on Thursday that the company's proposed $1.9 billion merger with EMI would be good for the industry by clearing the way for the record company to breathe new life into EMI.
Opponents of the transaction, led by Warner Music Group director Edgar Bronfman Jr., urged lawmakers to block a deal that would merge two of the four largest record labels, and according to critics, give Universal undue power over the distribution of music online.
But there's no more to the merger than just saying "big is bad."
Read the article on The Wrap here: http://tinyurl.com/7h2lcgj
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 8
IBM COMPUTER U.S. RECAPTURES WORLD'S FASTEST COMPUTER CROWN
IBM's Sequoia has taken the top spot on the list of the world's fastest supercomputers for the US.
The newly installed system trumped Japan's K Computer made by Fujitsu which fell to second place. It is the first time the US can claim pole position since it was beaten by China two years ago.
Read more here: http://tinyurl.com/85xrxx6
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 9
SIR PAUL TURNED 70 THIS WEEK
Sir Paul McCartney turned 70 this week, but there's no sign that age is slowing him down.
After closing the Queen's Diamond Jubille Concert in London just two weeks ago with an incredible and energetic set of his Beatle and solo hits, he's already back in the studio working on his next project. He'll open the 2012 Summer Olympics in London as well.
Here's some great articles about Paul that I thought you might like to read:
"Paul McCartney, Yesterday & Today" from Rolling Stone: http://tinyurl.com/8x9q3t3 and "The Best of Paul McCartney's Solo Years" with videos: http://tinyurl.com/873xwee
"Paul McCartney: He Had 'Stardom, Here I Come' Written All Over His Pretty Face" from The Wrap: http://tinyurl.com/bwf749w
"Paul McCartney's 40 Biggest Billboard Hits" (as a solo artist and as a Beatle) with many videos and audio for almost all: http://tinyurl.com/7hxh99j
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 10
FROM THE WRAP: 'ROCK OF AGES' HERE'S WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE
The Wrap's Steve Pond isn't talking about the box-office disappointment of "Rock of Ages."
Instead, he talks about what he disliked strictly from a personal point of view about some things less than authentic in the film. (Example: Tower Records didn't sell used albums or guitars)
And yes, he knows he's "nitpicking." But it's a good and a fun read. Check it out here: http://tinyurl.com/8974kht
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 11
COMING SOON TO RIDE WITH YOU IN YOUR CAR: SIRI
From Fast Company, "We know Steve Jobs dreamt of designing an iCar, and earlier this week we got a small hint at the big plans the Apple founder likely had for the auto industry.
At the company's WWDC keynote on Monday, Apple SVP Scott Forstall showed off a number of ways the company planned to unite mobile phones and automobiles, such as with turn-by-turn directions. But what really caught consumer and media attention is the new passenger Apple is adding to the car: Siri, the witty virtual assistant for the iPhone and now iPad, who will be making her way into a slew of vehicles in the coming year."
Read the rest here: http://tinyurl.com/6pt92y6
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 12
FORD AND COCA-COLA LIKE FACEBOOK
From Media Post," Who needs General Motors? On the heels of losing the carmaker's support, Facebook is getting separate nods from Ford Motor Co. and Coca-Cola Co. -- each of which say they are finding value in Facebook advertising. Ford, for its part, said it plans to expand its use of the social network with more advertising."
"The remarks amounted to major-player endorsements for Facebook's advertising business in the wake of the social network's disappointing initial public offering last month," writes The Wall Street Journal. Ford's global sales and marketing vice president, Jim Farley, said the automaker is deepening its use of social media, particularly on Facebook, to improve its image among potential buyers. "Someone who 'likes' you on Facebook is substantially more willing to advocate the brand," he said at an event, this week, WSJ reports.
In Cannes, Coca-Cola marketing chief Joe Tripodi said he was confident that Facebook ads probably helped drive beverage sales. "If we can get 40-million plus fans, or even some subset of them talking positively about the things we're doing, ultimately that's a good thing for us," he said, per WSJ. Last month, GM ended a $10 million campaign on Facebook, declaring that the paid ads had failed to impact car purchases.
Hold on to that Facebook stock and read the rest in the Wall Street Journal here: http://tinyurl.com/84klb5p
THE 'A-SIDE' - BONUS TRACKS
* Terrific article about "The Boss." 'Bruce Springsteen And The Song Of The Working Man' on CNN with a 22-minute film. If you're a fan, it's a must read: http://tinyurl.com/7q5tayw
* The Logitech Squeezebox is an excellent digital-music device that offers good sound quality and a great variety of source options, but it's not for casual users. http://tinyurl.com/74cq4qf
* Learn how to quickly find all the lame, forgotten media clogging up your iTunes collection, and purge it from your computer. http://tinyurl.com/7ososb4
* Microsoft breaks with tradition with an exciting piece of new hardware. The Surface is a 10.6-inch tablet and comes in two variations. Its awesome Touch Cover has a full keyboard and a touch pad. But how much will it cost? Check it out here: http://tinyurl.com/7hjgbss
*Remember The Jonas Brothers? Teen success is fleeting it seems and it might be happening to Justin Bieber. Check out 'Bieber Fever Cooling Off' here on kingsofA&R: http://tinyurl.com/8x84hh8
Short News Items ...
In Touch has learned Madonna's backstage rider FOR her MDNA states she is traveling with a whopping 200-person entourage including 30 bodyguards, personal chefs, a yoga instructor, an acupuncturist and even an on-site dry cleaner. That's not all! An insider tells In Touch that when Madonna's performing, she expects her dressing room to come equipped with 20 international phone lines, be draped in a special fabric and filled with lilies and white and light-pink roses that have stems trimmed to precisely six inches.
HE MIGHT BE THE HOTTEST THING IN RECORDS SALES, BUT HIS TV SPECIAL BOMBED:
Part 1 of the NBC special "Justin Bieber: All Around the World" aired to lackluster ratings Wednesday night, while "So You Think You Can Dance" propelled Fox to an overall win for the evening, according to preliminary numbers. "Justin Bieber: All Around the World" at 8p drew a 0.9/3 -- tying for the second-lowest-rated network program of the night, for just 3.3 million total viewers.
PETTY AND WINWOOD:
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers headlined a show in the U.K. this week with the first of two nights at the Royal Albert Hall. To celebrate, Petty welcomed Steve Winwood to the stage where he joined Petty to play "Gimme Some Lovin" and "Can't Find My Way Home."
THE LABEL PERRY:
Katy Perry is currently working on starting her own record label, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Perry has been signed to EMI's Capitol records since 2007. While there's no official news regarding where the imprint will exist, it will most likely be under the EMI/Capitol umbrella.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers plan to release 18 unheard songs from the sessions that produced their latest album, "I'm With You," over the next six months.
SMITH INTERVIEWS DONATED TO LIBRARY OF CONGRESS:
Former Capitol Records/EMI president Joe Smith has donated interviews with over 200 musical stars to the Library of Congress. In a statement, the Library noted that the tapes feature chats with Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Ella Fitzgerald, Paul Simon, Joan Baez, B.B. King, Tina Turner, Elton John and many others. The Library has digitized the recordings and will make them available in its Capitol Hill reading room. Some of the interviews will also be made available to stream on its website later this year.
STONES READY TO ROLL AGAIN?:
Rolling Stones insiders are saying the band will meet next month to discuss 50th anniversary plans and that they're strongly considering at least one date this year. "It's all very hush-hush," says Keith Richards, who was excited by the way the band sounded at rehearsals in April.
BOBBY BROWN MARRIES AGAIN:
Bobby Brown and manager Alicia Etheredge were married in Hawaii on June 18th, reports Us Weekly.
ANYBODY IN RADIO LOOKING TO PLAY A 14-MINUTE SINGLE?:
Yoko Ono and Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore have unveiled a new collaborative six-track album. YOKOKIMTHURSTON will arrive September 25th on Chimera Music, with the 14-minute lead single "Early in the Morning" available now.
Rihanna and ;The Big Bang Theory's; Jim Parsons are set to star in an upcoming DreamWorks animated film, Happy Smekday!, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
A former executive with Pearl Jam's management company has been accused of 33 accounts of theft, reports the Associated Press. Rickey Charles Goodrich, who was the chief financial officer for Curtis Management, is alleged to have swindled $380,000 from Pearl Jam from 2006 to 2010.
'American Idol' runner-up Jessica Sanchez will join the cast of 'Glee' for a multi-episode arc, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Stevie Wonder's nephew is facing felony charges of extortion against the singer, reports the Los Angeles Times. Alpha Lorenzo Walker, 38, and his girlfriend Tamara Eileen Diaz, 38, are accused of threatening to reveal information about Wonder if he did not pay the pair a substantial amount of money. Police say the couple attempted to finagle $5 million before dropping their demands down to $10,000.
WILL DOES GOOD:
Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am has donated $780,000 to The Prince's Trust, the charity organization run by Prince Charles. The money, donated through the musician's i.am angel Foundation, will go toward providing the U.K.'s disadvantaged youth with education, training and "enterprise schemes," the Trust said Thursday.
Workplaces likely saw a rise in productivity Thursday, as Twitter suffered periodic outages that of midday it was still trying to resolve. I guess all those waiting to read Ashton Kutchner's tweets were upset. (And for those who might actually believe the celebrities who are tweeting are really tweeting themselves, be aware that almost all have hired people to handle all their Twitter, FB, etc. social media)
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 said, 'Happy birthday to you, Paul.' He told me he was headed into Abbey Road. I told him we were on our way to Montreal. I think he said something like, 'Can you believe we made it this far?' It was very pleasant and sweet."
-- Brian Wilson, talking to Rolling Stone about his birthday phone call from Paul McCartney this past week. Wilson turned 70, as did Sir Paul back on the 18th.
"Even my son asked me, 'Dad, would you ever go back to playing songs like from [1994's] Dookie and [1992's] Kerplunk?' I love those records. I love the punk stuff I grew up on. But there are so many bands who make the mistake-'We're going back, old-school.' Well, that's all you're doing. You already did it. So we're changing the guitar sound. We're not going with the big Marshall-amp thing. We wanted something punchier, more power pop -- somewhere between AC/DC and the early Beatles. The last two records were studio albums. This one -- we started rehearsing every day, constructing these songs together. It felt like we were all in a room jamming -- everyone in the mix, throwing out ideas. If you listen to it, it feels grand. But it also feels like a garage band. The songs just kept coming, kept coming. I'd go, 'Maybe a double album? No, that's too much nowadays.' Then more songs kept coming. And one day, I sprung it on the others: 'Instead of Van Halen I, II and III, what if it's Green Day I, II and III and we all have our faces on each cover?'... The last record got so serious. We wanted to make things more fun."
-- Billie Joe Armstrong on Green Day's upcoming trilogy, from a Q&A with Rolling Stone's David Fricke.
"I think the Beatles made something that's kind of melancholic to sad and happy combined, and that's just amazing. I kind of analyze music a lot, and I think that what the Beatles have done is what we do today. [It] doesn't matter that we do dance music."
-- Swedish House Mafia's Sebastian Ingrosso, in Rolling Stone.
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Americans Enjoying 3 Months Of Vegging Out Before Responsibilities Of Fall Programming Resume
WASHINGTON-Saying they just need to relax after a "grueling" nine months of watching television, Americans across the nation are reportedly using the summer to recuperate before they take on the demanding responsibility of 2012's fall programming lineup.
U.S. residents said that because the upcoming television season will require long hours of tireless viewing that will keep them up until 11 p.m. most nights, they plan on taking the next three months off so they can start fresh in September.
"Between Game Of Thrones, a new season of Mad Men, and the final season of House, not to mention dozens of sitcoms and reality shows, this year's been a real grind," 38-year-old Omaha, NE resident William Bell said Sunday, adding that if he's going to do a good job watching television this fall, he needs to just zone out this summer.
Read the rest here and laugh: Click Here.
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"Work is life, you know, and without it, there's nothing but fear and insecurity." -- John Lennon