The Piracy Thing Yet Again
August 3, 2012
"A leaked presentation from the RIAA shows that online file-sharing isn't the biggest source of illegal music acquisition in the U.S. The confidential data reveals that 65% of all music files are "unpaid," but the vast majority of these are obtained through offline swapping. The report further shows that cyberlockers such as Megaupload are only a marginal source of pirated music."
-- From the article 'RIAA: Online Music Piracy Pales In Comparison to Offline Swapping' on Torrent Freak ( http://tinyurl.com/bqpzvw2 )
As I've mentioned previously, I started this newsletter a decade ago to address some of the issues the music industry was facing with the onslaught of online P2P file-sharing, AKA illegal downloading.
In many issues since then I often mentioned that piracy online would never be eliminated, and even if all the websites that people were downloading songs from (Napster, LimeWire, WinMx, etc.) were shut down, it wouldn't stop offline piracy and file swapping.
Of course "offline" can also mean Intranets, and they flourish in high schools an colleges everywhere. In some cases, groups of tech savvy youths set up there own Intranets for the express purpose of swapping files. And then there's the online but undetectable "darknets" I've talked about, that fly under the radar of those looking for them on the Internet.
The article I reference above states "This leads to the, for us, surprising conclusion that more than 70% of all unpaid music comes from offline swapping."
It isn't surprising to me at all.
For years I have heard everyone I know who has children, talk about how their children spend evenings on their computers either burning songs for friends, or e-mailing music back and forth. Did it ever occur to anybody in the music business the increase sales in blank recordable CDs for years was because of exactly those reasons?
If it did, then this new report should not be a surprise at all to anyone in the industry.
The article suggest that the RIAA might somehow go after offline swappers next. (All their efforts to thwart online piracy, despite the spin, have done nothing meaningful.)
"The TSA could perform piracy scans of travelers' computer equipment, for example. Or perhaps schools could search MP3 players, phones and computers of their students for unpaid music?"
Good luck to the RIAA on any of those efforts. And as for the possibility of the TSA getting involved? LOL. I think we've all read enough about TSA employees to know that it would take a lot of technical training for them to even attempt something like this.
And doesn't it all sound so Big Brother ala Orwell's '1984'?
Of course any and all efforts like these will all fail anyway.
Those that are tech-savvy will surely figure out how to get around anything implemented.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
CNN ASKS 'HAS IMAGE OVERTAKEN MUSIC'? (DUH!)
Billy Joel said," Before MTV music said LISTEN to me, and after MTV it said LOOK at me."
That quote, which I've used in the newsletter a dozen times when talking about the style/image versus content issue, sums up so much of what has happened to popular music over the last three decades.
"They want to be famous, not make music," says Lyndsey Parker, managing editor of Yahoo! Music, of some of the new breed. "The music is just one facet of the celebrity."
But then again, being a popular artist has always made the artist(s) celebrities, hasn't it Lyndsey?
Read the article on CNN here: http://tinyurl.com/d3ty2an
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
SO YOU CAN ACTUALLY SELL GOOD QUANTITIES OF MUSIC WITHOUT BEING SIGNED TO A LABEL?
I had heard about Alex Day before, but lost the link to the story telling about his success.
My thanks to DigSin's Jay Frank for posting the update story on Techdirt on Facebook.
Read this short interview with Alex and how he's sold 500,000 songs, has over 100 million YouTube views, and secured 500,000 YouTube subscribers here on Tunecore: http://tinyurl.com/bwzsbkp
The read 'Alex Day Sells Half A Million Songs By Breaking All The Rules' on Techdirt here: http://tinyurl.com/cjx4hwt
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
FROM FORBES: 'IS SPOTIFY BECOMING THE NEW MUSIC BUSINESS?'
A terrific article in Forbes.
"It sounds like a slightly odd idea, that a streaming service is becoming the music business, but there's at least an element of truth to it. The amount that the company is paying in royalties is becoming significant."
Read it on Forbes here: http://tinyurl.com/bm9cy2o
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THAT MYSPACE MAKEOVER?
Well, it's been a year since the media hoopla about Specific Media and Justin Timberlake buying MySpace with plans to turn it into a great online destination for musicians and music.
What's going on? Not much yet.
Read about it here on The Wrap: http://tinyurl.com/c324p8b
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
THAT SCATHING REVIEW OF THE CHRIS BROWN ALBUM
It's not everyday that a bad review of an album goes viral.
In the case of Chloe Papas' review of Chris Brown's new album 'Fortune,' that is exactly what has happened.
From The Huffington Post, "Papas holds nothing back as she decimates Brown's album. "Chris Brown has released his fifth studio album -- a 19-track repugnant record that we can only hope will be his last," she wrote. Papas doesn't immediately go after Brown for his personal history, instead taking issue with his music. She called Brown's song "Till I Die" a "a catastrophic misogynistic sh-t of a song," and added that the entire album is "skitzy" with only two themes: "Unprotected sex is cool and partying is fun."
Read more on The Huffington Post here: http://tinyurl.com/dycvhcr
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
BOOK REVIEW: 'MUSIC, SOUND AND TECHNOLOGY IN AMERICA'
From the Wall Street Journal come this great review of the new book, "Music, Sound, and Technology in America," an anthology of fascinating artifacts whose prosaic title belies its insights into the early years of the recorded-sound era," by Andy Battaglia.
The book sounds like a fascinating read (I've ordered my copy already) and should be required reading in any college/university offering courses on the subjects in the title.
Read the review and more info here: http://tinyurl.com/c92ndj3
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 8
MASSIVE TABLET GROWTH THANKS TO THE iPAD
Apple now owns 68.2% of the tablet market worldwide -- up from a 61.5% share a year ago. Samsung is next in line with 9.6%, and Amazon with 5%.
From MediaPost, "Tablet shipments and adoption are in high acceleration mode as the new iPad helped drive the platform into new sales territory in Q2. According to IDC's Quarterly Media Tablet Tracker, 25 million units shipped in Q2 -- a 33.6% increase from the previous quarter's 18.7 million and 66.2% over the same period in 2011.
Read more here: http://tinyurl.com/dyqqzwt
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 9
MORE PEOPLE STREAMING TV ON THE INTERNET
Americans spend 35 hours each week watching content, and 94% of that is still on a traditional television.
But increasingly, Nielsen reports, what people are watching on their TVs is being streamed via the Internet.
Read Nielsen's report 'I Want My IPTV! The Growth Of Connected Television' here: http://tinyurl.com/c2ckvv5
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 10
FACEBOOK TELLS US 83 MILLION USER ACCOUNTS ARE FAKE
Officially, Facebook says it has about 955 million monthly active users.
However, as the company revealed this week in its 10-Q filing, it estimates that 8.7% -- or 83 million -- of those accounts are fake. "That's a huge jump, both in raw numbers and as a percentage, from Facebook's last estimate," CNET reports. "Back in March, Facebook said 5% to 6% of accounts are false or duplicate. At the time, this meant between 42.25 million and 50.70 million users." Why the jump? Facebook, to its credit, now appears to be doing a better job of identifying and classifying fakes.
Read the rest here: http://tinyurl.com/culrere
THE 'A-SIDE' - BONUS TRACKS
* Apple says Mountain Lion was downloaded over 3 million times in its first four days of availability, "making it the most successful OS X release in Apple's history." Read more here: http://tinyurl.com/c5f9xgo
* Apple will release the iPhone 5 and Mini-iPad this September: http://tinyurl.com/canlgal
* Eleven of the best-sounding in-ear, noise-canceling, and audiophile headphones, priced from $22 to $1,945: http://tinyurl.com/bnjxdwf
* Even as almost everything else in technology changes at breakneck speeds, e-mail continues to stay relatively constant. With its new Outlook.com e-mail, though, Microsoft is trying to change that perception. And by most measures it succeeds. Designed as an eventual replacement to Hotmail, the free browser-based service sports a strikingly simple interface, Skydrive and social media integration, and lots of tweaks both new and familiar. http://tinyurl.com/c2zlams
Short News Items ...
OLYMPIC OPENING CEREMONY ROCKS RATINGS:
NBC had the most-watched Olympics Summer Games opening ceremony and first night of competition for a non-U.S. Summer Games on record. The opening ceremony had 40.7 million viewers and scored a 21.0 national rating and 37 share.
Bob Dylan's 35th studio album, "Tempest," is scheduled for release on September 11th. The title track is a nearly 14-minute depiction of the Titanic disaster. The album's final track is a tribute to John Lennon, "Roll on John." In one verse Dylan references the Beatles songs "Come Together," "Ballad of John and Yoko" and "Slow Down;" elsewhere on the ballad he combines the metaphysical with the historical.
HBO plans a documentary on the Rolling Stones to coincide with the group's 50th anniversary, to be directed by Brett Morgen ("The Kid Stays in the Picture").
BILLIE JO JOINS CHRISTINA:
Billie Joe Armstrong has been tapped as a mentor for NBC's "The Voice," reports The Associated Press. The Green Day frontman will join Christina Aguilera's team to help advise contestants in the singing competition.
THE BOSS STAYS ON THE ROAD:
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band haven't even begun their U.S. summer stadium tour, but they've already announced another run through North American kicking off October 19th in Ottawa and wrapping up December 6th in Glendale, AZ.
MADONNA BLOWS IT IN PARIS:
French fans booed and expressed anger at Madonna for cutting short her show at the famed Paris concert hall l'Olympia after about 45 minutes. After Madonna left the stage, fans remained in their seats booing and yelling insults like "salope," the French word for "slut."
CARRIE DUETS WITH TYLER:
Carrie Underwood duets with Steven Tyler on the song "Beautiful" on the upcoming Aerosmith album.
Lady Gaga is set to make her acting debut in director Robert Rodriguez's upcoming film sequel to 'Machete,' 'Machete Kills.' Gaga will play La ChameleÃ³n, though details on the character are sparse.
A judge has granted Sheryl Crow a temporary restraining order against a man who is accused of threatening to shoot the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter. The order requires Phillip Gordon Sparks, 45, to stay 100 yards away and not attempt to contact Crow, her family or any of her workers.
SEEGER SETS 2 FOR RELEASE:
Pete Seeger will release two albums simultaneously this fall, including one featuring Bruce Springsteen, Steve Earle, Tom Morello, Emmylou Harris and more, reports Billboard. The folk icon will release "A More Perfect Union" - a 14-track album with all-new material written with Lorre Wyatt, featuring duets with Seeger and other musicians - and "Pete Remembers Woody," a two-CD set honoring Woody Guthrie's centennial. Both will be available September 25th on Appleseed Recordings.
32 YEARS LATER:
Ten Who fans have redeemed their canceled tickets to a 1979 show in Providence, RI, for new tickets to the band's local "Quadrophenia" tour stop next February, reports the Providence Journal.
4-HOUR PLUS BOSS:
Bruce Springsteen has finally played a four-hour concert. It happened this week at Olympic Stadium in Helsinki, Finland, where Springsteen and the E Street Band wrapped up their summer tour of Europe with a marathon set clocking in at four hours and five minutes.
TAYLOR SWIFT & A KENNEDY:
Taylor Swift has quietly begun dating Conor Kennedy, the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, a source close to the situation confirms to Gossip Cop. The pair spent last weekend at the Kennedy family compound in Hyannis Port, MA.
NO SNOOP IN NORWAY:
Snoop Dogg is officially persona non grata in Norway. The country has banned the rap star for two years after he was caught with eight grams of marijuana at an airport last month, the Daily Mail reports.
MANN XMAS LP:
Chris Mann, the classically trained singer who was on "The Voice" last season and a big audience favorite, will release a collection of holiday songs before his full-length album comes out Oct. 30th.
OPRAH'S NETWORK (OWN) SO FAR IS NOT MAKING MONEY, THIS WON'T HELP:
OWN is giving LaToya Jackson a reality show. "Life With LaToya" is one of three new series OWN announced Thursday. (And who the hell would watch this show?)
GET WELL WISHES:
Darlene Love, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer who's considered one of the best background singers of all time, is recovering from a mild heart attack. Her agent Eric Stevens says the 71-year-old experienced some discomfort prior to a performance over the weekend in Asbury Park, N.J. As the pain grew a day later, Love went to a hospital and was told she suffered a mild heart attack. Steven says doctors "expect a 110% recovery as early as next week" for Love. She has returned home and her planned concerts will go on.
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 feel like the fans deserve a lil no Wayne. I've been everywhere. I've been out on everybody's song, I'm still on everybody's song, my artists are doing awesome. I believe the fans deserve some peace from me. I be on my skateboard in the meantime."
-- Lil Wayne, taking a break from recording to pursue his latest passion, skateboarding. (And will anybody miss him?)
"There's one more Hootie record and tour that we're going to do. I don't know when, because Country music is my day job -- it's what I want to do."
-- Darius Rucker, in Billboard, talking about the possibility of a Hootie and The Blowfish reunion
"It was something to do while the storm blew by, to be honest. I loved it and hated it. It was a great job, I sat next to J. Lo and I made a ton of money. It was a moment in life and it became larger than life."
-- Steven Tyler, talking about his stint as a judge on "American Idol," for which he was reportedly paid $10 million a season, now calling the show "not my cup of tea." (Yeah, but you liked that $10 million a year, didn't you Steven?)
"If this was a first record by a new band, I'd be floored. If you like guitars and drums, this is right up your alley. Which is better than right up your ass. It's relentless til the end. We're not doing thrash. We're not doing any of that stuff. It's straight meat and potatoes. No messing around. And no ballads, no string choirs, no little boys doing a cappella, no eunuchs singing background."
-- Gene Simmons in Rolling Stone, talking about Kiss's new album, "Monster," which will be released October 16th
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Bob Costas About 2 Seconds Away From Comparing Badminton Scandal To 1919 Black Sox
LONDON-Speaking in measured, purposeful tones, NBC Olympic sportscaster Bob Costas is at this moment very close to comparing the current badminton match-fixing controversy to the 1919 Black Sox scandal, sources have confirmed.
"As sports fans, we've come to expect greatness from our heroes, and the present badminton scandal reminds me of how, at times, those heroes can fail us, and fall short of our expectations," said Costas, his unbreaking gaze fixed directly on the camera.
Read the rest here and laugh: Click Here.
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