Turning Money Into Music
August 10, 2012
"Talking about how he makes money, the independent musician Jonathan Coulton has compared his business to a "special engineered cow who eats music and poops money." Coulton doesn't have any idea what happens inside the cow's gut, but that's okay. Money comes out the business end."
-- From the article "HOW YOU CAN TURN MUSIC INTO MONEY (SPOILER: MOSTLY iTUNES) on The Atlantic
"And that's how it is for most online musicians, or artists generally, in today's digital economy. If they're lucky enough to make money, they may not heavily analyze the particulars. They feed the cow music, and out comes the money."
A terrific article, and you can read the rest on The Atlantic here: http://tinyurl.com/8o34yjm
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
CNET ASKS CAN AMAZON BEAT iTUNES MATCH?
CNET's Donald Bell compares Apple's iTunes Match cloud music service to Amazon's Cloud Player, recently updated with scan and match song identification and a paid tier with a 250,000-song limit.
Check out the side by side comparisons and decide: http://tinyurl.com/8dym5kc
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
READ HOW DIGSIN'S JAY FRANK BUILDS AUDIENCE WITH HIS DIGITAL KNOWLEDGE
A terrific article in The Tennessean about DigSin's CEO Jay Franks, and his digital strategy for the company in a very competitive music market.
"We simply have a different cost structure than a major label," Frank says.
"Philosophically, I'm asking how can I increase the odds of a song becoming a hit while minimizing losses."
Read the article here: http://tinyurl.com/8rkywaf
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
ONLINE RADIO SERVICE TUNEIN IS UP TO 40 MILLION USERS
From All Things Digital, "The TuneIn app keeps a low profile, despite being a much-depended-on utility for people who want to listen to audio streams and podcasts on their phones, in their cars, on their TVs and other devices. TuneIn is now up to 40 million active users, largely in the U.S., up from 30 million in October. "
Read more here: http://tinyurl.com/co6zzel
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
HARD ROCK CAFé, THE HARD ROCK HOTEL, AND NOW -- HARD ROCK RECORDS
The brand is known pretty much worldwide, and now it's going to be a record label.
"More or less, it's a marketing budgeted expense that gives us the freedom to not worry about if a band sells 100,000 copies or 100 copies. The success for us is taking a band that doesn't have the means to tour, but really wants to pursue their dream of getting on the road. We're hoping that it's a long-term marketing thing, so that when they are out on tour and any bands they are playing with, hopefully they are talking positively about Hard Rock," says A&R co-head James Buell.
Read the rest here to find the address where to send your demos to: http://tinyurl.com/8qs2dqa
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
BERKLEE MUSIC INVITE
Berklee Music is hosting a live online music production clinic with Emmy-winning composer and producer Stephen Webber next Thursday.
Stephen is a Professor of Music Production and Engineering at Berklee College of Music and the author/instructor of Berklee Music's new online course, Music Production: From Pre-Production to Final Audio Master.
Join them for a free half-hour clinic with Stephen next Thursday, August 16th at 4p ET. He'll also be answering a few questions at the end of the event, so don't miss out!
Sign up here: http://tinyurl.com/cope8uo
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
CABLE CUTTING SERVICE AERO OFFERS SOME FREE STREAMING OF LIVE TV
Aereo survived its early legal battles and now it's taking on the arguably tougher challenge: building its subscriber base.
The company is introducing a Try For Free option, which allows users to stream one-hour of live TV per day, without requiring any credit card information. While new pricing options make it easier to give Aereo a try, editor Matthew Moskovciak says he still has some concerns about the service, such as lackluster video quality and the near-requirement of an iPad.
Read the rest here: http://tinyurl.com/cl2xu8w
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 8
APPLE LETS YOUTUBE iPHONE APP GO BYE-BYE
Muddying YouTube's mobile strategy, Apple has let its license to carry the video-sharing platform's app in iOS expire. "iOS 6 beta 4 has removed the YouTube application that existed on iOS since the first version in 2007," 9to5 Mac reports. (http://tinyurl.com/bpd7w8h )
"The rift between Apple and Google just got a little wider," according to The New York Times' Bits blog. ( http://tinyurl.com/ckl35tn )
THE 'A-SIDE' - BONUS TRACKS
* Listen to Mumford & Sons new single "I Will Wait," from their long-awaited second effort, Bebel, here: http://tinyurl.com/bpd8wow
* Most-anticipated tech products for fall. Wondering what hot new tech is just on the horizon? Here's all the stuff worth waiting for in the second half of 2012. Don't buy something now you'll regret later: http://tinyurl.com/9f9kw3p
* With ultra-affordable e-ink readers, mid-price color tablets like the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire, and even the more expensive iPads all vying for your e-book dollar, what's the best choice for you? Check it out on CNET here: http://tinyurl.com/cg6zkrd
* Downloading movies and TV is so two years ago. Streaming is cheaper, faster, and with affordable set-top boxes, it's also more convenient. But which device is best for you? CNET helps you make the choice: http://tinyurl.com/86ph36w
Short News Items ...
FOR ALL WHO MIGHT HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS NEWS:
Ke$ha is close to finishing her new album.
Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master," said to be based on the story of L. Ron Hubbard inventing Scientology, got a surprise screening last weekend in Santa Monica. Guests at an American Cinematheque screening of "The Shining" were told to stay and see a new film. Apparently they got an eyefull. After the screening, posts on Twitter and the imdb.com message board for the film were unanimous in their rave reviews.
Taylor Swift will appear on a live YouTube webcast next Monday (8/13) at 7 pm.(EDT)/4 p.m.(PDT), where she will talk directly to fans and answer questions, including a Google + Hangout with her followers around the world.
CENTRAL PARK CONCERT:
Neil Young, Foo Fighters, the Black Keys, Band of Horses and K'naan will share the stage at the Great Lawn in New York's Central Park on September 29th as part of the Global Festival, a concert designed to bring awareness and funds to the cause of ending global poverty.
Lady Gaga has announced the title of her upcoming album, taking to Twitter to confirm the news. "ARTPOP" will be the name of the album.
DEPP ROCKS WITH AEROSMITH:
Johnny Depp strapped on his ax and joined Aerosmith onstage during their show at the Hollywood Bowl to run through a riotous cover of the blues staple "Train Kept A-Rollin"
'IDOL' HAS "JUMPED THE SHARK" FOR SURE:
Nick Jonas has confirmed he's in the running to be a judge on "American Idol." Following a report from US Weekly that revealed Jonas and rapper-producer Pharrell Williams were being considered for the spots, Jonas took to Twitter to confirm the show's interest.
TIM & FAITH DO VEGAS:
Country music power couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are heading to Las Vegas. They will be performing a 10-weekend run of shows at The Venetian starting Dec. 7th. The show is called "Soul2Soul," named after their hugely successful co-headlining tours in 2000 and 2006. According to Pollstar, their 2006-2007 Soul2Soul II run remains the highest grossing North American tour in Country music history.
J. GEILS SUES J.GEILS:
John Geils, founder of the J. Geils Band, has filed a lawsuit against the other members of the group over use of the name in an upcoming tour that doesn't feature the guitarist, Reuters reports. Geils names band members Richard Salwitz, Danny Klein, Peter Wolf and Seth Justman in the lawsuit filed in Boston Superior Court, claiming they "planned and conspired" to exclude Geils from a tour and are unlawfully using the group's trademarked name.
SEE YOU IN COURT, TOO, DEPT:
Jennifer Lopez is suing her former driver and head of personal security, who she says tried to blackmail her, CNN reports. In a lawsuit filed last week in Los Angeles, Lopez, her manager and her production company say driver Hakob Manoukian threatened to "disclose sensitive and personal information that he allegedly heard while driving Lopez" unless the singer paid him $2.8 million. Lopez seeks $20 million in damages.
WELL, IT'S DEFINITELY THINKING 'OUT OF THE BOX', BUT THEN AGAIN:
Beck will release a new album in December, but it won't come in the form of MP3s, CD or vinyl - instead, Beck Hansen's "Song Reader" will be released by the publishing house McSweeney's as individual pieces of sheet music. "The Song Reader is an experiment in what an album can be at the end of 2012," reads the post on Beck's website announcing the project. "An alternative that enlists the listener in the tone of every track, and that's as visually absorbing as a dozen gatefold LPs put together."
The Monkees are set to return to the stage this November for a 12-date U.S. tour, marking the first time Michael Nesmith, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork have played together since 1997. The tour kicks off at Escondido's California Center for the Arts on November 8th and finishes at the Beacon Theatre in New York City on December 2nd. It's the group's first outing since singer Davy Jones passed away in February, and Jones will be saluted "in the show's multimedia content."
Kanye West last weekend debuted a new song called "Perfect Bitch" about girlfriend Kim Kardashian. They so deserve each other.
Stevie Wonder has reportedly filed for divorce from wife Kai Millard Morris, noting irreconcilable differences. They have been separated since October 2009.
NOT EVERYTHING STAYS IN VEGAS:
Despite a big-name director and an impressive soundtrack featuring the Beach Boys, Surf: The Musical is closing in Las Vegas after a disappointing six-week run, reports Las Vegas Weekly. Planet Hollywood pulled the plug on the show, which had a preview opening June 29th and a formal debut July 17th. The musical will close August 15th. Surf: The Musical had star power behind it, with Rock of Ages director Kristin Hanggi steering a production set entirely to the music of the Beach Boys.
From Billboard, "A battle for Britney Spears is brewing. The pop star's recording contract with the former Jive Records (now RCA, a division of Sony Music) has one album left, and among those courting the chart-topper are L.A. Reid, chairman of Sony's Epic Records and Spears' "X Factor" sidekick, and Barry Weiss, former Jive head who's guided her career through its greatest heights and now chairs Island Def Jam Motown and Universal Republic. Both execs want to sign the singer, 30, whose seven studio releases have sold some 100 million units worldwide, to their rosters (at a cost of $3 million to $5 million per album, according to one estimate). But in what's being described by sources as a virtual face-off, the two are approaching the courtship with divergent strategies." (Read more here: http://tinyurl.com/cuejf7g )
R.E.M. have announced a remastered 25th anniversary edition of their 1987 LP "Document," featuring a previously unreleased live recording of a concert during their Work tour on September 14th, 1987 in Utrecht, Holland. The release includes new liner notes and is packaged in a lift-top box that contains four postcards. R.E.M. will also issue a remastered 180-gram vinyl edition of the release.
SAMSUNG SEZ NO GO ON BLACKBERRY:
Samsung tells Reuters that it isn't keen on buying the troubled smartphone maker, or even licensing its upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system.
FTC SEZ "GET UP THE CASH" TO GOOGLE:
The FTC hit Google with $22.5 million fine for Safari tracking. It's the largest penalty ever for a violation of an FTC order. The agency says that "sends a clear message" to all companies large and small to "keep their privacy promises to consumers."
Marvin Hamlisch, the composer and conductor best known for the torch song, "The Way We Were," died in Los Angeles Monday. He was 68 years old. Hamlisch collapsed after a brief illness, his family announced. In a career that spanned over four decades, Hamlisch won virtually every major award: three Oscars, four Grammys, four Emmys, a Tony, and three Golden Globes.
Marshall Tucker Band guitarist Stuart Swanlund has died. He was 54. Swanlund joined the band in 1985 after it had split up and regrouped. He was the longest-running member of the group except for founding member Doug Gray.
Rap-reggae pioneer Ranking Trevor died on Tuesday in a traffic accident in Jamaica, the Associated Press reports. He was 60.
Judith Crist, one of the most feared and influential film critics in America. She was 90.
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
"She's such a nightmare. Her career's over."
-- Elton John, talking about Madonna on an Australian TV show. He didn't stop there, later ranting that "she looks like a [expletive] fairground stripper."
"Tara Reid? There are probably less drugs in a Duane Reade."
-- Artie Lange, talking about Tara Reid's bad reputation. (Duane Reade is a pharmaceutical chain)
"He's more fun than a frog in a glass of milk, and he's got his studio right around the corner here. He's nuts. We hang together a bit. When he gets thrown out of the house, typically I'll get a phone call - 'Bob, I'm coming down there. I've got to show you my new car.' He comes down there, he's a little edgy, and he's got a new car and he takes me out and scares the living crap out of me. And he gets it out of his system and everything's fine."
-- The Grateful Dead's Bob Weir in Rolling Stone, talking about his neighbor Sammy Hagar, and what happens when Sammy's wife gets mad at him
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Paul Simon: I'm Proud Of All My Songs, Even The Ones I Stole From People I Heard At Open-Mic Nights
For more than 50 years now, I've been a professional songwriter. It's been a great privilege, putting these songs out in the world and watching them inspire generation after generation. It's been said my best songs have become permanent touchstones of American life. And I take great pride in all my songs, even the ones I plagiarized from musicians I heard performing at open-mic nights.
People always ask where my ideas for songs come from. The truth is, they come from all over. Some I write myself, some I take from other people. Many times I'll hear someone else playing and it will inspire me to compose something all my own. Other times I'll just write down what they're singing word-for-word and take credit for it.
Read the rest here and laugh: Click Here.
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