Smartphones & Tablets Will Grow Digital Music Market...But Then Again
September 28, 2012
"The trends that we are seeing alongside the spread of the latest technology, from tablet computers to the Android phones, make emerging markets increasingly attractive for digital music -- and that's paid-for digital music or digital music with revenues attached in some form. We are looking at countries where there are consumers who are interested in international artists as well as local artists, like India, Brazil, Turkey, Egypt. Music is at the heart of all this. Content is at the heart of it -- the most important part. The Beatles will sell their music throughout the world forever."
-- Universal chief Lucian Grainge
Mr. Grainge is correct when he says there will be growth in the sales of digital music as newer smartphones and tablets continue to gobble up the lion's share of digital mobile markets.
But what Mr. Grainge is not saying is how Universal (and other labels) will be able to generate healthy revenues from the sale of digital music to replace the billions labels made (and still make) from the sale of physical music on CDs.
What Mr. Grainge is also not saying is how Universal (and other labels) will protect their "most important part," their content.
As more and more digital devices are used by more and more people, more and more people will be watching videos (and as recent reports I included in the newsletter a few weeks ago have already shown, YouTube is the music discovery choice for teens already) and listening to music.
That would also lend me to believe based on what's happened already, that more and more music will be traded via file-sharing/illegal-downloading. Sending your best friends a song you have on your smartphone or tablet to their smartphone or tablet, will be even easier than it is today as people send mp3s and videos from desktop to desktop, desktop to tablet or smartphone, and so on, and so on, and scooby-dooby-dooby.
Yes, there will be billion s made in the sale of digital music in the future. But, just like today, there will be billions lost as music becomes even more portable as the digital devices people choose to use.
The challenge for the labels won't be how to keep up with the growing tablet and smartphone markets.
The challenge will be how to generate significant revenues from every ancillary avenue available to ensure their content doesn't get devalued even more in the minds of the consumer.
THE 'A-SIDE' - THE INSIDE TRACK
STEVE VAN ZANDT LAUNCHES KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN FOR THE RASCALS
Steven Van Zandt has launched a Kickstarter campaign for The Rascals. All four original members will be united for reunion shows that Steven is calling 'ONCE UPON A DREAM' -- a combination concert/theatrical event produced and directed by Van Zandt and lighting/projection wizard Marc Brickman.
It's a Rock'N'Soul dance party meets The Jersey Boys. The production will be amazing, but Steve needs help to make it special.
In return for your support, they have some outstanding ways to make you part of the show, an early bird deal, and killer merchandise.
The project needs to raise $100,000 by October 24th to make it all happen. As of today, the project is just below halfway there with $45,000 already pledged by 204 people.
If you were ever a Young Rascals fan, this is your chance to chip in and take part in Steve's bringing the show to reality.
Go here to see how the show will be staged and a video with Steve talking about the project: http://tinyurl.com/8ue2dw2
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
THE SALES THING AGAIN
They used to say "When you're number one, you're having fun!"
But having a #1 album sure ain't what it used to be anymore. Maybe they should change that old adage to "When you're #1, have some fun immediately ... because it's not going to last."
Just how bad are the sales declines on some new releases?
This from Rolling Stone: "LOSER OF THE WEEK: Rock music fans, because being stable in buying patterns is not great for the market nowadays (and being correct in predicting them is a pyrrhic victory). Last week, we bemoaned the swift drop-offs of #1 albums; they debut like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars, then get curb-stomped by Nickelback or whichever recognizable name appears the following week. Dave Matthews Band reigned supreme last time with "Away From The World," selling 266,000 copies; this week, they plummet a not-so-zen 77% to 62,000 in sales and a #4 ranking. Bob Dylan's "Tempest" also slides from #3 to #8, from 110,000 sold to 35,000." ( Source: http://tinyurl.com/8jx5peu )
And this from Showbiz411's Roger Friedman in an article titled "Amazon Pretty Much Gives Away New Green Day, No Doubt Releases:" "They bought 'em, they can what they want with 'em: Amazon.com is pretty much giving away downloads of the new albums by Green Day and No Doubt. You can pick 'em up, or pick 'em out for five bucks. That's the equivalent of free, kids. (The so-called deluxe version of No Doubt's "Push and Shove" are $7.99.) Well, Amazon paid the freight to Warner Bros and to Interscope, so they can do what they want. With music sales very shaky, they probably figure it's the only way to stimulate sales. But at five bucks, Amazon is taking a hair cut, that's for sure. And it means that the two albums will do much better in the charts next week for debuts than they might have otherwise."
Read Friedman's article here: http://tinyurl.com/ckq599k
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
APPLE COULD BE FIRST COMPANY EVER TO BE VALUED AT $1 TRILLION
From CNBC/The New York Times, an article by Nick Bilton in which he writes, "If Apple continues on its current trajectory, something remarkable might happen on April 9th, 2015, at around 11a.
That is, statisticians and investors I've spoken with say, a conservative estimate of when Apple could become the first company ever to be valued at $1 trillion. (Yes, you read that correctly: the number one, followed by 12 zeros.) "
Read the article here: http://tinyurl.com/8byxehz
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
MYSPACE REBUILDS AND RE-LAUNCHES
Like an old flame ready to rekindle the magic, MySpace just revealed a video that teases the future of the once-reigning social network. "According to the company, the fan and entertainment-focused service is being rebuilt 'entirely from scratch'," The NextWeb reports. ( Read that here: http://tinyurl.com/c9tyon3 )
"Fifteen months after its acquisition by Specific Media, we're finally getting a sneak peek at the new MySpace," writes Mashable. "The interface looks clean and attractive -- but obviously we'll have to wait for the beta launch to understand more about how this works." (Read that here: http://tinyurl.com/9cplycl )
"The new Myspace prominently features Twitter and Facebook connect buttons, so it's not going to try to compete on identity," ReadWriteWeb suggests. "Rather, it's a more fully featured media-sharing site, retaining its focus on music with a built-in player."
Still, "the odds of MySpace coming back from the dead ... to regain its past glory are very long," according to CNET. "For starters, can you think of a single Internet titan that saw its influence collapse and then make a significant comeback? I didn't think so." (read that here: http://tinyurl.com/8gq7x75 )
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
GREEN DAY'S ARMSTRONG EXPLODES ONSTAGE AT iHEART RADIO CONCERT, THEN GOES TO REHAB
This past weekend Green Day's frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, exploded in expletives and smashed his guitar, after his band's playing time was allegedly cut to make way for Usher at the iHeartRadio festival in Las Vegas.
I say "allegedly" cut, because after the concert the band apologized for the incident and a statement by the band's rep said Armstrong was "headed to treatment for substance abuse." (Or was that just the way to get Clear Channel Radio to not ban airplay on Green Day's music on their stations?)
Whatever the case may be, you can see photos, read more, and watch Armstrong explode in the video that's posted online at The Daily Mail here: http://tinyurl.com/9p5ust7
You can read The Associated Press article, about the band apologizing for the incident here: http://tinyurl.com/9q6yokf
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
1GBPS INTERNET MIGHT BE EVERYWHERE SOON
Google last week announced Google Fiber, an experimental fiber-to-the-home network it plans to use to connect between 20,000 and 200,000 homes.
And while we wait for that network to take shape, Reggefiber of the Netherlands is moving ahead and upgrading its network to 1 Gbps.
Read the rest here on GigaOm: http://tinyurl.com/yctaxq7
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
NEIL YOUNG'S AUDIO SYSTEM COULD BECOME A COMPETITOR TO APPLE
From Rolling Stone, "Aretha Franklin had never sounded so shocking, Flea decided last year, as "Respect" roared from the speakers of Neil Young's Cadillac Eldorado. Stunned by the song's clarity, the Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist listened alongside bandmate Anthony Kiedis and producer Rick Rubin while Young showcased the power of Pono, his high-resolution music service designed to confront the compressed audio inferiority that MP3s offer."
Read the article about Young's Pono here: http://tinyurl.com/9mybjfo
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 8
XBOX TO BE CHALLENGED BY CABLE TV
Tests of video games on the TV (or "cloud gaming") "are likely to start later this year," possibly from AT&T, Verizon and Time Warner Cable, according to anonymous sources cited by Ari Levy.
"If successful, [cloud]-based games could accelerate a shift away from consoles, the industry's main money maker for the past three decades."
Read the rest here: http://tinyurl.com/bqbllpz
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 9
YOUTUBE QUIZZES ON THE WAY
Pop quiz: How can YouTube increase the amount of time visitors spend watching videos and hanging around on the site? That's easy: quizzes!
Dutch tech site WebSonic.nl has noticed YouTube is hinting at a forthcoming feature called, "Video Questions Editor Beta."
According to YouTube, the feature will be a way for "multiple questions to be displayed on top of your video during playback that a viewer can answer." As TechCrunch deduces: "Video producers can add an interactive element to their content -- imagine adding little quizzes to an educational video or introducing product questions to a video ad."
Read the rest here on TechCrunch: http://tinyurl.com/c36osgc
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 10
THE EMMYS ... ANOTHER AWARD SHOW GONE BAD
If you endured the Emmy broadcast this year, you probably asked yourself the same question so many others did when it was over. "Why was the show so boring?"
The Wrap's Tim Malloy sums up the show in his review 'The Night Everything Went Wrong' and says, "It was hideous. Television had a very good year, and this was not the show it deserved. If the television academy truly thinks Jon Cryer is funnier on "Two and a Half Men" than any of his competitors (who included Don Cheadle, Alec Baldwin and Jim Parsons), then this was exactly the kind of show they deserved."
All that and a whole lot of nothing added up to a show that was easily beaten in the ratings by NBC's Sunday Night Football, which had eight million more viewers.
Read Tim Malloy's review here: http://tinyurl.com/9hyh94c
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 11
NETFLIX CEO SLAMS AMAZON'S PRIME VIDEO
Leave it to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to jazz up a slow month in digital media.
In a recent interview Hastings throws down on Amazon Prime and more.
Read the article on CNET here: http://tinyurl.com/clg56fq
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 12
NOW WE WATCH MORE WEB VIDEOS ON TV THAN ON OUR COMPUTERS
"Consumer-tracking service NPD says TV sets are now the most popular way to watch streaming video," writes Peter Kafka.
Forty-five percent of viewers say TV "is now their primary Web video screen, up from 33% last year," according to Kafka. TV "basically swapped places with the PC, which used to account for 48% of viewing but now represents 31%."
Read the article on AllThingsD here: http://tinyurl.com/9a3pego
THE 'A-SIDE' - BONUS TRACKS
* A damn good FREE Verizon phone. A solid entry-level Android 4.0 handset on its own, the Samsung Galaxy Stellar starts looking even better when you see the $0 price tag: http://tinyurl.com/c6px4mx
* Windows 8 will change laptops. The laptop market is changing. Dozens of new computers and tablets are coming with the Windows 8 launch. Here's what you need to know ahead of time: http://tinyurl.com/8kgyfmj
* Which entry-level turntable should you buy? While CDs may be on the way out, LPs are groovy again; here's what you need to know about buying and setting up a decent turntable: http://tinyurl.com/c6akwh4
Short News Items ...
CEE LO & THE MUPPETS:
Cee Lo Green will get a hand from Rod Stewart, the Muppets and other guests when he performs tracks from his upcoming holiday LP at Las Vegas' Planet Hollywood on October 10th. Dubbed "Cee Lo and Friends," the one-night engagement will also feature past contestants from NBC's "The Voice" and air later on YouTube
HARRISON DOCUMENTARY GETS EMMYS:
'George Harrison: Living In The Material World' won two Emmys at the Creative Arts Emmys. The film won awards for Outstanding Nonfiction Special and Martin Scorsese won an Emmy for Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming. "Marty was able to summon George's spirit in this documentary and I think in the end it's that spirit that the audience and the Emmys have responded to." said Olivia Harrison. You can find out more about the film here: http://tinyurl.com/c87br4w
STONES READY DOCUMENTARY:
Celebrating their 50th anniversary, the Rolling Stones are readying their new retrospective documentary, "Crossfire Hurricane." The film will take a look back at their career and track their rise from their teenage origins to stadium-sized glory and beyond. This preview trailer on Rolling Stone features footage old and new, from early television clips to massive arena shows and revealing candid shots of the band's more private moments: http://tinyurl.com/ckcgl5f
WHEN IN AMSTERDAM, DO AS THEY DO:
Lady GaGa smoked what appeared to be marijuana while on stage during a recent concert in Amsterdam.
THE X-FACTOR GETS SIMMONS DAUGHTER:
Sophie Tweed-Simmons, the 19-year-old daughter of KISS's Gene Simmons and actress Shannon Tweed, auditioned on 'The X Factor' just like any other run-of-the-mill hopeful this week. She made it to the next round.
KATY PERRY BILLBOARD'S WOMAN:
Katy Perry will take home the Woman of the Year Award at the 2012 Billboard Women in Music event on Friday, Nov. 30th, in New York City, capping off a year that's seen the pop star break chart records, release a 3D feature film and bring her candy-colored tour all over the world.
BUT I DOUBT 50 YEARS FROM NOW ANYBODY WILL BE SINGING LIL' WAYNE SONGS:
This sad news from Billboard this week: "He'll always be the King of Rock and Roll, but when it comes to the artist with the most Billboard Hot 100 hits, Elvis Presley's longstanding record total gives way to a new stats king: Lil Wayne." (Source: http://tinyurl.com/9m973ro )
HELM'S RAMBLE SESSIONS STILL COMING:
Set for release on November 20th, the third installment of the Levon Helm Band's Midnight Ramble Sessions. With producer Brendan McDonough, before he passed away, Helm sorted through hundreds of gigs recorded at his barn in Woodstock, NY, where the former singer-drummer of the Band created a truly communal musical experience during the last decade of his life
Willie Nelson and his Farm Aid cohort drew a crowd of 30,000 to Central Pennsylvania's Hersheypark Stadium on Saturday for the annual concert benefiting family farmers, Harrisburg's Patriot-News reports. The 2012 lineup featured Dave Matthews (who joined Nelson, Young and Mellencamp on Farm Aid's board in 2001), Jamey Johnson, Dale Watson, Jack Johnson, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Kenny Chesney and ALO.
DOORS VID COMING:
Back on July 5th, 1968, the Doors lit up the Hollywood Bowl with an epic post-Independence Day show, which is the subject of the band's upcoming "Live at the Bowl '68," a new concert video of the memorable gig. Here, the legendary quartet digs into "Hello, I Love You," off their 1968 album 'Waiting for the Sun': http://tinyurl.com/9jcek4n
iPhone 5 sales topped 5 million units over first weekend, Apple says. That's a million higher than the iPhone 4S, but probably still not enough to satisfy high expectations.
'FARGO' COMING TO SMALL SCREEN:
Joel and Ethan Coen have signed on with FX to adapt their 1996 hit comedic crime drama "Fargo" for the small screen, Deadline reports. The Coen brothers will executive produce.
LISTEN TO NEW CUT BY NEIL YOUNG AND CRAZY HORSE:
Neil Young and Crazy Horse fans, your nearly decade-long wait for new material is finally over. Here is the premiere of their video for "Walk Like a Giant:" http://tinyurl.com/btbl77f
BROWN TESTS POSITIVE FOR POT:
Chris Brown has tested positive for marijuana while on probation for his infamous 2009 assault on Rihanna, Reuters reports. Brown tested positive in June in Virginia, where he had been fulfilling the community service portion of his sentence. Brown, who was sentenced to five years of probation for the assault, presented a medical marijuana card after the positive test.
JUST IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS:
The Beatles' original studio album remasters will finally be pressed to wax, with vinyl versions slated for release on November 13th in North America. All 14 albums - the 12 U.K. originals, the U.S.-originated "Magical Mystery Tour" and the B-sides and rarities collection "Past Masters Volumes One & Two" - will be pressed on 180-gram vinyl, and will include original features like the "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band" cutouts and a reproduction of the poster that accompanied "The White Album."
LIVE KISSES COMING:
November 12th will see the release of 'Live Kisses' -- a 13-song film, directed by Jonas Ã…kerlund, that captures an evening in February of this year. In the intimate surroundings of Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, Paul McCartney recorded much of his "Kisses On The Bottom" album, and he was reunited with the all-star musicians who joined him on the record.
The votes are tallied and Rolling Stone announced Karmin as the winner of their "Women Who Rock" flip cover contest.
GAGA BODY PROJECT:
Lady Gaga has launched a new "Body Revolution" project on her LittleMonsters website, hoping to help build confidence in people with body-image issues. Gaga took the plunge first, posting candid, unedited photos of herself in her bra and underwear as a demonstration of strength.
VILLAGE VOICE SOLD:
Ownership of the Village Voice Media Holdings, which owns 13 alt-weeklies including the LA Weekly and the Village Voice, is changing hands -- but the hands are already familiar, since it's the company's execs who are buying it and changing the name to Voice Media Group.
Andy Williams, the golden-voiced singer known for "Moon River" and his popular TV Christmas specials, has died following a year-long battle with bladder cancer, his publicist confirmed to the Associated Press on Wednesday. He was 84.
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
"Hey, wait a minute! Was that me? Okay. Fine. I am back now. That was close!"
-- Neil Young, feigning momentary confusion about who actually sang America's soundalike hit "A Horse With No Name" in his new autobiography 'Waging Heavy Peace'
"I don't want to settle with a mediocre life, but make a name for myself in my life's work, which I hope will be music."
-- Brian Wilson, in a high-school philosophy paper he wrote in 1959
"Back in the old days, when the Yankees won, they'd play Frank Sinatra's "My Way" in the stadium. When they'd lose, they'd play Liza Minnelli's version."
-- Artie Lange
"I have no idea what happened with that, I actually don't recall them opening for us. Either I was incapacitated at that point or I just don't remember it. I'm sorry he had such a bad time."
-- Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora, commenting on Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong's recently made headlines when he called Bon Jovi the worst band he's played with.
"I'm disappointed and can't understand why [Love] doesn't want to tour with Al, David and me. We are out here having so much fun. After all, we are the real Beach Boys."
-- Brian Wilson, on CNN, talking about Mike Love's continuing to tour without the originals. (Al Jardine is also unhappy, going so far as to share a petition for fans to sign on his Facebook wall. "To Mike Love," the letter reads. "In order to preserve the validity of 'The Beach Boys' as a whole, and not as a 'money saving, stripped down version' that only contains one original member, and one member that joined in 1965, we ask you to reinstate the three other members to the touring group for your final years performing. It's the right thing to do, and it's what the fans want!" )
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
New, Lighter iPhone Hailed By Exhausted, Humpbacked iPhone 4 Users
LOS ANGELES -- The nation's hunchbacked, out-of-breath iPhone users lined up outside Apple stores throughout the country today to purchase the new iPhone 5, which boasts a widely anticipated slimmed down, lighter design that promises to no longer irreversibly misshape the curvature of users' spines.
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