Microsoft Wants A Piece Of Streaming Music Biz
October 19, 2012
"The world's largest software maker has been trying for years to make the household living room an entertainment hub with its Xbox. More than 67 million units have been sold since 2005. About 18 months ago, the company realized that Xbox users were spending half to 60 percent of their time on entertainment services rather than video gaming, Xbox Music general manager Jerry Johnson said."
-- Reuters ( Source: 'Microsoft debuts Xbox music service to take on Apple': http://tinyurl.com/d3c5cog )
The market is crowded and licensing fees are costly, but Microsoft wants to get into the streaming music business and grab a piece of the pie.
"Its new Xbox Music service will soon become available on the Xbox Live service, as well as on Windows 8 tablets and PCs and Windows Phone mobile devices over the coming weeks," says TechCrunch. ( http://tinyurl.com/9qs96sb )
"Xbox Music is baked into every single copy of Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8. In other words, free access to 30 million songs is built into Windows 8, as part of the default music player." (Source BuzzFeed article 'How Xbox Music Is Going To Make Spotify Obsolete': http://tinyurl.com/9dvay9c )
"It will also give Microsoft a selling point over Apple, which dominates sales of downloaded music but has yet to offer free streaming," The Wall Street Journal writes in an article 'Microsoft Offers Free Music Streaming, With Limitations': http://tinyurl.com/987b8ax
"While it's easy to write it off as another 'me too' digital music platform, it's surprisingly comprehensive." (Source:CNET 'Xbox Music is an impressive but largely Windows 8 experience': http://tinyurl.com/d4v3xw2
The new service will replace Zune on the Xbox 360 console Tuesday, followed by a launch on PCs, slates and Surface devices 10 days later.
Read more in the article 'Microsoft Unveils Xbox Music to Compete With Apple's iTunes' on The Hollywood Reporter here: http://tinyurl.com/c92antw
UPDATE ON STEVE VAN ZANDT'S KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN FOR RASCALS
Steven Van Zandt's Kickstarter campaign for The Rascals, for the 'ONCE UPON A DREAM' reunion shows, has only five days left.
The project needs to raise $100,000 by October 24th to make it all happen. As of today, the project is at $79,969 already pledged by 428 people.
You can donate as little as $1 if you're a fan: http://tinyurl.com/8ue2dw2
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU HAVE A REALLY BIG ALBUM
After spending 79 weeks in the Top 10, and 24 of those at #1, Adele's 21 brought in nearly $67 million in profits to its record label XL, the New York Times reports.
Read the article by Ben Sisario here: http://tinyurl.com/9prqrnc
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
R.I.P. GANGAM STYLE
"Apparently This Matters" Is Jarrett Bellini's weekly (and somewhat random) look at social-media trends on CNN.com.
From Jarret's article this week "R.I.P Gangam Style," "So we've long since rid ourselves of "Macarena," and now we say goodbye to "Gangnam Style." They're not a perfect comparison, for as best as I can tell, "Gangnam Style" isn't necessarily a fully composed dance but more of a song that features several signature dance moves. I already described the main one, and the other biggie looks like some sort of crazed, hyper-animated version of the Axl Rose. Well, at least from back in the day when the Guns 'n Roses frontman didn't have to move around stage on a Rascal."
Read his article here: http://tinyurl.com/9ef4vln
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
TUNESAT HELPS COLLECT PERFORMANCE ROYALTIES
TuneSat is a revolutionary technology that offers a simple solution to the overwhelming challenges of inaccurate performance reporting, lost royalty payments and copyright infringement.
TuneSat lets you know exactly when and where your audio content is being performed on hundreds of TV channels and millions of websites around the globe, in the dirtiest of audio environments. Since launching in 2009, TuneSat has helped rights holders collect millions of dollars that would otherwise have been lost or undiscovered without the essential detection data.
Check it out on their website here: http://tinyurl.com/93f3l8q
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
THAT YOUTUBE POWER AGAIN
More proof that YouTube is where active music people are flocking. This from Rolling Stone on the #2 debut on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, "Macklemore is #1 this week on iTunes. How did they pull it off? One word: YouTube. The duo's "Same Love" is up to 4.7 million views and "Thrift Shop" is at almost 8.3 million. They're likely to drop down the charts, but their online marketing is top-notch and bodes well for concert-ticket sales." ( Source: http://tinyurl.com/cuk95re )
The album sold 78,000 and "comes not from a major record label but from the Alternative Distribution Alliance."
"There's something happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear"... but it's great to see great new music making its way into the retail marketplace without having to have massive radio exposure.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
30 YEARS AGO 'E.T.' TOOK US ALL ON QUITE A RIDE
It's hard to believe it's been 30 years since E.T. and Elliott took a ride across the moon.
CNN takes a look back at the film, talks to some of the people involved, and tells us some secrets about it here: http://tinyurl.com/9hu7u7h
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
BOXEE OFFER OVER-THE-AIR DVR
Boxee TV is the newest over-the-air DVR, launching on November 1st for $99.
It's a relatively radical take on the traditional DVR experience: The Boxee TV has no onboard storage, nor does it expect you to add your own hard drive. Instead, all of your recordings are uploaded, stored and retrieved from the cloud, with no limits on how much you can record. (But, if you have a slow upload speed -- DSL, basic cable -- how will this affect your experience?)
And yes, it comes with a small monthly subscription fee. Read more on CNET here: http://tinyurl.com/bp2jw6m
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 8
AFTER 80 YEARS, NEWSWEEK FOLDS AS A PRINT MAGAZINE
Another sign that the Internet continues to make it harder for print pubs to stay in business. Newsweek will end its print edition at the end of the year and become an exclusively digital publication after 80 years as a magazine.
The decision by IAC/InterActiveCorp chairman Barry Diller, owner of the publication, marks the end of an era for one of the country's most venerable newsweeklies, one that has been losing money for several years.
The magazine will still exist as an e-reader behind a paywall. (Good luck with that)
Read the article on The Wrap here: http://tinyurl.com/9vo58mz
Hours before the impending death of Newsweek's print version was announced, venture capitalist Ben Horowitz was admonishing the audience of publishing execs at the American Magazine Conference to "face the reality that print will eventually go away." Other choice quotes from Horowitz, reported by TJ Raphael: "Babies born now will never read anything in print. At the same time, people in their 40s and 50s will never stop reading print."
Another speaker at the conference, Professor Jeffrey Cole, provided a similar "tough love" message, as Raphael put it. Cole "estimates that some magazines -- likely fashion titles -- will always remain in print, as will those with strong design principles. However, he added, the majority of others will see their printed roots begin to completely break down by the end of the decade." Read the whole story.
Read that article here: http://tinyurl.com/9pvpq7q
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 9
A NEW REPORTS SEZ MUSIC PIRATES BUY MORE MUSIC
I'm sure the RIAA and NARAS won't be thrilled when they read the new report from The American Assembly, a Columbia University think tank, and Statista.
The report states that P2P users purchased nearly 31 percent more downloads than non-P2P users.
You can read and download the entire 10-page report as a PDF here: http://tinyurl.com/99n98de
THE 'A-SIDE' - BONUS TRACKS
* If you want to listen to a song from Aerosmith's "Music From Another Dimension" album coming out November 6th, you can listen to "Lux XXX" here on Rolling Stone: http://tinyurl.com/cvsk6jy
* If you're looking to buy high-quality music downloads then the FLAC format is a great option. Here are the best five sites from indie to classical to jazz: http://tinyurl.com/cnfxvpb
* It's a desktop. It's also a tablet. By slapping a battery inside a 20-inch touch-screen all-in-one to make the Sony Vaio Tap 20, the company has given birth to a new PC category with great potential in tech-savvy homes: http://tinyurl.com/9edl8h3
* Apple to show off iPad Mini at Oct. 23rd event, report says. The company's smaller tablet will reportedly come with a 7.85-inch screen, a Lightning connector, and thinner design than its predecessor: http://tinyurl.com/8nn8zod
* Windows 8: The complete new PC launch list. Dozens of new PCs are launching alongside Windows 8. Some are inventive new designs, others are simple retreads of existing products. Check out every major new laptop, desktop, tablet, hybrid, and convertible launching with Windows 8 or RT: http://tinyurl.com/92d49b5
Short News Items ...
BRIAN EPSTEIN STORY IN A COMIC BOOK:
Brian Epstein, the man who discovered and managed the Beatles until his untimely death in 1967, lives on in a new graphic novel by Vivek J. Tiwary, the Wall Street Journal reports. Read about "The Fifth Beatle, The Brian Epstein Story" comic book/graphic novel, coming out next year: http://tinyurl.com/9ss7l2m
ARMSTRONG REHAB REAL:
After his recent meltdown, Billie Joe Armstrong's rehab announcement is "no joke," says Warner Bros. Chairman Rob Cavallo, who has produced Green Day's biggest albums. The band may need to cancel more shows, he tells Rolling Stone: "His doctors are still evaluating."
ELVIS' BEVERLY HILLS PAD, YOURS FOR JUST $13 MILLION:
What does that $13 million get you -- besides the satisfaction of knowing that you live in the house previously occupied by Elvis and his wife Priscilla? The French Regency home -- which is located in Trousdale Estates -- sits on a 1.18 acre promontory that offers panoramic, city-to-ocean views. The 5,367-square-foot home also boasts four bedrooms, five bathrooms, floor-to-ceiling windows and a formal living room with a fireplace
STEVIE DOES ELTON'S AIDS BENEFIT:
Stevie Nicks headlined Elton John's 11th annual AIDS Foundation benefit. The black-tie affair drew celebrities including Courtney Love and Lance Bass and raised $2 million.
CHUCK BERRY HONORED:
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will honor Chuck Berry on October 18th, Berry's 86th birthday, and open a new exhibit honoring one of its original inductees. Later this month the master will be feted in a tribute featuring Merle Haggard, M. Ward, Darryl "DMC" McDaniels and more.
Brian May has confirmed on his blog that a planned Freddie Mercury biopic is now on track for an early 2014 release, with Sacha Baron Cohen still set to portray the iconic late Queen singer.
CLAPTON SELLS RICHTER FOR BIG BUCKS:
Eric Clapton sold an abstract painting by the German artist Gehrard Richter for £21 million, or $34 million, at a Sotheby's auction in London on Friday, reports the BBC, helping to set a record for the highest-selling work by a living artist. The painting, entitled "Abstraktes Bild (809-4)," was initially projected to fetch up to $19 million.
METALLICA SUBS FOR GREEN DAY:
Metallica will take over Green Day's headlining slot at New Orleans' Voodoo Music and Arts Experience later this month while Billie Joe Armstrong focuses on his rehab, festival organizers announced Friday. The Saturday night (October 27th) set will mark Metallica's first time playing Voodoo.
YOUR SUPER BOWL HALFTIME SHOW:
Beyoncé will perform during halftime at Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans on February 3rd, 2013
NO MORE PAUL IN A COUPLE OF YEARS?
It's hard to imagine David Letterman without Paul Shaffer by his side, but the late-night host's longtime sidekick and musical director says he might be ready to call it a day when his "Late Show" contract expires. Shaffer admitted that nothing is set in stone just yet.
IDOL PHILLIPS COMING FOR THANKSGIVING:
"American Idol" season 11 winner Phillip Phillips' debut album is set for a Nov. 19th release, according to online retailer Amazon. Phillips' full-length will be titled "The World From The Side of The Moon."
After months of rumors, the Rolling Stones have announced dates for their 50 and Counting. The Rolling Stones Live tour. The band will perform November 25th and 29th at London's O2 Arena and December 13th and 15th at Newark's Prudential Center. Ticketing information is available on their website.
'WALKING DEAD' KILLING IT ... IN THE RATINGS:
AMC's 'The Walking Dead' returned in its third season premiere to 10.9 million viewers, making it the most-watched basic cable drama telecast ever.
FEY & POEHLER TO HOST GLOBES:
Former "Saturday Night Live" cohorts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are teaming up again -- this time to host the Golden Globe Awards. The 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards will air live on NBC from the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Jan. 13 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
NEVER TOO LATE:
Singer/Rapper Drake has finally earned his high school diploma after dropping out when he took a starring role on the hit Canadian series "Degrassi: The Next Generation."
A member of Jerry Lee Lewis' band was shot and killed in Memphis this week. Bassist B.B. Cunningham, 70, had a night job as a security guard for an apartment complex. Police told Memphis' Commercial Appeal that Cunningham heard a gunshot in a neighboring complex and went to investigate. Witnesses say they heard multiple gunshots. Cunningham was found dead at the scene, along with an unidentified 16-year-old male.
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
"Kiss is a comic book rock band and they got a couple hits but they're more of a comic book. You see them in their spackled faces. We were always a band that had something to prove we always wanted to blow up whatever band it was and I remember when we went out with Kiss in '76 or something, one of our roadies got into a knife fight with their guys. So I hated them ever since. It is different: a Kiss lick, a Joe Perry lick - two different worlds."
-- Aerosmith's Steven Tyler talking about Kiss in a radio interview with Florida radio station the Bone, reported in Rolling Stone
"I have rules for a lot of areas of my life - love is not going to be one of them."
-- Taylor Swift, in Rolling Stone
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Spielberg Panics, Adds Comical Groin Injuries To 'Lincoln'
LOS ANGELES-Growing nervous after watching a rough cut of his upcoming biopic Lincoln, director Steven Spielberg reportedly re-edited the entire film in a bout of panic, inserting a recurring gag that involves the 16th president repeatedly suffering injuries to the groin. "Steven realized that given the brutal scenes of slavery, the horrific Civil War battles, and an ending in which the hero is killed in cold blood, his movie might benefit from a little comic relief," said a source at DreamWorks Pictures.
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