The Business Of Music Is The Music
November 16, 2012
This week Aerosmith released their new album 'Music From Another Dimension,' and it sold a whopping 63,000 copies. Selling 63,000 was enough to land the album a chart debut on the Billboard Top 200 at #5.
Taylor Swift sold just under 200,000 and her album remained at #1 for the third consecutive week, and is just shy of double-Platinum (2 million sold).
The 44th installment of the 'That's What I Call Music' series (or as I call them, the "When We Have Lemons, We Make Lemonade" series) sold almost 100,000. Rod Stewart's first Christmas album sold more on its second week on the album charts than Aerosmith.
Steven Tyler's been talking about the album for months and telling everyone in the media he spoke to how the album was going to be another hallmark in Aerosmith's legacy.
What Steven apparently forgot while he was sitting next to J-Lo on "American Idol" and earning $10 million a year, is radio has changed dramatically since the last big Aerosmith album. One would think as a judge on "Idol," he would have figured that out, but then again $10 million a year can detach one from certain realities. I mean, he must've known that Album radio exists no more except on Classic Rock stations, right?
This from Rolling Stone this week: "LOSER OF THE WEEK: The music business' last 11 years. Here's a striking piece of data: Aerosmith's new "Music From Another Dimension" had a nice showing on the charts this week, hitting #5 and selling 63,000 copies. In 2001, when the band put out its last album of original songs, "Just Push Play," sold 240,000. Have 177,000 people decided they no longer like Aerosmith since 2001?
(That is possible, as the band's 2001 tour sold 17,000 tickets per show and its 2009 tour sold 12,000, according to Pollstar.) Or is "Music From Another Dimension" that much weaker than "Just Push Play"? (Let's just say neither is "Rocks.") No, most likely, even the biggest rock bands have 77% less sales power than they did 11 years ago, thanks to changes in radio and the record business." (Source: http://tinyurl.com/brtb4ah )
Actually, the music business is not the loser of the week. Here's a striking piece of data to digest as well: Adele has sold over 11 million albums in the past year-and-a-half in the U.S., and she did it with all the "changes in radio and the record business."
Taylor Swift will end up selling millions in the next year as well, and the Platinum success of Mumford & Sons, One Direction and others, shows that with all the "changes in radio and the record business" (including people still downloading music via P2P and piracy), there's still Gold and Platinum to be mined when the music sparks and engages the audience.
The business of music when most successful has always been about the MUSIC.
Despite all the changes that have taken place over the past decade and a half, the MUSIC seems to find a way through to an audience. When it does, it sells.
Aerosmith has the same chance at selling millions of albums that any artist does.
With or without massive radio play, the MUSIC somehow gets through to the audience. (A lot of it obviously via the Internet, YouTube, etc.)
Aerosmith, like Madonna, Paul McCartney, and other pop music/rock icons, will continue to sell tons of tickets when they tour, whether or not they put out a new album. (See the section below re: Madonna's latest sales success -- or lack of it -- on her "MDNA" album) That's because they have a legacy collection of great songs that people still want to hear decades later.
Great songs. The MUSIC.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
READ DAVID BROWNE'S 'SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST IN THE NEW MUSIC INDUSTRY' ON ROLLING STONE
Bands are cutting costs, touring more and getting creative to make up for falling album sales
From the article, "In a business hobbled by recession and declining CD revenue, few of those rules apply anymore - in ways that can be both encouraging and demoralizing. To compensate for the fall-off in record sales, musicians are touring for longer stretches and are being forced to cobble together a living by any means necessary, from licensing songs to any TV show or video game that will have them to asking fans to contribute to their recording costs"
Read the article and learn how bands are surviving as the music business changes: http://tinyurl.com/a5vspzo
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
A MUSICIAN'S PERSPECTIVE ON PANDORA
Read (or download) the open letter from the Music First Coalition, signed by 125 artists to Pandora here: http://tinyurl.com/bq4xdj4
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
DOWNLOAD BERKLEE'S FREE 12-WEEK GUITAR COURSE
Get a taste of Berklee's legendary guitar instruction in their free downloadable Guitar Handbook.
This extensive PDF contains lessons taken from Berklee's 12-week online guitar courses, and covers introductory topics such as scales, triads, strumming techniques, and more.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
WATCH TICKETMASTER CHAIRMAN & CEO IRVING AZOFF SPEAK AT BILLBOARD TOURING CONFERENCE
Watch video of Irving Azoff at the Billboard Touring Conference Keynote Question-&-Answer session as he tells great stories about his beginnings in the business, meeting Neil Young for the first time, watching Joe Walsh drive a car into a hotel lobby, and why he thinks Pandora is trying to rip off the artists they play.
Watch it here: http://tinyurl.com/acya3bu
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
DOWNLOAD IFPI'S 'INVESTING IN MUSIC' REPORT
According to IFPI's (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) 'Investing In Music' report, record companies' total investment in A&R and marketing tops $4.5 billion annually,
Label A&R spending is pegged at $2.7 billion of that total, representing 16% of global recorded music revenues.
To download a copy of the full report, click here.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
MADONNA' 'MDNA' FINALLY CERTIFIED GOLD ... AFTER SEVEN MONTHS
Selling 500,000 units and being certified Gold after seven months (Source: http://tinyurl.com/ahuxohb ) would be great for any new and emerging artist. But for someone like Madonna, it's a real letdown.
And the reason? The music on the album stunk.
"MDNA" only charted one Top 10 hit, "Give Me All Your Luvin'." (And we all know that one was a flare being fired from the deck of the ship as it was sinking)
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 8
SPOTIFY READIES BROWSER-BASED PLAYER AS IT NEARS $100 MILLION INVESTMENT
Spotify is reportedly close to raising over $100 million at a valuation of more than $3 billion.
"The investment is a testament to the popularity of the music streaming service, which leveraged Facebook Inc.'s social network to attract tens of millions registered users in Europe and the U.S.," The Wall Street Journal reports.
Yet, as WSJ reports, the round would actually falls short of Spotify's earlier ambitions to raise additional capital at an ever higher valuation of $4 billion. (Source: http://tinyurl.com/chhaqn4 )
And in the meantime, Spotify is reportedly ready to begin rolling out of its first browser-based music player.
"The web app will roll out over the coming months, we're told, and will supplement but not replace the company's desktop apps," The Verge reports, citing sources. "A browser-based player has been one of Spotify's most-requested features, and one of the most obvious differences between it and chief competitor Rdio."
Read the whole story
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 9
YOU TUBE GETS READY TO CUT CONTENT
Just because YouTube has tons of money to invest in original content, doesn't mean the Google unit wants to throw it away. That means the party could soon be over for many partner producers, AllThingsDigital reports. "Just like the TV world, YouTube isn't going to renew all of last season's programs," it writes.
Beginning this week, YouTube is expected to re-invest in no more than 40% of its original channels when all it said and done. Read the whole story
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 10
SMALLER IPADS AND TABLETS CHANGING USER BEHAVIOR
Until the introduction of the iPad Mini, the smaller tablet gadgets felt more like e-readers with benefits.
New metrics from Onswipe suggest that device size does impact some basic consumption and sharing behaviors. Read the whole story
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 11
'THE BEATLES LIVE' PROJECT'
Beatlemania is about to strike again.
Were you there? They played over 250 concerts in 116 cities in 18 countries?
The Beatles' Apple Corps has authorized a production company, OVOW, to scour the globe for material captured by amateurs and professionals during the group's concert tours in the 1960s for a major film project called "The Beatles Live!," TheWrap has learned.
Read the story on TheWrap and visit The Beatles Live Project website here: http://tinyurl.com/9wba4oj
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 12
GOING (MORE) MOBILE
Year-over-year, worldwide smartphone sales increased 47% in the third quarter, according to the latest data from Gartner.
That translates to 169.2 million units sold during the quarter. As for leading vendors and operating systems, "Samsung and Apple remain the top smartphone vendors collectively, capturing 46.5% of the market," 9to5Mac notes.
Read the whole story
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 13
FROM BILLBOARD: 'THE BIGGEST #2 HITS EVER: THE TOP 40 HOT 100 SONGS THAT NEVER MADE IT TO #1
PSY's "Gangnam Style" drops to # 5 after a seven-week residency in the second slot of the Billboard Hot 100, so Billboard is paying tribute to it with a list of the top 40 tunes -- from Lady Gaga, Green Day, Destiny's Child and more -- that peaked at # 2.
Biggest No. 2 Hits Ever: The Top 40 Hot 100 Tunes To Not Hit No. 1
THE 'A-SIDE' - BONUS TRACKS
* 'GRRR!' the most definitive Rolling Stones Greatest Hits collection ever is released this week to celebrate the band's 50th Anniversary. Check out the full track listings and other details here.
* James Bond stunt Aston Martin was made in giant 3D printer. In 'Skyfall, filmmakers dropped some of their $150 million-plus budget on 3D-printed scale replicas of Bond's classic Aston Martin DB5. See it and read about it here: http://tinyurl.com/d3k9yyu
* Finally, the Who are giving their classic Quadrophenia the live tour it deserves. At the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the band played the entire album with no distractions, then encored with some of their best-known songs. It felt like a justified victory lap. Read More
* The best-sounding portable speaker you've never heard. Lesser known than the Jambox, the Libratone Zipp is one of the best-sounding and best-looking portable wireless speakers. Read more
* There are more ways than ever to stream Netflix and other online services. But which device is best for you? Read more
* iPhone, iPad sales to surge over next two quarters, says analyst. Consumers' appetite for the iPhone 5 and the new iPads will be higher than expected this quarter and on into 2013, a Morgan Stanley analyst predicts. Read more
* Another great reason to buy Apple stock? Apple is predicted to generate up to $280 million a year in HTC deal. The company actually got the better end of the deal, which spans 10 years, according to analyst Shaw Wu. Read more
* New iPhone, iPad, and 'iTV' slated for first half of 2013?. A site in China claims to have spoken with industry sources who say that the "iPhone 5S" will be available in the first half of 2013. Read more
* Powerful, with 4G, a 5-inch screen, and a stunning design, the $199.99 HTC Droid DNA is Verizon's best Android deal. Read more
* The BlackBerry 10 will launch on January 30th, RIM says. Research In Motion finally sets the launch date for its next-generation mobile operating system, in what's likely its last, best shot at a turnaround. Check out what the phone will look like. Read more
Short News Items ...
MORE HELP ON THE WAY FOR HURRICANE SANDY VICTIMS:
Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Jon Bon Jovi, Kanye West and others will perform a December 12th benefit for Sandy relief at Madison Square Garden. Among the other scheduled players at the "12-12-12" event: Billy Joel, The Who, Alicia Keys and Roger Waters. Ticket sales will help the Robin Hood Relief Fund for those affected by the storm in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The event is presented by Clear Channel Media + Entertainment, MSG and The Weinstein Group. Details on a telecast of the event will be released in the coming days via the "12-12-12" concert website.
STANDING UP FOR AMERICA'S BEST:
The sixth annual Stand Up for Heroes benefit took place last week with Jon Stewart, Robin Williams and other comedians, and songs by Bruce Springsteen, John Mayer and Roger Waters, who performed with a band of wounded veterans. Watch the benefit and read about it. Read More
DMB DOES GOOD:
The Dave Matthews Band has pledged $1 million to Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts in New Jersey. The group is turning its Nov. 30th winter tour opener -- the first of two nights at the Izod Center in East Rutherford -- into a benefit concert, with all proceeds, including ticket sales and merch, going to the Bama Works Sandy Relief Fund.
LENNON LETTERS APP:
A selection of John Lennon's private letters will be available soon in an app for Apple's iOS. Hunter Davies, editor of 'The John Lennon Letters' collection, has selected 68 letters from the book to be included, plus 10 letters exclusive to the app. Commentary from Davies, audio transcriptions by Christopher Eccleston and a foreword by Yoko Ono are also included.
The Beatles will celebrate the vinyl release of their remastered studio albums with pop-up shops in the form of custom double-decker buses set to appear in New York and Los Angeles November 13th. The 14 stereo LPs - 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 available individually or in a box set that includes a hardbound book. In addition, the Beatles' mobile record store will have available CD versions of the albums, DVDs and Blu-Rays of the newly restored "Magical Mystery Tour" and "Yellow Submarine" films and a unique T-shirt exclusive to each city.
FOGERTY TO WRITE BIO:
John Fogerty will join the list of rock stars penning their biographies. The Creedence Clearwater Revival founder's memoir is slated for publication in 2014.
STONES ROLLING INTO BROOKLYN:
The Rolling Stones have added a Brooklyn date to their "50 and Counting" celebration, marking the first U.S. date on the tour. The rockers will hit Barclays Center on December 8th, in between their concerts November 25th and 29th at London's O2 Arena and their shows December 13th and 15th shows at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Tickets for the Brooklyn show go on sale November 19th at 10 a.m. EST.
The latest James Bond film, 'Skyfall', grossed a truly massive $87.8 million in its first three days (and an additional $2.2 million during Thursday night previews), making its debut the very best in the Bond series' 23-film history by a huge margin.
MELLENCAMP AND STEPHEN KING MUSICAL COMING:
Thirteen years ago, John Mellencamp asked Stephen King to help write a musical about the historic blood feud he believes haunts his Indiana cabin. "It's outside both of our wheelhouses," says the singer. Now a CD featuring Elvis Costello and Sheryl Crow is almost done.
INXS are calling it quits after 35 years, the band announced onstage at a gig in Perth, Australia, according to news.com.au. The band was midway through a set opening for Matchbox Twenty when drummer Jon Farriss said the performance would be the band's last.
MCPHEE PLEDGES $50K TO SANDY VICTIMS:
Katherine McPhee, the season five runner-up and star of NBC's "Smash" will match charitable contributions to the Salvation Army dollar-for-dollar for victims of Hurricane Sandy.
TAKE CARE & BEST WISHES:
Jon Bon Jovi's 19-year-old daughter was hospitalized and is facing drug charges Wednesday after overdosing on heroin in a dorm at her college in upstate New York, authorities said. Stephanie Bongiovi was found unresponsive by an ambulance crew sent to Hamilton College early Wednesday after a report that a female had apparently overdosed in Dunham Hall, the school's largest dorm.
APPLE MOST INNOVATIVE:
For the third year in a row, Apple was named #1 in management consulting firm Booz & Company's annual survey of the top-10 most innovative companies. Almost 80% of the respondents in the 700-company survey named Apple as one of the top-three most innovative companies in the world. Google, which took the second spot overall, ahead of 3M, was listed in the top three by 43% of respondents.
Major Harris, an R&B singer who helped develop the silky, funk-inflected "Philadelphia sound" as a member of the Delfonics and in his solo career, died on Friday at the age of 65, the Associated Press reports. According to his sister, Catherine Thomas, Harris died of congestive heart and lung failure in Richmond, Virginia.
Quotes of the week
"New York is relentless ambition, a drive to succeed, a place where there is a natural pursuit of diversity through compassion."
-- N.Y.C. native Lady Gaga, who donated $1 million to Hurricane Sandy relief, on her website
"Everything that you could ever say negative about Oakland, I could say 10 positives."
-- M.C. Hammer in a video promoting the city's new slogan, "Oakland: To Know it is To Love It." (Publisher's note: Is Hammer doing stand-up now? This is truly funny!)
"She's probably writing a song about you right now. 'You'll Never, Ever, Borrow My Guitar, Ever, Ever, Never Again.'"
-- Jimmy Kimmel, to Nashville star Hayden Panettiere, who borrowed (and has yet to return) a guitar from Taylor Swift, on his late-night talk show
"There's a lot of change in America since we first came here. This film ... takes you back to a younger, perhaps gentler, America. An America where only IBM and the military had computers. Where there [were] no smartphones ... no e-mails. And a simpler America, where we didn't read other people's e-mails, so we didn't know four-star generals were having affairs."
-- Mick Jagger, talking about the Rolling Stones documentary 'Crossfire Hurricane'
"Times are different than they were on the last release. There are fewer record stores available, and there are fans who don't necessarily want to get in the car and drive to the store. They've been accustomed to buying it digitally. He's proven his point that he was able to have an incredibly successful record without iTunes, [but] that doesn't mean you can't reassess the landscape and take a look at people's buying behaviors. Now is the right time. Digital will only be a greater and greater proportion in the way recorded music is purchased. At a certain point, there will be a very tiny, tiny proportion of physical goods. You're going to have to make that decision."
-- Kid Rock manager Lee Trink on his client's decision to sell his upcoming Atlantic album, "Rebel Soul," as well as its individual tracks, at the iTunes Store, quoted on Rollingstone.com (Publisher's note: Times have been different, Lee, for about a decade. Kid Rock may have had a successful album without iTunes, but more people than ever probably stole his music for free while you avoided iTunes. And regardless of what format music is sold in, album sales from those who make great albums are still huge )
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John Christmas Album Plunges Nation Into Double-Dip Recession
NEW YORK-Financial markets were thrown into chaos and consumer confidence plunged to its lowest level in decades Tuesday following the commercial release of This Christmas, a new holiday album by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John that economists confirmed had thrust the nation into a severe double-dip recession.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted more than 2,000 points on news the former Grease stars had reunited after 35 years and recorded the album of 13 Christmas favorites now available in stores. And following reports that the album was being marketed as "the audio equivalent of those classic network TV specials," electronic exchanges were reportedly overwhelmed by a frenzied, across-the-board sell-off and forced to suspend trading.
"We saw hundreds of billions of dollars erased in just a few minutes," said Goldman Sachs senior equity analyst Lawson Bernstein, noting that rumors of the album cover's depiction of the smiling duo surrounded by wrapped presents and holding mugs of hot cocoa had caused "utter panic." "Once investors learned of Travolta and Newton-John's nearly five-minute duet of 'Silent Night,' they began pulling money from the markets as fast as they could."
Read the rest here and laugh: Click Here.
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.
Smart Marketing Consulting Services
Smart Marketing Consulting Services has been in business sixteen years, and consults clients in the music, entertainment, attraction, media, and technology industry on branding, marketing, online exploitation, maximizing new media, and more.
"And the beat goes on, the beat goes on ... drums keep poundin' rhythm to the brain."
"Work is life, you know, and without it, there's nothing but fear and insecurity." -- John Lennon