The Next Big Thing(s)
January 4, 2013
It's always on, all the time, in every device.
At CNET's ever-popular CES SuperSession, Next Big Thing, they bring big names in tech and business to talk about the post-mobile revolution.
Crystal ball in hand, All Things Digital's Walt Mossberg is making a slew of predictions about the year ahead. Among other reckonings, the respected tech watcher expects tablets to keep cutting into PC's market share; the continued convergence of hardware and software; a complete "rethinking" of the television led by Apple's latest crack at connected TVs; and cheaper smartphones, which will accelerate the growth of the mobile Web.
Read the whole story
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
THE 5 MOST PIVOTAL MOMENTS IN DIGITAL MUSIC IN 2012
Here's an interesting post from ReadWrite highlighting their five Most Pivotal Moments for Digital Music in 2012.
All five had to do with "piracy or the tricky evolution of a business model to replace the one that started dying a decade ago." Topping the list is The Death Of SOPA / Megaupload Raid.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
IRVING AZOFF RESIGNS FROM LIVE NATION
From The Wrap, "Irving Azoff said he resigned as chairman of Live Nation Entertainment on Monday because 'the process of being a public company in America right now sucks if you're an entrepreneur.'" (editor's note: Amen to that!)
In an exclusive interview with TheWrap, Azoff, whose position at the head of the largest concert promoter and ticket-seller in the world made him uniquely powerful in the music industry, said he was tired of the demands of a public company and wanted to go back to managing talent."
Full story at TheWrap.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
NEIL YOUNG READIES HIS PONO MUSIC SERVICE ... AND IT ROCKS
From BrandChannel.com, "Canadian folk/rock legend Neil Young may be 67 years old, but he isn't ready to retire anytime soon. The musician (and side inventor of such wonders as the Linc-Volt hybrid car), who has long railed not just at big business but also the lousy quality of MP3s, is getting ready to launch a major business of his own that will help create a better digital sound, as the artist intended. As he says in his new memoir, Waging Heavy Peace, he's "trying like hell to rescue recorded sound so people can feel music again."
Cue Pono, Young's upcoming "music service featuring high-resolution master downloads of songs."
Read the rest here: http://tinyurl.com/cvgqpba
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
ANOTHER STREAMING MUSIC SERVICE? DEEZER DEBUTS
Can the U.S. market support another online music streaming service?
It looks like we're about to find out as Paris-based Deezer sets its sights on the States. This week, the company debuted a free streaming service in more than 150 countries. The rollout marketed "the first time that Deezer has offered a free service backed by advertising outside France," The Wall Street Journal reports.
Read the whole story
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
IF YOU MISSED IT IN THE LAST ISSUE OF 2012...
I'm putting the link in again to the infographic about the Digital Music Industry since many of you commented on the good information it provided.
"Digital music isn't just the future anymore; it's quickly becoming the past. Instant music streaming services like Spotify are gaining ground fast and could easily slow the sales of downloadable tunes. The graphic shows the growth of digital and the overall impact of piracy and digital media on the music industry."
Check it out here: http://tinyurl.com/bq37fal
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
KIM DOTCOM IS COMING BACK
Kim DotCom tweeted over the holidays that we should expect a "press conference like no other" next month when he introduces his new Mega cloud storage service.
Read more here: http://tinyurl.com/bxh8raa
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 8
2012: THE YEAR IN MUSIC
Billboard gives you the lists of 2012's biggest songs, tours, stories, and more.
Great reference and a great look back: http://tinyurl.com/c3824zk
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 9
HOME ENTERTAINMENT REBOUNDS
From The Wrap, "After five years of decline, the battered home-entertainment industry is seeing some daylight.
"Not only has the bleeding stopped, but the overall market for everything from DVDs to streaming to sales of iTunes copies of movies and TV shows is expected to grow by 5% to roughly $18.7 billion."
Read more here: http://tinyurl.com/bzag222
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 10
APPLE TO DEVELOP WRIST WATCH PHONE?
Dick Tracy's wristwatch communicator might become a reality within the next year.
"Apple is believed to be secretly developing a 'smart watch' with a touchscreen. Chinese online sites have reported the computer giant is working with chipmaker Intel on a wrist-worn gadget that has a 1.5-inch screen and uses Bluetooth to communicate with other gadgets, which could include an iPhone," writes the Faily mail.
Read more: http://tinyurl.com/cf8lgo3
AND MORE ON CNET...
New scuttlebutt out of China suggests that Apple is teaming up with Intel to fashion a bona fide iOS-based watch. Read more
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 11
IN THE U.K., A NEW REPORT ABOUT WORKING MUSICIANS
According to a just-released report by the UK-based Musicians' Union, a majority (60%) of musicians have made the decision to play for free over the past year.
"In this context, individual musicians often take on free or underpaid work in the hope that it will lead to paid work and better future work prospects."
Read more here: http://tinyurl.com/avnw586
THE 'A-SIDE' - BONUS TRACKS
* Here's 10 reasons why you should wait before buying Microsoft's Surface tablet: 10 Reasons Not to Buy Microsoft's Surface Tablet
* The 28 biggest tech trends of 2012. From tablets going mainstream to patent wars becoming the norm, check out the trends this year. Read more
* Here comes Microsoft Surface Pro, 64 bits and all. The Windows 8 Pro version of Microsoft's Surface tablet is just around the corner. Here's what to expect: Read more
* Fresh iPad rumor: thinner, lighter version due in March. The report also calls for an iPad Mini with a Retina Display: Read more
* Touch-screen laptops are going to take over the market, Acer's president said in an interview with Taipei-based Digitimes. But he noted that Apple is so far a no-show on this front. Read more
Short News Items ...
Country singer Tate Stevens won the second season "X Factor" and a "$5 million recording contract" with Sony Music.
Lady Gaga has announced she's working with fashion photographer Terry Richardson on a documentary to accompany her upcoming album "ARTPOP."
ADELE TOPS IN 2012:
For the second straight year, Adele's mega-smash "21" was the top-selling album in the U.S. -- the first time that's happened in the SoundScan era. The album sold 4.41 million copies this year, compared with 5.82 million in 2011. Taylor Swift's "Red" took second place.
AND GAGA DOES MORE GOOD:
Lady Gaga is taking another big step in her effort to help troubled teens. The pop star announced Saturday she will be offering free counseling before shows on her Born This Way Ball tour in 2013. Mental health professionals will staff the BornBrave Bus, where fans can take advantage of various forms of therapy as well as food, games and music.
According to Pollstar, Madonna was the runaway leader in concert grosses for calendar year 2012, taking in $296.1 million. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band took the #2 spot with $210.2 million. Roger Waters, who brought in $186.4 million, was good for third place. Coldplay, Lady Gaga and Cirque du Soleil's Michael Jackson: The Immortal tour were the only other acts to gross over $100 million for the year.
NO 'YELLOW SUBMARINE' REDUX:
Robert Zemeckis has dropped his planned remake of the Beatles' film, "Yellow Submarine". "That would have been a great one, to bring the Beatles back to life," the "Back to the Future" and "Forrest Gump" director told Total Film in an interview.
LINEUP FOR SPRINGSTEEN:
Neil Young, Mumford & Sons and Eddie Vedder are among the performers paying tribute to Bruce Springsteen when he's honored as the 2013 MusiCares Person of the Year February 8th in Los Angeles. Elton John, Jim James, Tom Morello, Alabama Shakes, Patti Smith, Emmylou Harris, Kenny Chesney, Sting, John Legend, Natalie Maines and more are also set to perform.
ALLMANS READY FOR THE BEACON AGAIN:
The Allman Brothers Band's March residency at New York's Beacon Theatre has become an almost annual tradition, with another 10-date installment set to kick off March 1st this year. The rockers will play a series of back-to-back shows, and are set for March 1st and 2nd; 5th and 6th; 8th and 9th, 12th and 13th and 15th and 16th.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN:
Green Day have rescheduled their canceled 2012 tour dates and postponed 2013 shows and will be kicking off a tour on March 28th at Chicago's Allstate Arena.
BRITNEY NOT COMING BACK?
Sources say they expect Britney Spears to be pushed out of her judge's role after just one season on "The X Factor," where she earned $15 million. "They paid all that for her to say 'amazing,'" says one. Creator Simon Cowell "wanted crazy Britney, but he got boring Britney."
MEANWHILE AT 'THE VOICE':
Season four of "The Voice" will feature Usher and Shakira filling in for Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera. (Editor's note: As of yet, "The Voice" has generated no "Voice" star at music retail)
"American Idol" season eight winner Kris Allen and his wife Katy were involved in a head-on collision New-Year's Day which left the singer with a broken arm.
Frank Ocean was cited for possession of marijuana, driving on a suspended license and having tinted windows after police pulled the musician over for speeding in Mono County, CA, TMZ reports.
STONES AT COACHELLA?
Early the morning of December 14th, a pair of dates for The Rolling Stones appeared under the tour section of the band's mobile app: the first was an April 12th stop in Indio, CA, listed as "Coachella 2013." Fans posted a screengrab on Twitter and various fan sites. By 10:30 a.m. ET, the date was taken down.
WALKING DEAD ON FOR FOURTH SEASON:
AMC has renewed its hit series "The Walking Dead" for a fourth season.
AND OF COURSE THIS WILL MAKE FOR BETTER RATINGS:
Kim Kardashian announced she is pregnant with Kanye West's child. (Irony here: About eight years ago Kanye did a song called "Gold Digger" ... and now he's with a Kardashian.)
The 31st annual "Christmas in Washington" concert shown on the TNT cable network, featuring "Gangham Style's" Psy, December 21 suffered a dramatic 25% loss in viewers from the previous year, according to Nielsen Media Research. (Psy's "15 minutes" might be ending very soon)
MACCA AND GROHL COLLABORATION:
"Cut Me Some Slack," the song Paul McCartney and the Nirvana survivors debuted at the 12-12-12 concert (and later on SNL), was written for Dave Grohl's upcoming documentary "Sound City," about a legendary L.A. recording studio.
The Rolling Stones' Ronnie Wood married fiancée Sally Humphries in London on December 21st, The Sun reports. Rod Stewart served as Wood's best man, and Paul McCartney was among the estimated 50 or so attendees, though fellow Stones Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were not in attendance.
Janet Jackson is engaged to boyfriend Wissam Al Mana, reports Us Weekly. The 46-year-old singer and her 37-year-old Qatari billionaire fiancé will reportedly marry this spring in Qatar.
Rihanna has donated $1.75 million dollars to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados, USA Today reports. The funds, donated in the memory of Rihanna's late grandmother Clara "Dolly" Braithwaite through Rihanna's Clara Lionel Foundation, were used to purchase equipment for the hospital's radiotherapy department.
SIRIUS MUST PAY MORE:
The U.S. Copyright Board has decreed that SiriusXM Radio must pay a bigger slice of its revenue in royalties, Reuters reports. The satellite giant has hitherto forked over 8% (in marked contrast to the much higher amounts paid to SoundExchange by online streaming services such as Pandora and iHeartRadio, as those entities have often pointed out); after the Board's ruling, handed down, SiriusXM will pay 9% in the coming year, 9.5% in 2014, 10% in 2015, 10.5% in 2016 and 11% in 2017 when their current agreement expires.
Rapper Drake, now wants a share from the sales of all the merchandize bearing the catchphrase YOLO. The 26-year-old recording artist, who reportedly has a net worth of $25 million, posted two images on the photo-sharing website Instagram depicting clothing emblazoned with the acronym YOLO, which stands for "you only live once." The second photo shows a powder-blue T-shirt featuring the children's characters Charlie Brown and Snoopy which reads 'YOLO is my motto,' along with a post: 'Macy's ... same goes for you.' YOLO, which has been around since 2004, turned into a viral sensation this year thanks to Drake's hit song "The Mott."
BMG has acquired worldwide rights to Virgin and some songwriters from Sony/ATV and EMI Music Publishing
Veteran soul singer Bobby Womack has been diagnosed with early signs of Alzheimer's disease after forgetting song lyrics and the names of collaborators, he told the BBC. It's the latest health complication for the singer, who last year was hospitalized with pneumonia and had surgery for colon cancer.
Quotes of the week
Lee Dorman, bassist for psychedelic rock outfit Iron Butterfly, died at age 70, on December 21st, according to the L.A. Times and other sources. The musician's body was discovered in a vehicle Friday morning, a statement from the Orange County Sheriff's Department reveals, but authorities don't suspect foul play; OCSD's Gail Krause speculated that Dorman, a Laguna Niguel resident, may have been on his way to a doctor's appointment when he passed away.
Patti Page, who was a force on Billboard's charts from the late 1940s all the way through the early 1980s, died on New Year's Day. Her most prosperous period -- in terms of hits -- came in the 1950s, where she charted top-10 pop hits in nearly every year that decade.
St. Louis-based R&B singer Fontella Bass – best known for her 1965 hit "Rescue Me" – died December 26th after a heart attack. She was 72.
Allan Rinde, a former publicist, West Coast Editor of Cashbox, head of West Coast A&R at Columbia, where he was behind Billy Joel's first hit, "Piano Man," and the man who helped break the 'Jesus Christ Superstar' album, died on Friday (12/14) from a heart attack. Rinde was probably best-known as the owner of L.A.'s Genghis Cohen restaurant on Fairfax, which became a live showcase for many acts and a celebrity hangout over the years frequented by the likes of Barbra Streisand and Bruce Willis, looking for old-school East Coast Chinese food.
George Osaki passed away at home on December 13th, 2012. George was an accomplished graphic artist and enjoyed a long and distinguished career at Capitol Records and MCA Records. George worked closely with many artists such as the Beatles, the Who, Olivia Newton John, Elton John and Lynard Skynyrd.
Ray Collins, the guitarist who helped found the Mothers of Invention with Frank Zappa, died after being admitted to the hospital for cardiac arrest, the New York Times reports. He was in his mid-70s.
R&B singer and songwriter Jimmy McCracklin died on December 20th at his home in San Pablo, CA at the age of 91, the New York Times reports. McCracklin was best known for his 1958 dance hit, "The Walk," which he recorded for Checker Records with his band, the Blues Blasters.
Funk singer Marva Whitney, nicknamed by collaborator James Brown "Soul Sister Number 1," died from complications from pneumonia. According to an announcement on her Facebook page, Whitney, born Marva Ann Manning, passed away on Saturday, December 22nd.
Mike Scaccia, the guitarist for Ministry and Rigor Mortis, died on December 22nd, at the age of 47. Scaccia was performing onstage at the Rail Club in Fort Worth, Texas, as part of a 50th birthday celebration for Rigor Mortis singer Bruce Corbitt, when he collapsed.
Meredith Sue Israel Thomas, a former publicist for RCA, died Dec. 21st after a years-long battle with breast cancer; she was 39.
Charles Durning, the two-time Oscar nominee who was dubbed the king of the character actors for his skill in playing everything from a Nazi colonel to the pope, died December 24th at his home in New York City. He was 89.
Jack Klugman died at 90 on December 24th. His two signature roles -- sloppy sportswriter Oscar Madison on "The Odd Couple" and shrewd medical examiner in 'Quincy, M.E'. -- were as different as could be, yet Klugman was expansively comfortable as both of those men.
Quotes of the week
"Life at a public company ain't for me. The board pays you what you're worth, then you get reamed for your compensation. They don't like the way you elect directors, you should be giving options. It's horses---. You can't be an entrepreneur and work in a public company anymore."
-- Irving Azoff, on leaving Live Nation (And Amen to that!)
"I was surprised – when we got into the thick of stardom in the Seventies, I found the most outrageous things I asked for, would've thought of asking for, had already taken place the week before with some other group. It was harder to do something that hadn't happened . . . I can remember the height of my oblivion, I was into doing things just because I could. I would think nothing of tipping a whole long spread, and I'd be so livid – explicit – no turkey roll! Give us a turkey – no gravy, no stuffing, just real meat. No hockey pucks, no mystery meat, just a turkey. And I would come in after coming offstage, and I'd have 12 ounces of Jack in me, and half a gram, sweating profusely, and I would see that tray, and I would go "Yeeow!" and just turn the thing right over. And that would feel good to me. That felt real good . . . That movie [This Is Spinal Tap!] bummed me out, because I thought, 'How dare they? That's all real, and they're mocking it.'"
-- Steven Tyler, commenting on on the excesses of the Seventies, on one of record industry executive Joe Smith's recorded interviews he donated to the Library of Congress
"Kim and Kanye are an incredibly dynamic couple, and their baby news is just so exciting, Like so many Kardashian fans, we love it when this close-knit family gets even bigger. We look forward to sharing the joy as they prepare for more diapers, more bottle and without a doubt, more fabulous baby wear."
-- E! president Suzanne Kolb in The Hollywood Reporter (Translation: "Yahoo! We are gonna' slam dunk the ratings for 'The Kardashians' this season!")
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Mumford And Sons Can't Believe They All Got Each Other Mandolins For Christmas
LONDON—According to sources close to the English folk-rock quartet Mumford and Sons, the band's members were surprised to discover during their annual Christmas gift exchange Wednesday that they had all gotten each other new mandolins.
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