An Interesting Article About NBC, And Its Current (And Possibly) Long-Term Problems
February 15, 2013
AN INTERESTING ARTICLE ABOUT NBC, AND ITS CURRENT (AND POSSIBLY) LONG-TERM PROBLEMS
NBC's trajectory seems so dire that "five or 10 years from now, there's a good chance we'll recognize [the network] as the Peacock in the coal mine, the first one to fall as the broadcast era came to a close — or, at least, morphed into something far different than what we've known for the past 60 years," writes Josef Adalian.
This latest almost-obituary for broadcast television analyzes NBC's brief reign as #1 again this fall, its current slips, and the mistakes of past and present regimes against the backdrop of a business in freefall.
Read the whole story
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
FROM BLOOMBERG BUSINESS WEEK: PROFILE AND TALK WITH SONY CEO DOUG MORRIS
"Morris is the godfather of the music industry. He's been a top executive at all three of the big record companies: Sony Music, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group, where he's nurtured many performers. "He's as crazy as the rest of us," says rock diva Stevie Nicks. "He's a real music guy." R&B singer Mary J. Blige says, "He always had my back. He's like a father to me." Jay-Z has celebrated Morris in several of his verses, affectionately referring to him as one of the industry's "bosses." Bono is even more effusive: "He's not just the president of Sony Music Entertainment," says the U2 frontman. "He's the president of the entire music industry."
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
FROM ALL THINGS DIGITAL: PROFILE AND TALK WITH UNIVERSAL HEAVY AND BEATS CEO JIMMY IOVINE
"There's an ocean of music out there," said iconic engineer, record producer and Beats CEO Jimmy Iovine. "And there's absolutely no curation for it."
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
THE CONCERT INDUSTRY PROBLEMS WITH AGING SUPERSTARS
From the Hollywood Reporter, "Pop quiz: What do The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, Aerosmith and Metallica have in common? Each of them has been enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, each has announced or is expected to announce major tours for 2013 and each was among the 10 highest-grossing acts in the U.S. -- in 2003 ... This critical mass of such 'legacy acts' might push 2013's totals beyond 2012's record sales numbers, estimated at $4.7 billion.
But here's the rub. While North American grosses hit an all-time high in 2012, fewer seats were filled."
Read the article on The Hollywood Reporter
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
WILCO'S JEFF TWEEDY IN CONVERSATION WITH JEFF GARLIN
Thanks to Portland's DJ Clarence Duffy, I got the chance to listen to and enjoy "By The Way, In Conversation with Jeff Garlin"(yes, Jeff Garlin from 'Curb Your Enthusiasm').
It's an eavesdropper's paradise. Recorded live at Largo in LA, it's a series of casual talks between the host and his most interesting show business friends. Agendas are out the window and no topics are off limits in these revealing chats.
The two Jeffs bond over their love of naps, the joy they get from hating things, and both having moments where their success could mean nothing to their high school peers. We also hear about Tweedy's pure enjoyment of a certain reality TV show, the best display of anger he's seen towards him onstage, and the nicest thing a stranger has said about his guitar playing, and Garlin throws in commentary about the last episode of 'The Sopranos')
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
JAY FRANK: THE 3 MOST PROFITABLE DIY REVENUE STREAMS FOR ARTISTS
From Jay Frank (DigSin Founder and the author of "Futurehit.DNA" and "Hack Your Hit." Jay was also formerly, the SVP/Music Strategy for CMT.
"Independent artists can make more money than ever before. The walls of major label distribution have crumbled, and have been down for a decade. Social networks make promotion to fans easier and cheaper. Add in home recording, crowd-sourced artwork, and other cost-cutting maneuvers and DIY musicians can be financially successful."
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
AMAZON WANTS INTERNET SALES TAX?
Patton Boggs, the Washington, DC-based law firm noted for its lobbying services on Capital Hill, has won a new contract to continue representing Amazon.com in its quest for an Internet sales tax, The Washington Post reported. Read more
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 8
FOLLOW-UP: NETFLIX'S HIT WITH 'HOUSE OF CARDS'
Binge viewing of TV series across countless personal screens may be the next distribution model. According to one estimate, 10% of Netflix members have already finished 'House of Cards.' Read the whole story
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 9
APPLE'S SMART WATCH, AND PROFITS STILL SOAR
Whipping gadget-crazed tech watchers into a frenzy, Apple is reportedly testing a smart watch. "Such a watch would operate on Apple's iOS platform," The New York Times' Bits blog writes, citing sources. Still, any such product is far from a public debut, and, at this point, Bits has more questions than answers about the device. "What would it look like?" Bits asks. "Would it include Siri ... How much will it cost?"
And, Apple is still the most profitable company despite Wall Street brush-off. The iPhone maker got the bum's rush after its latest quarter, but its earnings outshone those of all other U.S. corporations.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 10
HERE COMES YOUTUBE TV
YouTube is coming to broadcast televisions everywhere ... or at least in the U.K. Soon, "customers of the BBC and ITV-backed satellite television operator will be able to flick to the YouTube online video site on the main programming guide, instead of having to link up their television sets to the internet or watch YouTube on a computer," The Telegraph reports.
Read the whole story
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 11
MORE GANG-UP WITH ANTI-NETFLIX DEALS
In the first of two Netflix-blocking deals, Starz extended its agreement with Sony, giving the pay channel exclusive rights to Sony movies through 2021.
And Amazon will be the sole streaming distributor of the CBS-TV series "Under the Dome" when it debuts in June. The show has an excellent lineage: based on a Stephen King novel, and produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 12
HP WILL ADOPT GOOGLE'S ANDROID SYSTEM FOR MOBILE
Reshaping the mobile landscape, Hewlett-Packard reportedly plans to adopt Google's Android operating system to run a forthcoming line of mobile devices. ReadWrite.com calls the would-be move "drastic," and the result of HP "having failed to carve out a place for itself in the post-PC era." As such, "the world's biggest PC maker ... is ready to abandon Microsoft's Windows for its mobile computing efforts," Business Insider writes.
"If true, this would be a big shift in strategy for the once mighty PC maker," Mashable writes. Still, "getting back into the mobile device market isn't exactly a surprise for HP," The Verge notes. "Last September, CEO Meg Whitman said that 'we have to ultimately offer a smartphone because in many countries of the world that would be your first computing device.'"
THE 'A-SIDE' - BONUS TRACKS
* Someone hacked the Emergency Alert System (EAS) at several small-market TV stations on Monday, warning viewers that zombies were on the attack. An EAS manufacturer tells B&C that other stations risk similar hacks by not changing the default passwords on their devices. Stations affected included KRTV in Great Falls, MT, and the WBUP/WBKP duopoly in Marquette, MI. Entities concerned or investigating the hacks include FEMA, the FBI, the FCC, and state and local police. Read the whole story
* From Rolling Stone: 'Love Songs We Never Want to Hear Again' READ MORE
* From Rolling Stone: 'The 10 Messiest Band Breakups'
* Microsoft's Surface Pro has finally made its way to store shelves, giving customers the opportunity to choose between that higher-end tablet and the company's first slate, the Surface RT. Which tablet is right for you? The decision isn't a difficult one. The Surface RT is a fine Windows-based option, but it falls short to the Surface Pro on a host of levels. READ MORE
* Looking for a new case for your iPhone 5? Here are some of the best ones that have hit the market. Read more
* Apple's top executive says the company still has its magic, and still has the capability to do anything it wants. Read more
* A cellphone that costs almost $10,000? With styling straight out of science fiction movies and a price tag that could buy a car, this is the silliest phone on the market. Read more
Short News Items ...
GRAMMY RATINGS DOWN, BUT STILL GOOD:
The Grammy Awards telecast on CBS didn't match last year's total, but it still pulled in 28.12 million viewers, the second-best audience since 1993, topped only by 2012 which, featuring Adele and the death of Whitney Houston.
THE 'WALKING DEAD' BIGGER:
"The Walking Dead" earned its biggest audience yet Sunday, setting another record. The midseason return of the zombie drama earned 12.3 million viewers, beating the record of 10.9 million set by the season 3 premiere in October.
WARNERS BUYS PARLOPHONE:
Warner Music has paid $765 million for Parlophone, which owns the catalogs of Pink Floyd, Coldplay and Radiohead.
J.T AND JAY-Z:
Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake are planning to hit stadiums later this year for about a dozen shows.
JOEY RAMONE AUCTION:
Nearly 100 records owned by Joey Ramone are going up for auction online, along with some of his clothes, his passport, handwritten lyrics and his Rolodex, Billboard reports. Starting February 14th, the estate of the Ramones singer will auction off a 97-title vinyl collection including albums by Cream, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, T. Rex, the Kinks, the Human League, Toots and the Maytals and Yes. There's a minimum bid of $500, and the auction continues through February 21st.
Lady Gaga announced this week that she is postponing four concerts on her current tour due to synovitis, or severe inflammation of the joints. The pop star plans to reschedule her shows at Chicago's United Center, previously set for this Wednesday and Thursday, as well as upcoming shows in Detroit and Hamilton, Ontario.
MUMFORD HAD NO NEED TO WORRY:
After the success of "Sigh No More," Mumford & Sons tempered their expectations for the follow-up, "Babel." "It'll be the disappointing second child, like a lot of us, actually," Marcus Mumford thought, laughing. Now the record is the 2013 Grammy Album of the Year.
TIM HARDIN BIOPIC IN WORKS:
The late, nearly forgotten Tim Hardin is set for a revival -- Bob Dylan once called him the country's "greatest living songwriter" -- with a new tribute album and a biopic in development.
Radiohead will start recording its next album this fall, according to bassist Colin Greenwood.
SUE ME, SUE YOU BLUES:
Drake and Chris Brown are taking each other to court over their scuffle at a New York City nightclub last June, TMZ reports. The two artists and their entourages started throwing punches and bottles at the club W.i.P, allegedly after an argument broke out over Rihanna, with Brown receiving a gash on his chin.
Rick Huxley, the bass player and co-founding member of the '60s pop group the Dave Clark Five, has died, the BBC reports. He was 72. Huxley, a heavy smoker, had battled emphysema for years.
Bronx rapper Tim Dog died Thursday from a seizure following a lengthy battle with diabetes, reports the Source. He was 46.
Quotes of the week
"I'm not very far along at all. I'm having lots of meetings. I've been in L.A. for the whole time since the (Golden) Globes, and I will be until the Oscars. I've been having lots of meetings. I've been out of the loop really. I've been singing my baby nursery rhymes, so I don't really know what's cool and what's not. I'm definitely going to visit Paul Epworth and stuff like that again."
-- Adele, speaking with reporters backstage at the Grammys on Sunday. Paul Epworth produced and co-wrote a number of tracks on Adele's "21," including "Rolling in the Deep," which topped the Hot 100 for a staggering seven weeks.
"We have an audience and we have a potential future in many, many places, but our story is one of a whole lotta Shakespeare going on. And I don't know where the Van Halen future lies aside from the States."
-- David Lee Roth, in Rolling Stone
"No, I don't think so. Doubt it."
-- Brian Wilson, answering whether he thinks there will be another Beach Boys reunion, in the press room after accepting his Grammys for "Best Historical Album" for the deluxe boxed set of "The Smile Sessions"
"I feel like I did once and failed, but I'll take another run at him. He did it for 'The Wrestler' ... he should do it for me."
-- Move producer Judd Apaptow, on his chasing Bruce Springsteen for involvement in one of his films
"That was better than the Grammys,"
-- Marcus Mumford, on meeting Bruce Springsteen and playing Springsteen's "I'm On Fire," at the annual Music Cares event at which Springsteen was honored
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Mumford And Sons Take Home Coveted 'Vest Of The Year' GrammyoOSTORYOo
LOS ANGELES—After weeks of speculation within the music industry, English folk-rock group Mumford and Sons took home the big prize at Sunday's 55th Annual Grammy Awards by winning the highly coveted Vest of the Year trophy.
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.
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